Thursday, July 29, 2010

Work Weekend!! Day 3 (Creationism)

Day 3

Sunday picks up where Saturday left off, with more noisy cutting and grinding. I would like to take the time to really thank Eric's neighbours for their tolerance and patience!

Some things are best removed with the Sawzall (whose proper name is reciprocating saw, before the Milwaukee Tool Company complains). Yesterday, you saw the car up way high on stands and blocks, we figured the easiest way to go about trial fitting is to lower the Geo onto the new rear end.

Here you can see it's getting close, but there is STILL more trimming needed. Another clearance issue becomes apparent, the shifter location. Let me re-iterate on this a bit, we don't count on being able to use the shifter while running, but it's still needed for gear ratio setup, and the all important reverse gear! I can't speak for the others, but I know I will most definitely need that on the track.

Wheel placement is also at play here: it needs to go where the rear wheels used to be! We are trying to increase the wheelbase slightly, since it probably can't hurt!

After three days worth of work, IT FITS!!! Everything clears nice and tight. I have to thank the original Suzuki design team for helping us, it seems that the angle the body tapers (viewed from top) is the same front to back, which made life much much easier. Also note how we were able to preserve the small beam where the hatch latch goes, and that the bumper is where it should be.

From the inside, you can just about see where the shifter ends up. It's not in the best spot in relation to the seat but you can operate it. You can also see the rough cutout for the snowmobile engine. It will probably go much lower, but for now this is all we could cut without going through the (rear) steering rack mounts.

I think it's maybe time to start talking about structural integrity for this lot, so forgive my ramblings as I try to put this into words. What is key here, is tying the firewall from the Firefly (highlighted in baby blue, ha ha) to the rest of the Geo (in red). First will be joining everything at the floor. This involves tying the floor mounts from the blue bit, into the box section from the red bit. We plan on doing this with a clever box beam of some sort, using some scavenged door crash bars from the Firefly.

Next will be tying up the sides. We want to blue bit on the right to mate nicely to the B-pillar from the red car, and back down to the floor. This I think involves some kind of sheet gusset, going from the side of the blue firewall, to the red B-pillar (at the door), then back down to the floor. The end result of this should like (VERY APPROXIMATELY) like an F1 tub. Yes ladies and gents, I am making an F1 reference on a Lemons project.

Of course, we'll have to accomplish this while measuring and aligning both axles so we end up with a straightish car, while working outside on a soft and uneven dirt and mud surface using basic hand tools and measuring equipment no more sophisticated than the ancient Egyptians had... Of course they did make some pretty cool monuments

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