Brat Night(s) 4.6.10 & 4.13.10

I’ve been busy/lazy… thus the lumped together updates.

4.6.10 – Worked on the seatbelt mounts for the bed mounted seats, and did some welding on the subframe brackets on the new frame.  It was a nice change from the week before, where my welding attempt failed horribly.

4.13.10 – Dan and I worked for a short time.  Mainly focused on cutting out parts of the last remaining crossmember under the bed for the new frame.

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Brat Night – 3.30.10

You’ll notice I skipped a week.  Last week’s Brat Night was spent working on the hood project for Ultimate RX.  I had tried to weld the patch panels to the hood myself, with horrible results.  Since that had been the first time I’d welded in some time, I wanted to prove to myself that I can indeed weld halfway decently.  I think I accomplished that this week, as well as made some good head way on some fabrication stuff.

I started by tackling the seatbelt mounts for the bed jump seats. You can see here that it was in bad shape…

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I cut the old metal off, and ground down the spot welds.  I saved the nuts, and reused them with some plates I had laying around.  It felt good to lay some welding beads down on metal that didn’t just disintegrate.

After I got the plates welded in, I spent some time welding on the subframe mounts on the new frame.

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New Hood for Ultimate

Last week was a busy one.  I was either working, sleeping, or working on this hood.  A job that started simple, and got more complex than I should have made it.  It should have been a simple hood wrap…

I ended up with a semi decent product, good enough to show off at Northwest Nissans Golden Gardens meet as I intended to do.  Reaction to the vinyl wrap was pretty good.

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The previous owner originally did the hood hump widening.  I found that it wasn’t welded, and that was most likely the cause for the bondo work to start cracking.

Destruction and resurrection…

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Brat Night – 3.16.10

Some more on the Brat.  Some more measurable progress.

Basic plan tonight was to remove all the remnants of the rusty unibody frame rails that were cut off.  I also had hoped to begin fabbing up the cab wall reinforcement plate and maybe run some small beads around the wheel wells where I cut stuff out.

I managed to get the first part taken care of.  Looks pretty damn good.  I sprayed some of the rustier areas down with Metal Ready, the POR15 metal etcher.  While I waited for it to do its magic, I decided to setup the welder.  I spent some time with a scrap piece of sheet metal practicing my welds.  I have a ways to go before I want to strike an arc on the body.  It also was made apparent that I’m out of gas.

To finish out the night, I wire wheeled the rusty areas I had sprayed with Metal Ready.  In theory, those areas have been mostly rust neutralized now.

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Some Bare Metal… Finally!

The last few times i’ve been over to work on the Brat I’ve focused on stripping undercoating from under the bed area.  Its this immediate area I will be doing the majority of the fabrication for the new s13 subframe.

Tonight I spent 3 hours or so with a my trusty knotted wire wheel stripping off the remainder of the undercoating that was left from last weeks scraping.  This was far more rewarding that the scraping step, actually ending up with a finished product so to speak.

I was also able to mark out a couple of lines on the crossmember i’m keeping.  The areas with the ‘x’ will be where the new frame rails will intersect it.

Check out tonights pics:

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Brat Tuesday – 3.9.10

Tonight was rough.  I rocked it solo, tackling the undercoating again.  I started out the evening by using a chip brush to spread some aircraft stripper on the offending undercoat.  While I waited for that to do its magic, I cut some sweet chunks of metal with my bandsaw.  The triangle pieces will be some bracing for my crossmember brackets.

After that was done, I started scraping.  And scraping.  And scraping.  I’ve found in my trial and error with undercoat removal that stripper->scraping->then knotted wire wheel is the best work flow for removing the undercoat and controlling the mess somewhat.

I didn’t get to the knotted wire wheel yet, that comes next time!

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Top Scoob!

Finally, the Top Scoob competition on Nasioc had a catagory I could enter the wagon in.

I made the top 25 to be in the first round.  I’m hoping I can hang in their long enough to make round 2!

Vote for me here: http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1937559

tex-underway
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RX Shifter Console Finished

Over the last couple of days, I did the final sanding and painting of the console.  I’ll try and get some daylight pictures of it installed, see if the color is a closer match.

Overall, i’m pretty happy with the outcome.

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Brat Tuesday – 2.23.10

Dan and I got together this evening after work, and put some time into the Brat.  Tonight we focused on getting the Brat better situated on the rotisserie.  The biggest thing we did was add some holes to the mounts for the front, so we could bring the rotating assembly closer to the body of the Brat.

While it sounds simple, that was a good hour and half of work.  We had to remove the passenger fender, pound some stuff flat, drill some holes, and reassemble it all.  Once we completed that, we moved the rotating points on the brat closer to center to allow it to pivot better.

With some assistance from my brother Robert, we rotated the Brat to a horizontal position and secured it.  Somehow during this process, Dan’s finger got whacked… he left a bit early with a missing/unattached finger nail.

After Dan left, I assessed the situation, and determined what the next step is going to need to be.  There is a ton of undercoat on the bottom, and I’d like to remove a good portion of it under the bed where all the fabrication will be done.  I hit some areas with a clean & strip pad in my grinder.  While it did work, it seemed to be consumed awfully fast, and was semi clogged most of the time.  So… I have to decide if some wire wheeling would work? or if its time to get a sandblaster, or… mystery option i’ve yet to come up with?

Here is the gallery of pics from tonights work, yes its kind of random…

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RX Shifter Console – Update

So, I’m spent a couple more hours on the shifter console… its coming along great.

I grabbed a scrap piece of ABS plastic from Tap Plastics

RX Shifter Console Project

Traced the area needing to be filled

RX Shifter Console Project

And then cut it out slightly oversized

RX Shifter Console Project

Sanded everything to prep for the epoxy

RX Shifter Console Project

Taped everything together

RX Shifter Console Project

Then epoxied (plastic weld) the hell out of it

RX Shifter Console Project

Waited an hour or so for that to dry, then flipped it over and applied some epoxy to the top

RX Shifter Console Project

Waited a couple of hours, and started sanding it smooth

RX Shifter Console Project

I still had some gaps, so I put another coat of epoxy on…

RX Shifter Console Project

The white epoxy had a longer working time (about 15 minutes) but with that came a long 4+ hour cure time.  I set it aside for the weekend, so it could fully cure.

Today, I started sanding the white epoxy down to the final shape.  On the sides and small end, everything was perfect.  On the large end where I had put the filler plate, I had built up the epoxy a bit so I could match the contour of the WRX trim ring.  After some sanding, I discovered a couple bubbles in this area.  So I applied another thin layer of epoxy to even everything out.

RX Shifter Console Project

Tomorrow I should be able to do some more sanding on it.  If i’m lucky I’ll be able to step up to a finer grit, and then finally prime it.

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