Body, Structure & Aluminum Panels

March 3, 2013

Had to take the car off the dolly today and put it on it's wheels on wheel dollies from Harbour Frieght. (Unreal pricing on tolls and stuff)

Plan is to get the body on temporarily to square it and mark the firewall for location. Also to roughly measure how much wheel and tire we can squeeze in.

Bought these "temp" wheels on Kijiji (Above)

Mounted for now them moved chassis on to wheel dollies (below)

Seems the best way to fit and square body up is to start at the rear, set the correct height; level it square it and move forward. Everything seemed to fall into place by the time we got up to the firewall.

Many thanks to Andy Sardella and Mark O. (Orb) who for this task were the best people to have help! Great ideas for moving ahead as well. Thanks Guys!

March 17, 2013

So it's been a few weeks. I've been kind of in a hold pattern until I get back from the F5 build school next weekend. In the mean time I've got a few decisions made and gone forward with the firewall.

Once the firewall was in place I marked it and removed the body. A few of then welds where the chassis and firewall meet had to be ground away to allow the aluminum to sit flat. will have to touch that up once the pieces go to powdercoating. I got most of the drilling, tapping and screwing done (that came out wrong) but ran out of steam today. Very tedious work but relaxing in a funny sort of way.

I used a few good #21 bits and a #10-32 tap. For now we have some stainless button heads but I will get chrome ones for the firewall once it goes in for good.

April 10, 2013

So Mark and Andy were back over to test fit the body/firewall one last time before powder coating. Seems Orb is not to happy mounting the body to the firewall with just a few screws so he sent me off to fabricate a support bracket that will fit behind each corner; tapped and threaded so the firewall screws will create a fibreglass sandwich. here there are.... one jigsaw and 6 blades later. Finally Andy finished them off for me.

May 3-4, 2013
Spent some quality time in the garage this weekend. Finally. Got the firewall back from powder and decided to lizard skin it... Both products SC first and CI after a day. 

Once complete I made a pot of coffee and set to polishing the 10-32 stainless button heads for the firewall.... I knew I should have bought a buffing wheel for my bench grinder... I still have no feeling in my right thumb and index finger. Lol

Tedious work to clean up the edges of the firewall before mounting but I really like the "thud" sound it makes now. According to the folks at Lizard skin, the CI product will help reduce heat even when applied inside.

Well that was my weekend. Seems like I'm a turtle compare to many of the guys building these things... But I just plod along and and before you know it the day is gone. Funny thing is this darn smile I have on my face when I look in the mirror... Can't figure it out.

Sept 14 - 20, 2013

Yes in deed... that much time has passed since any aluminum work was done. I have to mock all the floors and trunk up so we can start the wiring.

First up... mark and drill all the floor panels.

If you have never heard of a Cleco tool or clamp is... i must say it is the best invention ever!! For this car it's a must. Basically there are temporary rivets.

Next is the placement of the tank. This is the Boyd Welding replacement mentioned elsewhere in the blog. As per Dan Ruth (he designed the tank) it sits about 1/4 inch ahead of the trunk upright.

Next is the placement of the battery box. This is a billet one I got from Summit. Very reasonable. I want the batter in the trunk for a number of reasons, but primarily I hate the way Factory Five has it mounted below the floor below the tank. Impossible to service.

Now the inner floor designed by Tim Whitaker at Kootenai Valley Customs

This is a great idea. It allow a little extra insulation and the ability to mount a dimmer switch and throttle linkage without the mounting hardware being visible on the engine side of the firewall.

Its a bit of a fussy install and I have to come up with a way to support it at the tunnel side better.

January 26, 2014

Had to come up with extra protection from heat cause by the mufflers. Will the Lizard Skin be enough??? Who knows. Better safe than sorry.

I installed HeatShield Products (See them Here) to the bottom of the floors in the area frames around and above the muffler.

After marking the floors from underneath the car to lay out where the frame members are, I taped out the layout, then cut the HP Sticky Shield to fit. Then followed their recommendation to protect the edges with their Armor Weld Tape. That band will sit above the farm and hold everything in place.

DECEMBER 7, 2014

A simple thing like a horn. OMG the ones that came with the car were cheap sounding. Like a cow in heat.... and ugly...
So for about $50 bucks I got the WOLO Bad Boy electric air horn. 

NO RELAY REQUIRED with the Infinity Box Wiring system. Just ground the horn, give it a power lead form the power cell. 

What a difference. Looks great, nice and compact and with 123.5 db dual tone is sounds awesome. Want to hear it?

FEBRUARY 1, 2015

Time to sound deaden and start buttoning things up prior to fitting the body panels.

Because of the InfinityBox Modules and battery in the trunk, i had to jump ahead and actually carpet the top levels of the truck and get the wiring tidied up cack there before we get to far along on body fitment. It was a days fussy work but it will look pretty good once the amp and everything is installed and wires all hidden.

As you can see, I've gone with FatMat Mega Mat - SEE IT HERE and have used in on the floors and will put it wherever I can stick it to help quiet things down inside the car.

October 31, 2015

So we have to make relief cuts in the body to make ready for it's installation. Need access to the wiring from the dash and the cowl under the hood. An aluminum/carbon fibre dash panel will cover the gaping holes and hold the instrument cluster, but for now its just removal of fibreglass.

November 28, 29, 2015

One new milestone achieved. The body is on!!

Ok... so everyone says paint the car body off. NO WAY... not this cowboy! That body is on and it's staying that way!

One of the key dimensions is the depth of the interior. This is critical they say so that doors fit better and easier. Here is the picture from the manual.

SO... when we test fitted the body last year we faced all the normal issues with the firewall etc and also that the body was not at the same height from the ground on each side. Resoving taht was a chore and all the while trying to maintain the depth dimesion of 45.5 inches.... near impossible.

At SEMA this year I spoke with Tony Zullo  at the FFR booth and told him I was fearing the doors. He said fear not.... install the body like this and its 123.

First get the body fixed to the firewall. Next an most importantly make sure the door sills are all the way down and all the way in hugging the frame tightly. Fasten them from the sides not the top of the sill

Last raised the back of the body with a jack stand until the opening is 45.5", check that all gaps are alike side to side and and attach the rear mounting points in the rear wheel wells.

The body has enough flex in it to make all this happen but working from front to back rather than side to side and up and down is SO MUCH EASIER!!


The front speaker holes had to be drilled from outside in to ensure missing the frame

The front end wires had to be buttoned up down the driver side. Used the zip tie separator method... not tha anyone will ever see it!

These are the rear supports I made to help strengthen the connection from the firewall to the body essentially creating a sandwich

The support bars are tapped and act as the nut as they squeeze the body to the fire wall on both corners

The fuel line required a notch

This is a view of the access to the wiring

The body is on!! Below are some other pics and angles

The measurement was perfect - THANKS TONY

April 30, 2016



NEXT TRY TO GET HARDWARE TO WORK - I think I butchered the inside of the door here. this will take some work to fix....but it works!

May 19, 2016

Now the messy part begins - the grinding, fitting and straightening, so its a flatbed ride to the Body Shop!

Once at Dixon's, Todd took his time and poked away at it when he had time. Over the months got all the parts trimmed and fitted and the body imperfections repaired.

It was also time to get the fenders and boards fitted. Actually went much easier than I thought.

Neither Todd or I were happy with the way the front fenders flapped like wings. Unbelievable really that FFR has no support mechanism for them. Need being the mother of invention Todd fabricated these bolt on supports. You can almost sit on the fenders with them bolted to these braces

Feb 18, 2017

We have the car home again. The entire body (except the truck lid, has been machines, straightened, blocked out, primed, blocked again and primed once more.

Spent the entire day cleaning the underside of body dust. Now I will work on the top side and begin the next stage.

Next I have to get all the hinges functioning and install the door guts etc etc... Oh My!

November 11 - 18, 2018

Well it's been quite some time since my last post. So much has gone on in the last 12 months but we are back at the hotrod build. 

I finally screwed up enough courage to tackle the doors and yes they are a pain in the ass!! I've got the passenger side working perfectly and the drivers side about 90 percent... just a few more adjustments and it will be done. Of course they will all have to come off again to install the power windows.

Next the hood and side panels had to be fitted. A little trimming of the side panels here and there and they are in place. Still have to cut in the side vents to help air flow through the engine bay.

The hood hinges and struts were simple... just as per the manual. Alignment is good and it went easier than I imagined it would; again a little more tweaking and I should be satisfied. 

I've got the permanent fasteners and rivnuts installed on the fenders and running boards and of course mounted them again. Very happy how they are now. 
Here are some pics of the latest progress

Cleaned up and done for another weekend.

December 16 - 30, 2018

Well I'm taking my sweet time on this little addon. Side vents. I want more air flow under hood to help keep things cool. Measure 10 times... cut 2 templates... then think about it for 3 or 4 days. THEN CUT!!

Even at that, the opening I cut is not as pretty as it could be and will have to be cleaned up in the body shop. That said the overall install is EZ, looks awesome and will help vent hot air from the engine bay!

These vents are made by "Street Dreams by Ross". Go to...

Template cut from box

Lotsa tape marks the spot

The cut is made - OMG the nerves of it all!!

But the look great installed!!

December 30 2018


So you'd think this would be a snap. Would be, I suppose,  had I done this far earlier in the process. BUT NOOOO, not me... I have to wait till now.

So I fit the lid to the opening month ago, no problems, but with all the Infinity box stuff and battery on the top shelf, there was no easy way to mark the underside of the lid to set the darn hinge hardware. 
First job find a way in. The bottom panels had not been riveted yet so out it came. 
Then lift the car to the right hieght and you can actually stand up in the trunk and touch the hinges. 

Aluminum is laminated into these spots in the fiberglass lid

Things went so smoothly from that point. Marked the spots, took it all apart and berried the riv-nuts in just the right spot.
New Rivnut tool  - broke the original one

Place the lid back on, tape it in place and bolt it up. LOOKING GOOD NICK!! ALL EXCEPT ONE THING...Trunk won't open without the right gaps... IDIOT! 

So we will go at it again and shave things down on the weekend!

January 13, 2019

So on and off with the trunk lid 2 more times. Marked the gap two more time... we got it 99%, i think its just a height adjustment now. Will do it after the wheels, tires and seats arrive!

Q1 2020
So this is how we left the car in 2019. See pics below... Essentially all the body panels are fitted, mounted, riv-nutted fastened and functional etc.

At this point it is all I can do at home. The "bones" are complete and the skin has been fitted, but everything in between will require professional help. The car has to go to a body shop to get me through to the final stages that can be completed in my garage.

Before it goes, however I needed to build the window frames designed by Tim Collins, a design engineer in Michigan that I found on the Factory Five Forum, who came up with what I believe to be the perfect solution for those 33 Hot rod builders opting for power windows. It is a self contained structure that is installed inside the door shells.

Not only did he supply CAD assembly drawings, but a complete bill of materials. They turned out very well. 

These are Tim's which helped guide me to my finished product, which looked identical!

This is how they will be installed at the body shop
Now that they are built the car has gone to Dixon's Autobody. Todd Dixon is a friend and extremely talented guy. He and his Son Matthew run a shop in town that I use for my repairs and warranty work at the dealership. He has allowed me to bring the car there and basically leave it in a corner of his heavy truck repair area in his shop until it's painted.

Todd has made it his own project to get the car into paint, systematically tackling one project at a time like making sure each door is perfectly gaped and functioning, then on the to the trunk, roof, hood etc. This has resulted in a complete tear down of the car... oh my shattered nerves!
As you can see from the pics above and below, the roof needed quite a bit of work to get a nice gap all around its base

The door frame slots are cut into the doors. More work to get the surface of the doors flat so the frames would sit properly
The Glass is fitted. Power window motors need to be installed yet but the glass travels smoothly in its new tracks. Thanks Tim Collins for the excellent design.

  GAPS GAPS GAPS - The hood, side panels and lower valence all needed shaping. (above and below) Surprisingly so did the opening for the windshield. 

As you can see below, the parts systematically came off the car once Todd was satisfied with their fit and function.

Above are the pics I just sent FFR. Believe it or not the trunk latch bracket was stamped inside out and backwards. Never fails eh? Always another hold up.
The fenders and running boards were prepped, had the edges rounded and had their insides sprayed with Rhino Guard (Dixon's does our spray in liners as well) to protect from star cracks in the paint should a stone get kicked up inside. Once painted, they will come home with me and await re-installation onto the car.

I've made the decision to paint the grill and side vents gloss black to compliment the gloss black wheels. Todd agreed but told me the grill would have to be removed to do it properly. I asked, no... begged and pleaded with him to do it on the car. If he only knew the lengths it took to assemble the grill, AC condenser, rad, fan shroud and fan as one unit, I was sure he'd have understood. Finally he acquiesced. 

The pics below were sent to me about 1 hour after leaving his shop when he agreed to paint the grill on the car... 

Along with a painted grill, I have also decided to leave the door handles shaved and use door poppers and actuators...
These have already arrived from Summit and await install. I had to get Jay Harris at InfinityBox to send me a new program to load functionality for these into the system. It took him about an hour to reply and send me the new flash for the control module. Awesome guys at InfinityBox!

Other small revisions will be to replace the chome headlight cans and chrome mirrors with painted shells (body colour) a single "Mighty Wiper" mounted in the roof.
On Order Now - Slower delivery these days due to COVID-19

MAY 2020

No word to describe how nice the car looks as the panels are prepped and painted. Look for yourself. My vision is becoming a reality FINALLY!




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