I spent a good part of the previous
week finalizing the disassembly of the old buggy and then
reassembling the chassis and body panels. After the better part of
two days I had the engine and wiring labeled and pulled.
Thanks to Steve for dropping by and lending a second set of hands
when it came time to pull the motor and transmission.
Since I was re-using most of my parts I
had to pull, clean and then store everything. Most of my
weekday evenings were spent going thru this routine.
Among the parts that
were in need of repair was my drivers side exhaust manifold. The
part cracked where the two different types of steel were welded.
I was going to run the
previous exhaust setup which routed the drivers side exhaust over
the transmission to one large collector on the passenger side of the
buggy. After some thought I decided to try modifying a set of 3.8L
Camaro headers to fit in my chassis. So until the headers
arrive I put the drive train on the back burner.
I did finally commit
to mounting the radiator out back to allow for a lower hood line
which should provide better visibility. I added a small hoop in
front and below the gas tank to support the bottom of the radiator.
Update 8-7-11 After
some hot weather testing I have determined the radiator needs to be
moved up more to avoid blowing hot air on the fuel cell. Some of my
customers have successfully run their radiators this low with 4
cylinder engines but my blown V6 just puts out too much heat when
the ambient temperatures are above 90 degrees. I can get about
2 hours run time before the gas temperature starts affecting the
Using some steel angle
I pieced together a lower tray that captures the radiator front to
back and side to side. I used extra tabs to represent foam
that will be used to cushion the radiator.
3 tabs tie the lower
radiator tray to the chassis. I am holding off on the upper hold
down bar until I get the rear seat mounted.
While I was working in
the back I finished up the fuel cell mounts. I drilled .50"
holes in the 1" tubing that captures the cell and welded some 1/4-20
nuts in the holes. This allows the fuel cell strap bolts thread
directly into the chassis.
I chose to mount the
rear seat on a removable frame. The main reasons for doing
this is to make changing out to a larger seat easier since I can
pull the frame and work on it on the bench as opposed to cutting and
grinding on the completed chassis. This also gives me the
option of removing the rear seat and replacing it with a gear rack
if the need arises.
I nested a 1" tube
flange into the frame for the front mount on the rear seat frame.
The rear mounts are setting on a bracket I cut from .25" thick
steel. I will eventually drill and tap the brackets for 1/4-20
With the radiator
moved out back I was able to cut and turn the from frame rails to
gain roughly 3" of up travel. Once that was done I modified
the Ballistic Fabrication winch mount plate so it would set in
between the front shock hoops and tack welded it in place. Once I
was happy with the position I cut the extra bit of shock hoop that
was hanging down (the up travel gain).
During the past week I
also picked up a new tube notcher. My old Harbor Freight
notcher had finally given up the ghost after roughly 3 major
projects. The new notcher is a JD2 Notchmaster and is
noticeably smoother thanks to the roller bearings used in the arbor
guide. I was also pleasantly surprised that it could do more
than the advertised 50 degree notch.
With the rear seat
positioned I made a few changes to the tubing. First I laid
the B pillar back about 10 degrees to give us more room to get in
and out of the buggy (the 3rd passenger will get in and out via the
front). Next I added the second C pillar to reinforce thru large
passenger compartment. Up front I added I tied the chassis
together with a bar above the winch.