Someone called me a car guy the other day. That kills me. I know a lot of car guys. They aren’t like me. And I’m not like them. I love cars, most of them. I love a good build. I’m not a car guy, a drifter, a boy racer, a petrol head, or a motor head. I’m a builder. I don’t think very highly of all the aforementioned and the more you read my blog the more you’ll pick up on that. And you’ll probably stop reading or decide to hate me.
For most of them it’s a show. An image. Something to talk about with their buds. Something to get them 100,000 useless likes and followers on the Instacrap or Shitbook. Horseshit. All of it. When I’m at the gas pumps and I hear an import with a wack job exhaust (especially Subaru) I cringe. If I see a muscle car driver and have to breathe the same air as his big dick piss poor attitude I cringe. Basically if I’m in smelling distance of some douche bag and his “modded”, “muscled”, butt fucked dick catcher I teeter on the tight rope of a serial slaying. I’ve said it before. I don’t do this for friends, I really don’t like many people. I pin respect where respect is do, and I can count my comrades on one hand with fingers to spare.
So it’s been establish in the prolog that I’m not a car guy. From this point on just keep that in mind.
A few Saturdays ago (count 6) I fired up the Ramones and started starring at the car. I’d put in a few long mornings taking measurements and plotting out suspension points on the design software and decided it was time to start cutting the insides of the rocker panels out. They’ll need to be completely empty in order for me to fit the 2 x 3 rectangular inside of them. They aren’t going to be a structural part of the chassis anymore so all the internal reinforcement the factory put in at this point in time is just dead weight.
I worked out a 1/12 balsa wood model of the layout I’ll be running to perform a torsional load test on. I’ll be attaching the video soon.
Back to the rockers. The main rails for the center portion of the frame will be 2 x 3 rectangular, .1875″ thick, with a 1 x 3 x .1875 laid flat forming an angle iron shape. The front and rear connecting joints will be 3 x 3 x .1875, all braced on the diagonal with 1-5/8″ .083″ 4130.
It’s interesting to me, when I start cutting into a part of a car that’s never been touched, to see how the factory put it all together. Engineering and design execution are a beautiful thing. The science involved and the depth of understanding of the loading forces placed on a vehicle have always been of high interest to me. So cutting and drilling through layers of sheet metal was an enjoyment.
Cut by cut and spot weld by spot weld took me closer to having an empty rocker panel. The space I need to fill is 5.875″ (5-7/8″) deep and the main frame rail will be running a perfect plane with the inside edge of the former inside flange of the rocker sill. So this means the the section removed from the lower rocker lip in is 2″ exactly. The cutting ensued and to my surprise the car did not buckle with rockers removed and absolutely no bracing. Every major sectional removal warranted a remeasuring of each one of my pre-determined points. The base of the body has spread 2 mm to 5 mm in the back. Nothing major, that can be squared up once the main perimeter of the frame is laid.
The “fill” sheet that will bridge the gap between the frame top and 2-7/8″ to the original sill flange is .090″ cold rolled. The frame runs 67″ from front to rear. I don’t have a 6′ brake and I don’t plan on purchasing one for a one time deal. I considered making my own and laid out a set of plans in CAD, but scrapped that idea quickly. Can’t find it reasonable to commit that kind of time and money to building a tool for a 2 time use. I’ve got a handy 19″ press brake on the 20-ton, so I decided on 4 16-3/4″ sections cut on the plasma table, bent 90 degrees on the brake, dimple died, TIG welded together, and finally welded to the frame rail. In the end the top edge will be welded to the top sill flange, but for now a few well placed bolts will hold it all in place. I’ll need the body removable right up until the very end.
All of the above was a major change from my original design. I had to make a few considerations to the original design’s structural/torsional rigidity as well as the often overlooked driver. This new design gives ample room to place me where i need to be, stiffens the entire package, and keeps the bottom of the car flat and the drivetrain out of under body airflow. It’ll also make fitting the bottom carbon fiber sheet and rear diffuser mega easy.
That’s it for this installment. I’m going to try to give a 4 week update on the dot, hopefully it works out. Keep building and don’t become a shithead.
Chassis builder, engine builder, cynic