« Archives in September, 2012

Cabin heat done.

6 hours.

I spent a little bit of time installing a little air conditioner in the window, the one we’d previously taken out of the guest house bedroom and put in the dining room window while Shelley makes a wedding dress for a friend of ours.

Putting it in the shop window was brilliant… Nice and cool and comfy, in what passes for a heat wave here near the L.A. beaches.

Once that was done I worked on the alternate air for the snorkel. They have you glopping up the interface between the galvanized steel opening hardware and the fiberglass snorkel with a mix of flox and resin. I guess this makes sense, but it seems kind of half-assed. Once that cures, I can sand it smooth and call it done. The snorkel won’t be done-done until I get the air filter opening pro-sealed in, but then it’s another thing I don’t have to worry about again.

With the goop on the snorkel setting up, I wanted an easy win, so I worked on the cabin heat cable. The plans for this thing aren’t real clear about how you’re supposed to route the cable through the cabin, but I worked it out. The knob sits to the right of the throttle quadrant, so the passenger can easily get at it. I also wanted to do this so I’d have an inkling of what I’d be looking at when installing the alt air cable, which is another Bowden-type cable like the cabin heat. This type of cable is similar to a bicycle brake cable, or if you’re old enough to remember, a choke cable.

Mostly a non-issue. Cabin heat door opens and closes with push-pull. Sounds done to me.

Cowl surfacing, part 2.

6 hours.

Before I knew anything about fiberglass, I figured the pepto-pink Van’s cowl was pretty much the norm. It’s not. The Van’s cowl is shite. You’re supposed to fill in all the pinholes (and the whole thing is mostly pinholes) by rolling on straight epoxy, then squeegeeing it off. 3 coats go on like that and theoretically, the pinholes are filled in.

The reality is far from theory. What I’ll have to do now, if I want this thing to be even remotely smooth, is to squidge on a layer of micro slurry. Not the paste used for building up a shape, but enough to fill in all the divots. Once that’s done, I’ll be able to sand it smooth, then seal it with another layer of resin.

Or, I could take it to a body shop and have them do it. I need to be very careful not to bust the 51% rule, though, since I got the quickbuild kit to start with.

So the third coat of resin is curing right now, and should be ready for sanding tomorrow.

Since I was in fiberglass mode, I finished the cutout I had to make in the snorkel to allow it to clear the alternator. This is also curing, and should be done enough to permanently install tomorrow.

Aside from that, I reworked the fuel feed line so it makes a little more sense and doesn’t bend at such an extreme angle on the input.

More fiberglass fun – Cowl and baffles.

4 hours.

Not a complete balls-up, no, but close enough. Yesterday I finished the lower cowl inlet baffles. Almost. I still need to cut away some extra airseal that blocks a portion of the snorkel intake, but other than that, I’m done with airseal. I hope. That’s the good news.

The not so good news is that I decided to move on to filling the pinholes in the pepto-pink lower cowl. Of course I cocked it up, because I failed to remember one simple thing: The resin mix is supposed to be applied to the surface with a squeegee, not just slathered on with a brush. I should also have cleaned the surface with acetone, then soap and water before applying. So now I get to sand off a bunch of resin and redo it. Fortunately, I didn’t do the whole thing, just the front third, but it’s still a pain and a lesson in attending to detail.

Since that was going to have to wait for another solid block of time, I decided to finish the heat muff install. When I received the heat muff, one of the lock nuts on the through-rods didn’t have threads in it. I got some replacements from the manufacturer, and that is now installed. I also cut and attached the SCAT tubing to the muff, the heater box, and the baffle vent. OK, that last part still needs to have the hose clamp tightened, but it’s pretty much done.