Sitting here 4 days after returning home from the car, I cannot remember what I did during last week, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t nothing. I can remember doing a few test with the VHT Wrinkle Plus paint. On the topic, if anyone can tell me why we, South Africans, must always struggle to get their hands on the non-day to day stuff, drop me a mail. I had to ship these two cans of VHT paint down from Johannesburg, no one in Cape Town know the product. Anyways, after a few test runs on cans with different thickness coats, degrees of heat and baking duration, I was quite nerves about the upcoming events as my test runs was not consistent, neither did it produce the results I had in mind.
After arrival Friday at home, the first order of business was a little mischief, seeing that we are “af die plaas” things are seen in a different light than normal folk, let me get to the point. But wait, maybe I should first say, We do not take any responsibility what so ever for any damage or injuries that may result from the below actions”. Since I started with this build “Argon” gas has been a issue as the refill depots do not want to fill my father’s privately bought Argon bottle, no illegal stuff here, invoices from one of Cape Town biggest welding suppliers. So a week or two back, I bought a full Argon bottle and immediately I decided to use the big bottle to fill smaller ones. I bought two regulator fittings and had them machined to accept normal Hi pressure fittings, I just didn’t want to take any changes with this. Once that was done, I had a hi pressure hose made up with a 400bar operating pressure. We lifted the smaller bottle with the overhead crane, attached the pipe, first opened the smaller bottle then the larger one slowly, one smoke later, the pressure in the two neutralized, we ended with +-115bar in each bottle. Do not attempt this if you’re not a total nutcase or know exactly what you are doing, as the empty bottle gets quiet hot during the gas transfer.
Back to Datto; Friday was used to finish the oil pipes, after that I was spent.
Saturday morning we started off with cutting the last part of the left fender, well that was the idea, we ended up cutting both to get them 100% the same, this involved cutting template after template. Then I moved onto the anti-roll bar, in my case a torsion bar, first order of business was to drill and tap the holes in the aluminium mountings I had milled, this took way to long, but seeing that I first drilled one hole tapped it and then marked drilled and tapped the second one, this is understandable. Then I made myself some polypropylene bushes, I just hope they last, but then again, If I have to redo them every year I’ll be quite happy, as the material is about R90 for 500mm, I only used about 150mm.
Then I moved onto “Project rocker cover TLC” I really did not want to make a big cockup of this as it would be the first thing anyone will see if the bonnet is left open by mistake. The previous night I washed this thing endlessly to make sure there is no sand deposits left due to the sand blasting and had it drying thru the night. First I cleaned it again with a thinners cloth and laid it down on a carton, on top of a reasonable stand for my short ass. Let me just sketch the scenario, I was very scared as this point and sweating like a pig in heat, but I just decided if I stuff this up, I can just get it sand blasted again and either spray it with the wrinkle paint or with some more known paint. After both my arms was done from shacking the damn can I started with the first coat horizontal across the length of the cover, laid the paint down quite thick, waited the 5 minutes between the next coat as the can explained. Started with the vertical coat, this time even thicker as the first coat was quite tacky by now. Waited 5 minutes again and started with the last coat in a sideways movement, this time around I did not spare any paint. Seeing that the rocker cover does not fit my parents oven, the only other option was a heat gun. Started spreading the heat in the same way you would spray a big part, first the corners and then the rest in layers almost. After about 7 minutes still nice and shiny paint and then all of a sudden, it appeared on the far corner while I was busy on the other side, Wrinkles. The one thing I realised was that the wrinkles does not appear due to the result of direct heat, but from overall temperature increase of the object. I just continued with what I was doing and all over the show the wrinkles appeared, this continued for another 8 minutes until the complete cover was covered with an even layer of wrinkles, not one place with burned or an inconsistency, besides the small hair that fell on the back while spraying. Just around the edges where more of the paint accumulated it was a thicker wrinkle. All in all, this is easier doing it on a big object than on small metal containers. I’m very happy with the outcome.
Sunday morning I started assembling the intake manifold and routing the vacuum pipes. The pipe I imported is thicker than standard and I had to remove some material from the one end to enter the LINK map sensor. As you would have noticed, the last few weekends was used to get the car dust proof as I’m planning to bring the car back to the mother city for some serious wiring, flares, branch, exhaust and prop shaft. After the intake I moved to the back of the vehicle installing the Number plate light, this is still one of my biggest headaches, seeing that i don not like the big pimple winking at me. It will be sprayed blue to help hide it, but in the future I’ll device some sort of plan with LED’s and alu plate to get it flatter. Sunday actually started quite early for me and my girlfriend, while I was busy with the above se cleaned the interior of the car, this took her more or less from 07:30 – 14:00. During this whole process we managed to re install the seats, handbrake lever and wiper arms.
During the week I managed to assemble the dash, just forgot to pack the steering column switches, will bring that home and finish the assemble on it, just need to make a hole for the 12pin socket I bought for the steering wheel switches.
The car is coming together nicely and the possibility to bring it back in 3 weeks is a reasonable thought, since I only want to make the new kick plates and covers in the boot to round it off. Once back in the Cape, the next big struggle will begin with the flares. Anyone with solid experience in doing something like this from scratch, please feel free to share.
More Pictures – 18 February 2012 – Anti-Roll Bar & Assembly IX
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