A Day of Frame Prep

Another good day working on the BatBerry!  I was able to spend the day getting the frame prepped for its upcoming stretch.  I’m still working on finding a shop that can take care of the frame stretch, although I do have a few leads… we’ll have to see how they work out.  It all comes down to timing and availability.

Today I took all the extra bits off the frame like the fuel lines, brake lines, exhaust and I also removed the wiring harness from the engine.  Now you can simply pop out a couple of bolts to freely pull out the engine and transmission.  I’ll be able to re-use most of the exhaust, but I had to cut it in a few pieces to get it off.  That’s OK, since I’ll have to lengthen sections of the exhaust anyways.

I also busted out the grinder and wire-wheel attachment to clean-up all of the areas where the new metal will have to be welded in.  I was able to get it all ground down to the bare metal and then sprayed it with a light coat of primer to keep it from rusting again.  A wire wheel should take that light primer off easily before welding.

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A Weekend Of Progress

After two and a half days of work, the BatBerry donor car is stripped down and almost ready to go.  A BIG thank-you goes out to Christian and Greg from my local car club who came by on Saturday to lend a hand turning wrenches.

A HUGE thank-you goes out to my Dad who came down for the weekend and stuck it out for the full two and a half days wrenching on the car!

Day 1 – Saturday:
Things started early with the garbage bin being dropped off in the morning and getting the garage prepped/cleaned so that we could get working without tripping on a bicycle.

Soon after the garbage bin was dropped off, the boys arrived and the Discovery Channel camera man pulled up and unpacked his gear.  The camera man set up the garage with a time-lapse camera, another little camera that could get into tight spaces, a shoulder camera and wired me up on a mic for the day.

Filming was fun!  There were small interviews asking questions about the project, and the little camera was set up in fun places where we were asked to throw stuff at it!!  We had a great time and I can’t wait to see how it will all look when it’s edited for the Daily Planet 🙂

At the end of the day we had the interior removed, front/rear bumpers off, front fenders off, doors removed, windows smashed and the roof cut off.

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Tear Down of Donor #2

This weekend I’ll be working on the tear down of donor car #2.  I was able to get the car back across the city last night and safely in my garage.  Although, I had to make some minor alterations to the rear bumper (cut part of it off) to fit all 18 feet of Caprice in the garage with the rest of my junk 🙂

I also ended up having to pay for the towing of the car because CAA wouldn’t cover it under my membership.  According to them, they will not tow a vehicle that is not fit for the road… hmmm… Isn’t that the definition of needing a tow?

Anywho… I had a chance to connect with the folks at the Discovery Channel and they’ll be sending out a camera crew this weekend to start capturing some footage of the tear down, marking the official beginning of the project.  I’ve also finalized the arrangements for the garbage bin to be dropped off for all the scrap we’ll pull off the car.

I’ll be trying to post up daily progress pictures over the weekend to show our progress.  So stay tuned for more updates…

I Just Bought The New Donor!!

Let the celebration begin! After searching high and low, I finally have bought a good solid donor car for the BatBerry.  Unlike the last donor car, this one has a good solid frame!  It also has a more modern fuel injection system than the old donor.  The 91 caprice that I tried before actually had an older style throttle body injection system.

The new engine is a solid running 4.3L L99 V8 equipped with a cold air intake and also a nice Flowmaster true dual exhaust that sounds dead NASTY!  Once I have the car home I’ll record some video/audio of the exhaust note.

The former owner of the car (Chris) was nice enough to understand my needs for the car and has taken some of the valuable parts of the car off (after-market wheels, Impala trunk/hood, stereo, mirrors) so that he could lower the price for what I’m intending to use the car for.  He’s a true fellow car guy who has his own projects and needed valuable space that the caprice was currently filling.

Continue reading I Just Bought The New Donor!!

Working on the Dash Layout

Now that I have my Auto Meter gauges, I’ve been working through the dash layout for the BatBerry.  I want it to look as screen accurate as possible, so I have a bunch of switches and LEDs all lined up to placed in the right spots.

Many of them will be functional for the usual car stuff such as headlights, warning lights, fuel pump, kill switch, interior lights and the list goes on.  But others will operate systems on the BatBerry like raising the car up and down on its air ride system, opening and closing the canopy, raising the 30Cals up and down, and hiding and showing the license plates 🙂

The above picture gives you an idea of the center dash layout that I’m trying to create.  As a reference here’s a photo of the center dash from the actual movie car.

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Progress at Last!

After a great week at BlackBerry World Conference in Orlando, I returned home to some nice weather and I feel energized to get rolling on the BatBerry.  I’ve made arrangements to go and check out a new donor car after work on Tuesday that hopefully has a solid frame and comes at a good price 🙂

Yesterday I scoured the city looking for the Bronze wheel paint that I wanted for the BatBerry wheels.  It’s the same paint I used on my Subaru wheels, and it can sometimes be hard to find in stock.  I want my two cars to be twins, and that means using the same paint!

Some people have asked why not powder coat the wheels?  The answer is that I have fiberglass wheel cones that go on the inside of the wheel.  In order to have them color matched I have to use paint.

Now that I also have the Subaru wheels painted, I’m going to get the tires swapped from my old wheels and onto the new ones so that the Scooby is ready for the weekend and out of the garage to make room for the donor car.

I think the Bronze color is going to look great on the BatBerry! I’ve already seen how the paint combination looks from doing it once before on the Subaru.  I’ll also be painting some of the accessories in the same bronze paint (gas caps, afterburner turkey feathers, exhaust pipes, wheel cones/bats, etc)

If you haven’t already… Be sure to click the continue reading link on this post to see more pictures.

Continue reading Progress at Last!