8/29/06 - Finally kicking the fab into high gear and looking close to getting the rolling car back home! The last couple weekends have been spent doing some final fabbing, welding and so forth. We are just waiting on 14mmx1.5 fine-thread rod ends for the front tie rods (and I will have to drill the strut taper out to 14mm which is the "big" diameter of the taper) and we can button up the front end. Otherwise, I have been bolting the car back together and she is looking good so far.
Here are some weld shots of the dash fully installed. I think it fits pretty well and I like having a stock dash in the car for look. I held the steering column in place while sitting in the seat with feet on the pedals to get it exactly where I want it - nice because it will feel perfect and I can see the whole tach through the steering wheel (imagine that in a 914!).
And some shots of the engine/trans with the "cradle" that comes in and out with it (so I can pull the engine and trans from the top). The rear without the cradle is shown too.
The front area received a lot of work to make the fuel cell fit. I unfortunately need the 17gal cell just to have a reasonable amount of fuel for a 30 minute session. I have ran 15 minute sessions at Willow and burned 5gals of gas - WTF!... I know :o( It uses a lot of fuel when you are constantly on it. Also, I just bought that cell for around $850 and didn't want to pony up $2200 more for a custom cell. It sits high in the car which isn't the best situation, but I have 10lbs of shit in a 5lb bag, so it had to go there. The strut perch is hard to see, but trust me when I say it has been hacked to make it fit. In fact, no caster adj and very little camber adj is left in it - all that will have to be adjusted by the lower geometry. They are basically there to provide a spherical-bearing mount for the struts.
Note the welding on the perches tho', freakin' beautiful! And notice the bend in the front plate to make a "perfect" fit to the car and mount - no hack-job there. AJ has a huge hydraulic press that he can bend the plate in to bet angles that fit. I am really happy with that work because I have see a LOT of tube cars with cobbled together mount areas.
The rear area of the car is getting fitted with two coolers (one oil, one trans) that I requested be right up against the rear trunk lid. I had made an aluminum mount plate to attach the coil, ignition box and trans pump in that area, but instead I will have the coil mount on a small plate welded to the frame just left of the coolers, the ignition box is on the firewall and the trans pump will be mounted to welded brackets near the rear of the car. I will cut out the trunk and screen it in above them to get fresh air for them. The coolers are huge, off-road and hardcore race car coolers, so I shouldn't have oil temp problems!
The overall look of the car at this stage - forgot to get one with the wing, but it looks dumb with my current spill plate design and I am having a hard time coming up with a nice look anyway :o(