The nose is going to take a beating so the plan was to protect it right from the start, except that it turned out that I suck at applying 3M film to compound curves. I can figure it out, probably about the time I run out of material to “practice” with (the stuff’s expensive.) Since the nose is detachable it’ll be handed to a pro and probably end up costing less than if I use up all the material teaching myself…
Mounted the intercooler inlet screen, which took longer than it should have because it wasn’t fully fit-up earlier. Also, either the chassis or aluminum panels seemed to have changed shape slightly after being powdercoated. The panels were drilled then used as pilots to drill the chassis tubes, so all the holes did line up at one time. Additionally, Clecos were used to ensure the panel didn’t shift, so something’s changed. Of course, with rivets it doesn’t take much to be “off”; just a few thousandths of an inch will keep a rivet from seating. In any case the rivet holes have to be chased anyway since paint effectively under-sizes them. Even so, it unfortunately meant that some holes had to be cheated – elongated. Not by much, but enough to be humbling as far as a so-called “precision” chassis goes.
Rivnuts are kind of fussy for alignment – the screw has to be exactly aligned to avoid cross-threading them. As much of a nuisance as they are though, they do make panels removable without big obvious quick-release fasteners. In the first picture is the panel containing the intercooler grill – hard to tell that it’s not riveted in just like the panel at left, huh? Close up you can see how similar a 1/8″ rivet and a 6-32 button-head screw is.
In the last picture is the rather ponderous rear fender in-place… it really changes the look of the car and I’m not sure it’s in a good way. Still, there may be little or no choice to run them; if they end up on the car they’ll “probably” be painted the bright lime-green instead of the dark green to aid visibility. We’ll see.