Side bars.

July 10th, 2012

In the last few days I finished redoing the rear hoops for the boot opening. I angled them both forward at the bottom edge to follow the line of the firewall better.

IMG_2584_1 Rear boot opening.

I also looked at the side rails again. Joss suggested kinking the middle one so it wasn’t so straight and so I could bend the side panels in the middle to better follow the curve of the body. Thinking about it I decided to try using square tube instead of round. The first thought was to just use the tube straight but then bend the side panels so they were not so flat. I couldn’t do that with round tube since the panels must meet the tube at it’s lowest point (right in the middle) to be welded in place. So if you curve the tube you must also curve the side panel to the top edge will meet the bottom most part of the tube always. Using square tube would mean I would have a flat bottom face so it wouldn’t matter where the top of the side panel joined it.

When I looked at the square tube it seemed it would be easy to bend it to the curve of the body then the side panels could still be flat with one or two straight bends in them. The top of the side panels can touch the bottom of the square tube anywhere and be welded in place.

The tube is easy to bend. I just put two pieces of wood in the vice and had them spaced just bigger than the tube. You can easily bend it by hand for the slight bends needed here.

IMG_2587_1 Bending square tube.

I just bent the two rear most tubes on each side to fit the body. The front one is so short it could just be straight. Again the ends of the tube were filed to match the curve of the round vertical sections so they can all be neatly braze welded in place later. They look much better than straight round tubes and should look much neater inside the car.

IMG_2588_1 IMG_2591_1 Curved square tube.

With a panel on the outside of the body you can see how the gap between the tube and the sides will be very small and uniform. With straight tubes there would be a bigger gap at the mid point of the tube that would look odd from inside the cockpit. The skin won’t actually touch the tubes but will be slightly curved so will sit away from it fractionally.

IMG_2594_1 Gap between frame and sides.

Apart from tweaks I think that’s all the framing tubes (tacked) in place. I also popped down to Fagan and Hannay after work yesterday and ordered all the steel I need for the rear firewall, transmission tunnel and side panels and that should be ready to collect on Thursday after work. I had to measure and check that I will be able to fit all the pieces in my MGB. They’ll fit – just. I will need more steel at some point for things like the battery box, fuel tank, instrument panel and so on but I can get that later.

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