The final step for
some of the larger floor panels was to roll a bead in them to keep
them from oil canning.
I also rolled a bead
in the center dash panel to break up the large expanse of aluminum.
The final interior panels were
the engine doghouse. The goal here was to make them easily
removable for spark plug access and to block most of the header from
the passenger compartment. On the passenger side I set the
panel up so it would also act a heat shield for the air filter.
Initially I thought
this would be the hardest spot to close off due to the bend in the
tubing but it ended up being a relatively simple panel with two
bends in it.
The drivers side
doghouse panels ended up being much more difficult to nail down due
to pedals and throttle linkage. In the end I opted for a two
piece design since the interior panel was not going to be easy to
get out once the seat was installed. I made the front section
removable for plug access.
Speaking of throttle
linkages, I had been putting this off for a while but it was time to
figure it out once and for all. Like last time I ended up
having to use a bell crank to take up some of the angle on the
cable. The biggest difference this time around was the bell
crank had to be laid down on it's side due to the hood height being
so much lower than my previous buggy. The bracket for mounting
this took a few hours of head scratching and cursing to finalize.
One of the tasks on my
to-do list was to make place to store spare fluids. I came up
with this multi-piece box that holds six quart bottles.
A single bar drops in
a slot along the top edge of the bottle holder to capture the quart
bottles. Since this holder ended up on top of my tool storage
box it needed to be easily removable. I attached some small
pins to the far side of the holder and drill holes in the mount so
the pins engage the mount. On the inside a single large nut
pulls the holder so the pins cannot back out.
The bottle holder in
place with the cooler.
Exterior paneling was
next and I started off with some cardboard templates to get the
Usually I'd save the
exterior panels for last but since I want to paint after the next
teardown I need to get anything that needs to be welded to the
chassis attached. This means all the body tabs need to be
positioned and the only real way to do this is to make the panels.
I am using some small trick tabs for the exterior panel mounts.
The tabs came with .250 diameter holes already drilled in them so I
just need to weld a 1/4-20 nut on the backside so the panels will
only require a single tool to remove.
The hood panels are
made from .063 thick 5052 aluminum. After getting them fitted
and the tabs welded in I added some vent holes that run above the
The roof is a 3 piece
design to make working with and replacing the panels easier. I used
three .090 thick 5052 sheets, two for the sides and one for the rear
It would have been
possible to make this from a single piece but working with a 4' x 8'
sheet is really difficult in a small garage.
An overall view with
the hood and roof panels in place.