Day 2 of Vacation

I found a little gem at Canadian Tire the other day for a pin on the actuator.  I might need one that’s a bit larger in diameter, but the concept looks like it should work.  I want to make sure that the part that attaches from the actuator to the canopy is a pin that I can pull whenever I need to.  Just in-case I get stuck inside without any power for the actuator or the actuator fails.  I figured checking to see if this would fit would be a quick and easy way to start off day 2 of my vacation.

Day 2 was dedicated to trying to figure out a couple of things that I wasn’t quite sure how to tackle:

  1. Creating a foot support for the side intake step
  2. Creating a mounting/connection plate to hold the cone securely inside the intake.

I’ve been thinking about these two tasks for a while, but until you try things out you never quite know if they’ll work or not.  I wanted to make sure that I had a good solid support to go underneath the area where you step on the intake to get up and into the car.  The trick is that there’s very little room between the intake cone and the step area to get any kind of support in place.

I had previously created some removable braces connected to the chassis specifically to weld on some step supports.  I didn’t quite know at the time how I was going to do it, but I knew that they would have to be removable so that I could pull the body off of the car without the supports getting in the way.  As you can see there isn’t very much room to work with above the intake cone.

I started off by tack welding in some 2×2 tubing to my removable brace and made sure that there was still about 1/4″ of space left between the bottom of the tubing and the intake cone.

From there I cut out a 2.5″x4″ plate out of some of my 18″ steel and found a flat spot on the intake step and clamped it in place.  This would allow me to then create a bunch of templates and tack weld in some more pieces of 1/8″ steel to connect everything together for a nice solid structure.

Then after a whole bunch of templates, cutting, welding and grinding I ended up with my finished brace.  I also extended some areas downward a bit to provide more vertical support.

So far in this build I’ve learned that the first side always takes a lot longer.  That’s because you stand there staring at the situation trying to figure out how/if something will work.  Once you’ve finally figured it out once, the other side takes about half of the time.

Here you can see the brace bolted in place and how it supports the step.  I’m not sure if I’ll try and fiberglass the flanges into the step, or if I’ll simply put a rubber pad on the top of the flange to avoid rubbing.  You can also see just how little clearance there is between the support and the intake cone (about 1/4″).

Next up for the day was trying to create a connection point for the back of the intake cone.  The cone has a larger front opening than the intake does so when you push it back in-place you get a nice snug fit.  That means all I really needed to do is secure the back of the cone so that it cannot move forward.  Also the pressure of the wind when driving will help keep it secure.

Once it’s warm out again (god only knows when that will be) I’ll have to do a bunch of fiberglass work to make the front of the cone fit the way I like for a nice finished look just like on the movie car.

I started off the process by drilling a hole in the top of the cone the size of a 3/8″ bolt.  The idea was to drill the hole and secure a piece of steel to the cone and then push it back into position.  Then while the cone is secured to the steel brace, weld the brace to the frame of the car.

Doing it this way makes sure you don’t leave room for error when trying to mark and line things up.  I wanted to make sure the cone was snug first and then weld it in place vs. mess around trying to adjust a hole in a location where it’s difficult to reach.

I was only able to do some temporary tack welds for the brace because its hard to get into that area when the body shell is on the car.  I’ll complete the finish welding when I remove the body to prep the frame.

Overall a pretty productive day.  Now I just need to repeat the steps for the passenger side.  I’m not really looking forward to that task as the passenger side is snug up against the wall of the garage and I won’t have a lot of room to do my work 😦

I also found that I’m going to have to do some more bracing at the bottom of the body both behind and in front of the intake cone. These areas are just kind of hanging and have a lot of flex.  Just one more thing to add to the TODO List.

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