Dan's Build

Dan Carter

Supporter
Still completing the IP, but the feet work as advertised. Below find pictures of the overhead piece and the pillar covers. In order to make them fit to my standard, I made some mods to improve the fit of both. I cut and opened the diameter of the roll bar covers on the ceiling piece (poor picture), cut the front off and glassed it back on to fit closer to the front top near the windshield. I added glass to the edges behind the seats and along the door edge around the main body so the two parts are in perfect alignment when mated up. The last mod was to slit the overhead piece along the roll bar bend from front the back on both sides to relieve the stress to reach the main roof body edges. I clamped the main body and ceiling to each other and re-glassed the slit so the edges of the ceiling and the main body door openings mate without any stress. I added 3/16 aluminum along he edge to allow for counter sunk screws to hold the ceiling panel and the body roof together. Edging will hide the screws.
 

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Dan Carter

Supporter
There has been some discussion on the blog about window frits, so I conducted a test of my own. My focus was creating a frit on polycarbonate. Glass windshields use a ceramic that is baked on, but we don’t have that luxury.

I used 5 products designed for hard plastics and consulted the marine industry since they use a lot of poly for their windows and windshields. The first part of this test is merely to see which provides the best black coverage, and most importantly which creates the cleanest line.
The five products were:
  • SikeFlex windshieldprimer 207 ($30-$50 on line)
  • Krylon Fusion spray paint (for hard plastic,hardware store ~$5.00)
  • Krylon Supermax All in One (spray paint,hardware store ~$7.00)
  • Rustoleum 2X Paint plus Primer
  • Jerry Bickle Race Border Spray (on line,~$10.00)
I used a scrap piece of poly windshield. My preferred tape is the 3M thin mask tape used for cars. Once the tape was laid down, I used a 180 and 320 grit to sand as close to the tape as possible without damaging or lifting the edges. The main scuff was done where the glue would make contact. For each product except the SikaFlex, the first coat must be very light to seal the edge of the tape. I then applied up to four coats allowing a 5 to 10-minute flash between coats. I pulled the tape before the paint was dried and each one was a little different, but slightly before it was dry to touch. I discovered the best technique to pull the tape was to pull 180 degrees completely flat (not 90 degrees to the surface). The primer is applied with a wool ball IAW instructions. I discovered that one of the pro racing body manufacturers switched to one of these products as well (patients I will reveal it later). On the picture, while it’s hard to tell, the taped/scored edges are to the left of each black test stripe in each group. I did a simple scratch test with my finger nail after 72 hour drying period. I will conduct a full adhesion test with glue (a SikaFlex and 3M product to see how much force to pull apart and if any of these frits let go of the poly at a later date). So, my summary is based on a 1-5 scale, 1 low,
5 high.



Coverage
Line Quality
Scratch Test
SikaFlex Primer
4​
3​
5​
Krylon Fusion
5​
5​
5​
Krylon Super Max
5​
4​
5​
Rustoleum 2X
5​
4.5​
5​
Jerry Bickel
4.5​
3​
3​

This test was not scientific, but it did prove to me that the Fusion (used by the body maker) was the better of the five and readily available at the hardware store. All these products will probably work well, however the Fusion paint gave me the best results all around. If you decide to try one, suggest you practice on some scrap to the feel of how much to spray, and how to pull the tape. So my next test is adhesion.
 

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Very cool study Dan - have a Q for you; did you consider the 3M window primer Allan uses as a candidate? 3M 08682 single step primer. apply via brush, 2 coats, remove trim tape before second coat has dried for best edge. There's a post somewhere where he talks about this... think some folks did a similar, less thorough test in the past and this 3M came out on top, over the Jerry Bickel IIRC.
 

Dan Carter

Supporter
Cam

I specifically looked at products that claimed to work on plastic versus glass. I think we may have some of the 3M at the shop so I can easily try some. Obviously Allan has built a lot of these so he is having success with the 3M so I will take a swing at it. When I talked to my windshield installer, they had switched from 3M to SikaFlex. They seem to like it better. SikaFlex 295UV is the urathane glue used by the marine industry and they also have another glue they use to install poly without any fasteners on yachts. I’m want to try and mount my poly without mechanical fasteners, and I know many have tried before.....so just call me Don Quixote.....charging the wind mill yet again.
 
Thanks Dan - appreciate all the effort you’re putting into this so those of us following have a future resource!
 

Dan Carter

Supporter
Focus this week has been on interior parts, mirrors, and doors. While sitting in the driver seat and looking up at the hippo mirrors, I could not see the mirror the way the door was cut. So I modified the door cut out until I had an unobstructed view of the mirror. I also noted to angle the mirror enough to actually see to the rear of the car, it stuck out from the mirror housing. The solution was to add about 1 inch of build out to the mirror…problem solved.
 

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Dan Carter

Supporter
Ok, I decided to not use the provided anchor as my source of internal air/defrost. My approach is to use vents for both defrost and cabin air (not an original idea). As you can see in the picture, not much is left of the anchor. I'm using the myriad of parts shown to connect to the distribution "anchor" and will route air via 2.5 inch flex tubing, one to the right side the other to the left. Its simple and easier to seal. The two vents on the top of the panel rotate 360 so they can be aimed as needed.
 

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Dan Carter

Supporter
Spent time to create the ducting to support my no anchor approach to AC and heat. Used house foam to create a mold, glassed it and took lacquer thinner to melt the foam away. Vents pictured below.


Spent some time to create foot well side panels out of foam board today. Final product will be from aluminum panel, either carpeted or covered in sound deadener in black, maybe both.
 

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Dan Carter

Supporter
Interior kick panels completed. Decided to forgo the one next to the drivers left leg since all the Infinity controls are located along that wall. Simply to many cutouts etc to even make it worth while.

Been struggling with a drop gear ratio that works for me. Had long discussions with Holinger Engineering (Australia) and Heffner Performance (both Lambo/Audi) performance shops and Holinger is making a set of .903 ratio gears for the Graziano. Both companies shared a ton of good data to help me. Since mine is strictly a street machine, I wanted reasonable 70-80 MPH to engine RPM values. Having a bit of a lumpy cam, creates a bit of an RPM challenge, but with this set up at 70 the RPM is computed at 1960 and at 80, 2250. I plotted the LS3/480 torque curve to computed MPH with all three options, and the .903 is a very good compromise with torque and cruise to me. Now we have the 1.32 stock, a 0.76, 1.038, and a .903 option.
 

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Can you share details on how you made the kick panels and what’s with the lines? I was planning to make panels as well but my plan was a few layers of cloth and mat laid up on taped cardboard with a few holes here and there for mounting. Wondering if maybe I’m missing something and my design is too simplistic.

On the gearing - I haven’t driven my ls376/525 much yet but subjectively have heard the big cam isn’t very happy below about 2krpm. Curious - John is offering the drop gear and a overrrice for 6th. Did you consider going that route before the .903 route? I’m thinking biasing all drive gears for a reasonable 6th isn’t as optimized as having more oomph for all your forward gears then having a throwaway 6th that’s strictly for highway.

It’s great to finally have all these ratio options available! Looking forward to hearing everyone’s experiences with each!
 

Dan Carter

Supporter
As for the gear installs, I know there are several options used by the forum. Heffner Performance was recommended by Holinger Engineering and they are in Sarasota Florida only 6 hours from me. In talking to Heffner, they did not even hesitate when I mentioned Graziano, and since they build high performance Lambos and Audi R8s, they are intimate with changing out drop gears. I’m going to make a site visit toward the end of the month. If $$ was unlimited, I would change out all 6 gears. I toiled with all the options available , and perhaps like many of us, studied each one looking for that perfect compromise......so short of a complete set of all gears, considering gear size, numbers of teeth, torque, noise, manufacturing etc, this drop gear gets me as close as I can get to the drive ability I’m striving for with the $$ I’m willing to spend.

The kick panels are made from 0.050 aluminum. Used foam board to develop the patterns and then used a bead roller to add strength. The coating is Raptor bed liner. Once installed, you never notice the brush lines. If I had given more thought to organization under the footwells and how to cover any mess I made as part of my overall strategy, the design would certainly be cleaner. However, this being the first of its kind for me, I did not anticipate the design of kickpanels during layout. They do clean up the under deck a lot.
 
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Dan Carter

Supporter
After building a hinged wing system that transfers downforce to the frame and allows the engine bonnet and wing to move together, I wanted a way to support all the weight of the wing when the bonnet is in the open position without placing undue pressure on the J hinge and fiberglass tail. I came up the solution shown in the picture. The scissor hood prop is an Allstarhood prop ALL23260. I built brackets for each side which mount to the frame and reinforced the fiberglass wheel wells with aluminum (will be coated later) to disburse the weight stress over a larger area. When closing, the laddered scissor closes and folds upward out of the way. I tried gas struts and recoil cable, but just didn’t like what I was getting. This worked for me.
 

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Dan Carter

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Progress has slowed to a snails pace. Its all the little things that accumulate while doing the big stuff. I wrote earlier about doing window Fritz and chose Krylon Fusion for plastic spray paint. A note for what ever product you use. The poly is coated with protectants. Paint, primer etc will have a hard time sticking to it if not properly sanded. The most time consuming is to sand next to your tape line without compromising the tape edge. If you do, paint bleeds under. If you don't get close enough, the coating will prevent the edging from sticking hard, and you may experience some edge lifting and the line will have a few jagged edges. I would say I'm 90% satisfied with the way the fritz turned out.


PS. In wrap your windows ASAP and ensure they are not scratched. Poly with a coating on it can not be buffed out (so say the experts). HAs anyone tried to fix scratches in their poly windows?
 

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PS. In wrap your windows ASAP and ensure they are not scratched. Poly with a coating on it can not be buffed out (so say the experts). HAs anyone tried to fix scratches in their poly windows?
Most all of the cars have a scratch-resistant coating that is very good. If you somehow do manage to scratch one, you won't be able to polish it out without removing the coating and getting to the raw material underneath- which pretty much destroys the window.

My car is one of the earlier ones, with a small tint, but without the tough coating. I've polished small scratches out with successively finer grits, ending at 3000.
 

Dan Carter

Supporter
Windshield install. To support the glass windshield, there have been many differing things done from stretching to accepting the fit and a few broken windshields along the way (read every builders blog, don't want to repeat). Like many states if its not DOT approved you won't get past inspection. There are many benefits to Poly but glass is the long time proven product of choice for auto windshields (odd but my aircraft canopies were poly). So to make my glass fit without fear of a broken windshield I modified the A pillars to fit the glass. As you can see from the pictures the A pillars pooch out at the curved edge next to the door to meet the glass (about 1/8 inch, the picture is deceiving). That edge now sticks out further than the doors. I wanted to make it even with the glass but if the pillars are too tall the arch of the doors hit it when opening. The glass still sits a little higher than my edge (I can feel it with my fingers), but its a lot better than doing nothing (IMO). Now a decision, can I live with it, or do I add material to the doors to make the door glass out to meet the same profile....stayed tuned.
 

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