The latest update from Bob on the car build..

Got a few more parts in. Last week was a slow week, so I didn’t make a whole lot of progress on the car in general.

The new 550 lb front springs. I’ll remove the existing 8 kg/cm front springs (447 lbs) and will be putting them in the rear of the car. And I’ve already removed the front and rear sway bars from the car, since the hillclimbs tend to be a bit rough and sway bars can cause a loss of drive traction and lateral grip on the bumpier sections.

Since I am building my own lower a-arms from round tubing, I got in these parts. Some 5/8″ chromoly rod ends to replace the pivot bushings and a tapered pin with 3/4″ high misalignment monoball and housing to replace the ball joint.

I stripped out the front of the car, and cut away the sheetmetal that houses the headlights and radiator mounts, and even removed the lower crossbar which supports the radiator and the fore/aft lower engine cradle. I’ll be making a bolt-in tubular crossbar that is lighter and can be removed for greater serviceability. I’m also going to shift the radiator and intercooler mounts a bit. It’ll give more ground clearance from the intercooler tubes and more room between the radiator and the supercharger.

Newly capped off crossmember stubs.

Crossmember made and tacked in place.

Final welding, and bolted in place.

I re-used the stock radiator lower mounts, and bent them to fit the new round tube crossbar, and finally welded them in place.

The car already had a Koyo aluminum radiator in place, but the Koyo has tiny 1-1/8″ inlet and outlet tubes. So the radiator hoses had to be sleeved in order to neck down the stock 35 mm (1.378″) hoses to fit. To me this is just one more potential failure point…plus the flow is restricted, so I chopped the stock tubes off and beaded some 1-3/8″ 6061 aluminum tubing, then welded them to the radiator. I will replace the OEM rubber hoses with some custom silicone racing hoses.

Last week I brushed on a coat of POR-15 paint onto the LF front fender in order to ‘seal’ the pores of the body filler. I will wait until the RF fender is also done, then I will be spraying both fenders with high-build urethane primer and blocksanding them smooth, and finally spraying a urethane topcoat. Once that’s done I’ll make parting flanges on the fenders and lay on some gelcoat and tooling resin/fiberglass mat to create the molds. The fender and flare sure aren’t perfect, but they’re acceptable for a racecar.

I also made a pair of headlight ‘covers’ from .060″ aluminum sheet. I saved 10 lbs from the very front of the car by deleting the headlights and corner lights! I will end up attaching the grill, the headlight covers, and the lower grill trim all together. This way I can strip the front end down to the bare shell in about 45 seconds by undoing a few Dzus fasteners.

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