Body Work III
(April 2002)

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Next I filled the brake vent holes where large air lines, routed from the front air dam, passed through the front of the fender wells to cool the brakes. These holes were cut through the top and bottom body molds and were quite deep. Below you can see the repair steps on both the left and right sides. The curing resin was the hottest I have ever seen it. It steamed and scorched.


Deep holes through both molds


Fiberglass filled


The bottom side


Ready for paint

I also needed to fill holes above the rear window where the roll cage passed through from the rear suspension mount points into the passenger compartment. Unfortunately, the body was cut in the hatch sills making the repair more difficult.


Roll Cage passing through (see top)

The holes are beveled (both sides) with a grinding stone so that the fiberglass attach is strong and will not crack. More fiberglass is then layered in from both sides.


Adding glass

After the layering and surface grinding/sanding, filler is added, sanded, and primed.


Finished repair

What about the gas filler cap holes Guy, are they the same size between the years? Umm.. No.


Original filler hole


Enlarged filler hole (now the same size as the '97 car)

Now.... I'm looking at the steel cross member behind the firewall. The cross member from the race car had number of extra holes drilled in it. I felt that replacing it with the one from the '97 car would be best but I was unsure as to how hard it would be to get it out. I was afraid it might be bonded to the firewall. I decided to tackle it one night and after removing the thin headed bolts in the door jambs and about a zillion other bolts in the fire wall, it did come out. I then bolted it into the the body. It's a good thing I did too because take a look at the door latch holes...


 New door latch hole position

If I had not replaced the cross member and frame behind the latches, I could have completed the car and found that the later model doors would not latch. Whewph!


Cross member removed - '97 car parts moving in

Once I got all the bolts out things went fine. I then filled the old latch holes with glass and filler.


All filled

I noticed a problem with the upper portion of the firewall. It wasn't straight. At the point where the engine hatch latches attach, the firewall was bulging forward.


The Bulge (at top)

The bulge was so large on both sides that a window in the bezel would break if you tried to install it. So I soaked the firewall and clamped a 2x4 to it for a week and it got better but not good enough so... I took the circular saw to the front of it where the bulges were..


It's straight now

I still need to fill in some glass from behind in the bulge areas but the glass won't break now.

I had to fill in the right hand drive instrument cluster dash cut out so...


Lexan, wood, and wax paper from behind


Finish grind/sand before the fill

You can also see I'm filling in the right hand driver steering column and front holes and... Hey! wait a minute. Something is funny here. At some point before I had noticed that some measurements from the doors to the tunnel were not the same between the cars but I put it out of my mind. What's this big hump at the front and sides of the tunnel on this car? I have to move a bunch of bolts in the tunnel (sticking through for other things to attach to) over from the '97 car and if they are not in the same place the interior and dash parts won't fit! I better measure. . . . . . . .

I need a drink.

It seems the tunnels.... are not the same between the cars. The '97 car's tunnel stays small in width the entire length of the tunnel and only rises about a quarter inch on the top while the '89 car's tunnel grows about an inch wider and 3/4 of an inch taller.

I need another drink.

Guy: "Hello Johan? Yeah its Guy. Ya see I got this problem blah blah blah....."

Johan: "Well Guy, You and Keen are crazier than me so you know what you got to do or you will regret it later."


Mark


Cut

Cut the tunnel out of the '97 car...


Place, trim,  grind, bevel, and glass


Fill, sand, and prime

What tunnel problem? I might add that the angle of the rear firewall is steeper in the later cars to allow the seat to go back about another half inch. That tunnel width reduction also provides additional interior room.

Notice that the dash is now finished on the right hand side also (with the exception of cutting out the hole for the blower vent).

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