EDIT: Holy s*** guys! I just received a mail response from the Belgium distributor of my Safety Devices rear cage and he just told me that in fact I did it the right way to weld in the reinforcement plate from the inside! It was usual in the past to weld them from underneath the wheel well, but newer FIA regulations actually obligate to weld the reinforcement plates from the inside onto the floor or wheel wells, so the cage is in direct contact with the reinforcement plate!
Oh well. Again a terribly long break from the blog! I honestly had the feeling in the beginning that I’m working on too many little things that are not worth a blog post yet, and wanted to accumulate many little things for one post! After a while I realized that I actually had material for multiple posts, which again ended in procrastination regarding posting content, because I was a bit overwhelmed!
Let’s start with the biggest “accomplishment” being a big fail in the end…
I started the progress to weld in the supporting brackets/plates for the roll bar in which it’ll be bolted into.
I had to put the roll bar in and out a couple of times to get the correct fitment for the brackets on the floor, as well as where to drill the holes on the wheel wells. After quite some time muscling with the roll bar I ended up with three holes on the wheel well:
The brackets on the floor will be welded in the area where the original seat belt mechanism was. Wirewheeled that area intensively to prep it for some zinc spray and later welding in the bracket:
I then did the same with the wheel well area: (keen readers will now already see where I’m about to go wrong!)
The actual brackets and plates got the zinc spray treatment as well, did the rear frame rail connectors from bad dog parts as well as the patch piece for the rust spot under the windshield gasket…on the wrong side though as I later realized!:D Before:And after:
I forgot to take pictures from the zinc sprayed areas inside the car!
Well if you did not already catch my mistake a couple pictures ago, here it is in all it’s glory: 😦
The correct way would have been to weld the plate in from underneath the wheel well, sandwiching it between the plate and the roll bar itself. A guy in the Datsun Europe Facebook group pointed that out to me, “luckily”!
I’ve never done any cage work before, and haven’t seen one in enough detail before I guess. I must have just assumed, since the lower bracket is on the inside of the car, the upper plate has to be on the inside as well! I can’t even tell if it was properly written in the instructions, since they where not model specific and written pretty vague, but threw them away back when I thought I finally finished the roll bar, so can’t check. As if it would make any difference! I’m to blame for my own mistake! :’)
Anyways, I’ll at least show you the other work I did. Here are the lower brackets finished welded in, and since I wasn’t to proud of them cosmetically I ground them down. I honestly don’t have any pictures in between, as I pretty frequently forgot to take pictures when I was in the zone!:D
For good measures I gave them a coat of zinc spray just for the time being:
And the roll bar actually bolted in:
Further plans now:
I’m going to cut out the plates on the wheel well carefully to only cut the welds/plate itself, and not into the original metal of the wheel well. Hope I’ll succeed and the wheel well underneath isn’t to warped from the welding, if so, then more hammer and dolly work. Pretty surely I have to cut out the lower brackets as well, since they now might be off to some degree so the roll bar wouldn’t be sitting flush on the original wheel well now.
I’m also a bit “happy” about it, since I always thought how ugly it looked having the plates and welds on the inside, theoretically visually poking through the vinyl cover of the interior if installed. Never occurred to me on my own that it’s actually not meant this way though!:D
Another good point is that I decided to now order the front cage section yet already! Before my plans where to “retrofit” the rest of the cage if I actually am finding myself more on the track. Meaning I would have to strip the interior area as well as the underbody, where the front plate has to be welded in, from it’s more or less fresh coat of paint then. Also there would’ve always been the possibility that nothing would line up properly! I’ll now weld in all the plates for the entire cage correctly, but only run the rear cage/roll bar on the street, and bolt in the front section with door bars for track use!
Since a lot of individual blog post topics accumulated there will be quite a lot of them in the next days, they are scheduled to go online at 6 pm CEST until the 1st of May one each day! 😉