Nice find! I might be able to use these too! Certainly will keep the website on file. I assume they're steel; didn't see where it said but can contact them of course. Steel would be more durable inside a wheelwell anyway. Thx for posting!
Nice find! I might be able to use these too! Certainly will keep the website on file. I assume they're steel; didn't see where it said but can contact them of course. Steel would be more durable inside a wheelwell anyway. Thx for posting!
According to the ebay listing they are steel. "These are made from 20ga cold roll steel". Oh, also says they make custom panels in aluminum as well! Good to know, thanks ccfiero350.
[This message has been edited by QUIKRIDE86 (edited 12-16-2014).]
I found some time to sort out how I was going to mount the fans to my radiators. The monkey-wrench in the spokes was that the threaded bungs on the radiators were on the wrong side for the fans, so in essence, I needed customized channels to bridge the thickness of the radiator. After playing around with a couple cardboard templates I came up with a solution for the bottom mounts first, since they were the least complicated:
I used the same homemade 90 degree sheet metal bender in my 12 ton press that I used to make my engine mounts earlier in my thread. It does wonderful bends:
I used a bi-metal hole saw in my drill press to cut out the lightening holes. Here's how it bracket mounts to the fan bosses on the backside:
I needed to make a clearance notch in the return flange to avoid interference with the drain plug, but otherwise the bracket was pretty straight-forward once I knew what I needed to do:
This final view shows the clearance I gave myself between the bottom of the radiator and the bracket. I didn't want the steel bracket touching any part of the aluminum radiator in order to avoid vibration induced wear:
The upper fan mount was a fair bit more challenging because of all the additional hardware in the way. Getting the right measurements in 3D was the most time consuming part. Here's the upper mount template and first mount:
It sort of looks like a piece of Swiss cheese but once you see it mounted you'll understand why.
On the top I had to make allowances for the radiator cap neck and an aluminum post to stick through (the post is presumably used with a mounting grommet in some other application...)
Then, on the backside I needed to clear the upper rad hose tube and the overflow nipple on the fill neck...
...all the while keeping the four mounting holes aligned with each other and to maintain minimal contact between the aluminum rad and the steel mount:
I'm pretty happy with the way they turned out. Now to make them for the other radiator...
I like that you took the time to cut the 'race holes' as well as round the whole thing, of course I expected nothing less from you on a bracket no one will ever see once mounted in the car! Nice work as always, hope the finger is holding up.
Thanks X-Body! The "racing" or lightening holes and the rounded contours dropped the weight of the brackets considerably... probably as much as 30% - 40%. Not that it matters much but it really doesn't take that much more time to do, and like you said, it improves the appearance of quality for anyone who does look.
(The finger is holding up, though still very stiff and uncomfortably swollen. )
Nice, nice work, as is your signature! What material is that? Obviously your press is using a set of dies you made up; I like the radiussed bends vs creased. I've got a sheet metal bender on my list of things to make up/fix but it will be more 'folded' than rolled/radiussed as you have. Look forward to more posts; They really help me get motivated!
Edit: "To push it over the top how about flaring the holes!" - I did not know Summit had stuff like this! Nice post. A full set is a bit pricey but if you were going to 'standardize' on one or two they look good! Would add strength, too. Maybe 3/4 or 1" and then 1.5 or 2" sizes. I suppose you simply use a draw bolt thru the dies, grease up the threads and hope your impact gun is rated as high as the package says! Thx for posting!
[This message has been edited by 85-308 (edited 12-21-2014).]
Originally posted by ccfiero350: To push it over the top how about flaring the holes!
Flaring the holes would definitely finish them off nicely and add some strength to boot. I would buy a set of dies if they weren't so damned expensive. I volunteer a bunch of time at an aircraft museum... perhaps I could get them to buy a set... hmmmm.
Originally posted by 85-308: What material is that? Obviously your press is using a set of dies you made up...
The fan brackets are 18 gauge mild steel. If you go to page 18 of my thread you'll see a photo of my homemade bender that I use with my 12 ton hydraulic press.
It's finally back with the nose to the grindstone now that all the social obligations are over. Here's hoping 2015 will be more productive on this project than last year. Over the holidays I managed to squeak in a bit of time in the shop here and there despite a furnace blower motor that kept giving me grief. I worked on completing the templates to close up the radiator compartment on the driver's side. It's been far more challenging that I had expected. Here's a photo showing the cardboard mock ups for the floor skin of the compartment and the side wall that seals off the engine bay:
I found it easier to make the large irregular shaped sidewall template using several pieces of cardboard rather than trying to make it all out of one piece. I made each piece conform to only one or two edges of the area, then with each piece in place, I taped them together to get the right relationship between all the pieces. Then I carefully removed the multi-part template and transfered the complex shape to a single piece of some thin galvanized sheet metal:
As I mentioned before, this thin sheet metal is too flimsy for the actual part. I'll be remaking them out of thicker sheet metal a bit later on once I know things are going to fit properly. Here's the metal sidewall template mocked up in place:
You can see where I had to make a triangular hole in the side wall to make room for the trailing link. I'll close off that hole in the final design by making a fairing that bridges the sidewall to the wheel well liner. Here's another view:
The intersection of the radiator compartment side wall and the arched wheel well liner makes for an interesting shape as viewed from the engine bay. It's not the most refined look in the world for now, but it will keep a lot of road grime from messing things up and I'm pretty sure there'll be lots of other pretty things to catch your eye once the engine bay is stuffed with everything that needs to go in there:
The last piece needed to seal up the radiator compartment was the floor skin. I made it so it has a right angle flange to mate with the bottom of the side wall and another where it mates up with the forward edge of the wheel well liner. I also bolted a 1/2" square steel tube stiffener like an outrigger to the side of the engine cradle, which you can also see in the next photo:
To support the some of the weight of the radiator, I'll need to fabricate some sort of stiffener for the floor of the compartment. I'll probably bend some sheet metal into a series of corrugated channels and rivet them to the inside floor skin. Here's a view of the radiator compartment showing how wide the wheels and door sills are. It's a good thing too because the radiators only "just fit" width-wise in the hole:
I did get some good measurements of the filler location off your car and when I had the body at my place last summer. I'll definitely need a custom fill pipe but I think its going to work ok. Otherwise we'll have to carry one of those big funnels with the long flexible pipe. Maybe fill up F1 style.
I don't see the need for active brake cooling given the way I intend to drive this car.
Ya, but what about when we come by for a visit and you let me and the boys take your car for a spin over the mountain? We have to know its going to stand up to the task.
On that subject, do you have a pic of that 355 with regards to the brake cooling? Do they duct the air past the wheel well liner with flexible ducting or does it just end flush with the wheel well liner?
To be honest, I don't know for sure where the brake cooling air comes from. I'm pretty sure it's not through the rocker panel scoops since the area ahead of the wheels is completely blocked off by the radiators. I seem to remember seeing a parts diagram that showed the brake air coming from a pair of NACA scoops in the engine bay floor pan, though I can't find it at the moment. If that's the way it's designed, it would be awfully dirty from the front tires kicking up road dirt. It is clear that the air is ducted to the brakes with flexible hoses from this photo though:
OK, I busted out laughing aloud with that one Graham. My wife was wondering what was going on.
This week I figured out how I'd mount the radiators. I decided I wanted a 20 degree tilt on them to give me the room I wanted at the top of the enclosure for the hose later on. There isn't much except the cradle to fasten the lower radiator mounts to, and interestingly enough, the frame horns at the front of my cradle are also at 20 degrees. That made it a no-brainer to decide where the structural support would come from. Next, I needed to find a suitable isolator between the rad and the mounts to keep the fan noises from migrating to the chassis. I posted photos of some nifty high tech mounts I have kicking around but I just couldn't get them to work within the tight confines of the radiator compartment. That, and the fact that I just couldn't figure out how I would be able to remove the radiator for servicing at some point in the future if I used those mounts. So I resorted to reusing the stock Fiero rubber isolators... with a twist:
I took a piece of square steel tubing and with a bunch of cuts with my angle grinder...
...I made little cradles for the rubber isolators to sit in:
Then I welded the little cradles to a 3/4" steel tube after measuring where they needed to go so as not to interfere with anything:
And then welded a mounting tab at the end of the steel tube, so the whole thing looked like this:
Finally, I drilled and tapped two holes in the side of the engine cradle and one on the bottom side to attach the assembly to the frame, like this, giving an automatic 20 degrees of tilt:
For the upper mount, all I really needed was something simple to stabilize the top of the radiator. (The ducting (that I haven't made yet) from the door and rocker scoops will play a role in stabilizing and holding the rads at the correct angle.) As with the bottom mounts, I needed to find a rubber isolator for noise and vibration control. I happened to stumble across a couple of large circular rubber grommets whose ID fit the post welded to the top of the radiator perfectly, so that's when my plan for the upper mount started to gel. Using some small diameter exhaust tubing on the OD of the grommet allowed me to locate the top mount with a couple steel rods to the upper frame rail.
I have a neat little bender that installs in my vise for just this sort of thing. I used some wire to mock up the lengths and angles needed for two steel rods that would be welded to the exhaust tube, and bent them up:
Then I needed flat ends on the rods where they would meet up with the frame rail, so I heated them cherry red with my propane torch and hammered the ends flat:
Once all the parts were ready, I mocked them up, tacked them together, and then welded them. Here's the result:
For servicing, I plan to pull the radiators out from underneath the car, so this upper mount can be permanently installed. Since I'm building this up in reverse order for now, I had to remove the rubber isolator from the upper mount to get it in place. Here you can see the little aluminum post welded to the top of the rad that needs to be centered in the mount:
I held the upper mount to the upper frame rail with a couple large clamps, then slipped the rubber isolator in place:
Taking a step back, here's the overall picture for now:
It'll be a couple weeks yet before I mock up the rear quarters... it's just so much easier to work on the car without the fiberglass in the way. I still have to modify the entire RH side for the radiator over there. Once that's done, I'll have to mock up the rear quarters in order to find the right shape for the outside edge of the wheel well liners. Right now they're just squared off but they'll need to be trimmed back a fair bit at the apex of the arch.
I still have to make mounts for the engine torque struts, deck lid hinges, radiator, fuel filler, and exhaust plumbing, and I still have to figure out the entire rear and quarter window sheet metal. All of that will be easier with the rear quarter fiberglass off the chassis.
As for the intake side of the radiators, I'm planning a Y shaped shroud that takes the door and rocker scoop's two rectangular shapes and converges them into a single rectangular opening at the radiator end. Like the blue area here:
The shrouds will be completely separate sheet metal from what you see in my photos above. All I've done so far is close the up the radiator compartment. I plan on creating the shroud templates over the next couple days.
I started working on the radiator shrouds over the past couple days. I've known for a while that I would need to make a modification to the bottom of the B-pillar to (somewhat) straighten the airflow to the inboard third of the radiators. The sharp bend around the backside of the B-pillar would unnecessarily shroud the rad, so softening the radius of the rear corner was in the cards. I needed to have the location of the radiator finalized (as I did in my earlier post) before I could determine where the B-pillar needed the nip & tuck:
I got out my trusty die grinder to make the cuts:
I was aware of a structural member for the door latch hiding behind the area I was cutting so I was careful:
The stamped steel mini-beam connects the door latch post to the weld flange at the back of the B-pillar. I didn't want to fool around with that because having doors rattle on rough pavement is really annoying and cheap sounding.
Here's a close up of the reinforcement:
The next thing I did was bend the weld flange at the back of the B-pillar with a hammer. I only needed to bend it back to about 45 degrees:
Here's the big picture:
From this point, the plan was to make the radiator shrouds out of sheet metal, but things got complicated really fast. There was just no way I could make the convoluted shapes needed to make two differently sized inlets, offset to each other, converge into a single, larger outlet that is offset from both inlets, within the allowable space. So I resorted to Plan B: Fiberglass! I found some old polystyrene foam board sitting in the shop attic gathering dust, so I started cutting wafers to fill the space between the radiator and the two scoops to make a male buck:
I realize that polyester resin will eat the styrene foam so the plan will be to cover up the foam with some tape (or something else) once it's been carved into shape. Here's a closer look showing among other things how I made marks to index each foam piece to the next one:
The marks were handy once I pulled out each sheet and got ready to glue them together on my workbench. I just used ordinary carpenter's glue:
And then used a bunch of 1/2" steel plates to weigh them all down while the glue set. What a strange shape!
Of course I left the foam much larger in all dimensions just to give me room for error, so the next step is going to be sculpting out a Y-shaped shroud from that monolith.
Thanks for the suggestion ccfiero! I just might give that a try.
I had some fun with a new toy I got for Christmas that made carving out the shroud a cinch. It's a handheld air powered belt sander. What breeze it was to make even moderately fine adjustments to the shape:
I did find however that the white carpenter's glue I used didn't dry even after more than 24 hours. The sander's grip literally peeled the layers apart the first time I had a go at the foam block. So I took it apart, washed off the glue with water, and tried again with some spray contact-cement that's foam-friendly. That's what I should've done from the start since within minutes, it was glued solidly back together and ready for the sander:
Here's the rough foam buck after about a half hour of sculpting and a quick hand sanding with some 120 grit. I still need to fit it, align it, etc. I purposefully left it a bit larger in all dimensions for this purpose:
I'm just planning to glass it over in one shot and dig the foam out. I can't see anyone (including me) wanting another one, and the RH side scoop is going to be the mirror image so it's not like I can use anything except maybe the three slices closest to the radiator, to make that one.
Hmmm... a door hunh? Hadn't thought about that, though I did think about putting a drain hole in the bottom. If something does crawl in there it's not like I'll be able to reach in with my hand because I'm planning on glassing in some vanes on the inside. Making a trap door on the bottom might be a good idea. Thanks!
Were the glass rockers panels already cut back in way of the lower scoop to accept your intake plenum design or did you modify them so that they didn't interfere with your radiator intake? How do you propose to transition between the rocker panel and the plenum? Perhaps some form of short flexible adaptor or just butt the two pieces close enough to capture the air flow? Same thoughts on the upper section of the plenum and the door scoop.
Questions, questions! I haven't completely made up my mind regarding the best way to attach the shroud to the car yet.
The rockers scoops are the way Don did them... I haven't modified them at all... yet. The scoops in the rockers start off sort of oval shaped at the inlet, but as they recess deeper into the rocker, the tunnel changes shape to a rectangle. At the end of the tunnel, there's a flange around the hole such that if I were to make a 90 degree flange at the end of the lower arm on my shroud, it would butt up against the inside of the rocker perfectly. The door scoops are the same. I'll take a picture of the inside of the panels if I remember, and post them.
To get the right fit between the shroud and the body openings, I left the two intake arms of my foam buck too long for now so that I can gradually whittle them away to fit up as tightly against the backside of the openings in the rocker and quarter panels as possible. But I won't be able to do that final adjustment until I mount the rocker and quarter panels relative to each other, and relative to the radiator. That means I need to mount both body panels to the frame. I'll probably leave that for later since I'm getting ahead of myself in other areas... the stuff I mentioned in an earlier post. For now though, I believe I will eventually glass the shrouds in place once the rockers and quarters are on. I can't see a need to make the shrouds, the rockers, nor the quarters removable once the car is completed. Everything that will ever need servicing in that area will be accessible by removing the wheel well liner, the bottom of the radiator compartment, and a trap door in the engine bay near the shock. Besides, having the shroud solidly mounted will eliminate one potential source for squeaks. Any thoughts?
I made the mounting plates at the back of the lower scoops to seal in the rockers for weather as well as a mounting surface to attach any hoses I might have used in the end. I also planned on mounting the air scoops in the door area to the back of the door jamb I made. The oem cars, I think have a rubber gasket that fits onto the door jamb so that when the door closes, the door scoop seals up against the door jamb opening. Helps remove the wind noise when moving and helps with air loss at slower speeds.
What are you planning for the gas door and hose area as that is now right above the driver's side rads and scoops?
I have used drywall mud as ccfiero said but I have also used a skim of bondo to layer the foam. The bondo does eat the foam away a bit but not nearly as much as the resin and creates a pretty hard surface to start final sanding of the part. Sealing with drywall mud and a paint would probably be the best for this size of a part though.
Keep up the great work and looking forward to seeing the end result.
Originally posted by 355Fiero: What are you planning for the gas door and hose area as that is now right above the driver's side rads and scoops?
The fuel filler door is actually quite far back and isn't in line with the radiator. The plan at the moment is to fabricate a custom-shaped tube to follow a route similar to the real F355. It runs behind the radiator and into the engine bay. You'll have to excuse my primitive etch-a-sketch drawings but I think they get the point across:
And before anyone else asks... I have no idea yet where I'm going to get my cold air for the engine intake. Maybe from scoop at the back of the quarter window... maybe.
Thanks Jim for your input. I had originally considered the idea of rotating them as you suggested but that was before I decided to lay them back at the top. I discarded that original idea for several reasons but the main one was that it left precious little room for a shroud along the inboard side of the radiator. That B-pillar is enormously wide down there! Other minor issues involved awkward angles of the inlet and outlet pipes for hoses later on, access to the front engine cradle bolt, and mounting complexity. By rotating the rad with it also tilted, the same issues crop up even though I hadn't considered doing both until now.
It's a compromise no matter what I do since the car wasn't designed with side saddle coolers in the first place, but I take comfort believing that what I'm doing will be sufficient. I reason that my 308 replica with a small block and stock Fiero radiator only ever gets hot enough for the fan to kick in during stop and go traffic, which is very rare in Nova Scotia! Even then, the temps drop like a lead balloon. I hope that my 355 will have even better cooling capacity.
I see the cooling issue as two separate conditions to satisfy. One at speed, and the other at idle. At speed, rotating the radiators like you suggest would probably allow a more efficient airflow through the entire radiator, and less drag, but as the high pressure area develops in front of the radiator, the airflow will tend to make use of the inboard side of the radiator more and more. Once the air enters the shroud, there is no other place for it to go. It's during idling that a more effective airflow will matter. But since the fans will be drawing slow speed air through the entire surface of the radiator from the backside, I don't think rotating the radiators will make any difference in stop and go traffic. Recall though, it's not like I thought this through beforehand, the real reasons are the physical installation issues and this is just my way of arguing out of further development!
Thanks fierogt28 The finger's being stubborn. My occupational therapist said that finger and hand injuries take the longest of all to heal... up to a year before things are back to normal because of all the muscles, tendons and ligaments. I can get about 90% of the range of motion at this point, but only after soaking my hand in really hot water. Otherwise I get only about 50%. Overall hand strength is still only about 50% despite lots of exercise designed specifically for hand injuries. Bet you're sorry you asked now, eh?
Well, after being overwhelmed by the price and availability of fiberglass supplies in my area, Yarmouth Fiero came to my rescue on the weekend with a care package. He's a big-wig at a major boat-building company which goes through fiberglass like Mimi goes through eye shadow on the Drew Carrie Show: by the 75 gallon drum. In exchange for a couple of rear ball joints, I got a couple gallons of resin, some hardener, a couple square yards of 1.5 oz mat, a can of release wax, a roller, some acetone, and some measuring and mixing containers! Woo-whoo! Thanks Graham.
Before I could make use of all the goodies, I took ccfiero's advice and applied drywall crack filler to the entire Styrofoam buck, let it dry overnight and sanded it smooth the next day:
I wasn't too concerned with perfection since this is after all the inside of the radiator shroud, which no one will ever see again (short of a critter crawling inside and making a nest).
In fact, for the RH side, I probably won't go through the trouble of puttying the buck since the next step is to wrap the entire thing with packing tape to protect the foam from the resin.
The tape pretty much hides all the superficial flaws as it is, but creates a few of its own problems: it doesn't like to wrap around complex curves very well. Nevertheless, I got the job done reasonably well:
Even though the next step wasn't totally necessary, I waxed up the tape to make it easier to separate from the fiberglass later on. I've been told that the tape sticks to the fiberglass sometimes and it can be a helluva time trying to remove it. Better safe than sorry:
Once that was dried, I donned six layers of clothes, my activated carbon filter breathing mask, and some nitrile gloves to start cutting the fiberglass mat (I get itchy and picky just looking at fiberglass!) I mixed up a pint of resin with 1/8 oz of hardener and got to work. The working time was about 20 mins before the resin started to gel-up, which was just enough time to use up one pint:
I laid up two full layers of mat and ran through 2.5 pints of resin in total. I managed to keep it bubble-free except in one or two unimportant areas where it was next to impossible to keep the fiberglass from pulling away from the buck:
That was last night, and I just checked on it to be sure it hardened properly: it did. Now to decide whether it's worth putting another layer on now, or to pull it off the buck and decide then...
A couple tricks learned over the years of glassing. When doing complex corners, pull the 1.5 oz. mat apart (essentially tear one side off to produce a .75 oz. mat piece and these go around the more complex corners so much more easily. You still use the 1.5 oz mat, you just do it in two layers vs. 1 and it lays down just fine. It actually goes into pretty tight corners and over pretty sharp edges at that weight. Hard very sharp corners still require two pieces with edges to be mated together with mat though. Then you do a .75 oz. overlay and then another two piece edge and you will have a very nice, sharp corner.
You were smart to wax the tape. I used that tape on one of my old molds and did not and it made a mess and was a heck of a time removing it.....
Two layers of 1.5 oz. should be just fine for that application as it is only directing air. Maybe another layer or two on the areas that you will be installing mounting screws/bolts into is all.
Looks really good Blooz. Can't wait to see the finished product. If I know you, you're out in the shop tonight trimming and buffing the piece before a photo shoot ha-ha-ha.
Great tip Don for working mat into and around tight corners. Are you looking for work as an FRP specialist? Google "Hammerhead USV-T" to see one of our products currently in use in your area on the West Coast.