Resolute on New Years

by Andy

As promised in the last blog, I have been working hard on the ChumpCar, and I think I have accomplished quite a bit in the last two days. I worked 7 hours on New Years Eve, and another 6 hours on New Years Day.


New Years Eve I started removing more of the interior so that I could properly measure the roll cage dimensions. I removed the driver side front and rear door cards, and windows. I left the roll-up window mechanism in place, and zip-tied it together because I plan to reinstall the windows after the chump car event so that I can participate in local rally-cross events, and any other hoontastic driving I feel like getting into. Getting the windows out was a real pain in the ass though, and the Clymer shop manual I have mentions nothing about how to remove the windows. Thanks.

Measuring for the cage is a lot more nerve wracking than I originally anticipated. It’s hard to measure, knowing that I will be sending the dimensions to some guy I have never met. And he will then cut steel tubing and ship it to me. If I measure wrong, he will cut wrong, and I will be hosed. So I measured everything, once, twice, thrice, and sometimes more. But as I worked my way forward to the dash, I realized I couldn’t actually get good measurements with the dash in place. So it had to come out first. And of course, my Clymer shop manual doesn’t go into removing the dash. Shit.

I did get it out though, and I didn’t break anything. It really wasn’t as hard as I thought. What I discovered behind the dash though, was an absolute mess. There is SO much dust, dirt, and grime in this car, I really think the previous owner found it embedded in a dry lake bed. Also, notice the odd looking dash bar. That will be replaced with straight tube that ties the left and right side of the cage together. So that came out too.

And that was pretty much where I stopped for New Years Eve. I got myself cleaned up and headed to our neighbor’s house for fine food, drink, and friends.


After removing the dash and dash bar the evening before, I had run out of steam, and hadnt finished the measurements. So, I woke at 5:30am and started thinking about how to finish measuring for the cage. Even though I had stayed up till almost 2am, I was wide awake. So I researched pictures of other cages on google, and tried to clear my head. I went back to bed at 7:30am and was able to sleep till 10:30am or so. Then, it was back to work!

I finished the measurements, which took quite a while, with measuring everything again in triplicate. I am pretty confident in the final numbers, and I cant wait to get my cage ordered!
Once that was done, I removed the steering column and reinstalled the dash temporarily, I fabricated some new brackets to hold the dash in place, and cut out a bunch of other brackets that will no longer be used when the car is complete. I also removed the entire airbag system. And that is kinda scary, let me tell you. Staring at an airbag, not knowing whether or not a lil shock of static electricty is going to cause the bag to blow up in your face. I averted reconstructive surgery though, it all came out without a fuss. However, while removing sound deading with my air chisel, I slipped and jammed the air chisel right into my pinky. F$%&ing ow!!

I did get a lot more of that tar out though. And then I did a bit of testing on the chassis to see what method would work best to strip the paint and expose bare metal. You can see in the picture below where I started some grinding. That will be one of the mounting points for the roll cage. It will need to be reinforced with steel plate, so its important to weld with nice clean surfaces. I haven’t quite figured out the best technique yet.

And that was where I stopped. I was pretty tired and didnt bother putting everything away. So much for a clean organized garage. Oh well. I’ll do it tomorrow…

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