SLC Day 5 Report

I’m on day 5 of having the SLC in house and have had a great time putting a bunch of stuff together. I sort of have a number of projects going at the same time since I a) like variety but more importantly b) am close or already stuck on a bunch of them due to missing parts.

After getting all the bodywork off on Sunday, we were able to get the front and rear clip stored below the decks in our yard, out of sight to us and basically out of sight to our neighbors as well. The various other small panels all made their way into the basement as well. The only section which we could not get out there is the center section, which you can see standing upright in the back right in the picture. There’s just no way it would even come close to fitting through the door frames like the one on the left in the picture. Calisthenics are now required to do laundry, but hey, not my problem, right? (kidding, it definitely is!)

So anyway, here’s a quick rundown of what I’ve done so far.

Brake & clutch lines

The lines came pre-bent, but they needed adjusting in places. Thanks to Adam, I now have a professional-grade tube bender that came in handy. I likely would have skimped for the more basic type I’ve used before, so that was fortuitous. To mount the lines I used two-piece mounts which I drill-tapped into the chassis. The black stuff on the side is sound deadening material called Second Skin. Real sticky stuff, but supposedly works very well.

Status: Front & rear brakes hard line done; waiting on flexible lines. Clutch not started because I destroyed my drill tap.

Pedals & cylinders

My friend Adam helped me put together the pedals the other night. We had to cut down the master cylinder rods by about 1 1/4″ for the pedals to end up in the upright position and sill have some ability to adjust the pedals. Sweet pedals. There are three cylinders because the front and rear brakes are independent systems. Bias is adjusted by the little bar connecting the two on the front of the brake pedal.

Status: Pedals put together, but not mounted in car because plan to build a slider to allow different driver heights. Also missing plumbing pieces from pedals to hard lines and need a drill bit to get hoses from reservoirs to pedals.

Pedal pieces
Brake & clutch reservoirs

Steering column

When I got the car, it had no steering wheel mounted, because the hub connecting steering wheel to steering column was missing. Steering by pushing and tugging tires was quite a pain, but we got it done. The column that comes with the car is a standard GM one. It has the ability to telescope in/out and up/down, which is cool, but it also makes for a bulky unit. There are two worm-drive motors hanging off the column to do the telescoping, but which also make for decreased room in the footwell. What I’ve done therefore is taken the motors off and removed a large nonstructural piece of metal at the very end. I’ll be mounting the motors directly to the chassis in a horizontal position and out of the way instead, though I may need new worm drive cables to do so. To be determined.

In the first picture below you can see the beige front cover removed and the two worm drive motors center back.

Status: Waiting on steering hub so I can install the hub again fully. I’m concerned that it’s been twisted a few times and just sticking the splines together may mean the steering wheel’s neutral position is way far off from the wheels being straight. Need the hub to install wheel to test and then bolt into final position.

Steering column halfway through surgery
Steering column after surgery

Chassis polishing

One night my wife jumped into the action to help. We together put a lot of elbow grease into making visible portions of the chassis in the engine look prettier. What we did is we lightly hand-sanded the aluminum, cleaned it and then applied a few coats of Alumaclear. Ooooh… shiny!

Status: Completed about 2/3 of engine bay aluminum frame and will do rest soon. Does involved putting tarp out prior to spraying, so it’s a bit involved.

Chassis after polishing and clear coat

Sound deadening and heat insulation

Lumping these together because the procedure is very similar. You get sheets of the two materials (one in 12×24″ sheets, the other in a 5 ft roll) and you cut it up, peel the paper off the back and it sticks like mad. So far I’ve done the door sides and the fuel tank panel with sound deadening as well as the fuel tank with heat shield since it’s up against the engine bay in between cockpit and driver.

Status: This is an ongoing task and mostly did these two items to test working with the materials. Fairly straightforward if you take your time, even if you need to create holes like in the fuel tank’s heat shield.

Fuel tank with heat shield
Fuel tank cover sound deadening

Coolant lines

The kit ships with six pipes of three lengths to go underneath front suspension, along firewall and underneath the door. I looked through some others’ build pics and noticed someone installed these pretty sweet-looking flexible lines for the run from the radiator (the frontmost item on the chassis) to the solid pipes by the doors. They’re not the cheapest, but they’re also very easy to use and by the time you buy the various silicone pieces you need to make all the solid hose connections, you’re at the same price. I also like hassle-free solutions that look good.

These were mounted with high-temperature silicone gaskets and drill-tapped into the chassis. Note my awesome system below to hold the suspension up while the shock is out for access purposes.

Status: Got part of the passenger side done, but I’m waiting for header wrap to cover the solid pipes. Once I install those I can trim down the flexible hose slightly to fit onto the pipe properly.

Flexible coolant lines install

So those are all the projects which I’ve started and are in flight. I’d really like to start to focus on the engine by cleaning it, replacing the water pump housing and removing the intake to polish it. On the side, I can continue to run the clutch lines and start to plumb the front axle lift kit as well.

Can you tell I’m having fun yet?

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