13 November 2010 – Rollcage Phase 1 – Bottom StoneChip

The weekend almost did not happen, as I was still feeling very bad after being ill the last 2 days, but at the last minute on Friday I decided I can just as well be ill at my parents place and when feeling better at least do something on the car, much better than doing absolutely nothing. Got home on Friday, feeling rather bad, went down to the workshop and had a look at all the parts that my father sprayed the last 2 weeks. Rear sub frame, cross member and a few of the other front and rear suspension bits all done in a nice black finish. Went back home and after my mother was done with me, I had more strength, went down again and asked my father to help me draw and measure the main roll bar for the roll cage. After we worked out all the measurements and angles we made a quick drawing and it was set to be bended the next morning.

Saturday morning started with not feeling 100%, but working on the car was way better than lying in bed and thinking of working on it. At this stage of the build, it is too late to give up, too early to be excited, you’re in that middle stage were you just take every opportunity and work on it, every little bit helps to get you too that exciting stage. Having that crappy feeling, I figured I’ll rather put a set of ear muffs on, hear nothing and just do my own thing. Being in my own little world, I started with the support plates for the roll cage. These pieces was cut and bended to size, but still needed that final bit of bending and forming to get it to fit nice and snuggly against the old floors and wheel arches. Once this was done, I quickly went to town (60km in and out) to have the roll bar bend and lend the Mig Welder from friends of us, the owners of Budgit Fit in Worcester. After getting a quick 5min intro into welding with a Mig I was quite confident that this could be no more difficult than welding with a arc welder or Tig.

After arriving home and having lunch, we unloaded the Mig Welder and set off with a quick how-to weld with a Mig. Well after about 15minutes of welding pipe and thin pieces of sheet metal together we had the machine figured out and adjusted correctly and started with the support plates, after cleaning the floors as best as possible we started with the welding. I must say, it is one hell of a pleasure to weld with a Mig, but these machines does not like old or dirty metal, just the same as a Tig welder. At the end of the day we had all 6 support plates for the cage welded, also the rear seat rail brackets in place. Next in line was the Main roll bar, after a few trial fits and cutting to size we had it at the correct size, we quickly realized that we had to at least add a coat of primer to it before welding it in place as it would be difficult to spray or paint it once in the car, this way the top at least have some sort of protection. After spraying it and giving it a few minutes to dry it was a matter of a few minutes to have it welded in place. I opted to place it just after the B pillar of the car, this would allow me to move the seat a little more to the rear without compromising sideways vision and ease with the installation of the seats.

Sunday morning started at 8 o’clock. Yea I know it is a sin to work on Sundays, but now and then you need to do what is needed. If you can braai and drink on Sunday’s, I can work, braai and have a beer. We started with permanently installing the rear sub frame mountings and the Shock cross member mounts. Welded the shock cross member mountings to the rear cage support plates on the wheel arches. After the final pieces was permanently fixed we started the prep work to spray the underside of the car with Stonechip. After a few pieces of newspaper and masking tape was added in strategic places the underside was covered in a nice thick coat of Stonechip. I’m very pleased with the outcome and it would add that protective barrier for stones.

On my next visit to the car we will either add a layer of Stonechip to the floors or make a few pieces of the cage fit, it all depends on the amount of time available.

More Pictures – 13 November 2010 – Rollcage Phase 1 – Bottom StoneChip

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