December 2007


Moving right along, I spent all day yesterday getting the nose pinned down, I’m dreading fabricating the fenders, but it will probably go easier than I think it will. I’m going to wheel them a little to give them some shape, but they will still look like they have no compound curves, even though they’ll have a little crown.

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I had to stretch the aluminum tightly against the frame–it barely fit from side to side.

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The nose tilts forward a little more on the new frame. I’ll have to fill this gap. One side of the front wing is mostly formed, the other is just cleco’ed in place. I didn’t have good templates for the wings so it’s kind of cut n’ try.

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The wing has a nice subtle shape. The dash will fit nicely. I’m going to make the bulkhead and firewall seal better between me and the engine room.

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It’s looking pretty good considering all the crushed beercans I’m reusing.

I’m making pretty good progress on Peyote. Okay, it’s more like three steps forward, two back, but it’s coming together. I made a set of decisions that were kind of painful. Mainly, that I would try to use as much of the damaged body as possible, since the frame couldn’t be saved. It’s a kind of silly thought, since Peyote has been reskinned at least three times that I know of–four if you count Peyote MkI, so it’s not like I’m preserving much of the original body (though there are three pieces of metal that I’m fairly certain come from the original incarnation). But the body skin from the roll cage forward is from the Peyote that I’ve had so much fun with over the past eight years, so I’m determined to save as much of that mojo as I can. Turns out of course that saving original bodywork with a new frame is twice the work of simply reskinning, but I’m glad that I’m doing it.

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Here’s the new frame with some rear skin on. The old rear skin was too thin and oilcanned badly. I made this out of .040 aluminum and rolled a little crown into the aluminum with my new english wheel. You can barely see the crown but it makes the panels much more rigid and makes the entire structure far stronger. I’m not very good with the wheel yet, so the metal looks like an aluminum sack full of walnuts, but for now it’s done and in place so it’s going to stay.

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Original nose skin laid in place. As you can see, there’s not a lot to work with here, but I’ll make it come together.

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My el cheapo harbor freight english wheel. I reinforced it with a lot of added steel and it’s still one fourth the cost of anyone other source I found.

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Borgeson steering shaft with telescoping section–no more Zulu spear pointed at my chest.

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The “wideboy” chassis. These tubes used to be straight back to the rollbar which resulted in a seating position tilted to the right. Just like my politics–rigid, but uncomfortable.

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I checked”everything” on the front suspension for bends and cracks, found one lower arm was bent, no cracks.When installed the suspension the right side (the one that hit the tire wall) I could feel binding and the lower arms moved apart when I stroked the suspension. Turns out the lower trunnion axle was bent. So now I’m waiting for a new one. Late TR4-TR6 trunnions (with 3 degrees of caster) are not interchangeable side to side, so my big stack of TR3 suspension stuff was worthless. I do, however, strongly endorse caster in TR3/4 race cars.

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Someone needs to clean this shop. Ah well, back to it. More pictures later. I’m getting kind of frantic, I only have until Jan 3rd, and there’s a few days in the middle when I can’t work–like Christmas, and a trip to Yosemite for a ridiculously decadent dinner put on by a good friend.