Driver’s Seat Bolts Good To Go

I was hoping to get both seat frames done this weekend but it didn’t quite work out that way.  Things always take longer than you think. I had a solid afternoon on Saturday and a couple of hours today to try and get some mounting points completed.

I was able to finish up the passenger side seat brackets in the same way I did the driver’s side.  Then it was on to making some solid mounting points for the driver’s seat.

First step was to position the seat into the floor pan where I had good front and back sliding distances.  Then I marked and drilled the holes through the floor pan.  This let me place some 1 x 1 tube under the holes and mark them with a sharpie.

Continue reading Driver’s Seat Bolts Good To Go

Modifying the Seat Rails

One of the most surprising things when it comes to a car this big is that there’s VERY little head room.  Every 1/2 inch counts when you’re trying to get your seating position just right.  When positioning your floor pans you need to make sure that your seats are positioned where you can have good visibility out of the very narrow front windows but still give you enough head room to close the canopy.

I chose the Honda Civic seats because they are cheap and very low profile with very low seat rails.  However, the bolt holes on the seat rails are positioned in a way to tie into the Civic floor pans which dip down.

But in my car I need to sit as low as possible.  The Civic seats have three of these downward mounting tabs as seen in the picture at the top of this post, and one mounting point that’s flat the way that I want it.

Continue reading Modifying the Seat Rails

Now for some Floor Pans

In a previous post I showed how I was creating the driveshaft tunnel out of 1 x 1 tubing.  This weekend was time for some floor pan action! For the floor pans I’m going with some construction that’s a similar technique to boat construction using plywood and fiberglass.

The floor pans are created out of 1/2 inch plywood that will eventually be sealed by some fiberglass cloth and resin.  This creates a very strong sandwich or “cored” structure.  The plywood was all cut to fit and then glued and screwed together.  After I get all the mock-up done, each of these floor pans will then get their layer of fiberglass cloth.  To finish them off they’ll get a coat of roll on bed liner.

So I need to make sure there’s a little bit of wiggle room for the external layers I’ll be adding.  Once I have all the layers added I’ll be drilling and tapping mounting bolts to secure them in place.

Continue reading Now for some Floor Pans

The First BatBerry Gadget

After a few modifications to the “out of the box” version of the show-n-go plate holder, I now have it working 🙂

Initially there was some kind of push pin holding in the pulley mechanism that had already fallen out when I took the kit out of the box…. grrrr…  So I ended up drilling out the center of the pulley and replacing the push pin with a pop rivet and then re-strung the cables.

The end result is seen in the video…


Finishing the Driveshaft Tunnel

I started off today tying up some loose ends.  Drew came over and we piled all the remaining junk from the tear down of the caprice into the U-Haul and took it to the dump.  Now the side of my house doesn’t look like an auto wrecker’s anymore!

Last night after getting back from the Rogers cup I started to create the driveshaft tunnel with some 1 x 1 tube.  I made sure that I had about 3/4″ spacing all around the drive shaft to allow for a little bit of sway.  The driveshaft is at its top most position so I don’t need to worry about upward travel.

I didn’t want to make it too small, but at the same time I have very little space between the 4 x 4 outside chassis tube and the driveshaft.  It ends up being about 21.5″ of space between the tubing.  Just enough to fit the seat and some seat pan material between them.

Continue reading Finishing the Driveshaft Tunnel

Mocking Up the Dash

I had a little bit of time tonight after adding some more safety straps to the suspended hood so I figured I would play around with the dash.

Clearances are pretty tight inside the cockpit so every little bit counts.  First I started off by clamping the dash top in place.  Then I propped up a piece of plywood to set the seat on so that it was close to where we measured when mounting the body.

These gave me two reference points that work in unison with the third reference point which is the driveshaft tunnel.  The good part is that I have the suspension fully compressed which represents the highest level of travel for the driveshaft so I don’t have to worry extra clearance on the top for travel.

Continue reading Mocking Up the Dash

Hood Mounts Completed

After a bunch more measuring, cutting and welding we managed to tie the two ladder bars of the cage together which also served as a point to tie in the front part of the cage.

These two new pieces of the cage allow the hood’s flat sections to rest along the flat edges of the tubing. It will also give us some other points to weld in some support cross members as well as areas that will hold the center rail for the canopy and the mechanisms for the machine guns.

The two rails are basically inset towards the center of the hood a little over 2 inches from the inside edge of the gun door openings.  This ensures that there will be clearance for the guns to pop up.

Continue reading Hood Mounts Completed

Hood Removed and Winch Working

It took us until about 10pm on Saturday night to get that hood cut off! We wanted to make sure that we kept the body shell in one piece while we were fitting it to the chassis.  That way we ensure that everything is straight and true.

Thanks to the neighbors for bearing with me with the loud cutting noises coming from my garage!

We must have had 12 different groups of people stop by during the weekend to check out what the hell we were doing.  Let’s just say there were lots of people surprised to see a Batmobile as they drove by.  A bunch of people were driving by multiple times to take a look 🙂

In the video you can see how big the front section of the car is and how I have it suspended on the winch system.  This will let me take the hood on and off on my own and then drive the car in under it.


Prepping the Suspension

In order to get the right mounting points of the body on the chassis we first need to find out its lowest point of suspension travel.  We do this by removing all the suspension so that the chassis sits on the suspension bump stops.

By doing this we know where the chassis will sit at its lowest point, and also where the wheel/tire’s maximum point of travel is located.  This way when we mount our body we can ensure that there is still some space between the tire and the body so that there isn’t any chance of rubbing.