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IMSA GTU vintage racer build


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Looking great Clark!! If you are looking for a really good, affordable metal sealer/primer, give this a try:

 

https://www.speedokote.com/smr-260g-261-2-1-voc-epoxy-dtm-primer-sealer-gray/

 

I just sprayed my engine bay with it and it is rock-solid! 2 component epoxy, had great reviews. All you need is a quality spray gun which I bought on Ebay for $40. It is a pain in the ass to mix the epoxy, clean the gun with acetone, and wear a respirator...yes. Once she is on though, man does she stick! I used a metal descaler that includes a mild etching compound. Whatever small amounts of surface rust that did not melt away was converted to a stable black material. I cut-out and replaced any severe pitting or swiss cheese. 

 

I really like this product as it fills-in holes pretty well with a brush too. I went back and dabbed all the seams and weld joints by hand, to make sure they stuff really got in there. I cant remove my over-spray without sandpaper, so this stuff sticks!

Edited by AydinZ71
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Been there, done that. been doing bodywork for a long time and have lots of equipment. . I am trying something different this time on interior. I saw a lot of cars online with this hammertone paint that look pretty good. So I have it a shot. Pretty durable after a week cure. Goes on over most anything. No brush marks and super easy to repair. Plus I decided to coat the cage a different color. And there is no hell worse than spraying the interior of a race car!

 

But so far I have a mixed review. This stuff lays so smooth and looks incredible on the roll cage tubing. Looks decent on all the square tubing. But it gets pretty damn funky on flat panels. Not sure I like it. May try another coat to see if it evens better. And brush painting is pretty damn difficult also, but at least the paint is only in my hair this time, not my eye lashes. Here are some pics from tonight.

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Ohhhh man… yeah that’s is next for me (the interior). I just need to finish my gauge cluster and get any holes/welds done before the interior is also ready for paint. I bought some goggles so hopefully that will help keep the overspray out my eyes. I should probably invest in a set of head-to-toe covers. 
 

I was planning on having the cage the same color as the interior so it draws less attention when I’m driving to-and-from. Going with the silver metallic. Have not decided on the exterior yet. 
 

sounds like you are quite experienced with the bodywork, so il have to watch closely and take some tips from you. 
 

it looks like you have more of a “nascar” type cage. Your’s looks more rigid than mine, as I only have two horizontal door bars with one vertical member. I assume that’s a part of the IMSA GTU concept of stripping as much sheet metal, and replacing with tube? 

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Dont worry, you are on right track. I'm just trying something different with the paint. Experimental for me where you are doing what I usually do. 

 

Think about that paint blowing right back in your face when painting and you get the drift. Runs on the near parts, light fog on the far parts. I use safety glasses that I immediately throw away after. It's tough. But I am finding brush is tough also.

 

It came with the cage when I bought it. 3 horizontal on both sides. But so little left of this car, I look at it more for rigidity than safety. REALLY not much left of the original shell. Maybe 250 lbs?

 

 

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Another cool product I have found is the "Steel it" stainless steel spray paint. I think i will use it on some suspension parts. Kind of a dull silver finish, but durable as hell. A can is Expensive and does not last long but it is a great coating. I bought mine from McMaster Carr.

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  • 1 month later...

Long time since post. Been fairly busy with painting panels. On a separate note, I sold the Bob Leitzinger tribute car to a chap in Salk Lake City. He intends to modify some and run the Peking-Paris rally with his son. Pretty F'ing cool. I hope he makes it. THEN totally by coincidence, I bought a 77 Alfa Spider for my wife to make local trips with. It needs some TLC but has been under a cover for years, wears original paint, dry rotted tires, and 24k miles. I fell in love with it immediately. It is like a slow motorcycle with the top down.

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Firewall installed with interior panels. Started to weld it but decided to rivet instead. Everything sealed with 3m seam sealer and holes around the cage penetrations blocked with aluminum tape. Can't see any light peeping through. 

 

Getting there. I decided to order master cylinders and mount the floor pedals before I place the belly pans. Not required, but I'm lazy and that is what drives efficiently.

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Looking good, Clark!  Since you’re this early in the fab stage, how about modding those strut towers so you can remove the shocks and springs out the top (vs having to lower the LCAs and swing the strut tubes out of the fender every time you want to make changes)?  I’m always envious of the Mustang guys that can easily pull their struts out the top of the towers.

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22 hours ago, jhm said:

Looking good, Clark!  Since you’re this early in the fab stage, how about modding those strut towers so you can remove the shocks and springs out the top (vs having to lower the LCAs and swing the strut tubes out of the fender every time you want to make changes)?  I’m always envious of the Mustang guys that can easily pull their struts out the top of the towers.

That is an interesting thought. I may think about that more for a future project. For this car, the fenders pop off and the strut top falls in your lap after you take the strut nut off. I am going to leave some relatively long flex lines to the brakes so they don't become the only support. I think I can change springs real quick at the track.

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22 hours ago, AydinZ71 said:

Looks wonderful Clark! I see you also have gussets inside the car where the nose of the diff mounts. Cool! I did the same :) 

 

Your cage also looks great! You going with a Tilton pedal assembly? What steering shaft/housing are you going with? OEM rack too? 

I had to put the gussets in after cutting the cross member.

It's an OBP floor mount pedal set I think I got through Pegasus. I will have it mounted soon so you can see it. The rack is a square Coleman racing unit with adapters. I think there are some pics earlier in this thread.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

More eye candy tonight. I am so glad I assembled the pedals before putting the floor in. It took me 4 hours to get the MCs correct, set the throttle linkage, and get everything tight. I left access to do this stuff from the topside, but I am sure it would have taken twice as long. Only thing left before I take it off rotisserie is assembling front struts and taking measurements to put into the suspension software.

 

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Edited by clarkspeed
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Firewall mount was out of the question since it's so thin. Car originally had  overhead pedals but when I dropped the floor pan lower they were too high. I thought fabbing a drop bracket to the roll cage cross members at that point would look horrible and add excess weight to make it stiff. So I ended up looking for a floor solution but found I had no room in the back for masters. When I found this one, problems solved and I sold all the overhead mount stuff.

What were you doing for pedals? I forgot.

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Posted (edited)

Makes sense! I enjoy learning about the decision making process. That’s where the fun is for me.

 

I’m running a Tilton firewall-mounted assembly. Just as you said, I had to add-back  rigidity since I had to remove most of the OEM firewall section for both rust repair (at the cowl) and to create a blank for the new penetrations. Everything is mocked and boxed waiting for the finish. 
 

the 16ga 1.5” tube resisting tension from the roll cage also continues through to the front drivers-side strut tower. 

 

PS: I have had several folks talk-shit on my sheet metal welds. I don't what they are talking about. I dont think they look all that bad for a MIG. I think most folks are used to continuous welds on thicker metal so they assume any kind of blobs is just poor technique vs. balancing enough heat for penetration but preventing burn-through. 

 

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Edited by AydinZ71
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