22 Jul 2012

Fabricated the last bits of steel hardware. One was a set of bushings for the fuel tank tray bolts. It’s a bad idea to run bolts straight through chassis tubes because the bolts can crush the tube when tightened (which also means that they’re never really “tight.”) Another reason for bushings is that without them, even with bolts installed it’s a way for water vapor to get in the tube and start rusting it from the inside out.

After the car was stripped it appeared that there was a weakness in the chassis tubing, that during cornering part of the rear frame could flex, so two diagonals (one is at the center of the second picture) were added. They keep the top forward inboard suspension point from deflecting inboard during cornering. The reason the outboard end of the tube ended up where it did was because it’s the only place that the lower A-arm and toe link don’t interfere with it. The rest of the day was spent finish-welding, and rolling the chassis over makes welding much easier.

In related news, my wife and I went to the powder-coater so that she could see the available colors, then we walking around a group of car dealer lots to look at colors. For the exterior we selected – finally – the metallic olive green on the new Fiat 500. It’ll go with just about any chassis color, which is still up in the air ironically. Then there is the suspension and fender colors which are also unsettled.

In very unrelated news, I was out in the yard and heard a couple of hummingbirds, but they sounded different. When they came closer it became very clear why – they were mating while airborne! The male was holding on with his feet and the two of them were flying in absolutely perfect synchronized flight. Pretty amazing.