In my last post if you look through the rear bumper you can see the humble beginnings of the new rear frame. I took that template to my local metal shop and watched as they sliced through some 1/4 steel like it was butter. They have an 11ft shear that is no joke! Then they welded a couple of cross bars for a basic foundation for me to build upon.
So, I did a bit of homework and decided that I'm certainly never going into the metal fabrication business and didn't want to spend hundreds of dollars on a "tube-notcher" ... trust me they can be pricey! So I did what anyone would do. I went over to Harbor Freight and got one for like $57 bucks. Yes, you get what you pay for and it certainly needed lots and lots of tweaking that included adding washers with varying degrees of thickness to get it to a point where everything was perfectly aligned. granted I also purchased the actual hole saw from Homedepot (Im sure it was at least a step up from Harbor Freight) Once all that was done and I made a few practice cuts and it actually worked out pretty darn good. And I only used 1 hole saw!
As far as tips and tricks go, well I started out using my cordless 18volt drill and it worked but it was laboring. So, I reluctantly shifted over to my Dewalt hammer drill. However, the problem with that drill is the torque, its great for the job at hand but if it catches the metal it could twist the cracker jacks out of my wrist... trust me... I know! So, I used the handle and braced it against the table to prevent the twisting from happening... and it all worked perfectly. I also used compressed air to cool the blade instead of cutting oil or WD-40 and it seemed to work perfectly as the blade never seemed to lose its edge.
This was my foundation I started from, its 12 inches high as I'm also going to be attaching reinforcements for the rear wing.
Here is my notching setup.
After my practice cuts this is what I ended up with.
Well, its been a minute. Life can sometimes get in the way of the fun but ... Im still chippin away at it. I finally got the molds for the lower rockers done. Mounted the passenger side last night. I'll post a few pics once I get back at it later today. In the mean time here is the mold processs
Aero.... The 4th and 6th pic are the original fins next to the new design. The grey parts are still in the prototype phase, gonna get them done in some ABS and add a perimeter to the mounting surface to give it a bit more support.
I also trimmed and mounted the side skirts, fitment is damn good if I don't say so myself. They're not without flaws,... its fiberglass so I'm gonna need to massage them a bit. But, overall, I'm pleased as punch.... spiked punch!
Here what I got: Overall view. Note that Im gonna be adding an aero piece under the side skirt/rocker to bring the look all together.
Few details on mounting.... Part of the problem with the original kit was simply mounting the kit... in short... only a few of the factory mount points were utilized. I've kinda always had the idea that I wanted to have all or most of the kit repairable. You know, like something is damaged so you unbolt the old and add a new part. With that in mind, I utilized the mount point under the car. There are 4 of them and I used three.
I used 1 where the factory fender mounts, the other two are where the quarter panels mount.
The rest of the panel gets mounted inside the door: I'm on the fence with bonding it in place and blending it in or screwing it in place. Hmmm I may bond it in. Sure its gonna be a lot of work to get it off (If I ever need to) but I think it will look better.
Ok the bad stuff. I got some alligatoring in a few spots. Its because the gelcoat was to thin ....and I knew it when I sprayed it in and against my better judgement ... I said to myself "Ehh it'll be fine" and it is... I just have some repair work to do. Note to self, listen to your better judgement next time.
Also the body line on the driver side.. Near perfect! The passenger side...Ehhhhhh Its got some weird hump in it. Freaking fiberglass I tell ya.