The first step to working on the body was to re-arrange the garage to get the '97 car in the left bay and the '89 car's body and the new frame in the middle bay. Then... against the O.S.H.A. night rules I removed the '89 car's body (it stopped raining).
Since this was the third time I did this it went smoothly and quickly.
And... It's out.
Below is a close up of the race frame. You can see the chromed springs above. Below you can see the plates welded to the frame for mounting the roll cage and the factory marker indicating right hand drive.
Now we have things in the right place to begin the long and arduous task of preparing the body.
The body work can be broken down into two areas that are worked on simultaneously. This includes backing out modifications made to the body by NTC in making it a race car, and updating the '89 body to the '97 body. The first area of work involves replacing fiberglass where it has been cut away to accommodate the roll cage, fuel cells, brake vents and race interior. The second area of work involves getting all the holes and panels to be in the right place - accounting for the difference in years and switching from right to left hand drive.
The fuel cells we rectangular and bigger than the gas tank area. Plywood was glassed in and large panels were cut out of the forward portion of the rear wheel wells to accommodate them. This was ripped out, a pattern was made of the hole, then the same section was removed from the '97 car and grafted in.
Below is an example of the "holes" problem. The original holes are the lower left, the two smaller one stacked to the right and large one to the right of that. All the others had to be added (including those with the grommets) by taking a pattern off the '97 car. I'd bet the factory just eyes it with a hole saw but I wasn't taking any chances.
On an '89 car, this area is missing. On a '97 car, a canister compartment is riveted to the wheel side of this area. I had to graft it even though a panel covers it in the engine compartment.
Below is a pre-disassembly picture of the area above. Notice the cut out, the fuel cell jutting into the wheel well and the cut in the body for part of the roll cage (upper right), which is already removed.