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.
Next I did a little trimming around the canopy opening to fix some pre-existing fitting issues and also cut the slot that the center slider arm will run through. The nice part is that I already have two bolts going through the body right at this spot to hold everything in place.
I’ll likely have to make this a little bit wider just to make sure that there isn’t any rubbing. My guess is that the slot isn’t 100% straight all the way down the hood. I then created a little tab and bolted it to the “arm” that will reach down through this slot. That allowed me to hold the arm in place and tack weld the tab onto the mounting plate. I made the holes in the arm a little elongated to allow me to have some room for adjustment.
From there I started to figure out where to cut the garage door track. It took a couple of tries to get it to fit right but I “think” I eventually got it close. I won’t know for sure until I get the wheel in place. I need to use the curved track because the front of the canopy will need to pop upward first to clear the hood.
Below you will see the track sitting in-place to check out clearances. I wanted to get it roughly in-place to see if the hood would clear the track as it travels further to the front of the car. The track conveniently reaches right to the front rad support that would make a great mounting point if everything fits.
After lowering the hood I found out both good news and bad news. The good news was that the front of the hood cleared the track. The bad news was that the track was a little high right where the hood met the cabin.
This meant two things. One was that I needed to trim a bit off the curved end of the track to lower it. The second was that I needed to create some supports to hold up the hood where I want it and not have it rest on the track. The way I’ve seen this done before is to actually put adjustable feet that you would find on the bottom of the table onto the chassis. You put them on “feet up” and then this allows you to fully adjust the way the hood rests. Similar to the rubber stops you find on the hood of your car to align it with your grill.
I managed to get a good start on these mounting areas today, but I’ll have to finish up the sides of them tomorrow. For now I’ll just add shims to the top of the mounts to make sure I have clearance for my track. If it all clears I’ll make some tabs and bolt the track to the chassis, cut out the slot down the hood and adjust the front end of the track to make sure the arm moves straight down the slot.
Still lots of work to do, but I made a pretty good dent in it today 🙂