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  #1021  
Old 10-15-2018, 07:55 PM
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Jack 1957 Jack 1957 is offline
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I woke up this morning with a feeling that I ALMOST figured this fender liner out. I went out to the garage and stared at nothing for about an hour and was getting nowhere. I also needed to take the last A/C fitting out to a friend to have him TIG weld a switch port into it for me. Below, on the left is the original. The new one is on the right. They make these with ports already installed but not in the position that I needed. The weld is perfect. Kudos to those that can TIG anything, anywhere, any time and make it look like it was done on a machine.
While I was driving back home I was thinking about forming the liners and it came to me. (That's how I ran myself over last May, not paying attention.)


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I'll use radiant heat. I'll make a down and dirty buck. One shot, then into the burn pile with it. The frame below will provide some rigidity while I'm fighting with the ABS. I'll make the rest out of layers of 2" foam insulation board. The last panel or two on the inboard side, where it gets wider to meet the frame, will be removable so I can move it to the other side to make the liner for the right side.
I have a carbon fiber welding blanket that I'll lay over the buck to insulate the foam from the hot ABS. Then, over the top of the ABS I'll cut a piece of an old bed sheet (NOT the one off the bed, or I'll be sleeping on the couch with a sheet that has a 6 foot round hole in it). Lay the sheet over the top of the soft ABS and use a bunch of bunjy cords in various directions, hooked to the perimeter of the sheet and down to the base of the buck. If it starts to cool down too soon, I can move the heaters to heat it while I'm tying down. If I get the cords in the right position, they'll apply even pressure all the way around. It should work.... Maybe.

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I ordered 2 of these off of fleaBay today. Double quartz bulbs, 1500 watts, 27 inches wide. Two of them should heat the whole panel evenly. I'll still make the liners in two pieces, though.

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Last edited by Jack 1957; 10-15-2018 at 08:27 PM.
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  #1022  
Old 10-15-2018, 11:33 PM
ScooterCO ScooterCO is offline
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I am thinking that we will need to see video of this.... please.
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  #1023  
Old 10-17-2018, 12:14 AM
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Jack 1957 Jack 1957 is offline
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I picked up some low density 2" foam board. This stuff is crap to work with but costs half what high density foam costs. It's a throw away so it only needs to work twice. I made a template of the inside contour of the fender liner right down the center of where the tire will be. I am measuring from the center outward because a lot of this will be symmetrical and can be used as is on both sides of the car.

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Look closely at this blade. It's made to cut plastics and it zips through this foam as quick, clean and easy as drawing the line with a Sharpy. I don't know the science behind it but I think it cuts in both directions without heating up the plastic and melting it. I've had this blade for years to cut plexiglass lenses, lexan windshields, etc. The only problem with what I'm doing now is that the blade isn't long enough to cut through the 2" foam, so I still had to use a knife to finish the cuts.

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There are seven layers here. They are glued together with contact cement permanently. The center of these panels will be right down the center of the tire. I will build on the inboard and outboard sides to match the shape of the fender and framework but I won't glue them down as well as I did with these. I'll need to remove them and swap them side for side to make the right side liner.

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  #1024  
Old 10-17-2018, 06:52 PM
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Jack 1957 Jack 1957 is offline
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There are a few different ways to smooth out foam. I'm not going to use a hot wire but I'll show you that anyway. I put two pieces of welding filler rod into a soldering gun and strung some .023 MIG wire between the two. Pull the trigger and the wire gets hot enough to cut. The benefit to this method is that it's very clean. No dust at all. BUT, although you can get pretty good result, you'll still need to sand to smooth the form out. Also it's somewhat slower than full attack mode with a grinder.

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Here's a picture of some cuts made by hot wire. Notice there are no snow drifts left behind.

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My preferred arsenal for this size job consists of a razor knife, hack saw blade, mud rasp, and a grinder.

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I have smoothed out the 7 center layers that are permanent. Then I cut out the removable inboard and outboard parts.

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I cut out and glued the removable parts and smoothed them out. After I finish making the left liner, I'll take these off and make new ones for the opposite side. Much easier than making two complete forms.
I've reconsidered using a sheet to draw the ABS down. I wouldn't be able to reheat if I have to. I think what I'll do instead is use strips of fiberglass screen about 8" wide. If the ABS starts cooling before I get it fully laid down, I can reheat with a heat gun in areas that need it. The screen might print the ABS but I'm not too worried about that. You can't see any of the liner from above.

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  #1025  
Old 10-18-2018, 09:08 AM
billfunk29 billfunk29 is offline
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Awesome project Jack. I have learned a lot. Thanks for taking to time to post all the details. When I rough out a surfboard, I use a cheap power planer. It is fast and pretty accurate, but the dust goes everywhere.
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  #1026  
Old 10-18-2018, 08:00 PM
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Jack 1957 Jack 1957 is offline
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I found an all cotton towel that will do the job of insulating the foam from heat.

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I also made some tie down bands from fiberglass screen, so I have everything I need to start on these liners except the heaters. Looks like they're still a few days out so I started making the engine closure panels. I did the flanges with a heat gun with the panels clamped to the work bench. The ABS bends easily and cools pretty quickly.

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They fit pretty well. I'll do a trim on them then start welding in mounting tabs next.

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Last edited by Jack 1957; 10-21-2018 at 01:24 AM.
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  #1027  
Old 10-19-2018, 08:48 AM
jpony645 jpony645 is offline
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I always get excited whenever I see you've updated this thread, Jack. This is the most amazing and detailed custom build I've ever seen. It's even more awesome because you're doing it by yourself in a home shop. It far surpasses most of the "custom builds" you see on tv.
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  #1028  
Old 10-23-2018, 07:05 PM
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Jack 1957 Jack 1957 is offline
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I still don't have my heaters, they're supposed to be here tomorrow. In the meantime I took care of something I've been meaning to do for some time now. My bead roller has been showing signs of wear from working with 18 ga steel all the time. One problem was that the pillow blocks that hold the shafts were wearing out. They started scoring the shafts a little, but most of the wear was on the bores of the pillow blocks. I also want a more rigid frame. There is still some side to side flex even though it's reinforced. I need to tighten this up because when I start making the stainless trim for the windshield and door glass I will need an accurate and rigid machine. I decided to make a shorter frame from 1/2" steel plate. I cut a slot 7" deep and 1" wide, then drilled some holes in all the right places and welded on a perch for the adjusting screw.

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I don't want to paint this. Paint looks great for about 10 minutes. Once you use the machine, it gets scratched up and scraped and looks like dog meat. I just did a quickie engine turn finish on it. There are a lot of different ways to do this that get better defined finishes than this method will produce, but I'm not going for a Riddler here. It's just a machine.
I had a couple gray 3" scuff wheels around so I'll use them. First, I laid out a 1 1/2" grid to get a full cover pattern. If I do a hit centered on each intersection of vertical and horizontal lines, I will get full coverage.

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These gray scuff wheels are kind of squishy. A grinding disc would work better, but I only had 2" discs and didn't want to be messing with this all day.
I tilted the work table on the drill press about 3 degrees so that the top half of the circle would hit but the lower half wouldn't. (It did anyway because the scuff pad flexes).
Starting along the top, I hit the center of the pad on each intersecting line all the way across, then down to the next row, and worked my way down.

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Next, I wiped the frame down with WD40 and scavenged the parts off the other bead roller and cut the shafts to fit the new frame. Everything fits up well. I want to take the front pillow blocks out and have them bored to accept needle bearings. If they hold up to the load, they'll eliminate the wear problem. If they fail, I'll use oilite bronze bushings.
Hopefully I will get my heaters tomorrow and get these fender liners finished. I need to move on to the gas tank, rear bumper, exhaust, etc... The list gets longer instead of shorter.

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Last edited by Jack 1957; 10-23-2018 at 07:09 PM.
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  #1029  
Old 10-29-2018, 09:33 PM
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Jack 1957 Jack 1957 is offline
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Well, as I suspected, it was pretty much impossible to keep such a large ABS panel hot long enough to get it over to the buck, strap it down and pull it into shape before it cooled off. Reheating did help some but where the warmed up portion met the cooled of portion, it would always leave a kink. I tried working the kinks out with a heat gun but I was just a dog chasing his tail. I spent a couple frustrating days fighting with this rear half. I got it to fit the buck but it looked like hell. No way I'm putting that on my car. No way. So, I lost a little time on that but I'm sure now that a panel that big can't be formed well without dedicated equipment.


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So, on to plan B. I'll make them in 3 pieces, no heat required. I'll glue the panels together. I started with the inner vertical panels and made templates. Then I cut them out of ABS. Trimmed them a little and mounted them with push pins. They need to be mounted securely because the mating surfaces where they'll be glued have to be a precise fit. The picture below is the front, inner panel on the left side.

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The inner rear is done. It's difficult to get pictures under here. Where this panel meets the frame rail, I left 3 tabs along the lower edge and warmed them up and bent them 90 degrees. There are 3 push pins holding the panel to the frame.

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In the picture below, you can see that I marked 4 inch increments all the way around the circumference of the vertical panel with tape and numbered them 1 through 19. If you have ever tubbed the back end of a race car, you'll recognize some of this. Tubbing the back end of a race car involves making a flat circular panel and clamping it to the side of the frame rail. Then measuring from that panel outward to the quarter panel every few inches along the circumference to get the contour of the body where the tub will meet it. That's it. It's fairly simple.
On this job, I don't have a flat straight surface on the vertical panel. I have a narrow area at the strut tower and then wider areas fore and aft. Sooo, The way to tackle this is to use a center line and measure inward from the centerline then measure outward from the center line.
I put a long strip of tape up on the inside of the fender, running lengthwise to mark the center line. Then I taped a plumb line to the top of the inner fender where the strip of tape marks the center and located it to line up with the #1 location on the vertical panel. I measured from the plumb line inboard, then from the plumb line outboard. Write down these dimensions. I repeated the process for the other 18 locations.
If I lost you in this explanation, don't feel bad. I've been doing this kind of work for years and rarely have to describe what I'm doing. Different methods of solving a problem pop into my head and I apply them and modify as needed without giving much thought to having to explain what and why.

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The total length of this tub is about 76 inches from lower front, up and over, and down to bottom rear. I taped a couple template boards together to get the length, then snapped a chalk line to locate the center line. Next, I measured and marked 4 inch increments from 1 through 19 and used a square to draw the lines. I used the list of all the measurements I took from the car and applied them to the template; station 1, CL to inboard, CL to outboard. Then on to station 2, etc.
After all these dimensions are plotted out on the template, I just connected the dots freehand with a marker. I can tighten up the fit once the template is in the car by either trimming excess or adding tape along the edge to extend it.
That's as far as I got today. Stay tuned.

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Set a Goal So Big That You Can't Achieve It Until You Grow Into The Person That Can.

Last edited by Jack 1957; 10-29-2018 at 09:59 PM.
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  #1030  
Old 10-30-2018, 02:57 AM
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You have still learned the limits of the ABS in this exercise so not all waisted. Thanks for sharing too as we all learn from it then.
Can you weld the ABS three parts together using the soldering iron technique?
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