GaryC83
GaryC83 New Reader
4/23/22 12:58 a.m.

Couple people have asked for some misc. Fabrication stuff. So I'll post what I can. Not everything I can post (Ridler builds and the like, due to their regulations) but... I'll throw some stuff up here and answer questions if people have them. 

 

Long (ok, short) of it is I work at a pretty well known custom shop, Rad Rides. Been there going on damn near a decade now. I do a ton of chassis work, exhaust work, some sheet metal fabrication, a lot of logistical packaging as far as under dash, accessory packaging, retrofitting new tech into old vehicles, do our 3d printing, do some paint and body when needed, final assembly, help with tuning and electrical & troubleshooting and on and on.... and overall, whatever the hell is needed, when its needed kinda E36 M3. Been doing cars and bikes my whole life.  Almost 39. So you can do the math on that. Had the privilege to work on some well known projects and race cars. Been a part of the world's fastest piston powered streamliner, our own streamliner shooting to go 400, off an NA small block, fastest flathead powered street roadster, and on and on and on, not to mention a bunch of standing mile & drag week with the twin turbo belvedere (208mph and in the 9's at 148/149mph, in street trim) and such. 

 

So...anyway. enough chatter. Have some pictures. 

Shroud I did for the stroker gen v direct injected lt1  / 10 speed in the 41. I'll throw some frame pictures up next. 

jgrewe
jgrewe HalfDork
4/23/22 1:40 a.m.

Incredible work. I bet people here would appreciate more details on the processes. I know I would.

Keep stuff coming!

ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter)
ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter) Dork
4/23/22 1:46 a.m.

Ooh; beautiful work! That really is stunning! I'll gladly follow your fabrication thread and glean whatever little bits I can comprehend and hope to utilize  someday. Thanks for sharing!

GaryC83
GaryC83 New Reader
4/23/22 1:46 a.m.

Here's some chassis stuff on the 41. Making upper coil mount. Relocated an inch higher than AME, also we machine our own upper control arm mount brackets and relocate those as well vs the "factory" AME geometry which is Vette based.  Firewall forward is all heavily modified and custom built. It's got a torsion style sway bar, with arms I made, also made insert cups for running the sway bar thru the frame complete with bronze insert bushings for the bar to ride in. Modified lower control arm with relocated sway bar pickup points, CNC'd upper arms, our own upper spring mounts, and on and on. Nothing is off the shelf, but these are built to be driven, that's the most important thing. 

 

 

Some more of the frame fab. I modified the rails. Did all bracing, kick out for rad clearance including internal gussets that double as guides for trans and PS lines to run internally to the coolers, set the bulkheads in for internal brake line routing, built the core support, packaged all the coolers, built the set of conventional tri Y headers, exhaust/ mufflers / tips, rear rail work, modified the floor, etc etc etc.  Its a hell of a group effort in actuality. We all have a TON of time in these...every one of us. 

 

And on and on and on...

GaryC83
GaryC83 New Reader
4/23/22 3:03 a.m.
jgrewe said:

Incredible work. I bet people here would appreciate more details on the processes. I know I would.

Keep stuff coming!

That's exactly how it's done, though. Take a 4 door car, and a 2 door car... Cut them apart. And do some work. To wind up here. 

dculberson
dculberson MegaDork
4/23/22 7:07 a.m.

I notice your steel has a very even sheen, consistent from piece to piece too. Is that due to sandblasting or some other surface prep?

TJL (Forum Supporter)
TJL (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
4/23/22 7:50 a.m.

thats some amazingly nice work. 
 

In reply to dculberson :

Is that finish from a D/A "jitterbug" sander?  I used to work with a lot of fresh fabbed parts and most had a pleasant jitterbug sanded finish. 

GaryC83
GaryC83 New Reader
4/23/22 8:10 a.m.
dculberson said:

I notice your steel has a very even sheen, consistent from piece to piece too. Is that due to sandblasting or some other surface prep?

Its all sandblasted to start with it as far as the body. But when we go about metal finishing stuff out it gets hit with 80 on a DA and then a red scotchBrite pad after we are done with our metal work. 

jimbob_racing
jimbob_racing SuperDork
4/23/22 8:28 a.m.

Wow. 

The only thing that comes to mind are the words of that great philosopher,  Wayne Campbell:

"We're not worthy!"

GaryC83
GaryC83 New Reader
4/23/22 9:15 a.m.

Quick set of engine mounts I knocked up to put a new Gen V LT4 into a 40 olds that was LS3 powered. Now it's got an LT4/8L90.

First position the engine where it should be. Then make your mount templates. 

Engine side.

Laying out mount puck side. We use factory rubber mounts. When final installed, a new set went on. These are the 40,000 mile set off the LS3 in the '40 being used for mockup. 

Cut finish and bevel plate. be way harder to do later. 

 

Measure for and turn up some spacers to weld to the backside for clearance. 

Put your pieces together and figure out how to connect them.

Keep in mind clearance for hardware, wrench installation clearance, etc. 

Tack together. Fit. Check. Recheck. Weld the bastards up. 

Do the same on the other side. Then finish weld everything and prep for powdercoat, paint, whatever. 

 

 

birdmayne
birdmayne GRM+ Memberand Reader
4/23/22 9:53 a.m.

Wow. This is cool stuff. I dream of having skills like this

wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L)
wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
4/23/22 10:02 a.m.

Great to have a bird's eye view of this level of fabrication. 

Question: how heavy are you on Computer scanning, CNC plasma cutting/CNC machining, etc.

To my eye, those are some heavy plates, but that does allow that perfect bevel on the edges. Beautiful work. Thanks for sharing.

GaryC83
GaryC83 New Reader
4/23/22 10:20 a.m.
wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) said:

Great to have a bird's eye view of this level of fabrication. 

Question: how heavy are you on Computer scanning, CNC plasma cutting/CNC machining, etc.

To my eye, those are some heavy plates, but that does allow that perfect bevel on the edges. Beautiful work. Thanks for sharing.

Cnc plasma... none. Cnc machining we have 2x CNC'S run by our in house guy, making parts all day, every day. Wheels, brackets, accessory drive stuff. He's kept far too busy with more important stuff than to be able to cut simple E36 M3 out like this, so its all done by hand. Is it the most time effective, no. But it works and results speak for themselves. 

 

On most of the stuff we do, we aren't concerned with as low of weight as possible, as much as durability, drivability and then looks. So, sure I could have made those with .1875" plate, but .250" allows for a much more pronounced bevel, as well as being able to really shape and round over the edges on the supports amd such, so yeah. Sometimes the stuff is overkill, but again. These are street cars that get shown, that actually do get the wheels driven off them. So we aren't always concerned with making everything as light as possible. Hell, we put hundreds of pounds of dynamat and dynaliner / pad in them..so, again. Weight isn't high up on our list of things to be crazy concerned about for our street cars. As it is, this has about 670 horse, in a 40 Olds (the LT4)  The 41 Chevy has a 650 horse 417" stroker.  So.. they still move out pretty good.

 

And in the last 6 months we have added a 3d scanner. Just slowly working into getting into that. Everything up to then was all measured by hand, paper templates printed from solidworks files to double check and verify fit. Then machined. So, we are just now catching up tech wise, but... like all things. It's a process. 

GaryC83
GaryC83 New Reader
4/23/22 10:49 a.m.

Here's a great example of a mix of our CNC and all the hand work. 

What's CNC'D are the brackets for the reservoir for the coilovers, that's attached to the crossmember. The inner and outer are CNC'D. The bulkhead inserts are CNC'D, along with the recess plates, that get welded into the rails.  The brake line and reservoir clamp on the lower control arm is CNC'd, the upper control arm mount halves are CNC'D, as is the upper control arm. 

 

Everything else is pretty much all templates by hand, made by hand and heavily modified (lower control arm). So, the rails, coil mounts, braces on the rails, sway bar mount inserts, sway bar arms (not seen), bumper mounts, and on and on. We also CNC our radiator end tanks and weld them in house to C&R cores, so we can entirely spec our own systems. So its a lot of CNC parts, but a *hell* of a lot of hand fitting, cutting, finishing, etc. As well.

obsolete
obsolete GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
4/23/22 1:05 p.m.

Wow, you have a dream job and your work is beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

wawazat
wawazat SuperDork
4/23/22 9:26 p.m.

Thanks for sharing.  Your skills are evident and impressive for sure!

chandler
chandler UltimaDork
4/24/22 7:43 a.m.

It's been a long time but back before you guys did your own paint work I worked for St Aubins so I saw your stuff frequently. I got to know Bob Thrash pretty well back when he drove a mini tubbed Tercel custom daily. Always been impressed with the quality. Keep up the good work.

wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L)
wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
4/24/22 7:45 a.m.
GaryC83 said:
But it works and results speak for themselves. 

Yes, they do.    There are a couple of high end restoration guys on this forum, but Riddler level hot rodding is a new one. Most entertaining. 

The fact that this is almost entirely done by hand makes it even more impressive. Do carry on.

GaryC83
GaryC83 Reader
4/24/22 2:42 p.m.
chandler said:

It's been a long time but back before you guys did your own paint work I worked for St Aubins so I saw your stuff frequently. I got to know Bob Thrash pretty well back when he drove a mini tubbed Tercel custom daily. Always been impressed with the quality. Keep up the good work.

Small world, for sure!  We are trying. Have a couple of really neat roadster projects going on currently, along with the usual assortment of other projects - Bonneville prep, and other complete builds. Have some neat stuff in the pipeline as well, track based Corvette and the like. 

GaryC83
GaryC83 Reader
4/24/22 2:45 p.m.
wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) said:
GaryC83 said:
But it works and results speak for themselves. 

Yes, they do.    There are a couple of high end restoration guys on this forum, but Riddler level hot rodding is a new one. Most entertaining. 

The fact that this is almost entirely done by hand makes it even more impressive. Do carry on.

Thanks much, appreciated. Outside of the CNC's, everything is all still done by hand and old world. English wheels, planishing hammer, power hammer, an old Pullmax we keep humming along. Its very traditional coachbuilding mixed with modern tech as far as the driveline and creature comfort side of things are concerned. It's a neat mix that winds up with some extremely drivable and usable cars.

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