Thursday, December 18, 2008

Finally, someone who knows what they're doing...

Ben: So Chris, we still don't have plans for the roll cage...
Chris: You're right, and we won't have a welder soon either cause I don't have one at home.
Ben: Me neither, what do you want to do?
Chris: Well, we should probably do something.
Ben: Order steel?
Chris: Yeah, how does six 8' sections sound?
Ben: Should do it...
Chris: Roger.

Then we find out the main hoop for the roll cage should be 104", definitely over 8'. Idiots...
Time to bring in a professional.

Enter: SCOTT! He'll also be one of our drivers and is very excited to see his name on the door.

Scott and Chris got the two front bars done last week that go from the floor, up the A-pillar and connect onto the main hoop. They were each bent 3 times.

A couple days later we went and got a 10' length of DOM steel (1.5" OD .12" WT) and all three of us got a main hoop bent and tacked in. It's starting to look like a race car. There's less funny stories when you have someone helping that knows that they're doing so you don't mess up so much.

The main hoop is less than 1/2" away from the roof of the car and is touching the rear outside corner of each t-top opening. We rigged it up so that the t-tops go in with about an 1/8" clearance (some shoving and banging required to get them on) and the locking handle opens while grazing the side bar.

We also tacked in both door side bars. The passenger side bar goes midway up the door, and the driver side bar skirts just below the seat bolster so entry isn't compromised.

We got the seat in and fitting a little better. But here's how it looks like at the end of our term and the end of 2008.

By the way, we got a 96 on our project. So that makes us feel a little better about everything. Here's a little video of the new exhaust and temporarily rigged up gauge cluster. It no longer stumbles at idle and isn't quite so raspy, but it's still pretty damn loud.

Cleveland, here we come. Merry Christmas.

Liquid metal, blind tapped holes, and luck.

So it was coming down to crunch time. I don't think we mentioned but this LeMons car was also the subject for our senior design project. We hadn't shown much of any progress except for ripping the guts out of Betty. We'd been waiting on the 'Wonder Duo' do give us some drawings for the 'role' cage and strut tower braces. Nothing yet with 2 weeks to go so we decided to do it like we always do, feet first with no plan of attack. BONZAI!!!!!

There were two things that Chris and I could take care of: the seat and the exhaust. Betty sounded like a panzer. She had everything from the Y-pipe back removed and was just belching out hydrocarbons. First thing though is the seat, and SPARCO BE THY NAME.

We got a Speed 2 for a sweet price and had it shipped here. Getting the old seats out was easy. Getting the new seat in was not. Trying to fit the brackets from the passenger seat to the new Sparco seat sounded simple but things just don't work out like you want them to. I had to tap all the holes for the bolts to hold the brackets on, first time tapping ever. Didn't do too bad though. We got something in though and it works for now. We're going to have to take care of it before we put our lives on the line.

As for the exhaust. Once we started really looking at it, things became a lot more clear as to why she sounded like she did. There was about a 1/4" gap between the collector and the Y-pipe. The Y-pipe had to come off anyways so that we could weld an adaptor on for the resonator. So in true Murphy's fashion, we snapped a stud off the collector. Once we got the last nut off we come to find somone else had snapped the other two studs off too and then decided to weld a bolt to the collector. So in essence we had nothing holding the Y-pipe to the collector. She's looking more like a true lemon everyday. Well shit... drill and tap the collector? BRILLIANT! After about an hour and a half of drilling we finally had a hole deep enough to attempt to tap. Only problem was we didn't have a handle to hold the tapper, and even if we did we couldn't turn it with all the other stuff in the way. I... have... an... idea...
Ben: Alright, give me that cordless drill, I'm going to put the tap into the drill and do it that way.
AJ: That's not how it's supposed to work. You're gonna put too much torque on it and strip it or something.
Ben: I got mad drill skills, check this.
AJ: If you get that to work, I'll shit my pants.
Ben: HA! I hope you brought some spare boxers.

Once we got the Y-pipe off Chris wanted to take the heat shield off. He's so destructive. But it was actually a good thing. We found a Nickle size hole in one of the pipes. Weld sheet metal over it? NO! Buy $7 liquid metal junk from the store and hope it works. And work it did!

Well boys and girls, don't let anyone ever tell you that you can't tap with a cordless drill. Actually, once I got the first few threads in straight it went pretty smoothly. Works like a champ too. We should have done it for all three fasteners.
The collar on the one bolt is for clearance of all the weld splatter from welding the bolt. Thanks Penzoil Boy. She purrs like a kitten, no more panzer.

AJ still has yet to pay up.