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New York Nick
New York Nick GRM+ Memberand New Reader
10/21/20 2:01 p.m.

I am more excited than Michael Jackson eating popcorn or Gene Wilder playing an eccentric candy magnate to see this unfold...

:-)

NYN

jimbob_racing
jimbob_racing Dork
10/21/20 7:57 p.m.

Wow. Great project

jh36
jh36 GRM+ Memberand Reader
10/21/20 8:41 p.m.

In reply to jimbob_racing :

Thanks for joining me on the adventure!!  I think this is going to be a fun one!

jh36
jh36 GRM+ Memberand Reader
10/21/20 8:50 p.m.

I spent a bit of time trying to figure out exactly how the cage should be modified.  I ran into Timmy Tyrell at Summit Point and hooked me up with Jay Hedgecock from Hedgecock Racing in High Point, NC (my old stomping grounds).  Jay encouraged me and let me know that these chassis are very strong and i should not worry about cutting some of the bars out for fear of the chassis geometry changing significantly.  So....I did my best to guess where to cut by floating the body over the chassis on my lift....

jh36
jh36 GRM+ Memberand Reader
10/21/20 9:00 p.m.

I started by working on the "passenger" side.  The a-pillars needed to relocate and also change angles.  The NASCAR bars needed to be more narrow.  The center Earnhardt bar needed to match the angle of the new a pillars...so i started hacking away.  My son James popped a support brace from the fire wall to the halo.

jh36
jh36 GRM+ Memberand Reader
10/21/20 9:06 p.m.

Doing the best estimating I could, I marked where I thought the a-pillar should go and what the angle should be. Then it was off to the welder (after destroying a perfectly good piece of 1.75” tubing on a Harbor Freight bender). Ray Rodgers is a drag guy and fabricator in Delaware…about an hour from my house. He is smart, energetic and talented. He loves cars and working on them. If anyone is in the mid Atlantic area and looking for talent, message me. He is good AND dependable. Ray did exactly what I asked.

jh36
jh36 GRM+ Memberand Reader
10/21/20 9:09 p.m.

When I got the car back, it was all wrong. So….the next time I dropped the car AND the body off with Ray so he could stop listening to me and start doing things right. What he did was impressive. I wanted as much bump out on the driver side as possible with the gutted FB doors. I wanted an x-brace on the “passenger” side and I wanted a new Earnhardt bar with the proper windshield rake. He got all this done in a week. That just isn’t really a thing in my world, so I was impressed. He’s also a married young guy with two great young kids who hang out in his shop. Isn’t that really what’s missing these days?

Here's the wrong version.

jh36
jh36 GRM+ Memberand Reader
10/21/20 9:12 p.m.

I've always been a fan of creepy marionettes.  So, this is how i decided to attach the body as a one man show.  It sort of worked, but was also pretty terrifying at times.  In the end, i screamed for daughters to run out and help me...that was a better method.

jh36
jh36 GRM+ Memberand Reader
10/21/20 9:16 p.m.

Once the body was on, it was clear that the a-pillar was not the best.  I sent a pic to Ray and he agreed...it would be better to cut out the bars, return the chassis to him with the body as a guide and stop estimating.  But even with this setback, I was pretty encouraged.  It looked like the great experiment might just work and the body and chassis were at least in the right zip code to mate up. 

Red5
Red5 New Reader
10/23/20 9:13 a.m.

Looks great!  Nice work!

jh36
jh36 GRM+ Memberand Reader
10/23/20 4:33 p.m.

Ray and I stayed in touch mostly via text and text images. We agreed on the plan of attack and he sent pics as he went along.

First, we figured out the relocated a-pillar was really close to the original location…one tube diameter apart. We decided to actually weld the two tubes together, then Ray had the idea to really lock it together with a 1” wide strip of steel. This turned the assembly into one stout piece.

He then bent and welded the NASCAR bars, the x bars and final welded the Earnhardt bar.

jh36
jh36 GRM+ Memberand Reader
10/23/20 7:45 p.m.

jh36
jh36 GRM+ Memberand Reader
10/23/20 7:46 p.m.

jh36
jh36 GRM+ Memberand Reader
10/23/20 7:49 p.m.

I picked up the car last Saturday. I think it is beautiful. I primed and painted the new metal and reconnected the wiring I disconnected for the cutting and welding. I will wait and mount the gauges once I have the body final fitted. That should help me to envision my dash design.

I primed the oil and she hit the ignition…she fired up right away. This brings us “up to the moment”.

jh36
jh36 GRM+ Memberand Reader
10/23/20 8:04 p.m.

Now that the cage is done, I can sit the body on frame and see exactly where we have issues. The first thing I’m taking into consideration is the overall height of the cage and how that affects the body at the rocker.

The ASA design was pretty tall. Because the overall length was long, the cars don’t really look that way with the body on them, but when you get rid of the front and rear overhands, it isn’t exactly a GT40.

The cage is a couple of inches taller than it “should” be. When the body is sitting on the halo, the rockers are striking the frame rail, pushing the bottom of the body out. The solution was to trim off portion of the rocker that would normally wrap under the frame, along with a bit of the “x-axis” for lack of better words. This made the body appear to sit even higher, but removed the offending material that was pushing the body out.

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/24/20 6:08 a.m.

The cage turned out better than I expected. I can't wait to see the body on it!

Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter)
Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/24/20 7:20 a.m.

Armchair quarterback comment:

Can you cap the vertical stub tube that is welded to the a pillar bars? It looks quite unfinished in that area, and seems like a perfect water/crap catching area. Just a piece of sheetmetal bent like a taco shell and welded on would do wonders.

jh36
jh36 GRM+ Memberand Reader
10/24/20 7:34 a.m.
Lof8 - Andy said:

I haven't had any project ideas really jump out to me as a great "next" one in a while.  I'm probably not close to doing anything like this real soon, but this is definitely something to add on my list.  Very cool.  I'll be following!

Your image...before I started this project I bounced around on a few ideas...this could be my last major design/build as a race driver. One thought was a 3.0 CSL clone...maybe with an ls transplant. My first major race experience was mid-70's Sebring. Those cars blew my mind. Still do. 

jh36
jh36 GRM+ Memberand Reader
10/24/20 7:59 a.m.

Now, I have a decision to make. Do I simply make a new rocker that will roll under the frame rail, or do I make a more complicated side skirt for a little aero action?  I am leaning toward the simple curved rocker for round one.  I'm also coming up with ideas that will allow the rocker to stay attached to the car and detach from the main body to more easily remove said body.  Dzus fittings along the top edge of the rocker/body joint is a thought...leaving the rocker itself permanently attached to the frame.

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/24/20 8:38 a.m.

In reply to jh36 :

Having a separate rocker attached to the chassis is a great idea. 

Aero would be cool if lower lap times are important, but then you'd need to figure out a package for the rest of the car too. 

jh36
jh36 GRM+ Memberand Reader
10/24/20 8:47 a.m.
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) said:

The cage turned out better than I expected. I can't wait to see the body on it!

I agree. It tucks in nicely and looks a lot less Nascar now. I hope by the end of the weekend I will have some body images. 

jh36
jh36 GRM+ Memberand Reader
10/24/20 8:49 a.m.

In reply to Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) :

I am liking the two piece lower idea more and more. There will be aero.  Johnny C has a rough idea for a Big Wang and I have alumilite for a splitter. The idea is to test with no aero, baseline the car then start adding on. 

jimgood
jimgood New Reader
10/24/20 8:51 a.m.

I agree with the rocker attached to the chassis but will you also need some kind of extra bracket to support the upper edge of the rocker and lower edge of the body? Maybe a 1" sq. bar with stand offs?

Nice work so far, Jack! Can't wait to see this bombing around the track.

jh36
jh36 GRM+ Memberand Reader
10/24/20 8:53 a.m.
Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter) said:

Armchair quarterback comment:

Can you cap the vertical stub tube that is welded to the a pillar bars? It looks quite unfinished in that area, and seems like a perfect water/crap catching area. Just a piece of sheetmetal bent like a taco shell and welded on would do wonders.

Yep!  I am going to cut it down a little more and do just that. I am going to check my local hardware store this morning and see if they have a 1.75 cap of any sort...if not, your idea will certainly work. Thanks!  And I appreciate the comment. When you're looking at this thing so much, you miss stuff.  Thanks for having my back!

jh36
jh36 GRM+ Memberand Reader
10/24/20 8:56 a.m.
jimgood said:

I agree with the rocker attached to the chassis but will you also need some kind of extra bracket to support the upper edge of the rocker and lower edge of the body? Maybe a 1" sq. bar with stand offs?

Nice work so far, Jack! Can't wait to see this bombing around the track.

I think you are right Jim. There will be very little rigidity along that line.  Especially on the passenger side where I need to cut for the side exhaust.  I bought a box of ideas from Jegs that I will post later today!  Yeah...I can't wait either. It's getting real!!  

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