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.
With experience gained after the installing the first rib, the second one went along a little faster. Still, it took some time to locate the rib correctly. By using some spacers and a square, I made sure that both ribs were parallel to each other, which in turn will help the hinges work properly. The second photo shows both hinge ribs attached. Next to be installed are the center ribs, which angle out and follow the hood/fender line.
I decided to connect the two ribs together using bent plates and bolts. Three bolts are used on each side to connect the rib to the plate. This was more for looks than for strength. The third photo shows the plates before being bent to the correct angle.
Here are some photos showing the tabs being bonded in place. Panel Bond adhesive was applied to the back of the tab and to the corresponding area on the shell. It took a little practice in applying the adhesive to get the correct amount. I wanted a little squeeze-out around the edges of the tab so that I could trowel it smooth and create a fillet of epoxy around the edge of the tab. Plenty of guide lines, a square, and a laser line helped me locate the rib exactly where I wanted it. The last photo shows all four tabs bonded in place.
The front hinge rib is attached to the tilt shell with a total of four tabs on each side. The tabs will be bonded to the 'glass shell with 3M Panel Bond adhesive. I decided to try bonding two tabs to the shell at the same time, using the rib itself to keep everything in alignment. Once the first two tabs are in place, I can then bond the remaining tabs in place. The first photo shows the rib and two tabs attached, ready to be installed.
The second and third photos show the dry fit-up of the rib/tab assembly against the inside of the tilt shell. Because of the opposing slots in the rib and tab I will have plenty of slack in the bolt holes for final adjustment of the ribs once the tabs are bonded in place. The important thing is that all of the tabs for each rib are on the same plane. Alignment marks were made on the inside of the shell using a laser line to guide me in locating the rib correctly.