January 8, 2013
We haven't been as busy on the car as we'd hoped this past week. It's been too cold to paint, so we still have a bare metal frame sitting in the garage. The good news is, bare metal doesn't rust a whole lot when it's cold. So while we wait for the weather to improve, we've been trying to accumulate hours on the build plan by welding more stuff to the frame. We welded on the engine bay shelf and the panel over the transmission bell housing, finishing off that chapter of the build, and we finished up most of the grinding, good news for our Harbor Freight angle grinder, which is on its last legs.
We also added a couple of brackets in the trunk area for mounting the evaporative emissions canisters. It might've been better to do this with the rear axle in the car, but two things: 1) We have many pictures of the rear axle installed in the car, and our new brackets look like they won't come close to interfering, and 2) No one's forcing us to install the evaporative emissions canisters. If they happen to interfere with the rear axle, we'll just quietly leave them off the car, and all we'll have to do then is come up with a good excuse for why we welded brackets there. Gussets or something.
One good thing about welding on brackets is that we found out our fuel tank won't fit. While measuring clearance for the overflow tank we discovered the ground tab on the spare tire mount sticks out too far, which will prevent the fuel tank from sliding all the way back on its mounts. We can't actually prove this until we get our fuel tank, but it doesn't look good. So we figured it's best to chop off the tab now, rather than after we paint the frame. And we have another tab nearby, so we can have that tab do double duty as a ground tab. Weight savings.
We pulled the roll bar off the car, since we don't want it on there when we paint the frame. We'll paint the roll bar later on, and we might not get around to installing it until after the car's almost done. Unfortunately, though, the roll bar takes up more room in the garage, and along with all the other big car parts, we may be starting to lose track of some of them. If I think about it, there's a few parts I can't remember seeing in a while. The steering rack, for one. The radiator, but I think I know where that's stashed.
The front suspension is piled on the welding table. The exhaust system is leaning up against it. Wheels and tires are stacked in the middle of the garage with several parts on top. Drive train parts are all smooshed together in the back of the garage, along with our loaner engine hoist. A few smaller parts are sitting on some shelves we built last year. Both of the wiring harnesses are draped over the shelves. We set the roll bar on the drive train parts for now, but it can't stay there. Maybe there's room in one of the upstairs closets.
According to the weather reports, afternoon temperatures are supposed to slowly rise over the next couple of weeks. If that keeps up, we should be able to paint the frame during the upcoming three-day weekend. In the meantime, we have to find other Locost stuff to work on, because we need to get our average hours per week up over 20. We're in serious danger of having our estimated completion date move into 2014, and we can't allow that.
A couple of things we thought we might work on while we wait were the dashboard, console covers, and the rear bulkhead. But these are all made out aluminum and we don't have any aluminum. To rectify this situation we ordered a bunch of aluminum, and it should be here any day now, although lately our online metal supplier has been a little flaky. Their website has been showing our order as "ready to ship today" for the past week or so.
If the aluminum gets here in the next week, we'll be able to spend several hours cutting out parts. We might even be able to drill all the holes in the parts and cleco them on to the frame, although I'm not sure that's allowed before the frame is painted. We'll look into it and get back to you.
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