Thursday, July 29, 2010

Work Weekend!! Day 2

Day 2

Saturday was spent cutting, a lot! We used a few different methods for this, first being the sawzall. Everybody goes on about the sawzall (with the appropriate blade of course) being the weapon of choice for cutting through a car. We also tried the more traditional grinder with cutting wheel, which seemed to wear through very quickly, and with a diamond tipped wheel. The same kind typically reserved for cutting tiles or masonry. This did a fantastic job when cutting through a single layer of sheet, and was easier than the sawzall when it comes to accuracy.

Step one was to make some cardboard templates, to give us a rough idea of what needs to go and what needs to stay. We are trying to keep the outside shell of the car intact, to preserve the appearance of a "normal" Geo. Of course, the plan is to go by trial and error, so we cut up enough so that we think we can get the Firefly part into the Geo, try it, fail, then cut some more... In order to ensure a good fit, we had to do this a lot.

Yours truly, now standing in what used to be the rear subframe. Interesting to note that Geos don't actually have subframes that you can unbolt as such. Everything is welded in, which is great for lightness, but bad for rust. In this case, all of the structurally important boxes were corroding from the inside.

After a few hours of trimming off the back in chunks, you end up with a fair sized hole, which is getting pretty close. The goal here was to be able to wheel the Firefly subframe under the Geo, to physically match things up. You can also see that we left some of the box section (I guess you could call it some kind of beam) that extends aft. The intent here is to use it to tie things together, but we have zero idea on how long this part needs to be.

Finally, after a day's work it sort of fits. In reality, the Geo is jacked up WAY high, as high as the 5-ton jackstands will allow: This makes the roof a few inches taller than a Suzuki SX-4. The major clearance issues to be solved tomorrow are:
  • The length of those boxed sections I mentioned earlier
  • The bottom corners of the fenders, by this I mean where the bumper used to be.
  • The inner fenders need more trimming.
And on to day 3!!!

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