Been a little while since an update. I’ve been working on the build, but enough other life things going on have things slowed a bit. No worries. As of today, now have had all the aluminum panels fitted, drilled, and cleco’d in place. Only remaining panels are the splash guards – two in front and two in back – that will be fitted when the body is installed. I’ll be taking all the drilled and fitted panels to the powder coater next week.
Couple words about the Gen 3 Coupe aluminum panels. I didn’t count them to confirm, but seems like there’s more than on the Roadster. Or maybe I'm just tired of drilling... In general, I would say they all fit very well. I did tweak a few bends for the best fit. Also had to trim a few places to clear welds a little better. But I’m very satisfied with everything. One observation though. Because of the space frame design, and multiple frame and angle pieces, there are a lot of places where the frame tubes go through the aluminum. There are varying sized gaps with most of them that will need to be filled to get the cockpit airtight. Similar to the Roadster, just more of them. I’ll be using a combination of caulking and aluminum tape as I’ve done before. But that’s later. Also, again because of all the frame tubes and angles, be careful laying out where you put rivets. It would be real easy to put some where they're not accessible.
I did make one new panel. In another build thread I saw where the builder suggested a fill panel for the center area below the firewall in the engine compartment. I decided to do the same thing and finished it up this morning. I can’t see any downside to covering that area up. There will be some wiring behind it, so should look a little neater. I am hedging my bets though in case there’s something I’m missing. I drilled holes for the rivets in the new panel, but not in the frame yet. I’ll do that at time of installation, assuming all is OK. I’m tentatively planning to put the Coyote PDB in this area, or on the new panel directly, TBD
when the engine is installed. I’ll have the master disconnect behind the panel with the switch lever in the cockpit.
On the passenger side footbox, installed my usual 10-32 nutserts for the access cover to the A/C evaporator and hoses.
These are the rest of the footbox and engine compartment panels now fitted and ready to go out for powder coat. Nothing too earth shattering here.
Yesterday I returned the Coyote block I borrowed for the engine/trans mockup. Now the real waiting begins for the (hopefully) Gen 3 Coyote crate. Also cleaned up the T-56 and hit it with a coat of Duplicolor engine ceramic clear. I’ve done that with my transmissions in the past and really helps to keep them neat and clean. If that’s important to you… Last week I trimmed the QuickTime bell housing and block plate. This to remove the 1-1/2 inches or so of the flange that extended below the frame as pictured in an earlier post. Have to say that bell housing material is tough. But it’s done, nice and straight and touched up. Looks like it came from the factory that way. I’ll post a picture when it’s installed. While all my panels are at the powder coater, planning to dive deeper into all the wiring. Plenty to do there.
I’m going to go off topic now. I’ll try to tread lightly, so bear with me. This is something I want to say. Hopefully it doesn't sound too much like a grumpy old grandpa. Which I am. But just the grandpa part. Most I think are aware there was an accident earlier this week with a Factory Five Roadster that resulted in the extremely unfortunate and untimely death of the driver/owner. Happened here in SE Michigan so is especially close to home. I actually drove through that immediate area running an errand in the DD yesterday. I didn’t know the gentleman, but still hits close to home in our close-knit community. My deepest and sincerest condolences to his family and friends. By all accounts he was an avid builder and supporter of our hobby. Out of respect and not having first hand knowledge, I’m not going to get into the details of what happened. But the press and police are reporting excessive speed as a contributing factor. This is a huge and sobering reminder to all of us to respect these cars for what they are. Properly built and setup, they are a blast to drive and in moderation don't have to be scary or necessarily dangerous. But we have to respect what they are at all times. A momentary lapse and the right combination of circumstances, and, well, this is what can happen. I am admittedly pretty conservative with my mostly street driving. Out of respect for the car, the law, and my own driving ability. But I'll admit I’ve had a few times that I’ve pushed a little where I shouldn’t have, and something happened I didn’t expect almost instantly. Nothing ever really bad or close to losing it. But a reminder of just how quickly things could go badly. I get a little nervous when I see threads talking about "ideal" horsepower, and the numbers go up and up. Many times by first time builders and only for street driving. Yes, the power is controlled by the driver's right foot. But the margin for error gets even smaller at these high HP's. Bottom line, unfortunately many of us act like this can't happen to us. We have to accept that it can. As the LEO said at my first build’s safety inspection, “Be careful out there.” We all need to be constantly reminded and on guard. RIP my brother.