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I think I understand why your roll bar is so high now. Fair enough :).

If I ever build one I'm going to make a roll bar in front of the steering wheel and another behind my head so the rear one does not have to be so high and of course I'm safe. Not sure if that would be legal though ... but that is what F1 cars do.

Pete
 

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Discussion Starter #122 (Edited)
I'm procrastinating on the windscreen, since I'm not sure what I'm doing with it. So I'll take a minute to chat...

Andrew, I'm not a big fan of foam filters based on my experience with vintage bikes. A backfire through the carbs can melt them, and I've seen intake tracts coated with melted foam goo. I've also heard anecdotes of horsepower losses with them. So I've relegated my foamies to pitbike duty.

Robert, I've also seen the engine bay pounded out on some cars to make a relief for the intake trumpets. Despite the various bracketectomies and minor welding my engine bay has had, I'd rather not do major revisions to the engine bay's tricky sheet metal that can't be undone with an angle grinder or few tack welds.

I initially rescued this car to be a racer because
a. I wanted a round tail vintage racer, and
b. It was easier to get to the race car endpoint than a full street car restoration.

When (not if) their values approach 6 figures as I know they will (I mean, look at these cars), I'll cut out the cage, and slap on the rest of the street bits.

And Pete, this car will accommodate a short-legged racer six and a half feet tall. I had it built around the tallest guy at the chassis shop while he sat in the driver's seat. I'm not that tall, but as we have all noticed, kids these days are huge. If I ever let this car go as a racer, the next buyer, who right now is a 6 foot pimply-faced teenager sketching fast cars in his math notebook during class (a budding Alfisti), will need the extra cage height. But for me, I appreciate the added safety of several extra inches of protected headroom.

All right, I better get back to fiddling with the Lexan...
 

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SCCA, Portland, April Race

Nadar
So you are not coming to the SCCA Races at Portland on April 17 - 18 ???? I was looking to see the car out and racing. There are usually 2 to 5 Alfa's racing at Portland every month. You might come down and play...
Philip, Triple D Racing, Alfetta GT # 36
 

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Discussion Starter #124
No, Philip, not ready yet for SCCA or any other sanctioned racing group. My car racing license expired 3 years ago after I sold my Spec Miata. Still need to get a proper fuel cell and fire system, then re-credential through the race school. That won't be until next year. This year is for testing and sorting at track days and test-n-tunes. But I really look forward to balancing the tire wear on PIR's glassy surface. For the outsiders, we in the Northwest turn counterclockwise at Pacific Raceways in Seattle, then turn clockwise at Portland International Raceway.

Well, I'm making some progress on the windscreen. Got the shapes cut out of Lexan and aluminum after practicing with a cardboard template. Used a heat gun to bend the Lexan into a curve. I still need to smooth out the roughened shape, make up some mounting brackets, and drill some holes.

Yes, that is indeed a Stomper 4x4 driving over a chocolate chip cookie. Yeah!!:
 

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Discussion Starter #125
The $1200 homemade windscreen

Man, that took forever! I figure if I charged the usual shop rate of about $80-100 an hour, I'd charge myself around $1200 for this screen. And it's not even that pretty. But I made it, it's secure, and I can modify it later.

It's funny how much slop passes when it's a DIY, but how mad I would get when the pros would screw up something mundane. Then again, just about everything I lay my hands on in this project is a first attempt, and I allow myself a lot of leeway. Part of me is just glad to just get it done, and the other part is satisfied that I learned something and saved some pennies in the process.

Anyway, here's the screen, and it's the last of the major projects (fingers crossed). I just have to button up a few odds and ends; minor stuff like routing a couple wires, securing the dash, stuff like that. Otherwise, I think it's ready for its first track event in a week (weather allowing).
 

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Man, that took forever! I figure if I charged the usual shop rate of about $80-100 an hour, I'd charge myself around $1200 for this screen. And it's not even that pretty. But I made it, it's secure, and I can modify it later.

It's funny how much slop passes when it's a DIY, ).
Looks first rate to me..............Nice job!
 

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Discussion Starter #127
Thanks, Murray. The race car is at least a 5 footer. Get any closer and you'll see all the mistakes I made in welding, fabricating, painting, pinstriping..., basically, everything I did myself :eek:. But hey, it's not a show car restoration. It's what some collectors may describe as a weapons grade machine.

Anyway, I mentioned I was buttoning up some odds and ends, and at 2:00 AM got carried away with a side project that I thought I'd share.

I wanted to use Adel clamps to fasten down the wires that pass through the cabin, the same way I used them for the hydraulics and fuel lines. I understand it's the standard in aircraft, and wanted it for this project as well. Unfortunately, I didn't have a large enough sized clamp among my collection, so I decided to make some of my own.

I was able to use galvanized steel strapping, then insulated with two layers of heat shrink tubing for extra cushioning. These clamps don't have to be as stout as the ones holding the fuel and hydraulics in place, so I don't mind that they're flimsier (but lighter!). The pics show the parts needed, the comparo with the real deals, and one of the 4 clamps in situ. I might make a hundred and sell them for a buck a piece. I might call them Kustom Klamps. Or not. Next up will be a custom rear drape to fit around the roll bar supports.
 

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GREAT THREAD.
Nicely done build. An inspiration to those of us with '69 Spiders still sitting in our 1 car garages.

Keep up the great posts. Would love to HEAR the first start in a video if you could swing it.
 

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Discussion Starter #130 (Edited)
Well, Puffy (may I call you that?), I'm not computer savvy enough to upload videos or sound files, but I do have its very first start on video for posterity. It was exhilarating to hear it fire up for the first time; very aggressive exhaust note and it wanted to rev at the slightest blip of the throttle. Like a snarling caged tiger ready to take a piece of you in one swipe.

Which leads me to a funny story of its first outing a couple months ago...

I did indeed get the car buttoned up enough for a lapping session with the Alfa Club, and I can't describe the mix of anticipation and fear when firing up the car for it's first session on the track. I had no idea how the engine would feel in higher rpms under load, how the gearbox would shift, how the chassis would behave, or even how the wind would feel behind that homemade windscreen. I could also sense the tension in my engine builder who made the one hour trip to the track just to lend trackside support for his creation.

So I was assigned to the advanced group since I had several years of wheel to wheel racing experience and this was, after all, a dedicated race car. The driver's meeting concluded with the track steward encouraging us to blast off on the track entry so as not to get arse-packed by oncoming speeding cars.

So there I was next up on track entry, the race engine growling, me all excited and ready to blast off at the next opening in traffic, and all eyes on the funky Gulf-blue Duetto. There was a couple second gap before a twin-turbo Porsche was about to come around the bend, and I was cleared for take-off. So I nailed it. Oh, did I mention I had new, unscrubbed tires with that greasy mould-release coating still in place? Did I mention this enging makes about 60% more torque than my previous Spec Miata and current street Duetto? Did I mention track entry was an off-camber turn heading into concrete barriers?

So my first track outing resulted in me looping the car right in front of an oncoming turbo Porsche. I was told I missed the impact by a narrow margin, and scared the crap out of my engine guy who was watching closely. When the dust settled, I got the car restarted, took a slow lap, and brought it in. Engine guy disconnected the rear sway bar, and encouraged me to do a couple laps of the paddocks to get reacquainted and settle my nerves. I'm glad he was there.

I rejoined in the beginner group with the intent of staying in the back of the pack, out of traffic, to scrub in the tires and bed in the brakes. Once I did, I found the car to be angry in the engine, and neutral in the suspension. Much more tractable in subsequent laps, especially without the rear sway bar. The wind and engine noise in this open car is tremendous (in a good way), and a funny quirk is how my shifting hand is blown back by wind blast after gear changes at speed on the main straight. See, that little wind screen doesn't reach over to the gear lever, and the shift knob is right at dash height. So it's like sticking your arm out the window at 100 mph. I think I may cut down that lever a couple inches in the future.

I also learned that two side mirrors aren't enough. I'll have to come up with a decent rear view mirror for the middle of the dash. Other revelations include the need for a switchable electric radiator fan, rev limiter, and shift light. Also need to further tune the suspension (front sits too low, rear sits too high), and consider an oil cooler.

I've got about 4 weeks until the next track session to get this car more sorted. I'll post updates along the way.

P.S.: I heard I wasn't the only one who looped their Alfa on track entry that day :eek:.
 

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Discussion Starter #132
Finally got around to installing a couple of engine protective measures which I've had on the shelf for a few months. The engine's willingness to rev is startling, and until I get the hang of it, I could use a little extra governance to keep from blowing it up.

Since the trusted engine builder insists on the performance of an inductive ignition system, I installed an MSD rev limiter which is compatible with the Marelli-Plex. I also wired in this really nice Pro Form stand-alone shift light. I hid it the corner of ****pit against the roll cage to keep the dash clean and uncluttered, more in line with the vintage look.
 

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Discussion Starter #133
I'm almost done with another small project. Here it is being fabricated. I'll post final pics of it in place after the paint has dried. For now, it's a little mystery project:
 

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Discussion Starter #135
Good guess, Neil. But this is an Eye-talian car, so it gets Eye-talian mirrors. Vittalonis.

Maybe someday I'll pony up the $175 for a Spa mirror that you see on a lot of the open cars. But jeez, it's just a mirror on a stick. Mine's at least drilled for lightness, and has the cool periscope look. I'll mount it up later today, though I hope I won't have to use it much in the future.
 

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Great thread,

Love to see guys building their own race cars from the ground up. One thing that may have helped you ( never too late ) is a blind nut applicator foe brackets and mounting any number of items. I don't have a picture of one but the application is simple. You can get blind nuts in both metyeric and std sizes. All you have to do then, is drill a hole fit the nut in place and the tool spreads it out and voila, you have a captive nut held sercurley in place to mount any item. These will handle a fair amount of load. I have used them for my 69 Spitfire, a 73 911, a 81 BMW 325 and a Datsun 510, all race cars. They were clean and really easy to do.


Great car as I am restoring my own 1969 Spider Veloce. Good luck in the upcoming season.

Rick Stephenson
 

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Discussion Starter #137 (Edited)
Hi Rick, sounds like you're talking about Rivnuts. I looked into those a while back during the main build, but didn't want to spend the bucks for the tooling. I may get outfitted with them in future rebuilds after the dust settles. They are a indeed a slick way to go.

I wired in the electric fan, finally. It's a 12" Spal low profile puller. It barely fits the radiator, and there's maybe less than a quarter inch clearance from the crank pulley. That's after I removed the upper radiator rubber bushings for extra clearance. I have the fan wired in to the original heater blower switch which I mounted on the dash. I plan to use the fan on demand, mainly when I'm stuck in pregrid with the engine idling.

I still have an oil cooler to mount, and some suspension tweeks to make, and some other odds and ends, but I feel like I've addressed the major issues that I uncovered from the last track session. The next session in 3 weeks will reveal more, I'm sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #138
Another angle of the dash, 'cause this fan switch pleases me so. I left room above it for future switches, whatever they may be (machine guns, oil slick, turbo boost, etc.):
 

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Hope you will be able to reach it when tightly belted in (assume at least 4 point harness) :).

Pete
 

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Discussion Starter #140
-AN fittings and braided stainless hose

Okay, back to the car. I've got list of things to complete in the off-season before renewing my race license and getting into the action.

First, the track sessions reinforced that the engine runs warm. The electric fan worked well in staving off high temps in pregrid, but I need to shed more heat when the car is at speed. To that end, I have an oil cooler to install. I'll use this opportunity to upgrade the remote filter's hose-clamped 1/2" rubber oil lines with the fancy braided stainless reinforced -10AN hose and -AN fittings.

Here's a show and tell of how to fit them:

First, I cut the hose with a cut-off wheel on my Dremel. The tape prevents fraying of the stainless braid. Need a clean cut to slip the hose end into the fitting's collar. Another method would be to chop the hose with a mason's chisel and a 5lb sledge. No kidding.
 

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