Supporting the Body

Today started off as a miserable cold rainy morning and I had to suck it up and get out there to get some work done.  I’m really glad I did because mid-morning it turned into a beautiful day and I was able to get a bunch of work done.

I started off the morning modifying the afterburner.  It was really bugging me that it was inset too much and there wasn’t enough of the turkey feathers showing.  I had been looking at some more photos of the actual car and I needed to correct it or I would always notice it.

I ended up laying  some 2 x 6’s flat to provide a 1.5″ spacer.  This ended up looking the way I wanted so I threw in a bunch of wood screws to hold it in place.  I’ll end up sealing the plywood mount with fiberglass cloth so that it will blend into the rear support.

After I was satisfied with the afterburner position, I re-connected the lower and upper control arms to the rear axle and re-installed the tires.  I needed the tires back on in order to figure out how far out I needed to push the body panels to look the way I wanted.

I had mentioned before that with the weight of the rear fenders and fins, the fiberglass can tend to sag inward towards the car.  This causes the fenders to sit lower over the wheels and also looks weird and tucked in.  So today I was going to add some support braces in front of, and behind, the rear tires.

After pushing out the fenders to where I wanted them, and bracing them by wedging in some wood, I took measurements and made the supports.

I welded on some plates to the end of the 2 x 2 tubing so that there was a nice flat surface to sit against the body.  This will give me a surface area that I can then seal to the body with fiberlass once I have the body permanently mounted.

Then it was simply a matter of welding the braces in place.  I probably put those tires on and off about 4 times while I was welding in the front and rear braces on both sides.  I needed to make sure the panels lined up where I wanted them, but then also needed to get in there to weld.

I repeated these steps for both sides of the car as well as the areas in front of the rear tires.

These structural supports really stiffened up the rear fenders and make the car seem much more solid.  It also made the fenders look much better.

I personally really like seeing lots of tire meat at the rear of a car and the way the fenders sit it really shows off the Mickey Thompson’s 🙂

You can also see from the last picture that I trimmed up the plywood on the rear plate that supports the afterburner.  Looks much cleaner now.

I did however find one little problem…. Currently I have all the suspension out of the rear of the car so that I can have it travel all the way to the bump stops. When I set the car back down on its tires and have the frame rest on the bump stops, the afterburner plate was hitting the ground.

Looks like I’m going to have to add about 1/2 inch to the bump stop plates to give me the clearance I need on the afterburner when the car is fully down.

One more thing to get done for Halloween… the clock is ticking 🙂

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