Two Solid days in the Garage

I took Monday/Tuesday as vacation days to recharge my mental batteries by working in the garage.  That’s right… working in the garage on the BatBerry is actually relaxing and therapeutic for me.  Everything else melts away and I’m in the zone, problem solving and having fun.  Although… my body definitely knows that its been through the wringer with lots of aching muscles 😦

I needed the time in the garage to clear my head before going back to work and pushing to get everything done for BlackBerry 10 Jam.

Things started off by finishing up the passenger side rear floor pan which was a repeat of the drivers side.  Then it was on to finishing up some more mounting points and creating a floor area in the rear driver’s side near the fuel cell.

I also welded in all of the rear floor pans and capped off the piece going towards the cabin with some 1/8″ steel.

I still need to finish the passenger side mounting points.  Typically the hard part is figuring out the first side.  Replicating the second one usually takes 1/3 of the time.

By this time I was bored with creating mounting points and floor pans, and I wanted to work on something that made the car look closer to finished.  So I moved on to making some templates for the driver’s side cabin wall.

I marked all the bolt holes as well as the armrest hole.  I needed to make sure that I left enough room so that I could make some walls into the recessed area for the armrest.  I also needed to make sure there was going to be enough wood above the armrest cavity to hold my slide rails for the canopy.

I transferred this all onto some 1/2″ plywood and started fiddling and fitting it to the mounting points.  I actually ended up having to cut it into two pieces in a puzzle shape in order to get it to fit.  It was just an awkward shape to try and push into place.

The armrest recessed area will be about 2″ deep.  This will give just enough extra elbow room when driving.  I also cut out an area near my left knee that will be a recessed pocket for some speakers.  Going through this process also showed me where I would have to add a bit more steel so that I’m not filling gaps with seam sealer later.  I’m also going to have to add another bolt hole after cutting the board in two.

I did notice however that the raised piece that sits under my calves is going to be too high and feel awkward when using the pedals.  I’m going to have to angle that steel down so that it’s out of the way.

I was able to flip the cabin wall template and do a little bit of trimming to get it to fit on the passenger side.  I ran out of good plywood for the passenger side so that will have to wait for another day.

Next I tackled the rear cabin wall support that goes up behind the seats.  There’s a unique shape to this wall that comes up behind the seats and then angles up/backward.  Then the top part of the rear cabin angles up/forward again.  You can see it in the photo below..

I started to create the bar that will go behind the seats.  You can’t take this bar all the way across the cabin because the plywood cabin walls need to go back all along the side.  This won’t be a problem though, I’ll just fasten the plywood from the rear cabin to the plywood on the cabin walls.

Next I needed to create the angle pieces that then go back up to the top of the seat belt bar.  I needed to make sure that I gave lots of room for the top shoulder anchor for the seat belt.  I’ll end up making a slit through the plywood to let the seat belt come through.

I welded everything in place and you can check out the results.

I made the center supports the same width as the 1 x 1 tube along the transmission tunnel so that the tall backing of the armrest has a good fastening point.

I’ll likely fabricate my camera mounts and port hole recessed areas before I do the angled pieces up to the roof that goes behind your head.  I’ll need the extra room in there to work.

2 thoughts on “Two Solid days in the Garage

    1. It will likely weigh much less than the caprice. The entire body shell weighs about 400lbs plus the weight of the chassis. Most of the steel is in there now and I’ve been using a mix of 1/8 and 1/16 steel.

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