Let the games begin!
As the title says, it's a '75 that's getting an LS3 (Cracker's "old" motor - thanks Tony!) and Boxster 6 speed.
Also planned is zippidy doo-dah 911 front suspension with Boxster calipers all around. The rear suspension is getting 911 ebrakes, Tangerine Racing raised pickups and shock towers.
I have plans to stiffen the chassis with a partial cage.
Doesn't that sound like a great plan? I think so, too!
I got this as a roller that was purported to be "dry and accident free". And it was!
Except for all the rust and the place where it was hit. Yeah, yeah... But it's all good. The seller and I worked everything out.
But our little 914s are full of surprises and isn't that half the fun? So, first up is rust repair time!
Let's begin with some pics of what I started with. Wish me luck! Wait, forget the luck, wish me SKILL!!!
Hey, looks pretty good! Let's have a look under the carpet.
This is encouraging...
How about the hell hole? Hmmm.
The outer longs? Pretty nice! No problem! I mean, how much trouble could possibly be caused by those little hell hole perforations?
Remember the Monty Python and the Holy Grail? Where they have to cross that bridge and get asked "what's your favorite color?" and the first guy answers and gets to cross? Remember what the next knight said?
"This is easy!"
Remember what happened to him?
So let's pull the interior out and remove the tar.... "Hello? Restoration Design?"
Forgot the pic of the outer longs...
A real contributing factor to the rust issue was failed window seals and a horrid non-repair that used some odd goo to try and plug the leaks. So at some point, a PO figured that part of the solution was to add drain holes... !
The passenger long rust was exacerbated by water sitting in that area.
I would have thought water and hell would cancel each other out!
So... NOW we'll let the games begin. And I want to start with a disclaimer:
TO EACH, HIS OWN
By this I mean, I'm just a guy with an opinion. Doesn't mean I'm right, just that it's what I believe, think, feel, etc.
My goal with the car is to do as high quality work as I can muster. In my opinion, that means complete panels vs patching. Plus, some of the "interesting" things I want to do as part of this project are more easily accomplished this way. More on that as I get to it.
OK, back to the action. Let's find out where the rust stops and what needs replacing.
Turns out it's:
- back 1/2 of the floor
- seat mount/cross brace
- inner firewal
- outer firewall
- passenger inner long (from a bit ahead of the engine mount to not quite 1/2 way forward)
So out comes the bad!
I was hopeful that the first set of incisions (first pic) would be enough but upon reflection (and given the 400+ hp this chassis is getting) I decided to go all in - or maybe that's "all out"! (2nd pic)
Note that I've started fitting the front sleeve. More on that in a bit.
Good "skill" Chris...do that motor proud! I know you do really nice work and I will continue to look forward to the progress posts!
PS: So this means the latest acquisition is on the way out then, correct?
Whoa, that is going to be a little bit of work!
Nice sized shop so at least you are not hindered by lack of space.
Those Enkie wheels look to be in great shape, at least you'll be able to get a few bucks out of those.
In planning the fabrication of the sleeves needed for the long repair, I noticed I was going to have to deal with a bit of a structural raised section in the bottom of the forward area.
I recently treated myself to a bead roller and was able to put it to good use.
Gotta say, having the right tools almost feels like cheating. Nowhere near as much
I used it to form a nice, tight fit around that raised section then roll over the 90 degree bends to complete the sleeve.
Turned out pretty well.
I sliced the longitudinal repair section out of my parts car. That was a fair bit of work, in and of itself!
And here's the first goof of documenting my build:
I fabbed up the sleeve for the rear part of the long repair. It was FAR more complicated as I had to deal with the raised reinforcement "ribs" that are part of the doubler that runs up the inside of the long, past the engine and inner suspension mount.
I was so impressed with myself and how well everything fit that I immediately forgot to take any pics and commenced with tacking things into place...
Anyway, here it's trimmed and fit. Also gives a view of what these look like with no inner or outer firewall or back half of the floor!
Note the double/triple-up on the door brace. I'm super paranoid about keeping the very nice door gaps this chassis has.
I'm using Tangerine Racing's door brace kit.
*** Unabashed promotion***
If you need 914 stuff and Tangerine Racing makes it, save yourself a ton of time and just buy it! Chris Foley and his team (and products!) are the best.
Back to the build:
I used the door brace kit as provided plus added another diagonal from the upper seat belt mount to a plate/bolt that I welded just inside the front of the door opening. This means I have a brace in place but can mount the doors and check gaps!
Hell hole/long repair welding nearly completed! I opened up holes in the outer skin that allowed me to drill then plug weld the sleeve to the inner reinforcement panel.
A couple of those holes are yet to be closed up.
You may have noticed I've eliminated the heater tubes. V8 means no need. This opens the door to some custom fab I want to do:
I'm doing an inner long stiffener kit but because the firewalls are out, I can run them from the front of the long all the way to, and a bit past, the suspension console.
And I'm planning a center mount ebrake handle so these stiffeners will have no cut outs or heater inspection holes.
More as I get to that.
My paranoia paid off and another Tangerine product performs as advertised!
The door gaps are uber nice, body lines are spot on and the doors close with zero up/down movement as they latch and unlatch. These are early doors off the parts car and they end up with gaps a bit larger at the rear than the front. If I do run these doors, I'll add a small shim behind the hinges to even up the gap.
Also, since the windshield frame can end up tweaked for any number of reasons (being used when entering/exiting the car, etc.), the chassis measurement spec isn't always to be used as gospel. But in combination with other measurements, including door gaps, you can be sure things are where they should be.
That said, looky where mine ended up! This would suggest the windshield frame is straight.
CHASSIS STIFFENING: Version 1
LS3 = I need to stiffen this chassis. A lot.
I'll be adding an inner long kit but also need to do more. So, I started to fab a roll cage.
I want this car to retain as much street use ergonomics as possible, plus I want to have a nice interior. To accomplish this, Version 1 of the cage was designed to be a bolt in: A roll hoop with door bars that extended up to just ahead of the door opening and bolt to the top of the long. Something like the one pictured below.
This meant I could tuck it tight to the interior but since it comes in and out, I could install the trim panels, do all the other upholstery then bolt in the cage.
CHASSIS STIFFENING:Version 1
From a design perspective, I'm trying to add little things details that may be unique elements. I figured I see how close I could get the roll cage to match the shape of the car.
So out comes the roll bender!
Once the curve was where I wanted it, it was measure and bend the legs.
I'm happy with how it turned out.
CHASSIS STIFFENING: Version II - Change of Plan
As I've been thinking about the bolt in design, I spoke with a number of experienced folks (Chris Foley, Tony/Cracker) and some race car fab buddies and decided I didn't want to go bolt in. But I also didn't want a race car cage with full front hoop, etc.
What to do....
I understand the targa structure of our cars are pretty strong and since this is a street car that will see the occasional track day, I decided to build what I'll call a "roadster cage".
The main hoop will come up to just below the rear window, it'll have legs back to the top of the long near the suspension consoles. In the cabin, there will be a hoop under the dash and door bars with drops that tie into the tops of the longs. This will all be installed over the inner long stiffener kit.
That said, I also wanted to hide as much of this "cage" as I could. So I'm trying something a bit different. A "through the firewall" design!
Here's the initial rough-in of the rear hoop. It's roll bent to match the curve of the window opening.
The final fit will have the top of the bar just under the window and able to serve as the shoulder harness mount. The window and all stock interior trim can go in/out. I planned to eliminate the back pad so no worries there.
Interesting idea. It should provide some stiffness, without the bulky full overhead cage.
Now that is a very cool way to stiffen the car and do it as low-profile as possible.
Very nice Chris...have it running at WCR!
Very nice bar tuck. If your not planning on running anything up the logs, cut a slit in the lower rear firewall, and extend stiffing all the way from the front to the rear suspension console.
I would also highly recommend 914 LTD outer log kit. Brad's kit will make your car stiff, runs from the front log all the way back to the rear suspension console. I can jack inside of my car up and the back, and lift three tires off the ground. It also only twists about 1/8" That was with a Roll bar, and petty bar installed. Have not tried it with out the roll bar and petty bar.
You could also go full steel top, or bolt down your fiberglass top, and add re-enforcments to that to to help out.
I checked a 944 out, 18ga metal, and very similar design to the 914 A-pilars. though the Gas had a re-enforcment added to the lower A-pilars.
You can also build a box section going down the center of the chassis. Think Lotus back bone, very strong, and can be made very light.
You are on a very slippery slope.
BTW, LS3 excellent choice
CHASSIS STIFFENING: Front Hoop/Door Bars
In keeping with the "hide as much as I can" approach, I bent up my front hoop (if something 9" tall qualifies!) and started trial fitting.
No, that isn't the real footing. It's just blocking the heater hole...
Initial fitment suggests I have plenty of foot clearance, can remove/install the steering shaft and even run the stock fuse panel, if I wanted (I don't).
It lines up nicely for a bar that will run from the hoop corner, through the heater hose hole and tie into the front shock tower.
CHASSIS STIFFENING: Con'd
Next, I started on the door bar. I haven't landed on the final height. Taller = stiffer, but again, I want it to be as easy as possible to get in and out.
Comprise is the order of the day on this design.
The pics show an overall height of 5" to the top of the bar. At this point, I think that's as high as I'd want to go.
I'm not final on the design in terms of the drops to the long. It'll be two or three, I'm just not sure. Here's a pic of each. (Note that I hadn't yet coped the drop supports in that 2nd pic.)
One of my race car fab buddies is coming over later to take a look and make recommendations.
I don't think you need three verts. My choice would be the outer spacing, the middle is doing the least. The last pic. Remove the middle.
Chris - You don't need to have your bar that high - consider what I designed for you below (and if followed) - never look back.
The center support is important and I would not eliminate it from the design. The gussets at each end upright are absolutely necessary and should be implemented. Call me if you need to discuss.
I too will be re-configuring my cage in the next year or so - converting it to a more "hot rod" style like your car. I won't go any higher than the 4.5" (and probably even lower) from top of rocker to top of bar I've illustrated below when I do it (JMO).
Keep up the good work.
Oh boy. oh boy... is this going to be a full weekend in the shop!
Today, I got the blanks for the inner long stiffener. I got two 10' sections of 16 ga bent with a 7/16" inside radius. This is just a tick tighter than the corner radius of the long itself. I wanted to err on the side of tighter as too big a radius would cause the stiffener to rock on the long.
One leg is 4.5" and other is 7". This will allow me enough material to do the cabin as well as up the long, past the suspension console.
LOTS of , and for the next couple days.
And yep, I'll weld slowly, cooling as I go. But I sure am looking forward to having the floor and firewalls back in!
So, here's what a custom inner long stiffener looks like before the "custom" gets applied. (This has to be in the top 10 for "Most Boring Build-Off Challenge Picture"!)
More pics tomorrow as I start fitting!
I'd throw a seat in there 1st and test how much of a PITA it is going to be getting in and out of the car before settling on the height of the horizontal bar.
Fantastic fabrication. Way to go Chris. I'm paying attention here:-)
Something else to consider when designing your structure...Foley was sharing with me recently the importance of designing towards keeping the longs from twisting. However, you have a hot-rod - not a race car. Keep that in mind too so as to not over-build. Clean would be sweet - the less you see and only the necessary installed.
CHASSIS STIFFENING: Inner Longs
Got started on the inner long stiffener. Since I deleted the heater tubes, I'm going to skin the long "everywhere". And trying to keep it tight. I like the clean look!
Given the way the longs change shape behind the firewall, I'm planning to make each side in two pieces: the part seen here, and the second part for the "up the long" part.
That part will be more complex and I'm going to have to wait til I cut the suspension consoles out to prep for the Tangerine Racing raised pick up kit.
Nice. You don't need a bunch of tubage. This alone is going to make a big difference.
How are you handling the ebrake?
Another. And if you need to make large holes for things like seat belt mount in an inner long stiffener, use a knock out punch! (Crappy pic, in terms of showing that, I know.)
I treated myself to a set of KO punches from Swag Offroad and they're awesome. I use a HF hand hydraulic pump and wow. Super clean, accurate, etc.
I also got their dimple die set which I plan to employ on some of the tunnel and roll cage gussets. Pics as I get to that.
Your picture reminds me of a Fred Flintstone mobile...missing floor and all! As always Chris - the work looks fantastic. You better slow down as most projects take decades - you're going to hurt some feelings at this pace!
CHASSIS STIFFENING: Lower Firewall
Today's realization is that this really is a jigsaw puzzle. And I've determined I want to have all the pieces before I start putting any of it together.
So... My stiffening plan includes a tunnel from the firewall to the front roll hoop. Since this will tie into the lower firewall and it's all the way out, this is an opportunity to beef up that area of the chassis, too.
I was planning to run a bar across from long to long and sandwich that between the stock inner and outer firewall sheet metal. But with some additional head scratching and input from my race car fab buddy, Martin, I've decided to build a more substantial structure. Similar to what MichiganMat has done on his build.
If you haven't figured it out yet, I love curves. Arches are pretty strong, too.
Roll bender to the rescue! This is a different one from the one I used to roll the round tube. It's purpose build for flat/square stock. I got it for free and it saves me buying additional dies for the Swag Offroad roll bender.
So instead of running a straight tube across and running sheetmetal from the upper firewall down to the tube, I'm going to roll a square tube that fits right up against that curved lower edge.
First, I used the curve template tool to capture the radius I need. I was surprised at just how much arch there is.
Then it's roll, check, roll, check. Manual roll bending 1.5" .095 wall tubes is a pretty good work out, too!
This pic reminded me how fortunate I am to have a high ceiling in the shop.
I'm not so confident that I trust my measurements on what to me are the trickier bits. This firewall arch is one of them. I knew the bar would intersect the long in such a way that it was going to require an interesting cut. So I prefer to sneak up these sorts of things using the "measure, cut, trial fit, measure, cut, trial fit" method until I get it where it needs to be, hopefully avoiding the "I cut it three times and it's still too short...!" situation.
Here's the current state of things. The arch is dead on and overall fitment is looking really good.
The lower bar is a simple straight cut. I used one of those laser measuring devices and it was absolutely on the money. I cut the bar to that length and it's nice and snug.
And yes, I will be adding "footings" under all these bars so there will be more trimming.
I'm really happy with how this is turning out!
In the pics above, the rear floor is just held in place with a floor jack to help locate the lower bar.
Now, it's on to making up some bracing for the lower firewall area, removing the tunnel and fabbing the rest of the floor supports. Not sure how much more I'll get done this weekend but I'm feeling pretty good about how this stage is going.
I like it. One word of caution; however, don't do anything that is permanent until you can fit the drivetrain in place. Too much structure, in place and done with will be difficult to re-do down the road (psychologically).
I'd suggest you take a break from anything relating to the lower fire wall at this point and focus on installing the entire driveline to achieve the most forward positioning of the transaxle as possible. To get the angles absolutely correct - the firewall will need to be modified. Now is the time to do that. Have I made myself clear enough???
I'm really only dealing with one issue at this point - CV angles. If you are patient, you can remove this from the table. All the best.
Damn right those are slick...Foley does excellent work! My struts head up to TR tomorrow to raise the spindles (plug for Chris - he CAN raise the spindle hieght on the tappered BOGE struts). Thanks Chris for the hi-jack!
Oh wow our builds are very close, I like what your doing keep it up!
Thanks for sharing.
Wow the build is looking great. I really liked your curve template. Keep up the excellent work.
Engine & Trans: Mock Up
November activities commence with some new stuff: Engine and trans mock up install!
LS3/Boxster 6 set ups create pretty high CV angles and in detailed conversation with Tony (Cracker), not to mention his subtle hinting a few posts back , I'm taking his advice and mocking up the drive train before finalizing my firewall mods.
As you know, I have Tony's "old" LS3 engine. He used his considerable Southern charm and talked me into buying it. (OK, not much taking into required!). I figured it would save some time as it had already been proven in a 914 install, the intake was already flipped, it had low miles and I'd seen/heard video of it running.
Next, I purchased the Renegade Hybrids LS kit and their 6-speed kit. This was all maybe about a year ago. But after all that time, today was the first time I unpacked everything. It was like Christmas!
Gotta say, the Renegade stuff is really nice. Fit and finish is impressive.
I didn't install the flywheel and clutch as this phase is all about determining clearances and deciding if I want to do things like move the motor forward to, at least partially, address the CV angle.
Engine, meet Trans. Trans, Engine!
As I'm looking at this wild set up, I leaned up against the car... and felt something moving...
The car was trembling! But I have to admit, I don't know if it was from excitement or fear!
I've not spent much time around 'Merican power and I have to say, this thing looks fast just sitting there.
What in the world will it be like to drive?
I am so motivated to work on this project!!!
All that tooling in your shop I am just
No get back to it get that engine in there, and figure this stuff out. I want to see this at Okteenerfest I know long haul, but you could go for the Iron Butt award.
It was a frustrating weekend in that I didn't complete what I thought I could. I wanted to get the drive line mocked in but it quickly became apparent I would need some additional jacking capabilities.
But let's start off with this: I'm claiming the record. Not only is my 914 on jack stands, so are my engine and trans!
So the only progress to report for this weekend is that I've fabbed up a jack that should allow me to handle the drive train by myself.
Credit to AndyS for the basic design. I went a little overboard on strength but it's the material I had.
So if anyone asks, you better believe "I know Jack!"
And after all this hard work, I'm adding a little comic relief.
Here's the welding seat I built. Quite comfy with the full suspension!
And yes, that's an exhaust tip from an MV Agusta.
As my wife likes to point out, I'm the only person she knows who needs a muffler on his chair...
Amazing how compact an LS motor is!
Nice work Chris! You are making amazing progress! I'll have to come back out and take a look.
Something else that just came to mind Chris...if you move the drivetrain further forward you may need to slot the trans mounts. Before I forget...
PS: I like the welding seat - spring!
So... the good/bad news is that this week I had my 2nd skin cancer surgery.
A 30 mm x 23mm section of my left cheek removed. Good news is it's gone, bad news is that for a week I'm not supposed to lift more than 15 lbs or do anything that gets my heart rate up. This will limit my planned weekend progress re: fitting the drive train.
I'll just have to do something "light weight". Fine. I'll make some carbon fiber trim panels! I've always liked the Singer treatment where they cover and paint the longs and tunnel in body color so I've decided to do that, too.
The simplest thing to do was to use one of the stiffening blanks as the mold.
I have a bit of 50" wide, 2x2 twill weave left over from when I was doing all the motorcycle parts. Perfect width to make a long cover!
This is the "composite station". I found a giant self healing mat that you see at fabric stores. You can use razor cutters to slice the material and the mat couldn't care less. Very cool.
A little mold release wax and PVA, then 2 layers of carbon and one of fiberglass and I'll be set!
This is just a simple wet layup vs vacuum bagging. I have all the vacuum bagging tools but for something like this, that will likely be painted, this is quicker and less costly.
You think it's boring watching paint dry? Try watching epoxy cure!
And before you ask, yes, these covers are purely esthetic and therefore, break my Cardinal Rule of Composites:
Using carbon fiber to ADD weight!
But hey, with 430 hp, what's a few ozs?
So, fresh out of the mold with a bit of trimming, may I present: one carbon fiber 914 longitudinal cover blank!
Sweet, Chris...I can certify that you won't notice the extra weight!
A couple of pics to give you the idea.
I may have to leave them in raw carbon. Remember, it'll have this treatment on the custom tunnel, too. I kinda like it!
I played around and fitted it on both sides, just to get a feel.
Memo to self: REMEMBER to make the other one a mirror image in terms of the direction of the weave... That's why I didn't make one long piece. It's all about the little details.
Well this was a "long" weekend!
Got both carbon long covers done and drilled the stiffeners in prep for installation.
Having installed an Engman kit in another car, I have a new appreciation for parts that come with all the holes in them.
Fantastic work Chris.
I like your carbon fiber idea. I just may shamelessly steal it.
Before I install the long stiffeners, I need to close all the heater tube holes that are no longer needed as well as address the hand brake cut out. So this evening I fabbed up all the pieces to get a bit of a head start on the weekend's work.
For the hand brake area, I used a section of the long stiffener blank and trimmed it to fit. These are just sitting for the pic, not fully fit. All these filler pieces will be flush with the long surface so as to give me full contact under the entire length of stiffener!
Boring, I know. But necessary.
The ebrake void I get. But, don't bother welding sheet metal into the oval holes if you are putting that badass long overlay on. The ebrake shape void into the long is a compromise, but holes aren't so much when you are overlaying such a strong piece.
Well, if Rand is concerned I'm overdoing it re: stiffening, this may just send him over the edge!
"While I'm in there", I figured "why not?" and fabbed up this simple support for the hand brake filler. Even drilled if extra weight savings. (I want to be like like Rudy Curbandgutter when I grow up! )
This actually turned out to be a tricky/fun part to fab. I had to get it measured and fitted so that it would support the filler in line with the top and sides of the long. Lots of fit, cut, fit, grind, straight edge, trim, fit, straight egde. But it turned out nicely and supports the stiffener exactly as planned. You'd think I actually knew what I was doing!
So here's today's progress. All this just so I can FINALLY install the long stiffeners...
No concerns, lol. Just banter.
Major milestone! Got the engine and trans mocked in!
The throttle body isn't installed (clearly) so now it's time to formalize plans for mods to the trunk to get the needed clearance. I've got a couple different ideas and I need to choose one pretty soon.
But for now, I can finish the lower firewall and get the floor installed knowing I have all the space needed.
I've been feeling a bit stuck but after today, it's full speed ahead. A good feeling.
Wow, well done Chris!
With the trans located, I could verify the shifter cable length and order up the Numeric shifter and cables. Gotta say, I think it sure is pretty.
And I got a Black Friday deal on the shifter/cable package!
Hope to get the firewall and floor bracing mocked in over the coming holiday weekend.
OK, even I'm getting tired of pictures of this part of the car! I took today off and got the long stiffeners screwed in place and all set for welding. Then I figured I may as well beef up the foundation for the firewall arch and rear floor cross brace so I fabbed up a set of 90 degree bent 'pads'.
First step was to cut them using the plasma table. A few quick measurements and about a minute with the drawing program and I have the blanks. The hydraulic unit that powers the tubing bender has dry break connectors that plug into the H press.
Position the blanks and hit the Go button!
It all makes quick work of making and shaping these one-off parts.
The goal is that by the end of the weekend, I'll have the stiffeners and firewall frame welded in. Ideally, the floor will be at least partially in. Fit, cut and screwed in place for welding, if all goes well.
A little holiday video of the H press in use bending the support plates.
Some of this fab work isn't the most exciting but it needs doing. Tony (Cracker) has suggested moving the engine as far forward as possible to improve the CV angles. The stock engine mounts allow for a bit of movement but not as much as is actually possible. All I need is a set of custom mounts.
Plasma table to the rescue again! 1/4" plate cut to shape. Next I position the drive train where I want it, mount these plates and transfer punch the Renegade engine mount hole location.
The trans mount has some slots that I may be able to lengthen but I suspect there isn't enough material. It's a multi-part mount so if need be, I'll have to make new rear tabs that are 1" or so longer.
It's the sort of mod that will improve reliability so I think it's worth the effort.
It is very easy to push your mounts forward in the stock -4 mount brakes if that is what you are using.
My optimism regarding how much I'd get done this weekend was, well, optimistic.
I was only able to get the stiffeners welded in and the welds ground. Took WAY longer than I expected.
I did get the lower fire wall support pads fit and welded in and the upper brace fit and ready for welding.
CHANGES OF PLAN:
1. I'm tossing those motor mount plates in favor of modifying the Renegade motor mount. It has an offset at the ends to allow for the use of the stock engine mount location while pushing the engine back to clear all the stock sheet metal.
I've decided to modify the ends of the mount to move the mounting points to be in line with the mount. That'll get me a bit more than an inch and I think it's a tidier modification.
2. I'm also tossing the existing front hoop in favor of a taller one that will sit in a different location. It'll be way easier to show pics than to explain it. I hope to get the new hoop bent up this week.
Stiffeners look great, Love the firewall stiffener!!
Looking good Chris!
I treated the project to an early Christmas present! Ordered a set of GTS Le Mans seats done up like these: grommets, 5-point belt set up. I went with the oval headrest (vs the one pictured or the one that comes standard with the Le Mans)
I added heaters, too. Gotta keep SWMBO happy, don'cha know.
They are due to arrive end of January. And the rumors are true: Stefan is GREAT to work with, as others have pointed out.
OK, so I also have ulterior motives. I want the roll cage bar that runs from the main hoop to the door bar to match the angle of the side bolster. So I "NEEDED" to get the seats!
Plus, I'll just run them in the '74 DD until I get this one running.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
The firewall arch installation is FINALLY underway!
I have a TIG machine but:
I the spirit of full disclosure, this beautiful welding is thanks to my buddy Martin, mentioned earlier. He's a master fabricator who designed and build ProStock motorcycle chassis while working at Kosman. He's done all sorts of crazy cool projects... Anyway, we collaborate on various things and he said "Hey, you have a TIG machine. I'd be happy to do the welding on your cage tubes...", I didn't think too long before taking him up on it!
I'll continue to do all the other welding but I have to say, this has me looking forward to when I'll have time to learn and practice TIG. Until then, it's Martin on the final cage welding!
Cheater, cheater, apple eater!
Looks very nice Chris...just make sure I fit!
Nice. So great to see a good fish scale weld after all the straight run blobbing that's so common.
Love those seats. Those are the ones I'm thinking of using as well. Those grommets really add a classic look to the car. I'd like to sit it them before buying though. Maybe I may make a trip out there and see your build as well.
Dang. You must have house elves too. Very clean & i'm a little late to the party (jealous of the shop & your tig-welding elf) but I use cold rolled galvanized sheet metal when ever I can. Bitch welding (Maybe Martin can help here too) but no corrosion behind panels & overlaps ever again. FabFab.us - I've used a LOT of sheetmetal, all cold rolled
Lower Fire Wall:
I test fit the motor in the "moved forward 1.5" position and the harmonic balancer was thiiiiiiiiiis close to where the lower fire wall cross beam sits. So I opted to play it safe and clearance the beam in the spirit of "better to be safe than... have two different parts trying to occupy the same space!"
A bit of and then some and the beam can never say "Hey man, would you give me my space!?!?"
It should be fit and welded in this weekend!
Trust me...it is worth the effort.
Slowly making progress. Before I can install the roll bar, I need to reinforce the top of the long, then, in the tradition of "if more is good, too much is just enough", I'm plating in the engine mounts. I'll also add more once I get to installing the Tangerine Racing raised suspension kit.
For now, while it's not final fitment, this will give you an idea of what's planned.
It took most of the day to measure, cut, fit, bend, etc., but I did get both sides done.
Tomorrow, the lower fire wall beam and braces will be final welded.
I like it!
Best laid plans...
Didn't get the welding done that I'd planned. I did get the lower cross beam in place and partially welded in. The fun part was that because I want as much room for the motor to be moved forward, I located that lower beam a bit further forward than the upper, curved one. Those of you who paid attention in geometry class know what fun it was to get the uprights to fit well! They lean back and the top has to account for the curve.
It took about 367 fit, grind, fit, grinds to get them done but - they're done!
The driver side is (currently) offset to ensure no interference with the alternator. I say "currently" because I'm waiting to complete the mods to the front engine mount so I can fit the drivetrain in it's relocated position before final welding the uprights... just in case.
And that's not all I got done over the weekend: I was able to bend up the new front roll hoop as well as final fit the rear roll hoop. Also welded in the rear hoop pads.
Pics of all this in a couple days.
Chris, you are an artist. Enjoying the progress you are making.
To move the motor forward, I opted to modify the ends of the Renegade engine mount. As delivered, the bosses on the end are set forward of the cross bar by ~1.5".
Here's a pic of the mount, as delivered from Renegade.
And the main hoop is final fit and ready for welding!
I wanted to get it as tight to the fire wall as possible so I needed to relieve the top "corner" of the fire wall to get the bar to sit back at the proper angle. No one will ever see this area once the car is built but that "corner" area is essentially reversed from the stock shape.
I used a scrap piece of roll bar material and slowly hammered it into the top of the fire wall area until the bar fit as desired.
I'm not going to run a back pad so I removed the 4 tabs that the back pad clips into to get that last little bit of clearance. There's about 1/8" clearance between the bar and the firewall.
I'm developing an appreciation for why custom builds cost so much. Not that I'm highly skilled or efficient, but the work needed to get the hoop to sit back about a 1/2" (relieve the fire wall then grind the footing of each side of the hoop to the correct angle) took me the better part of the day.
It's all fitting just as planned. I how the roll bend of the hoop matches the curve of the window and how the hoop all but disappears.
It'll really disappear once I patch in the fire wall around each side. Can't hardly wait!
Amazing work Chris. It's going to be a rocket ship. BTW that dash looks a little tired..
Sweet work Chris. Really nice. You are kickin it out!
Did I say I wasn't efficient? Well, turns out I thought I should check to be sure my fabulous gussets would work... They wouldn't. They need to be flat for the first ~3" to clear the engine mount on the chassis. So that earlier work is throw-away. My own dang fault but, oh well.
So, I opted to design up the new gussets and cut them on the plasma table. The trellis look is more in keeping with the theme I have planned for the car so it's out with the holes and in with the triangles (ish). Another part of the car that will go unseen by essentially everyone but I do like these better than the first design.
That existing bracket is the electric water pump mount. I figured I'd just tie into it.
I hope to have it welded tomorrow.
Then it's on to the transmission mounting brackets and updating them to address the 1 1/2" forward position. I have what I think is a pretty good design. More on that in the next few days.
I applauded your effort,, and follow it ,,my question is ...Roll bar,,why not like this but just tall enough for a top..its my next roll bar.. right behind the latch..
Because it sticks out like a sore thumb? I appreciate it when the original lines are preserved. (I know, aesthetics go out the window with race cars because function first, but if they don't have to, all the better.) His car is going to be plenty stiff. Are you concerned with rollover protection beyond the stock hoop? (I know, I'm full of opinions, but I ask because I want to learn.)
That bar is at a functional height due to a safety standard. Damn with originality if its not legal and not safe if not legal. Many race cars are driven at speed with non-compliant upper roll hoops (which equals stupid in my book).
Nice work Chris! Make sure I fit - I want to take it for a spin this Summer! No breaks for you...
Do I have ADD? Maybe. Today, for sure. Too many things going at once! After I cut the gussets, I got distracted by the main hoop again.
I can't get the hoop into place with the final interior sheet metal in place - the shape of the hoop and angle it has to be at to be fit into the car don't allow it.
Before the hoop can be welded in, I have to fab a bunch of pieces of sheet metal that will be slipped onto the hoop, slid out of the way while it's set in place and welded in. Then all the sheet metal will slid into place to be welded.
It's hard to explain but maybe this series of pics will help.
This is the early fab and fitting of how I plan to close in the hoop. I punched and dimple died that top piece and started messing with rolling the other piece and using the bead roller to form the flange.
I'll use a combination of fabricated pieces and some of the stock firewall from the parts car. So at this point, it's really at the "see how this fits/looks, try again if I don't like it" stage. By the way, I don't like this. It'll be MUCH tidier, the stamped elements in the fire wall will terminate in an attractive way, etc.
But you get the idea.
its all good , I did not I'mply for it to stick out like a sore thumb , just integrated into the body ,similar to the pic but at the og body height with his small bend radius it would blend in...no race car...
Chris, so you're not going to use that good-looking roll-bar? You're engine bar (cross-bar) looks really nice too!
Finished the modification of the engine mount - gusset final welding complete!
I plan to get everything modified, installed and get the car running then blow it apart and do the powder coating, etc. So for now, I'll just rattle can primer parts like this.
With the engine mount complete, it's time to deal with the 1.5" position change on the trans mounts. The good news is that the Renegade mount is made of multiple parts and thankfully, their design allows for a pretty simple solution: make a couple spacers. 1 1/2 " spacers, but spacers, nonetheless.
Nothing like finding a block of aluminum that happens to be the exact right thickness! Got lucky on that one, for sure.
So here's an action shot of the worlds most kick-ass band saw making short work of roughing out said spacers. It cut through that block "like butta..."
Yes, this spacer means there's a big increase in the leverage on the mount. But fear not! The Boxster trans has a mount on the end that I'm going to use to add a 3rd trans mount. In all, the drive train should be well secured in it's new, forward position.
I hope to get it test fit in the next day or so. Once I've verified all the clearances, I'll go after closing in the fire wall and floor. I'll claim MAJOR MILESTONE at that point.
With solid progress on the mounts, I went back to working on the main hoop fitment.
I'm sure I'm not alone in laying awake at night, running through "... now how am I gonna make this work...? If it have to make tab A fit into slot B, first I'd need to..."
You know what I'm taking about, don't you?
So, after many sleepless hours, I figured if I split the hole the hoop goes through, I'd be able to finish weld the area that will end up being behind the hoop. This does 2 things:
1. it perfectly locates the hoop every time I remove it / replace it to do whatever needs doing, and,
2. it allows me full access to metal finish every bit of welding I need to do to close it in!
Again, no one but me may ever see this part of the car but I want it to look as factory as possible. So far, I'm happy with how this part is turning out.
Totally enjoying your build thread. It's so great to see thoughtful fabrication, attention to detail, and... quality welds! (Nice scales instead of straight blobs laid on top, or worse, what I jokingly call "eagle crap" lol)
Nothing like being on vacation to get things done! The spacers are nearly done. See how the trans mounts are slotted? When I test fit the drive train, the bolts end up tight against the end of the mount slot so I'm going to mill ~1/4" off the spacers. Better all around with that minor adjustment.
Plus, I'll dress the corners and probably add some relief pockets to lighten then up.
And this will start to give you an idea of the new mount I want to add to address the additional leverage those spacers give the Renegade trans mounts.
The Boxster trans has a mount at the end. I'll either use that by punching a hole and adding a boss that will support this 3rd mount or I'll fab up a new mount.
Then, when I build the rear part of the cage/stiffening, I'll run bars from the shock mounts, past the stock trans mount cross bar and out to support this mount.
I'll drop supports to the stock trans mount, too. More on this as I get to it.
Boy, I say that alot. But then, there's a lot to get to! But it's coming along.
And here are the money shots: What does moving the drive train forward 1.5" look like?
Well, the harmonic balancer/alternator belt will live juuuuust inside the engine side outer fire wall! That's the rear floor pan in the stock location. So a couple key points:
1. You can see that there's no way this would have worked without messing with the lower section of the fire wall.
2. Good thing I just happened to add an arched upper fire wall support! If I'd opted for a straight bar, I'd have had interference.
And there are a couple spots on the upper fire wall that I did have to relieve:
1. at the left side valve cover and
2. a small adjustments to provide extra clearance for the Renegade water block. It clears, but only just, so I figure better safe than sorry.
But best of all, this is exactly how it was planned to fit. And it did!
OK, I sorta lied. Turns out, I didn't HAVE to add that clearance crescent in the lower cross bar. But to be fair, right before that was welded in, I bumped it forward about 1/4", "just in case". Again, better safe than sorry.
The only concession is that I'll need one small access hole to access the allen bolt when adjusting the alternator belt tension. I've already verified I can get the belt on and off, too.
Next, the rear floor goes in and it's on to the custom floor bracing and tunnel!
Pick up the pace Chris...you are obviously taking your time!
I knew it would be tight but...
Love your work. Are you planning on adding lateral bracing in the open area of the lower firewall using sheet metal and bracing or only sheet metal? Loving the progress so far. I'm progressing on mine but I'm waiting until I reach a "milestone" before I post again. BTW loved how you slipped the sheet metal around your hoop so that you can weld it in later. Excellent thinking and craftsmanship!
Time to mill the spacers. Here's an action shot of the flycutter doing its thing , the finished products and the new spacers installed.
Prior to resizing them, it was a bit of work to get everything lined up and the hanger bolts in place. Now, both sides slide in just like that!
I know I caused you allot of extra work but I guarantee you - it was the right call to take it on! Merry Christmas to you and Lori!
PS: All of that "spacer" weight might slow the car down a bit...
Today was about closing up the main hoop and fire wall.
I started with this little spot above the fire wall arch.
First, cut a paper template (and remember to account for the flanges!)
Then I used the bead roller to fold the flanges.
Here's the template and the finished piece.
It's funny, I talked with Tony (Cracker) today and we laughed about how these build threads show all the pics but there's no real evidence of just how much work it takes to get from what was to what now is.
All told, this little piece took me about 2 hours to make.
I was feeling pretty good about fabbing sheet metal so I figured I may as well get started on the inner fire wall.
Template, metal shears, fit, fit, fit and...
Well, OK... There will be some more fitting. But it's looking good so far.
Next is laying out and rolling in some sort of bead to help it resist oil canning and to add some visual appeal.
That extra clearance for the pulley will just make it easier to replace the belt...
That looks really good Chris! You are very talented at fabrication! Fred and Wilma are going to love it!
Did the final trimming and fitting of the lower fire wall. The electric shears are awesome and make quick work of getting a clean cut right to the mark.
Got the final flange bent across the top. Happy with the fit.
Next I started on the boxing in of the main roll hoop, this time on the engine side.
I made paper templates to figure the location of the holes then used the dimple die to pretty them up.
These slide up out of the way to allow for the hoop to be welded to the pads that are welded to the longs. Then these slide into place and get welded in as part of boxing in the engine mounts.
Can't tell you what a relief it is to fit the second on and actually have it all fit!
Remember, this is the first time I've tried virtually any of this sort of fabrication and I hope it encourages anyone who's thinking of giving it a go. I just take my time, measure 100 times and only post pics of when it actually works out!
Very nice I wish I could weld like that.
Then I started on the final part. Here's a look at how I approach making the paper template. Once this is fitting as desired, it's transferred to 18 gauge and formed / trimmed til it fits. Easy, no?
Well, except then I get to (try and) make a mirror image for the other side. That's always the "interesting" part...
The ADD kicked in again and I got distracted with other areas of the car. I've been debating what to do re: keep vs lose the trunk. It would appear I've decided!
If you've seen Tony's car, you'll know why I think of this modification as partial "Cracker Replica". Imitation being the sincerest form, and all that.
It certainly eases access to, um, everything!
And yes, there will be roll bar/chassis stiffening added.
This will never be mistaken for a sleeper but I do want to be able to store the top so while I still have trimming to do, I will leave a lip all around the edge as I plan to make a removable "trunk tray/liner" to provide a least some protection for the top.
That darned ADD! Once the trunk was out, I played with an initial design for the console. This essentially gives away the styling cues I'm going with throughout the interior: a very industrial, trellis, open architecture-y look that leaves all the mechanical elements exposed.
A looooooong way yet to go but it gives you the idea.
That does look familiar...glad to have you aboard! After seeing your fabrication skills - I am very much looking forward to seeing the greatly enhanced "Cracker Replica" version.
Just make sure the cockpit fits a 6'5" frame (Um, drivers side...)!
Happy new-years to you Chris!
I don't see how this machine will remain earthbound.......
I did the final trimming of most of the main open area, leaving that lip for the removable cover I'm planning. I still have to remove the front of the trunk wall above and outside of the suspension consoles...
Then I started on fabrication on the stiffeners for between the consoles.
Another arch... Imagine that. The top bar will also serve as the point from which a bracket will extend forward to support the stock engine cover latch.
I'll end up plating around the consoles so neither of these are quite where they'll end up. But close enough for me to determine what I want to do. I have an idea for a panel that will sit between them. It'll add some additional strength as well as visual appeal!
That cutting up and gifting the pieces from the other car took up a bunch of your fab time.
Looking great though and you are further along then I am.
Totally agree with Ben. However Chris your build is mind blowing.
The shifter console structure is a work of art.
Truly unique approach tying the chassis together in the manner you have.
It will be very cool to see this 914 in motion!
Did the final removal of the trunk and up around the suspension consoles. Then I started fabrication of the plates that will reinforce the consoles in prep for installing the stiffeners.
Man, doing this stuff takes forever... but it REALLY opens things up and allows for optimal location of the rear part of the stiffening bars.
I have an idea for the trans mount cross member, too. Should be pretty neat looking and add some strength.
With the removal of the trunk sheet metal complete, we get to see a part of our cars I've rarely seen: The point where the long stops and sorta has a wimpy tie into the rear shock towers.
Gotta do something about that.
Any thought to some amphibious car features for the Beast? Might be handy if you need to run to town!
Happy New Year Chris!
Love following your progress on the car. You weren't kidding when you said it was going to be "top notch"!
Sandy and I would love to come up and see the car this spring.
I started messing with the intake. In running the Mass Airflow Sensor (MAF), I have to follow a few rules about where the sensor has to be, relative to the throttle body. I need a minimum of 10 inches from the throttle body, six inches of straight tube, the sensor has to be set at between a 9:00 - 3:00 orientation...
So, a bit of a puzzle and a bit of mystery?
A puzzle is when you have all the pieces and "just" have to figure out how they fit.
A mystery is "profound, inexplicable, or of secretive quality or character."
I really do have a bit of both going on here: I have some pieces, I have some pieces yet to make.
But I swear, as I start looking at how I'll have to build the intake to meet the above criteria, fit the stiffening bars, run a suitable air cleaner AND make it all fit under the targa top (which needs to somehow still safely store in this area...) ???!?!?!?!?
Well, it's currently a flippin' MYSTERY to me! Certainly, the "secretive quality" part...
But fear not, World. I will solve it.
ps. I'm loving how this is starting to look. That's a 4" intake tube. Small children and pets will need to be careful they aren't sucked in!
...ask the engine - it knows the drill!
I live in the South but am from C-A-L-I-!
Regarding the top - mine would fit if I actually wanted it to Chris. My fist LS conversion I did store it in the trunk on factory clips. No biggie.
So Southern California, Tony?!
Sorry Chris - last hi-jack + free bump!
Mom from Thousand Oaks; Dad from Bay area; Conceived (weirdly I know) in between on coast. I am an original "Central" Cali dude! Capiche!
Now past my family tree...back to Chris's lame build.
I've been remiss at commenting on your terrific build. Nice work; well thought out. I look forward to reading more as you progress. Keep up the good work!!
Feeling boxed in? My rear shock towers are with you!
After a bit more head scratching, I decided to go a different route: I wanted to run one piece of reinforcement from the long up to and around the tower. Since I'm not exactly sure how the removable trunk liner will work, I opted to retain the lip the runs up the tower.
So I sliced a channel for the sheet metal.
Then I made a pattern and fit a piece that slips down into that channel. This is the driver's side, which I just happened to tackle first.
I tacked it in, "persuading" it to wrap the tower, plug welding as I went along.
Then fit and tacked in the top part. It's plug welded, too. I still have to final trim the top part where it wraps the tower. I left it a bit tall for now as I may plate it to the Tangerine Racing raised rear shock towers, once those are installed.
Then I need to add a bottom piece to close in the box and seam weld everything.
Let me back up and show a bit more detail.
Here's the pattern and the trimmed and bent piece, then how it fits before I start tacking and wrapping it around the tower.
Exciting, I know...!
Now I can get on with the bars.
Here's the final design on the cross bracing. I'll add a filler plate between them with some fun/interesting cut outs.
The final shot is proof that I have clearance and can fit the top with the arched upper bar!
I then laid the trunk on and everything clears. Woop, woop!
Now I'll fab up some brackets for those clips that hold the front of the top. I also need a bracket to locate the hood latch. This part of the car feels like it's finally coming together.
Really enjoying your build Chris, thanks for taking the time to post.
Every time I come visit this thread there is less & less blue car there - gonna be a little sad when you start closing it in - great build tho - Napa Rocket Garage. Gonna have to come up n see Martin about some Mini stuff (he needs a transmission which I may have 4 more tomorrow), then he can tell me how much of the welding is yours...
No weld thru primer on that layer over the suspension tower?
I made up a new top cross bar because of I totally screwed up the angles of the end cuts as I was trying to final fit the first one I'd made. The joy of not using straight material is I had to duplicate the roll bend. Not that big a deal but it's another repeat effort and time spent that really gets me no further along. Ah, well...
Once that was done, I wanted to get some ideas for the filler plate so I made up a paper template. I measured it to get the dimensions for the plasma table's design software. Then I started messing with various design elements.
Here's the initial version, ready to cut.
The six little holes running across the middle are 'marker' cuts that simply locate where to drill for the lightening holes - you'll see once it's all done.
Then it's trimming to fit all the inevitable nooks and crannies and little details that happened when I plated around the shock towers.
Next, the knock out punches and dimple dies.
And here's V1 of the filler panel!
Yes, the throttle body is off-center. I opted to live with that being the asymmetrical element, rather than something else. I'm toying with making a removable panel that has a tighter fit to the air cleaner tube. We'll see.
This thing will be epic!
That's friggin awesome looking! Nice work Chris!
That is a badass intimidating touch!
Here's a V2 design. No, I won't be applying for a job as a Photoshop operator. All I have is MS Paint. Hey, it works well enough for me to test ideas.
Anyway, V1 had those cut outs that I wasn't sure I liked. Maybe a little too "hot roddy". Lightening holes seem more fitting.
Plus, with a physical example to play with and see from all angles, I decided I wanted to close up around the sides of the intake and get a bit more room under it. You can't see it but there was only about 1/4" - 3/8" clearance on the underside. I don't know how much the motor may move around but I want more room there.
This is one of the "fun" parts about design stuff: When to call it "done" and get on with other stuff that may actually get this car on the road!
At this point, I'll likely go with V2. Time for less and more and ! Oh, and some day:
Details, details. I don't have a dimple die the size of the of-cut outs that run across the top and bottom. Since I knew I was going to make a new panel, I figured I'd use this as a practice piece. I used he bead roller and tipped in a lip that I was hoping would match the dimples on the holes.
I think I was successful and IMO, without these, it looked incomplete. It's these sorts of things that REALLY finish off the look! I'm loving how this is turning out.
This was just practice and on the final version, I'll notch the corners of the dimples so they wrap the cross bar.
Can't wait to get started on the V2 design! I'm out of metal so the rest of this weekend is going to shop clean up - which is sorely needed.
(And wait 'til you see what's planned for the transmission support!)
I like the bead rolled edge. Recently saw a video on how to do it. Did you use the special dies? Coming along great, keep it up.
Chris - maybe I am looking at this wrong but I would like to see that as an enclosed panel...maybe you are doing that anyway. Make a duplicate in reverse and weld the seam. Understand?
I like the second one even better!
I did get the shop somewhat cleaned up but the car kept calling "Please work on me!"
I couldn't say no...
Before I weld in the top cross bar, I need to install some support pads. The fun part is the bar lands on the top of the inner fender, right smack on a compound curve.
I could do the 'tack, bend, tack' but I decided to "get fancy". First a bit of history:
Back in the fall of last year, I took a 3-day metal shaping class with Lazze at his place in Pleasanton, CA. It was a very cool class. You need to take it. But be careful: The only down side (as is Lazze's plan, I'm sure )is you come out of the class having used these awesome tools and, if you're me, you get home and obsess about having to have those very same tools. So yes, I treated myself to the bead roller, shrinker/stretcher and English wheel. I have to say, it's reeeeeealy nice stuff.
Back to today: So far, on this build, I've been able to leverage the bead roller and shrinker/stretcher but I've not yet had the occasion to need to use the English wheel. Well, when a compound curve is needed, it's the English wheel to the rescue!
I made up a little curve template, grabbed a piece of scrap and went to town, hoping I'd remember what I learned in class.
Seems like I did. It fits just so!
This may not be much to look at but it's one of the pieces I'm most proud of. Why? Well, you can't fit that small a part in the wheel. I had to "get it right" while this piece was part of a much larger sheet of steel. And I need it to be correctly curved before being able to test fit it. So essentially, I only had one chance to trim it correctly.
And once it's installed, virtually no one will ever notice.
(Now I get to do it again on the other side...! )
Funny... one of my longest posts and it about the smallest piece I'll probably fab.
Panel design, V2. Maybe some day I'll get this design thing figured out a bit better and not have to "build, fit, trim, fit, realize there was a (few) incorrect assumptions and now do it all over again". As much as I like doing all this stuff, it'd be nice to get it right the first time and not build multiple versions.
I guess that's what experience is all about!
Anyway, if you compare V2 to V1, you'll see I changed the 'wings' quite a bit to close a gap between the top edge of the panel and the cross bar. And I moved and changed the shape of the intake tube hole to add a bit more interest. I also changed a couple dimensions so I won't have to do as much trimming/fitting.
I think the holes vs the cutouts will be more in line with the look I'm going for.
Hope to get it cut before the weekend.
Wow Chris the way you treated that panel was MASTERFUL! Love it man. I was wondering how you were going to get the shear forces to transfer from the top of strut to the lower portion of the strut! Well done!! I tell ya......you're giving me ideas. Looks wicked by the way
You two should just "get a room"...
Really nice work! I like the details.
I changed my mind! (Nothing new there...) I decided that I want to run the console the length of the tunnel, from under the front roll hoop to the firewall, so I started playing with designs.
Here's a reminder pic of the 'shorty' Version 1 again, along with the new design. Version 2 is taller up front to get the shifter to the desired height.
This is just brainstorming as I still need to work out things like where the cup holders will go...
Chris: Honestly, it looks a little busy (to me). Are all of those "lightening holes" going to be exposed? There can be elegance in simplicity, ehh? Maybe I would like it more as a completed unit...cut it out!
PS: How about adapting a similar design to the rear shock tower panel to the console? Cool as hell and aesthetically tied to other components...you are doing a great (great!) job. These are just my thoughts...pal.
Chris you're doing a great job and you did say you want the comments coming right? I'm with Tony, make it a little simpler. Maybe something that has a combination of lightening holes and triangles that reveals a strut form. It seems too ornate. But heck if I had access to that plasma cutter I'd probably make something that looks like bad freeway art......you know like something that could be found in an Aztec pyramid.
Yep, yep, it'll be simpler. And speaking of things one can make with a plasma table, here's a sneak at something I'll be cutting soon.
A 4 foot tall crest! I plan to hang it in my office.
I'm cutting it in layers so the various elements will stand off the background of the crest.
Should be pretty cool. If I can fit it, I'll bring it to the WCR in June!
Please make a second copy for my hauler or shop...I won't charge you for my criticism - even trade!
I was swamped at work this week so didn't get any after-hours shop time so spent part of today completing V2 of the panel. The plasma table is just so cool!
Here's the panel after trimming/fitting. It looks so much better with the top line following the crossbar arch all the way across.
I'm REALLY happy with how I got it to fit. Nice and tight:
Then it was back to the knock-out punches and dimple dies. I did the same bead rolled tip edge on the large top and bottom openings.
I am so much happier with this design over the first one. The shape of the intake opening, the fact that the opening stays within the panel. Much better.
So I've proved yet again that I need to get a look at things in place on the car vs. on a computer screen. Maybe I'll get better at this. It'd sure be more efficient, both in time and cost.
So if you couldn't tell, I really like this piece.
(Know anyone who wants to buy V1? )
Badass - love it!
The stuff you can do with a plasma cutter...
Looks great! I agree the center console is a bit complex but it does look strong
I, too, think that initial console design is messy. Im redoing it and will post once V2 is ready for its debut.
Most of today was spent reorganizing the shop. It had gotten to the point where I could barely get around. Much better now.
So not much to report other than starting to work up the design for the rear trans mount. Having moved the drive train forward, there's more leverage on the existing trans mounts so I want to add the rear mount. Probably not really needed but I like to have a little insurance, just to be sure.
I'm still at the "hmmm, maybe this would work..." stage. These low bars will be triangulated with bars that run from the top are of the shock towers and tie into them at the trans cross brace. It may be that the top bars extend to the rear mount and the low bars tie into them. And these are just pieces I had laying around so it's all up for grabs. As I said, I'm still playing with design while trying to account for things like a removable trunk liner, etc. Fun all around!
Uh oh, this can't be good...
I think I may make panel V3. This one would be aluminum plate cut on a water jet, just like the shorty console plate. It would bolt to bosses welded to the cross bars and shock towers. It'd be a way bigger deal to do but...
I'm thinking I'd back it up with a carbon fiber panel.
Yes, I know I'll eventually need to decide and move on. But this design makes it far simpler for me to seal up the trunk area and keep (most of) the heat away from the intake and top, when it's stored.
We shall see.
Love the flourishes. Shows a confident build.
In planning the rear trans mount, I opted not to use the stock Boxster mount, nice as it was, all cast aluminum and all. It positioned the attachment point high. So I'm playing with designs for a mount that will keep everything under the height of the stock trunk floor's level.
This time, I'm going to try cutting the whole part and folding the sides and top into position for welding.
Last night, I cut and folded the rear trans mount. Here it is, before seam welding. And it turned out just like it was supposed to... Thing is, I don't like it. Too bulky, bigger than it really needs to be.
So January closes with another "let's do it differently on the next one!"
At least I'm consistent!
As long as I had the plasma machine fired up, I figured I'd play with a design for load distribution/attaching the lower stiffening bars. These would have sheet metal closing in the tops.
I may mock up a design that uses these pieces on the outside of the bars but where the inner piece runs all the way across between them.
My first thought when I set these in place was "Holy holes, Batman!"
I need to be careful of a couple things:
1. Too much of one design element and,
2. Creating a bunch of nooks and crannies for crap to get into
I have most of the rear trunk modification pieces figured out and cut or at least roughed out. Now it's time to permanently install everything. It's turning out that the first piece that has to be welded in is the Tangerine Racing raised rear shock tower kit. So here I go...
First, I have to give a shout out to Chris Foley at Tangerine - great products and even better support. Every time I've called, he's answered the phone and been more than willing to spend as much time as I needed to answer my questions.
VENDOR OF THIS BUILD, for sure!
Anyway, I copied Stephen's (914forme) approach and welded in a disc with a pre-drilled hole just to help. Then it's hole saw away, trying not to have my arms ripped from my body when it grabs.
The only thing I could think once the first one was done was "Well, I'm committed now..."
Rear trans mount when you have those beefy side mounts seems redundant but hey thats half the fun, right?
Hey Chris I too wonder if that support is required. Regardless though it does look trick. I'm thinking that if your tranny came off a 911 then you probably don't need it. However I'd leave it just cause it looks so good and you can never go wrong in over engineering. Sometimes belts and suspenders are good.
Hey Chris! You fab skills are awesome! I was wondering if you had considered putting one new support "tube" across the width of the trunk about 12" in front of the existing factory structure that the stock trans bolts to? It would be directly above the black bar that is already mounted to your Boxster trans. The tube could be welded to part of the shock towers as well. It would simplify you mounting and maybe save some weight. You could even elminate...dare I say all of the beautiful creations you have between the shock towers. Thats the minimalist me. I know you have a serious amount of time in the mounts/ bracketry . It just seems like that black trans "adapter" bracket is a working too hard for such an amazing custom build. XO brother.
So use the one you made at the rear of the trans and the new cross beam directly over the black bracket. How much support does the stock Boxster or 911 use to hold that trans up?
You might look at a Boxster spare tire. They are tall and very skinny. They are much newer than the collapsible old cracked space saver and are always inflated. I have one in my car if you'd like to try it on for size or have some measurements.
Before I can close up the firewall, I need to add some beading to the panel to prevent it from oil canning and to add some visual appeal. I'm just starting to play with designs.
The left side is, again, maybe to 'hot roddy' so I started thinking about maybe trying to make it look more factory-ish. The lines on the right side are just to give me an idea of how that width would look.
Out comes the trusty laser level (note the professional stabilizing mount! ). I figured I'd start by projecting the shapes on the upper firewall onto the lower area. It's kinda neat that, if I do this, I'll have a nice "V" on the panel - a nod to the LS3!
And, in typical "I didn't really think this through" fashion, since I already bent the flanges, I can't fit this already done-and-fit lower firewall into the bead roller. I'll be making another...
Remember: Pants first, THEN shoes.
I like the left personally...
I'd go with the left side version as well. Otherwise project looks great as usual.
A good buddy of mine brought his new drone (DJI Mavic) over to see how it would behave inside a metal building.
I'll post the "Shop Tour" video in a bit but for now, here's my new favorite pic of my car!
^^ Super cool shot!^^
It's a rare event that I get into the shop during the week but I'm feeling like I'll never make the 9/14 date with a "weekends only" approach.
It feels good to FINALLY be putting things back on this area of the car!
Tonight, it was the Tangerine Racing shock tower kit positioned and tacked in.
As well as setting the angles, I took the time to use a straight edge to align the bolt holes symmetrically from side to side. Again, something no one will likely notice but it's the sort of detail that I think adds up.
Nice! It's looking great! Symmetrical alignment is definitely one of those things that people notice when they're looking at the final product.
Just a question...do Boxster transmissions typically have a rear chassis mount? Putting a rear mount on more or less makes it a totally constrained stressed member in the car which will impart some forces into it as the chassis twists. If they weren't designed for that I just worry about some internal binding. Not sure if this is actually a real concern or not. I know stressed engines can be concerning because of slightly changing bearing and piston/cylinder clearances.
Yes. He is using the factory mount locations on the rear of the case...
Playing with the next iteration design for what I've come to refer to as the "console plates".
I may cut this design and see how I like it in real life. The trunk stiffening panel started out too hot-roddy, and while I like this new design (top pic) more than the earlier version (bottom pic), this may be a bit too art deco-y.
I'm planning to run no door panels and the early doors have a nice arch element that I'm trying to echo in the plates. "Trying" being the operative word...
This is likely throw away since I won't really know the dimensions I want until I get the seats and shifter mounted. But I enjoy the process and I'll have a better idea of what I want once I get to that point.
I like the pink version
What's with everyone giving me a hard time about "short"?
I will admit to rethinking the short vs. tall rear shock tower kit. I was going short so I could store the top. Do I really need to store the top?
I know, I'll make my own collapsible top! Sorta like the fold-able early 911 Targa roof. That'd be cool... I've actually been thinking about this for a while as storing the stock top forces a number of design constraints that limit what I'd like to do.
So, a folding top it is. I have an initial design in mind, too.
In the meantime, I've (again) changed the console plate design. V3 has separate front and rear sections. This will allow me to have a narrow(er) rear section between the seats and a wider front area for the shifter, etc. Varying widths open the door to some other, more interesting design elements, too.
Here's the front section. The rear section will bolt on to the end. I like this approach better. Feels like I'm getting close.
That's the direction I'm going with regarding the collapsible roof. I have no choice. I need to get a hold of the 911 collapsible roof and see how we can adapt to work with the 914 seals. Chris if you are compromising your suspension set up to get the roof to store in the back I say don't compromise. Make your suspension to your liking and then make the roof work later. It makes it more interesting. Keep up the excellent work.
it looks to be ok but just design the interior bits with: elbows, shifting and clearance in mind. I have my battery mounted against the firewall there so you are most likely ok with the new console design. looks good.
You could also relocate the damper mounts lower on the trailing arms add a little travel. It'll change the motion ratio slightly, but also let you go with the shorter tower kit and fit a solid targa top in the trunk. It is a bit of work since the mounts are a pretty integral part of the trailing arm. I'm thinking of going that route just because I really want to be able to keep the stock top in the trunk.
Hmmm... Not sure I like it now that I see it against the door. I'm going to update it to better reflect those shapes. Maybe scale it down a bit, too.
I think I'll name this car "It".
Short for "iterations"
metal roof solves your issue
The door shapes aren't that pleasing to the eye. Maybe you should make a panel for the door that matches your console piece.
I can't finalize the console plates until I get the floor in, the new tunnel installed and the seats mounted. So this weekend was focused on that.
Old tunnel out. Here's a rough fab of a plate to help distribute the loads from the tunnel tubes.
Boring, I know.
Cool. Are you dropping the floor anywhere?
My seat has a car around it! First time in over a year. It's just mocked in to help me get an idea of how much room I have (and where I have it) for the various things I need to get from the front to the rear:
- water lines
- brake line
- hydraulic clutch line
- shifter cables
And I'm planning not to run the water lines under the car.
A friend stopped buy and I explained what I was trying to do. He looked at me for a long moment and said:
"Have you considered wireless cooling?"
He's a real funny guy.
I love it when a plan comes together. How's this for a nice fit?
I'll claim this was all carefully calculated in my design specs... NOT.
Totally unplanned but come on, what are the odds?
I set the seat in place and noticed just how well my roadster cage hoop works with the stock seat. Too bad I'm not using them! Ah well.
I like the holes better...honestly. Its your build though...
PS: The REASON I like the dimple die holes is it looks more legit to me - the other looks like a plasma cutter made it - the holes look like it was crafted - more or less. I am being serious.
I like 'em both. Which one fits the 914 you're creating? Which one are you most proud of?
The more I look at your cad/plasma work the more I want to say keep it simple and light. I like minimalist on a build like this. I'd love to see you keep as much metal as possible OUT of the design without sacrificing strength. Clean and functional before intricate extras that add weight without contributing to strength.
Not criticizing, just thinking out loud. Adding a pic below... Outside the green makes structural strength sense. Inside the red box, I'm not sure it adds anything except visual noise?
Just keep doing what you're doing and make it your own. Thanks for entertaining feedback, but do your thing. We are all salivating at your amazing work.
Anything you come up with, and eventually settle on, is going to be killer. Hey, I am just a guy...and that means multiple-holes in the rear catches my eye *da truth*!
AAAAAAAnnd... into the gutter we go...
No, please don't. If your mind goes there, I understand. But let's keep this clean and back on track to Chris' build.
Hey...I was just trying to get Rudy to show up!
Hah. He'll be here. If there's a good gutter to run into, it's Curb's.
Zoiks, not sure what that was about but let's get back on track, shall we?
I need to make some progress on final fitment items like the seats and pedals. I took today off work to start on the tunnel mods. The base of the tunnel will essentially mimic the stock one. I'm using 1" x 1.5" tube set on edge. I'll drill holes where the original tunnel spot welded to the floor and plug weld these runners in place.
Started laying things out and will be working on how I'll deal with that small step up in the floor. And there are places where I want to shape these runners to the contours that are stamped in the floor.
So, here we go.
Oh, and the pedals are just sitting there to give me a basic idea of how they may fit, what I'll need to do to brace the floor under them, etc.
And here's another example of why I'm never going to make money doing this:
I needed a piece that angled up from the driver's side runner up to the load plate.
This required a compound set of cuts - one to get the "up" angle, the other to get the "over" angle. Then, because of the "up" I needed to get the length right so the top of this piece intersects with the runner at the right spot, Then it's time to trim the lower edge so it ends up at 1.5" tall at the angle so it mates with the front of the runner...
And I must say, it's dead nuts on!
I'm pretty impressed with myself. Yes, I still have to trim the other end but that's a single angle so no worries there.
What you aren't seeing are the other 3 attempts/fails and 2 hours of "practice" that preceded the final piece.
It seems like every piece I make has something "special" about it that requires me to learn something new or use a rarely used skill. Don't get me wrong, I still love it. I just hate wasting the materials, consumables and time.
I guess that's "experience", huh?
You should see the challenges my dad faces every day with his Ryan restoration.
In many cases he doesn't have a sample, and the blueprints don't match pictures of original parts.
His fuel tank took more than 250 hours of labor, as well as an extra sheet of aluminum.
Mocking in some other parts, just to get a feel for where things may sorta go. It's starting to look like a place I'd want to spend some time!
If only we could build with cardboard...
I confess that I succumbed to peer pressure. I just couldn't take people using the term "short" in relation to any of my stuff.
Tangerine Racing came through with an instant shipment of just the tall (long?) tower pieces! Thanks Chris!
The plan is to get them fully installed tomorrow.
Teaser shot. Where, oh where, do you suppose the exhaust is going to exit the car?
Out the top of the trunk, 918 style?
Through the rear panel?
Or do I have something else in mind...?
(If I've shared my plan with you, don't spill the beans, please.)
Peanut gallery: I hate to have to tell you Chris but your exhaust manifolds are wrong side up...
Well... I FINALLY completed what I said I'd complete in the time I said I'd complete it.
The goal was to get the shock tower tops in. And they are in !
Here're a couple action photos of the event.
Now I am really impressed - you can weld and take pictures at the same time!
Looks great Chris!
Tig! Some high dollar welding there!
I really hope you build your exhaust similar to a 918 I love that look in a mid engine car.
When words collide:
I hope I don't offend the fabrication gods by running one of my MIG welds up against one of Martin's TIGs. Maybe not quite as pretty, but I am getting better.
This is the lower fire wall crossbar and was one of those "out of position" welds - laying on the ground, one arm wrapped around the long, triggering with my left hand and guiding the tip with my right, arms all akimbo... but I'll take it.
As I improve, I keep turning the MIG up to hotter settings and moving faster. This seems to give me the best results.
Anyone else having this experience? Maybe I just started way too cold...?
^ I love welding clean thick steel Nothing more satisfying than making dimes with a mig.
Judging by your heat marks your welds should have good penetration, at least that horizontal piece. You didnt make great penetration on your vertical weld to the firewall.
On to floor fitment. With the custom lower fire wall comes mods to the rear floor panel. Long story short, the floor is about 1" too long in just the perfect way so the flat that needs to spot weld to the bottom of the lower cross bar juuuuuuust misses.
What to do? There were probably a few ways to deal with this but here's what I did.
This pic shows all the gaps I have to address. The lines outline where the cross bar lands on the stock floor and you can see that the only contacts are at that raised section at the bottom of the pic. The rear of the bar just barely kisses that raised edge most of the way across but not nearly enough to be secure.
Then it got fun. Thankfully, I'm learning patience as I get older. I knew I need to preserve the outer most edge at each outside corner as that material is needed when it comes time to spot weld the jacking donut triangles in place.
But I have that odd gap at the left edge of the piece I moved forward. (see above pic) So, I figured I could "reverse" that corner that's just to the left of the gap and tie it to the moved section. It's hard to explain but I ended up doing some hammer and dolly work to pound that corner back into itself and out the other side.
Then I welded the seam... Pics probably make it easier.
Top pic is the stock shapes (driver side)
Bottom pic is what I now have (passenger side)
(Pardon the wet primer...)
It now fits nicely, with plenty of contact with the lower cross bar.
And that section at the top of the pic that curves out, away from the crossbar is where the jack donut triangle edge sits, as seen-ish in the 2nd pic.
I'll add a bar that triangulates from the cross bar back to the long to support that "curving out section" so I have a robust jacking point.
I also got the lower fire wall uprights tacked in. Once they are final welded and I mod the driver's side of the floor pan, the floor goes in.
Then it's on to the seats. Once that's done, I'll move to the tunnel and pedals.
Man, this is taking a long time.
As one of my car buddies recently reminded me:
There's no kill like overkill!
So I treated the Tangerine Racing towers to an upgrade to ARP stainless fasteners.
I mean, doesn't Foley's stuff deserve the top shelf treatment?
I'm going to anodize the top piece, too. Black, maybe gold, still TBD on color.
And that's the spacer that was fabbed to address the interference that would otherwise occur between the shock top hat and the bottom of the tower extension.
And here's the benefit to all that work that went into moving the drive line forward:
It's kinda hard to tell in the pics, but I have a reasonably relaxed CV angle.
This should address any concerns about CV / CV boot failure.
Maybe someone (Tony?) could post a pic of what this looks like with the trans in the "stock" location?
And yes, there is a spacer that goes between the inner CV and the output drive. I just didn't have long enough bolts...
You are welcome Chris (LOL)! That's where it needs to be - great job!
I am still not sure it will work - I need to test it when out there this summer...
I tried but do not have a good picture of my set-up Chris...the hassle of moving the drive-line forward is a HUGE improvement over what I am dealing with!
I would defiantly say that is fairly accurate - that is a big deal.
Here's a photo of my VSS and reluctor. It's the GM VSS, but thought I'd share anyway. The reluctor clears the Porsche 911 CV. I'm using the Audi VSS (on the 01e trans) to run my speedo.
Andy (howdy!)...did you mean to post this in Rudy's thread/build?
For those who may be interested, here's a better review of the rear floor mod.
1. Cut and move that rear section forward.
2. The gap I need to close
3. Start hammering the curve back into itself
4. Overall shape is where I want it so I'm calling it finished and ready to weld!
Next, I mock it back into the car and trim the edge to match the jacking donut triangle.
This floor is all but ready to go in!
The floor is in. Well, all but a few inches of the main joint. Then I need to dress the welds. I'm going to run the stock cross bar because:
1. I have it
2. It makes is simple to locate the seat mounts vs a custom bar
3. The top of it all but lines up with the height of the 1.5x1" tubing that will make up the base of the tunnel.
Note that the cross bar is just sitting there, helping me think through the tunnel design.
So much to do, so little time.
It's official, I'm a slave to fashion...
Upon reflection, I didn't like the look of the ARP 12 point fasteners. Too busy. And hex head is too pedestrian. (IMO).
So I splurged and went with titanium button heads. Pricey little buggers but they do look the business!
Looks properly tidy. Much better all around.
As I said, Foley's stuff deserves the top shelf treatment so I figured I'd better just go all the way.
Yes, I'm aware that some of what I spend my time and money on is silly. My wife beat you to that thought...!
You are just now "coming out" as a slave to fashion...like we did not already know that! I like the new bolts much better. I might copy them...
Wow, that is pretty!
Just be careful with galling on Ti fasteners. If you didn't already use it, I suggest some sort of anti-seize.
Sweet cap screws!
If you're looking for an antisieze, DuPont Krytox works really well and from what I remember it's not too expensive. We specified and used it at a place I worked for pretty much all stainless, inconel, and titanium fittings. It was actually pretty much the only antisieze which always worked.
My seats shipped today! These are them just before being boxed.
GTS Classics Le Mans with their oval headrests.
Well, actually, they have heaters so maybe it's: Pretty damn hot!
Scheduled to arrive this Friday.
Snazzy seats for a wild build!
I wish I could add those belt passages on my old Koenig seats...not sure how.
.....OK.....seriously? Those are just stupid nice. Man I wish I had a set of those for my car. But, alas, it is not to be. I have to try to keep it appearing as stock as possible - seats like that would be a huge give-away. But
Those are the nicest seats out there right now. Those grommets are incredible. Those seats are perfect size too.
OK, this may turn out to be a(nother) waste of time but boy, it sure would be great if I could run the intake in the "regular", not flipped, orientation. I'd gain all my trunk space back.
This is a pic of the Palatov DP2 set up. I don't (yet) see why I couldn't do something like this. I create a suitable bulge in the upper firewall and reshape the lower firewall behind the passenger seat to accommodate the air cleaner... Yes, it'd be outside the passenger compartment.
I'll look into it and let you know...
A "suitable bulge" to accommodate that intake would be a "not so subtle bulge" - try it but I would bet you will find it to be way to deep. My intake is less than an inch off the firewall (and already sits 1.5" further back than yours)!
IDEA: What about making an "integrated" intake in the firewall? I thought of this when I was brainstorming during my build but it was well beyond my ability to pull it off. Piece of cake for you...
Chris: The route your race-car is going...you would be a fool NOT to go with the Borla ITB's - the price has dropped in half (btw)! Best of both worlds...you keep your firewall and trunk space!
I have a way with words...if I had your money, I wouldn't think twice!
I bumped my firewall out a small amount (1 1/4"), and it's goes un-noticed. The stock backpad still fits, though it does have a filler spacer. Point is, that it may be doable to run the intake forward and it's just a matter of how much do you want to bump out the firewall.
This build is on hold while I get the '74 road worthy. Hopefully, that'll happen within the next couple weeks. Until then, it's "resting" in the garage.
And apparently, my wife thinks it makes a fine winter storage shelf for the patio furniture cushions.
Bella, my shop helper, shows great taste in selecting a Porsche perch for her afternoon nap.
Oh, and you can see that I've finally signed my sponsorship deal and have begun working on my race livery...
Nice! Did you cover a rust hole with that?
The LS car seems to be jealous. I was working on the '74 and learned that when a wire wheel gets hold of your work glove, it can quickly get scary.
I was cleaning off a small part with the wheel spinning such that it wouldn't grab the part. Well, there was a small lip that, in spite of my best intentions, the wheel got hold of.
A nano second later, the wheel pulls the part (and my hand) into the angle grinder. It ripped the glove and wrapped the cuff around the wire wheel, pulling the wheel right into my wrist. With the speed and force this all happened, I thought I was in serious trouble...
Thankfully, the wheel jammed up with the glove and stopped spinning pretty quickly.
You can see where I "got wheeled" and where the guard sliced into the base of my thumb.
In the end, nothing but a good scare - but certainly a reminder:
We can never be too careful...
Chris - I am glad it wasn't worse but sorry nonetheless. Gotta be extra, extra careful using these tools, eh?
Lucky, lucky, lucky.... Glad it was just a scratch!
Its only a flesh wound...
Thanks for the kind word (and the ) Yep, I'm all good. So, let's get back to the build. This time, some non life-threatening stuff:
I pulled the trigger on my wiring today!
1. InfinityBox 20 circuit kit with:
- inReserve battery management system
- inLink (for security/imobilizing but I plan to run a "no key" solution. Just a push button start/stop button)
I'm REALLY impressed with the support. Jay has no end of patience and spent time explaining everything in detail. He even talked me out of buying some of the things I was considering. At this point, I'd recommend them, especially for builds like this one where I need ("need", ha!) to replace all the wiring.
2. Current Performance LS3 stand-alone engine harness
It should all be here in a couple weeks. And won't this part be a ton of fun...
(Heck, I don't even know where I'm locating the battery!)
Cart ahead of horsey??? Conversations and performance are different - ever hear of salespeople?
Holy moley, it's been almost a month... And what I have to post isn't too exciting but I guess it is something, so...
The trailing arms haven't even been installed and I'm changing things already. I needed to rebuild the arms in my '74 so decided to pull the (new) Elephant Racing rubber bushings out of these arms, use them in the '74 and upgrade these to Elephant Racing PolyBronze.
The pivot shaft just floaty floats in there. You can spin it with two fingers, slide it out...
Zerk fittings are added as these needed greasing every 3k mikes or so. And yes, they change the ride dynamic.
So, there you go. Another month down but virtually no progress. I'm getting why it's called the Build Off "Challenge"!
Again, more time passes and not much of an update... With the shoulder injury preventing me working on the car, about all I can do is buy more goodies. I'm still in need of the torsion bars but this should be enough suspension porn to get me through my recovery period:
- Rebuilt/powder coated a-arms with Elephant Racing spherical bearings
- Elephant Racing bladed sway bar
Their stuff is so pretty I almost don't want to put it on the car!
Hey it's nice to see some progress. Love the Elephant Racing suspension. They have the best web site don't they. That thing should ride really nice. No clunks or squeaks. On another note, Zero progress on my build for this month. I went on vacation and after I came back it's been crazy busy. I've been working all weekends. Anyway nice to see some progress....even if it's just buying stuff.
I must say the buying stuff is the most instantly satisfying part.. When you open that box and see those shiny (or dirty) parts!
3 months and no progress. Injury and other priorities... Enough of that! I'm back!
Here we go... I know that for some of you, this wiring stuff is nothing. That ain't the case for me.
For the most part, I've avoided thinking about this part of the build. Specifically because I have virtually no skills/experience with wiring. So, it's a bit intimidating looking at a two medium sized boxes full of the stuff.
For the main harness, I went with the Infinity Box 20 circuit with a couple upgrades. Current Performance supplied the stand-alone LS3 harness (set up for a reversed intake) and DBW throttle pedal.
With the arrival of this stuff, I have almost nothing left to purchase. What will I use for an excuse as to why this project isn't farther along? Oh yea, WCR prep!
In the box it looks pretty daunting. Once you lay it out on the floor it will get easier.
This is what we use at RS to put the wires where we want them. They come in both a large and small size.
Are the wires all labeled ?
Cary, Andrew - Thanks for the encouragement...
What time can you be here?
Looking forward to see your progress the car is turning out very nice.
Nice stuff there, I looked at the Infinity Box products for my other car a few times. Had I only had 1 project car instead of 2 I might have pulled the trigger and bought it. Too bad about their name, they used to be iSiS , which I see they still have on a few products!
Well that looks familiar...the "40" has an iSiS system - still n the box - you will be a pro!
w/ Andrew. The plywood layout is infinitely adjustable and cheap. But more important is the preservation of ones own sanity. Start with what's easy or apparent. Then move on to the more difficult items. Often you will find that daunting items reveal their secrets, bit by bit, when working on some of the simpler items. Lastly, you will quite often. Get used to it but don't let it defeat you. Sometimes the answers will come at 2:30 AM, sometimes they come from this board or another, but they will come to you if you have the tenacity. When the moment arrives that you power her up for the first time you will be shitting in your shoes and thrilled at the same time. "Onward thru the Fog", Oat Willie.
So it's been months since I worked on this project. WCR and yesterday's R Gruppe gathering have me back motivated. Plus, I've gotten (almost) caught up on various other commitments that have kept me from this effort. Anyway... back to it.
First, something totally unnecessary that will only distract, add complexity and additional time to the build... Sounds about right to me!
I've decided to vent the radiator through the fenders and NOT do a vent in the hood (at least for now) and I'd like to do something to help with the removal of hot air from under the fenders.
I just love the fender vents in the GT3 RS so I hung a crap glass flare on the front and started drawing. In the end, this will be added to the steel flares - again, this glass flare was just for idea mock up. I'm thinking an aluminum frame with mesh. Ideally, I'll relieve the opening in the fender so the frame sits flush with the fender.
This was totally free handed (like you can't tell!). I didn't measure anything so yes, the openings are all different heights. That'll get corrected in the final design.
Then it was back to what I really need to complete next: the chassis.
I'm getting closer to what I think will be the final design/position of the front hoop. I want to get it ahead of the door opening. This looks like it'll require relocating the front hood latch release but that's not too big a deal.
I like what you are doing. At one time I was thinking of adding the GT3 louvers on the tops of the fenders but I am going to evacuate the air through the hood. I know that the guys that run the air through the inner fenders have the gas tank heating up from the hot radiator air.
So long as you duct the air from the radiator to the fenders there shouldnt be any reason why the fuel tank will heat up.
I like the idea of fender vents, I think the design needs some work unless your going for the mechanical look on the car. Cant quite think of a better design in my head though.... Maybe taper the bottom some more like the GT3?
Just a personal opinion, but on a 914 I wouldn't want the fancy vents. The stealth factor is what makes a 914 supercar so cool. Venting out the inside fenderwells has been proven to work. Out the top of the lid can make more sense for downforce, but to me, stealthy is cool. Nothing as cool as a monster sleeper.
Andrew - Yep, the design needs refinement. As is usual for me, I need to see it, change it, try it, change it again. This is V1 so it's destined to be updated. From an overall look/feel, "mechanical" is actually something I'm after so I'm tickled that's how you saw it.
Rand - I am TOTALLY with you on wanting it to be stealthy. But I've always thought that once you add GT flares, 914s lose most, if not all their stealth. I was toying with moving the whole side of the car out 2" to fake a narrow body look and still have some tire to deal with the LS power. That's what I'd really like... maybe in the future.
So for this build, I'm going with a look that will be clearly identifiable as a "hot rod". That also opens up some other design options I'm looking to include.
Keep the cards and letters coming. In agreement with my approach or not, your input helps me clarify my thinking!
One thing for sure is we all have opinions, but your workmanship is stellar and whatever you do is going to be amazing. Speaks for itself. Keep it going and always express yourself! I always look forward to seeing your work.
I'm finding that being away from the car for a couple months has me rethinking some of the stuff I thought was done. I've always had a niggling "I think that could look better..." about the rear shock tower. The top cross bar didn't feel well integrated to me. So I started playing around with how I might box things in. The red outlines where that piece will actually sit.
This design eliminates the "wings" in the stiffening panel and, to my eye, nicely cleans up that whole area.
Plus, it ties the long to the bar to the tower even more.
Get it driving. Then nail down the fancy details.
With most projects that would be reasonable but not this one. Also, and perhaps most important, Chris enjoys the "creative strategizing" process more than the actual finishef product itself. Going slightly out on the limb here but I believe I know him well enough to wtite this about him. This project will take time...allot of time (and that is ok). Keep it up Chris, integrate all of these wild plans as you go - in the order you think best. I always (erll, almost always) enjoy the new posts!
Tony is mostly accurate - I'm about the journey, not the destination.
That said, I do want to get it on the road. It'll be interesting to see how well/not well I balance my propensity for neat new ideas with the boring "gotta do this" work.
Speaking of "gotta do" stuff, here's the final position of the front hoop. With the dash in place, it all but disappears, just like I want.
In the second pic, you can see how I plan to tie the hoop to the steering column support. To get the hoop forward to where I wanted it, I had to notch the steering support sheet metal. You can see my little paper template of the bracket I'll fab to reinforce the support. There will be one of them on each side.
Final pic is the bracket translated into the plasma software.
Oh, and best of all, as you can see, I don't need to relocate the front hood latch! One less thing to do!
Getting there with this chassis stuff...!
Yikes! Just seeing my post for the first time from the other day...I typed that out from my phone in transit back to the East coast (as a passenger!). Spell checker should've kicked in...
Man, it feels sooooooo nice to be back working on this! Such fun...
Got the front hoop/steering support brackets cut and mocked in. Should work just fine. I'm still kicking around how I might tie this hoop in to the front of the car. Whatever I decide, I hope to get the hoop fully welded in this weekend.
Rudy - Thanks for the input. I'd planned to weld all the seams of the suspension tower boxing so no worries there.
On that lower bar: I'm rethinking my induction/exhaust systems and am close to a decision that will require I redo that entire back panel... At this point, I won't be finalizing anything other than the top cross bar and the aforementioned boxing.
Once I do start back on that area, let me know what you think of what I come up with? Thanks again!
I decided to take today off and was able to get the front hoop mostly done. My buddy Martin needed some welding done on his car so he TIG'd for me while I MIG'd for him. (I think I got the better of THAT deal!)
How f-ing beautiful is his work?
And it turned out GREAT! Just what I wanted: The rear edge of the hoop sits even with the front of the door opening and it all but disappears under the dash. Exactly as I wanted it. Very happy with this result.
And seeing it all in place has me thinking I'll trim off most all of the lower part of those brackets that tie the hoop to the steering column support. Looks a little scary as is.
Beautiful scales. Amateur welders blob. Skilled welders scale. Very nice.
I got the front hoop fully welded down then trimmed and tacked in the hoop-to-steering column support tabs. As I mentioned, I opted to lose the lower part that captured the hoop as it extended down below the dash and sorta felt like a potential future leg bitter...
I'm pretty psyched at just how well it all fits together. Here's the dash back in place.
How's that for tidy clearance?! Less than 1/4" gap all the way across.
All that's left is to fabricate a replacement lower dash mount/tab of some sort to replace the factory one. That had to come off as it ran smack into the hoop.
A bit all over the place today. I need to get the seats mounted because I want to have the tube that braces the door bar to the main hoop match the angle of the seat bolsters. Hey, it's the little things. Anyway, I had a couple spots to weld up to finish the rear floor install so I did that then started on the seat mounts.
Then I figured I may as well get the final templates made for the rear suspension tower boxes. I'm always amazed when things go to plan and it all fits just like I want. Here's the same template fit to both sides. It flexes a little but is a good indicator of how matchy match I got things. I'm really pleased at the side-to-side symmetry. Even that little notch for the cross bar pad weld on the outside edge is exactly right side to side.
I've said it before: This is the first time I've tackled a project like this and sometimes it's hard for me to believe it's turning out this well. I'm happy, if you couldn't tell.
Talk about something not important to getting this project running...
As I was pulling the dash so I could work on the cage, the gauge surround caught my eye as something that might be fun to play with.
I've always like the idea of running a small, diagonal set of German flag colored stripes from the front fender opening up over the fender, at some jaunty angle.
I figured I'd see what it'd look like on the gauge surround. Well, it looks like this.
At least with no gauges or any other interior components!
Not quite the right color yellow/gold but it's all I had.
Anyone else done something like this? I'd be interested to see how it looks "finished".
Do you want me to be honest?
Rookie stripes on my car... Sounds about right. Unless there something slower/more dangerous than "rookie"!
Install two-sets of them...
Well, try as I might to not have gone this way, I've given in and will have to add a bit of "Cracker" to my build.
Hey, it's Tony's old engine so maybe it'll be happier with a similar exhaust set up.
These are just some $150 ebay specials but they are actually quite nice.
Gotta admit, I REALLY like the look. It's even more impactful when you see it in person.
Fits! Fire it up!
As I start getting closer to working on the various systems, I need to decide on gauges. I know folks have had success with the SpeedHut products but, as usual, I'd like something a little different. How about these from Classic Instruments?
Kinda stealthy and heck, they say "auto cross" right on them! It's like an omen!
I'm also toying with running only the tach and speedo in the instrument pod then running individual gauges in the console (that I have yet to design/build).
Again, we'll have to see...
I translated the cardboard template into the plasma system and while it did require some fine tuning with the flap disc, it's a nice fit. I opted not to try and plasma cut the rounded corner. I don't fully trust my ability to program in the radius as it's not consistent. I'll trim it once it's in place.
That said, I did triumph over the 3" hole. It had to be designed/cut as an ellipse to account for the tipped angle of the Tangerine raised pick up.
That was fun...
I tend to like bone stock cars, but that is a nice set up.
I finished the driver's side seat mount and just had to test fit the GT Classics!
This is set to the angle that I'll use to determine the triangulation bar that runs from the door bar to the main hoop.
And this also means I can work on mounting the pedals.
Those seats look great!!!
Make sure those pedals are waaay forward...
Amazing build, keep it up!
So I started playing with positioning the pedals and determined I'd want a little more leg room. No biggie, just slide the seat back a little bi.... The headrest juuust contacts the main hoop.
In this location, a 6' tall person would likely be comfy. But this hoop design consumes what turns out to be ~ 2" of seat travel - at least with these seats. I don't see that as something I want to give up.
Hmmm. Well, I didn't see that one coming.
A bit of head scratching has convinced me the existing hoop ain't gonna work.
I tossed the 'old' full height hoop in, just to see... Nope, I don't like that either.
I want to have, and be able to remove, all the interior trim.
Back to the drawing board!
...not to mention that the full height bar isn't safe for road use with an open seat like you have! Get your thinker going...or should I say, keep it on!!!
Why isn't it safe? Maybe upper body an head being able to toss around and strike the bar? By open seat like he has do you mean a more closed seat is the ones that have the side protectors on each side for your head restraint? Just looking to learn from someone with more knowledge.
Correct. It is a combination of how the drivers head is shrouded; the height of the seat relative to cage work; the type of restraint system used; etc.
My "open seat" reference was not comparing it to a Halo seat (which I believe you thought), rather letting the shoulders and head move to the side so easily is what concerns me. Chris's seats are for a hot rod and there is nothing wrong with that! Below is the diagram of the seats I use...
One wack and you can be dead - big safety issue with cage cars running on the street!
Well, I've come up with two options.
1. Bend up another hoop that is essentially the same as the current one but is lower so as to sit in the space between the top of the seat and the bottom of the head rest. This would also necessitate bending it such that it popped out then back in to clear the bulge in the firewall.
2. It's a bit hard to explain but essentially moves the hoop 100% into the engine compartment and turns it from a hoop into more just a cross bar.
I'm still thinking on it. but if I can pull off the bending, I think I prefer option 1. It'll give me another place to tie in the console that I'm planning.
Still thinking on this one...
Chris I've nothing to add really but to say this is one damn cool build.
Enjoy your creativity and fabrication work.
Those seats are really cool.
Would individual style hoops work per seat. Styled like the Audi TT.
Just a thought. Have at it.
Here's the latest thinking on the chassis stiffening design.
1. It's a "race rod". This is a term I'm claiming defines a car that has elements of race car-ness but is clearly a "hot rod".
2. Given #1, above, I'm not trying to build something that will pass tech or be the stiffest ever (or even close) cage. I am after something that will be a big improvement over stock and help handle the motor.
3. Bonus points if it's a bit unique and makes me smile.
Initial mock up meets my criteria!
(note the tubes are not positioned exactly, exactly, but you get the idea...)
I'm going to plate the seat belt retractor area and land the angled bar top at that spot. On the back side, I'll remove the factory anchor bolt, plate that side and run a tube from there back to the suspension tower.
This saves me trying to fab a complex, multi-bend compound tube and eliminates having to deal with another hole in the firewall.
Keeping with the race rod approach, I'm going to stay with the stock, 3-point retractable seat belt.
With the cage location, I need to move the seat belt retractor. I talked with Seat Belt Planet and they can add the needed length to the belt so I can relocate the retractor to the base of the firewall.
So long as the retractor mechanism is mounted in the same physical orientation as stock, I'm good to go.
The retractor is just sitting there, not attached. I still need to fab the mounting location but again, you get the idea.
I want to do some additional "triangluation" for the angled bar so I stated playing around with what a perforated panel might look like. This is the first hack/sketch so...
It'd echo the engine compartment panel design but I think this time I'd use 2 mirror image pieces and seam weld together the inner edges of the dimpled holes, making a hollow panel about 1/4" thick. Plenty strong.
And worst case, I can always use a tube to triangulate.
The saga continues.
I like the plan. It will be way better than stock but still give you easy enough access. Good choice.
I really like the direction you are going...only one design element to consider (given your point #1 above). The horizontal bar over 4th he rocker does not have to be that high...not even close. Consider positioning it at 1/2 the current height or keep the rear height the same and taper it down to the front. Can you "mock" it up like this repost pictures? Looking great Chris!
Hey Chris...have you ever thought about something like this???
And in the spirit of full disclosure:
I've said it before - mostly you see the end result in the pics, not the gaps in knowledge or experience, or the 'n' number of attempts at getting things to work out. So, it's only fair I pay tribute to those parts and pieces that sacrificed themselves to the cause. These are the latest examples of my learning as I go.
Put these in the "Don't" column:
- You can't expect a good result unless you have thought ahead and allowed for enough tube length so that the front part of the die doesn't run off the end of the tube and totally gack the part. (Yes, that is a rip in the tube...)
- given a particular radius die, there are limits to how close you can bend two radii. If you think you can outsmart physics and magically get them closer, you are wrong.
- as with all things in life, the facts are the facts and no amount of lube will make any difference.
I should start a website called "FabFail.com".
I'd be a regular contributor...
Much better Chris...
If Patrick Motorsports would build a "race car" with such a cage (which I don't agree with btw) - it is perfectly fine for a "Race-Rod"! Regardless of the loss of stiffness... biggrin.gif
Now, if I could just convince Rudy to work up his math on the difference in stiffness between these two designs...!
(seriously, though Rudy, that's impressive stuff to us who don't know a cosine from our elbow.)
No no no, no more calcs. They are summarily disregarded based on anecdotal experience. I'll play along. Anecdotally I can say that your current design delivers all of the loads to the weakest point in the long. Do your self a favor and tie your front hoop up to the strut tower. If you do that, then you're on to something. Alternatively, do one of your awesome gussets and tie that vertical front hoop bar into the vertical sheet metal area behind the A pillar. Otherwise, it's a very good looking design without adding much structural integrity to bending forces in the longs. It does look really good though. Especially that gusset back to the firewall. My 0.02 $.
You said race rod ...so in that spirt lose the gusset idea...does nothing but add weight....and even though the fabrication looks cool , it crosses the line of extraneous ....my opinion of course...but I am cursed with excellent taste .......
[quote name='Curbandgutter' date='Jul 26 2017, 02:29 PM' post='2510405']
Now, if I could just convince Rudy to work up his math on the difference in stiffness between these two designs...!
(seriously, though Rudy, that's impressive stuff to us who don't know a cosine from our elbow.)
No no no, no more calcs. They are summarily disregarded based on anecdotal experience. I'll play along. Anecdotally I can say that your current design delivers all of the loads to the weakest point in the long. Do your self a favor and tie your front hoop up to the strut tower. If you do that, then you're on to something. Alternatively, do one of your awesome gussets and tie that vertical front hoop bar into the vertical sheet metal area behind the A pillar. Otherwise, it's a very good looking design without adding much structural integrity to bending forces in the longs. It does look really good though. Especially that gusset back to the firewall. My 0.02 $.
My explanations and execution are always behind the plans in my head.
Yes, I already had plans to tie the front hoop into the chassis, I was thinking the gussets would be a lot simpler to execute than tubes to the front towers but we'll see which I end up liking best. I am a slave to fashion, don'tcha know!
I also plan to tie the front hoop in as part of center tunnel/console. It will run to the front of the floor and up the inside of the front bulkhead. That should help add a bit more "twist resist".
Always appreciate your input, my friend!
Go ahead and place me in the "anecdotal" crowd if that's what you feel like, but I'm with ablesnead on this. The area in the triangle doesn't need more strength. It's worth more in art than function and adds weight. Which is great if that's what you want. My anecdotal belief is to use the least amount of material (and weight) to get the job done. Why add unnecessary stuff to a car that is so potentially light?
No registration required Rand...you already hold a members card! Well, I was lumped into membership by Rudy too!
I make sharp comments about projects. It adds something, fwiw. I don't ever mean to diss people. (Sorry to anyone who felt like I did.)
Ahh, after your edit I get another bit of where you're coming from. Good company. Love you too, Tony.
Well said. Sometimes communicating online gets funky because we can't see the mannerisms, expressions, and all. Good thing though, we are all in the same garage here.
We rib each other, we eat meat, we drink beer, we call out stuff that doesn't make sense, we rib each other more. And you can remove any part of that you don't like if you are a vegan and don't drink.
I'd say anything in person that I say here. It would be interpreted differently at times I'm sure! LOL
Keep it coming. The more we get to know each other, the better the garage gets.
Keep it coming? Well OK then!
I had some time this evening so bent up the one piece, angle down door bar. Here it is. Forgive the hack MS Paint job but I wanted to get a better feel for what it might look like with the supports (ish).
Flipping the bend really changes the look. I'm not sure which I like best.
Real opinion? I like as much leg room getting in and out of the car as possible... the 914 is already a super tight squeeze for me anyways. Now I know you have your floor pan drop which is giving you a much needed extra room, but it still is difficult sqeezing that left leg in around the steering wheel and in front of the A pillar.
I have NO idea how Tony does it...
My point being I would prefer the front bar to terminate as early as possible with a thick plate encompasing the Long and then the front A pillar roll loop starting much before the door opening and then there a short gusset to the a pillar and lower a pillar.
Then again I am as I mentioned a big fan of the hidden roll cage, like the RUF cars and this guy.
I like that design for the side bar because I'm still a little squeamish about contact with another vehicle and I want all of the protection I can get.
Would it help if the rear short hoop was angled on the long behind the bulkhead so far as giving you the room you need behind the seats? I know what I'm thinking of but without the car in front of me to look and assess my ideas it's kinda hard...
And Andy, Tony uses lots of lube... LOTS of lube.... to get in and out of his car.
I like the side bar, I had a harebrained idea of putting the main hoop for a cage on the "other" side of the back window for more room. Of course the targa bar would have to be butchered up beyond putting car back to stock easily. I think you are past that point currently
If you are going to add something just for aesthetic value, right there in the door opening is a good place... You've already got a theme going, I think I'd do it. Ties the room together. So to speak.
OK, structural guys: A little help. Does this make sense, strength wise?
Box/plate from the front hoop to the inner fender. Where the plates (side and top) hit the inner fender and A pillar wall, I'll fold an angle, suitably sized so I can spot weld it. Everything else gets seam welded and I'd add some lightening holes
NOTE: the door bar hits pretty low on the front hoop so my assumption is that this "support box"needn't be much higher than that. Good assumption?
Although you are correct (technically) very few drivers even get close to pushing the cornering limits of their cars. Even at a hefty "teener" weight of 2400 pounds - it is ridiculously light compared to let's say, a 918 (or a GT3 Cup, etc.). Chris could make his entire car an "art piece" and it wouldn't matter for its intended purpose. Spirited laps on summer tires will (still) be fun - in the right hands, still a rocket.
Rudy...you did mean Chris, correct?
I am glad you are taking all this in the spirit it is intended...so I'll add this perspective...I will accept that the rod part is an aesthetic exercise , and although it can incorporate function , it art is primarily in its visual appeal....but this isn't a 49 merc leadsled or ungainly high boy ..so the foundation you choose is representative of a light nimble car . good art is one that supports that premise . the metal that you sculpt needs to add to the light and nimble effect , one of superior performance , thru simplicity yet artistically your own rendition...replacing the rear firewall did exacty that ....you sill to door pillar does the opposite......This is fun
Thank you for the encouragement Rand....I'll jump off whichever bridge you point out too.
[quote name='Rand' date='Jul 27 2017, 07:38
"You should always push the cornering limits of your car! The only way to find the edge is to push past it. What a shame to have a supercar and never have a clue how much farther you could push it."
[quote name='Cracker' date='Jul 27 2017, 05:57 PM' post='2510855']
Thank you for the encouragement Rand....I'll jump off whichever bridge you point out too.
[quote name='Rand' date='Jul 27 2017, 07:38
"You should always push the cornering limits of your car! The only way to find the edge is to push past it. What a shame to have a supercar and never have a clue how much farther you could push it."
I know a real heavy one.
I like the latest rendition. BUT more gusset! Run it full length, split your vertical tubes so that they run on each side of the gusset and use only full circle lightening holes.......
Have you been wiretapping our lines?
Gettin' jiggy wi't it! (See what I did there?)
Got the first one done and then it's time to make an exact match. Well, as exact as I can get it... but the fixturing table is like cheating. It makes things like this so much simpler.
First bend and so far, so good!
Next bend. I end up sneaking up on it. There are marks on the ram assembly that I use to measure how far it's extended. I check the bend as it's bending by holding the big protractor over it and eyeball it 'til it looks close. (This bender doesn't have a degree gauge on it.)
Then I pull the bar and check it in the jig. If I need more angle, I put it back in the bender, extend the ram to the previous measurement and give it just a bit more!
Here's the result after three rounds of the ol' "in and out".
Yea! Nailed it...
And credit where credit is due:
Tony - thanks for suggesting I mock up the bar with the down angle!
Flashback/nightmare of the day -
Tony and Rand in the back seat of our 1969 Ford station wagon (with wood paneling of course). Somehow, they are 7 years old. I'm driving:
Me: "Hey you two! Play nice! Don't make me pull over..."
Love you both,
The down angle is perfect! One more short tube from the lower elbow to the long in front of the firewall, BAM. Might even eliminate the need for the short vert piece in the middle.
Beautiful work, Chris.
Thanks for the continued kind words and encouragement. I'm a believer in the whole "nature abhors even numbers" thing so the plan is for three verts.
Just looks more balanced to me... But I'll play around with it as final fitting happens.
(oooh, maybe no verts and just a panel of dimple died holes... )
A little help, please? With the change in plan for the main hoop, I need to patch the firewall. Rather than jump in and fab something I thought I'd first check to see if I could find some factory metal:
Anyone have a suitable donor car and the willingness to slice out this chunk? I need the same part for both sides
PM me if you can help. I need to complete this before I can install the door bars and I REALLY want to install the door bars so I'm a motivated buyer...
1. What's wrong with this picture?
- Hint the LS3 operates with a DBW throttle body. That there is a mechanical linkage.
Answer: Nothing is wrong with the pic.
2. What silliness have I committed myself to now?
Answer: I'll post pics as soon as I can!
I have a hunch...does that control the Flux-Capacitor?!?!?
Well, it's finally happened. I'd been doing well on the "nothing I've welded in has had to be cut out" front but the work sunk into the fire wall openings for the initial main hoop design has been cut out. And it's going back to exactly what it was before I started messing with it.
Ah well, it is what it is...
Turns out I had kept the driver side piece from the '72 I parted out. I still have a few tweaks before I'll call it done but it's turning out pretty well. I'm !
Now to source the passenger side piece. Sounds like Cary has a nice one...
Very well done Chris...it look great!
It was a day of metal work. First the firewall then back to work on the chassis stiffening.
I decided not to do the gussets as the primary tie-in for the front hoop. Instead, it'll be a bar from the hoop to the front suspension tower.
So I thought I'd take a swing at fabbing up a support pad.
The big compound curve means I got to practice with the English Wheel and shrinker.
It still needs some additional work and final trimming but I think I like it!
Took a bit of work to get the piece you need. Its jacked up on Super In Laws wooden stacker. So we got the Big Joe pallet stacker out and lifted it off the contraption.
Down on to Doug's wooden dolly and ready for amputation.
Part was extracted by Super In Law. Pretty simple until you get to the air vent hole. It has 3-4 layers going 3-4 different directions. Took him a couple hours to figure it out. But he got it out for you with the flanges intact.
Part left with Matt. It will get shipped out at 914 Rubber.
After that he kept tearing down the parts car. Not keeping too much. Cut out the remaining portion of the firewall. Probably the headlight buckets. Longs are crap, but we'll cut out the uppers and the mounts. We'll cut out the tunnel and see what we have. Door hinge posts. Front portion of engine the engine tray. He busted his ass all day ..
Still amazes me ..........
Cary - That's it exactly! I send you an email w/details on next steps.
Thanks SO MUCH!
Much as I love Martin's help doing the TIG welding - and plan to have him do more - I happily admit it pisses me off and is a personal sore point. I will never hide this fact and whenever anyone comments "wow, nice welding", I have to give credit where it's due and I tell them about Martin.
It's... I'll say "disappointing", because I'll never be able to say I did 100% of my build. It's just how I'm wired.
So what to do? How about practice?
As some of you may know, I have a little side business doing yard art sorts of stuff and that affords me some work where my welding structural and visual results aren't quite as critical. Not that I don't do the best I can...
Anyway, here's part of yesterday's MIG work, as welded, not cleaned up. It's part of a 12' wide, 7' tall, vertical xylophone I was commissioned to do for a local school.
The "out of position" work is where I'm not reliably up to snuff. But I'm SLOWLY getting to where I may feel comfortable doing my own welding on some of the more visual areas of my build.
Dem some nice C's! Penetration looks great as well!
Can you turn up your welder any more? I would have preferred a hair more heat myself so long as the metal can take it. (My only critique, Your technique looks spot on!)
Chris, top notch as usual. You reshape metal quicker than I can turn the welder on!
Big thanks to Cary, Super In-Law and 914 Rubber! The firewall patch showed up yesterday!
I had planned a day off to work on the car so in it went.
Here it is all trimmed up, ready for welding.
Hit it with some weld through primer (I found a few pin holes I need to close up...) but I wanted to get it at least some protection.
By the time it gets the final finish, I think it'll look "factory fresh". Hope so, anyway.
gooder as new.
With the firewall patching complete, it's back to work on the chassis stiffening.
I hole sawed through the seat belt retractor area as well as the support pads for that area. This allows me some for/aft adjustment as I get to fitting the door bars.
Note that in the pics, the bars are shifted rearward over 3" because I have yet to trim the front end of the bar. So the angled part will sit a bunch forward from how it looks - see the pics earlier in thread for a more accurate view.
Anyway, once everything is welded in, I'll dress any part of the tube that may poke through and weld around the tube, securing it to that support pad.
Then another support pad goes on the engine compartment side and I run the tube from there, back to the cross bar/rear shock tower.
And the vertical support is just there to support the bar. Final locations for all the verticals are tbd upon completion of trimming the front of the tube and determining where the rear-most vertical will be.
I'm liking the way this is coming together.
However, before the door bars go in, I want to more securely tie the front hoop to the chassis. As mentioned, I decided I wanted to run a tube from the hoop to the front suspension. Before I can do that, I have to add support pads to the suspension area.
This is proving to be a lot of work. Not a flat surface to be seen! And my initial mock up wasn't going to be sufficient - I need to use at least 12 gauge for the support pads so it's back to the drawing board.
First I made up paper templates then cut the material to size. Now, how to shape it?
How about this handy curved chunk of wood and a rubber mallet? These and some various size scraps of tube from 1" to 3"...
Here's the result. I was surprised that, within not a very long time, I was able to get a pretty tight fit and good side-to-side symmetry.
These pieces wrap the "upper" part of the tower.
Oh, and note to self: Push the top of the struts all the way back to be sure there's suitable clearance for everything!
Then it was on to the "lower" pad. This is a real bitch of a compound curve.
I'm not done shaping but you get the idea how this will all go together.
Next, I need to bend up the bars. Or maybe just go to a bar...
This time, I used a piece of pretty stout welding rod to mock up an initial guestimate of the shape of the tube.
Doing all this by myself can be "fun". Trying to hold something in position while bending the other end while trying to keep the stinkin' thing in the middle of the hole I want it to pass through....!
And it worked! I got it on the first try. Then it's copy the shape for the other side.
I used the same jig approach and I nailed the shape of tube #2 with just one additional adjustment.
Still have to do final trimming on both ends of both tubes.
Then I finished up my day by prepping the vertical supports' support pads. After careful consideration, I think I'll have three verticals per side, plus the hoop.
Chris Foley (Tangerine Racing) was kind enough to sell me just the pads. However, because I skinned my longs, the radius Chris uses doesn't work for my car and needs adjustment.
I devised a way of using a vise and trusty rubber mallet to tighten the radius. Then I have to reset the angle. Not too bad, though. And each one fits nicely where it needs to be.
I'm calling that a successful day. Almost ready to weld all this stuff in! That will be a major accomplishment and big milestone in the build.
Maybe next week/weekend?
With the chassis stiffening coming together, I started thinking about closing up the lower firewall. Initial mock up was one piece but with all the systems that have to pass through it, I decided to make it with a removable center section.
So I started playing with one of the outer pieces. This is just a test piece in my typical approach of "I need to see it in physical form before I know if I like it".
Plus, it gives me a chance to practice with the bead roller.
It's little things like connecting the last bit of the bead to where it first started.
You can see I just barely missed (center of the top section.)
And design wise, I think I can come up with something more interesting than this first draft.
This was also my first attempt at hammer forming. I used this technique on the flanges and am really happy with how it wraps the corner at the top of the long. It nicely fits the curve!
I'm confident I can get these pieces to turn out really well within a couple more attempts.
Looking good!!! I'm impressed with all the details...
Nice work! Would love to see a pic of your form. What are you using for a corking tool to hammer in those beads. I'm heading to town for some hard maple this afternoon. Maybe you have something better?
Loving the progress!
The chassis stiffening I'm doing is just that: chassis stiffening. This isn't to be confused with a roll cage. That said, I am doing most all I can to make it correctly.
However, I'll admit to cutting a couple corners. And here's one:
Getting that 12 ga material to fit well against the front fender compound curve didn't go as well as I wanted.
So, after much debate and consultation with a couple race car fab folks (and given my "race rod" disclaimer), I decided to wimp out and make the support pads out of 14 ga.
There is a fair bit if structure up around the suspension towers already and this more than doubles the material thickness of the fender well.
Plus the force is directed (mostly) at the tower. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Again, my race car consultants both said that, given my application, this should be more than sufficient.
So, instead of hammering into the curved block like last time, out comes the English wheel!
It's the proper tool for making compound curves in sheet.
Here's the blank as I start to raise the shape.
Once I had the shape I wanted, I laid out the pattern for the pieces.
Needing mirror image pieces means it's important to REMEMBER TO FLIP THE PATTERN when doing the layout... Ask me how I know...
After looking at this for a minute, I realized that if I ever get tired of working on cars, I can always go into business making steel bras.
Great work as usual.
I was able to get all the pieces rough trimmed and fit.
You can see how, in the first pic, the piece lays nicely on the fender. In the second pic, the top part "interferes" a bit and moves it out of position.
That's OK because all the final trimming will happen as the parts are welded in and the exact intersections are able to be determined and any interference gets cleaned up.
I'm really happy with how these turned out.
Next, I went back to work on the the chassis stiffening. I have to so some fancy cutting / piecing to make the cross bar that will connect in at the top of the door bars.
It has to fit behind the seat head rest supports then pop out to clear the bump in the firewall, then pop back in and fit behind the other seat.
The mighty, mighty bender can't make the needed bends close enough together so I have to do the cross bar in pieces. Again, just fine for a race rod. And if I get it right, you'll be hard pressed to know it's not a one piece bar.
Anyway... I was diligently working away on fabbing the cross bar when UPS showed up...
And that was the end of my productivity.
I don't know what to say other than I couldn't take any more of Tony saying I'd be a fool not to do it...
Well, OK, that's no entirely true. I do know what to say:
I've always wanted an engine with ITBs. So what the hell. Now I have one.
This is so f-ing bad ass I can't hardly stand it.
Problem is, now I'll spend the next 2 weeks standing there staring at it and not make any progress on the build.
How are you going to control those 8 beautiful butterflys right there?
Chris - You already know what I think about it - SICK! Now that I also own two of these systems myself I am a very interested party in your tuning experience.
Hurry up so I don't have to go first!
PS: For once on this build it appears you don't have to modify the firewall for the stacks...how they are canted - it looks like you DID make it PERFECT! Damn!
That is going to be the best sounding LS 914 out there! SO EXCITED!
Didnt know you went with polished but I think it looks amazing!!!
Great decision there!
Getting more awesome as the build goes on. I noticed the headers and started from the page 1 to see what they were but got tired around page 20 or so. What are they? A stock shelf item for maybe a boat? Or did you have them made? Sure lays in the ideal location though.
After drooling over the intake set up for that past 24 hours, I re-hydrated and forced myself to get back to the chassis work.
Time to miter all the tubes in prep for welding.
Here's the notcher, in all it's glory, ready to cut the front hoop end of the door bar.
I set the tube in the car in the position I want it and use a simple, little plastic protractor to get the angle. Then set the notcher to that angle and cut the miter.
The only tricky part is that the hole in the firewall where the upper part of the door bar goes doesn't allow the door bar to sit quite parallel to the long. So I have to twist it just so to get it to line up. This causes the bends to sorta flare outward a bit... Hard to explain but suffice it to say that I have to cut the miter a bit out of line with the bends in the door bar.
So, here it is ready to cut. Ready... Set... CUT! (all the while praying I measured correctly and properly set all the angles...!)
I cut both door bars and all went well there. Then it was on to the verticals. I figured I start with what I thought would be the hardest one. I want the tube smack in the middle of the bend so I divide that bend angle in half and cut that angle into the top of the vertical. Then it's a matter of trimming the bottom until it's the exact length to hold the door bar in parallel alignment with the long (when viewed from directly above).
I have final, final trimming yet to do on the overall length but the fit is looking really nice.
This is the first time I've done this sort of detailed fab on cage tubes. I'm happy to report that if you follow what all those YouTube videos suggest, it all goes pretty much to plan. The series I found helpful was this one:
He gets into some of the important tips and tricks that I found spot on and really effective.
And certainly, having some nice tools makes it go faster and (for me), more accurately. Again, I'm no expert. But I'm thrilled at how it's going.
On the ITBs just use individual filters, keep the look, I would hate to cover them up. They look so darn good
I didn't know Borla made intakes, further reading and I gather they bought or merged with TMW?
I looked at their Type IV page, I like how they gave Megasquirt a mention as well along with the high dollar EFI setups.
Today was more measuring, cutting and fitting of the various chassis stiffening bars.
Here's the cross bar I mentioned in an earlier post - the one that has to fit behind the head rest supports then pop out/in to clear the bulge in the firewall. My bender can't do the needed double s-curve in that little space so I have to make it in multiple pieces.
Before you get too excited, remember, it's not a roll cage.
Yes, I'll plug weld a sleeve in both joints as part of all this.
And yes, it's all DOM material. I've ordered 3 different times from the same supplier and each time, the product is a different color. I called and asked them about it and they said it depends on which mill it comes from. Interesting.
But it'll all be painted so no worries.
Then it was on to the bars that will run from the back side of the seat belt retractor location to the rear shock tower. This bar will terminate on a plate that gets rosette welded to the plate that the top of the door bar lands on. That plate is not in place, I just used the hole in the firewall to help calculate the angles for all the cuts/miters.
I'm really pleased with how well these miter cuts are turning out. Maybe I shouldn't be so surprised, I just thought it'd be more difficult. Not that I'm complaining!
Here are both bars mocked into place.
I think it's going to be a LOOOOOOONG time before I get tired of this view!
And fear not, I keep the intake covered and protected when I'm working on the car. But whenever the camera comes out, somehow, the covers disappear!
Final trimming of the door bar. This is where it pokes though the fire wall at the seat belt retractor location.
That last cut on the front of each of these tube was done with the hole saw and was pretty much a "one chance to get it right" cut that set the final angle and length of the door bar.
The target length was to get this end to align with the fire wall.
It literally just sits on the edge of the hole. Big sigh of relief...
Immma gonna need you to build me a cage when your all done
I want something I can weld to the A pillar and hide completely.
There has been a couple of events like that through the years.
Im SURE we can get lots of people interested.
Shocking news! Nearly impossible to believe: I changed my mind about the way I'm going to tie the cross bar into the suspension towers. I was going to construct a box around the whole area but upon reflection (and thinking about the earlier points about weight and complexity), I'm opting for something simple:
A tidy little gusset between the tower and cross bar, right in line with the main load path into the bar that runs to the fire wall.
I'm almost done with the fabrication and fitting of all the pieces needed for the chassis stiffening. Then it'll be a full day (or more) of welding to complete the install.
Much as I enjoy the roll bar fab stuff, I'm ready to move on a different area of the build.
I like it! That area really doesnt move near as much as some people think.
The lower trailing arm pickup moves significantly more.
Fore and aft verticals are trimmed to final size.
You can see that the mid vertical is sitting back, out of positon (the pad is positioned properly). I'm leaving the mid vertical trimming until the door bar is welded in. Why?
Having only two verticals will allow the bar to set into position and if the there's any welding distortion on the door bar (and I'd expect there to be some) I can tweak the mid vertical for the best possible fit.
We'll see how it goes as the welding actually commences.
More pre-welding prep leads to the Pop Quiz of the day:
What's missing in this picture?
Well, OK, a whole bunch of stuff! So maybe not so fair a question.
Let's make it a bit easier:
I removed the mounts for the trunk lid springs! I won't be using them. And they're already hard enough to get to so I REALLY wanted them out before the rear chassis stiffening bars go in.
And no promises, but I have an idea that may require / allow for removal of the rear trunk hinges, too.
Either way, I want as clean a look as I can get.
Looking good Chris! If you want to see a different way to open tour rear trunk check out my build thread under my signature. There are three photos on page 1. Total access. You could incorporate the engine lid and trunk lid as one piece...
Or come over and check it out.
Bill B Racing (BBR Filers) filters showed up today. Recommended by Borla and apparently minimal HP loss. They certainly look the business and fit perfectly.
Not as cool looking sitting on my office floor vs on the engine, but I want to keep the delicate stuff safe while all the fab work is going on.
They look good but nothing looks better them naked...I thought you were building a "special" box for those. Change your mind?
I'm taking Friday, 9/1 off work to complete welding on the chassis stiffening bars! It'll be a full day but the goal is to get all that done! Fingers crossed.
And with that done, I'm nearing the point where I need to pick a color... and that gets me thinking about the overall look. While I love the RSR Fuchs look, this car is clearly not a 914/6 GT tribute so...
I'm toying with these 52 Outlaw wheels against the mid 2000s Subaru WRX blue. I think these wheels fit quite nicely with my overall "RaceRod" design.
But wheel see... (see what I did there?)
And, the blue/gold is the same combo I used on a custom SV650 I built about 12 years ago. It got a 4 page spread in Cycle World. I was pretty proud of that... plus, I went to Berkeley (Go Bears!) so blue and gold are part of my life...
Anyway, decisions, decisions. Until then, I'll be running a set of 7 and 9 x 17 Euromeisters.
Well, as usual, things take longer than I imagine they will. I'd hoped to get the chassis stiffening done today. Didn't quite make it but made BIG progress.
Final fit all but the front hoop-to-front suspension tubes, all tubes tacked in and a couple items final welded.
MAJOR MILESTONE! I'm feeling really good as it comes together.
It would be all but impossible to get all the way around some of these tubes. So after dry fitting the rear suspension-to-firewall bars and support plate, the bar/support plate were tack welded while everything was in position.
And then back in it goes and things are tacked in place.
Here's the passenger side, awaiting rosette welding.
Final, final welding of all joints is going to happen after the car is back on the rotisserie as that will make it WAY easier to get at all the nooks and crannies.
Then it was on to fitting and tacking the door bars.
First, all measurements were triple checked then the vertical's support pads were rosette welded to the longs.
I got to use my new-to-me South Bend lathe to final fit and square up the verticals.
So, after all the head scratching, design changes, measuring, cutting, trimming, fitting, mind-changing (thanks Tony...!) and multiple redoing of many parts:
The door bars are tacked in and ready for final welding!
Today was 7 hours in a 100+ degree garage... and I can't think of anything I would have enjoyed more!
And I couldn't have done it without Martin's help. Having a skilled buddy who actually cares about your build, challenges you and makes you rethink your decisions is something I hope all of you get to experience.
What a day...
Woooo hooooo! It does feel good when you reach these milestones!
Anyway, decisions, decisions. Until then, I'll be running a set of 7 and 9 x 17 Euromeisters.
You could always paint up the Euromeisters to look like the spendy wheels - you could REALLY retire sooner...
Clean metal is a beautiful thing. Keep it up. Such a great project.
Today was just clean up and organize in prep to get the car back on the rotisserie to finish all the chassis stiffening welding and a couple other items:
I have to fab the the area where the seat belt retractors will bolt in, triangulate behind the firewall to support the jacking donuts, add the front sway bar mounts... things like that.
THEN, it's time to tackle the Tangerine rear suspension pick up kit. Won't that be fun...
Anyway, I couldn't resist taking a pic of how the door bar all but looks like it's one piece as it passes through the fire wall and runs to the rear suspension tower. I was hoping it'd look like that.
(so don't tell anyone it's two pieces!)
Oh, that IS nice!!
Nice ....sooo glad the shear panel holely , thinngy.was only a faze....looks like it oughta !
Remember, all this door bar business was required because the original main hoop interfered with the headrests. So, with the door bars in place, I can now get back to fabricating the cross bar.
This will be particularly fun (read: "complicated" And why wouldn't that be the case?) for a couple reasons.
The location I need the crossbar to sit isn't in line with the top part of the door bar, meaning I have to put a slight bend into each end so they tip down to meet the door bars.
Then, I have to cut the miters on both sides of the crossbar, then slide it into place. Another "one chance to be sure I bend it right and then don't cut it too short" tube...
So I made a "cheater bar" that was about a foot long. I played with this until I got the bend and the miter to fit as desired.
Something that makes it easier is that when the bender makes a bend, it leaves a witness mark. Well, not so much a mark but you can tell where on the tube the bend starts. That location corresponds with a marker on the bending die. Blah, blah... What it all means is I can use the cheater to measure/mark on the chassis where I want the bend to start. Then I can transfer that location back onto the crossbar. I load the crossbar back into the bender and align the mark with the mark on the bending die and I know I'll get things to go where I want them.
Once I have the bends in the cross bar, I set the cheater on it, aligning the bends and know where to cut the notch! Easy, no?
Anyway, here's the seat in place. Next pic is the cheater bar in mock up on the driver side. Looks good to me.
Yep, that'll work! I was thinking about your first lower bar and really liked it - this is a great compromise without compromising anything at all. Looks really slick too! What thickness are your sill plates supporting your sidebars?
I've got some of your imagination, just none of your tools!
Got to working in earnest on fitting the cross bar. My plan was essentially fool proof...!
But I proved to be a JUUUUUST enough of a fool to screw up the plan. One has to keep a sense of humor about all this stuff, which I admit is made easier when one is doing it for one's self and not trying to turn a profit.
Important item #1: triple check the orientation of the bar so you that after all your careful measurements, you don't accidentally make one of the bends with your custom tube 90 degrees out from the proper orientation.
Yup, made that mistake on the one end.
Important item #2: While trying to recoup at least the other end of the custom tube, don't use a crappy, hard to read tape measure, then misread it and make the bend in the wrong place.
Yup, made that mistake on the other end.
So... Ended up remaking the custom tube! Almost called it quits after the 2nd major error figuring it was a day of bad karma, but decided to solider on.
Here's the custom tube being remade. The good news is it turned out nearly perfect. Measurably better than the first. So maybe this was a good karma day after all...?
Then it became "measure like, oh, 35 times, do the same 35 measurements again and then double check the results" before proceeding.
After all that, I cut the notches in each end, which I happily admit I left long, just to be sure.
Here's the initial fit, which I expected wouldn't be quite right: the bar is a bit long on each end, preventing it from sliding all the way back into position. The good news is that the center line of the cross bar lines up exactly with the center line on the chassis.
I have final fitting yet to do but after 4 hours of working on just this tube, it's nearly there!
When done, it'll sit maybe 1/8"+ ahead of the fire wall, leaving just enough room to slip a shoulder harness through.
And I'm still working on a design to tie the cross bar more securely to the fire wall. I expect it'll also serve as the starting point for the console. More on that soon.
BTW Chris, your rear window is a fairly rare optional rear window defogger type. Pull it and switch it with a plexiglass one so someone can option up their car...
Oh man, reminds me of a rear window swap 15 years ago because of wires within. Nobody will use them, best to the CCW types. I hope they make them heat them up! or pshhh
To final trim the ends of the cross bar, I used an oscillating spindle sander. I'm using 1.5" tubing so simply slip on the 1.5" barrel and away you go.
It worked really well and is super easy to control when you're trying to sneak up on a final dimension. You can even tweak the miter angle a bit, as needed, to get the nicest possible fit.
(Insert yet to be invented "grinder" emoji here.)
Oscillate, oscillate, check... oscillate, oscillate, check. And... it's a fit!
And while I am not yet 100% sure on just how much clearance I'll leave behind the cross bar, here it is, essentially in the final location, complete with the welds disappeared. Once it's all painted, it'll look like it was made from a single piece of tube.
Re: the top view: I have a 3" radius die and probably could have gotten the cross bar to better match the fire wall hump but I wanted to honor the "bend radius must be no less than 3x tube diameter", so the 6" radius will have to do.
The mistakes I made while fabbing this tube made it seem like it was more work than it really was (once I did it correctly!). In the end, I got the result I wanted, so it's all good.
So now it's on to fabrication of the tubes from the front hoop to the front suspension towers!
I'd have run the tube straight. Let it go through the firewall shapes instead of conforming around them. Engineer, don't comply. But then, I'm crude and don't do noodles.
I'm not criticizing. Just sharing thoughts. Your workmanship is amazing.
Beautiful work. your fabrication skills are humbling.
I'm not sure that tube would interfere with the "induction" of an air cooled engine, let alone your LS3.
Love those ITBs.
EDIT: Never mind, I was thinking airflow, not clearance. But I'm guessing your air intake won't be pointing toward the firewall.
Wow, that's an awesome look Chris!! From the front view the harness bar flows perfectly into the door bars. Very nice!!
BTW:The multi-piece bar looks good-first look I thought it was a single piece and couldn't figure out how you could make so many perfect bends without a CNC bender.
...not bad for beginner.
Thanks for the nice compliments, everyone. I admit I'm totally enamored with each new step I complete. I keep wandering back into the shop and just stand there, looking at the latest progress...
OK, on to other stuff. Each time I think I'm ready to "finish" a particular area of the car, I realize I've forgotten something. The latest is that I was about to start on closing off parts of the lower firewall and I realized I had to account for the seat belt retractors.
Then I started looking into how I'll need to mount the AC compressor and realized I'm nowhere near ready to close up in that area.
As always, I need to see things physically to be sure about fitment so I'm ordering this set up that mounts the compressor down low on the passenger side.
It runs off the rear pulley line so I think it'll set back away from the firewall and not create any significant clearance issues.
It may require I move the electric water pump but that shouldn't be too big a deal.
I'm new to AC stuff so those of you with experience and opinions, please chime in and let me know if I'm headed in a good or bad direction with any of this.
Keep the weight down low! Easy access to lines is nice. Just make sure thats all flexible lines in that area so you have enough room to pull the compressor off and move it out of the way if you need to remove the engine. That way you dont need to recharge your system every time you pull the engine. Maybe even making a spot you can temporarily mount the compressor on the body with the lines attached? Spitballing.
"I keep wandering back into the shop and just stand there, looking at the latest progress..."
Build is coming along great, and those trips to the shop is what causes all the inspiration.
Keep up the good work
Timing is everything...
Krieger (Andy) was kind enough to host me for a visit to check out his car(s). Two REALLY nice rides! Thanks again, Andy!
Long story short, I decided to abandon my initial idea for a mod to the rear trunk hinges and follow Andy's lead of running the reverse opening rear trunk lid. It solves a few problems for me and makes for unencumbered access to the entire drive train.
The mod uses the front hood hinge assembly from a late '80s Buick LeSabre. (Hey, I have a Chevy engine so what's the harm in some more American iron parts?)
Anyway, back to "timing is everything". The nearest Pick & Pull that had a suitable LeSabre was in Sacramento. My wife and I happened to be vacationing up in the Tahoe area this past week...
"Honey? Um, would you mind if we stopped at a junk yard on the way home?"
The World's Greatest Wife says, "Sure."
Well, OK then!
Thankfully, the car they had hadn't sustained any front end damage and I was able to con a guy into loaning me the needed tools and even lend a hand in removing the hinge assembly.
AND, it's even blue! I think it was meant to be. A bit of modification is needed to make it all work but I'm happy to be able to check off another of the "how should I do this?" items on the to-do list.
Nice work! I was in the neighborhood and thought I should call but just then my wife called and said "don't you be thinking about no race car boy! "
Well, the part about being in the neighborhood and her calling is true.
Next time I'll call...
I like it!
User "drive-ability" here did a reverse opening trunk. He made some great posts on it that might have some useful ideas, but I'm not finding them yet.
Found his youtube video though:
BMW 320i/325I front hood hinges are almost a bolt end for the 914 rear trunk lid to hinge to the rear. I have some old pics I'll look for them.
Oh boy now you are going to make me want to do that. Maybe as i finish up my welding on my car this will be the next project.
You using 20ga? Or 18?
Hold on now Chris...I thought you were trying to get the car on the ROAD? You just can't help yourself...a different take on ADD!
The Dirty Dingo LS low mount A/C kit fits! Using the mini compressor seems like the way to go, given everything else that's happening down there.
The mock up shows no interference, but I do have to get my shift cables thorough there somehow...
And I may decide to move the passenger side firewall upright.
And now for something completely different: I'm working on the front of my car!
Spent a good part of today doing the final bending, notching and fitting of the front hoop-to-front suspension chassis bars.
These were tough to fit. A pretty steep angle coming off the front hoop then the bend had to be just right to land it on target. LOTS of fiddling to get them right.
Here's a pic of the first bit of seam welding, prior to tacking in the bar passenger side bar. More will be done. This was just to avoid having to weld under the bar, once it's in.
One side tacked in. And before you climb all over me for not putting pads down first, this isn't a safety cage, it's for chassis stiffening. There's a fair bit of structure in that tower so for my purposes, I'm good with this approach. I'm also looking at adding some gusseting.
And worst case, if any issues develop, I'll address them at that point.
Artsy-fartsy shot that might accompany a little ditty that's sung to the tune of "the leg bone's connected to the: knee bone..."
My version goes: "The rear tower's are connected to the: door bars. The door bars connect into the: front hoop..."
Hey, it's early here in CA and I'm on serious medication to combat this dang cold that's going around.
The good news is that with final welding of what you see here, the chassis stiffening chapter will be complete! Major milestone.
Don't add "little ones"...you will awaken Rudy.
Great work. Congratulations on hitting this milestone! Hope your feeling better soon.
Fantastic work Chris as usuall. ..Hmmm I beginning to wonder if you helped design
the Maserati birdcage race cars!
Feel better soon mate.
It also made it really easy to finish up the last bits of welding and all the metal finishing on the floor. Turned out quite nicely.
I'm going to do a tinted bedliner kind of thing on the underside and that will cover any of the minor imperfections. Should look pretty killer at that point.
Now it's on to the rear jack points. The custom lower fire wall means I have a bit of fab work ahead of me before that area is complete.
Access is SOOOOO nice with the chassis up high and able to be spun around to any angle needed.
Nice! More inspiration to keep me going!
And what better way to end the day than with a visit from my friendly UPS guy!
Here they are, in all their glory: the custom SpeedHut gauge set:
Quad gauge with the added oil temp, fuel level in the speedo, etc.
Pardon the "poor perspective" pic. Yes, it's 4" quad and speedo, 4 1/2" tach.
So nice! I LOVE 'em!
Are you going to need all of that speedo???
Chris looks great.. Mine is about to go back on the rotisserie for the final details as well.
Send it back again (or call in changes)...at least 160! I can attest that YOUR engine in a 914 is good for a bit more...
PS: A 140 mph speedo is found in like a...Ford Focus. Just sayin...
Getting ready to install the Tangerine Racing rear pick up kit. I want all the advantages I can get when it comes to measurement capabilities so I treated myself to a used Spitznagel! (It's more fun to pronounce it with a German accent...)
As I was researching I found that these are claimed to be accurate to 1mm whereas the knock-of versions are only accurate to 3mm. I got this on Ebay for approx. the same price as a shorter length, new knock-off.
Once I'm done with my install, I'd be happy to make it available to others in need.
(I'm takin' to you, Dion! )
And here's one example of what happens when you build a custom lower firewall:
You end up with a passage way from the engine compartment, under the lower cross bar and right into the passenger compartment!
I'll have to do something about this... but at least I can verify I got good penetration on those welds!
Then I got started on the MadDog Motorsports front sway bar stiffening plate install.
I removed the brake hose tab and all the factory paint/undercoat. Exciting, I know...
Next, it's mock it all up and drill the holes for the sway bar/mounting plate.
Just weld the plate on and use it as your guide. BTW, I still add a nut plate to the back side.
Do yourself a huge favor unless your box section is cut and don't do it. Brad's Kit is so nice, I will never cut another 914 box section again.
Since you have the MadDogg mount, just weld a nut to the lower bolt hole. Then make a bracket with two nuts for the top, and weld them inside. In reality you most likely could just weld all three mounting holes with a nut on the back side, drill your holes and weld it on.
I love to weld, so I'll go with the welding sandwich
Yep, I used Brad's kit on my '74 and it was really nice.I have the MadDog triangle mount with the nuts welded on all three corners. I was going to cut it down to make it like Brad's. Easy peasy, as they say.
Before I try and button up things like that gap in the rear floor/jack triangle, I need to be sure all other "major" stuff is in place.
Today, it's establishing the relocated seat belt retractor mounts. These have to be moved due to where I routed the upper portion of the door bars.
And again, more fun due to the custom lower firewall:
In order to function correctly, the seat belt retractor mechanism MUST sit exactly upright. Well, my fancy fire wall isn't straight up and down. I moved the lower cross bar forward to be sure I had plenty of clearance for the engine damper.
So, a bit of notching here, a but of fitting there and the passenger side is mocked in.
Hard to tell from that first pic but the other support really does lean back.
I still have to fab a threaded boss for the retractor to bolt to. I'm thinking it'll be a blind tapped boss that's plug welded from the back side of this brace then welded all around the front side.
The good news is the fact that the retractor is recessed into the firewall. This means there's room for the seats to slide back. Best of all, the chrome belt guide that mounts behind the retractor comes forward just the right amount that the belt nicely clears the upper fire wall cross bar!
I love it when a plan comes together.
Completed the driver side mock up.
I'll do the threaded bung work on the bench then install these supports in the chassis.
While I was at it, I finished up the rosette welding on those door bar verticals' support pads. Just didn't get a pic of that today.
Back to installing the front sway bar mounting points. I went with the Elephant Racing bladed adjustable sway bar. It's big - just under 1.5" OD. That's the Elephant backing plate along side the MadDog reinforcement plate.
Nothing the 1.5" hole saw can't handle.
That really is a big hole. I'd say anyone thinking of going with this sway bar really should add the MadDog sway bar reinforcement kit.
And I hogged out the lower hole to account for the welded-on-bolt approach vs cutting the inner sheet metal.
Thats about the size hole I drilled for my nascar sway bar! I didnt mount it via the inner fender though. Good work as usual
Are you going to leave the jack pads as is? I have found them weak from the factory and a bit oddly shaped i think a deep V or a square tube would be better for jack stands or lifting the car up on a jack. Just saying your doing all these other awesome mods. Oh and consider a center jack point on the front firewall. I used that when lowering the car into position for the engine fitting and found there really wasnt enough support and crushed some steel a bit. Nothing I really care about just something I plan on reinforcing in the future for better use.
Finished all the needed mods and got things positioned for the driver side. Here's just a set up shot of how I used the templates to determine where to drill all the holes:
- trim the template
- to set the height, measure down 1/2" from the top of the inner part of the indent and scribe a line
- measure the width at the bottom of the indent, mark the middle
- use a level and scribe a vertical center line
- tape the template in place (the angle of the camera makes it look like things aren't quite lined up...)
- mark where to drill the holes (I use a spring loaded center punch)
- drill and hole saw accordingly
Here's the Elephant backer plate, trimmed to work with the welded on lower nut approach.
Rather than cut the backer plate so it sits just above that step in the sheet metal, I've started notching the back side. You can see I still have some tweaking to do to get it to lay down flat. I figured leaving this so it fully wraps around the bar will add just that much more strength to the area.
Almost ready for final welding of all this!
I have so many things to get to...
I had to move some parts around and ended up getting distracted by the front bumper. I need to ventilate it and have been thinking about various designs.
This one has a couple significant dents in it so I figured I'd use it to practice.
I don't know what size opening I need but I wanted something more aggressive looking than the traditional GT look. So I started with this:
- wider, taller and with a bit of a taper
I may go a bit wider but I'll wait til I get it back on the car to make that decision.
Essentially, I'm headed toward the look in the 2nd pic. Pardon my usual MS Paint hack (especially if it's your car!)
Bumper looks good. Should be enough flow, especially if you duct the exhaust.
I planned for 50% larger. Also when I mean duct I meant similar to what Kent just did, forcing the air to go where you want and separating it.
My former neighbor, vehicle designer and race car aero consultant, told me the general rule is 1.7x intake area. It does however, depend on the characteristics of the exhaust placement/configuration. The whole concept has to do with pressure differential, exhaust has to be in a lower pressure zone than the intake. Since the thru-wheel well exhaust has been done for a long time (mature technology), I'd go with what has worked in the past. BIGCAT has used a smaller than normal intake with great success; might give him a shout.
Your car is going to be crazy fast. Is the downforce difference between wheel well exit vs hood exit something to consider?
It will no matter...his speedo only goes to 140!
Tony, you gotta stop going through the extra effort to fix the replies to the top. It's a disruption to how we are used to reading around here. :/
We won't know how fast Chris' is for a while. But dang hey, that's some sweet metal work.
Sway bar reinforcement all mocked in and ready for welding.
I understand I'm not alone in needing to trim the MadDog reinforcement plate to get an optimal fit.
You can see it's a bit proud of the edge on the lower inside areas, front and rear.
And I couldn't resist putting the bar in. The Elephant products are SOOOOOO beautiful...
Click on the pic if you'd like to take a closer look.
This is the sort of part that makes the rest of the car look really tired. Granted, it's in need of blasting, etc. But seeing this sort of fancy/functional item in place helps keep me motivated.
It looks really nice Chris...just what every 914 hot rod needs - a 1G sway bar!
That is one pretty sway bar Chris! The blade is just soooo cool!
I know whats what YOU said, I was responding to Chris's post
Slide the seat ALL the way back and...
We have clearance, Clarence!
You gotta love how the stock shape of the belt guide holds things forward and perfectly suits the retractor being recessed into the lower fire wall.
Neat little detail that no one will even notice...
Sit and buckle up. I'm not sure the belt is long enough stock, but the belt can be replaced.
Nice fit! Lmk if you need them fancy bolts with a shoulder.
Every time I see your work, I feel like a Neanderthal playing with rocks on my project.
You are all too kind and I appreciate all the encouraging words.
Back to the seat belt retractor mounts. I decided to reshape the lower section of the braces to close off any opening into the brace and to make it easier to get it fully welded to the lower cross bar.
The mods are all done and both braces are tacked in.
I got the passenger side sway bar reinforcement plate all welded in. Still need to dress the welds. It'll get seam sealed after primer is sprayed.
That was a long weekend of fabrication and welding. I feel like a lot got done.
And yet so much remains to be designed and built.
A friend of mine says "You should get a white board and write down everything that you need to do..."
I think if I did that, and faced the reality of what's ahead, it would scare the crap out of me and I'd stop the build.
So I'll end this weekend with this pic and a comment:
Sometimes you just have to step back and look at the big picture.
Man, I'm loving how this car is shaping up...
Get it done so you can
Inguiring minds need to know, how much fill rod / Mig Wire, and how many bottles of Argon Argon/CO2 have you burned thru?
Only reason I ask is people seem to think I spend to much time with my
I on my third 11 pound spool also, just upgraded my tank, I had an 80, burned thru 4 of them. I am now on my first 150 Argon / Co2 for the Mig. TIG I have gone through a 3 sleeves of filler rod, and several tungstens, most damaged due to improper / learning to sharpen tungstens. And on my first 180 tank of Argon.
Worst part is I have a leak on my argon co2 line that had gone undetected for a bit.. Now all is good.. I am almost all done welding though on my project.
Chris probably has more welding to do then I
I'll be picking up my third 80 bottle of C25 today and that will easily get me to the finish line. And I think I'll make it through with only one 11 lb. spool of .023 plus a little easy grind for the body sheets. Would have been even less if I were a better welder. But I'm not building my car from scratch like you guys.
I am running .030 so less wire per spool for me..
I have no idea how much wire/gas I've used on the car since I also use the same welding rig for all the work I do as part of my little side business: Red Barn Yard Art.
So it got used for all the WCR items, the Porsche crests, etc.
I have gotten better at paying attention to supplies so I always have a spare bottle and 10lb spool for the MIG. I use .023 for when I'm doing sheet metal and .030 for the structural work.
The TIG rig has one of those giant bottles so I just have to keep an eye on that.
Gotcha. Totally get it on the butt welds. Beautiful headers! Huge respect to the great welders.
The grinding comment just brought up the image of the "eagle crap" welds I've seen.
As usual, I'm all over the place. This evening, it was narrowing the flip rear trunk hinge. The Buick it came from is a bit wider than a 914...
I cut the cross bar in the middle then clamped each hinge half to the underside of the trunk seal channel, where that part will eventually be bolted. Then I tied the now overlapping crossbars to each other and determined center, then cut equal amounts off each side.
I then used the lathe to turn down a suitable bolt to make a slug that I plug welded into the cross bars. I'm determined to doing everything I can with TIG vs MIG and this was a good little project for that. So...A little TIG-ity, TIG and... one narrowed flip trunk hinge!
Love it.. Its on my short list but gotta spend 400 on a set of refurbished rockers..
I like it!
Finished installing the MadDog Motorsports front sway bar reinforcement plates.
I decided to to tidy up the rosette welds. Once it's back from blasting and epoxy prime, I'll seam seal around the perimeter. That'll all but disappear the wonky weld lines.
And the Elephant sway bar has their magical misalignment bushings. The bar literally swings, there's so little stiction. Really impressive.
I bolted the trunk lid to the stock hinges and adjusted the fit.
Then, with the flip hinge in place and the trunk shut, I can climb under and mark where to install the threaded bosses in the outer stiffener panel of the trunk lid.
I still have final trimming and finishing on that one part of the hinge so pardon the sharp edges!
The similar color and your attention to detail will helps it look OEM!
That is going to be one impressive rear trunk lid. Cannot wait for videos of it in action.
Really slick Chris...the King of fabrication!!!
Chris I would love to see the measurements, as I have the same setup in my shop, waiting.
More great work I see you have been up to.
Don't worry, I'll make it look pretty enough to install on that work of art of yours!
double post... delete me .....
I'm trying to sneak in an hour here and there to keep things moving along during the week. So this evening, I was able to get the flip trunk bosses cut down and welded to the reinforcement plates. Boring, yes. But it's all gotta be done.
Great news! After 17 years of cutting, welding, sawzall deconstruction, And finally engine installation, Chris has finally finished the car!
I removed all the paint under the stiffener plate and sprayed weld-through primer on the trunk lid and back side of the stiffener.
Then clamp for location. Very light clamping pressure, please!
I just tacked the corners of the stiffener plates and trial fitted everything.
I hadn't welded the cross bar together since I first wanted to get the entire assembly mocked up. Good thing, as it needed to be narrowed just a bit to allow everything to align nicely.
I still have to modify the part of the hinge plates that bolt to the trunk lid as they are still "Buick", as well as work out some sort of stop/rest for when it's in the full open position - which this picture isn't. It folds back much further and drops down lower behind the car. And I have what I think is a pretty cool idea for how to locate and secure the front edge... More on that as I get to it.
In the meantime, here it is: One (almost ready to go) flip trunk!
Big thanks again to Andy (Krieger) for having done this to his car. Seeing it in person made it a no-brainer decision for me. Thanks Andy!!
And here it is in action!
I haven't added the springs or any stop/bumpers, plus with the car on the rotisserie, the trunk doesn't end up where it really will, but you get the idea...
Really impressive Chris!
Then I trimmed and seam welded the top side of the passenger rear suspension tower stiffening panel. The driver side is on the schedule for the next shop session.
I also got the passenger side front bumper brace welded in. As a BUB car, my chassis didn't have them. I salvaged the pieces from the '72 parts car.
In all, I think it was a pretty productive day.
Looks awesome my brother!
I'm fortunate to be able to work from home and today, I took my lunch hour and got busy prepping the driver side rear suspension tower for finalization of the stiffening components.
Here's the before of the underside of the triangulation plate that starts at the long and wraps the tower. Ahead of welding, everything will be primed on the inside...
Easy piece to fab. Paper template to start then some final tuning to get a nice tight fit.
That "loose" piece of sheet metal (the vertical one in the pic) is the front side of the suspension tower. It gets sandwiched between the plate I'm holding and the rear of the tower. Once welded, it'll all be nicely locked down.
Car is off the rotisserie so I can get the tunnel built and determine what I need to fab to support all the systems: fuel, electrical, shifter cables, A/C lines, throttle cable, hydraulics for clutch and brakes...
But for now, here's a better look at why I love this trunk hinge set up: Access to everything!
I'm running the Numeric Racing Boxster shifter and don't plan to run a boot. It comes with the notched top to work with the stock Boxster shift knob. I like the NRG knob, which is threaded so that shift shaft had to be "adjusted".
Here's the modded part with a stainless bolt welded and blended onto the end.
Next will be a tapered aluminum sleve/jam nut set up to cover the exposed threads.
Looks a little small IMHO. Maybe Im wrong, could be the same size as the 916 cutout.
That shifter is awesome!!
Got the base of the tunnel/console fabricated. I drilled holes in the floor so it'll be rosette welded all along the underside.
Not yet sure how I'm going to tie in the cross brace.
The drive train is back in so I could get going on the tunnel, determine exactly where the shifter would go, etc.
So I couldn't resist messing with the induction. I hadn't played with the valley cover. It's pretty.
Not sure if I'll leave that throttle set up as is or try and move the stop and see if I can hide the throttle cable vs having it run out the rear and loop back forward. We'll see.
Nice shifter, great attention to detail with the serrations on the adjustable clamps!
Dont forget the seatbelt anchors Before you move on and cover that area up...
Minor update: Got the spacer done to cover the extra threaded area.
One more mod to go on the shifter. If you guess what it's going to be, you'll win a "You win!" comment from me!
With both pedal sets inside it looks like your building a dual control car? That is a great idea for long drives or when you have an instructor for time trialing
Playing with console layout ideas. I like this height for the shift tower. Now I need to determine if I want to tie it into the front hoop, as pictured, or flip the tubes and have the whole thing "stay low", more like the stock tunnel.
Either way, I'll have other tubes tie in higher up on the firewall.
Tie it into the hoop as pictured. Kinda gives it that modern Porsche look.
So, low it is. Here's the main top section. I still have to tie in the front to that plate that's rosetted to the front fire wall. I'm thinking two horizontals should do it.
Then I'll figure out something to tie in the rear fire wall. Still noodling on a couple different ideas.
Pics are out of time sequence. The 2nd one is pre having added the cross braces. It's the same height and all that...
Are you going to build it so it has any storage space? (What can I say, I've gotten spoiled driving newer vehicles with center console storage. )
Mocked in the shifter mounting bosses and had to try in out.
The tunnel isn't welded in yet and the shift cable aren't adjusted so pardon the noises, but man, this thing is snick, snick and SOOOOO positive.
That looks great, don't you ever sleep? Too productive!
With all the time I've put into the chassis stiffening/roadster cage and now this console, I've decided to name this part of the build "Jail Time". Why?
I've spent a lot of time behind bars!
And yes, I spent time to get the angle of the rear part of the console to match the angle of the door bars. Details, details...
Wow! Gotta get down there! You hit the hyperspace button!
I like it! Kinda the idea I had for mine! I like tying it into the front hoop though.
But this makes it easier to put the finishing touches on
How ate you attaching the plate to the floor...or is there a second plate as well? If there is not, I believe you might find that is too small Chris.
I am a top supporter of your work. At some risk I can't help asking... Why the spaghetti? It's very noodley. I LOVE curves, mind you, I'm just feeling too much of them. WOW, now THAT's something I'd never hear myself saying.
Less metal for same function?
Having said that, I offer myself as your new shop clinician. Please hire me. I'll keep it cleaner than a tit on a distributor, and yes I know what that means and DD will back me up.
Christmas came early yesterday.
Mueller (Mike) stopped by for a visit and brought me this WAY COOL emblem he made! He had his twin girls with him, too. Totally enjoyable! My wife hung out with them while Mike and I got to know each other while poking around in the Red Barn.
Mike's a great guy, as I'm sure you'd all guess.
Great meeting you Mike! Hope to see you again soon.
As I'm fitting the pedals, I'm running into the lack of space at the front of the foot box area. One small change is that Tilton recently released a master cyl design that has options for a line outlet out the top.
This saves me the space I'd otherwise need for a banjo fitting and fastener.
New ones installed, "old" one for comparison.
So, yes: I replace brand new, unused parts that hadn't even been installed.
Why would this part of the build be any different?
thanks for letting me and my twins slowing you down from making any progress yesterday for a few hours.
It was great meeting you and your wife in person. Lovely house and too cool "Red Barn" Thanks for the measurement tools, I will make sure any extras will find a deserving home.
I just want to say how cool this build is to see in person, many details left out in pictures that are easier to see in real life. Your artistry and craftsmanship are being put to good use here. I see an award or 2 when you finally bring that car out to a event (which I know winning an award is not your goal )
Thanks again, and next time I come up there I'll make sure to bring some shop clothes so I can give you hand if need be.
I decided to extend the pedal plate mount. The pedal assembly attaches via flanged nuts I welded to the underside . The inboard two clear the floor due to the recess in that area but the outboard two required holes be opened in the floor. I'll seal those off, not sure exactly how...
Then I started playing with a heel rest (that'll eliminate any flex in the floor!) and dead pedal. I'm thinking I'll fold some sheet metal and add some dimple die holes. Still some design work to do...
Wow! Nicce tight fit and no cutting For a change!
Will you get enough clutch pedal trade before you foot hits the structure to the left of it?. Idk anything about that pedal assembly.
No issue with the functional space with the clutch...I am running the same pedal set in the exact same location. You are fine Chris. I am a little concerned with the console structure and the gas pedal...but you will know best seated in the car. Hard to tell with pics only...
Looks pretty good...
Andy, Tony - Yep, the pics aren't great at showing how things really fit. As Tony says, no issues with the clutch pedal clearance.
As to the throttle/console, there's room... but, as usual, now that I've seen it and looked at it a bunch, I'm scrapping the current console. More on that as I get to it.
It was a fiddly day to get the rear section of the console pretty much done. Fiddly because of all the "angle matchy-match" I was after.
It took the better part of the day but I the angle of the top section of the console matches the main section of the door bars and that first, dropped angle section matches the 45 degree of the rear-most part of the door bar, where it heads back up to the top of the fire wall.
Another of those things that'll likely never be noticed. But I'll know it's there.
And Seat Belt Planet delivered the custom belts. I added 15" to accommodate the lowered retractor location. I also went with a webbed (vs wire) buckle side. Then I changed over to the top release buckle as it can fit through the slots in the seats.
They fit really well and are quite comfortable. So far, so good.
you had me at Angle Matchy-Match... All I could do today was get my plasma-cutter working n some leaves raked.. Merry Xmas everyone
Get on the Tangerine rear console raise before this slacker beats you to it.
In reality your making much better progress than I am on my conversion car.
Would love for you to bite off the console before I get there, I am planning on building a frame jig, just to make sure I don't screw it up.
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