Monday, 5 September 2016

Riveting the tunnel side panels before the floor panels.

As an introduction though, why not go to the Blog overview first.

With the chassis returned from the powder coaters, attachment of the panels can begin with this particular build. Prior to fitting the floor panel it is important to assess the attachment of other internal panels, in fact, the floor panel is not the first panel to be fitted at all. In order to drill and rivet the tunnel side panels good access is required to the lower chassis member, and this would not be possible if the floor is inadvertently attached first.

This shot shows the LHS tunnel panel being drilled, the chassis is on its side and the hand holding the drill is where the floor will eventually be positioned, so it can be seen why it is important at this stage not to attach the floor first.

This shot shows the floor panel being riveted to the chassis. 

Prior to this, the floor panel needs to be drilled at 50mm centres along all chassis rails that it makes contact with. In Kit 001 or a Complete Kit, the floor panel will be temporarily fitted to the chassis by 11 6mm bolts into rivnuts. 

I now centre punch mark where all holes need to be drilled. The holes need to be pilot drilled using 3.2mm drill bits then opened out to 4.8mm as we'll be using 4.8mm rivets. 

The procedure is as follows. Drill where the centre punch marks are, ensuring that the floor is correctly positioned (it can't be out of position if the 11 bolts are in place), then open out to 4.8mm. Remove the floor panel and deburr  all holes, and clean swarf from the chassis.

Using the supplied Sikaflex adhesive, run a bead of mastic all around the chassis members, centrally, over the holes. Ideally you'll need to lift the floor panel with two people, and carefully position it back on, ensuring that you don't smear or smudge the beads of mastic. With the floor panel sitting correctly, refit the 11 bolts, then start to fit rivets into every hole. The rivets should drop in, but you might need to push them hard to line up with the holes, and a suitable tool is shown which is a long 4mm socket. 

You are going to be riveting about 280 4.8mm rivets in total, so be prepared. If you do not have air facilities (compressor and air rivet gun) you'll need a "lazy tongs" extending rivet gun. The exercise of fitting the major floor panel and the 2 smaller floor panels to the rear of the chassis is a minimum of 4 hours, however, allow a whole day for this. 

Here can be seen the main floor panel fitted together with the rear left and right panels.

From inside the chassis, the floor panels are seen attached together with the LHS tunnel sides which are permanently fitted, and the front bulkhead panels.

The body work is now beginning to take shape.

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