The GTM Supercar Build Log

Archive for the ‘Preparation’ Category

Diffuser Prepped for Louvers

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

Today I prepared the diffuser for the installation of the louvers. The louvers will greatly increase airflow through the engine bay, keeping the engine quite a bit cooler. To get the diffuser ready I first had to mount the diffuser on the car, find its center, and mark the inside of the diffuser for the body edge so that the louvers do not overlap the body where the diffuser mounts to. Once that was done I removed the diffuser and set the louver assembly in place. Once I had it where I wanted I drilled out all of the rivet holes, cleckoing it as I went. Holes drilled, the louver assembly was removed and the diffuser was flipped over and the louvers were re-clecko’d on the interior side of the diffuser. I then etched the inboard perimeter of each louver onto the surface of the diffuser to prepare it for cutting. With the perimeter scribed, I cut out the louver holes while leaving the scribe marks intact. This allows for the installation of the louvers on the interior side of the diffuser while keeping the aluminum edges hidden by the diffuser. Once the diffuser was cut I clecko’d the louvers in place and bent the fins up to match the angle on the strakes. The strake ‘ears’ had to be bent to sit flush on the diffuser.

At this point I need to pull the louvers off again and take them for powder coating. Afterwards, I will be able to rivet them in place and mount the diffuser.

Door Liner Velcro, Console Trim Plate Prep, Radio Mounted

Sunday, June 20th, 2010

To make the door liners a bit more rigid without installing bolts across the top of the door liner, I decided to give velcro a try. I picked up some heavy duty 3m Fastener Tape (ie: velcro) and applied two strips across the top of the door liner. This stuff works pretty well – very grippy and the door liner feels sturdier and looks nice.

Starting to get ready to install the console and dash, so I prepped the console trim plate. The hazards and fog light switches were installed, and then the shift boot was riveted into place.  Pretty straight forward – pull about an inch of fabric underneath the trim plate on the ‘bottom side’ of the trim plate cutout, drill a 1/8″ hole and rivet into place through the boot fabric into a flat nut. With the first rivet in place it is quite easy to work around the boot, riveting into place. The trim plate is ready to be installed onto the console.

Josh made up some radio mounts to secure the radio to the tunnel. The mounts screw into mounting holes on the side of the head unit, and to the tunnel itself. I must have had the complete dash on/off 10-15 times to get a proper fitment so that the radio face can slide out and back in without any interference from the dash cutout, but I finally got it. With the radio in place and console trim plate ready, I am just about ready to install the dash ‘for good’. After the radio was mounted I secured the antenna under the front of the body beneath the windshield edge. I used a powered internal antenna from Dakota Digital, and it works great.

Tunnel Closeout Aluminum Prepped and Installed, Shift Box Re-welded

Friday, June 18th, 2010

Shane @ VRaptor Speedworks made up a nice tunnel closeout panel for those of us that include radios in our builds. The FFR supplied aluminum closes the tunnel off, but does not allow for a radio to be installed at the same time. Shane’s closeout piece works great. To get it to fit with my double-din unit I had to cut out a square for the wiring harness to pass through, and a few holes for the antenna and camera inputs to plug in through. The camera/antenna holes were protected with grommets, while I covered the wiring harness hole with duct tape, then put some slits in it so the wires can pass through, while still keeping things somewhat sealed. With everything set in place, the closeout was screwed into the frame and the radio was plugged in. I then test fit the dash to make sure the radio fit well and actuated open/shut without interference from the closeout panel. Good to go!

Ryan also stopped out and re-welded the shift box into place so now I can get the switches and everything in without interference.

Center Console Prep, Front Mesh Silicone’d, Front Camera Installed

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

Today I set the console in place to test switch fitment before I have the shift box welded back in tomorrow. After I did that I put the radio in place just to test its clearance when it opens (to make sure it clears the AC controls). When I tried opening the unit I realized I did not have enough clearance cut out for the bottom edge to tilt out without catching the edge of the console cut-out. Pulled back the vinyl, again, and trimmed the top and bottom edges down a bit more, then put the radio in place and tested – good to go now. Just need to re-glue the vinyl and get the radio mounted to the tunnel frame. I also cut out the ignition switch hole in the console trim plate.

Silicone’d the bottom and sides of the front mesh to hold that in place. That should be good to go tomorrow.  With the mesh in place I installed the front camera. I attached the camera to the under-side of the hood mouth using a few left over black duct screws from the AC parts, then routed the cabling through the nose of the hood with some adhesive-backed wire holders. Once I get the car off its jack stands I will fine-tune the  positioning of the camera.

Dash Fit/Prep, Upper Seat Belt Mounts, Door Weatherstripping

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

Returned back to the dash fitment tonight. I finally got the driver pod to sit where I want so I marked it with some drill holes so I can align it when it comes time to install it, and set to getting the dash face to fit better. I had to grind/cut off a bit more to get it to sit flush on the steering column. Fits perfectly now.

With the dash where I want it, I pulled it all out and busted out the sawzall and cut out the cable shift box. Just need to have it rewelded an inch or so back and I will be able to start thinking about installing the dash for good (still waiting on radio to arrive so I can cut that in).

After the dash stuff I installed the upper seat belt mounts. This took a little bit more work since I am using a harness bar. To accommodate both the harness bar and regular seat belts, I got longer bolts and spaced each seat belt mount off the harness bar/rear wall with 6 washers. I tilted them at a slight angle and then tightened the bolt up. The washers and tilting allows the belt to move freely without catching on the harness bar mount.

Ending tonight’s work, I applied weatherstripping to the edges of the interior door sill so a good seal is created when the doors are shut.

Console Dash Prep, Defrost Ducts Prep, Seat belts

Friday, May 28th, 2010

Today was one of those days where it feels like its two steps forward, one step back. I pulled out the center console and cut out the fiberglass for the shifter, ac controls, and ignition, hazards, and fog light switches. Test fit them all and put the console back in. Oh, fun, the cable shifter box is overlapping the holes that the ignition, hazards, and fog switches mount in. Going to have to cut the shifter box out, trim the mounts a bit, and move it back down the tunnel an inch so that I can get the switches in there, and reweld it. Bit of a bummer since I was hoping to mount all the switches and shifter boot, etc. Turns out I wouldn’t be able to anyways, as the faceplate for the console calls for 2 separate window switches, and the mount that came with the kit is a dual switch mount, which cannot be separated to fit the individual mount slots on the console plate.

With the console taken as far as it could go, I turned my attention to the defrost ducts. Picked spots that I thought looked good by laying the aluminum trim rings on the dash edges of the center console, marked the holes and inside edge of the aluminum trim, then cut out the slots with the Dremel.  Once those were cut out I drilled out a hole on each side into the duct, clecko’d it, then drilled out the rest of the holes. Screens were then siliconed into place and taped for overnight curing. I decided to spray the aluminum trim rings a gloss black, as the raw aluminum seemed a bit much.

While the silicon cures and paint dries, I mocked up the seat belt mounts. Took some trial and error to realize that the belts work best swapped side-to-side (ie: driver belt on passenger side, visa versa). Would be nice if the manual mentioned this. I set them in place loosely since I need to everything apart for the harness bar mount (at the powdercoat shop right now), and for the harness belt mounts that will bolt on the seat belt mounts.

Interior Mockup/Prep Continues, Hatch Mesh Installed

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

The battle of fitting the interior pieces continues. After getting the center console situated I really struggled with the passenger pod.  In the end I ended up cutting the inside corner that hangs/curves down off and trimming the fiberglass around the A-pillar to get it fit properly. Lots of time spent getting it just right. The driver’s side is not easier. I have it pretty close to being fit just right, but it still needs some more trimming/elbow grease. With the dash fit ‘good enough’ for now I set to cutting the gauge cluster carbon fiber panel so that it fits around the steering column. It would be nice if a template or some direction was given, but its pretty much trial and error in getting it to fit just right. In the end, I got the gauge cluster in. Not bad.

After doing the dash work I set to adhering the mesh to the hatch. Earlier in the week I painted the mesh black to get it ready for install. I adhered the mesh to the hatch with black silicone, then taped them into place with painter’s tape to dry.

Floor Carpet Installed, Seat Belt Prep, Center Console Mockup

Sunday, May 23rd, 2010

Interior is starting to look like an interior more and more each day. Installed the floor carpeting today, and then prepped the seat belt retractors (have to remove the stop clip in each one) and receptacles. Receptacles were installed, but I am waiting on my harness bar to arrive before I tear down everything and install it, and the seat belts.

Did a mockup with the center console to see how it fits. I’ll have to cut out some of the Dynaliner where the console hugs the tunnel frame like I did with the engine cover previously. Right now the console fits fine, but its edges are pushed out enough to make it impossible to fit in the passenger dash all the way in.

Engine Cover ‘Installed’, Rear Wall Prepped, Fuel Tank Covers Suede’d

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Productive day today. First thing on the agenda was to get the engine cover to fit without interfering with the tensioner pulley. I had to pull some suede back in the rear of the tunnel (where the engine cover slides down over the frame) and trim the Dynaliner out for a better fit. Once I did this it was very easy to position the engine cover in place. I clamped the top edge to the rear wall and pushed the bottom into place (making sure there were no clearance issues), then drilled out the frame with a 1/4″ drill bit along the bottom edge of the engine cover to mark where the rivnuts for the engine cover would go. Marked the rear wall for the 4 top engine cover bolts, then pulled it off and drilled the frame and installed the rivnuts for the cover. Test fit everything again, then pulled the rear wall off and cut a clearance hole for the FAST intake manifold and drilled it for the fuel tank covers, engine cover, and upper rear cockpit wall brackets.

The upper cockpit wall brackets are tricky – they require a bolt from the face of the door jamb to hold them into place, so I held it in place and used a remote Dremel drill attachment to snake the bit behind the face of the door jamb (tight fit) and drilled it through the bracket with a small 1/8″ bit. Finished the hole from the front with a 1/4″ bit. Rivnuts go in the bracket and were then test fitted. Still only about 80% sure as to how the upper cockpit aluminum attaches to these, but I’m sure that will come with time.

I reassembled everything again to ensure the engine cover worked with the rivnuts installed. Fortunately, I am on a hot streak and have had no troubles with rivnuts (you might remember earlier in the build how these were the bane of my existence).  Everything fits good so far, I just need to get my hands on a 1/2″ drill bit to drill out the seat belt bolt hole in the wall, then I can suede it and get the rear window in and do a ‘final’ assembly of the rear interior stuff.

Last thing on task was to apply the suede to the fuel tank covers. I forgot how ‘fun’ it is working with the Super 77 adhesive. Messy, but in the end the covers look great.

‘Firewall’ and Wiper Mount Prep

Saturday, May 15th, 2010

In between doing the previous things I riveted the firewall aluminum into place, and the hood support aluminum. These 3 pieces get one long piece of bulb seal. To make the bulb seal look ‘factory’ I drilled 1/4″ holes in the body at the end of each hood support piece and pulled the bulb seal through them. Nice touch.

With that out of the way I used a 1″ hole saw to drill out the wiper arm mount. This had me a bit nervous, drilling into the painted body and all, but it ended up being painless.