Project Hellraiser 3

Page 9


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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 fuel pump.

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 hardware.

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.

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