Saturday was a busy day. First off, I flipped the car back right-side-up, placed the main hoop for the roll bar in place, and applied a magnetic angle to keep it from falling down. I then donned my helmet, sat down, and had my dad measure the distance between my helmet and the top of the rollbar.
If I slouched a little, there was about 3" from the helmet to the top of the roll bar. I then went inside and online to see what SCCA's regulations were for such things.
I've posted questions asking about the height requirements before on the Yahoo forum, with mixed results. So to make sure, I tried to find the SCCA regulation book. Boy, is it buried. It probably took me 45 minutes to finally find what I wanted, just to find that SCCA SUGGESTS that you have 2-3" of clearance between your helmet and the top of the roll bar on an open-top vehicle, but other than in Pro Racing, there are no requirements on actual height, other than it is higher than the helmet.
With that in mind, I went back into the garage, and cut 2" off each end on the hoop, and carefully ground them to equal lengths, with the 5-degree edge. I then spent another half hour, making measurements to make sure I had it perfectly level, and that they were mounting in the perfect spot, equal on both sides. Call me anal retentive, but I'm picky about things like that.
It was a relief to have it welded in place, and it gave me a feeling of occomplishment. But the hardest parts were to come.
The cross-beam was cut for the initial hoop height, not the modified height, so it wasn't going to fit. I hacked off a few inches, and started grinding my own fishmouths into the end... lop-sided, of course. As I always cut way to long, I had enough room to grind the mouth back into the correct position, and installed the crossmember onto the rollbar. (Not until after I folded the headrests to clear).
Until now, there was some work required, but no major hangups... yet.
I started with the left support bar, held it relative to where I wanted, and cut a few inches off the end. I then started grind it to shape and angle until I could finally slide it onto the plate I had made for it on the little kick-up in the back. Only then did I notice that the diagonal tubing supporting the rear subframe was going to prevent me from mounting the support bar in the center of the plates I had mounted them. Great. I ground a little off the top of the diagonal tube, and then left the support tube where it was and went on to the right one.
I found a different problem for the right support beam.... It was going to interfere with the fuel cell. When I built the shelf for the fuel cell, I never considered the support bars, and shoved it all the way to the right, so as to make room for either a spare 1-gallon gas can, the battery, or both.
Thankfully, I was able to work around it, and welded everything into place. It's actually starting to look like a car...
When I finished welding, I started putting the car back together. It always takes a little more time reinstalling everything, but I can do it... except the engine. Dropping the engine into place is the one thing I cannot do by myself. I spent somewhere between 2 and 3 hours, sweating, swearing, and yelling at inanimate objects, but to no avail. Finally, I gave up and went to bed. Go figure, my buddy Dave came over the next morning, and between him, my dad, and me, we had it in place in about 5 minutes.
That's it for now. Next on the list: Brakes, steering.
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