Thursday, December 6, 2012

Last update

I am told by the producers of this blog site that I have used up all the capacity for pictures, and that I would have to pay a monthly fee to get more. I tried using hotlinks to post pictures but that didn't work very well so this will be the last update on this blog. If you want to follow the build, I am also posting updates to several forums, and here are the links:

Winnipeg Sports Car Club

Sports Car Club of America forum

Grassroots Motorsports Forum

MG Experience Forum

Thanks for your support and interest in my build

Thursday, November 1, 2012

New rear sheetmetal

I cut the back end off the donor MGB using a sawzall and grinder

Look, I made a truck out of an MGB

Once I cut out the fat and removed the trunk lid, the whole thing wasn't much heavier than if I used the fiberglass copy, so I decided to use it.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Fiberglass rear end

Paul from Red Bearing Auto Repair sold me the back half of an MGB ragtop that I could use on the Pink Panther. But before cutting it off, I decided to make a fiberglass mold of it

I started by taking non-stick aluminum foil and laying it out on the rear of the car

Once it was covered in foil, I laid out the woven fiberglass blanket. I made a mistake here, I should have cut it into smaller pieces, it would have been smoother.

I covered the fiberglass with resin and spread it out with a roller and brush

Once it had cured, I was able to just lift it off the car and the foil pealed off without much trouble. It's not very stiff, though, I would need to glass in some balsa pieces before using it.

Rear frame redone

Here is the rear frame with the fenders cut away. There is a lot of extra steel here that can be eliminated or simplified.

Once it was all cut away I figured out how the simplest way to attach the shocks and the Panhard bar.

There is a framework that the rear suspension bolts to and it's welded to a thick steel plate from the original MGB frame. I discovered that this plate is not actually very strong and the whole rear of the car is basically held together with only the tubes going from the roll hoop down to the frame. I will definitely correct this.

The new rear frame, narrowed and simplified.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Door bars and structure

When I cut the top bars out of the roll cage, the center of the car drooped, just look at what happened to the body line where the door and rear quarter panel meet.

I jacked the car up in the middle and welded in these door bars, solving the problem

Since I don't need the doors to open and close anymore, I was able to cut out the latches, hinges and door structure, leaving only the outer skin. It is quite surprising how much all that stuff weighed.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Cutting the roof off

After Nationals I realized that I need to put the car on a dramatic weight loss program and I have to take out 400 lbs to get down to the class minimum weight. I have plans on how to do this and it started with removing the roof.
Here is the Pink Panther as it was raced at Nationals, 2250 lbs with me in it
I removed the hatch and spoiler, which must have been around 75 lbs

And I don't need the fuel filler door or hose anymore

Once I had cut the top off, I enlisted help to lift it off

We figure the roof weighs 50-60 lbs

I lost a lot of structural strength when I cut out the top bars but I'll make that up with door bars. When I pile up everything that I removed, it weighs about 200 lbs. Of course some of that will go back in with the door bars and boot lid but I still have the door structure, hinges and latches to cut out.

Friday, September 7, 2012

2012 SCCA Solo Nationals

Briget and I drove the 14 hours to Lincoln, Nebraska for the 2012 SCCA Solo Nationals. We immediately signed up for 4 Test N Tune sessions which would give us 16 chances to get the set up right. I kept fairly detailed notes on everything so I had an idea of what was doing what. Here are pictures of my TNT notes.

 We got the car feeling pretty good but never completely rid the car of inside wheel spin. We also learned that the tires go off if they are hotter than 110 F when the run starts. On Tuesday competition began and Briget was the first to try the car on the big course. She came back reporting that the car felt pretty neutral and had no wheelspin. I ran later in the day and I also thought the car felt good but I did experience wheelspin and some hopping around the sweepers. I was very close to a trophy spot, which is quite amazing for a car with so little development and so few runs. I also kept notes on these runs and here they are

Quickest clean run from West course

After my runs I was very privileged to get set-up advice from Dan Wasdahl, KJ Christopher, Del Long and Peter Raymond. These guys have driven or built more Championship winning cars than I can count on my fingers and toes. They seemed to agree that I needed more negative camber up front and firmer damping out back. I went back to my paddock spot and added 1 degree of negative camber, reduced toe out to 3/16" and stiffened the rebound quite a bit. The next day Briget drove the car and came back reporting that it was fun and felt far better than before. She landed up 3rd in class.  I made no changes and went out for my runs late in the afternoon and was immediately impressed with how the car felt. The East course had a very different feel than the West course. There were places to get speed but there were some slow speed traps at the end of them. I would be able to get crazy speed through the transitions but would be going way too fast to make the tight turns at the end. In the end I landed up in 9th out of 18 cars but I still feel pretty good about it because the car is pretty good. I am making a list of changes that will make the car better.

Video of quickest run on East course

Side cam video of quickest run with data overlay