Finishing up the Chassis

What a great first day of work on the chassis!  We made a lot of progress today and hopefully will make a bunch more tomorrow.  I wasn’t quite sure how well the body would come off the chassis but it  actually wasn’t very difficult at all.  It was the first time that the rear section of the body had been removed from the car in about 2.5 years 🙂

To start things off for the day I had a couple more flanges that I needed to finish off before my parents arrived to lend a hand after lunch.  To get things started I worked on the front area where the top of the body shell meets the chassis.

I made a couple of plugs for the end of the 2×2 tubing and welded some nuts into them.  This will give me another attachment point between the body and the chassis.

I cut a couple more pieces to fit and then welded them all in-place.  I just needed a little bit of a ridge so that when I make the fiberglass flange it doesn’t just sit flush with the chassis.  Instead there’s an overlap.

After these were completed, I added a couple more flanges on the inside of the cabin to again make sure that the cabin walls won’t sit flush with the chassis at any spot.  I want to make sure that there’s overlap everywhere so that I can eventually apply a good bead of seam sealer.

After lunch we really found our stride.  This was the disassembly phase.  Removing tail-lights, afterburner, hatch walls, the trunk, and the rear section of the body.  There were lots of bolts coming out of the beast, and its a good thing that they’re all the same size!

After we removed the rear section of the body shell we realized that there was a lot of stress being placed on the center of the hatch as we were carrying it.  This was because the front of the body shell was separated so that the center canopy rail would work.  We quickly fixed this issue by temporarily bolting it together with a scrap piece of plywood.

We took a few minutes just to rest and check out what the chassis looked like with the body removed.  It’s cool to see just how fat those rear tires actually are 🙂

What came next was looking over the entire chassis to find any places that needed to be welded.  Since the chassis was built from the inside out, the outside edges of the chassis never had a chance to be welded.  So we marked all the affected areas with some painters tape to and proceeded to finish all the welding.

Of course nothing every goes 100% smoothly, and two bolts cross threaded on their way out when removing the exhaust tips (never seen that before in my life) so there’s some repair work to be done 😦

But we also took the chance to finish up some bracing and welding of the nuts that hold the two rear speaker boxes.

Last item for the day was chopping and making the fuel tank bands a little shorter.  Once that was completed we placed the tank into position, marked the hole locations and then welded in some nuts to bolt the tank down.

We did find out that there wasn’t going to be enough clearance on the passenger side for the fuel filler neck, so I’ll have to run it to the driver’s side instead.  More on the tank mounting tomorrow…

Overall it was a very productive day.  Tomorrow will be spent cleaning up the chassis, grinding down the high spots and getting some primer and maybe some paint onto the chassis.  We’ll also start to deal with more of the fuel tank installation.

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