Monday, April 23, 2018

Looking For Things To Work On!

Dateline - 04/21/2018 - I am now officially looking for things to do on the car.  I've gotten to that point! 

This weekend I:


  • Applied the carbon fiber over the fiberglass on the center console and sanded it back down to ready it for lacquer overcoat.
  • Mounted the cyclops brake light
  • Added a catch on the lower glove box so that it doesn't just drop open.  I needed something that would allow me to open the box completely because the fuses are behind it.  A simple catch made of bass stock, riveted into the side of the of the glove box worked like a champ.
  • Painted the centers of the hubcaps and installed them.
  • Painted the front speaker frames and grills

One item that took more work was the front center console insert.  When you lift the center console armrest, there is a very thin plastic insert that goes in to create the center glove box.  The original is in pretty bad shape, and with the addition of the new hand brake, I would have to modify the tray to fit.

So, instead of trying to fix and modify he original, I decided to make a new one out of fiberglass.  I created the buck from pink foam (of course) and then laid up two glass layers, one 10 lb and one six lb.  I had to chip away the foam, but when I was done, it was a perfect fit!  Just need to trim, sand and finish in the carbon fiber vinyl that I used for the other glove boxes and I'm good.

So, what's left...

In the back of the car:

  • Lacquer and rub out center console panel
  • Install center console panel
  • Mount the center console
  • Source and mount wing badges for door panels

Front Interior:

  • Finish center console insert
  • Install armrest
  • Finish the center indicator light bezel
  • Mount dimmer switch knob
  • Calibrate Speedometer
Trunk:

  • Make left and right upholstery panels
  • Buy carpet kit and install
Exterior
  • Fix mismatch paint
  • Install bumpers
  • Install front license plate
Mechanical:
  • Front end alignment
  • Headlight alignment
Not much left!

Monday, April 16, 2018

So Close I Can Taste It!

Dateline - 04/14/2018 - I can't believe it!  I'm almost "done"!  I put "done" in quotes because, well, you are never really done until you sell the car or die!  But I'm really, really close!

Since the last time I posted, I've completed both door panels and installed, which required completing most of the steps I had outstanding in my last post.  The only thing I need is to source the Leaper front wing badges that I use on the front door panels.  Here are pictures of the interior all together.

Interior with everything but center console carbon piece
Interior wide angle
Back seats with upholstered center filler

I also carved the center console carbon fiber piece from pink foam and did a layup of two layers of 6 lb fiberglass, which will be the underlay/support for the carbon.  Pictures of the layup process:
Foam buck covered in Saran wrap and two pieces of 6 lb fiberglass
After layup of fiberglass and covered in Saran wrap
Piece removed from buck.  Will put back on buck for placement of carbon fiber

Layup of end piece which is done separately.  Two layers of 6 lb fiberglass

I completed wiring the rear reading light switch and the USB charger.  This was a bit challenging, like most thing have been because, if I had known what I was going to do in the beginning, I would have done things differently.  First, the switches are not the same as the ones I used in the front of the car.  Those are not made anymore!  So I used something similar, but they are wired differently.  They have two LED lights, one that you can wire separately, and one that goes on when the switch is turned on.  I wanted the LEDs that you can wire separately to be connected to the running lights so that they would come on with the dash lights.  However, I didn't run any wire from the dash to do that.  Thinking about it for a bit, I realized I could easily splice a wire in the truck that runs to the outside running lights.  So, that is what I did and now the switches light when I turn on the dash lights.  I can't dim them like the front, but they are in the back and I'm not that worried about it.

The second challenge was the USB charger.  My original thought was to take the hot wire off the right had reading light switch to power to USB.  The problem is that the power for the reading lights is coming off a fuse block in the truck that is hot all the time.  This means the USB will be hot all the time.  I didn't want that because it's lit and would run the battery down.  I scratched my head for some time to figure out how to fix this issue (again, knowing five years ago that I was going to install this USB switch would have helped!)  Then I realized that the AUX switch that I wired into the dash ran to the trunk, and that AUX switch actually supplied a ground, not a hot.  When I put it in originally, I figured I would use it to run things in the trunk, like arming a NOS system and that I could use the fuse block in the trunk for power. So, all I needed to do was run the AUX wire in the truck back up to the USB charger and plug it into the ground side.  Voila!  Works like a champ.  The USB charger doesn't work unless I turn on the AUX switch up front.  A good compromise. And, if I do need to charge something overnight, I don't need to leave the car power on!  Here are pictures of the light switches:

Center switches with dash lights on.
Center switches with dash lights and reading lights on.
Center switches with dash lights and USB enabled

I tried to install my center brake light bar that I purchased years ago.  The mount that the light is in doesn't stand up tall enough to reach from the back parcel shelf to the bottom of the window, so I created some ABS plastic extension on the 3D printer.  I had done this three years ago, but once I tried to install them, I realized I couldn't because the back window is in the way now!  So, I got back on the computer and designed a new extension that has the screw mounting going in at an angle instead of straight down.  It's nice to have a 3D printer!  I ran out of time to install the light, but I'll get to that this week.

So, what is left?  Hmmmm.  I have to think about this.  To truly be done, I have to do the following:

In the back of the car:

  • Mount the brake light
  • Finish the carbon fiber layup and mount the center console panel
  • Final mount of the center console
  • Final mount of the center console arm rest
  • Source and mount wing badges on door panels
Front interior:
  • Fix the plastic center console insert and install
  • Install the center console arm rest
  • Install the glove box vanity mirror
  • Install a glove box door catch
  • Install a lower glove box latch system
  • Finish the center indicator light bezel
  • Mount the dimmer switch knob.
  • Calibrate Speedometer
Trunk
  • Make left and right upholstery panels
  • Buy carpet kit and install
Exterior
  • Fix mismatched paint
  • Install bumpers
  • Install front license plate
  • Repaint hubcap center caps
Mechanical:
  • Have front wheels alighted
  • Have headlights aligned.

That's all I can think of!  Wow! The list is super small now!  Oh what a feeling!

Monday, April 2, 2018

Made Massive Progress!

Dateline - 04/01/2018 - Put in a solid 16 hours this weekend and made huge progress.  Here is what I completed:
  • Left and right door panels upholstered.  Just missing the center carbon inset
  • Left and right door panel window seals installed
  • Left and right door handles upholstered and ready for installation
  • Carbon insets, left and right window switch and center light switch lacquered 
  • Back seat middle insert shaped, upholstered and installed
  • Center console armrest upholstered
  • Finished left and right door handle arm rests
What's left to do:
  • Rub out all the lacquered parts
  • Install the door panel inserts
  • Install the door panels
  • Make Snap in brackets for door handle arm rests and install
  • Install window switches
  • Install center console arm rest
  • Install center console
  • Wire and install reading light switches 
  • And the BIG one: carve the center console carbon insert, lay up with carbon. lacquer and install.  This is going to be several weekends work.
If I have all the parts I need, all but the last one can be done in a weekend!  So, I'M REALLY CLOSE to being done with the interior!