Reworking. Lots of it.

January 3rd, 2012

Joss came over to see how I was doing on Monday. After looking at the car and seeing the firewall we went back to his place to see the Chummy he has there so I could make some measurements of it and see how the firewall went. I also wanted to see his Riley Brooklands that’s is sort of for sale (bit more of a project than an A7).

IMG_1373_2 Riley Brooklands.

I got lots of measurements and photos of the chummy so we came back to check out mine. Turns out the firewall wasn’t far off. The floor needs to be at 45 degrees. And I needed more clearance around things. The biggest problem was it turns out in making my hoops I had messed up the lines of the car! I got so worried about trying to make the hoops from one piece of steel I lost the original lines we’d come up with. Taping a stick to the side rails to follow them along made this really obvious. Where the top curve started was too low causing a kink in the line. I think the problem is when I was trying to do the front hoops there are too many things to get right at once so it all went wonky.

IMG_1379_1 Lines all gone wrong.

Trying to make the hoops in one go is bad! The proper way to do it, the way Joss was hinting at all along, is do the verticals first then to the top part. So I needed to go back to vertical sticks!

The other problem I had was everything was quite floppy. The floor is all bendy and the sticks I had weren’t supported so everything could move about. To rectify this I first I screwed a piece of Dexion angle iron to the floor to keep that flat. This is along the centre line and being steel I was able to weld other things to it. Luckily the shape of my side rails was still correct so I kept them in place and redid the verticals one at a time. I added diagonal bracing to hold things in the right place.

IMG_1381_1 Dexion backbone and diagonal bracing.

I then redid the front hoops but only did the verticals and made sure I had the top line correct again by taping my long wooden sticks to the steel to make sure I still had the correct curve. The drop from the nose to the tail on this car is quite dramatic so that has to be absolutely right or the car will look bad. You can see below that the correct line is going through the middle of the curve in the firewall. That line shows where the curve should be starting from.

IMG_1383_1 IMG_1384_1

Redoing the side lines.

With all the side sticks in place and braced to the backbone I redid the front two. I just did the vertical part then locked all that solid with more bracing (it’s temporary and removed later). The frame is now much more solid and it doesn’t move about when you work on it. I tried to get all the heights and measurements consistent. Oddly the middle most stick on one side is 1/4 of an inch higher than the other side. This shouldn’t matter as that stick is eventually cut away for the sides where you step over the body (instead of doors).

IMG_1386_1 Front bracing.

I think the thing I got wrong was thinking that the vertical frames are actual hoops. It is better to think of the car in two halves, the top and the sides. Get the sides right with vertical sticks first. Get the correct heights and angles on them to define the sides and top line of the body. Then later add the top curves. Also the metal frame for the top doesn’t have to line up with the side sticks! They don’t need to be like continuous hoops.

IMG_1387_1 Redone frame.

So now I have the sides in place and everything is solid.  Next I make the metal that goes at the top of the firewall to define that top curve just behind the bonnet. Then I can make the firewall. This building cars is hard work!



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