January 4, 2008

We know how our website visitors like it when we make things. Sometimes we are in such a hurry that we can't take pictures of the process. Here, Bret is making inside door handles for 068 and 119. Remember, it's easier to make these parts all at the same time.

The photo on the left shows the stage of using an 8mm bolt and altering it with a hammer, a little fire, some grinding, and a 6mm die. You end up with the finished parts on the right.

These parts are now ready for the chrome. Bret has mounted the torch on the side of the workbench, which will product red-hot metal so he can pound it into shape.

Notice, he doesn't touch the hot metal with his bare hands. He thinks the red metal will hurt his fingers, so he uses vise grips, which will also be hot in a few minutes, so a quick trip to the bathroom sink is in order every few heat cycles.

Andy thought maybe Bret could make horse shoes after he did such a great job shaping the flat on the door lever.

A little tap here, a little tap there...

Now, to get it good and flat, the stud gets heated one more time and then squeezed in the press. This eliminates hammer marks.

Hey, look...they're almost the same! I told Bret that close enough is good enough. You can still only see one at a time. The picture on the right is my body shop dolly that Bret has converted into a forming tool. Remember, the gas tank strap retainers were made from the same dolly.

The part that Bret's making now is the lever that adjusts the pedals. We only had one from 090 and we needed 2 more. You can see the steps of how the material is also heated red hot and then formed through the two studs that are screwed into the tool.

Each time a bend is made, the material is measured for accuracy using the original part.

The torch has been Bret's best friend because in the last 3 days, it's been pretty cold to us Floridans. The heat from the torch is a welcome addition to a cold shop.

More bending...

and another bend...

Bingo, the shape is now accurate to the original.

Now, Bret has to make the linkage arm for the cable, which is adjusted by the driver to position the pedals forwards or backwards. Remember, the 904 has a stationary seat, so you adjust the pedals and you adjust the steering column for driver's comfort.

Crude and simple is the forming tool that makes the crease which gives the part strength.

This is put in a press and out comes the perfect part. Now the round bobbin that has been made on the lathe will be silver soldered to the arm and ready for paint and installation.

This is the bell crank for the throttle pedal. 090 is the donor again for this part and we needed to make two. You know how it is when you buy a basket case, it always comes complete...ha ha ha! These parts are not available anymore, so rather than waste the time trying to find them, we just make them. One of these oil tanks is for 068. Andy has just cleaned them and they are headed for the polisher.

The hood has been fit, but it needs the front leading edge. This always has to be made to fit the car, so I mark the hood...

tape off the inside, and apply a 13mm edge of clay.

Here is Mike's deck cover before it goes to primer. You can see I am installing the clay sticks on top of the tape because you don't want the grease from the clay to contaminate the fiberglass. Paint doesn't stick so good to clay.

Once the edge is complete, I smooth the clay to ready it for three layers of 3/4 ounce mat.

Now ready for the lay up.

A thin layer of cabosil is applied.

Then, the material. After the material is applied, I use a spreader to flatten the surface.

While the edge is curing, I prime the two deck lids (068 - first primer, 090 - final primer).

Now the final gas cap is primed.

You can see after sanding the duratec, the X pattern reveals itself. This is produced by the curing of the resin and cabosil when the strengthing structure was glued from the inside. If this hood was made with twice the material, this pattern would be hardly noticeable, but the hood would be much heavier. Some hoods have a lot of material, some hoods don't. I, myself, am not bothered when you see structure patterns in a fiberglass body as it sits in the sun. It tells me the fiberglass was applied in a lightweight manner.

I will give the hood a thin coat of filler and then block sand to obtain a more even surface.

After four coats of dolphin gray urethane primer, the hood will be block sanded to obtain a nice flat finish. The hood still remains very light weight. When the car gets in the sun, you might still be able to see the pattern of the inside structure, but as the hood cools, most the time the pattern disappears.

Final paint now on the deck lid cover and first primer on the hood. Well, we got the plating back today. Sometime in '09, we'll have the parts sorted out as to where they go...ha ha!

All these parts are connected with thin wire so they can be submerged in the plating tanks. When we get the parts back, they are still connected to all the wire. This is a tedious process undoing a million parts

Bret has now assembled the throttle bell cranks. He has made the pieces and silver soldered them together. This is how the factory made this part. The parts will be media blasted and painted black.

The gas tank is now installed and will be fit with the new hardware that we just received from the plater. This tank will need to be polished before final installation.

<< Previous Update | Next Update >>