All of the rib tabs had been bonded in, and now came the task of reinforcing the tabs with a few layers of glass mat. I used three layers of 1 ½ oz. mat, with each layer about 1" larger all around than the last layer. The glass was torn into appropriate sized patches rather than cut out with shears so that there were no sharp lines and the reinforcement blended more seamlessly with the shell glass. The patches almost disappear into the background without a visible seam.
Second photo shows a tab with a layer of glass mat in place. I also ended up making a fillet of body filler around the edges of the tabs for a gradual change between the tab and shell. This helped the mat conform more easily and lay down better without chance of air gaps.
Third photo shows some more of the tab reinforcement work along the fender/hood line.
The first photo shows the front actuator pivot plate bolted to the rib. The three bolt setup makes for a stronger anchor point than with just a single bolt directly into the rib.
Second photo shows the finished pivot anchor plates. I ended up making three separate pivot locations in the plate. The bottom hole on the plate will allow the tilt to open the farthest. I don't know if I'll have any need to change it, but I have the option.
Last photo shows the assembly bolted up and its relationship to the tilt shell. The grille also has to be fitted in between the shell and the actuator, which will be covered in later journal entries.
I chose the top of the frame rail for the location of the linear actuator anchor point. The actuator is no wider than the frame, so this was a good spot. Holes were drilled into the frame and tapped for two mounting bolts for the bracket. Location of the bracket was determined by using a mock-up model described in earlier journal entries. Each actuator has a push/pull force of 110 lbs. and a stroke of 10 inches. The last photo shows the prototype front bracket I came up with that gets bolted to the rib. I made one with multiple pivot point locations so that I could fine tune the full-open position of the tilt. The original plan was to just have a long pivot bolt through the actuator rod directly into the rib, but I ended up going with a separate plate instead. The single bolt wasn't as sturdy as I wanted, and there would be no adjustability in the pivot point location, so I went with the plate.
Here is the remainder of the ribs that were made for the tilt shell. The first ones are transverse ribs that will stiffen up the shell side-to-side directly in front of the cowl area. The tabs that are sticking out will be for the latch mechanism. Holes will be drilled to accept the latch pin from the motorized suicide door latches that I detailed earlier in the journal. The linear actuators and the latch pins will effectively keep the tilt shell "locked".
The second set of ribs will run side-to-side and serve to stiffen up the portion of the front fenders directly behind the wheel opening, and the third set shown will run front-to-back along the rear portion of the fender close to the door/body saddle edge.
The first photo shows the ribs connected together. The plate is mounted on the back side of the ribs and only the bolt heads will be readily seen.
The second and third photos show the finished installation of the ribs. Once all of the tabs are in place, they will be covered over with a few layers of fiberglass mat for strength. I still have some smaller ribs to add which will be made from narrower and thinner aluminum. These will be used to stiffen up the shell around the fender openings and along the cowl.