Long Weekend – Day 1

I was lucky enough to have my Dad come down this weekend to give me a hand with the BatBerry working right into the evening. I really liked how the picture above turned out… it shows what people walking down the sidewalk or driving past the house get to witness.  We had lots of spectators over the last two days wanting to know more about the car and we made sure to take time to stop and answer any questions.  It’s always fun to see people stop and get out of their cars for a closer look because they can’t believe their eyes!

Everything always goes quicker when you have a second set of hands.  But of course even with lots of hands you always wish you could get more done. It’s kinda the rule of thumb when working on any project 🙂

First up was deconstruction.  The canopy, seats, dash and rear trunk lid all had to be removed and the steering wheel and column covered up. I’ve been afraid to look into the car ever since it was down to the Yorkville Exotic Car Show back in June because the car was full of water.  And since the inside of the cabin hadn’t been sprayed with primer I knew that I was in for a lot of surface rust.  This is going to be a pain in the ass to remove.  I’d much rather spend time working on fun things than rust removal 😦

I did a little bit of rust cleanup on Saturday morning before my parents arrived along with painting the air ride valve block bracket that I fabricated last weekend.  It turned out pretty nice.

Once my Dad got into his work clothes we started in on creating some templates for the walls of the rear cabin/trunk area.  These were first created using Bristol board so that it was easy to tape and cut different pieces together to shape it to the curve of the body shell.  Bristol board also works well for marking the anchor holes that have been welded into the chassis.  Simply find the hole and push a pen or screwdriver through to get the exact hole location.

The next step was to transfer the Bristol board template onto some rigid corrugated plastic cardboard.  This would ensure we had something that would “mimic” the plywood that we would be using because the Bristol board is really floppy.  After we made sure everything was trimmed we transferred the cardboard templates onto some 1/2″ plywood.

Now of course since the plywood was much thicker than the plastic cardboard it needed some more trimming/fitting and holing out of the bolt holes to get everything to fit the way we wanted.  So of course, each board was in and out of the car about 30 times for “adjustments”.  Tedious work, but getting a good fit is important.

Maybe I need to pause and give a little explanation on why we’re doing this whole process 🙂 Essentially the plywood will be used to make the cabin walls they will be sandwiched between two layers of fiberglass to give the wood strength and to make it waterproof.  The plywood is anchored to the chassis using bolts and then where it meets the body it will be fiberglassed right to the body shell itself to hold it securely onto the chassis. Once everything is in place, everywhere on the outside of the chassis where the fiberglass covered wood meets the metal, the seams will all be filled in with paintable seam sealer (used for filling/sealing pinch welds).

Ok, with that explained, here are some more photos of all the walls that were created using the same process (including the piece that will go across the rear of the trunk).  Sunday would be a day filled with fiberglassing, but more on that later…

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