3 Sep 2016

Here’s progress on the intercooler duct. The 36″ x 72″ red fiberglass board arrived by truck in a 48″ x 96″ cardboard container! I won’t say what shipping was due to embarrassment since I didn’t notice the amount until it was too late. Anyway, the fiberglass paneling helps speed up fabrication – thanks to my brother for the suggestion. Cut to fit, it became the roof* and is flexible enough to follow the tubes down to the windscreen. The front half of the intercooler duct will get built on this and the ducting will drop down below the main roll hoop to connect to the section shown.

The next delivery included a big piece of foam and about 15 hours was spent shaping it. Moldless-construction means once the foam is shaped, fiberglass is draped over it, epoxy is added, it cures, then the foam is removed. As seen, a band saw sure comes in handy, and a die grinder, and sand paper, and sanding blocks, and a hacksaw blade, etc. Doing it over I’d buy thinner material and stack sheets appropriately instead of cutting it from one large piece. What you see here is probably 90% done, complete with a few goofs though they won’t be visible.

So what’s with the shape? A couple things. I learned that the inlet duct should be roughly 25% of the core area, which works out to 3″ wide as seen from the rear. That’s when it hit me, that it could be shaped such that my coveted rear view mirror might still be useful. So far it looks promising, check out the last several pictures. Mostly by coincidence, the intercooler duct lent itself well to having a minimal frontal area right along the rear sightline. The last picture is what I see from the driving position, where visibility goes right through the “waist” of the duct. The last picture was taken early during shaping, ignore the duct’s asymmetries.

Debating what to do tomorrow. On the one hand I’m kind of beat and am thinking of taking a day off and going for a drive. On the other hand I’m making great progress and hate to give up a day. On the third hand, driving tomorrow would be nice since it’s unusually cool here (for the first time I can remember, the first week of September isn’t the hottest), but uf course, cooler weather is good for working in the garage. Since Monday’s a holiday, that’s when all the motorhomes will be clogging the back roads, leaving tomorrow relatively quiet. I don’t know, we’ll see.

*I was right to be concerned about the roof; getting out of the car with it in place is a pain. Still haven’t figured out how to adjust my routine to make it easier.