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  #1  
Old 26th June 2014, 07:43 PM
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voucht voucht is offline
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Default Gaps between GRP panels and chassis rails

Hi,
I trimmed my bodywork panels as much as I could and now, everything (temporarily) fits together. However, I have big gaps at a lot of different places


2014-06-26_18-48-05 par Voucht71, sur Flickr

(other pictures pictures).

With the side panel top edge being to high (8mm gap between this edge and the top side of the top rails), my nose cone needs to be raised of more than 10mm! So here again, I need something to fill the gap.


2014-06-26_18-55-43 par Voucht71, sur Flickr

Of course, these gaps are not regular: when I have 8mm at the front, going backwards, it is going down slowly to finally touch the top rail nicely at the scuttle level.

I planned to attach my side panels to the chassis with rivnuts in the top and lower rail (I want my side panels to be removable) and bolts on the top edges (countersunk where there will be the bonnet on top) and bottom edge of the side panel. But with these gaps on the top edges, (bonnet and cockpit level), I feel like I won't be able to correctly tighten the bolts without braking the GRP. Am I right? So I think I need to pack these gaps any way possible.

I bought rubber bands and trims in different thickness’s, but I'm not sure it is the ideal things to fill these gaps. And I'm wondering if rubber is really a good idea as it will be kind of soft anyway, and I'm afraid the GRP panel moves too much and end up cracking, or even worse: braking.

So, what would you do if you were me? Any advices or ideas?

Thank you very much in advance.
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  #2  
Old 27th June 2014, 07:58 AM
jason 82 jason 82 is offline
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If you tighten the fixings over a couple of days the fibreglass will start to take the shape of the rails. Put a large washer (temporarily) under the bolt head to spread the load, & you should be fine.
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  #3  
Old 27th June 2014, 08:59 AM
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voucht voucht is offline
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Thank you for the reply Jason, but I really don't see how the GRP can take the shape of the tube: the 90° corner of the top edge and the side panel will stop me to achieve that I think. Look at the first picture of my post : I think the surface to shape is way too narrow for that (25mm wide), and the gaps are too big.
But thanks for the tip
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  #4  
Old 27th June 2014, 09:09 AM
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Ben_Copeland Ben_Copeland is offline
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Have you got your floor on yet?

That would make the panels a little better fit

Otherwise I'm not sure what you can do, your chassis must be out as the side panels are usually a tight fit !

Last edited by Ben_Copeland : 27th June 2014 at 09:12 AM.
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Old 27th June 2014, 09:33 AM
jps jps is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben_Copeland View Post
Have you got your floor on yet?

That would make the panels a little better fit

Otherwise I'm not sure what you can do, your chassis must be out as the side panels are usually a tight fit !
Sylvain - on the same theme as Bens comment - but a different approach - could you put the top of the panel flush (ish) and move the problem to the underside of the car? Just thinking it may be easier to make a less attractive solution down there..?
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Old 27th June 2014, 01:53 PM
TheArf TheArf is offline
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Sylvain, who manufactured the panels for you, can they give you any advice

Arfon
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  #7  
Old 27th June 2014, 01:58 PM
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Ben_Copeland Ben_Copeland is offline
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Yes, email Dave @ Equinox he'll give you advise. But they do come out of a mould and have fitted plenty other cars perfectly so I'm not sure whats happening with you chassis heights...
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Old 27th June 2014, 04:38 PM
MikeB MikeB is offline
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Think your chassis must be out somewhere, I've had to cut the returns off the side panels for a length in my engine bay as it was out a couple of mm. If I was you I'd either ditch the side panels and make them in ali or cut the returns off where needed and glue the side panel on with some carefully placed counterskinks that would be much better than having the nose etc raised up.
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Old 27th June 2014, 05:42 PM
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voucht voucht is offline
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Hi,
Thank you for the replies.
First, yes, the floor is fitted, and it is a 3mm aluminium plate.
Yes, it is a very tight fit... but not everywhere. At U4/U5 level, it fits perfectly. Then, the gap is increasing slowly going frontward and backward, reaching 5mm at the front end of TR1/TR2, and at the base of SS1 curved plate at the rear. It is more than that at the junction between SS1and CP3CP4, as you can see on the picture.
So, no, I cant lower the panel more then that because it is a tight fit at U4/U5 level (if it could, it would do it naturally thanks to gravity I think ).

Ben, thank you very much for blaming the problem on my chassis, it is very nice of you. It looks like you are preventively defensive, when at any time I have blamed Equinox for the problem. We all know the energy you put in selling/promoting Equinox products, but don't over do it, especially if the result is this kind of preventive defence by criticising and questioning other people's work.
In my first post, I just exposed a problem I have: how to fill the gap between the GRP and the chassis rails. I never said the panels were not fitting because of the manufacturer, and never questioned Equinox products and quality. I didn't even mention the name! So why so defensive?
Now, as you want to talk about that, after I read your first post, I have remeasured my chassis at different places, just to be sure. Believe me, you don't want me to publish the results here, it will not serve your cause.
Yes, these side panels come from the same moulds as a lot of others which have fitted a lot of other cars, but perhaps the transport conditions were different, the storage conditions were different, moist, temperature, etc. There can be a lot different factors that make a GRP part different from another one from the same mould, and you know that. And these side panels might have fit a lot of cars, but everyone has problem with their side panels, where ever they come from, you can't deny that. Give me some examples where a GRP side panel was “plug and play” and no trimming/adjusting was needed. I'm not sure you will find a lot of them. So why blaming my chassis more than other possible cause? I'm sorry to sound rude Ben, but I find it offending considering what you know of me and my build.

But again, the point of this thread has never been to find the cause of the problem or to blame it on someone, but just to find a way to sort it out! And even if the problem came from my chassis, I'm at the final stage of my build and I would have to do with this chassis anyway. Where ever the problem comes from, my chassis or the side panels, I need to find a way to fit them, and that is my only concern. So if you want to help, constructively, you are of course welcome to do so.

I'm still open to other suggestions about how to sort this problem out.

Thank you.
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  #10  
Old 27th June 2014, 07:43 PM
PorkChop PorkChop is offline
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Sylvain, what is the fit like on the underside of the rails? Could it be possible (I've just come in from work, so this might sound daft) that your issue lies with U4/5, or is it a tight fit to both the top and bottom rail?
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