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Archive for July, 2011

After a long delay (mostly due to renovations on my garage to make it a more usable shop for a race car), I finally started reassembling the Swift today.  The first step:  installing the belly pan that I had fabricated.

The process didn’t take as long as I thought it would.  After cleaning up and polishing the belly pan, I scuffed the area of the pan that would bond to the frame with a Scotchbrite pad.  I used 100 grit sandpaper to prep the bottom of the frame rails where the pan would attach.  After cleaning both surfaces with brake cleaner, I was ready to do the final assembly.

I used Hysol 2-part epoxy adhesive–the dispenser and mixing tip that I bought made the job simple.  I ran two beads down each frame rail, one on each side of the rivet holes.  Then I carefully lined the belly pan up with the holes in the frame, and started putting rivets in.  A few of the holes didn’t line up perfectly, so I had a drill on hand to make last-minute adjustments where needed.  Here’s what it looked like when I was ready to rivet:

Riveting was definitely the easiest part.  I used 3/16″ aluminum structural rivets, and with the help of the heavy-duty pneumatic riveter that I bought from Aircraft Tool Supply (around $90, a great deal), I pulled all of the rivets in 15 or 20 minutes.  Here’s the finished result:

The whole process took around 2 or 3 hours.  Before I move on to the next step, I’m going to build a rolling chassis stand for the frame–that way, I can move the car around the garage as needed to finish the garage renovations.

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