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 Post Posted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 11:19 pm 
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Friday night update. The cage structure is 99% done. The only thing left on the cage is one of the firewall bars needs more weld to be complete. I have to cut a section of firewall sheetmetal out for access to complete this weld.

The dash is rough fit. I need to finish fitting the dash, then make some mounts before moving on to the gauge cluster mount.

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 Post Posted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 5:36 pm 
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Weekend update time.

The dash is pretty much installed, or so I thought. It's complete but I found the midsection around the radio has more flex and movement than I would like. I'll likely need to fabricate a support in the middle off the dash bar to tighten up the mounting. I started the gauge panel, but ran out of time before I could accomplish much more.

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 Post Posted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 6:40 pm 
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I was sitting here and think I forgot to update everyone on the current plans for the car.

I have been trying to figure out the order in which I wanted to do the re-assembly. I need to have custom carpet put in the car this time around. I have been thinking I would repaint the car next winter as this paint is 15 years old, showing it's age and I'm ready to change colors. The problem is I would strip the body to bare metal, also down to the bare shell, so if I did carpet now, it would likely get ruined next winter during the paint process. No easy way to keep it clean with the car stripped to a bare shell.

Also, due to many of the cavities under the car with the body-on-frame chassis, there are some spots that will be very difficult to get paint in.

It also seems kinda stupid to totally re-assemble the car and strip it down again next winter.

So the current thought process is to get the fabrication done and send the body/chassis out for media blasting. I'd then have the chassis, cage and floors powder coated. We powder coat alot of the cars coming out of HFR like this. Due to the static charge the powder should draw into these hidden cavities much better than paint would.

Once that's done it'll likely have to come home and sit till I can save up the money for the body work and paint. A good friend of mine will do the work, it's just I don't have funds budgeted for paint right now.

I hate to say it, but I may have to sit out this season to save up money for paint.

I think I need to find a sponsor to help fund the paint process. LOL

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 Post Posted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 12:27 pm 
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One other thing I don't know if I mentioned.

I recently stumbled onto a pair of Mickey Thompson 15 x 10 ET drag wheels, the ones sold to go with the fronts I have had for a while. These are the welded version, with no bolts. I purchased them to have two sets of wheels, so I ran run radials and bias tires if I choose. Eventually one pair may get beadlocks, maybe even both pairs, but that's way down the road from now.

Anyway, I weighed both sets of wheels at work on the digital scales. Just FYI for those who are interested.

Holeshot Sun Star 15 x 10, 3" backspace = 11 lbs each

M/T ET drag 15 x 10, 3 1/2" backspace = 13 lbs each

Now, here's some advertised weights for comparison to show how much race wheels can vary in weight from one brand/model to another.

Champion Speed series 10" = 15.5 lbs each
Billet Specialties Comp series 10" = 12.4 lbs
Billet Specialties Street Lite series 10" = 16.2 lbs

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 Post Posted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 7:35 am 
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As of 11:00 pm last evening, the dash and gauge panel mount is done. I wound up adding some additional tube supports and dzus fasteners in the center of the dash as it was too flimsy with just the outer fasteners. Usually a f/g dash if fine mounted off the sides, but for what ever reason, this one had too much movment for my liking. The center dzus was added first, but the lower section of the dash still flexed too much. Henry suggested the lower loop section and to incorporate the panel to mount anything from the coil to data logger, etc. Worked out nice and it's rock solid now. The center dzus could likely be eliminated now and glass the hole shut.

I'm off today, but Sunday I'll get to working on the front & rear driveshaft loops and the driveshaft cover.

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 Post Posted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 8:25 pm 
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The front & rear driveshaft loops are done. They both took longer than expected. The rear one required holes to be cut in the trans tunnel to clear. The front loop wasn't bad, but I decided to remove the stock floor brace/cross piece mounts. This was a pain since I neglected to do so before installing the under car bars which were in the way of cutting the spot welds and cleaning the area up. All told about 2 hours messing with removing those mounts.

The drive shaft tube/cover is rough fit. It did not go as planned, or how I had hoped. It came with stepped flanges on the one piece to do a lap joint in which I usually do rosette plug welds stitch the remaining seams. The flange was not in the right place forcing me to cut it off completely and doing a butt joint. It's gonna be interesting to weld 32" butt seam down both sides and see how bad it warps till I'm done. I've gotta couple things to do to help reduce the warping, but it's near impossible to eliminate it.

The drive shaft is definately gonna be a tight fit. The driveshaft is 4" round (aluminum) and the inside of the tube is 5", so there's barely 1/2" side clearance.

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 Post Posted: Sat Mar 26, 2011 7:25 pm 
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Last evening I worked fabricating the door hinge components. This morning I started with fastening the doors in place, then working on fitting the hinge components in place and welding. Tomorrows project is to remove the quarter glass (break em) and them fit the door latches and handles.

I was pleasantly surprised the doors fit pretty well. Not perfect, but better than most I've done. My only complaint would be the gaps are slightly larger than I would prefer, but livable. I kinda like when the door completely fills the opening allowing me to tailor the gaps to my liking, but this doesn't happen very often.

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 Post Posted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 2:34 pm 
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Sunday I was able to get the latches cut in the door as well as spending some time to cut the door to use stock outer door handles. Took some time to do as I no longer have my old stock doors to use as a pattern to make the door handle holes.

I lost some time in the morning as I needed to remove the quarter windows. They were in very bad shape and I glued them in with urethane adhesive. My only real option was to cover both sides completely with duct tape and break the glass, then chisel out the adhesive and clean up the remaining glass pieces that went everywhere. Probably 1 1/2 to 2 hours to do including cleaning up the car and the shop bay.

I ran out of time, but the last door project is to make new door striker pins. The stock ones are way too short. I also see a very small amount of flex in the car side door hinge, so I'll add a .090" plate triangular gusset to eliminate this flex.

After the striker pin fab, the lexan side windows will be up next. Gonna have to take next weekend off as my wife is having surgery on her foot, so hopefull I'll be able to get back to work sometime next week.

Oh yea, I did another quick estimate and it looks like this project is sitting at around 420 hours right now. sheesh.

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 Post Posted: Sun Apr 17, 2011 9:02 pm 
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Progress has been a bit slow here recently, but still working when I can.

Here's a couple pics of the progress. I found some minor flex in the body side hinges so I added some gussets which eliminated that issue.

The door windows are now done along with the frames, inside door handles, door straps and aircraft latches on the windows.

I began this evening on fitting the trunk lid. It's about 2/3 complete, but still need to make some mounts to reinforce the back edge.

Since the doors are now complete I was able to weigh them to compare to the stock doors that were removed (crash bars removed).

The stock doors were 90 lbs each, the fiberglass are 24 lbs each. That calculates out to a weigh savings of 132 lbs for the pair. Not as light as some of the doors I've done, but still a decent weight reduction.

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 Post Posted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 9:04 pm 
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Well there's been some crap being posted on YB.com about 25.2/25.3 cage certs and potential issues which caused me concern on how I did this cage. I followed the SFI spec as best as I could, it still made me worry. We called our tech guy the middle of the week and just by luck he was in the area on Friday and agreed to stop in an take a look. We discussed the areas which I was concerned about and to my relief he felt the car was 100% legal in those specific areas. We did not do an official cert, just a visual inspection of key areas. He also complimented on how well the car was built being the first 25.3 he's personally looked at.

Anyway, I've been working on small detail stuff, mainly patching the holes in the front floor area, and firewall. I completed all those patches today including fabricating a rather complicated piece in the lower drivers corner. I had to remove a large section to allow access to complete a weld of the firewall bars where it connects to the A-pillar bar.

I'm still waiting for the fire system to come in, so I'll continue with a couple other small projects then move on to the last big item which is the trunk. I've not yet figured how how I want to tackle the trunk, but I've gotta get a game plan together here real soon.

I'm hoping to have the car ready for media blasting & powder coating in 1 1/2 to 2 months tops, hopefully sooner, but with spring here, activities are starting to eat into fabrication time.

Hope everyone has a nice Easter Holiday.

Todd

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 Post Posted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 10:27 am 
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Todd that is a work of art for sure. Good thing the cert guy checked it out. It puts your mind more at ease. Happy Easter to you also.

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 Post Posted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 11:04 am 
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Thanks Steve and happy Easter to you.

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 Post Posted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 1:35 am 
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WOW that all looks awsome!!! Great work

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 Post Posted: Sun May 01, 2011 4:17 pm 
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Time for a quick update. I finally got around to working on the trunk area. I had been putting it off since I didn't really know how I wanted to tackle certain aspects of the trunk layout, mounting, etc. I got a decent start building some support tubes for the floor structure, the moved on to fabricating the mounts for the fuel cell and fuel pump. This week I'll take a look at making mounts for the battery tray, then it'll be time to begin the trunk sheetmetal.

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 Post Posted: Sun May 01, 2011 5:28 pm 
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WOW O:) \:D/ \:D/ \:D/

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