Over the last couple of days I’ve been able to move the dashboard along to where I’m almost finished the rough fabrication. I’ll still have to do some smoothing out here and there but most of the fitting is now complete.
When I tried to fit the dash lid back into the car I realized that the thickness of the top piece of fiberglass had so much memory of where it wanted to go that it would pull the lid up where it wouldn’t fit properly.
This was much like the issue with the fiberglass on the canopy where the material has a memory of what it wants to do and you can’t easily bend it into shape. It will end up finding a way to get back to where it wants to go.
I was able to work on a bunch of different projects yesterday, including the canopy and dashboard, but I also managed to finally finish up the trunk vents by sealing in the vent mesh to ensure that the trunk is water tight.
This involved using some fiberglass to seal the outer edges of the steel inserts and then eventually covering everything in fiberglass as seen in the picture at the top of this post.
The first step was carefully sealing in the edges of the steel inserts without dripping resin through the sides and onto the face of the mesh.
One of the trickiest things of working with fiberglass is that it tends to have a mind of its own. When it has a shape that it wants to take there is no way of bending and forcing it to your will. It will eventually spring back to where it wants to be.
So in order to actually bend it to your will, you sometimes need to do a bit of surgery. Surgery was what needed to be done on the canopy. You may remember that I previously created a steel frame inside the canopy to hold everything where I wanted it. That holds everything in-place, but I’ve always struggled with getting the edges of the canopy to fit nicely along the body opening. They always spring back up and leave gaps.
As I was waiting for things to warm up yesterday morning, I decided to finish up the fabrication on the electronics rack. This is the rack where I hold all of the different electronics for the car such as the amplifier, sound boards and Arduino control systems.
Although I did run out of staples to finish off the second bottom piece of the rack that will be used for any extra items that I may add. I finished painting the bars for the rack the other day so all I had left to do was to wrap the boards with speaker box material and bolt it all together
I was able to make a little bit more progress on the dash lid today, although the weather didn’t really want to cooperate. I had a bunch of fiberglass work that I needed to finish up but it was only 13 degrees outside today :(
Heat acts as a catalyst for the hardener in the resin which then cures everything into some nice solid fiberglass. But without the heat I was standing there with the heat gun trying to get the resin to cure.
After being down and out for the last few days with this darn back injury I was back out in the garage yesterday after lunch. I’m quite a bit more mobile now and just a little stiff. Thanks to everyone for the well wishes and advice on how to get back on my feet quickly :)
I wanted to make some progress on the car but I also didn’t want to push it and lift anything that could send be back to the couch. So after some Advil and a few heat treatments in the morning I started to disassemble the dashboard.
I had been doing some test fitting of the the dash panels, gauges, LEDs and switches a while ago, so now I needed to take it all apart to ensure that I didn’t ruin any of the equipment or dash panels.
Yesterday I was able to finish up the metal fabrication of the passenger side canopy vent, so today I was ready to start the fiberglass work of embedding them in the body shell.
This work started off by first grinding down some steel tabs to get the right clearance for the fiberglass and also drilling out some holes so that I can get a socket onto the bottom of the bolts which are hard to reach.