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Making all the holes for the emblems now, and the latch covers and the belts and buckles and what-not. 

Of course I drilled the holes off center on the back first try, as the script's middle pin is not in the middle. You guys all knew that probably.

No big deal though—just filled the holes, sanded it down to 220 and did it again—which is why I'm doing this now instead of after it's clear-coated.

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I'm going to install the lights and the mirror (just ordered from Vintage as the one that came with the kit wasn't quite perfect) after this. Basically everything that screws or rivets to the car, then take it all apart and give it a bath and start block sanding. The body isn't too bad but there's some chips and pinholes here and there so I want to do a microscopic inspection and filler session before final wet-blocking it for paint.

—Hey! or maybe I should rat/"barn-find" it instead? What do you all think?

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When I went to put the sideview mirror on a few weeks ago I noticed it was broken. Easy enough to re-attach the glass but when I looked at the glass...it's TINY! And also the silver seemed to be fading or delaminating on the edges. You know how old mirrors sometimes get those brown spots?

No good.

So I emailed Beck about getting another one and heard nothing back. Greg at Vintage has the part advertised so I ordered from him.

Look at the difference in size.

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Top is the Thunder Ranch piece, shipped circa 2008 and boxed in bubble wrap ever since. I got one of these for each side and they're now for sale. Anyone want a set of compact GT mirrors?

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Here you can see how the New Vintage Spyder model's glass is about 60-70 percent larger. It's just a much more useable piece. You can also sort of see the edge delaminate or whatever it is on the original TR mirror. It would never have bothered me but since it ain't gonna be my car I figured I better remedy it.

And so there shall be additional remedies needed. The new piece—for $144 delivered—came out of the box a bit rough.

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I'm sanding everything anyway so I guess it's no biggie. Still though: you guys primed this? Why not make it smooth first?

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Last edited by edsnova

Fuse box is in. The mount is of course home-made. It hangs on two little hooks and is secured by a single machine screw down low, as original. That should make it easy to sort the circuits.

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Gonna endeavor tomorrow to run the rest of the wires, drill a few holes for switches and such, and run the fuel line from the tank to the fuel pump, and hook up the mid line and the Autopulses. 

After that it's time to install the windscreen wipers.

And after that it's all about the block* party. I've been staring at the primered body for a while and I keep finding little divots and nicks everywhere, so I expect to stretch the last of that UPOL filler during the coming few weeks.

*-sanding

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Last edited by edsnova
chuffed
CHəft/<input height="14" src="data:image/png;base64,iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAABwAAAAcCAQAAADYBBcfAAABN0lEQVR4AZ3UT4vNYRwF8M+dieS3uNtb7r1lKZPNTNlMWY13gDeBrih7L2A2yka2ItlZYWGrjBJF+VdYjEJTFsI1x9qTX/Ptfp716dmc71m2tzfGPvmibAaI+OOmiZLTdgERETtO2dMJPwVwzHVzEbsu64cVOyIAWPNCRJzVa+yjNEGGHoj4bd1/DT2XNgg6WyJeO6Blv0fSE2Tqu4iZxsBtaYPuOQTgkogPlgGATWmDiG1HAZ1vIjZI/wNEvNMBronYXFJz2HnAQ3C8+mM8BUxEbA9EvwEI+OEg2OcX5ksWVA++AozA13rwDmANvK0G37sK2ACPawX4bKUpwMlK5e4aAbjYVG6xktfP6klzVqVD7twXMbdenw5WPRMR5+pjtepG/1jV5vGMkgv/DPItU3XgpSuOaPwFsUTQA47vSZQAAAAASUVORK5CYII=" type="image" width="14" />
adjective
BRITISHinformal
adjective: chuffed
  1. very pleased.
    "I'm dead chuffed to have won"
Origin
1950s: from dialect chuff ‘plump or pleased.’
 
chuff
CHəf/<input height="14" src="data:image/png;base64,iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAABwAAAAcCAQAAADYBBcfAAABN0lEQVR4AZ3UT4vNYRwF8M+dieS3uNtb7r1lKZPNTNlMWY13gDeBrih7L2A2yka2ItlZYWGrjBJF+VdYjEJTFsI1x9qTX/Ptfp716dmc71m2tzfGPvmibAaI+OOmiZLTdgERETtO2dMJPwVwzHVzEbsu64cVOyIAWPNCRJzVa+yjNEGGHoj4bd1/DT2XNgg6WyJeO6Blv0fSE2Tqu4iZxsBtaYPuOQTgkogPlgGATWmDiG1HAZ1vIjZI/wNEvNMBronYXFJz2HnAQ3C8+mM8BUxEbA9EvwEI+OEg2OcX5ksWVA++AozA13rwDmANvK0G37sK2ACPawX4bKUpwMlK5e4aAbjYVG6xktfP6klzVqVD7twXMbdenw5WPRMR5+pjtepG/1jV5vGMkgv/DPItU3XgpSuOaPwFsUTQA47vSZQAAAAASUVORK5CYII=" type="image" width="14" />
verb
past tense: chuffed; past participle: chuffed
  1. (of a steam engine) move with a regular sharp puffing sound.
Origin
early 20th century: imitative.
 
As to being a noun, no idea what I was thinking . . .

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Noticed tonight that the reupholstered driver's seat now rubs the frame rail so I'm going to shuffle it 1/2 inch to the right.IMG_1991

I also moved the tops of the clutch and brake pedals about an inch-and-a-quarter closer to the front bulkhead to eek out a bit more leg room. 

There are a couple more holes to drill on the dash for switches, and I'll have to close a couple I put in the wrong place. But I'll have the smackem putty out later this week and should be able to hit all the various little nicks and scrapes before getting on with the final wet sanding.

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Windshield came today from Fibersteel. Very nice. I test-fit it and it looks like it'll cinch down very easily with the supplied leather gasket and almost (not quite) cover the end holes I drilled for the Speedster screen. I'll plug those up with something you can't see that will be none the less easily removable. Maybe a wine cork. 

IMG_2025So, question: should I use a sealant on this gasket or no? I'm leaning toward yes but eager to hear from anyone with experience.

Also pictured: Fibersteel Spyder jack. I've not yet tested it on the car (it's parked on the lift) but I did rough install it, which took some fabbing.

The piece comes complete with a leather hold-down strap and this handy tie down for the strap to run through.

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It's a good likeness of the stock Porsche item, which rivets into the floor just outside the passenger frame tube. Installed in 0051 it looks like

Not all Spyders have. Here's 0056, with its strap just directly screwed into the floor:

Anyway, trouble with my car (and yours) is there's no room to stow the jack right on the floor there; replicas are made with a sweeping curve along the outside, and the jack is just a little wider than the space between the frame tube and the outside wall.

If you rivet the bracket directly to that curved bit of floor, the included strap won't reach the jack tube.

So I made a bracket to lift up the bracket...

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That brings the strap up high enough to use the holes and buckle it.

Next I had to re-mod my bulkhead to make the proper small hole for the included grommet to hold the jack handle still. Fortunately I still had the plugs I made when I cut the holes for the front parking lights, and...IMG_2037IMG_2038IMG_2040

A bit of resin, then some kitty hair on the back side, and they were in. 

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Spent the balance of today dry-blocking the car with 180. Got about 2/3 done before I'd had enough. The good news? Hardly any spots remaining that need filler.

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Ed, your attention to details on this build is nothing short of amazing.

A tip o’the Gordon Hat to you!

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oh!  And I would seal that windshield gasket with some clear or colored (your choice) silicon caulk.  Top and bottom sides.  There is a lot of air pressure at the bottom of the windshield and it drives water right in there at the gasket.

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Last edited by Gordon Nichols
edsnova posted:

Windshield came today from Fibersteel. Very nice. I test-fit it and it looks like it'll cinch down very easily with the supplied leather gasket and almost (not quite) cover the end holes I drilled for the Speedster screen. I'll plug those up with something you can't see that will be none the less easily removable. Maybe a wine cork. 

IMG_2025So, question: should I use a sealant on this gasket or no? I'm leaning toward yes but eager to hear from anyone with experience.

Also pictured: Fibersteel Spyder jack. I've not yet tested it on the car (it's parked on the lift) but I did rough install it, which took some fabbing.

The piece comes complete with a leather hold-down strap and this handy tie down for the strap to run through.

IMG_2026

It's a good likeness of the stock Porsche item, which rivets into the floor just outside the passenger frame tube. Installed in 0051 it looks like

Not all Spyders have. Here's 0056, with its strap just directly screwed into the floor:

Anyway, trouble with my car (and yours) is there's no room to stow the jack right on the floor there; replicas are made with a sweeping curve along the outside, and the jack is just a little wider than the space between the frame tube and the outside wall.

If you rivet the bracket directly to that curved bit of floor, the included strap won't reach the jack tube.

So I made a bracket to lift up the bracket...

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That brings the strap up high enough to use the holes and buckle it.

Next I had to re-mod my bulkhead to make the proper small hole for the included grommet to hold the jack handle still. Fortunately I still had the plugs I made when I cut the holes for the front parking lights, and...IMG_2037IMG_2038IMG_2040

A bit of resin, then some kitty hair on the back side, and they were in. 

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Spent the balance of today dry-blocking the car with 180. Got about 2/3 done before I'd had enough. The good news? Hardly any spots remaining that need filler.

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Very nice work.....certainly not for the faint of heart and you're pulling it off rock steady. 

Gordon Nichols posted:

Trust me....You want to seal it.  That's based on a couple of times with thoroughly wet knees and thighs and then trying to seal it after the windshield's been installed.  Do it now when it's easy and forget it.

I (mostly) trust you, El Gordo, in a Ronald Ragan kind of way. 

Did you read Mitch’s post? I guess I’m lost why (you know, besides trusting you and all) he should goop up a leather gasket up in a situation like this.

PS: I like the seal a lot though.

Last edited by Stan Galat

But why not add a little sealant?  Is the bottom surface of the windshield so flat, and the curve of the dash so exact, that a leather gasket will seal up perfectly?  You can duck when water comes over the wind screen, but not when it comes under it.  (Either way, though, you get soaked somewhere.)

I guess I'm of the school that I like to over do things (that is, whenever I actually do something).  If building in wood, glue is great, but screws add that extra hold, and vice versa.  

No one will notice the sealant, and it's an extra precaution.  Although, it's all pretty pointless in a car with scant weather protection.

Just wear waterproof clothing...

Last edited by Bob: IM S6

Why not?

The leather gasket is what worries me. Depending on how that gasket is finished, it could be extremely hard to make the silicone disappear if it bulges out a bit. The pores in a lot of tanned leather (like a baseball glove or bomber jacket for instance) are open, and any silicone that got on it would never come off, and would leave a stain that says, “hey! I’ve got silicone gobbed on me”.

In order to ensure that wouldn’t happen, the silicone bead would need to be tiny. If it was that small, I’m not sure how much good it would do, anyhow.

If the leather was finished to a shiny surface, then yeah, I would do it.

Oh.  I was assuming the silicone would go under the gasket and seal against the body, not on the bottom of the windscreen, and thus on the top of the gasket.  If under the gasket, a mess on the underside of the leather would not matter.  But I see what you mean about sealant on top of the gasket.

Hmmm.  Anyway, mucho caution would be needed not to make a mess if silicone is involved.  

Last edited by Bob: IM S6

I still believe that a 1/8" bead down the middle of the gasket (leather or otherwise) with clear Silicon is prudent to seal the bottom of the windshield from water intrusion.

Full disclosure, I have never used clear silicon on pure leather to see the effect on the leather when applied or after it cures, so I don't know if it would stain it or not.  I'll look around for a small piece of un-polished leather and see what happens when I do and let you know.

Thanks, all, for the insight and speculation. I am entertained!

Spent an hour after work today dry-blocking and working the filler. The body of this car isn't too bad at all; I think I should be done spot-filling after a couple more rounds of sanding. I may need to buy another quart of high-build primer before it's all said and done though. 

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IMG_2049One of our number PM'd me to warn about filling holes with straight body filler (aka "Bondo") because it shrinks back later and leaves a divot in your paint. I told him I (mostly) am not doing that, but instead coming in from the back of the hole with Kitty Hair and only then smoothing the front with filler.

I said this with some swagger, as if I actually know what I'm doing, and on reflection I feel like that's not really right: I don't know what I'm doing.

So...does anyone here have any knowledge and/or experience that debunks my stated method? Because I'd rather re-do these now if need be than after color.

The other thing I did today is I ground away a bit of the tail to try to form a subtle "moustache" flatness under the plate light. I'm sure this will be very subtle at best, but as we're copying a French car, I figured the moustache would necessarily be slight anyway.

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I'll probably shape it a little bit back here, mostly with the palm sander, and we'll see if it makes any difference. . . .

 

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Regarding the windshield sealant (and just to complicate matters), I plan to install the full glass and wipers at least to test them, and I still might even make a top. I want to be able to switch from one windscreen to the other inside of an hour.

Leaning toward no sealant now on the plexi. But the thought I had was to run a bead of that black stuff Alan uses, then put a sheet of wax paper of that, then the leather gasket and the windshield and cinch 'em down. 

Then un-cinch and take out the paper, then re-cinch.

The more I think about this idea the more my head hurts. This seems like a stupid way to waste about three hours and end up with something that's just that much more complicated and still leaks. 

The other headache is now I'll have to get about a zillion little oval head phillips screws with nylocks to replace the rivets that would usually hold down the channel for the glass screen . . . and of course without the Alan black goop the real screen probably won't hold water . . . but with the goop changing screens would be somewhere between hard and impossible inside an hour?

So what I'd need for a sealant is maybe some kind of stuff that just peels off paint when your done?

Like...I dunno...Plastidip?

 

Drilled/cut my welds on the handbrake mount and re-did it 1.25 inches higher and about 1/4 inch back so the handle could lay down, so it will look more correct and also not poke the driver's calf muscle. Also cut the brake mechanism slightly to allow the lay-down. The thing had to be mocked up with screws and installed five times with driver's seat to get everything to clear. Also shimmed seat up 3/8ths or so in front. Would be better to cut the rear mounts and lower those a half inch, which maybe this weekend...

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All this took 3.5 hours today (my welds were pretty tough). And I started it yesterday...after re-glassing a little patch on the inside of the hood because when I took the hood off for final paint prep I found a new, almost invisible crack coming from the fuel filler hole. After glassing the inside I flipped it over to do some kitty hair on the top and, after V-ing it out a bit discovered:

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Turns out it was the plug the PO made for the previous fuel filler hole....the one Thunder Ranch pre-cut in the hood to make everything easy.

So looks like I'll be laying up a little more glass this weekend and final finish on the hood will have to wait a while for it to cure. 

Pisses me off... I glassed what I thought was the only hairline crack in that hood and skimmed the inside with Fibral in the summer of 2017, and figured I had it licked. That hood's been opened and closed about 1500 times since then to fit the fuel filler and the gas tank and the hood pins and the latch. No sign of a crack until now.  

 

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Last edited by edsnova

Continued fettling the handbrake: final install with set screw is done, added the reverse lockout flip tab which had to be relocated and cut down and the spring tab relocated before I could get the spring on it and have it clear the hand brake.

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Then I re-made my seat heater switch plate so it could actually be attached to the handbrake bracket and shifter. The screws are temporary; I'll rivet it once everything's painted...

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I didn't plan it this way but I think it's a little bit cool how the reverse lock-out lever, when in the normal, non-race, reverse-gear-is-a-fine-option position, shrouds my all-too-modern looking seat heater rockers.

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After spending way too much time on all that, I rough-sanded the top of the hood, flipped it over, roughed and cleaned the bottom and put two more layers of glass, plus kitty hair on it.IMG_2080

Hopefully, that'll get 'er done. 

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Ed. looking really good. 

About that windshield seal thingy: I used to use RTV/Silicone for a wing/fuselage gasket on my radio-controlled airplanes. I used plastic wrap/Saran wrap on one side(the wing). Silicone the other(I'd silicone the bottom of the windshield), install, leaving it tight but not fully tight. After the silicone sets up, remove plastic and trim the silicone edges with a razor blade. Removable, reusable, and most important, it seals AND looks good.

Today, a short illustrated essay on replica compromise. As is known, the cable shifter is the go-to Spyder replica shifter. It's reportedly easier to set up and keep in tune than the Jamar linkage shifter that used to come standard. Both are pretty different from the exacting engineering in the original 550, but the cable box's bulk makes for noticeable changes in the replica Spyder cockpit. Here's the car I'm trying to copy.

You can see here how small the original shifter housing is. It tops out about even with the top of the front bulkhead. 

Whereas my cable shifter...

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...big honking shoebox of a thing, couple inches wider than stock and probably crests 1.5 inches above the bulkhead—and that's after I modded it to make it as short as it can be and still function. The larger shift housing means the seats have to be about an inch and a half narrower, and so three extra inches apart in the middle, in order to clear the extra height and width of it. Again 550-0051:

Versus:

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Ok, from that angle it's not so noticeable. 

Here's a shot of 0056's shift and hand brake lever from above:

And mine:

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Original:

My car:

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One interesting thing to me is that the difference in seat width looks to be mostly in the bolsters. The original ones look splayed out, whereas mine are more upright and shorter. Ah well. It is what it is. 

Today I'll paint the shift box and switch plate frame black as original to try to make them less prominent. I think I've got these parts about as good as they can be made to be, from a "that-looks-like-an-actual-Spyder" perspective. Bottom line is, the gap between the seats will be a telltale to anyone really familiar with the 550.

 

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Ed's got tracks. Ron Mullis has tracks. Mine are older 2002 seats that I elected to bolt in. I'm not the tallest at 5'9", but because of my torso length, I needed the low seat to keep my head lower to see through the windshield. I don't have a long or short torso, pretty average.

I did build pedal extensions so that Michelle can drive my car even with the fixed seats. She is 5'3".

Stan has a long torso, but is similar height-wise. His head was above the windshield when he sat in my car. I believe his eyes were in line with the windshield frame. Stan actually fit better(lower) in Ron's car than in mine.

No insult meant, but unfortunately I think you are too big to fit in a Spyder, Ray.

Your shifter is different than mine, Danny, and looks more compact. Curious to know more about it. I think your seats may be more like the originals' shape, but part of what's going on there is your brake handle is posted way up and to the right of everything, which keeps it out of the way (or at least out of the middle of the seats).

I know most of the replicas have the brake handle to the right of the shifter, but on the original cars it was smack dab in the middle, left of the shifter. I'd suspected that putting it there would be something of a project, but I didn't realize until this week that the replica hand brakes (at least the one I got with this car) are so very different from the originals—designed to be mounted much higher, and quite resistant to being mounted anywhere near as low as the originals. I've got mine about as low as it can practically go, and that's still about two inches above where the originals' cross tube went.

Ray, my seats have sliders and I'm installing everything so they work, but as you probably know, a lot of Spyder guys mount their seats right on the floor to give more head room. Mine are now mounted about 1.5 inches above the floor and that makes a difference. I'll probably mod my rear cross members to lower the backs of the seats before I spray the inside of the tub. 

It's also worth noting (and is seldom noted) that the replicas, while wider and longer than the originals, are made to have less depth. If you look carefully at an original Spyder where the floor meets the frame tubes, you'll notice that the floor doesn't actually meet the frame tubes. There's maybe a 5/8th-inch gap, which is where they tuck the oil lines & such. It's subtle, but it matters a lot when you get into such a small car. 

The originals are roomier under the dashboard too, because the fuel tanks are shaped differently. 

All of which are things one would never notice if not building one and test-fitting everything 20x a day.

DannyP posted:

Ed's got tracks. Ron Mullis has tracks. Mine are older 2002 seats that I elected to bolt in. I'm not the tallest at 5'9", but because of my torso length, I needed the low seat to keep my head lower to see through the windshield. I don't have a long or short torso, pretty average.

I did build pedal extensions so that Michelle can drive my car even with the fixed seats. She is 5'3".

Stan has a long torso, but is similar height-wise. His head was above the windshield when he sat in my car. I believe his eyes were in line with the windshield frame. Stan actually fit better(lower) in Ron's car than in mine.

No insult meant, but unfortunately I think you are too big to fit in a Spyder, Ray.

Yeah Danny, such is life, the genetic lotto is different for everybody.   I had to pass on the silver IM speedster that Bob purchased from Henry.  Originally it was Miko's  as I could not get into that speedster.  NIce 901 5 speed and 2335cc too.  

Ed, it's a PBS shifter. They are made in small batches and sometimes are very hard to come by. But they do shift very well, indeed. Not a single missed shift, buttery smooth.

I'm aware of where and how the originals had everything placed, but the shifter is placed PERFECTLY for my needs. And believe me, it was no picnic placing that e-brake and getting it to work without rubbing something! My e-brake tubes are both slightly to the passenger side from the center, lining up straight with the handle. It was a large PIA, but worth it. Function trumps original form on this one.

My seats are tilted up about 1.5" at the front, and sit on 3/8" spacers at the rear so my crotch belts can go through and under the seat, bolted to the floor behind the seat.

I’m a bit taller than Danny is remembering: 6’0, with an orangutan torso and arms. He’s correct that I fit Ron’s car better, but none of the Spyders I sat in were even close.

The top of Danny’s windshield hit me at the jawline. The top of Ron’s hit me about eye level. I know from my own car, that tipping the seats back help keep me lower in the car. I don’t think it would be enough me to fit behind the windshield. 

Pity. Cars like Ed’s make me weak in the knees. 

You must be pretty tall, Ray. I'd never heard of XKEs being cramped inside. 

Meanwhile, on my build, I keep on. Extended the shifter about 2 inches to get it closer to the correct height. Might take a crack at lowering the back of the driver's seat today. I can save about 5/8 of an inch back there with a little cutting, bending, drilling and welding and that might just make the difference. 

If it's any consolation to you self-conscious tall dudes, the phenomenon of one's head sticking up over the windscreen of one's 550 Spyder is not new. In fact, it's extremely period correct!

It's why God has blessed us with goofy white crash helmets and Halcyon goggles!

Love your work and attention to detail Ed.  I look forward to your updates on this build.  I for one, enjoy sharing the experience of my speedster with others; as in I enjoy having passengers with me.  Whether that is my wife, my son or friends.  I can't help but wonder what a PITA it would be to have passengers in 550-0056, given the location of the shifter.  It may promote a few awkward touches on one's leg when throwing it up into third.  Or, maybe that's a good thing if you're a bachelor with a rather fine passenger in the seat.....

My guess would be that 99% of the time, you will never find someone that has been that intimate with a real 550.  I'd venture to guess that you'd have 99% of folks fooled while driving that car around Monterey during Monterey week.

I'm not one of those that have that intimate knowledge of a spyder.  I was able to get close to a real spyder this year at the Monterey Historics.  (I had a lot of time to spend at the track given I lost my ignition key)  I wonder if every "real" spyder had the shifter in the same location, or if it was modified over time?

In the same breath, I walked Pebble with some hardcore Ferrari enthusiasts.  It was interesting to learn from them what was "wrong" with the cars on display on the 18th fairway.  The moral here?.....I absolutely love the research you have done, and the investment to detail you have provided.  But even the real deal lawn cars are not exactly perfect.

Kevin, you are right on the money. No two Spyders are exactly alike, there are lots of variations in there. But I do believe the shifters are all pretty much offset to the right.

Even with my center-mounted shifter, the 2-3 and 3-4 shifts usually touch a passengers leg. There simply isn't much if any room there. It is much better when my small-framed lady is next to me though, compared to a 280 pound instructor LOL!

Thanks, Kevin. Wish I could've looked though your eyes and heard through your ears at Monterey.

And, yeah, what Danny says: The shifters on these cars were all in the same place, right about where the passenger's left leg would want to be. I rode shotgun with Danny one day years ago at Lime Rock, and we were pretty snug in there. I can only imagine how that went for the dudes running the original, even smaller cars in rallyes. 

The cars are tiny and were purpose-built to win LeMans and the Targa Florio & the Mille etc. and as such were designed to meet the letter of the rulebook which required them to be "road-legal sports cars" with "passenger seats," "spares kit," "windscreen," "all-weather gear" and the like. 

As with the alleged homologation of the Ferraris, there was quite a bit of pantomime (and outright fraud) built in.

Which is part of the charm, if you're a bent sort of individual.

Last edited by edsnova

So it's been a month and I figured I should check in lest Theron close out this thread.

Installed the side mirror and made the gasket.IMG_2160

I put my Tenax posts in the back of the tub and started fitting my tonneau cover. It was going well until I thought to check the front posts with the plexi screen installed.

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Crap! So I pulled that off, chalked a line an inch back for it to be shortened by my upholsterer and set it aside.

Been trying to recruit a painter. So far I've had three local dudes express interest as in "Yeah sure I'll swing by and take a look at it tomorrow" or "next week." But no one has called back.

Pulled out my paint and noticed my reducers are all formulated for HOT. Like 80 degrees F and up. Because I told the guy at the paint shop I'd probably be shooting the car circa July or August. Which was my intention for sure last February.

Dang....

Anyway it's 50 degrees and less in the shop these days which is pretty good for both puttering and tinkering but not so nice for wet-sanding or spreading body filler. I've been pondering how to make the license plate lights authentic, and fitting the rear grills.

Got 'em pretty close to right.

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Picked up some stainless hardware yesterday that looks close to correct (the originals' screws are a tad too short). Now it's down to removing just a little bit more material from the openings to account for the thickness of the paint.

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Last edited by edsnova

 

Here's the link from Marty's post where he explains he chose the Spyder over the Ghia light because it's slimmer.

"...I stepped outside the box and did Beehives and a Spyder 550 Shinedown on my 59 Roadster..."

And he posts this photo of the Ghia light - which looks a lot like the TR unit that Ed has been working on. So, did TR model theirs after the Ghia unit?

GhiaShinedownLight

 

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Last edited by Sacto Mitch

I've moved on.

Block sanding now. On advice of the painter who showed up to look at the car (guy's doing a SEMA car now; says he's booked solid through July—can't wait for his estimate!) I'm blocking with 180 before moving back to 220 and spot-priming before wet-sanding.

Put about 10 hours in this weekend. Guide-coated with some black lacquer which is not ideal but so far so good. The car isn't going to need a lot more fill.

Given the responses (aka non-responses) I've got so far from the painters I contacted, I'm resigned to the idea that, most likely, I'll be shooting this thing myself.

Toward that end I ordered a couple of ceiling mounted 1500-watt electric heaters. With my little oil filled, plus the mouse-eared propane unit behind a couple of 22-inch box fans and two layers of plastic sheet on the open end I should be able to raise the temp inside my back bay high enough, with low enough humidity, to work with the paints I have. Obviously I'll start by 2k-priming the whole car again after the blocking's done.IMG_2265

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Whelp, the doors are off the car and disassembled and filled, front and back for final smooving. I blocked the front third of the car as well with the short block @180 and we're down to the 220 work before the next primer.

The doors and edges needed more than I'd realized near the top edges, even after re-hanging them a couple times. That's about 3/32 there...IMG_2319

You can see how they taco'd a bit from the center to the edge.

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Bottom line is they won't be perfectly perfect but they will be at least as straight as any of the real Spyders out there and that's the goal.

I'm sanding the interior bits now & will get after the inner clam and underside of the hood before I start to hang parts to paint. 

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My makeshift shop heat is not working: the little electric heaters snap the breaker at random intervals (and this only at half power)—apparently the numb-nuts PO ran just one 12awg onto the bay to feed all four overhead lights and nine outlets

But I don't need much heat to sand, and I'll figure something out in the next few weeks as I try to make a paint booth.

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Heat: Get yourself a Dyna Glo Propane heater for $69.  Settings of 15, 20 and 25k BTU . I'm on my 2nd year with one, it's a multi task unit, heat the garage, dries painted parts quickly, softens vinyl for easy installation and........... keeps your lunch hot too~    f:0"target="_blank">https://www.ebay.com/itm/Propa...woZJcBecx:rk:11f:0

Last edited by Alan Merklin
Alan Merklin posted:

Heat: Get yourself a Dyna Glo Propane heater for $69.  Settings of 15, 20 and 25k BTU . I'm on my 2nd year with one, it's a multi task unit, heat the garage, dries painted parts quickly, softens vinyl for easy installation and........... keeps your lunch hot too~    f:0"target="_blank">https://www.ebay.com/itm/Propa...woZJcBecx:rk:11f:0

What about propane exhaust fumes ?  Any concerns there ? 

Alan Merklin posted:

There is no odor and I don't sense any ox depletion however I shut it off once it gets warm ( my large attached 2 -1/2 car garage is very well insulated)  every couple of hours I  open the garage door to change out the air. I probably should just leave the overhead door open an inch or so.

 

I've stopped using my propane heater inside my 2.5 bay garage for fear of carbon monoxide. Two walls are against interior house walls, one wall is mostly insulated garage doors plus one man door and the front, South facing wall has two windows and 8" of insulation. I diverted one heat duct that I can shut off from the basement into the garage and I'll leave the man door into the house open and finally if necessary, start up a couple of 1500 watt electric heaters. 

Carbon monoxide is heavier than air and therefore builds from the ground up which is why you plug a carbon monoxide detector in at ground level and a smoke detector on the ceiling. You're very likely safe in a large garage but in theory, more at risk if you are rolling around on a floor creeper working on cars!

David Stroud posted:

I've been leery about propane use for many, many years. We lost a good Friend, his beautiful young Wife and their two toddlers to propane exhaust exposure overnight in their home one winter after having the propane furnace and chimney worked on. All four went to sleep and never woke up. Worst funeral I've ever been too. 

That's why smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are mandatory for insurance up here as of 2014:

"Working CO alarms now mandatory in Ontario. A new Ontario law requires a working carbon monoxide alarm outside all sleeping areas if you have a fireplace, any fuel-burning appliance, or a garage attached to your home."

I just replaced mine a few weeks ago, having both a wood burning insert and an older furnace.

I'm so sorry to hear your funeral story David.

The way I see it, you have 2 choices.

You can either heat with electricity or natural gas (or propane, if NG is unavailable). The first step is to size the load. In the Midwest, the rule of thumb is 40- 50 btu/ sq ft depending on the windows and insulation, etc., but a garage doesn't need to be 73* all winter long, so it's OK to downsize a bit (assuming you know there will be days the garage won't be 73*). OTOH, there's no point in spending money and not getting enough heat. It stinks to work in the cold.

The average one car garage is about 13' x 24', or 312 sq ft. If it isn't insulated, nothing you throw at it is going to seem like enough. By insulated I mean at least R11 in the walls, at least R25 in the ceiling, double pane windows, and insulated doors.

Assuming it's insulated, 30 btu/ sq ft is going to be adequate the vast majority of the time, and that attached one stall garage is going to take about 9,400 btu/hr to heat. If you have a 2 car garage, it'd be something in the neighborhood of 17,250 btu/hr, and a 3 car garage would need about 23,000 btu/hr. If the building is not attached, it's going to take more.

Electric heat is rated in watts or Kw. 10 btu/hr= 2.93 watts, so that single car garage is going to need 2754-ish watts. A readily available 2500 watt 8 ft electric baseboard heater (which puts out 8533 btu/hr) would probably do it, assuming you're OK with 60* on a sub-zero night. It would take 2 of the 8 ft 2500 watt heaters to do a well insulated 2 stall garage, and two 2500 watt 8 ft heaters and a 1500 watt 6 ft heater or three 2500 watt 8 ft heaters to do a 3 car garage. (All of this is very rough, and depends on your desires and climate).

The bottom line is that heating with electricity is the opposite of "buy once, cry once". It's dirt cheap to put in (wire and $90 heaters), but costs a fortune over the long haul. The difficulty with gas is that anything with a heat exchanger and flue is going to be at least 40,000 btu/hr, and cost at least $800. Then you have to run gas, electric, and a flue.

Enter the 99.9% efficient catalytic garage heaters. They need no power, and they run on gas. They come in small sizes, and lots of them run on propane, so all you need is a bottle.

My advice? DON'T DO IT.

Let's assume that your space is well ventilated (it's not, unless you are uninsulated, and then you are just peeing in the wind), and that you are one of the people who tell themselves, "that smell's not so bad". You'll think it's a cheap way to go. I was one of those guys. I had a 20,000 btu NG catalytic ventless heater in my 2-stall garage once. It was a huge mistake.

If you ever paint anything, that open flame with no flue is going to react with the thinner and overspray and put out some unbelievably noxious fumes. You'd be surprised how often you want to paint something, or clean parts with a distillate. If the garage is attached, the entire house will smell like a chemical dump for a couple of days. Worse, you'll likely be hacking up some pretty nasty stuff for a few days, assuming you aren't overcome by the fumes and don't die in the garage. It's just bad.

Please don't do it.

Last edited by Stan Galat

On a cold evening many years ago, I sprayed two coats of primer on a Beetle in my friends repair shop, I wore wear a decent mask but other than leaving the overhead door open an few inches there was no decent ventilation .  We had just finished and a heavy primer grey cloud hung in the shop, as we walked into the office for a beer  the oil fired hot air furnace decided to come on,  that was followed by a somewhat muffled " Boom " that rattled the shop the air was suddenly crystal clean .........we were lucky.

Last edited by Alan Merklin

Most of us have taken foolish chances over the years.  This is not from laziness, but from being industrious, wanting to get results, finish the job, go on to the next item on the list, etc.  We say to ourselves: oh man, I really should get that (ladder, extension cord, floor jack, correct tool, whatever), but my neighbor/friend/kid hasn't returned it yet.  This substitution will work just fine for this little job. 

I've done the above in the past, but I (mostly) stopped.

An added incentive to use caution is that, when a serious accident occurs in the home or garage, family members are often onsite.  A serious accident harms more than the victim, as loved ones will usually witness the results, then call the local fire department.  Those tragedies change more than the victim's life.  His survivors never forget it.

So, think of your wife/partner/friend/kids before you take that shortcut.  You'll be helping them as much as yourself.

I bought a 5000watt overhead fan based heater and my two car garage, that is well insulated is nice and warm whenever I want to go visit Sabrina.  

Yes it costs more than the NG to run, but I ran the cost of doing the NG install and it was prohibitive so I have many winters before I just get even with the NG install so I am happy with it at this time. 

IaM-Ray posted:

I bought a 5000watt overhead fan based heater and my two car garage, that is well insulated is nice and warm whenever I want to go visit Sabrina.  

Yes it costs more than the NG to run, but I ran the cost of doing the NG install and it was prohibitive so I have many winters before I just get even with the NG install so I am happy with it at this time. 

See the numbers above. I’d bet your heater keeps that garage nice and warm. 

I don't know about natural gas (I don't think it is but I'm not 100% sure) but I know burning propane produces water vapor, and I don't think most people want the extra moisture in their garages. In winter here construction job sites, if they're at the drywall stage, are sometimes heated by propane 'jet' heaters (the electrical not being far enough along that the building heat can be turned on), and (especially with wood studs) nothing is really dry when it's sanded out and painted. When everything finally dries out (after painting, everything else is finished and the owner/client has moved in) there are sometimes problems with the the drywall finish.

I wouldn't want put propane in my garage.

Water is always a byproduct of combustion.

In my line of work, we can’t wear gloves that are very warm, due to the need to grab screws and small parts. When we are on a rooftop working on something in really cold weather, it’s very tempting to warm our hands under the flue of a running rooftop unit.

It’s also a great way to end up with thin, soaking wet gloves, all ready to freeze your hands once you have to go back to working on the unit.

Water in the exhaust is why the tailpipe always rusts out first on your car’s exhaust. It’s why the fluecap rusts out first on your water heater vent – that moisture is entrained in the exhaust as steam, but as the exhaust cools the moisture condenses.

In addition to carbon monoxide buildup, a catalytic natural gas or LP heater dumps all that moisture straight into the space it heats. It is a super great way to grow mold. 

Last edited by Stan Galat

Don't feel too bad Stan , working on Speedster projects, I have to compile daily work and parts lists, lay out a majority of the usual tools on a work bench replacing them exactly where got them from so they don't suddenly part company . For my hardware and auto parts runs, I can't take a chance on not having a list for that too ~

Last edited by Alan Merklin

Late to the party here, it was a tough work week.

I have two 5000 watt 220v electric wall heaters, with fans. They are diagonally opposite, so they circulate the air clockwise as they heat. They are both hooked up to the same thermostat, but I can select one or the other. They were nearly free, they came out of a building that was being torn down.

If I spend a LOT of winter weekends in the garage, it cos