I contacted ED again and we talked for over an hour, he does know so much about Fieros it is frighting! Anyway he straightened me out on the wheel issues and again we talked about engine concepts! Damn you just have to love this guy. As you stated "If I do not know the answer, I know someone who does!" you were right. Thank you for the great advise, now just get the Pantera done so I can buy one!
Good luck on your project it is coming along nicely!
Nice to see a man that is sharper then his tools!!! (rare these days)
I'll let Dave answer that question, but we've talked about the fender option. I'm current'y trying to resolve what style rear wing should go on the Pantero II. Considering the Delta Wing that came out on Panteras, but haven't decided what will look best and provide any function, if any can be gained. The front spoiler will be a inlet/reversed wing style the provides some down force. Panteras were known for getting light in the front end at higher speeds and this style spoiler should help in the down force.
I'm a former Pantera owner and your work looks like real good. For ideas check out www.panteraplace.com if you haven't already. Unfortunately mine was a basket case so I didn't get to enjoy it much(when I wasn't wrenching it was great) BUT I have just recently gotten some really good job news so I may be in the drivers seat again
If that worked, I personally like the Group 4 wheel flares. I plan to incorporate these onto my choptop which is soon to get a Pantera body. From it, I'll be able to make the molds to offer these type flares.
That is not to say, however, that I don't like the GT5-S style. I think they look super, and yes, within a year I hope to be able to offer them as well.
The only thing that holds me back right now is I feel like I should have the right size wheels & tires on hand, so I could form some meaningfull flares, not just a generic shape which would need lots of additional adjusting.
On the yellow Pantera, we have Centerline wheels and 225/50/16 on the front, and 245/50/16 on the rear. We also have 2" Bell Tech drop spindles on the front (and I think a 1" drop would be better). But the point is, they fill the wheel wells and standard flares quite nicely.
Obviously, our prototype car is using a stock Fiero lens and tailight assembly. Stock wiring is actually just long enough that it doesn't have to be cut.
Roger Garrison pointed out that the Geo Tracker & Suzuki sidekick may have a usable tail light. Dimensionally and shape-wise it will work. I'm just trying to get my hands on a cheap set, to verify. If you like the Altezza look, they are available new, all day long.
Anyhow, after our layup has cured in the mold for three full days, it's time to release the parts. The glass cloth was trimmed to about a 1/4" or so overhang along most of the mold edges, during the layup. A few taps along the overhang will generally start an edge to release. Then wedges are eased into the seperation.
These parts only required starting the wedges, and the whole part almost popped out of the mold.
This is a door skin. The white edges will be trimmed off to the imprinted edge of the mold with a die grinder cutoff blade. Then the PVA coating will be rinsed off with warm soapy water. Now you have a part, ready to install.
The door skins are made an extra 1/2" to 3/4" longer on each end to allow builder adjusting during assembly. That's what the imprinted line is you see in the upper corner of the above photo. If you've ever seen a kitcar where you could run your finger, or even your thumb, between a trunklid and a fender....well it just doesn't look right to me. All of the Pantera matching edges are close tolerance.
And here's the front trunklid. All parts are about 3/16 thick, solid, with nice sharp body lines & edges, no voids or pinholes, and coated with a builder friendly sanding primer.
Working from memory, I would estimate the fenders are over an inch wider out from the stock Fiero, but I'll check this weekend and try to give you some better info. Remember, this is not the wide body kit, wide body fenders can be added to this, but we're taking this one step at a time, wider fenders may come but we're gonna finish this car first before we start modifying stuff. We are mounting a wing and a spoiler to this also.
As Ron said, we do have the mold for a front spoiler, or air dam. It sort of depends on how you look at it. Remember, this particular car is a 1972 pre-L, so the front spoiler is made to blend into the stock fenders & fender flares. The later Group 4, GT5, and GT5-S had the wider wheel flares, and I think the front air dams went thru a sort of evolutionary process. I've certianly seen many different types of front air dams, as far as little differences go.
This is our current air dam, fresh from the mold.
and this shows the inner lip, which is fitted up against the body fender. Plenty of width to cleco, rivet, bolt or bond onto the front clip. I think I'd prefer to glass it on, myself.
This shows it just blocked up in place. It needs a bit of sanding away at two points and it will have a nice flush fit with the fenders. This will also raise the aft edge enough to mate with the nose clip, just under the lower radiator inlets.
The bowing in the center is due to the way it's blocked up. The part is actually quite stout as it is. One other way to mount it would be to leave the air gap at the aft edge, and shape the lower side of the "wing" into an inverted Clark Y airfoil shape. This would then give you true down force at any speed above 40 mph.
Also from this view, I can see how this air dam could easily be modified into a GT5 type by blocking in the areas from each side of the radiator inlet, continuing outward to the foremost point of the fronts (under the turn signals). Either making these areas flat, or putting in either an air inlet or a driving light, would put us in the ballpark.
I think here you can see how the sides taper nicely into the fenders. If we added wider fender flares, some might want to extend these sides into the flares, and that will be addressed this winter.
Hang in there, good things take time. Here's a Geo Tracker tail light I got on Ebay for $10.00. At a local car show, Roger Garrison pointed out a Countach that had these, and they looked very nice. Dimensionally, they are just about thesame as the Pantera tail lights I showed you previously. I still want to recieve these and try them in the frenched bucket to see if they fit well.
The same shape tail light also came in this version:
The prototype Pantero has stock Fiero tail lights, which work very economically, and look reasonably close to originals.
Most of the past week has been spent rearranging the shop. I'm getting a dedicated 200amp service installed. And this was ready to roll out, my own Pantero donor. That's a 4" chop.
The nose clip is ready to polish, buff and wax, and hopefully do a layup by next weekend. That's a big maybe.
We are ready to start installation on Blackrams Pantera, now. I have enough material to start recording the assembly manual. JP, down in Knoxville, suggested recording cd's on MS Notepad, saying every MS computer would be able to open it. I also have MS Word. Any thoughts on this? I want to creeate a cd manual full of text and photos, to walk folks thru basic installation of body parts. Chester has offered his considerable talents with a dvd, but we live a few miles apart, and continuous coverage might be hard to achieve.
BTW, the Pantero was invited to this car show. I was more than happy to oblige, and hope to see some of you folks on August 28th.
For those that were wanting to know the difference in width on the fenders, I took a second last night to get an estimate, remember, this is just a swag. Anyway, from the stock inside liner to the inside edge of the rear fender, I could stick three finger in width ways. That's about 2.5 inches roughly guessing wider. SO even if I'm just close in my guess, I would say that the Pantero is between 4.5 to 5 inches wider on the rear fenders. Plenty of room for some rather large tires.
Dave, I'm still drooling over this.
------------------ Ron aka: Blackrams
[This message has been edited by blackrams (edited 08-14-2004).]
Well the comp I'm normally on is down for a little tweeking, so I'm useing my brothers comp. Well I got to see the shop first hand this saturday, and I must say is it a nice clean setup. saw the molds firs hand and they are Quality pieces. The yellow pataro is very sharp. Blackrams is a lucky man geeting one of these cars put together for him. The folks on Versailles road saterday afternoon must have gon into shock seeing 3 4.9 fieros running up to newcircle road. scrabblegod, blackrams and myself must have turned some heads with our bellowing beasts. Thanx guys for the escape from my mundane life. Love to talk and look at these little cars. if you guys need any help in this area let me know.-B-
------------------ 88 coupe 4.9 Izusu 5-speed Rockcrawl chip. True duels.No A/C . Built to run.
The folks on Versailles road saterday afternoon must have gon into shock seeing 3 4.9 fieros running up to newcircle road. scrabblegod, blackrams and myself must have turned some heads with our bellowing beasts.
After you and Ron blew past the guy that pulled out in the Pro street looking S10, I slowed down and tried to line up next to him. He did not want to play. Must have wasted all his funds on the 2 foot wide tires and Monster tach with shift light.
------------------ 87 Notchie 4.9 87 SE 3.4TDC swap in progress 87 Notchie Pontiac 428 longitudinal coming soon
Enjoyed the heck out of Saturday, though we didn't get anything done on Pantero II, we did get a lot done rearranging some of the bigger stuff Dave couldn't have done by himself. So all in all, a successful weekend.
Gene, the S10 didn't do anything because he can't go around a corner above 20 mph. Though I'll wagger he can go 1/4 mile in a straight line rather quickly. I went by him too fast to see much, but did he have that bed tubbed?
Bill, enjoyed the ride in your car, stay with that injector issue, someone knows how to solve the problem.
John, and everyone, Fiero-folk are allways welcome, anytime. Ron is right, we generally get something done on saturdays and sundays.
This saturday I'm taking the Pantero to the Lexington Concours d'Elegance show at Keenland. http://www.lexingtonconcours.com/ This is an invitation only show, and I was amazed to be asked to attend and show the Pantero. Photos will definately follow.
After this show, I've been gearing up the shop and the molds for serious production of full body kits. A good number of folks have expressed interest, so I'll be going thru the list of interested builders, when the first few kits are made.