Rear firewall.

October 26th, 2013

Today I did the bulk of the rear firewall. I started by making a cardboard template just to check things were all correct. Since it is corrugated cardboard and all floppy in one direction I hot glues skewers across it to keep it rigid.

IMG_4312_1 Cardboard test piece.

Since that looked good I went ahead and marked out the steel. I decided on a 3/4 inch flange and luckily my roll of tape is just that wide so it made an easy way to mark it out. You can see where the tape won’t curve enough to match the shape. At that point I made the flange only 1/4 inch high. A smaller flange is much easier to bend up.

IMG_4313_1 Marking out.

With it marked out I used my little turning up bar to start bringing the edges up. I then finished it off with a hammer and dollies.

IMG_4316_1 IMG_4319_1 Edges.

With the edges bent and smoothed out I started removing bits so I could test fit it in. It’s a bit hard getting it into place but it only needs to go in and out a few times. Once it is correct it will be welded in place. I did accidentally cut away a little too much at the bottom corners but I later welded in small pieces to compensate.

IMG_4321_1 IMG_4323_1

When it’s welded in I need to bend little tabs to join the firewall to the spring cover pieces. These then get brazed in place. I will need to remove the frame from the chassis to do that.

IMG_4333_1 Inside.

Inside the boot you can see the flanges. The bottom ones will be brazed to the frame. The aluminium skin will be riveted to the rest of the flanges. That should lock everything solid. The end of the transmission tunnel will be trimmed and bent at 90 degrees so that the firewall can be bolted to it. They aren’t permanently attached as the tunnel is attached to the floor, not the frame. The frame will lift right off it. In this picture you can just see the swages I hammered into the firewall to stiffen it.

IMG_4326_1 IMG_4330_1 IMG_4334_1

Here you can see the four swages more clearly. I put them so they will be covered by the seats and not be easily seen. You can also just seem little cardboard semicircles near the side tubes. To get the firewall in I had to cut large semicircular holes so I could maneouver  it in around the tubes. I’ll cut little metal covers to go over these holes to fill the gaps.

Tomorrow I will take the firewall out again and clean up all the edges with a file and trim the flange to be even. Not that it really matters since you can’t ever see it but I will know it’s there! Then I can remove the frame and weld it all in place. Then I need to make the rear axle cover and the remainder of the boot floor.

One last note. I got a very nice, hand written thank you letter from a member of the VAR who came to see my car the other weekend. Seems they liked what they saw and they had a good day visiting all our garages.

A lot more people stop to talk about the car now as I work on it. Today it was some people from up the road who apparently have a live steam model railway in their garden (I am definitely visiting them). And there was a woman looking for her lost three legged tabby cat.

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