18 June 2011 – Bodywork 2

The last couple of weekends 90% of our time was spend getting the body ready for paint, after a total of 6 weekends in a row I’m glad to say the body is coated in at least 3 coats of grey primer. Besides the roll cage, bodywork isn’t fun, but at the end of the day if I look back, I’m glad it is done, now it can sit in the shed until the weather is good for colour to be added to the very dull grey that it is currently. Even with the help of an orbital air sander, sanding still takes time, I reached a point with the preparation that I want to say, I hate sanding, but then the thought creeps back in mind that there is still doors, fenders, bonnet and boot lid left; this leaves me with only one answer left, and that is that I just have to like it until it is done. The thought have come to mind to take it to someone to do it, but my last experience wasn’t one that I want to experience again, just after I bought the car I took it to a body shop for a fresh coat of white paint and the results was shocking.

A few people have asked me when I think the car will be done, the easy answer will be hopefully this year still, previously I have set targets for myself and every time the target date came and left equally as fast, the problem is that there is only so much work that can be done on a Saturday. Now that the body is coated in primer, I’ll start focusing on getting the rest of the loose panels done, just for interest sake, it takes roughly 4 hours of sanding to get a door sanded if there is no repair work involved.

Luckily during this whole sanding process I have been able to make good progress on the front suspension, especially the planning and parts acquirement.

Pillow Ball Camber-Castor adjustable shock mounts: these arrived back from laser cutting, just need to drill and tap them all the holes to size and test fit them, maybe make a few changes to allow to fit flush with the shock towers. I’ll be using the D2 front spring retainers and pillow ball bearing mount.

Lower Control Arms: M18x1.5 rod ends purchased for the mounting to the cross member and the bush that will be attached to the LCA is back from machining, on the outside I have sourced a set of Nissan 1Tonner upper ball joints to use, these are nice and strong and mounting is done with 4 bolts. The mounting plate for the ball joints came back from laser cutting, this piece will be welded to a pipe on the outside. I have opted to use pipe as it will be the easiest to work with and is strong in all direction.

Track rods: these will also be from pipe with bushes machined to be attached to it with the correct thread for the rod ends, in my case I purchased 4 rod ends with M16x2 thread, 2 off which is left hand thread to make adjustment easier, only the bushes is outstanding and this will be the next items to be machined.

Knuckles: I decided to use a set of Nissan S13 knuckles to form the basis of my front suspension in conjunction with the D2 RX7 coil overs, the only challenge with them so far was the fact that the shock mounting face was too big and had to be milled down to accept the coil overs, this is completed and I’m very happy with the results.

Spacer-Converters: Seeing that we had 2 of these converters laying around, my brother kindly donated them, these units was made to convert 4-114.3 pcd to 4-100 pcd, I just had to machine to inner bore to spigot on the S13 hubs, they will be send to the engineering shop to have the previously cut 12mm thread drilled and countersink to accept a set of new studs.

Brakes: After a lot of headaches, I finally decided to purchase a set of Wilwood Dynapro Radial mount 4 pot calipers and pads, they are currently on their way, choosing the rotors was the easiest of it all, went for a set of GT Series Powerbrake rotors in the size of 257mm which will allow the calipers to clear my 13″ wheels, these arrived.

Chassis: after a little thought I decided to remove the original track rod mountings, this would allow me to build my own mountings which will allow me to set the height on the track rod location. I had a set of base plates cut and bend, these must just be shaped and attached, then it is on to the track rod mounting, the base plates will also form the basis for the anti-roll bars front mounting, originally the anti-roll bar was located behind the track rod mounting, this one will be in front in order to use a straight anti roll bar with arms to the LCA.

The above is the primary reason why I hate sanding so much, with a table full of suspension parts to play with, who wants to sand.

Further to the front suspension, I was able to put the plans together for the Surge tank, Oil breather tank and Radiator expansion tank.

More Pictures – 18 June 2011 – Bodywork 2

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