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Well, it was slow going until this afternoon. Suddenly, in three hours, I got both front fenders wells, side tub walls, front floor bits fitted. I was working so smoove I only took like three pictures, none worth sharing.

The plan now is to get the rest of the tub parts done—the floors under the seats, the box sections ahead of the bulkhead (with the last oval hole), the (inside) firewall and insides of the doors and maybe bond them in on Tuesday, since it's supposed to be warm. 

Then it's down to the outside firewall and underbelly, plus a bit of adjusting, and I'll be basically done with the aluminization project.

—at which time I can actually begin what we usually refer to as "assembly."

Very stoked indeed.

Not much, Alan. I've got a little electric radiator thingy in there. Doesn't do much, but so far I don't need much.

I know what I want to do: a nice gas heater up near the ceiling, vented through the existing chimney. Hopefully I'll get round to it, too. The hold-up is running the gas line out there. Needs to go through some concrete and then into a crawl space and then up through a wall. It's a bit of a project, and I have not yet got up for it. Plus: money.

Today it was 53 in there and I worked for 4 hours or so cutting and bending aluminum for the tub. Should be on schedule to lay it up over adhesive by tomorrow afternoon.IMG_9876




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Last edited by edsnova

I've got a two-eared radiant propane heater for when the cold wave comes. Also a "yellow flame" can heater. My problem (if you can call it that): the garage is about 1200 square feet. Pretty well-insulated, with some drafts along the floor. I can run the propane all day and it's fine, oxygen levels-wise. But the heat doesn't get all that hot, and the ambient H20 level also climbs pretty high, so it's no good if I need to paint anything—messes with even rattle-can primer.

This could work out though, since the next phase of work should not involve much (or any) paint and little or no (I hope) fiberglass and adhesives work: Mostly rivets, screws, wiring looms, grommets, nuts, bolts, etc. 

The plan right now is to get major assembly done by late February, if possible, then take it apart and paint in March or early April, and then re-assemble by early May.

Here's hoping I surprise myself.

Last edited by edsnova

When I was building Pearl, back in the ‘90’s, one of my neighbors upgraded his forced hot air furnace to a bigger, newer one and I got his old one - an 85,000 BTU unit - for nothing....Just get it out of his yard.  It ran on oil.  Parked it in one corner of my extended, one-car bay, ran the flue through a “Powervent” and out the back wall, put a sheetmetal 90° outlet on the top to direct the hot air into the shop space and ran the fuel oil from a tank sitting just outside the back of the bay.  It could go from 20° to 70° In about 30 minutes.  I went through 300 gallons of oil in four years, running it a lot of the time at 55° just to keep tools warm-ish.  I really miss that furnace.....

Safety Jim posted:

I have often thought about “winterizing” my work shop.  I am just too cheap to pay the gas/electric//propane bill.  I am considering solar, but after deep thought, I live in Buffalo and we have only a handful of really sunny days in the 11 1/2 months of winter. ;-(   Merry Christmas.....


Our house ( bungalow ) is heated by a horizontal loop heat pump which is quite efficient and I found a run in the basement which was easily diverted into the garage. No cold air return but it doesn't seem to matter for my purpose. I'll back that up with a couple of small electric heaters to keep things around 20 C anytime for a few bucks and for any emergency heat needs I can run a propane heater like Alan described above. I'm always concerned about co2 but as I read it, if the burner is well tuned, propane exhaust won't give much to be concerned about. We also have two windows facing SW. Only the main garage (insulated) doors and the SW wall are exposed to the elements and that one wall has 6" of insulation plus 2" more for the stucco. 

Sounds like a nice set up. I have built a few (3) garage / workshops and my most recent one is in need of insulation prior to trying to heat it. 

Dont be too concerned about co2... but, watch out for the “silent killer”  carbon monoxide, CO.  You are right about propane, LP being a clean burn. However, it still produces CO. Use caution and guard with CO alarms. They are cheap!

Safety Jim posted:

Sounds like a nice set up. I have built a few (3) garage / workshops and my most recent one is in need of insulation prior to trying to heat it. 

Dont be too concerned about co2... but, watch out for the “silent killer”  carbon monoxide, CO.  You are right about propane, LP being a clean burn. However, it still produces CO. Use caution and guard with CO alarms. They are cheap!

Thanks for that, Jim. I did mean Carbon Monoxide....not dioxide. Sadly enough, I attended the funeral of a very good friend of mine many years ago up here. He, in his late 20's then...a boat builder by trade, his beautiful Wife and two toddlers all died in their sleep one night after something went wrong with the furnace exhaust after having the heating system serviced earlier that day. In that neighbourhood they would have been on propane.

Saddest thing I ever saw...two full size caskets with two little ones in between. 

but, Jim...on a lighter Wife and I had a couple of drinks with Matthew Barnaby and his Wife in a club in Ottawa recently. Small world, eh ? 

Last edited by David Stroud IM Roadster D

Managed to get the floor under the dash and the wheel wells laid up yesterday. Made the box section ahead of the the driver's side bulkhead. And also made both firewall skinz. These'll be epoxied instead of glued with construction adhesive. I don't believe there'll be enough heat to matter, but the epoxy will be more righteous in case there ever is. The floors under the seats (thicker sheet) also will get epoxy.

There'll be rivets too, of course. Hope to be all done by EOD Saturday.



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Inside of the doors are aluminum sheet. On top of the sheet will be upholstery (I called for a barber pole sample). I have the proper door handles. The doors will of course be painted blue like the rest of the car.

The "tab" toward the front of the rocker boxes is a notion. On the originals (after about number 0025 or so) there's a curved tubular bit that roughly follows the contour of the door void. I tried bending the shape yesterday by hand and got pretty close, so I bought a length of 3/8 aluminum rod to make a buck with for the next try.

You can see the front bit of the part in this picture.


The tab is a possible attachment point; I can always bend it over later if needed. I know it's not "correct," as the originals' sill tops were flat, but the replicas kind of win here with the molded sill surround: I plan to run a D-shaped bit of weather stripping around the outside perimeter.

The top of the door sill will get a tapered bit of vinyl upholstery.

The aluminum will also be painted body color, and the rocker boxes will be covered in vinyl, extending down to the frame tube as pictured. I plan to attach the bottom edges with velcro so I can stash stuff in the rocker voids. 


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Last edited by edsnova

Put a couple nice dents in my firewall today with my homemade rivet dolly. Ah well.


We're coming in for a landing now with the aluminum bits. There's still a bunch of little tabs and corners to make, and a few more rivets to pop, but I can see the light.

Wife got me a bead roller for Christmas so I'm going to have to resist the urge to roll a bunch of half-rounds and rivet them on in random places.


I did, however, put this one in...under the torsion bar housing where no one will ever see it again. (The bead hides the backs of those big rivets down near the floor).





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Bead-rolls do exactly that! It's an entry-level "bench-top" thing (Woodward Fab’s WFBR6) but still a very cool tool—can't wait to really get into it. The flanger dies alone are probably going to be worth their weight in gold. I haven't even got them out of the plastic yet.

There are only a couple of spots on the Spyder body that had the rolled panels: under the dash, inside the front firewall (a V-shaped bit); and curving around the inside front sides of the rear fenders (on later cars; early ones mostly had a kind of Jetson's-style wedge reinforcement).

I got the thing because I want to make a 547-style fan shroud and I don't see how it's possible to radius the front and back edges correctly with just my caveman-style plywood press and/or croquet-ball-hit-with-a-rubber-mallet methodologies. There are dies to put a rounded edge on things while leaving the rest of the panel flat. That looks like the ticket.

I'll probably do a whole new thread here when I get into the fan shroud project.

Happy New Year everyone.

Bead Rollers are way cool.  I have one, haven't used it in decades but they are fabulous in the right instances.

For those panel dings in Aluminum, do you have a set of these:?;wl13=&veh=sem

The hand anvil, plus a soft-ish nylon or hard rubber hammer and then the sandpaper and buffing should do it.  Don't go nuts or it will thin out on you.

Yes, Gordon. I bought that exact kit a few months ago and, as it happens, the comma dolly is what made those marks!

(I drilled a divot into one side to cup (and not deform so much) those big round rivet heads whilst I smashed the other ends of them with the planishing hammer. Then I held it too tight and too flat against my formerly clean aluminum skin, resulting in those mars). 

The other "real" rivets I have for this project are much smaller and flat-headed—both more like what the original Spyders actually had AND easier to set without a proper rivet tool. I won't need to do too many more. I think.

Been a hard couple weeks: deep freeze has prevented my spending any time in the garage. 

I did order five yards of "barber pole" vinyl, plus a set of seat heaters, and got in touch with my upholstery guy to make sure he's still in business. (He is).

Bought another sheet of aluminum, and ordered a set of spoiler dies. And I spoke at to Bic Green, who has designed and is almost ready (has been almost ready for a couple years tho) to ship a pretty neat looking 547-style fan shroud for Type 1 cars. He says it should be rolling into production by summer's end. Too late for me (I think) but it was sobering to get his insight on what it takes to make the design work. 

As with all things: harder than I suspected.

I may still try to make one but pretty sure this car is going to roll with the existing Raby DTM shroud and Type 4 integrated oil cooler.

That of course would make my whole front oil-cooler ducting system redundant, and obviate the need for the high volume oil pump I already bought.

Making things neater and simpler goes against my nature (in particular when it also makes them less "hey-that-looks-just-like-a-real-Spyder"), so I'm kind of stewing about all this...

Mainly, though, just itching to get back into this project.

Tomorrow is supposed to be over 40F. So with luck I'll be able to get something done.


Decided to take a break from finishing the interior aluminum and instead tackle the Autopulse manifolds.

Here's the look we're shooting for:

—minus the weeping fuel, of course; mine will be strictly fake.

A little electrical conduit, a bit of aluminum tube, a little drilling and some cutting, and I think they're shaping up OK:

Got a little brazing and some epoxy to do, and I'm gonna source some bolts or studs that will screw into the fuel pump inlets so's I can affix these.

Then it's down to a couple plugs, cleanup and paint, making a couple simple brackets, and hanging them in the car.


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Just so everyone knows, these Autopulse manifolds are unobtainium. One of the Spyder guys—Aussie, I think—had a batch cast a few years ago and sold them out instantly at $300 per set. Not including the correct, skinny banjo bolts which he said were another $300 a set to make.

I was like...wuzzah?

Remember, the pumps themselves never work; the bellows inside are all rotted away. So it's just for looks. (These guys rebuild them...ask them how much. Sierra Madres "out of stock" at $8,803).

Anyway, if it just has to be the right shape and size, I could do that!

Made some brackets out of diamond plate I had lying around the shop, mocked the pumps up in the car. Now it's down to a little epoxy, sanding and paint. I got this. 




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That is a really cool replica, Ed!  And I know how hard it is to get those internal rubber parts reproduced.  I tried and abandoned that direction when confronted with up-front and reproduction costs for my heater fuel regulator.  $60 - $80 per diaphragm was out of sight for me, but not to those deep pockets out there seeking authenticity.

There is a shop in New Jersey reproducing those pumps to original drawings, but they are STILL unobtanium, as the Spyder Factory has them under an exclusive contract.  I'm not sure who's doing the cast parts (the NJ guys aren't) and suspect those come from a foundry in NH or Mass. - there are several foundries doing cast aluminum and other metal parts around here.  All of the work involved in making faithful parts to original drawings is probably why the reproduction 550s are now over a $Mil each...

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