Style Is Everything

Fleur De Lis

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Recap and Crash

So, crashing sucks. I’m sitting in my office thinking about the tasks ahead and how to proceed.

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I really was hoping to get a bunch more events in before this happened but I knew it would. Part of all the experiments I’ve been doing involve having low amounts of front grip. Why, I’m not really sure. I feel like I’ve been able to manage low power and low grip very well but it got me into a bunch of trouble this time.

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With the lack of power I wasn’t able to keep up with my friends I was tandeming with. An unexpected spin meant that I was just far enough behind that they had just enough time to come to a complete stop as I was initiating into the turn. Add in that low front grip I was talking about and you have a nasty lock up into t-bone with frame rail 50/50 smash.

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Anyway, it happens. At least I got a few good pics from friends before it happened and I finally took video. Youtube is free so that’s where the video is haha!

Of course after the crash my water heater at the shop would decide to spring a leak while I’m at work.

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And the last few pics of her ever looking like this again. Photo credits go to Beau Bridges for Minus Darkslide and Jeffrey Buchanan at Golden Automotive Photography both of whom are on FaceBook!

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Save Me Tom Cruise!!

Even I know when things are out of hand. Chassis sparks and fuel line don’t mix. Next project is an enclosed fuel rail from the rear firewall to the front. I should probably run the brake lines through there too.

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Rear Bumper Twerkin

I’m listening to Gang Starr’s My Advice 2 You on Moment of Truth while doing some fab work. It’s a phone photo, don’t judge me!

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Arrival

Thanks to the monumental efforts of my brother Dave, 18 hours later we have arrived! Sleeeeeep….

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The Beginning

As I ride in the passenger seat of a friends truck, I can’t help but to reminisce on the journey thus far. To me this isn’t years in the making but decades. I would like to give my most sincere thanks to my family and friends that have helped me on numerous occasions, to lengths indescribable.

This is when the fun begins!!

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Picture For Now

There’s a lot that’s been happening, so much in fact that I’ve really been slacking with the blog.  In due time, for now, picture….

 

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Holy Shit He’s Alive!

That was a long break huh? Winter testing for Toyota is a travel frenzy it seems. Baudette, MN and Sault Saint Marie, MI can be some very interesting places if you ever get to go. A different way of life is all. Anyway, I decided to tackle the job of making brackets for the e-brake tabs in the rear of the car.

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After getting that taken care of I made a new throttle cable bracket to take up the slack that I had at the pedal the last time I drove.

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I finally have the fuel cell in the car temporarily. I just want to get this thing running for a quick drive and systems check. Once everything is operating properly I’m going to get the real fuel cell and finish with sheet metal work.

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Tire shredding will commence shortly.

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Need More Bars!!

I thought I finished the rear cage work but after talking to a bunch of friends, I’m going to add some cross-side reinforcements when I get back from my work trip. No one wants to be the guys that shuts down the track because their rear-subframe came out!!!

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Closer Still

Made some strut tops, cut out some templates to start closing off the rear firewall and bent some tube to help brace the rear structure and create a more stable area for the rear struts.




Take Your Seats Please

I was supposed to keep working on the rear of the cage that will tie in the rear subframe but that didn’t happen.

After welding in the roll cage from the main hoop forward I decided to take a break from that and get my busted bucket seat put in. It ended up a little higher than I like but I’m still driving through the steering wheel and not over it haha! Sorry to any of my friends over 5’9 but it shouldn’t be that hard to swap seat setups.

It’s very comforting to be able to sit in the car and hold the wheel. I’m learning that there are certain projects that can be done in one day that re-charge your level of enthusiasm when taking on a long term project with heavy fabrication.


Step Back

I found today after moving forward that I have to go back. In order to design the rear cage section and mock it up I need the rest of the cage completely in the car. SO, I cut all the tacks I had in place and started finish welding everything forward of the roll hoop. I should be back to the truck conversion/rear section this weekend.


Back To Business!

Gone for two weeks of business trips in the midwest and a weekend with the family, I came home and went HAM!

I decided that as a practice car, the Fleur De Lis really doesn’t have to conform to any specific rule book as it will never see professional competition. As long as I can go a foot deep into a wall and only damage tail lights and easy body repairs I’m happy.

The fuel cell will be located right after the rear firewall which should also help some with weight distribution. Don’t know where to put the nitrous bottle yet though…

A couple more bars and a lot more cutting and this bad boy will be ready to touch the ground again!!! Smash Brothers Unite!


Good Saturday!

Got an early start today and accomplished enough to make myself happy.  That damn tubing notcher from Harbor Freight is designed to wear out quickly I swear.  I can already tell I’m gonna have to make one myself with ball bearings and such.  Brass bushings just dont cut it when trying to burn through DOM tubing.  Anyway, I fixed that shit….

So the thing is made for a 1/2 inch arbor and comes with an adapter to go to 5/8. I’ve gone through two adapters now as I went back and bought another kit. When the second one fractured I just said screw it and got busy…

That’ll teach her to break on me!!

Anyway, after overcoming that little obstacle I got the passenger side door bars done, the harness bar done and the diagonal brace. Tomorrow is the driver side and I may start cutting into the rear for the truck conversion. I still have to figure out how I want to brace everything back there before it get’s too flimsy.


More Bars

Finally got around to cutting some more bars for the cage.  I’m finding lately I don’t even touch this thing during the week and try to get as much done as possible on the weekends.  Some of the other aspects of this business are starting to pick up.  Thank you to anyone who has come to visit my site thus far.  This kind of started as a journal I could look back on when I’m older but it may turn into something far greater, hopefully.  Anyway, pictures!

 


Closer Still

Rear boxes are tacked in!

Now I can get started tacking in the roll bar and figuring out where I want to land the front down tubes

The passenger side down tube ended up perfect but the drivers side not so much. Bend another one…


Cage Work

Front down tubes that go over the door and down by the a-pillar…

Boxes getting tacked in so I can trim the bars to size…


Lesson Learned

It’s okay to fail as long as there is a lesson learned. Last time I learned the importance of practice material and understanding how a radius adds to length. This time I learned that I should use the tools available to me. I forgot I had a digital angle meter. The meter is very useful when calculating angles of B-pillars and uprights to horizontal bars. Finished product has been deemed acceptable for crashing!


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Lesson learned = Less bender, more measuring tape. Mr first attempt at the roll bar ended up two inches too long on the horizontal section.



Current State Of Things

Happy is the feeling as I start the roll cage. Things have been slow since the return from Japan, jetlag is no joke! This will be my first go so I’m moving a little slow because of the cost of DOM right now.




Much Needed Progress

Well, I finally have the chassis dolly completed. I’ve already noted a few things that will be changed if I make another one in the future but this one will serve it’s purpose well. There’s one more caster to add to the front bar and then she will be truly complete. The weight is distributed pretty well as I was able to get in the car and rock it side to side with no movement. The most surprising thing so far is how much space it actually frees up. Being able to move it around the shop makes it much easier to get my Datsun inside. Anyway, pics! Thanks for the lens Dave, I feel like I need a 50mm 1.8 now!




There’s so much more space for activities!!


Chassis Dolly 50%

I figured that cutting out a bunch of material on the car would weaken the chassis enough that the subframes could shift. This would be bad so I decided to make a dolly that would locate the subframes in all axis and still keep the car mobile. Wait ’til you see the casters!


Low Car is Low

Raising the car is never an option.  It doesn’t look good and that’s about the only reason you need.  When your low profile jack can’t even make it under the car, you only have a few options.  You can do the wood plank dance or what I’ve done here, unless you’re ballin out of control and buy air jacks.


Drifting Has Happened!!

Two weeks later, after a work trip in Ohio, I get around to this.  Made it to the track with time to spare, drove the entire time, no over heating, nothing broke, went off track multiple times and didn’t break the kit (needs lower) and made it home safely by 3am.  The clutch sucks, I’m down on power (obviously), wheels rub in the fender wells and the e-brake is almost useless.  At least I have a plan to fix things, when’s the next event?


The Goings Ons

Two weeks until the infamous Trial By Fire Night Event in conjunction with NASA Arizona.  This is one of the biggest events of the year so naturally I registered without the car even running…

Tonight after work I got the brakes bled, the clutch bled, the e-brake and shoes adjusted properly, put the car back on the ground and prepped for some engine work.

I’m a chassis guy.  It’s what I do at work and what I prefer to do if someone ask me for help with their car.  So of course I decided there was a bunch of useless crap on the engine that wasn’t going to make the car any faster, it was just stuff getting in my way….

like the EGR tubes and such.  I made some block off plates.

But as it turns out, the KA really doesn’t like to run well without these things.  Most importantly, Idle Air Control parts (doh!).  Anyway, that is what’s on the menu for next week.  Get this thing running enough to do some Hooliganistic street antics and make sure all my T’s are crossed.