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Driven Daily Hillclimb 2016 Build


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#121 Jesse OBrien

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Posted 10 December 2016 - 10:11 PM

A full day of work today, and it doesn't look like much progress.
 
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My friends Mike and Matty came out to help, and we wrapped up the rear body jig, then centered and leveled the body on the chassis. The A pillars weren't perfectly symmetrical, so they came out, received appropriate trimming, and went back in. We coped the dash bar, and bent up all the door bars. 
 
With the car on the rear body jig, we pulled the 2x4's that were supporting the middle of the car. A new horizontal support bar was welded in in front of the A pillars, and the existing horizontal support bar was removed. That free'd up enough room to test fit the seat, and it looks fantastic. I couldn't get any photos of it, but there's plenty of room all around in this thing.
 
Finally, we took some measurements to ensure that everything that's tacked together so far will pass tech without any issues, and pressed on 'till midnight.
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Lots of tubing was cut today.
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#122 Jesse OBrien

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 03:25 PM

 
Update Time
 
It's Saturday, so I don't have a 'big' update to announce. 
 
I think I've mentioned it before but in case I hadn't, we're recording a whole web series for this build, similar to what I did for the CRX. I've always enjoyed watching honest, well-produced video over reading build threads, and thought I'd give it a go. As I learned from the CRX build, it really requires a dedicated film crew (of at least 1 person). The level of quality I want really isn't possible if I'm trying to build and film at the same time.
 
With that goal in mind, I spent the morning laying out the video capture gear and taking an inventory of what we use on a regular basis. This is the result.
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Yeah, I agree. This might be a bit silly.
 
Anyway, with that out of the way Mike and I started off by finishing coping for the dash bar, which looks pretty solid now.
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After lunch, Mike took care of the sill bar coping and I took care of the bent door bars. They aren't quite ready to weld in, but we're making good progress.
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Unfortunately, we ran out of material for the remaining sill/rocker bar and the windshield bar (both are required to run Mt Washington). I'll have another 24' arriving Monday morning. Tomorrow, I think I want to set our sights on tackling the front suspension jig, since the 'core' of the cage structure is finally coming together.
 
Also, after a whole lot of thinking about what you guys have said, I think I am going to move the floor up around 3-5cm. Right now, the bottom of everything is pretty much in-line with the bottom of the fenders, but it does make sense to have it tucked up a little bit.
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Edited by Jesse OBrien, 17 December 2016 - 04:33 PM.


#123 tube80z

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 05:34 PM

I'm planning to put the seat as low as necessary while still being able to see over the dashboard, to ensure that I have as much space in the cockpit as possible. The kevlar floor will go under the seat. I'm open to alternative opinions there.

 

I'm really curious as to why you want the floor higher. No obvious benefits come to mind, but it's entirely possible that I'm missing something critical here. Now is the time to ask questions.

 

I know this is a few weeks old but I just "discovered" this thread.  The advantage to raising the floor is you end up lowering the CG of the car.  That's something to think about before you get too far along.


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So is a lot"

#124 seattlejester

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Posted 21 December 2016 - 11:52 AM

^ That statement was really confusing me for a while, led me on a wild goose chase with ATV/Motocross riders and decoupling theories on standing on pegs etc.

 

Then I realized that raising the floor, THEN lowering the entire car would lower the CG of the car. Makes way more sense now, carry on.



#125 Jesse OBrien

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Posted 21 December 2016 - 12:04 PM

I know this is a few weeks old but I just "discovered" this thread.  The advantage to raising the floor is you end up lowering the CG of the car.  That's something to think about before you get too far along.

It's something that I'm considering more and more as I get further into the project. Ground clearance is (arguably) a bigger concern than CG for our hillclimbs ... but I really need to find the sweet spot between ground clearance, CG, and cockpit area. I'm really surprised by how much extra cockpit area is available after removing the bulky stock floor. The physical bottom of the car is really low.

 

^ That statement was really confusing me for a while, led me on a wild goose chase with ATV/Motocross riders and decoupling theories on standing on pegs etc.

 

Then I realized that raising the floor, THEN lowering the entire car would lower the CG of the car. Makes way more sense now, carry on.

Yeah, it requires changing your frame of reference from the ground to the floor. Once you start thinking of everything as being relative to the floor, you can start moving the ground and roof around in isolation. It's a difficult concept to discuss clearly.



#126 Jesse OBrien

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Posted 23 December 2016 - 04:24 PM

This is definitely behind the information you folks have been getting (video editing takes a lot longer than writing a post), but I'm still really excited to announce the video series of this build.



#127 Jesse OBrien

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Posted 01 January 2017 - 04:15 PM

Well, that was not a trivial change to make. I had to chop out the sill bars and door bars, then I had to cut out the X brace in the main hoop. Having the X brace terminate below the floor would defeat the purpose of moving the floor up, so it HAD to go.
 
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I made new sill bars and X braces, and am just starting to catch back up to where I was a couple weeks ago.
 
We went from this:
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to this:
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It looks like such a simple change, but was a pretty massive effort. On the positive side, I'm getting quite good at coping with an angle grinder now!
 
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#128 Jesse OBrien

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 08:25 AM

The build video series finally begins!

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=tIi19y-l5h8


Edited by Jesse OBrien, 10 January 2017 - 06:09 PM.


#129 Jesse OBrien

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Posted 15 January 2017 - 05:32 PM

One last alignment of all the 'core components' this weekend, then turned tack welds into 'for keeps' welds.
 
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#130 Jesse OBrien

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 09:54 PM

More video!

https://youtu.be/rbBYXc9UmkI



#131 Nicapizza

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 05:40 AM

I've been keeping up to date on these videos and I absolutely love them! Really inspiring me to get work done on my Z and making me consider filming some videos



#132 Jesse OBrien

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 06:46 AM

Don't let me discourage you, but even these low-quality videos take a ton of planning to put together. I've been recording stuff like this for nearly a year now, and I'm just starting to get the hang of it (expect quality to jump around week07 or so, since the videos are behind real-world progress a bit). Recording videos is a whole other skillset. It's incredibly rewarding, but it takes at least as long as the work itself does to record, process, organize, and edit into something that starts to resemble a story.

 

Whether you decide to film or not, definitely get back into the shop and get your Z together!



#133 Jesse OBrien

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Posted 26 January 2017 - 09:36 AM

This one's pretty short. Filming and building the car is pretty expensive, in terms of hours and dollars. Especially in the beginning (before we had a solid process established), that meant that we didn't get a lot of footage for some of these episodes.
 
Maybe at some point, we'll open up some fund-raising opportunities to help fund the video series again. Would anyone be interested in contributing to something like that?
 


#134 calZ

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Posted 26 January 2017 - 11:10 AM

Did you hire a videographer to do these or did you just have a friend that likes to film?



#135 Jesse OBrien

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Posted 26 January 2017 - 11:19 AM

I've done almost all of the filming so far, but a friend who is learning to film joined the team in week04/week05.



#136 Jesse OBrien

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 08:29 PM

The Mt Washington Selection Committee is going through the arduous task of selecting who they accept to race in 2017, and I'm absolutely on the edge of my seat with anticipation. With 99 entries and only ~45 slots, our chances are fair of being selected. If Driven Daily is on the honored list, we have to double down and focus even harder on that deadline. If not, we'll have 3 years to shake the car down before the next event.
 
Week04's episode is a bit behind schedule, but that's because we've been rushing to get the project caught back up. We just mocked up the cockpit to make sure we have sufficient room for everything with the cage in its current state, and I'm very very happy. The 'foundation' of the cage is complete, and we can move on to more exciting parts of the car.
 
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This weekend: Front suspension (finally!)

Edited by Jesse OBrien, 02 February 2017 - 08:36 PM.


#137 Jesse OBrien

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Posted 07 February 2017 - 06:11 PM

Still working on getting the next video ready to publish, but in the meantime here's a real-world update.
 
The doors have a good tooling gelcoat on them, and are ready to pull molds. Once that's done, these doors go from 75lbs to around 5lbs.
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I have a couple sets of front suspension to test out. I don't know the springrates, but have re-valving kits galore.
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I'm still on the waitlist for Climb to the Clouds, so I don't know if I'll need to have the body finished this season or not. If I'm only racing the standard hillclimb events, I just need cabin protection. If I'm racing Mt Washington, I'll need to finish up the bodywork and make it look presentable. To prepare for that, I've started building out the fender plugs for the body molds.
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#138 Jesse OBrien

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Posted 08 February 2017 - 06:04 PM

I finished up the molds for the doors today (2.5 layers of 10oz chop mat).
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While that was curing, I finally trained myself on the vinyl cutter that Roland donated to the Makerspace a couple of months ago. Sometimes I'm surprised by the little changes that really get me excited to make big progress. Making a silly sticker is one of those little inspiring things.
 
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Edited by Jesse OBrien, 08 February 2017 - 06:05 PM.


#139 Jesse OBrien

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 04:39 PM

Now comes some more hard math. Finishing the jig for the front suspension was quite an ordeal, if I'm honest. The g35/350z front clip that I had purchased wasn't exactly straight, so I decided to pick a side and build a jig that could be used on both sides of the car. This is the result of around 20 hours of 'braining' and a half hour of cutting, drilling, and welding.
 
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It allows me to place the subframe on the chassis table and establish my suspension pickup points in thin air. Then it's just 'connect the dots' between the pickup points and the roll cage structure I've already built.
 
In other news, I'm getting closer to finished on the profile for the rear quarters. They're coming along pretty nicely, I'd say.
 
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#140 Jesse OBrien

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Posted 4 weeks ago

The first door mold didn't come out perfectly, it was a bit too cold during curing, and we didn't use enough MEKP in a few spots.
 
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However, this weekend was a massive success. We added leveling feet to the base of the chassis, chopped out a bunch of parts, and now suspension is ready to weld in! This is a major milestone, and we could even see this car rolling around next weekend.
 
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