Monday, November 13, 2006

Aluminum panels

(Roughly 7 hours since last post, 47 hours total)

Some lost time from the last time I posted. This is my best guess. I spent two hours on the car last night.

I've started the aluminum panels that form the interior of the car.

Each piece is to be bonded to the frame with silicone sealant (to prevent rattles) and then riveted. Since most of the panels came mounted on the frame in the first place, I did at least mark the panels where they meet the frame. So for each piece, the procedure is something like this:

1. Compare the piece to the intended location to verify markings and perform a sanity check.
2. Drill panel for rivets. Mostly these are on 2-inch spacing, in straight lines. Drilling the aluminum is quick and easy.
3. Install the panel in place
4. Drill two or three holes in the frame, placing a Cleco in each. Clecos are temporary fasteners that hold like rivets, and they're perfect for this application.
5. Drill the remaining holes in the frame. The frame is steel, and though it isn't really hard steel, it isn't exactly quick to drill.
6. Remove the Clecos and remove the panel.
7. Apply silicone to the frame.
8. Re-install the panel using a few Clecos.
9. Rivet all the holes that don't have a Cleco in them.
10. Remove the Clecos and finish riveting.

So far I've done 5 panels. Two are the large floor panels, which have more rivets than anything else except maybe the trunk floor. The other 3 are small: The transmission tunnel front wall, the driver footbox floor, and the driver footbox front wall. That's a lot of drilling.

Oh, and I also installed the Russ Thompson gas pedal. Without the throttle cable yet, there's not much to it. It looks great.

I have some pictures, but they're not on the computer yet.

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