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Kirkham Motorsports

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  #41 (permalink)  
Old 06-16-2018, 07:17 AM
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I'll take some time off work next week and visit a couple of local places to see what I can find, metal wise. Build table first, then 3" tubing. I still have a shedload of the smaller tubing in 4130 from my aircraft fabrication days, so I need to inventory what I already have there.

Also, I need to buy/build/scrounge the stuff I need to actually do the work. All of my aircraft frames were oxy welded, and I built my fishmouths by hand. I think I need a MIG welder and a real tube notcher for this. Anyone have preferences/suggestions?

Drew
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  #42 (permalink)  
Old 06-16-2018, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by MAStuart View Post
Nice Larry . I think yours take the short stub axles because of where the hole is for the cotter pin. I guess I didn't know you were going with wire wheels. The longer stub axles move the outer bearing out further and you install the cotter pin from the end.
Yes that's correct, short spindles with wire wheels.

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  #43 (permalink)  
Old 06-16-2018, 10:56 AM
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Any decent Mig welder should work fine. I'm a fan of the Miller line, but Lincoln and several others make very good machines. I used a Millermatic 130 for my build, but I was pushing it the whole time. If it were me, I would be looking for a 180 sized machine. Get the big tank 75/25 of gas, you'll need it. Filling the small tank gets old real fast and expensive.
Lots of good tube notchers around, also lots of cheap ones. I think I would look seriously at craigslist for one. I find lots of machine shops, fab shops, etc... shutting down or upgrading and I find lots of these tools cheap on craigslist in almost new condition, including the welders. Make sure you have a chance to try any welders first before buying if buying used. Sometimes the inner liner of the gun feed tube will be worn or the feed rollers need replacing and you can tell pretty quickly if you use it for a few minutes if they are balking a bit at feeding properly or the gun and/or trigger is working properly. Most of the time they are perfect, and are relatively cheap to replace if you get a good price on a used machine. Millers are almost impossible to kill IMO so that is the route I usually go.
Not sure what other tools you have or don't have so hard to advise as you seem to have a pretty good arsenal at your disposal already. You'll need a good rivet gun, a metal brake, a good cleco set, and a good supply of #30 drill bits in good quality. I think I installed well over a thousand rivets in my build.
A good sheet metal shear is helpful but that is down the road after the mechanical stuff is done.
Here is where things get interesting. Depending on where you get your body, you won't know where to mount door hinges, birdcage, or a lot of the mounts until you have the body. A lot of the "original" bodies that these bodies were splashed off were assymetrical, so the sides don't match. My body is splashed off an original supposedly and the driver's side door opening is 2" closer to the front of the car than the passenger side, along with a few other locations. Even the wheel openings may or may not be in line. No two cars were alike with the originals.
Kirkham got around this by splashing an original and mirroring one side to the other so they match exactly. Best idea so far, if you are going to buy a Kirkham body. Otherwise, you will have to work with what you get. Lots of other little intricate little details to work out like the body supports around the rear wheel arches, roll bar suppport brackets, etc... that can call be done after the chassis is assembled and ready for the pieces.
I almost miss the project now....

Bob
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Last edited by Three Peaks; 06-16-2018 at 10:58 AM..
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  #44 (permalink)  
Old 06-16-2018, 12:57 PM
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As far as body goes, what I REALLY want is plans for a late 289 FIA body buck, so I can roll my own alloy body.

The car I fell in love with in 1976 was beyond asymmetric; it was an aluminum raisin, and the repairs had long since been proper aluminum welded; it had pop rivets galore. I imagine very few original race cars had anything like symmetry.

I still have all my aviation sheet metal repair tools, so I am good for #30 bits, clecos etc. The alloy shaping is my next great frontier to conquer, though. I have a hammer set, shot bag and am making a new stump (my neighbor's Ash tree has been killed by Ash borers, and it will yield two good shaping stumps).

This initial process has made me realize that the essence of the 289 Cobra isn't the engine, the frame or the body; it's the four uprights and differential. Once you make accommodation for those, the rest falls in place.
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Old 06-16-2018, 07:28 PM
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Go find a good welding or fab shop in your area. They should be able to get you anything you need. Tubing comes in 20 to 24 foot sticks. Normal tubing will be a bunch cheaper than DOM tubing. Not sure if you will find tubing in .125 wall. 11 gage tubing (.120 wall) is easy to find.
Since the originals were o/a .089 wall, .120 should be more than sufficient.
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  #46 (permalink)  
Old 06-16-2018, 10:02 PM
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Referring to the panels for the body for rivetting, you'll probably need .090 sheet aluminum for the pieces you need to make up templates for and shape. The inner fenders, rear wheel arches, trunk aluminum, cockpit, rear bulkhead, firewall, door surround pieces, radiator enclosure pieces, and a few other smaller pieces you'll need to form. Not sure what others used, but I found .120 was a bit too stout for a lot of these pieces. .120 also wanted to crack when bent 90 degrees or more in a brake. I'm thinking .062 would possibly be enough and I've heard of guys using .040 for some of these pieces.

David Kirkham has some articles on the "Kirkham Academy" on here or on the Kirkham site on tips on making the aluminum bodies, what alloy they use for the bodies and what thickness they use, tools they use for shaving down the joint welds, etc.... lots of great info if you're into rolling your own.

Bob
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Old 06-17-2018, 06:05 AM
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Referring to the panels for the body for rivetting, you'll probably need .090 sheet aluminum for the pieces you need to make up templates for and shape. The inner fenders, rear wheel arches, trunk aluminum, cockpit, rear bulkhead, firewall, door surround pieces, radiator enclosure pieces, and a few other smaller pieces you'll need to form. Not sure what others used, but I found .120 was a bit too stout for a lot of these pieces. .120 also wanted to crack when bent 90 degrees or more in a brake. I'm thinking .062 would possibly be enough and I've heard of guys using .040 for some of these pieces.

David Kirkham has some articles on the "Kirkham Academy" on here or on the Kirkham site on tips on making the aluminum bodies, what alloy they use for the bodies and what thickness they use, tools they use for shaving down the joint welds, etc.... lots of great info if you're into rolling your own.

Bob
Yep; .120 is only referring to the 3" frame tubing.

.090 is really stout aluminum. I have a coil of .062 in my back shop I was always wondering what to do with; unfortunately, it's 2024 T3, so it won't stand much working, but will do for flat, single flanged or simple bead rolled, unless I heat treat it.

I imagine bodies are made of .030 - .045 3003 H3. It works well, yet has some basic starch to it for stiffness.
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Old 06-17-2018, 08:25 AM
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I imagine bodies are made of .030 - .045 3003 H3. It works well, yet has some basic starch to it for stiffness.[/quote]

I believe Original cars were made of .050 for the body. The thinner the material you use the more experience you will need to metal finish the body. You will end up putting holes in it and thin it too much as you shape It and try to metal finish the welds ect. Now days most will use .060 3003 h14. This thickness will give a little cushion for metal finishing and stretching for metal shaping. It also welds well using a strip of parent metal with O/A or tig. O/A is the preferred method of welding aluminum bodies. The guys that can only tig weld will argue this.
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  #49 (permalink)  
Old 06-17-2018, 11:46 AM
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Didn't David say something about using a special alcohol or propane torch for welding their bodies? And I believe he said they use a different alloy of aluminum I'm not familiar with. 3003 should work fine, in any case.

After thinking about it for a while, I realized David said something about a Hydrogen torch, not alcohol. IIRC

Last edited by Three Peaks; 06-17-2018 at 12:02 PM..
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Old 06-17-2018, 12:51 PM
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Yes hy\O works well. Most guys that tig use acetone to clean the metal before tig welding aluminum. Kirkham use a lot of tig welding on the coupes they weld here and in Poland they used to torch weld the bodies. A tig weld tends to crack if much work or shaping need to be done in the weld area. also most tig welds need to be done on both sides of the panel. A good torch weld the back side of the panel the weld will look much better than if tig welded. As a rule you can work or beat the snot out of a torch weld on aluminum without the problem of the weld cracking.
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Old 06-18-2018, 07:03 PM
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Forged steel. Here's the front uprights. Rears are still in transit.



Larry
What was shipping like on that?

I'm debating whether to order them complete or just get the hard parts and furnish my own bolts/bushings/etc.

Is the hardware metric or Whitworth?
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Old 06-18-2018, 07:45 PM
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I don't remember exactly but I think shipping was around $130. I ordered it all with a few bolts I didn't want to source locally but not all. Threads are UNF. Gerry tells me that what he threads them with as that's what the racers want.
I didn't order steering arms as I already had those. Mine are unmachined, so I will have them machined to fit the uprights. Other things like bearings, any bushings and the spring end bolts I think are important to order from the same guy making the parts. That way they all fit together.

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Old 06-20-2018, 07:23 PM
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Adding in VAT, exchange rate and rough shipping, the cost of JUST the four corners, without springs or shocks, is approx. $10k

Just an FYI, if anyone is interested.
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Old 06-20-2018, 08:10 PM
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I don't think I paid VAT. I did pay an import duty once in the USA. It was like $32.
In general terms, leaf spring cars are A LOT more expensive. The closer to original you want, the more expensive it gets beyond just the higher cost of small block stuff.
Got to pay if you want to play!
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Old 06-20-2018, 08:53 PM
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Drew did that include brakes? If so what brakes? Comp brakes?
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Old 06-20-2018, 08:58 PM
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VAT adds $1630 to the total purchase, and according to my understanding, Gerry doesn't have to charge it on exports, so that is more reasonable.

If you consider the costs of a modern high performance car, plus the utter and complete cool-ness of driving something that wasn't designed by safety regulations and accountants, it is quite reasonable, indeed.
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Old 06-20-2018, 09:00 PM
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Drew did that include brakes? If so what brakes? Comp brakes?
No brake parts included. I think the only brakes he offers is Comp brakes.
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Old 06-20-2018, 09:28 PM
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Thanks drew. I just looked a my price sheet from cobra racing. Brakes from them are comp style. The cost would be $1000.00 for rotors And about $2200 for calipers.
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Old 06-21-2018, 05:21 AM
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Gerry sells discs for 200 GBP and calipers for 425 GBP (iron) 450 GBP (ally) front and 600 rear. That's price per individual item, so not that far off.

Last edited by 120mm; 06-21-2018 at 05:34 AM..
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Old 06-21-2018, 10:04 AM
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Thanks drew. I just looked a my price sheet from cobra racing. Brakes from them are comp style. The cost would be $1000.00 for rotors And about $2200 for calipers.
There needs to be a "sources" link for these things.

What do you mean by "cobra racing?"

I have Cobra restorers link.
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