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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.

IMG_20180906_141554

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

IMG_20181010_122931IMG_20181011_104450

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

IMG_20181011_152323

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

IMG_20181205_130814

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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  • body-orig: Speedster Arrives and Co-pilot
  • chassis-orig: Chassis
  • PorscheMM1: Der Beast (sold)
  • longblock
  • oil-screen
  • rustinside
  • headlight
  • paintoff
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  • dremel
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  • engine ready
Last edited by Michael Pickett
Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

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!)

Last edited by ALB

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 

Last edited by ALB

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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Last edited by Michael Pickett

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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@Michael Pickett 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!)

Last edited by ALB
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:

@Michael Pickett 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!

Last edited by Michael Pickett

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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Last edited by Michael Pickett

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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Last edited by Michael Pickett

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

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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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Last edited by Michael Pickett

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!

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

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

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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.

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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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Last edited by Michael Pickett

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

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

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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 !

Last edited by Alan Merklin
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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Last edited by Michael Pickett

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

 

Last edited by Marty Grzynkowicz
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  

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Last edited by Robert M
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.

Last edited by Robert M

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

Gordon Nichols posted:

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

Hi Gordon,

Very helpful. As much as I hate opening my anti-seize (I always get it all over myself), I guess I'll dive in. Thanks to you and Mike for the tip. No storms today, sunny and 75* F. We had rain and wind over the last couple of days and I heard that someone measured a gust of 60 mph here in Kihei. We're on the dry side of a 10,000 ft volcano, so we don't usually get much rain. It's kind of a novelty. We do have several inches of snow upcountry on the volcano. It is nice to be able to find cold weather and then drive back home to the warm. You guys be careful over on the mainland.

My latest update. I've converted over to totally electronic ignition powered by Speeduino ECU and a VW Golf/Passat high energy electronic ignition coil pack. It works just fine. Additionally, the carb linkage was lowered to make room for the AC compressor and I've begun to install the shoulder harness seat belts. To begin, I built a mount for the Saab 900 crankshaft position sensor (CPS). I mounted it on a case bolt on the lower passenger side of the engine. It is a VR (variable reluctance) sensor so I'm using twisted pair to the Speeduino during the test phase and will wire it with shielded two or four pair in production. The Speeduino detects TDC from the CPS when the missing tooth wheel behind the crankshaft pulley skips a beat. For those who are trying this, in my case, I configured the Speeduino to identify TDC as 92 degrees before the missing tooth. This will vary depending on how you attach your missing tooth part to the pulley and the location of the sensor. 

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The brains. Configured using Tunerstudio via a bluetooth connection. I use Shadow Dash via bluetooth on my phone to monitor it while it's running.

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Here's a pic of the crankshaft position sensor bracket that I fabbed up. The sensor is at the top and leans in at an angle to pick up the rotation of the teeth on the missing tooth wheel I mounted behind the crank pulley.

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Here's a closer shot of the sensor itself. It's the black cylinder behind the shiny bolts at the top of the slightly rusty, bespoke bracket. Like I noted earlier, it leans in at an angle, but picks up the signal loud and clear.

I'm using MSD 8.5mm ignition wires with GM LS2 coil pack terminators on the coil side. They have great noise suppression as well has the ability to handle the high voltage produced by electronic ignitions. These are roughly 2 feet in length, each.

The very inexpensive Golf/Passat coil pack (part # 032905106B) is mounted on the firewall. It has 2 ignition inputs from the Speeduino and 4 spark outputs to the plugs. It is configured in Tunerstudio (software that drives the Speeduino) for wasted spark. This means that when the Speeduino senses that a spark is needed for input 1, the coil fires plugs 1 & 3. When input 2 is sensed, the coil pack fires plugs 2 and 4. For the cylinders that are not filled with compressed fuel/air, the spark is wasted, however, Jim Cortina with the Megasquirt project has bench tested this coil pack to over 13,000 rpm. I suspect it will work just fine for me. When I built my 425 hp Porsche turbo motor, I used a similar EDIS 6 wasted spark system with great results. 

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Wow, look at all of that empty space. Note the VW coil pack on the firewall above the shroud and the MSD wires routed out of the way of stray compressor bits. For those with discerning eyes, you may spot the lower third of a Bosch 009 that has been gutted and filled with J-B Weld. 

The upshot is I was able to remove the distributor and free up a lot of space for the AC compressor while improving the accuracy and strength of the ignition system. Total system cost was under $300. I did a lot of fabrication for this and would highly recommend the Dub Shop kits for folks who are less inclined or less patient. I thought about this fact several times during the process.

I'm using the Vintage Speed Taiwan's dual carb linkage and I decided I could get another inch or two clearance for the compressor by converting the left side linkage to a pull instead of the normal push. To do this, I make a small steel oval that attaches both the right and left sides to the attachment where the right side normally attaches (nearest the shroud). This means when accelerating, the linkage pushes the right side open (just like normal) and pulls the left side open. To make this work, I drilled and pinned the larger adjustment threaded part nearest the left carb. This allows it to be pulled. I then moved the carb linkage lever from the top side of the left carb to the bottom so the push will open the carb. Works great and is just as adjustable as the original. Now I've got plenty of space for AC. Yes, I love my wife. That's why AC is required.

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The little oval at the back allows both linkage arms to be driven from the rear cam.

I'm installing retractable shoulder harness seat belts that I sourced from Greg and Anna at Vintage Motorcars. I've just started the installation, but have pretty much gotten my plan together. The real trick is that the shoulder belt support needs to be located higher than your shoulder to reduce the chance of injury. It's nice not to meet the steering wheel with your face, but you don't want a spine injury in exchange. I measured my shoulder height in the seat and then used a level to locate the spot on the back seat wall nearest the door that would allow an attachment with a steel backing plate. This was roughly 17.5" back from the top edge of the frame at the door. I drilled a bolt hole about 1.5" down from the top of the rear seat and then went underneath the body with various cutting tools to make room for curved plates that followed the shape of the back seat. These plates will be welded to the body frame with steel braces to reduce then chance that they'll pop through the fiberglass in an accident. The reels are attached right below the back seat lip and secured through the inverted "V" shaped steel beam that crosses the tunnel. I found that I needed to mount the reels as close to the doors as possible (and still feed cleanly). Otherwise, the mounting bolt comes out into the space where the body support heads back towards the engine. More pics on this will come later.

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Seat belt should harness attachment above shoulder level.  Reel is secured at front edge of rear seat, behind the driver's seat.

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View of curved steel support behind rear seat. This pic was shot from inside the passenger side wheel well. The side fiberglass on either side of the engine had to be cut to extend the curved piece behind the rear seat. Additional bracing will be welded to the curved piece.

I know I've said it before, but thanks to everyone who has gone before and those who continue to advise and encourage. You've made it possible for seriously inadvisable projects to succeed.

Mike

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Here's help for those poor fools who have shaved all or part of the windshield wiper eyebrows off while repainting. For whatever reason, my disk sander has a magnetic attraction to the eyebrows and my reaction time is exactly in the "Oh sh*t" range. In the unlikely event that anyone else experiences this event, here's what I did to extract the bullet from my foot. no-brow

Only evidence of an eyebrow is the blonde crescent behind the hole where the wipers are attached. Note that is on the passenger side. I scrubbed off the driver side eyebrow first, said a few choice words and then went over the passenger side and did it again. This should be a caution to those who are lulled into having a good opinion of my skills and judgement.

Since the little eyebrows are just a hair taller than the round washers that are used to attach the wiper system, I placed the washers in the sad gully that was left in the body and got an idea about how tall the eyebrow needed to be. I then mixed up some bondo and filled up the bottom half of an eggshell that had been sprayed with cooking spray. When the bondo egg was pretty hardboiled, I broke the eggshell off and decided it was a good starting point. I used a dremel tool to cut the half-egg into two cowl shaped parts and then trimmed off the very ends at a length that matched the shadows of the trimmed off parts. I drilled several small holes in the eyebrow piece and in the fiberglass that it would sit on. I smeared fresh bondo into the holes I drilled, applied a thin layer on top of the hood area and pressed the new piece on top. I then used acetone to wipe the piece down to help it blend in well.

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Part of the bondo egg left after I trimmed off the replacement eyebrow piece.

When it was dry, I use the washer to help match the angle needed on the new piece (using a dremel disk to do the cutting). I then just whittled the eyebrows down until they looked right using a piece of 120 grit sandpaper.IMG_20190302_140153

Replacement eyebrow before painting with fiberglass resin

When it looked right, I painted a thin coat of fiberglass resin on top of the eyebrows and blended them into the surrounding fiberglass. When dry, I smoothed them out using 100 grit paper in preparation for the epoxy primer painting step for the rest of the car. What a pain. Let this be a warning to those with short attention spans like me...

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Last edited by Michael Pickett

Lifting the body onto and off of the chassis. I needed to do some test fitting before painting the body so reassembling the two parts was necessary. I saw a few pics of how others had done this before and figured out how to do it "safely." The first step was to reinforce the roof above the body with 4x4s and an additional 2x6 across the top. Lateral stability was provided by additional 2x4s between the rafters essentially making a box. Swinging my prodigious weight from the rafter and making monkey noises convinced me that it was safe.IMG_20190130_140821

I then disassembled the top half of a come-along and fashioned a through bolt for the reinforced rafter. The come-along was attached to the rafter and four ratchet tie down straps (ratchets removed) were secured to the come-along hook.  A good pulley system with tie-offs would work as well.

Two holes were drilled into the rear cross bar from the face of the lower package area. They need to be big enough for the hooks on the straps to rotate freely. The holes were roughly 6 inches from the outside edge of the package area. Look behind the cross member to make sure you aren't drilling into the bracket that goes to the engine compartment. Wider is better in terms of the stability of the body when lifted.  These new holes will be covered with carpet so don't sweat it.IMG_20190223_134654MVIMG_20190223_134612

The front two strap hooks will attach to the holes in the frame where the heater vents attach. Keep the front strap lengths short enough that they DON'T TOUCH THE DASHBOARD!

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There are two tricks to getting a level lift. The first is to shorten or lengthen the front and back pairs until they reach an equal tension level when you start the lift.  Adjust the straps in pairs (front pair and back pair). I just strummed each one and listened to the frequency of the tone (higher is tighter, lower tone is looser). Roughly equalizing the tones give you what you want. The second trick is that as you adjust the strap lengths, you should try to keep the hook on the come-along vertical (not being pulled towards the front of the car or the rear).  Otherwise, the body will swing forward or backwards when it is lifted clear.

Double or triple check everything and do a short lift. Swing the body just a little to make sure everything is secure. If you don't like it, lower it back down and adjust the straps or supports until you are comfortable with the safety of the setup. When testing, don't put yourself under anything, in case it lets go unexpectedly. I attached an extension to the come-along arm so I could stand clear when testing and it turned out to be useful leverage when lifting.

My come-along has a tab on top that needs to be flicked when you want to lower the hook. I tied some nylon survey string to the tab and ran it back outside the car so I could be clear of the body when testing the lifts and lowering. I added another string for pulling the lift ratchet back, too. This gave me more latitude when lowering (ask me if you get to this point and are confused about how that might work). The rough idea is to pull the string to disengage the handle and to raise it up near the top of its range, release the string and lift the handle slightly while pulling on the lowering tab string until it clicks back allowing the handle to get a full swing of lowering. I know, it is hard to explain...strings

When you are set up for a safe and level lift, have someone else keep a hand on the body so it doesn't rotate. We were having 40 mph gusts when I was lifting last time and the body got excited about being airborne. Surprise, you can't lower it since it has rotated out of the support range so you need to just keep it lifted and  block it somehow until you can get help. Or, you could avoid my mistake and just have someone helping. They don't need to be strong, just steady.

Alignment with the chassis attach points is important when lowering the body. Just go slow and move things a wee bit at the time. Inevitably, one corner will touch slightly before the others. Start that corner bolt loosely, it just becomes a locator peg. Swing the body until you get alignment on another corner and peg that one. It will probably help to have someone else either pegging corners or doing the slight lifting and lowering. Once you have the body square on the chassis, apply the nuts and lock it down. If it is the final lock-down, don't forget the sealing needed between the body and the chassis. Cheers,

Mike

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Bracing for shoulder harness seat belts. I started an update on this a while back and noted that once I had located the correct attachment point for the shoulder harness (above your shoulder), I would be adding bracing since you can't expect the fiberglass to hold up in the event of an accident. 

The basic idea is to make a steel plate that matches the curve of the fiberglass at the top of the package area behind the seats. The shoulder harness support will bolt though the fiberglass and then through the steel plate. Some conjecture that that would be sufficient in case of an accident. I had my doubts so I fabricated some supports out of angle iron and T iron.  

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Location of shoulder harness support

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Unsupported curved steel plate test located in area behind the passenger side package area. It is bolted through the fiberglass to the shoulder harness support. Note that some of the side fiberglass had to be opened up to allow the plate to wrap around.

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Finished supports: angle iron and T iron was cut, twisted and welded to provide front to back support for the curved plate. The T iron provides strong resistance to lateral movement. These are bolted to the chassis in the areas near the rear shock absorbers. They fit under or over the supports for the rear body. You may need to trim any spacers if your car has them so the supports can fit underneath. If you don't have spacers, the supports can be sized to sit directly on top of the rear body supports.

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Brace mounted on rear body attachment points. The brace will actually be mounted after the body and chassis are secured together since you have to do a little bit of alignment when inserting the curved plate behind the package area.

If you choose to emulate my foolishness, I highly recommend having someone who can weld do your bracket work. I know of no one who has actually crash tested a design like this and I hope I never do so. So, no promises that this is the best way to approach the problem (actually, mounting on a roll bar is the best way if you want to go that route). 

Cheers,

Mike

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Robert M posted:

I like reading your escapades if for no other reason than the pure humor of it all. I'm impressed by your creativity both when writing and coming up with ways to do things. Who'd have thought to go crack a few eggs to use as molds for the small eyebrow for the windshield wipers? Not me. Great job.

Aw shucks. Both my father and great grandfather were real inventors. I inherited the lack of fear to mess around with things if not the ability to convert innovation into something that puts food on the table. Second child status means I had to be the class clown to get any attention, so there you go. Now if I could just quit joking around and get this beast on the road! Seriously, thanks!

A short addendum to the wiper eyebrow saga, Ed (edsnova) cautioned me about the vulnerability of using Bondo where it isn't laying flat on the car. He also noted the possibility of the paint issues later. He suggested that I make reverse molds of the Bondo eyebrows and then fill the molds with finely chopped fiberglass (kitty fur) and resin. It felt like good counsel, so that is what I did and I'm happy with the way it turned out. Thanks, Ed!IMG_20190305_162754Bondo eyebrow w/resin shell

IMG_20190305_162902Facehugger attacks. I covered the eyebrow w/car was, stuck a tube in the wiper attachment hole and poured Bondo on top. 10 minutes later I had my mold (loosened it with a very thin paint scraper).

IMG_20190305_162951Mold after it popped loose. I then sanded off the eyebrows (again) with a longboard. Ed was right, they melted like butter.

IMG_20190305_170857Sunny side up eyebrows waiting for the kitty fur to cure. Got to keep them level :-)

IMG_20190306_110916Fiberglass eyebrow installed. It took a good bit of shaping to reduce the fiberglass piece back to the height of the original. I used a longboard with 80 grit and just kept at until it matched the empty spot on the hood.

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Looks even better with a few coats of epoxy primer. More on that later.

Mike

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Nice fabrication !  Probably a good idea to back up the repair on the underside with a thin gauge steel so that when you tighten the wiper nuts you're not applying all the torque at the repair. Using a thin plate etc you'll be changing the depth of the pivot out the body so be careful to check the wiper arm fit on the stud to make sure the wiper arm base doesn't make contact with the fiberglass.

 

Last edited by Alan Merklin

Alright, the fiberglass grinding, repair and smoothing is complete and the painting process has begun. Here's a short update. I look forward to your observations and suggestions. Thanks again to everyone for your guidance!

PAINTING GOAL
Goal is daily driver good. Skill level just ok, shot an old Porsche turbo at home 10 years ago in RI with compressor and Devilbis Finishline. I got a lot of experience with sanding out drips.

EQUIPMENT & ENVIRONMENT
Fuji mini-mite 4 platinum turbine, T75G HVLP gun with 1.3mm, 1.5mm and 2.0mm tips in temp tarp paint shed in back yard. On dry side of island with infrequent rain, temps mid-70s - 90. Humidity between mid-50s-70.

PRODUCTS
Using mostly Southern Polyurethanes (SPI) products: Wax & Grease Remover, Epoxy Primer, 2k Regular Build Primer, and Universal Clearcoat with slow activators.
Filler on top of the epoxy is Evercoat Rage Ultra.
Base coat is PPG Deltron Porsche Arctic Silver 92U with DT885 (70*-85* F) reducer

PROGRESS SO FAR
Shot 3 coats of epoxy w/1.5mm tip and the Fuji worked just fine. I used almost exactly 2100cc mixed per coat. I'm buying another qt of epoxy and activator so I'll have enough for a 10% reduced (PPG DT885) sealing coat before the base coat. I like the convenience, size and noise level of the Fuji. Turbines have a reputation for putting out a very dry, oil-free but warmer flow of air. The Fuji Platinum series has a "heat dissipation chamber (TM)" to address the issue of the warmer air. In my experience so far, it hasn't been a problem. The epoxy coat is amazingly tough - reminds me of very smooth, warm concrete. I'm thinking about painting the tarps on my paint shed with it and renting the new cottage out to island visitors :-)

TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE
I can't say enough good things about the SPI folks. They provide super high end products that are showcased at concours events, but answer the phone on the first ring and are willing to talk you through the pros and cons of every step. I grew up in NC and these guys are based in Georgia. They remind me of what southern hospitality still means in some places. They provide tons of documentation and recommendations including some that are extremely specific (like ONLY use the 1.4mm tip with Universal Clearcoat). Since Fuji doesn't make a 1.4mm tip for the T75G gun, I called and they talked me through the choices and we ended up with the 1.5mm tip and slightly reduced fluid flow (and maybe slightly higher painting speed). They said to do some test panels with the goal of wet coats with no drips - easy peasy... I felt much better and was glad that I hadn't just gone ahead without chatting with the experts.

NEXT STEPS
I've got some obligations that will put the painting on hold for a few weeks. When I get back to it, the SPI folks said to just scruff up the epoxy with red scotch-brite pads before starting the filling and sanding work. I really glad that the fiberglass repairs are complete and the car is all sealed up.

MikeIMG_20190308_160114IMG_20190308_172830

One of my buddies saw this picture and commented on my choice of using white for the epoxy coat: "These are not the droids you are looking for. Move along."

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Hey....White is GREAT!

Back on January 5'th, 1974, I had just graduated college and was getting married.

BUT!  I was working on a 1946 Ford mild Hot Rod which I had gotten into Primer and sanded out during the fall semester.  I was afraid that if I left it for the winter it would rust through the semi-porous primer I had used.  I decided that, since we were moving 1-1/2 hours from my folks (and the car) the best thing was to paint it pronto and the only day I had was my wedding day.  It's a long story, but it got done by getting up at 4am and getting three coats in before 2pm with an ancient DeVilbiss pressure-gun.  Just around 2pm, my future/still wife arrived to tell me "You better get this damn thing finished or your ass is grass!"   Don't know why she was so excited -  The wedding was at 5pm.  I made it, even though we got 15" of snow between 3pm and 10pm.

It was supposed to be the color of a regular coffee but turned out a little more pink than that (1973 Lincoln Continental "Buff").  Good thing it had a bored .300 over 59A/B stroked flathead, Edelbrock dual-carb intake, Offenhouser heads, full-race cam and a LaSalle transmission - it scooted.  Still, I managed to paint it with only three runs, all of which got sanded out and looked great.  I never painted another whole car.

This was taken the following Autumn after I moved it to our apartment in Springfield, MA. to finish it.  Did the front seat upholstery on my wife's sewing machine while she was off on a business trip.      You can't really see it, but the entire seat was diamond-button-tufted.  The darker seat was the rear seat of a BMW 2002 which fit perfectly and I just covered it with the same stuff.  

The things you do for love.............

Fall 74 Coupe

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Gordon Nichols posted:

Hey....White is GREAT!

Back on January 5'th, 1974, I had just graduated college and was getting married.

BUT!  I was working on a 1946 Ford mild Hot Rod which I had gotten into Primer and sanded out during the fall semester.  I was afraid that if I left it for the winter it would rust through the semi-porous primer I had used.  I decided that, since we were moving 1-1/2 hours from my folks (and the car) the best thing was to paint it pronto and the only day I had was my wedding day.  It's a long story, but it got done by getting up at 4am and getting three coats in before 2pm with an ancient DeVilbiss pressure-gun.  Just around 2pm, my future/still wife arrived to tell me "You better get this damn thing finished or your ass is grass!"   Don't know why she was so excited -  The wedding was at 5pm.  I made it, even though we got 15" of snow between 3pm and 10pm.

It was supposed to be the color of a regular coffee but turned out a little more pink than that (1973 Lincoln Continental "Buff").  Good thing it had a bored .300 over 59A/B stroked flathead, Edelbrock dual-carb intake, Offenhouser heads, full-race cam and a LaSalle transmission - it scooted.  Still, I managed to paint it with only three runs, all of which got sanded out and looked great.  I never painted another whole car.

This was taken the following Autumn after I moved it to our apartment in Springfield, MA. to finish it.  Did the front seat upholstery on my wife's sewing machine while she was off on a business trip.      You can't really see it, but the entire seat was diamond-button-tufted.  The darker seat was the rear seat of a BMW 2002 which fit perfectly and I just covered it with the same stuff.  

The things you do for love.............

Fall 74 Coupe

Brilliant. You were obviously chosen by your perfect mate, otherwise...  The car turned out great, too. Looks like cafe au lait. I may need to get you out here for some interior work at some point since you know your way around a sewing machine. I'm also impressed that you manage to find obscure seats that perfectly match your rides!

Yeah, not everything I do is all that great - Just the stuff I show on here!  

And besides....  I keep telling everyone how bad a MIG welder I am.   I'm saved by my angle grinder and thank Thomas Joseph (he invented it) every time I have to use it.  I suspect, since TIG is more like torch welding (which I'm really good at) I could TIG well, but never tried it.  

I used to be able to paint well (not great) but I no longer have the patience to learn all about the modern water-based paints and how to properly apply them.  I'm much better at fabrication in just about any material, so I leave it at that and rattle-can the finished product.  Anything that's big (like Pearl) I have professionally done.

There are a bunch of people on here who do as good, and often much better, work than I do - look at Mango Smoothie's or Ollie's work - and we all get inspiration from each other.  That's what this is all about.  People (like you, Bill) keep upping the bar.

I'm proud to say that a lot of that OCDed-ness has rubbed off on my kids who seem to be tackling interesting projects of their own.  It just boils down to seeing a need for something and deciding "I'm gonna try to make or do that".  The first few tries might be less than optimal, but you get better and more confident with each one.  After a while, you'll just tackle anything........

We've seen quite a few people develop their skills on here, and that's one of the best parts of this site!

Ok, back from a great 2 weeks visiting family in Japan. Every time I go I marvel at the safety, the thousands of unlocked bicycles in big cities and the general level of what we in Hawaii would call the aloha spirit. Neat folks.

I've got my IMs doors test fitted and adjusted. This forum was very helpful, but evidently a gentleman named Corey had shared a step-by-step that I was never able to find (looks like he's no longer a member (Projekt Hoopty?). Anyway, I went ahead and started the setup with 12 - 3/4" long pipe spacers between the door posts and the body side hinges. I suspect each car may have small differences depending on how the body frame jigs were set up. In my car, the body frame had been rebuilt totally, so I ended up tweaking the spacers (1/16" out on the bottom and 1/16" in on the top).  Here are the steps I followed:

Adjusting CMC/FiberFab/old IM doors

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  • Tape about three pieces of cardboard to the door sill.
  • Sit door on the cardboard spacers and look at how the bottom gap appears. It should be level and less than 1/4 in
  • Look at the rear of door gaps and the front of door gaps. To get the door to actually fit within the door frame, it's likely that you'll need to sand off of some the rear door edge and some off of the top front inner edge of the door. Start first on the front of the door towards the headlights. look at the existing gap and try to make it consistent from bottom to top. You will probably have to sand some of the outer edge of the dashboard to allow the door top to fit flush. It's okay to carefully sand some material from the front top of the door where it touches the dashboard. Slide a piece of paper in the gap to find tight spots and mark the area that needs relief with a wax pencil. Once you have at least some small gap all the way along the front of the door, move to the next stepdoor4door5
  • Sand the rear edge of the door so that it will fit within the body frame. Don't take off too much material at this point You're just trying to get the door inside the frame.
  • When the door will fit flush in the frame on the front, back and bottom start looking at your gaps and decide where you need to take material out. Sand just a little bit at the time until you have at least a little bit of a gap all the way around. Don’t look for perfection yet and don’t take too much out.
  • Insert 3/4 inch long pipe spacers into the hinge bolt holes in the body until they butt up against the frame. Attach the hinges to the body frame and tighten firmly (small part of the hinge attaches to body, large part attaches to door).door2
  • Remove the cardboard spacer from the floor and attach the door to the hinges loosely. Rest it on something while you line up the bolts and bolt plates. Remember to use two short bolts on the top of the top hinge. Tighten slightly until the door can still be moved but will hold the position.
  • Try to close the door and then do some gentle adjustments to the bottom gap and the front & rear gaps. Loosen and tighten the hinge screws as needed to shift the door.
  • Once you can get the door within the frame, work on getting an even bottom gap - 1/8” or so.
  • Once you have a fairly even bottom gap, see if the bottom of the door is even with the edge of the body. On both of my doors, it was sunk a little inwards from the body along the bottom edge gap. If it is inward, you will need to add spacers on the body side of the small pipe spacers to move the bottom hinge outwards. If the bottom edge protrudes past the body, you will need to grind down the pipe spacers 1/16th inch or so.door6
  • Before removing the hinges, take a pencil and mark around the sides and front of the hinges where they currently are located. This makes it easier to get back to your starting point. Remove the bolts from the hinges and take the door off. If the bottom needs to come out, add three flat washers to the screws attaching the hinge to the body at the bottom. If the bottom needs to move inward, remove the pipe spacers and grind off around 1/16th inch from each one.door3
  • Reassemble the door hinges hand attach the door again putting the hinges back at the marks you made.
  • Close the door and check the bottom gap again. Repeat the adjustments as needed until the bottom is flush. These adjustments will alter the flushness of the top of the door and may squeeze out any gap you had along the top (sand a small amount if this occurs).
  • Check the top of the door and see if it leans out from the body or leans into the body. If the top of the door leans out from the body then you will need to take the pipe spacers out and grind them down a 16th of an inch or so to help move the top back in. Keep adjusting the top spacers and the bottom spacers until the door is flush at the top and the bottom.
  • Once the top and bottom are relatively flush, you can finalize your edge gaps. Recheck your gaps all around the door at this point. You're on the final leg now and can use fine adjustments to the hinge positions and edge sanding to achieve the gaps you want
  • If you have done all of the adjusting and have achieved good gaps and flushness with other body surfaces but still have one corner or part of a door edge that sticks out, you will need to sand the surface of that corner until it matches the body outside of the door. I run a paint stirrer across the gaps to see if it strikes an edge that is sticking up. I mark those spots with a wax pencil and then open the door and sand across the edge to lower it.door9
  • Don’t look for perfection. If you are doing these things, you’re going to be doing some touch-up or a total repaint. There are opportunities in the filling/painting stages to make the surfaces match up well.
  • A final important step: drill two small nail-sized holes in each hinge where it attaches to the door. Go all the way through the hinge, the fiberglass and the bolt plate. Label/mark and keep each hinge with its matching bolt plate. Mark the side of the bolt plate that faces the hinge. This way, using nails/pins in the locating holes, you can return to your alignment on any particular door if you have to take it off (say for painting) in the future. Keep each hinge/plate pair in a separate, marked zip lock bag to be sure they don’t get mixed up.door7door8

 

Have a great weekend everyone!

Mike

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