Well, based on the underwhelming response to my offer, I begin to wonder if I am wasting my time with this. However, I did tell Dave that I would post milestones like this, so I am going to go ahead and post these photos.
I will apologize for the poor quality of the pix in advance. My helper had an inexpensive film camera, so the prints came out dark and gloomy. I have scanned them, and done my best to photoshop them to where you can see what is going on, but they are still not very good. Next time I will make sure I have my 7.2 mp Sony DSC on hand !!!
Now you can see both brackets, as well as the forty year old pantera OEM headlight bucket ( in pale green primer) and the OEM pantera lifting/pivot (in white primer) Note where the fiberglass has been sanded away from the clip to insure a good bond for the new fiberglass to be applied -
Next it is necessary to surgically remove some of the Fiero structure, to allow room for the Pantera light buckets to swing down, and also to allow room for the pivot brackets. My trusty harbor freight saws-all made amazingly quick work of this part. first picture is me holding the severed section up where it used to be. second picture is the Fiero with both corners "clipped" third picture is the clips sitting on the floor of my shop
Now you can see we have re-mounted the front clip onto the Fiero again. You can see me holding the bucket in the Raised and Parked positions in the following photos. I am hoping to use the OEM Fiero lift motors to raise and lower the Pantera light buckets. I will keep you posted as this I research linkage issues !! Hopefully I will post a Youtube video showing the buckets opening and closing under power ( soon )
[This message has been edited by Fastfocusguy (edited 11-05-2011).]
I've been following along in the background on this for a while now. It's got the potential to be a really nice looking car when it's done.
I do have some experience you can "take or leave" regarding how you attached your headlight pod hinges though. If you you don't plan on driving your car at night much, then the way you've attached the headlight pods to the underside of the hood will probably be fine. My experience though is that your mounting system probably won't be rigid enough to keep the fender skins from flexing under the weight of the cantilevered pods, headlight buckets, and headlights as you go over bumps. Even a very slight amount of flexing will cause the headlight beam to giggle up and down several degrees making it very annoying to on-coming traffic, and giving the appearance of questionable quality. I know this from first hand experience when I first attempted to design a headlight pod system for my Ferrari 308 Stinger kit, which required exactly the same frame modifications as you've done (ie, the pods were set wider apart and further forward than OEM Fiero).
I know it's probably late at this stage for you to consider this, but you would be better off fabricating a suitably braced metal pivot support structure that's attached to the metal chassis of the car like the original Fiero design. That's ultimately how I did it because I just couldn't stand the jittery headlights. For what it's worth...
[This message has been edited by Bloozberry (edited 11-07-2011).]
Gosh, it's been too long since I helped Dave on his Pantero with his headlights but, as I remember, we cut out the front corners and then fabricated metal to hang the headlights from but, we didn't use the original Pantera headlights, we used original Fiero headlights. I haven't seen Dave's car in quite a while but, as I remember the headlights worked very well. Not saying what you're doing isn't good, just different that the way Dave did his.
Love seeing this project move forward. There won't be many on the road or at car shows to compete with. Definately an interesting project.
------------------ Ron "While you cannot control the length of your life, you can control the width and depth." Live life to it's fullest, you may not see tomorrow.
Well, the real point here was to NOT use the Fiero lights, since they are rectangular, and do not look 'correct' for a Pantera. I wanted to use Genuine Pantera headlight buckets, so that when they are open it looks like factory pantera, and not 'replica'. So this is maybe the first Pantero to get Real live OEM Pantera buckets ( perhaps ).
As far as the "wiggles" go, I am not losing sleep over it. For one, I will very seldom drive her after dark. Secondly, if they bobble a bit, so be it ! Thirdly, my front clip is attached to Fiero framework pretty securely, and also fairly close to the points where pivots are attached. Therefore, I expect very little flex in that area, so, very little "wiggle" in the lights.
And thanks to all for the constructive comments. That is what makes this forum better than the average bear !!
[This message has been edited by Fastfocusguy (edited 11-07-2011).]
I spent most of the day designing and building a support structure from steel tube and angle iron, which bolts to the front of the fiero ( where the bumper used to mount ). The angle iron struts extend forward and have holes which line up with the bolt holes for the Hinges upon which the front Hood raises and lowers. This way the weight of the hood is partially supported by the steel frame of the fiero, and not just the fiberglass pantera nose. It is now tack-welded together. Tomorrow I will have to carefully take it out of the car and use my new wire-welder to weld up all of the seams completely, to make it solid and secure. Then it will need priming and paint, to keep it from rusting. I will try to get some photos tomorrow, after it is welded up !
Well, it is now completely welded up ! I think I am starting to get the hang of this wire-feed welder gizmo ! Now I must clean up all of the weld splatter, and grind off a few BLOBs - then get it ready for primer - I am thinking the self-etching sort !
[This message has been edited by Fastfocusguy (edited 07-07-2012).]
First up is Yesterday's mission : reinforce the connection from fiero frame to fiero front bumper support structure. This was weakened when I had to cut out the front corners to clear the pantera headlight pods, so some new structure is needed to strengthen things up again. Lucky for me the stock front hood hinge supports are no longer used, and they are strategically located. So my stiffener brackets will go under the upper hood hinge attachment stud with washer and nut, and then be welded to the front bumper support structure ! Picture is worth a thousand words ! Enjoy ! !
Secondly, is todays misson : relocate the petrol filler neck assembly ! It is not practical to locate it in the correct Pantera Location, since the Fiero back window structure is blocking that spot for the most part. So I chose to locate the filler cap right where the Stock Air Filter used to live ! No scoundrels can syphon my petrol tank without first jimmying the Engine Lid ! ( And I plan to lift said lid the same way Dave/OPM2000 lifts his = Linear Actuators ) So all I really did was slice and dice the stock filler neck parts until they fit where I wanted them, and then fabricated a couple support tubes from Aluminum Tubing, which got bolted on with stainless steel socket head cap screws and nylock lock-nuts, and then bolt to the existing stock air filter cannister mounting points ! Again, pictures follow to show you the results - - -
Next I decided that the rear clip ( body clamshell ) needed a little more support and stiffening ! The first photos show the angle brackets in primer - The other three show them bolted into the car - They connect the steel tubing of the rear clip to the unibody structure of the Fiero, using existing tapped holes in the Fiero unibody. Also note the color-coordinated Zippy-Ties holding the electrical plugs that connect the taillight assemblies to to Fiero wiring harness - so I can literally unplug them if I need to remove the rear clip !
passengers side - - -
drivers side - - -
both ! ! !
[This message has been edited by Fastfocusguy (edited 09-06-2012).]
And, while I was shooting paint, I figured it was time the front hood hinges got a decent coat of paint on them ( finally ) The hood hinges are Vintage, and came from a bonfide ( real ) DeTomaso Pantera ! And of course they fit the openings in the OPM2000 kit perfectly, as well as fitting the front hood/trunk Lid perfectly ! Yay !
And here they are bolted into the car again ! ! !
[This message has been edited by Fastfocusguy (edited 09-06-2012).]
So, now I need to make those OEM Pantera headlight pods open and close ! And I would prefer to use the original Fiero lift motors/gear boxes for this mission. So the first step was to make some prototype actuator levers from cardboard, to get the geometry correct - - -
Once my cardboard mockup was really close, I transferred it to masonite ( high density 'hardboard' ) for further evaluation and testing - - -
then bolted this to the pantera pod pivot bracket with stainless steel bolts. Once perfected, the masonite part will be traced onto plate steel, in case you are wondering ! ! !
Next I made up a new pushrod, using the dimensions gleaned from testing the cardboard parts - stock fiero pushrod is shown below the plywood mockup for comparison -
More exciting news! I finally found Wiper Arms which match the DeTomaso Pantera Arms ! DeTomaso installed the wiper system "backwards" from conventional systems, making life a challenge for us Pantero Builders! After trying numerous alternatives, I have stumbled across a Fiat wiper arm which is 'backwards' ! The Rear Hatchback Window Wiper arm from a 79-81 Fiat Strada fits Perfectly ! ! ! As you can see, I have managed to scavenge a second arm ! Matching Pair ! Now I need to modify a fiat wiper drive mech to make them move ! :O I can try the mech from an X-1/9 and - or from a Strada - The trick will be to make them 'park' in the proper place !
I would recommend using your Fiero windshield wiper motor. You can take the arm off the wiper motor easily and put it to the position you need for locking at stop. I did a similar operation where I moved my wiper motor to the other side of the front trunk and used the Fiero wiper transmissions and pushed them from the opposite side for my extended windshield application. For your installation, you can use the Fiero transmissions or the Fiat transmissions and work the wiper arm accordingly.
Don, Thank you for your thoughts! I like your idea of keeping the Fiero motor and gearbox ( already wired in, fused, etc. ) and linking it to the Fiat 'posts' - I measured the spacing on the Strada posts, as they are installed in the strada, and then compared that to the spacing on the Pantero - - -
The centers are within a quarter inch of being identical ! :O
So it seems that making them work in the Pantero will be pretty straight forward -
only one custom link to make, from the fiat part over to the Fiero part !
First, I removed the pivots from the Fiat Strada -
Then I unbolted the Pantero front clip and shifted it forward about 18 inches -
Next I used the air cut-off wheel to trim some annoying Pontiac sheet metal !
This allowed easy access to the fiero wiper mech, which I removed . Then I bolted the Fiat pivots into the holes I drilled in the Pantero nose clip, using photos from various books and internet souces to position them correctly.
I also trimmed off some of the Fiero connecting / driving linkage, which I can weld to my new cobbled linkage, to drive the Fiat pivots -
Then the fun of getting the nose clip back into its normal position, and re bolting it . The removed sheet metal seen earlier lets the Fiat system fit down into the Fiero 'canyon' when the clip is lowered into position -
then I positioned and attached the Fiat wiper arms with blades !
Now all that remains is to fabricate the new link to go from Fiero motor to Fiat pivots, prime & paint, and then install !