18 Jan

Yesterday a bolt-on engine bay floor was fabricated. The advantage of accessing the engine bay from below is so great that the riveted panel had to go. Since it was already off as part of installing the dry sump, and because it had been damaged by the suspension bottoming, this was the time to do it. Even though the shocks and springs have been stiffened, skid plates will be added so that the screw heads don’t get removed in a shower of sparks. The plates will get added soon enough but I wanted to get on with today’s project.

Today the “fuel tank V2.0” project continued. Most of the bits are already here, fuel doors, pump, stainless sheet. The sheet was cut, trimmed, and drilled, but the trick’s going to be bending it. What I would “like” is only one weld seam, which basically means finding a place that can make four bends in a sheet, forming a box. Hopefully there’s some place with a large brake that’s narrow enough that it can reach in and make the last bend. The thinking is that the metal is springy enough that even though it’s attempting to close on itself, it’ll allow the brake to exit. If this proves impossible, then the sheet will be cut somewhere and I’ll end up with two long weld seams.

The reason I’m trying to avoid any more welding than possible is that stainless heat distorts something terrible – the less welding the better. If two seams are necessary (and even if there’s only one), I’ll be a lot more careful this time around, making short welds and cooling the assembly in between welding sessions.

Anyhow, some local sheet metal shops are being contacted to see what they can do and what it’ll cost me…