Catch up 2017 (Body)

So its been a while since I have updated anything on the blog and I want to apologize to all my loyal fans (I think there are some out there).  2017 made a lot of progress after the go kart stage with still some mechanical work happening, but most of the hours going towards interior/body/etc.

I will try and do several updates in a mostly chronological manner, but some may get out of order since I have a lot of updates.

To start with there has been a lot of work on the body both fitting and trimming panels as well as me getting comfortable sanding and working with the fiberglass, but before we get into that… some shiny!  The grill came with a matte/machined/rough finish, and being the cheap guy that I am, I decided to invest some of my own man hours in attempting to sand and polish it instead of paying someone to coat it.  You can see in the pictures below it’s transformation, I went from 220 grit paper to 2000 (left over from when we did the Chevelle’s paint job) and finished with a buffing wheel and Mothers aluminum polish.  The results are pretty good, not a high chrome finish, but certainly shiny and looks a lot better than before.  I still ended up with some deep scratches and a few inclusions from the casting process, but they will most likely only bother me and I am proud of the result.

Prior to getting the body on, I routed all of the a/c and coolant hoses and had them crimped by a local shop.  Below are the manifold connections on the firewall and where  I ended up stashing the a/c dryer.

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Next up, around March ’17 we fit the body and I started doing all the small cutouts and edits that are needed, you can see I was using some of the FFR stickers to mock up my gauge locations which are actually almost perfect matches to the diameter of the gauges.  Also below are holes for brake lights and access panels behind the firewall.

Below are some additional fitting work with the body and top, I used a ratchet strap to pull in the back driver quater panel before drilling the hole to get the right width of the door opening, also had to do some sanding to get the firewall to fit, but overall it went pretty well and the top looks kickass.  I had planned on bike fenders, but I am really liking the open wheel look for now.

 

The next topic are doors.  I have limited picture of that effort because it was so frustrating to actually get done I dont even want to describe it and I didnt want to take any pictures.  Honestly they still catch and need more adjusting  but I dont have the energy at this point.  Also below is a picture of me in my fiberglass cutting gear… safety first!  It was a long process, and the one thing I can recommend is taking your time and not getting frustrated.

The door handles themselves were pretty easy, but they feel too flimsy (both interior and exterior) and dont have clean stops to prevent you from over stressing the cable.  I am working on the fix for that, but no solution right now.

 

Laying out the gauges and the dash was actually a pretty fun bit of work with a nice looking reward at the end, Kristy was instrumental in helping pick the layout as well as helping to measure out and sketch the locations.  Strangely enough though, whenever the fiberglass dust started flying she was absent…

One other note is that we ended up swapping the provided a/c controls which were black with a polished set purchased from vintage air to match the gauges and other polished accents.

One last section for the body catch up post is mounting of the hood hinge brackets and headlights as well as where I ended up stashing the coolant overflow tank.  In its current location, with no load on the wheels, I get about 1/8″ clearance between the tank and the upper suspension arm, but when on the ground it opens up to a respectable amount.

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