Monday, December 9, 2013

I finished up the exhaust crossmember.  This is just below the seat crossmembers, which are on the top side of the floor.  This crossmember should stiffen up the unibody a bit.

I drilled some holes through the heat shield:

I turned some threaded mounts on my lathe and welded them up into the tunnel.

The mounts line up with the holes I drilled earlier.  The crossmember bolts solid into the body, and the heat shield just covers everything up.

Bolted up:

Sunday, December 1, 2013

I did a little shopping on Black Friday!

First stop: Millerstown Pic-A-Part.  Everything was regular price, and there wasn't much a crowd due to the ice. 

After Millerstown, I stopped by my friend Brady's garage to pick up a door.

This door and fender are two of the last body parts I need to finish the car.  I have the original parts, but they warped during the media blasting.  I could fix them, but it isn't really worth my time since replacements are so easy and cheap.

After our parts hunt, my buddy Dave and I stopped at his shop.  He is working on his '67 Ford pickup.  This winter he is welding in new floors, new cab mounts, and rebuilding the steering column.

I did a lot of work this weekend, but I wasn't very good about taking pics.  I started on a crossmember under the exhaust, but this is the only picture I managed to take.   I should be finished tomorrow, I'll take more pictures and it will make sense.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

New tools!  Harbor Freight 4-ton jack.  This beast will lift everything that my AC Hydraulic can't. 

More heat shield work. 

This little bump stuck out of the bottom of the floor, and I wanted to put a heat shield tight to the body.  I decided to hammer it flat.

Nobody was handy to hold a dolly on the back side of the panel, so I put my heel dolly under a sandbag and stacked ~20lb of sand in a bucket on top of that.  This held the panel stiff so I could hammer out the lump.  Without supporting the back side of the panel, I would have just made a mess and a lot of noise.

It's not perfect, but it's out of the way and will be covered by the heat shield.


Trial #1.  I didn't like the outside corners, and two of my lines were pretty wavy.

This was thrown in the scrap bin just after I snapped a photo.

Trial #2: Get rid of the outside corner steps, and do a better job with the bead roller.


More heat shield pieces... This section will be above the muffler.

After tipping the flange and bolting it up:

I added a flange to the heat shield section that covers the fuel cell, so I can bolt the two sections together and minize any rattling that might happen.  This joint is a TIG fusion welded standing seam.

This style of seam hides the heat affected zone and warping (which is minimal anyway) down inside the joint.

One last little piece

I already had the smaller dimple die, but I made a larger one so I can make nested dimples.  This allows me to fasten two panels together without a gap.

They stack pretty nicely, with just enough room between the sheets for the head of a rivet nut.

Speaking of rivet nuts, I installed a handful of these in the body and in the heat shield sections.

All done!

I think I can finally say that the exhaust and heat shields are DONE!  I have one section to make in the engine bay, but the vast majority of this project is done.  It didn't even take a year!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

More supplies!  ER308L and ER70S2 TIG wire, Black Stallion TIG gloves, and some .023 ER70S6 MIG wire.

New tools! Fletcher glass cutter and Fourney carbide-tip scribe.  Both made in USA.

Woody Sr. has been building himself a turbo Harley over the last few weeks.  It's been a fun project to watch!

oops!  Woody Jr. blew out the rear head gasket on the 2nd voyage.  Hopefully this will only be a $30 fix, it could have been much worse!   The missing piece blew out and hit his buddy's bike on the highway!

I was distracted this weekend with a little project at home.  My roommate owns the place and wanted to install a tile backsplash.  Neither of us had done ceramic tile before, but it turned out decent.

Not bad for a quick weekend project.  The only thing left is the caulking around the edges after the grout cures.

Back to work. 

A few months ago, I sawed the front tow hook out of a car at the junkyard.  These cars only come with one front tow hook on the passenger side, and I decided it would be easier to have two.  I welded the passenger side frame rail cap onto my driver side frame rail.


I took a break from the heat shield work to patch up some stuff on my Raceland header.  I'm not using either of these two features, so I decided to remove them.  I also sanded the polished finish off to match the satin/brushed look I'm going for on the exhaust system.

The bung had a hole through the tube wall, so I had to patch it.  I didn't have any tubing of the correct diameter, so I made a template and formed a section from the exhaust pipe I was using.

Tacked.  Also note the backpurge adapter I fabbed up to get a solid weld all the way through.

Now on to the heat shield.  This thing has been kicking my ass for nearly 6 months, and I'm finally approaching a finished piece! 

I adjusted the shape of the front section.  It's difficult to see because I'm a terrible photographer, but I scribed a "before" line in pencil on the floor.  This was to gain a bit more clearance on one side of the tunnel.

Patterns, layouts, patterns... measure 35 times, cut once, trim for 3 days.

One of the problems with the first attempt was the difficulty in test-fitting.  I was holding it up by hand while trying to mark it, and it wasn't working.  This time I made some clamps to hold it in place, allowing me to take more accurate measurements for a better fit.

Bent and loosely held in place with my clamps:

The final trim: Front. Rear. Bottom. Hand. Parallel. +1/4". More. No. Star. Arrow. Stop. Blue. Black. Pencil.

Make perfect sense.

Tacked!  I decided to tack it in place myself, since I had these fancy clamps now and I'm getting more confident with the TIG welder.

Then I just kept on going, welding it myself.  It's certainly not perfect, but this piece never will be.  The 22ga stainless is just too thin to work with, and getting it perfect is beyond my skill level.

This picture about sums up my work: One ground weld, one sloppy tack, one burned hole, and 3/4" of mediocre weld bead.

This time around, I welded it slowly, welded most of it in the car, test fit it often, and took some measurements to monitor continuously.  I left my fancy fixture on the shelf this time, since it didn't work as well as I had hoped.

I was crazy watching some of these numbers move as much as 3/16"!  I was able to keep it straight with some hammer adjustments.

Finished!  I still need to do some finishing work, but all the bolts line up and it's fully welded.  It's not my best work, but this thing turned into a pretty serious project.