Our trial fit showed where the roof needed to be cut for clearance. Our rollcage fits tigh
Second In A Series
One thing I have learned about stock cars being built from production automobiles is that they look like junk while in the process. Rust is exposed, fabric hangs down, and burned paint is everywhere. This car is no exception.
Patrick Manzi, our future driver, began having reservations when things were being torn up, but his heart sank when we lifted the body off the frame. When the engine hoist began to separate the sheetmetal body from the frame, Patrick thought we had gone too far. To his relief, we only raised the body a 2x4 board's width. Blocked to this height, we had the clearance needed to remove the rubber biscuits, washers, and assorted dirt and junk from the framerails.
About this time, Patrick commandeered the Sawzall. Following some masking tape lines, he attacked the roof. I took an oath some years ago never to build another stock car without removing the roof. Yes, I know people do it all the time, but I believe you build a better car when everything is accessible.
Patrick holds the rear hoop with a door bar attached. This is the starting point for assem
I have this nasty habit of walking through the pits and running a finger over the top-side welds on the rollcages. You would be surprised how many are not welded on top. Some of these are professionally built cars, too! The top is not that hard to remove or to replace.
As Patrick finished removing brackets and other assorted items with the torch, I dodged sparks to level the car as accurately as possible. Four AutoZone jackstands were placed close to the points where the chassis side rails join the curved parts of the chassis. There is a large hole in the underside of the frame at these points. One of the toes at the top of the jackstand should be placed in these holes. This will prevent the stands from slipping out of place.
A 4-foot-long level is needed for setting up the chassis. Level should be checked across the front and rearmost points of the chassis. Then level should be checked front to rear. Do this under the side chassis rail. Only when all is level can measurements and settings be taken accurately.
Sleepy Gomez freehands an angle correction on the cutoff saw. This is a necessary tool whe
You might notice in the photos that our jackstands are longer at the rear than the front. Our outdoor work area sloped 6 inches in the length of the car. With the car leveled, the body was lowered back in place. We used a cable puller, often called a "come-along," from AutoZone, to force the body as far to the rear as possible. At this point only the left rear corner of the body was welded down. This locates it to the rear and still allows us to flex things around.
After several conversations with Ralph deWinter at CSC Racing, we found ourselves in possession of a rollcage kit. Since the Auburndale (Florida) Speedway rules specify a four-point-only 'cage, the RCK-201-2 kit was perfect for our needs. We also ordered the seat mounting kit along with a total of six lengths of 10-foot-long, straight 1 3/4-inch tubing. This much was necessary since our rules call for tubing bumpers.
This was our procedure for building the 'cage. Since Patrick is a big guy, I wanted the 'cage to be as high in the car as possible to give him head room. The rear 'cage vertical hoop comes over-length so it can be fitted to each installation. With the hoop held in place and squared off the frame, the roof was laid on it. A measurement determined how much to cut off the hoop.