Sheet Metal Continued

The passenger compartment came next, Syphilis
and for the most part went well.  I ended up drilling some locations I did not need to – it became obvious after I had drilled and then moved on to the next pieces that ended up overlapping.  Not a big deal, try
but unnecessary work.  With more pieces in place, it is starting to look more like an actual vehicle.

Next I moved to the driver side.  This is where I had to spend some extra time doing some aluminum fabrication.  There are two areas that I needed to modify.  At the top of the footbox is a cover that goes over the brake master cylinders.  In order to adjust these, there needs to be an opening in the top.  So, I cut the cover and made a larger piece to fit over that.

This piece was drilled to attach to the outer “frame” portion of the original cover.  I used rivet nuts to attach this so I could then simply unscrew and remove this cover plate to get to the master cylinders inside.

Next came a bigger piece of work.  I needed to increase the foot space near the gas pedal so that there is actually enough room.  To do this, I measured and cut a large opening in the side footbox panel.

Once I determined the size of opening I needed, I wanted to make a paper model of the piece I would need to fabricate.  I drew this out, and then cut and taped it to see if this would fit and meet my needs.

I then taped it in place to see if this would create the space needed.

This seemed to work well, so now it was just re-creating this in sheet metal.

I basically repeated my steps using aluminum.  The trick with this was getting all of the bends I needed.  I had a sheet metal brake for the main bends, but since I needed to then bend the opposite direction for the flanges for riveting, I could not really use the brake as designed.  I was able to make small bends with sheet metal vise grips.  The flange bends I did by clamping the piece to the sheet metal brake, using the front edge as a guide, and then bending the metal with a hammer.  This actually worked pretty well – fortunately this is not thick aluminum.

Then I had to rivet the new piece on the the original. I had several options for exactly how to do this, i.e. where to put the tabs (in or outside the footbox).  I chose to slip one tab inside the footbox and leave the other three on the outside.   This created a very solid fit and added a bit of additional space inside the footbox.  Once this was riveted together I could then proceed with more panels in the footbox.

Then I moved to the passenger compartment and the rear cockpit panels.  It took a bit of work to get everything to align fairly well, but overall came together pretty nicely.  Pat and I also figured out how we think we want to put in speakers in the back wall. We are hoping to put a pair in the upper wall between the seats, and one on each side behind the seats.  Looks to be room to do this.

More pictures are in the Gallery.


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