Stu, you certainly don't believe in making things easy for yourself do you! A DD bar and a DD/36 spline UJ is much easier. Good solution in the end though. BTW the captive nut comes off easy if you put the bolt in and give the head a tap with a hammer, it's only pressed in place.
Post by buildityourself on Jun 6, 2019 20:21:04 GMT
Although we will only be mostly using it on the road and for the occasional track day, I've wanted to have the option of fitting a full roll cage to the Sonic7. Even on a twisty country B road an under estimated bend could end up with a diversion through a wire fence into a field, which could have nasty consequences. Having a bit of extra protection for the occupants seems a good idea in addition to the normal roll over bar.
When speaking to a company that could make a roll cage, they recommended that the cage is extended and connected to the lower chassis rails. This has been a long challenge working out how to approach this but I have come up with a solution that seems feasible hence this slightly off piste update from the normal build steps.
I got some 6mm plates cut and bent to fit around the chassis bars. I was informed by the fabricator that this "much" thicker than normal roll cage mounts that they make, hence the extra 4kg of weight this will add to the car for the little 1.6 engine to haul around. I didn't these to just bend/buckle etc so hopefully this was the right approach.
The flat plates go at the rear of the cage. Mounting holes will be drilled to suit and allow tolerances of the roll cage when fitting.
The bent plates go at the front of the cage and will have captive nuts as bolting in when the body is fitting is not easily possible.
We had to strip back the paint on the chassis and got them welded in and primered. Removing layers of previously applied paint was somewhat sole destroying but necessary. I was worried that the previously bonded and vinyl wrapped alloy floor might suffer, but it survived the heat with no problems.
Then top coat applied and its starting to look promising again.
Unfortunately as the plates intrude into the cockpit area some of the paneling is now going to be more complex. However as this is done, it has unblocked lots of other jobs that can now progress :-).
Hopefully you will never find out whether the extra weight from the extra "strength" was worth it!
“Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body. But rather, to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming .... WOW what a ride.”
Post by buildityourself on Jun 11, 2019 19:51:25 GMT
Moving on to the alloy interior panels next.
These come as pre cut sheets with the kit, but for the side panels you need to work out where to mark and fold them. Both end need roughly a right angle bend, and the front section an acute angle.
We marked out the bend positions. This needed some rusty maths to take into account the radius of the bends!
Then not having a folding machine (brake?) we had to work out how to fold the metal. This turned out best to be a block of wood and a lump hammer and a workmate with some angle iron to create an edge. Quite nerve racking as if this went wrong then new panels would be needed. I think having these accurately prebent would be a worthwhile option for the kit for some builders.
Miraculously this turned out ok and the panels fitted within the chassis. So the measurements, maths and EKC's precut panellengths were perfect. So now with all panels temporarily fitted its starting to look more like a car or something.
We had to cut out triangles for the roll cage mounts to fit perfectly as the mounts protrude into the cockpit area by the thickness of the metal. This will also allow the cage to be fitted later without damaging the panels or body.
Post by buildityourself on Aug 20, 2019 20:58:16 GMT
The Coolant pipes
Initially we had the idea of mounting the coolant pipes low down on the chassis to keep the centre of gravity lower and also to avoid air locks as the pipes are usually higher than the engine and radiator entry points. Having seen that snowbird1 also had this approach and made it work gave confidence. The pipes were mounted with the front of the pipe ending between the wishbones to avoid the suspension travel.
This was completed a while back but not reported on as we wanted to test fit the body first. The time to do this came and after finally managing to get the passenger side panel on we found that due to the previously unknown scallop in the body meant that there was not quite enough room and the pipe clamp stopped the panel fully reaching its correct position.
We looked at moving the pipe up or down slightly but due to the bend in the pipe and extensions it didn't quite work and the connecting hose would have been too close to the wishbone. I think with a bit more thought this could be made to work but the plan was changed and we decided to mount the pipes as low as we could without causing other issues.
The new idea was to mount underneath the outrigger bars. This required some extra brackets to mount/support the pipe so we made these from angle alloy.