winter changes/upgrades

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DOTracer
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winter changes/upgrades

#1 Post by DOTracer » Sat Dec 11, 2010 4:56 pm

Hello all,

I've been putting this off a couple years now, but it's time to replace the roll cage in the Malibu. The old cage I installed back around 1995. It was .134" wall ERW mild steel with swingouts. Quite heavy, too much chassis flex and with the car running 8.50's, I was at the limit of the cage certification.

Due to the scope of this project, I expect the fabrication work to take me most of the winter. I'm working on average two evenings a week and Some on Saturday and Sunday. A job like this has taken anywhere from 200 to 250 hours to complete on average.

The new cage is going to be a 25.3 SFI certification. The car only needs a 25.5 spec, but there's not alot different other than some larger tubing sizes, so I went with 25.3 for resale value more than anything.

In addition to the cage upgrade, I'm also swapping out the 12 bolt rear for a TRZ chromoly sheetmetal 9" housing (and matching control arms). The housing will most likely be filled with Strange 40 spline gun drilled Ultra light axles & Ultra center and their Pro Race brakes. The QA1 shocks have been sold and will be replaced with Afco double adjustable coil overs.

The housing has been ordered (tubes run long, housing ends loose) and should be here in the next two weeks. Once it arrives I need to determine the length so the axles & internals can be ordered.

I sold both sets of rear wheels and will be purchasing new due to shortening the rear and going with less back spacing in the wheel.

Anyway, here's some preliminary pics showing the teardown and the progress thus far. I have the main hoop bent up and some other bars, will do the setting of those bars hopefully this weekend sometime.
Last edited by DOTracer on Mon Mar 28, 2011 7:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

DOTracer
Posts: 466
Joined: Tue May 24, 2005 11:12 pm
Location: Westminster, MD

Re: winter changes/upgrades

#2 Post by DOTracer » Sat Dec 11, 2010 4:56 pm

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Just a note, the rear inner frame rails (as I read the 25.3 spec) are not required on a full frame car. I installed them as I intend to do a max frame notch this time and the inner frame rails will help strengthen the frame where the outer section has been removed. The rear bars of the cage will tie into the inner frame rails at the upper shock mount junction.

I did not intend to remove so much floor material, but cutting several holes for access made a mess of the stock floor. I felt the final outcome would look much cleaner removing everything and installing new than to try and patch up the stock metal. Undecided if I'll remove the old mini-tubs and redo them while I'm at it.

More to come...
Last edited by DOTracer on Mon Mar 28, 2011 7:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

DOTracer
Posts: 466
Joined: Tue May 24, 2005 11:12 pm
Location: Westminster, MD

Re: winter changes/upgrades

#3 Post by DOTracer » Sat Dec 11, 2010 4:57 pm

Just a few quick pics from this mornings work.

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Last edited by DOTracer on Mon Mar 28, 2011 7:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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supernova
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Re: winter changes/upgrades

#4 Post by supernova » Sat Dec 11, 2010 6:12 pm

Nice work!!!!!
Blackhoodmafia!!!! :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

1972 Nova SS
572 C.I. BBC

Best to date: 1/8
et: 5.28
mph: 134
new wt. 3340 lbs

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Carolina Kid
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Re: winter changes/upgrades

#5 Post by Carolina Kid » Sat Dec 11, 2010 7:35 pm

damn nice work.
trick trans mount :thumb:

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vegaracer
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Re: winter changes/upgrades

#6 Post by vegaracer » Sat Dec 11, 2010 11:03 pm

Wow, very nice work. jaw:
Are you doing this yourself?
Feenstra's Towing

1973 Vega
434 SBC, N.A.
Powerglide
9.01 @ 146

DOTracer
Posts: 466
Joined: Tue May 24, 2005 11:12 pm
Location: Westminster, MD

Re: winter changes/upgrades

#7 Post by DOTracer » Sun Dec 12, 2010 6:38 am

vegaracer wrote:Wow, very nice work. jaw:
Are you doing this yourself?
Yes. I've fabricated & welded as a hobby all my life, worked in a chassis shop the last 3 years.

thanks guys.

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sc racing
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Re: winter changes/upgrades

#8 Post by sc racing » Sun Dec 12, 2010 8:33 am

Really great looking work :thumb: What type of bender do you have?

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spib
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Re: winter changes/upgrades

#9 Post by spib » Sun Dec 12, 2010 10:21 am

damn bad ass!!!!
http://www.youtube.com/user/spib43
10.56 @128 best to date


Image

DOTracer
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Location: Westminster, MD

Re: winter changes/upgrades

#10 Post by DOTracer » Sun Dec 12, 2010 11:08 am

sc racing wrote:Really great looking work :thumb: What type of bender do you have?
Our shop just bought a new Baileigh RDB-250 computerized bender. Previously we had two Pro Tools benders, but the manual one was our primary one.

luv454
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Re: winter changes/upgrades

#11 Post by luv454 » Sun Dec 12, 2010 1:19 pm

What kind of tubing notcher do you have? I bet it's not the Harbor Freight 49.95 job I'm looking at purchasing. :lol:

DOTracer
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Re: winter changes/upgrades

#12 Post by DOTracer » Sun Dec 12, 2010 1:31 pm

luv454 wrote:What kind of tubing notcher do you have? I bet it's not the Harbor Freight 49.95 job I'm looking at purchasing. :lol:
Our shop has had a Mittler Brothers end mill notcher for quite a few years. Awesome notcher.

We just picked up a Baileigh abrasive belt notcher at an auction of a local shop that closed up. I was skeptical about this notcher till we started to use it. Lets just say the Mittler Bros notcher rarely gets used anymore. The Baileigh is at least 10 times quicker than the Mittler Bros which is 10 times quicker than a hole saw notcher. The down side is the belts need replacing alot more often than the end mills. End mills are approx $200 each and last a couple years. The belts are approx $30-35 each and need replacing every couple weeks. The belt notch is a very fine notch, about as perfect as you can get.

Oh yea, for some reason, the tracking of the belts is a bit of an issue and can be quite dangerous from what we have found out. The abrasive notcher has it's pros and cons, but for the most part, I really like it.

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wikd69
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Re: winter changes/upgrades

#13 Post by wikd69 » Sun Dec 12, 2010 1:40 pm

Wow, you do beautiful work !!!

Thats an awesome ride :thumb:
1969 ProStreet Camaro RS Best 9.75@139 1.46 60'
Blown 427 BBC, TH400 w/Brake, Back-Half Ladderbar
Narrowed 12-Bolt, 4.10 Gears, Spool, Moser 33 Spline

http://www.marsh-racing.com/harrys_camaro-1.htm

luv454
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Re: winter changes/upgrades

#14 Post by luv454 » Sun Dec 12, 2010 3:14 pm

Is your main hoop perfect level on the side? Can it have some degrees layback or should it be level? Thanks,

DOTracer
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Location: Westminster, MD

Re: winter changes/upgrades

#15 Post by DOTracer » Sun Dec 12, 2010 5:06 pm

luv454 wrote:Is your main hoop perfect level on the side? Can it have some degrees layback or should it be level? Thanks,
The main hoop is allowed to be laid back some. I just looked at the 25.3 spec and couldn't locate the exact allowence with a quick look.

The old cage had the main hoop perpendicular to the frame rails and it flat out looked stupid and was one of the major things I disliked about the way I built the old cage years ago. This time around I made the new main hoop identical in shape & size to the old one, just laid it back so the top portion was parallel to the upper portion of the B pillar. I'll post some pics in a little bit.

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