Thinking of Canopy Strengthening

One of the tricky parts of the canopy fabrication is that it’s all fiberglass and can be a bit flimsy.  Especially when you don’t have the windows mounted giving it more strength.  It’s also hard to push down the bottom of the canopy into place so that you get a nice even seal going all around the base.

I’ve been thinking about how I would make a more rigid structure that could be integrated into the canopy.  Something that would allow me to weld onto the mounting plates for the wheel arms on the front and sides.  But then could be fiberglassed right into the canopy structure.

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Canopy Drain and Port Hole Windows

One of the areas that was left unfinished from my center canopy rail system, was protecting the interior of the car from any water that comes in via the grove for the roller arm.  I had previously created a sloped area to drain the water away, but I hadn’t created walls that would go back to protect the cabin yet.

This work started off with some good old templates out of Bristol Board that were then transferred onto some 1/16″ steel.  This will create a boxed in area that the underside of my dash lid will connect to.  I’ll create a fiberglass box extension that will drop down into this area as a “lip” that I can then seal from the inside with some seam sealer or urethane.

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Finished the E-brake Fabrication

Today was my last day of vacation before working up until the Christmas holidays (I took a bit of time off over Christmas too) so I wanted to really put in a good effort in the garage and get a few things finished.  First on the list was putting the finishing touches on the e-brake setup.  I had previously fabricated the box for the handle, but I now needed to create the cable mount so that I can eventually run the e-brake cables back to the rear drum.

I’ve had the e-brake handle and cable kit laying around for quite some time now so I started the work by connecting the tension adjuster to the end of the handle.  Next was figuring out the height that I needed to mount the cable bracket so that it would be in-line with the tension adjuster.  I created a little box out of the 1/16″ steel and welded some nuts onto the back so that I could simply bolt the bracket into place.

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Some Odds and Ends

Today was another fairly productive vacation day.  It started off with finishing the mounting point for the front of the center canopy rail.  I had temporarily tack welded it in place so that I could build the proper mounting later.  This was a pretty straight forward task and really only needed to keep the rail from moving back and forth since the radiator frame actually supports the weight.  A simple self tapping bolt did the trick with an angle plate welded to the rail.

Next on the agenda was building the battery tray. Since batteries are fairly heavy I created the tray out of the 1/8″ plate steel.  I started off by creating a bottom plate large enough to hold a battery.  Lucky for me, I have an old Optima Yellow Top kicking around the garage to use as a mock-up.  I then welded a small tab to the front of the bottom plate that the tie-down hook will go through

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A Cold Afternoon of Fabrication

Today I headed to the garage after lunch determined to finish up the fabrication for the center slider on the canopy.  The video at the top of the post will show the final product but I’ll take you through today’s steps.  It was an extra chilly day because I had to work with the garage door open in order to be able to raise and lower the hood for test fitting.  The snow was blowing in, but I was bundled up 🙂

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Middle Canopy Slider

Today I had the day off work and wanted to spend some time in the garage. First thing in the morning I took a drive up to Fourstar Motorsports and dropped off my radiator for Frank to weld on some mounting tabs for me.  I’m just not set-up to weld aluminium in my garage.

Next I started creating a mounting plate for the front of the canopy.  Right now it’s just bolted into place, but it will end up being embedded into the front using fiberglass and I’ll remove the bolts.  I added a few holes in the mounting plate to help the fiberglass resin take hold in the middle of the metal.  Bolting it in-place just allows me to do things a little less permanent, and it’s also too darn cold for fiberglass resin to cure in my garage.

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New Collectable Display

I thought I would share this cool new collectable display that came in the mail.  I’m thinking I need to build a life size replica to display my suit 🙂

One of the coolest features is that it takes 3 AAA batteries so that the LEDs above the suit light up. It looks really cool in the dark all lit up!

Lighting up the Afterburner

The original plans for lighting up the afterburner were a series of Red and Orange outdoor LED strips inside the rear afterburner. These were then going to be connected to 3 flicker modules that are typically used in fake candles.  This would give the “fire” glow at the rear of the car.

Since then I’ve been able to make the awesome afterburner sound effects work and I also plan to place an outdoor speaker in the rear afterburner.  So I started looking around to see if there was any way for me to connect the intensity of the afterburner sound with the glow that will be coming out of the actual “turkey feathers” at the rear of the car.

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Ejection Handle… err.. I mean E-brake Handle

Sunday was another nice warm 15 degree day so I had the itch to get back out into the garage.  I was only able to spend a couple of hours working on the BatBerry but ended up making some good progress on my ejection handle… err… I mean e-brake handle 🙂

One of the interesting parts of building this large car is that there’s almost zero room inside the cockpit… I’m talking smaller than a Lotus Elise!  So finding a place to put the e-brake handle was a little tricky.  I had bought a floor mount handle quite a while ago and had been trying to figure out where I would mount it.  But then as I was reading through it’s instructions it mentioned the possibility of placing it right in-front of the driver’s seat.  Genius!!

Continue reading Ejection Handle… err.. I mean E-brake Handle