3 Jan 2009

Welded up the tacked-in tubes and added a few more, completing the basic cage.

Fully welding the tubes always results in a vivid demonstration of heat warpage, note the 3/16″ gap under the tube. Having a wood fabrication table with wood clamps is no match; the metal just laughs at the pathetic effort to contain it, ripping the screws right out of the wood. Never underestimate the power of (the Force, sorry) contracting steel. This is why the suspension brackets get attached last, and why adjustable rod-ends are used everywhere. This happened in Kimini, and in every other welded-chassis car I’ve asked builders about. We learn to coexist with it…

It has been pointed out a couple times that the window frame and X-roof is not really structurally sound; the forward-outboard corners have little support to resist folding down. Granted the main hoop prevents the entire top from caving in, limiting the front corners from deflecting more than 5.5″. For builder who are concerned there will be alternatives, one is to add a tube from the upper corners of the windscreen frame down to the waistline tubes (third photo.) It conveniently forms a triangular area that could house small windows and greatly reduce the infamous wind whipping around the ends of the flat windscreens Locosts are known for. Mocking it up showed it doesn’t cause much problem when getting in and out so a decision will be made before going to paint – if I don’t forget.

Of course that’s not really structural either. To do it “right” means running tubes from the top corners back to the junction on the main hoop at shoulder-level. To really go nuts means adding horizontal tubes from the top front corners back to the main hoop, but doing so will make getting in and out very difficult. The final decision will be up to builders.

As the vacation time-off winds down I’m pretty happy with the progress. Getting the SB100 ball rolling really helps the motivation as well. Not sure how much I’ll get done tomorrow, might just goof off for a day.