Sunday, October 16, 2016

Fabrication - Patch panels: Part VIII

This time around post gathers happenings from three different weekends, so it's a "bit" long one and picture rich.

Lets start by welding some metal back... and taking some more out.

I manned up and welded this piece in that I have made few months ago.
The reason for this delay was that I was hesitant about those dimples I made. Then I figured that I can always take it out or refine it more when I have the proper tools to make proper "speed holes".

Yes the panel is a bit rusty, but I will treat the surfaces with phosphoric acid, so the rust will be converted into iron phosphate.

After I had tapped the inner rocker panel in place, I saw that I had to tear more rust out as there were more patches inside the wheel well.

This is what was underneath the patches...
I don't get it. Why bother to fix rust issues, if you are just creating more problems by welding three (3!) sheets of metal on top of each other and leaving the rust below.

Quite a sorry sight and where I left off the first weekend.
Rust, rust and rust.

Come the next weekend in this series, I had received my 15 ton hydraulic hole punch.
I had perused from the Internet before purchasing this tool, that one can use it also as a dimple die.

I drilled the centres with a carrot aka step drill to 20mm as the tool needs that as a starter hole and went to town with the tool.

The end result.
My system was that first I dimpled the metal by flipping the cutter side of the hole punch around and using the reverse side as a dimple die. The dimension of the dimple is 89mm.
Second action was to punch the centre out with a 63mm punch.
Quite a good result, if I may say so!

This plate was meant to be as a pick-up point for the 48mm tube that I was going to run inside the rocker panel.
Measures 125x105x3mm.

Tube in question dry fitted...
After discussions with my friend and thinking this once more through, I have decided to abandon this plan and leave the tube out.
It would just add more weight and not be any more beneficial than nicely made roll cage as it would be difficult to tie this tube to rest of the roll cage.

Same friend gave me a radiator for this project.
It's a Ford unit. Quite a massive at that with two nice fans. Should provide good cooling... if get it to fit!

I will cut the radiator support out along with the lower part.
This way I can angle the radiator downward and get it to fit and at the same time fix the rust issues in this area.
I will be using the tube I left out of the rocker panel, as the material for the lower part.

Finally... I packed the transmission in the car on Sunday and planned to take it to the welder who would mate the Volvo original removable bellhousing to the BMW gearbox.
Unfortunately our timetables did not overlap, so the boot became home for the transmission for the next week.

One more job this weekend was to mock up a future modification...


Third weekend I started by dropping the transmission to be welded and measuring and marking the cut lines for the "rust repair" of the rear valance.

All marked up and to be cut.
This mod lifts the rear line 12cm upwards and at the same time eliminates my rust issues in this sector.

First bite and more to be cut away as I left 5mm surplus material.

All that was cut away.
Again triple stacked metal, rust and more rust and also glass powder and soda from the media blasting.

Before I finalized the rear valance mod, I decided to delete also the rusted out spare wheel well.
I drilled all the spot welds out...

...drew a 70cm circle with a shop ruler to a 1mm sheet metal...

...and then free handed the sucker out.

Plopped it on and only one modification was needed as the rear lock support protruded outward.
Made a notch to the circle and drilled holes for the clecos.
Really nice tool those clecos! Pulled the sheet metals tight and made plug welding really easy!
The grey stuff is through weldable CRC Zinc which should stop rusting, as it acts as a sacrificial anode.

Here is the panel all welded up (might need touching up) and dimpled.
Came out quite nice and rigid! Those 20mm holes will be plugged with rubber plugs and covered with seam sealer as will be the whole perimeter of the panel and welds.

Here is the "final" results of the valance mod with the bumper mounts chopped off.
Quite neat and tidy even without grinding with a flap disc!
Of course I still need to connect the inner valance to the outer rear quarter, but for this I might need the fender flares I will be using.

This valance mod of course means, that the original gas tank is unusable (was anyway) and I need to source/make a fitting tank.
Rear of the tank can be 10cm high and the front can be 15cm high. Width can be around 80cm and the depth can be 60 cm.
Might be that it's a bit difficult to find a suitable fuel cell as a product...

When you do the calculations, it means that the tank could be around 50 liters or a bit more (I'm not calculating the slopie part).

I'm also relocating the filler cap to the center of the car beneath the number plate and for this I'm going with a Suzuki GSXR flip cap.
We will see how it looks, but it cost around 9 euro delivered to my door, so damage is not massive if it's not usable.

This concludes our episode this time.

To be continued on next Sunday!

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