Hi everyone. I bought an old pan-based Intermeccanica Speedster back in August and have begun the rebuilding process. I have to express my thanks to all of you who post information about your cars and share your knowledge. I've found it more helpful than you can imagine. 

body-orig

Oooh baby!

The Car: One of the original California IM Speedsters. I'm not sure when it was built, but the pan is from a 1969 beetle and it has a California VIN sticker. The guy I bought from is a North Shore (Maui) artist who made his millions as an auto racing artist. I had a blast hearing his stories about Steve McQueen and a load of the old F1 drivers. He bought the car used in 2000, drove it for 3 years and then parked it to begin a rebuild. He made great progress on the chassis and drivetrain and then lost interest. The body sat outside (100 yards from the surf) for 14 years with the expected results. The chassis sat in a garage for the same amount of time and was in great shape. After lots of convincing, he parted with it and I got a new project.

chassis-orig

Not bad for sitting unstarted in a garage for 12 years

Background of the Plan: I've built and raced several scary fast cars and sold them all when we retired to Maui (our son and his family live here). Maui has WONDERFUL roads for driving, but also lots of distracted visitors in rental cars and on bicycles. I didn't want a car that tempted me to do something stupid, but I needed something for top-down fun. The last big build I did was a franken-911 cabriolet based on a 1982 911SC chassis rebuilt with the body panels from a 1995 911 Turbo. The engine was originally a 1979 930 (blown up). I bought a disassembled 1982 3.3 930 engine and took the best parts from each. It took me nearly 2 years to complete and put out 425 hp at the crank (de-tuned). So, it was a tribute car to the Porsche 993 Turbo Cabriolet that Porsche never sold to the public (they reportedly made 13 for friends of the family). It was rough, raw, competent and loads of fun. My wife drove it often, but complained about the pedal placement and lack of power steering etc. She had a 1996 911 cabrio that she thought was just the ticket (sold, too). So, my goal was to find a fun, sporty, but not dangerously fast car that we could use on our adventures around Maui. The IM Speedster ad showed up on Craigslist and I was sunk.

PorscheMM1

Der Beast and my Co-pilot

The Plan: We were always put off by snobbishness and the purists who thought that cars should never be customized. It is just a car, and different things make different people happy. I like to customize things and to tinker. I would never want a car that I'm afraid to take out driving. We lived in Rhode Island for six years (sorry Gordan, I don't think we got a chance to meet) and never locked the 911 turbo the whole time (replacing the cabrio top would have been lots more expensive than anything kept inside). The IM Speedster is just what I've been looking for. After talking it over with my co-pilot, we decided on silver paint and tan top/interior. I like the mild outlaw look, so it won't have bumpers and side trim. It came with silver fuchs that will be refinished with the black background, silver spokes Carrera look.  I'm adding an oil pressure gauge, a clock and will try to tastefully add air conditioning (it is Maui). The engine is a medium-tuned 1776 that was freshly rebuild 12 years ago (0 miles on it). It has a new (12 years ago) Rancho Pro-Street IRS transaxle, all new suspension bushings, brakes, etc. The chassis had a new German floor pan and a coat of POR15 (really nicely done and well preserved). The steering wheel had been stolen, so we decided on a vintage Nardi wheel.

Progress Update:

The engine didn't turn over easily so I took it apart. Mild rust had set in and was easily fixed. I put it back together doing a few performance/durability tweaks along the way. The spark plugs showed the classic lean idle problem on two cylinders that comes with most Kadron dual setups. I went ahead and modified the intake manifolds to allow the mixture to swirl a bit more before entering the heads.

One of Kadrons worked perfectly and the other was the bastard from hell. It had gasoline gum left over from 12 years ago when the builder tested it. After 3 rebuild attempts, it finally works and the engine runs well. No Oil Leaks!!!

 longblock

oil-screen

Maybe it needs an oil change...

rustinside

Surface rust and some sticky lifters that cleaned up easily.

IMG_20180906_141647

Intakes need some surgery.

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Long shank burrs bought cheap on Amazon.

IMG_20180906_141530IMG_20180906_141746

Not much of a chance for air/fuel to mix as it comes from the Kadron

IMG_20180906_142049

Ah, much better (yes, I cut through the side accidentally - easy fix with J-B Weld)

engine ready

It's Alive!!!

 

The Body

Over a period of time, I applied Aircraft Fiberglass Paint Remover and scrapped off several layers of paint and primer. I then sanded the remaining bondo and paint down and sometimes through the gelcoat. There were lots of little cracks and chips that had to be ground out. There was an unexpected accident repair near the driver's headlight that will need substantial attention.

partheadlightsideunder

rear

IMG_20181010_095313

Fuchs need some attention

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Why yes, honey, I do know where the turkey baster went...

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Just what I was looking for. The 18 year old tires have been replaced with Michelins.

I wanted a louvered decklid for the engine and bought a skin from Greg Leach at Vintage Motorcars. I ended up buying seats, interior, carpet and other miscellaneous items from Greg. He and Anna are great to work with! Greg said to cut the top off of the original lid leaving as much of it as possible and then bonding it to the skin. He suggested waiting to cut out the louvers until it had been bonded. I fitted the base of the lid to the car and fitted the new louvered skin on top. I had to grind a few spots on the lid base to get the skin to fit well. Once it was in position, I drilled two locator holes and pinned the louvered skin and the lid base together. I pulled it out of the car and unpinned the skin. I wire brushed the contact areas and cleaned them with acetone. I used a thick coat of fiberglass resin on both pieces and then pinned the pieces together. I used clamps to hold the skin to the base while the resin set up and let it cure for 2 hours. I then applied resin to the joint inside the lid between the skin and the base and ran a strip of fiberglass around the inside wetting it down with resin and squeezing out bubbles where I could see them.  I then let it sit overnight. Using a cutting wheel on my angle grinder and touching up with a dremel tool, I cut out the louvers (remembering to use eye and breathing protection).

lidchopping

Very scary...

lidchoppedlouvers

Bonded

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Even scarier..

dremelallcut

Phew!

Next up will be cleaning up the cutouts and doing final adjustments to the decklid fit. I'll post updates as things progress.

Thanks again to everyone for making this site a welcoming source of knowledge, advice and opinion

 

 

 

Mike Pickett

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Original Post

You're doing a fantastic job, M_____ (Michael? Mark? Martin? ???)! I can see cutting apart the engine lid being pretty intimidating. How far down did you take the plenums in the intake manifolds? Does it idle on all 4 cylinders now? The friend that originally told me about this mod said it won't change the jetting and power throughout the rpm range will be the same. Did you happen to note what camshaft is in the engine? Do you know if the heads have stock (35x32mm) or bigger (40x35mm) valves? Do the intakes in the heads look like they have any port work done? I'm just trying to get an idea of how much power you'll have and where peak power will be. Glad you're having fun with it. Welcome to the Madness!  And you can call me Al (come on, you know the tune!)

Thanks, everybody. It's a lot of fun and terror, but easier with the information posted on this site. Al, the owner didn't remember the name of guy who did the engine build (said he built "Herbie" but that could be anybody . Here's the engine build specs he shared with me:

1776 cc engine 
Engle 110 cam and gear
Lightened and balanced connecting rods
Lightened (13 lb) flywheel and clutch
69 mm crankshaft (counterweighted)
Piston and liner set (905 mm)
Hardend race lifters
042 racing heads
Electronic SVDA distributor
Reconditioned duel oil relief case
40 mm duel carbs set Kadron style
Bosch blue coil
full flow oil pump (30 mm )
external oil cooler
remote oil filter
chrome moly head studs and case savers
1700 lb pressure plate and clutch kit
EMPI exhaust system
Fully balanced and flowed

The heads have round ports so I don't think they are "extreme." I failed to measure the valves when I had it apart so that's an unknown, too. I suspect it will be fast enough to merge on the few highways we have on Maui and slow enough that I won't be running over many island visitors If you have any HP estimates, I'd love to hear them. Mahalo (thanks)!

Theron, it probably wasn't. This car was up in Sprecklesville (on the North shore near Paia) and hasn't been on the road for over a decade. There's a small company that rents four Speedster replicas here in Kihei (for only $250 per day!). That probably the one you encountered. I see them regularly and they inspire me to dive back into the paint goop and fiberglass fibers. You'll have to come back to visit when this one is ready for a test ride.

Yup, that was one hell of a first post!   We can tell, Mike, that this isn't your first Pineapple Round Up, and it looks like you're having a lot of fun making your car new again.  You've done a remarkable amount of work in a few, short months.  Not everyone on here has a paint-shop dolly kicking around to put the body on while you're working on it!

My guess on your engine HP would be in the vicinity of 85 - 90 honest hp at the crank.  Yes, the head ports sound pretty stock if they look round.  I have a pair of 044 heads which I had further-massaged by a guy who runs a racing motorcycle machine shop.  The ports are now "D" shaped and really flow, but there is precious little meat between ports (1/8") so I've abandoned the head-to-manifold gaskets, sanded the manifold flange faces flat and just use a Locktite flange sealant on them.  Seems to do the trick.

You are very brave to use an angle grinder on those louver openings.  My first reach would have been for the Dremel and then with a very steady hand!  

I also applaud your work on the Fuchs.  I did the same to my set and it took about 4 part-time days each to get them sanded, polished and painted.

Anyway, great work there, Mike, and I'm sure you'll find lots of outlaw inspiration on here from the sublime to the radical.  Pro'bly lots of labor offers from the mainlanders, too, as the winter wears on.  Keep pluggin' away at it and keep posting results.  You're building a great little car that your wife won't need power steering to drive.

Gordon - The Speedstah Guy from Massachusetts

mppickett posted:

Thanks, everybody. It's a lot of fun and terror, but easier with the information posted on this site. Al, the owner didn't remember the name of guy who did the engine build (said he built "Herbie" but that could be anybody . Here's the engine build specs he shared with me:...

1776 cc engine 
Engle 110 cam and gear...
69 mm crankshaft (counterweighted)
Piston and liner set (905 mm)...
042 racing heads..
40 mm duel carbs set Kadron style...
EMPI exhaust system
Fully balanced and flowed

The heads have round ports so I don't think they are "extreme." I failed to measure the valves when I had it apart so that's an unknown, too. I suspect it will be fast enough to merge on the few highways we have on Maui and slow enough that I won't be running over many island visitors If you have any HP estimates, I'd love to hear them. Mahalo (thanks)!

If the 042 heads are from MOFOCO, Michael, they have 40x35mm valves and cast (10%? 15%? I forget...) larger ports, so...

An engine with these components should rev to somewhere around 57-5800 or even 6,000 rpm with power. Depending on the exhaust and compression ratio the engine will produce any where from 85 to close to (or maybe even?) 100 hp and be a very fun engine in your Speedster. Adding 1.25 rockers, ensuring the compression ratio is optimal (close to 9:1 with no sharp edges in the combustion chamber), making sure the exhaust isn't restrictive could add up to 10 more hp (the venturis in the carbs may need to be enlarged from 28 to 30 mm- I'm not sure of how much power the 28 mm vents the carbs come with are capable of).

mppickett posted:

Al, regarding the manifolds, I opened it up until about an inch above the bottom. I haven't had a chance to run the engine enough to check the plugs. It was more of a "while you have it apart" thing. I figured it couldn't do any harm and there was anecdotyl evidence that it helped the idle mixture.

Yeah, this is what a friend tells me (he knows way more about these things than me).

It will toodle nicely around the island with decent power and be a hell of a lot of fun! Al 

Thought I'd share an "Oh crap" moment that happened this week. I was using compressed air to blow dust off of the body and happened to hit the California VIN tag (decal) just right. It blew a piece right out of the middle.

origVIN

Original VIN tag

aircooledVIN

Original tag after being hit with compressed air

After chasing down the pieces of the decal that had blown into the yard, I started checking into how you get a replacement VIN on Maui. The short answer is "not very easily." I had a conversation with the guy who runs safety checks for Maui county (which includes the islands of Molokai and Lanai by the way). He said as long as the safety inspector can see a VIN number that matched the registration they didn't care where it was located. On a long shot, I decided to check whether the chassis stamp matched the VIN tag. The chassis stamp was buried under about 1/8" of POR15 (not complaining, I didn't have to put it on). It turns out that Aircraft Fiberglass paint remover will take off POR15 very easily. You wait about 10 minutes and wipe it off with a paper towel. 

Sure  enough, the chassis serial number matched the VIN tag and the registration. I cleaned it up some more and gave it several coats of clear paint. When I get it inspected, I'll just get the guy to look under the carpet behind the seats. Whew!

chassisVIN

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Gordon Nichols posted:

Yup, that was one hell of a first post!   We can tell, Mike, that this isn't your first Pineapple Round Up, and it looks like you're having a lot of fun making your car new again.  You've done a remarkable amount of work in a few, short months.  Not everyone on here has a paint-shop dolly kicking around to put the body on while you're working on it!

 

Anyway, great work there, Mike, and I'm sure you'll find lots of outlaw inspiration on here from the sublime to the radical.  Pro'bly lots of labor offers from the mainlanders, too, as the winter wears on.  Keep pluggin' away at it and keep posting results.  You're building a great little car that your wife won't need power steering to drive.

Gordon - The Speedstah Guy from Massachusetts

Thanks, Gordon. That's high praise from someone with your skills. I really appreciate your contributions to the forum, I've learned a lot. By the way, I was originally from North Carolina and after six years of blowing snow from the driveway and sidewalks while we lived in Rhode Island, I respect New England's resilience to cold weather. The only snow I've seen here is on the summit of Mt. Haleakala (a little over 10,000 ft). I don't miss it a bit.

ALB posted:

An engine with these components should rev to somewhere around 57-5800 or even 6,000 rpm with power. Depending on the exhaust and compression ratio the engine will produce any where from 85 to close to (or maybe even?) 100 hp and be a very fun engine in your Speedster. Adding 1.25 rockers, ensuring the compression ratio is optimal (close to 9:1 with no sharp edges in the combustion chamber), making sure the exhaust isn't restrictive could add up to 10 more hp (the venturis in the carbs may need to be enlarged from 28 to 30 mm- I'm not sure of how much power the 28 mm vents the carbs come with are capable of).

Yeah, this is what a friend tells me (he knows way more about these things than me).

It will toodle nicely around the island with decent power and be a hell of a lot of fun! Al 

Thanks, Al. It's great to have access to folks with your kind of expertise!

End of the year update: I got the chassis drivable. My wife captured a great video with her saying "Don't do it, don't do it" as I drove it down to the corner and back. I've also been doing some body work to touch up the fiberglass in areas that have seen trauma sometime in the last 35-40 years. Nearly done with that. I'm just completing some modification to the battery box and body front support to allow the installation of a "universal" air conditioning evaporator box. I doubt there's a lot of interest in this mod, but I'll share it for those rare hot weather fans.

The A/C plan: Keep the under dash as clean as possible, route vents to our feet and through the dash to our faces, plan on using it with the top down mostly to increase driving enjoyability, hide the fan & temp controls under the dash (going for visual simplicity).

Decisions so far: Coldmaster Universal Underdash kit w/o compressor 404-000DC - Even though I'm not mounting it underdash, the evaporator/blower seems to be a reasonable size and the blower puts out a lot of air (important since it will be used with the top down mostly). I'll be able to use most of the other parts in the kit and the price is reasonablish. i had to slightly trim the steering gear side of the evaporator to make it fit (see pics). I plan on buying a SD7H15 compressor since it is designed for engines of smaller displacement and still puts out plenty of cooling. Big decision - I decided not to worry about recirculating the air from the cars interior back into the blower inlets. It will be all fresh air. This reduces plumbing challenges and fits with the top down use case. I haven't finally decided on the compressor mount. Gilmore gets good press, but I may end up fabricating one myself.

evap

Left side will need to be trimmed back to clear steering gear.

hole

Hole cut into batter box

evap in box

It fits...

evap under

Outlet hoses will go through holes cut into front body support and then over the front axle tubes

 

evap cut

Evaporator corner notched and aluminum flashing cut for riveting into box

evap rivet

Riveting done and patch in place

Evap Mod

Patch sealed with black RTV and painted to match

support

Front body support cut to allow cooling hoses through. I added two additional fiberglass vertical supports between the holes on the back side to make sure no strength was lost in the support

 

I'll update after I make some more progress. Hope everyone has a Happy New Year!

Mike

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Really nicely done, Mike!  It seems that both you and I saw all that space where the Battery went and thought “ I could really use that space for something better!”

That’s where I stuffed my gas heater, too, but had to go to a smaller form-factor Odyssey battery to squeeze everything in there.

BDB7AA41-C25B-481A-9BB9-4F75CCCDBA60

This is what’cha do when you live in New England!

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@mppickett said- "Thanks, Al. It's great to have access to folks with your kind of expertise!"

It's just the result of a rather mis-spent youth (way too much time in a friend's shop playing with VW's and drinking too much beer instead of going back to school!). It's nice to know it's good for something...

Anyway- 1st thing- I think you may find the exhaust not allowing the engine to develop it's full potential. IIrc that style exhaust is good to somewhere around 80 hp, while the rest of the engine has the capability to make fair bit more than that. A merged 1 1/2" system would be much better suited to the combo. Sorry I missed it the first time.

2nd thing- Well done with the evaporator box! It'll be interesting to see how the engine reacts to the added work of turning an a/c compressor- I've heard of smaller engines having trouble with air, especially at idle (or when returning to). A longer stroke crankshaft gives the added lower end torque needed to deal with the extra stresses involved. Plus, 2 (or 2.1 or 2.2 or...) liters is so much fun in these things!

Yoda out (for now,but back you know I will be!)

Gordon Nichols posted:

Really nicely done, Mike!  It seems that both you and I saw all that space where the Battery went and thought “ I could really use that space for something better!”

That’s where I stuffed my gas heater, too, but had to go to a smaller form-factor Odyssey battery to squeeze everything in there.

BDB7AA41-C25B-481A-9BB9-4F75CCCDBA60

This is what’cha do when you live in New England!

Nicely done, Gordon! Yep, that's exactly what I thought. We retired out here from Barrington, RI (son & his family live here) and I would have definitely copied your heat solution if we still lived there. Out here, we don't even have a furnace in the house :-)

ALB posted:

@mppickett said- "Thanks, Al. It's great to have access to folks with your kind of expertise!"

It's just the result of a rather mis-spent youth (way too much time in a friend's shop playing with VW's and drinking too much beer instead of going back to school!). It's nice to know it's good for something...

Anyway- 1st thing- I think you may find the exhaust not allowing the engine to develop it's full potential. IIrc that style exhaust is good to somewhere around 80 hp, while the rest of the engine has the capability to make fair bit more than that. A merged 1 1/2" system would be much better suited to the combo. Sorry I missed it the first time.

2nd thing- Well done with the evaporator box! It'll be interesting to see how the engine reacts to the added work of turning an a/c compressor- I've heard of smaller engines having trouble with air, especially at idle (or when returning to). A longer stroke crankshaft gives the added lower end torque needed to deal with the extra stresses involved. Plus, 2 (or 2.1 or 2.2 or...) liters is so much fun in these things!

Yoda out (for now,but back you know I will be!)

Good observations, Al. For now I'm just doing the minimum to get it on the road. I think there's a 50/50 chance I'll have to set up a crank trigger ignition to make space for the A/C compressor, but ...  The wife and I went on a tour in the old '82 911 turbo cabriolet that was such a scorcher that she makes A/C a requirement on our car projects. BTW, the old 911 turbo was sold to a Norwegian sheep farmer sight unseen before we moved out to the islands. He sent me the money and asked if it could just sit until the shipping company could schedule a pickup. Nice fellow.

Thanks for your ideas and help. Those mispent days of youth were well worth it!

Just a little more front end progress before 2019. I used the battery box for the A/C evaporator so the battery needed a new home. I'm using an Odyssey PC925 battery (around 26 lbs) and wanted to put it as far forward as possible. Here's how I approached it on the IM.

battery

bareboard

Why not in the nose as far in front as possible? Just have to figure out a strong way to support it. I'm thinking it needs a lip to rest on.

mold_for_lip

A little tray made out of aluminum flashing taped to the nose and wiped with oil so it will release seemed like it should work as a mold for the fiberglass.

lip_bolt

It's amazing how much resin and cloth went into that little mold. Halfway through, I stuck a bolt and fender washer into the mold and filled it up around it. Boy, talk about an exothermic reaction - this thing was hot for 2 hours. Be sure to use a level so the lip matches the tilt of the bottom of the battery box, otherwise the board won't lie flat.

testfit

Test fitting the board on the lip and looking at various battery orientations

brackets1

Figure out the battery orientation that fits your nose the best way. Don't forget that you'll need to be able to replace the battery at some point. Since I was making some relief cuts in the front of the battery box to let fresh air get into the evaporator, I had room to sit it vertically. It's still tight in the nose. I drilled a large hole in the board on the far side of the battery where it sits on the lip bolt. Four holes in the bottom of the battery box match up with the support board to give vertical and horizontal support. The strap across the top is just a Simpson Strong Tie strap slightly trimmed and rounded at the ends. The board got three layers of fiberglass cloth on the bottom and two layers on the top.

finalSecure and easily replaceable (without having to disconnect the A/C!) The structural bolt is a little bit overkill, but it  make everything secure, easy to disassemble and it fits the Strong Tie strap :-) Just a note, on my car the battery only fits in from the passenger side and I have to hang the tie-down strap on it while putting it into the slot on the board. Tight fit, but it works...hosesEverything locked down. The evaporator ventilation hoses fit well and should find their way into the dash and floorboard without too much fuss and muss. 

Whew. Again hope everyone has a prosperous, love filled, interesting and fun New Year. May you only get warning tickets...

Mike 

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Have you ever just wanted to take some hole saws and Dremel bits and cut up your dashboard? No, neither have I, but... 

Dashboard update: I'm getting the dashboard prepped for painting so all of the switches, gauges and A/C vents have to be fitted. I rebuilt the old 912 VDO gauges and bought a couple of new VDOs that I wanted to add.  Marianne says that the gauges need to have aluminum bezels (just like the old turbo) and 45 years of marriage prove that I can listen well when it is necessary. All of the switches had been left on the body outside for 14 years so I replaced all of those. I'm going for a retro mild outlaw look and found some nice vintage style switches that I like a lot (from mr-dash on eBay). These switches fit the original holes perfectly. I picked up a new Bosch 356 style ignition switch (644 613 101 06) from oempartsforexport on eBay (nice quality). I'm using the A/C vents that came with the universal kit I got from Coldmaster. 

The hard parts were the ignition switch, the new gauges and the A/C vents. I'll give some details on each in followup posts in case anyone is interested, but I thought I'd just cut to the chase and post a picture of the final layout. The dash will be painted the same color as the rest of the car and the jury is still out on the question of dash padding.

Switches from left to right: headlights, hazard, wipers, ignition, A/C on/off & fan speed

Gauges: combo fuel/oil temp, tachometer, speedometer, oil pressure, chronometer (clock :-)

dash1

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Hard part: Bosch ignition switch 644 613 101 06

This switch is great. The keys are large and give you enough torque to easily go through the switch positions.  Positions are: ACC, off, on and start. Interestingly, you can't just turn all the way right to engage the starter. You have to push the key in while turning right to start. Nice safety for banging up the starter and flywheel while the engine is running.

So why was it hard? The old switch just used a round hole and you torqued the bezel down to keep it from spinning. This new switch uses the same diameter hole, but there are six threaded protrusions that engage the dashboard to keep the switch from spinning when you turn the key. You have to cut out six little gaps so the new switch can fit into the dash. 

Tip: the key is set up with the wide part at the bottom and the teeth at the top. That means it looks best when the switch is installed upside down. Many cars have the ignition key teeth on the bottom. I think this one is best set up with the teeth upwards.

I placed the switch over the old hole and used a pencil mark the areas that needed to be cut out. I used a Dremel tool with a small cutting bit to work my way around the perimeter and periodically tried to insert the switch from the front. I could see where it needed more relief and marked those spots with pencil and then used the Dremel again. Towards the end, I started putting the switch in from behind the dash and focussed on keeping the key slot vertical (and oriented so the key would be teeth up).origIGN

Original ignition switch hole

IGNdremel

Making the cutouts to fit the new switch

IGNSwitch

The new switch

IGNsw1

And it finally fits. Note the orientation of the key slot

IGNsw2

Nearly ready to start the engine (if the body was attached to the chassis :-)

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Scary part: installing two small VDO gauges

I don't like making holes in the dashboard. It just seems like it's easy to make a mistake that will take a while to fix or you'll just have to live with it. But, I wanted two gauges to the right side of the ignition switch, so back into thick of it.

The hard part is making sure that you've got the vertical and horizontal spacing in way that will look good. Truth be told, that's why gauge 2 is a clock. I wanted an oil pressure gauge, but just one gauge looked wrong to me. I set the spacing by holding the aluminum bezels in the places that looked right to me and then getting another opinion from Marianne. When she and I were both happy, I circled the rings with a pencil, and then bisected the circles vertically and horizontally to mark the centers. I tried using a center punch to make a drilling indentation, but the gelcoat usually chips off in a funny direction leaving an imperfect place to start. I found that starting the hole at the cross marks with a small drill bit worked best (didn't wander or chip). On these small VDO gauges, a 2" hole saw is a good way to start. Once the hole is made, you'll need to make it very slightly larger for the gauges to slide it. I used a Dremel tool with a small cutting bit to run around the edges of the hole. The gauges protruded different amounts from the dash, so I put an o-ring around the oil pressure gauge to even things up.

g0

2" hole sawing

g3

Needs to be just a little bit bigger

g4

One down, double checking spacing for second gauge

g1

Pilot hole for second gauge drilled

g6

Second one installed

dash1

Coming together

 

Mike

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Final tough dashboard thing: A/C vents

Why so tough: I'm putting two vents into the dash (two will go underneath aimed towards our feet). I wanted the vents on the outside edges of the dash and unfortunately, the dash curves there. Also, the vents were set up for a dash thickness of around 1/8" where the IM fiberglass is around 1/4" thick in the dash area. You have to cut a relief around the back of the hole in the dash so that the vent attachment pipe can screw on. Did I mention that this is all happening on a curved surface...

The vents are set up for 2-1/2" holes so a hole saw of that dimension was procured (thanks, Marianne).  The ends of the dash are very different from each other in dimensions and curvature. In the end, I set up the driver's side the way I thought looked best considering the adjacent headlight switch and gauges and drew a 2-1/2" circle in pencil there. I then eyeballed the passenger side location trying to achieve visual symmetry. Like usual, once I had some test markings on the passenger side, I had Marianne take a look while I was holding the vent in place. Once we were both happy, I marked it. I found the centers on the holes, used a small drill to start the center and then used the hole saw to make the holes. Since I was cutting on a curved surface, I tried to drill evenly into the curves (meaning the vent would be pointing slightly towards the center of the car). This reduced but did not eliminate the problem of the vent seating flat on the curved surface.

I inserted the vent into the opening and then used a small strip of sandpaper to cut down the places where the vent touched the face of the dash. Once those were well marked, I used a thin Dremel disk to trim away material from the back of the vent edges until it sat close to the curved surface of the dash.

The dash thickness had to be reduced from the back to allow the threads on the vent pipe to engage with the threads on the vent opening. I used both a Dremel grinding wheel as well as a cutting wheel, just running it around the edges and removing an approximately additional 1/4" outwards from the edge of the hole and leaving the dash approximately 1/8" thick in that perimeter. The vent pipe could then be tightened onto the vent holding it in place. Of the two tools, the thin cutting wheel seemed to be the most efficient. 

Holes will be made in the top fender corners to allow the cold air hoses to get to the dashboard vents.IMG_20190101_153830IMG_20190101_154300IMG_20190101_154500IMG_20190101_164906

Marking the back of the vent where material needed to be removed so that it would fit the curvature of the dash

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Trimming the back side of the vent to fit the dash

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Thinning out the back of the dash

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I cut a circle around the perimeter and then chipped away the rear part using the cutting wheel

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Simple, slightly retro appearance and functionality were the goals

Mike

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Nice job Mike!

Great photo of the install.  I will be doing this shortly in my brand new coupe dash. Gauges, switches and AC.  Waiting to receive the gauges from Greg at Vintage. I may end up adding a skirt under for the AC vents as I may not have room or good area. checkout/follow my post as I'd love to get your feedback as I progress.  I hope to post and update this weekend.

I cringed a little seeing that Dremel so close to the knees.  One slip would be painful.  

Making great progress and look forward to following! 

Stephen

AllnuttS posted:

Nice job Mike!

Great photo of the install.  I will be doing this shortly in my brand new coupe dash. Gauges, switches and AC.  Waiting to receive the gauges from Greg at Vintage. I may end up adding a skirt under for the AC vents as I may not have room or good area. checkout/follow my post as I'd love to get your feedback as I progress.  I hope to post and update this weekend.

I cringed a little seeing that Dremel so close to the knees.  One slip would be painful.  

Making great progress and look forward to following! 

Stephen

Yep, Greg and Anna are great folks. I'm looking forward to catching up on your progress!

Mike

Gordon Nichols posted:

Free-handing with a Dremel.  

Seems like half of my life.

Nice work, Mike!

Thanks, Gordon. When I was younger, I was a bit obsessive about getting things exactly right. One summer I was helping my uncle build houses and he said (cue thick Appalachian accent) "Mike, we ain't building no piano here." Translation "Get a move on, some things don't have to be perfect, just functional." Great lesson in why free handing with a Dremel is a great skill for me to acquire. It sure ain't gonna be no piano, but I'm having loads of fun!

mppickett posted:
ALB posted:

@mppickett wrote- "...The new switch...And it finally fits. Note the orientation of the key slot...Nearly ready to start the engine..."

The key needs a few holes drilled into it- it's too heavy...

Yep, and maybe I need to fill the tires with helium 

Don't go there- not enough contact with the road- causes handling problems

Mike, 

I came from the High Tech revolution of the 1980’s (Data General, “Soul of a new machine” era - Maybe you’ve read the book?) when some doofus (Tom West, whom I refused to ever work for) quoted that “Not everything worth doing is worth doing well”.

Some people read that and thought that it was OK to do something sub-par to “get by”.  I looked at it and thought, “Well, OK, not everything needs or deserves to be perfect, it just has to work really well within our budget!”

There is a big difference, there.  

YOU, my friend, know the difference, and know that some things need to both look and work well, while others just have to work well (even though “looking well”, waaaay up in there under the covers, may only matter to YOU, not me).

This reminds me of Stan Ostergard, a guy and neighbor when I was growing up who tried, mightily, to teach me how to be a good machinist.  The best thing he taught me was to make things that “look like somebody cared” about how they looked and worked.  I don’t think that Stan thought of me as being his best pupil (THAT was probably my older brother) but trust me, Stan, I was listening and you did, INDEED, register in my little, 13-year-old mind.  Thank you, Stan, for showing me that everything was worth it.  Somewhere along the line, Mike learned that, too.

Give it Hell, Mike!

Gordon Nichols posted:

Mike, 

I came from the High Tech revolution of the 1980’s (Data General, “Soul of a new machine” era - Maybe you’ve read the book?) when some doofus (Tom West, whom I refused to ever work for) quoted that “Not everything worth doing is worth doing well”.

Some people read that and thought that it was OK to do something sub-par to “get by”.  I looked at it and thought, “Well, OK, not everything needs or deserves to be perfect, it just has to work really well within our budget!”

There is a big difference, there.  

YOU, my friend, know the difference, and know that some things need to both look and work well, while others just have to work well (even though “looking well”, waaaay up in there under the covers, may only matter to YOU, not me).

This reminds me of Stan Ostergard, a guy and neighbor when I was growing up who tried, mightily, to teach me how to be a good machinist.  The best thing he taught me was to make things that “look like somebody cared” about how they looked and worked.  I don’t think that Stan thought of me as being his best pupil (THAT was probably my older brother) but trust me, Stan, I was listening and you did, INDEED, register in my little, 13-year-old mind.  Thank you, Stan, for showing me that everything was worth it.  Somewhere along the line, Mike learned that, too.

Give it Hell, Mike!

Gordon,

Yep, Tracy Kidder. I was really excited to read that book back in the 80's. I was always a techie although I took a decade detour as a teacher and researcher in the field of mental health. I changed careers after building a Z80 based computer in '82 and coding an assembler based text to speech synthesizer. On to 12 years building clinical applications (yep, make an error and patients die) and then 20 years in technology administration. Retirement is wonderful because nobody is going to die if I don't respond quickly enough and thousands of users won't be annoyed if I make a bad decision. Now I just have to make Marianne and myself happy. What joy!

I suspect we share the same approaches to many problems and many of the same values. School of hard knocks, eh? While I was in college, I had to work to support me and my 19 year old wife splitting my time being an research electronics tech and a machinist assistant. I was in heaven!

Thanks so much for your comments, encouragement and help on the board. A true inspiration!

Mike

Alan Merklin posted:

Ira Strauss ( Multi Millionaire Publisher ) Randy Scott ( Master Craftsman Machinist)  & Larry Middleton   (Brilliant German Mechanic) AKA The Three Wise men.  They instilled the same notion in my Conscience.... "Integrity, makes for a good night's sleep"

Dr. Clock. You are yet another one of my inspirations! Thanks.

Mike

Gents:  Great comments and literary references regarding the quality work displayed above.  I'll add my brief comment too.  First great looking work! Second, my inspiration to craftsman like work on my home, cabinet making and life in general comes from a book I read decades ago. "Zen and the art of motorcycle mechanics."  The other great line that rings true when I am getting my hands greasy in the garage is from "How to keep your Volkswagen alive" by John Muir.  He states several times, "As you work, keep every part remorselessly clean."  And he says that, "A mechanics work is reflected in remorseless detail." 

Great stuff and I have been busy in my garage.  I hope my work reflects the above stated sentiments! 

Safety Jim posted:

Gents:  Great comments and literary references regarding the quality work displayed above.  I'll add my brief comment too.  First great looking work! Second, my inspiration to craftsman like work on my home, cabinet making and life in general comes from a book I read decades ago. "Zen and the art of motorcycle mechanics."  The other great line that rings true when I am getting my hands greasy in the garage is from "How to keep your Volkswagen alive" by John Muir.  He states several times, "As you work, keep every part remorselessly clean."  And he says that, "A mechanics work is reflected in remorseless detail." 

Great stuff and I have been busy in my garage.  I hope my work reflects the above stated sentiments! 

Thanks! I enjoyed Zen and the Art..., too. Great story and great lessons on life. I also appreciate the "remorseless" quotes. I rented clean room space in Chuck Miller's MillerSports building for a year while I was building the 3.3 flat 6 turbo engine. Chuck is kind of gruff and he looked over my shoulder periodically to say "why the hell did you do (fill in the blank) that way?" I'd tear it out and do it again :-)

Good luck with your work in the garage. Of course we'll expect pics!

Here's a few update pics. I finished up the A/C vent system putting a set of underdash vents that can be aimed at your legs. I've been finishing up the radio system and using the back of the radio box to mount the temperature control for the A/C as well as a USB rapid charger system. Finally, as I think more about painting, I've ordered a Fuji Mini-Mite 4 HVLP system and started building a temporary paint shed in the backyard.

painttentStarting a 20' x 16' extension to the shed to use to paint the speedster. Wood frame and tarps to seal out most of the things in the air. The last paint job I did was the 911 turbo in our Rhode Island garage. This will give me lots more room and Marianne can run the laundry without steaming up my stuff. Yep, there may be a few bugs and dust motes, but a little extra elbow grease will fix it up just fine. Plus, great view, eh? A 10,000 ft volcano on the other side of the bougainvillea and the Pacific Ocean 3 blocks down the hill if I get frustrated. 

radio

Radios, like air conditioning have always been an essential part of the Speedster experience... This is my choice: a $30 "value" radio. But, it has bluetooth connectivity to  your phone and I can put thousands of my favorite jazz and blues tunes on that little SD card under the volume control. Cheap and sounds perfectly fine to me.

radio2

The radio itself is very small leaving lots of room for other goodies in the underdash radio box. Anything I didn't want to put on the dashboard goes here!

radio3The A/C temp control will probably never be used since we like to run it at full cool with the top down. I put the 3 speed fan control on a push pull switch on the dash and hid this switch under the dash since I doubt we'll ever touch it.

radio4

We both have smartphones that get a lot of use. We've always been frustrated with slow charging in our cars just when you're waiting for Google Maps to give you the next turn. This is a cheap Amazon sourced fast charger with 5 watts on the regular USB and 27 watts on the USB-C. 

underdash

Under the dash, the second set of A/C vents are hidden. You can aim them at your waist or your feet. 

Mike

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Unboxing of the Fuji Mini-Mite 4 painting system and progress on the temporary paint shed. It should be finished in the next couple of days. Still have a little bit of fiberglassing and a lot of sanding before the epoxy coat goes on. By the way, except for the base coat, I'm using all SPI products. I've been impressed how helpful and responsive they are. I talked to their rep in California on Thursday and their Maui contact (House of Clear) dropped off two boxes full of products yesterday!IMG_20190111_170024

IMG_20190111_171252

This replaces the 60 gallon dual cylinder air compressor I bought for my Rhode Island painting adventure. It is supposed to be much better in terms of HVLP volume and moisture control.

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I wanted to attach the front and rear walls before stretching the 30' x 40' tarp across the top. All walls except the rear will be rolled up while I finish the prep work and a floor tarp will be installed when it's time to shoot.

MVIMG_20190111_180919

Our granddaughter is not too sure about me trying on a bunny suit. I don't know why, but I always buy one size too small. Gets a little tight when I'm leaning down 😉

Mike

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Looks like you're having fun, Mike! I've painted a few cars so I know how much work it is. Don't rush it- the more thorough the prep work, the better it will look in the end (but having painted before, you already know that). Al 

ALB posted:

Looks like you're having fun, Mike! I've painted a few cars so I know how much work it is. Don't rush it- the more thorough the prep work, the better it will look in the end (but having painted before, you already know that). Al 

Thanks for the reminder, though. You can guess how much I want to get this thing on the road!

That will do the trick, Mike! I've painted a couple of cars in the middle of a warehouse, 8 ft. step ladders in 3 corners, plastic wrapped around 2 sides with water sprinkled on the floor to keep the dust down. Yours looks pretty spiffy. Bummer about the beer fridge, though; these things always come with conditions... Al

ALB posted:

That will do the trick, Mike! I've painted a couple of cars in the middle of a warehouse, 8 ft. step ladders in 3 corners, plastic wrapped around 2 sides with water sprinkled on the floor to keep the dust down. Yours looks pretty spiffy. Bummer about the beer fridge, though; these things always come with conditions... Al

Al, good to know. The thing I fight out here are the trade winds. It is not unusual for them to get funneled down the valley between the mountains and roar through this area at 30 mph. I'm looking for the right balance between sturdy and temporary. 

Hi everyone, I thought I'd post a short build update. Winter has arrived in Maui. It didn't get above 74* F today and the wind was gusting up to 30 mph.  I know, get out the tiny violins, but my blood has definitely thinned since we moved from Rhode Island.

I've been sorting out the wiring harness (Henry had built a new one for the previous owner) and modifying it to accommodate the additional gauges, AC controls, swapping the speedo and the combo positions and moving the wiper controls. My granddaughter was a great help during this stage :-) Now let's see was it the red wire or the blue wire that I need to cut...

wiring1

The engine will need electronic ignition to free up the distributor space for the AC compressor. The speeduino ECU will provide the brains and configuration controls. I've done several boosted Megasquirt ECU installations and decided to go with a lower cost unit. Everything I've read suggests that it should be fine for ignition and be capable of fuel injection/boost control if I ever decide that it's needed (unlikely). I splurged and bought a fully constructed system rather than a kit. I cheaped out on the crank trigger wheel (modified a stock Mustang wheel), the crank sensor (China built Saab 9-3) and the coil pack (China built VW Golf pack with integrated igniters). The total for  the conversion should be under $300. If anyone is interested in details, let me know.

speeduino

Speeduino ECU. This mounts on top of a MEGA 2560 Arduino CPU

crankwheel

Mustang crankshaft position trigger wheel modified to fit behind the VW pulley

ac pulley

Front view with AC pulley installed

Finally, the top for the battery box has been built. It's made from 1/4" plywood reinforced with a couple of layers of fiberglass. A couple of fiberglass coated wood strips support the lid. I'll eventually paint the top and supports to match the trunk. The outcome is reminiscent of the smuggler's box in the older air cooled 911s. It hides the air conditioning evaporator and gives the trunk a flat floor.

smugglers box1

View into battery box modified to hold AC evaporator unit. Side bars support lid for boxsmugglers box2

Fiberglass reinforced lid that creates flat floor for trunk and protects AC. Some fiberglass patching can be seen on the right side where a previous fender bender created a stress crack. Lid will be painted to match trunk.

Coming up next will be fabricating supports for the shoulder harnesses. I've been researching the approaches used in the past and have about 50 lbs of steel and a welder to play with. My hope is to NOT put 50 lbs of steel behind the seat, but I didn't want to run out... More later,

Mike

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I had a chance to read this entire thread, it's entertaining and well written. You have a unique approach to doing each task and that's commendable to say the least.  If you have concerns with installing the windshield feel free to furnish me two (2) round trip tickets from Pittsburg and I'll gladly do the install for you . Do keep an accurate eye on temp AND humidity when you paint cover the grass ( source   of humidity) in the Blue Lagoon Palace just before painting. ......….Impressive work Mike !

Alan Merklin posted:

I had a chance to read this entire thread, it's entertaining and well written. You have a unique approach to doing each task and that's commendable to say the least.  If you have concerns with installing the windshield feel free to furnish me two (2) round trip tickets from Pittsburg and I'll gladly do the install for you . Do keep an accurate eye on temp AND humidity when you paint cover the grass ( source   of humidity) in the Blue Lagoon Palace just before painting. ......….Impressive work Mike !

You are too kind, Alan. I'd love to have you here for the whole build, I've followed your work! However, all of my spare change goes towards animal crackers and toys for the granddaughter :-) Sometimes I need to divert her from helping Poppie... I know your West Virginia Winters can be tough, stay warm!

Mike

I too had been researching Speeduino for possible future use.

I run Megajolt 3(built myself) with a Ford coil pack/EDIS unit. I ended up purchasing the  dubworks trigger wheel for a Bernie Bergmann 911 fan(from Mario Velotta). I machined the back side of a Jack Sachette(jaycee) pulley to fit it. Pickup mounts to a case nose bolt(for Ed) and is hidden. Works perfectly.

Very cool work, Mike. Keep it coming!

DannyP posted:

I too had been researching Speeduino for possible future use.

I run Megajolt 3(built myself) with a Ford coil pack/EDIS unit. I ended up purchasing the  dubworks trigger wheel for a Bernie Bergmann 911 fan(from Mario Velotta). I machined the back side of a Jack Sachette(jaycee) pulley to fit it. Pickup mounts to a case nose bolt(for Ed) and is hidden. Works perfectly.

Very cool work, Mike. Keep it coming!

Nice gear. I was considering building a Megajolt, too.  Sounds like you're set up for any upgrades you choose.  I'm still waiting for the slow boat from California to get my coil pack and pickup (all international boat shipments to Hawaii have to go to California first and THEN get shipped 3000 miles back out here - Jones Act of 1920). Getting things here can be a challenge. USPS flat rate is my friend. 

Thanks for the encouragement!

Hi all, 

I need some help on a few questions that have come up:

- Has anyone successfully mounted shoulder harnesses on their car with an IM/CMC pan? I've got the belts, but thought someone may have struggled through this before me.

- Do your seats touch the door side of the car when slid fully back? I'm test fitting things and while the seats fit, they rub behind the doors when slid back.

- What fasteners need to be stainless and which ones should never be stainless? I've been replacing some 40 year old screws and found that it isn't too hard to snap the stainless replacements. Thoughts overall about where stainless is needed?

- I ordered side mirrors and they came with a little bit of white plastic surrounding the mirror to hold it in? Is this common? It was the first time I've seen something like it and it felt a little bit off. Anyone else seen this and is it ok?

mirror1mirror2

Many thanks in advance,

Mike

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My car is all covered up and sleeping out in the garage, but IIRC when I slide the seats all the way back, the outside edge of the seatback has a lot of side room to the body.  There is maybe 1/2" between seat backs as they hang over the tunnel.  I had lots more trouble getting the seat bottoms to fit between the central tunnel and sills.   Took quite a bit of seat bottom frame mods to get everything in there.  I'll post my seat photos below - they came from a '92 Chrysler LeBaron GTS Turbo.  

On the seat belts, I have lap/shoulder belts from a Chrysler.  I kept the inertial winders and mounted them behind the seats.  The loop for the shoulder belt is bolted to the roll bar.  The other two anchors are about where they would be on a modern car.

Yes, stainless doesn't have a lot of shear strength so they tend to snap when torque is applied (but you know that, now.)  I can't help with where to use it, other than where-ever you don't want the fastener to rust and look, well, rusty.  I also use stainless in places where I might want to remove the fastener some time in the future without messing with rust.  But it seems that might not be the best choice, given your update.

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Gordon Nichols posted:

My car is all covered up and sleeping out in the garage, but IIRC when I slide the seats all the way back, the outside edge of the seatback has a lot of side room to the body.  There is maybe 1/2" between seat backs as they hang over the tunnel.  I had lots more trouble getting the seat bottoms to fit between the central tunnel and sills.   Took quite a bit of seat bottom frame mods to get everything in there.  I'll post my seat photos below - they came from a '92 Chrysler LeBaron GTS Turbo.  

On the seat belts, I have lap/shoulder belts from a Chrysler.  I kept the inertial winders and mounted them behind the seats.  The loop for the shoulder belt is bolted to the roll bar.  The other two anchors are about where they would be on a modern car.

Yes, stainless doesn't have a lot of shear strength so they tend to snap when torque is applied (but you know that, now.)  I can't help with where to use it, other than where-ever you don't want the fastener to rust and look, well, rusty.  I also use stainless in places where I might want to remove the fastener some time in the future without messing with rust.  But it seems that might not be the best choice, given your update.

Thanks, Gordon. Love those seats!

Those mirrors do not look right.  If it’s in your budget, spring for the real German ones from Stoddard.  The chrome is 100 times better and you  won’t have to replace them in a couple years.  The white trim is only seen from the mirror side and is much thinner.   You can also get convex glass for the right side.

https://www.stoddard.com/64473100200-nla.html.html

 

mppickett posted:
Robert M posted:

Regarding the mirrors, the white piece is common for the Aero mirrors. 

Thanks, Robert. I wasn't sure. I was thinking "Am I supposed to paint this?" :-)

Marty Grzynkowicz posted:

Those mirrors do not look right.  If it’s in your budget, spring for the real German ones from Stoddard.  The chrome is 100 times better and you  won’t have to replace them in a couple years.  The white trim is only seen from the mirror side and is much thinner.   You can also get convex glass for the right side.

https://www.stoddard.com/64473100200-nla.html.html

 

Now that I’ve seen it on my Mac I agree with Marty. I have the white piece on the front inside edge of my mirror but not on the outside edge. 

If you want the best quality spend the extra money. I don’t think we should settle for cheap repop quality parts for our cars. Buy the stuff they use when restoring original cars  

EA7D0BAF-24D9-42F5-BEE6-1E592021E27854A8621E-BBEA-46B4-A6B4-55A20ABD2D01

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Troy Sloan posted:

Those are the Aero style mirror that Vintage Speedster Parts (not Vintage Speedsters) is currently selling.  They are far less expensive than Stoddard mirrors, probably half the price.   They work fine, just look a bit different.  If you don't like the look, talk to Greg Leach or Sierra Madre.

Thanks, Troy. You are absolutely right. After a recommendation from Alan Merklin I've been using Greg Leach for a lot of parts. He and Anna have never disappointed me.

mppickett posted:
Troy Sloan posted:

Those are the Aero style mirror that Vintage Speedster Parts (not Vintage Speedsters) is currently selling.  They are far less expensive than Stoddard mirrors, probably half the price.   They work fine, just look a bit different.  If you don't like the look, talk to Greg Leach or Sierra Madre.

Thanks, Troy. You are absolutely right. After a recommendation from Alan Merklin I've been using Greg Leach for a lot of parts. He and Anna have never disappointed me.

She runs a great shop

(Greg does a good job too )

Troy Sloan posted:

Those are the Aero style mirror that Vintage Speedster Parts (not Vintage Speedsters) is currently selling.  They are far less expensive than Stoddard mirrors, probably half the price.   They work fine, just look a bit different.  If you don't like the look, talk to Greg Leach or Sierra Madre.

The ones pictured on the Vintage Speedster Parts website doesn't look like that. The one they picture only has the plastic between the glass and the frame of the mirror.

http://vintagespeedsterparts.c...dsteraeromirror.aspx

Could just be a stock photo. Definitely not the same quality as Sierra Madre or Stoddards.

Mike!  

More than you wanted to now about stainless steel, below  - Yes, there are a BUNCH of different "grades" of SS.  Some of them rust, some of them don't, depending on how much chromium in in the alloy mix.  Some can "corrode" to whatever is mated to them, as Mike inferred, but sometimes that corrosion can be dendritic growth (crystalline structure that forms a chemical bond between two surfaces).  In your rainforest climate, the anti-seize makes a lot of of sense, if at the very least as an insulator between the two parts.

https://www.metalsupermarkets....ainless-steel-grade/

You getting hit by the storms we're hearing about, headed your way?

gn

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