Tweaking the body for a better replica

Extending the edges

Sidepipe clearanceAfter I positioned my body, I learned the opening for my side pipes was not correct. I would have to gain more clearance on the rear but I would have to extend the forward edge back. Extending the edge concerned me since it was cantilevered. I did some research on the web and found it was recommended that to get maximum bond, the joint should scarfed about 12:1.

Opening sizing
I decided I would put this taper inside and out and then install a layer of glass at the middle. Once that was solidified, I then built the edge up using Kitty Hair. I wanted to end up with a nominal thickness of 3/16″. I cut out a piece of plywood which was a little undersized. I then glassed to that and left it in place while I built up the subsequent layers. Too make sure I could get it apart, I added a layer of masking tape to serve as the “mold release”. The block was held in place with a screw thru the body and a “bridge on the inside that spanned the opening.New opening

Once this was ready, I then ground the edges back about an inch, to a knife point at the opening. This approximated the 12:1 taper suggested. I fiberglassed a piece of 2 oz tape from the block to the point the taper quit. After this hardened, I then added the Kitty Hair, building it up. After doing both sides, I popped the wood block out and ground the opening to the proper thickness and size.

Louversvent sizing

Hurricane relocated the openings to the correct position, but be careful – their cut-outs may not be exactly right. The masking tape shows the outline I needed to trim to so the angles matched the louver plates. I also glassed a couple mounting angles inside the body to accept the louver. If they ever need to be taken out, I can do it.

vent mounting

The kit came with a headlight  bucket that is slightly larger than the Wipac bucket. It fit the body well but tends to give a bug-eyed appearance. I did a number of modifications on the bucket to get the lens to stick out less but in the end, decided to go with new Wipac buckets. That not only required glassing in the center opening but also reducing the outside so the fender matched the size of the rim. Some guys just moved the rim to the top and installed it off center. I spent a fair amount of time, getting it to blend in. I learned from the Hurricane forum, a 2½ qt. plastic paint bucket would serve as the ideal form for the headlight.

Marker lightsHeadlampIMG_3534 [800x600]
The Hurricane mold has fairings below the headlights for the marker lights. But the original body didn’t have these. Get out the fiberglass and the grinder, it’s gotta appear original. I built up the back, then ground off the fairing. Just to be safe that no cracks show up later, I added a layer of fiberglass cloth on the inside. When installed, the marker lights kind of droop down, just like the original CSX3000 series.

Tail lightsTaillight
The body molding comes with a very distinct edge, almost as if it was designed for the two round lights of the later street version. The kit included the square lights used on S/C cars. Once again, get out the grinder. A little fairing and all blends in properly.

Body Edges
Body edgesThis really consumed the time. I have seen people inspect a replica car and one of the first things they do is stick their hand inside the wheel well to see how the edge is formed, is it fiberglass or aluminum? I spent countless hours building up and grinding the edges to replicate the edge of the original aluminum cars. The body supplied to me was relatively high quality, but the edges were a different story. It was as if it was cut out of the mold with a dull pairing knife. More details on this page  and this page

I was fortunate enough to have access to a CSX4000 car and could measure and verify the edges. I learned the aluminum skin is riveted to the frame around the cockpit opening: yup, I added pop-rivets at the appropriate spots. Is that a real one?

Hood opening
Somewhere in the history of Hurricane it was decided the hood would sit better if there was some form of support. But those corners didn’t appear original, so off they come.cutout I then changed the latches on the hood to more closely replicate the original. This is detailed on the modifications page.

It’s the little details that count. The original cars had a fiberglass hood scoop riveted to the aluminum hood. There was a distinct texture difference. The inside of the supplied scoop was fiberglass mat, not fiberglass cloth. I glassed a layer of cloth and then blotted off most of the surface resin so the texture matched the originals.

One comment on “Tweaking the body for a better replica
  1. Pingback: Bodywork - 65SHLB

Comments are closed.