18 Oct DT.:M:. – A Little Off The Top
It’s always fun to introduce new projects to the blog. So, we suppose that makes today a fun day, then.
If you remember the first time we showed you this car, we said a lot was going to happen with it. And it’s definitely going to. The owner, a man who asks that we refer to him only as M (or .:M:. if you know him from the forums, hence the series’ title), is looking to take a very serious track-focused approach to creating a street car. Now, we’ve got plenty of ideas and jobs lined up for this car, but we’ll start with the first job today — removing the roof. It’s going to be replaced with something lighter and lacking a sunroof, so for now, the original roof has to go. Thankfully, the car came to us in partially disassembled form, making the removal of several key pieces rather easy.
The first step to removing the roof, much like removing any other welded-in body component, is to identify the locations of all the spot welds holding the part in place. In this case, it’s the roof, so we started identifying every weld running around the edge of it. If we miss any, well, the roof won’t be coming out. At the same time, we went about the process of unbolting and setting the sunroof aside. For a car that’s going to be dual-purposed for both street and track, it’s important to keep the weight down low — in terms of both center of gravity and overall weight.
With the sunroof out, all that remained of the roof was the bare panel. So Zak started doing what he does best, which is drilling out every spot weld so we can get that roof off.
Before the roof was removed, however, we needed to make sure the body would stay rigid, seeing as how the roof is a rather integral structure. Utilizing the steel that we have an overabundance of, we created some braces to hold the body in its intended shape after the roof had been removed.
And with that, Zak finished up the drilling and cutting, and the roof was removed and set aside. Now we have a whole new angle through which we can take pictures of the remaining work, which benefits nobody except for your humble photog and all our awesome readers. The blankets were placed over the dashboard to make sure nothing ended up causing damage to it. It will be one of the few things staying on the car, at least partially.
Before hitting up the next step, we made sure to clean up the edges of the remaining parts of the body, followed by a quick blast of primer to make sure corrosion isn’t a factor.
With that finished, we started on the next task, which was to start stripping the interior down to its barest form. On a lark, we wanted to see how the seats would be fitting, as we had the box nearby, so we taped them up (to protect the shiny carbon fiber backsides) and took a look at how we needed to modify the seat brackets to make sure everything fit perfectly.
After removing the seats, we started tearing into the front of the cabin, taking out every single extraneous item in preparation for our next big job.
This is where we’ll come to a halt for today, but the next big job is right around the corner on our blog post lineup, so come back next week to see how we are pushing forward with weight reduction.