Side panels.

January 5th, 2013

This morning I followed Nigel’s advice and made the drag link cut-out bigger. I tried jacking the off side wheel but there isn’t enough weight in the car to compress the spring. Even me standing on it doesn’t make it move much. So I estimated the amount of movement I expect and made it larger to accommodate that. It can be tweaked later. The good thing is now it looks more even and centralised.

IMG_3347_1 Drag link cut-out again.

Next I looked at braze welding in the side panels. I haven’t brazed for ages so I practised first. I am using bronze rod and oxy-acetylene¬† gas with Tenacity 20 flux. My practice piece ended up fine.

IMG_3338_1 Practice piece.

I tested the strength of the welds. Those two bottom tubes were actually brazed on at different rotations and I was able to twist the whole thing to align them with no breakages. I also bent the top tube by levering on the shorter tubes with a long bar. And no amount of bashing with a hammer broke the welds. I think that should work fine!

Next I wire brushed the steel on the frame around where the front two side panels go. I sanded the MIG spot welds flat with the angle grinder. Not enough to break the welds but so they were flush. Then I was able to braze weld the tubes. More wire brushing when it cools removes the flux residue.

With those joints done I then looked at the side panels. Instead of them being on the outside of the tubes I wanted them more or less flush so I had to inset them a little. To do this I folded a flange on the top edge so the panel would sit in and also trimmed and hand filmed the side edges so they would rest on the round vertical tubes.

This took a long time. Lots of hammering and careful filing to get everything to fit nicely.

IMG_3341_1 Side panels mounted inside frame.

The panels are set in about 1/16 of an inch. I did the bigger, middle panel first and welded it in place with spots of braze around the edges. I then did the front panel on that side then repeated the process on the other side of the car. I still need to do the bottom most spots on each panel as it was too close to the wooden floor which would have burned. Speaking of burning that panel steel is covered in a zinc coating so when welding it I wear a respirator mask to avoid breathing in the fumes that can end up making you feel very ill!

With the front two side panels in place the frame is now sitting properly on the floor and the floor is now sitting properly on the chassis.

IMG_3342_1 IMG_3343_1 Side panels welded in.

Tomorrow I will re-cover the car in cardboard just as a final check of the frame. If that looks good I can now pull it off the car and start welding it up properly.

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