Well here it is almost two weeks since my last up date of the Track Duty S14. I do apologize, as I really do try to keep it to once a week for two reasons: one to entertain you fine folks, and two to show Trey how progress is going. Last week around update time was a little different.
Two weeks ago was a practice in getting it right or wrong rather. It was one of those weeks. Everything appeared simple and then would turn off sort of blah. During that time, I managed to fill the front tubs which should have been easy, but when I went to sand them…blah. All the filler decided not to adhere and I was literally able to strip sheets of it off the tubs…major bummer. So, I re-stripped the front tubs…wawaa…lol.
Then I figured I would re-do the main hoop since it wasn’t fitting just right and I was still not happy with it. The idea is to be able to make a cage for an customer’s S14 before the car actually gets here to save down time, or to be able to send out the cage for the customer to fit themselves. So, I have been taking notes and learning the proper locations to start bends; basically learning the bender itself and its quirks. I have been using a computer program to build the cage digitally first, but I can’t say that it is the best program…we will see though, could be user error too. I have a wee bit of a learning curve going on there, but once everything is hashed out this time, it should be smooth sailing from then on.
Back to re-bending the hoop. I took some measurements and rebuilt the hoop digitally and then took those plans to the real world. The hoop turned out beautifully – nice equal bends, good length spacing between bends, and in the same plane. What wasn’t so good was it was a little wide…by a lot. So sent it to “the Heap”. I have a scrap pile I need to clean out badly aka “the Heap”.
For the sake of moving forward I decided to re-install the main hoop that fits only a little wonky and get my boxes for the cage made. This actually went really well and they look rather nice. Less than 100 square inches (FD rules) and they box out the corners adding a little strength (refer to pictures to see corner I am talking about). The forward boxes will be much smaller since foot room is the name of the game, but, in the rear, I figured make them as big as possible to brace what you can.
At this point, I got crazy and decided to bend the forward bars. I already had the plans built on the computer and figured why not. I should have known better. They work and they don’t. Basically, they showed me my idea is there but the rotation needs to increase on the second bend to get it tighter to the body. A little disappointing but I am getting the notes I need.
So now we just finished Friday the 11th. Saturday is where the week went a little different. I got to actually show Trey his car, for the first time in over a month. He was happy to see it and was pleased with the quality of work going into the car. He didn’t come up just to see the car though…he brought goodies. A couple old KA24de valve covers (1-S13 and 1-S14), a legit Nismo front strut brace, two front fenders, some trim pieces, and the crowning jewel an 8 gallon fuel cell. We went through just about everything and double checked to make sure we were still on the same page…which some we weren’t so it was good thing. Trey decided to go ahead and stitch the interior since I had the seams stripped for painting. He also asked about removing the exhaust hump which if it conforms to Formula Drift rules will be done. We decided on a loose completion date of the end of March/beginning of April.
All the above took place over a few hours due to intermixed bs’ing via Trey, Trey’s friend Dustin (Krazi on kcda-online.com), and myself. We talked about things like the meaning of life and whether or not DaVinci’s Mona Lisa is smiling. Yeah, we just talked about cars…eh…it’s what we do. I do enjoy that aspect of working with others. I get to meet new people and appreciate what they like. Case at hand. I like my turbo power, but Dustin is 110% N/A. It works for him, who am I to say who is right or wrong. They both get the job done.
Which brings us around to this week. I finally got the front tubs filled and ready for a final glaze. I also got the Greg-mo brace made and welded in. More work than it sounds seeing as how to make pretty welds I had to take the tension rod brackets off the car.
Also, I made the radiator support brackets and it is now functionally removable…though I may re-do it since it seems impossible to take everything into account without it installed. “Everything” being the mid-mount intercooler and head lights. We will see…I may make the plate sit on top and bolt to both sides of each radiator support gap.
All in all, I am very happy with the progress made, but now I need to make some decent strides this month to set myself up for paint work in March.