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Old 10-15-2002, 08:29 PM
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Post Sheet metal question

I'm redoing the engine compartment of an old Lotus and would appreciate a recomendation on the type and gauge aluminium to use. No compound curves involved and no structural loads. The pannels will be riveted or, in a few places, Dzus-fastened to the underlying steel tube structure.
This a hot rod? Yeah, sorta-- I got the car from some Brits who replaced the 130HP Lotus Twincam with a 400+HP SB Ford in 1967.

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Old 10-15-2002, 08:37 PM
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Depends on your needs, I'd say from 18-22 depending on what your doing with it. If its just for show and to clean it up I'd go with 20ga. polish it up. I used 20ga. for a belypan on my F-500 race car for about 3 years.

HK
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Old 10-15-2002, 11:00 PM
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What exactly is a F-500 racecar? This one has me stumped as to what it is.Everything that I have seen to do with F-500 racing is motorcycle related.
Post a pic if you can.
Later,
WEIMER
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Old 10-15-2002, 11:02 PM
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Here's a <a href="http://www.f500.org/toc.htm" target="_blank">web page</a> that will give you an idea.
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Old 10-15-2002, 11:15 PM
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Those are pretty cool little cars...where did you race them at?
Later,
WEIMER
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Old 10-15-2002, 11:22 PM
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Weimer an F-500 race car is an open wheeled 2 stroke engined car capable of 135-150mph flat out, no transmition just a clutch assembly. They are 3 steps down fron indy car and cart racing, even though they are most of the time faster with the right driver than formula atlantics (one step below indy) They are pretty neat little cars. The picture below is a friend of mine Rusty Cook. A real nice guy and a good driver. Check out this.



HK
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Old 10-15-2002, 11:24 PM
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I've raced at atlanta, texas, North Carolina, and also the ohio valvoline runoffs in september. don't do it anymore, don't have the money or the car anymore, still got 2 noses for the car, but no car, heh!

HK
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Old 10-15-2002, 11:43 PM
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I had a brain fart on that one...I guess I never knew that those were F500 cars. There was a couple of guys that worked with me at the import dealership that raced those things. They always raced at Mid-Ohio.
Later,
WEIMER
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Old 10-16-2002, 12:12 AM
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They were actually F-440's back in the mid 90's, but for some reason I can't remember they changed the class to F-500. Its a pretty fun class to race in at the big tracks like atlanta and ohio but the little ones their aren't many cars show up. Our class runs with formula V's which are open wheeled VW's, cool little cars, but they get in the way because they aren't as fast as the F-500's. Maby next year if you like I could take you over to the mid ohio raceway and you could check out all the cars. I still go to some of the races to talk to the guys and help out if I can and I could get you in.

Faust
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Old 10-16-2002, 11:05 AM
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Thanks for the info HK- BTW, which type aluminium did you use and did you use snips, a saw, or will I nees a shear?
John

Here's a link to the project: <a href="http://home.swbell.net/toy264/" target="_blank">http://home.swbell.net/toy264/</a>
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Old 10-16-2002, 01:45 PM
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Toy, I never use anything less than aircraft grade (T-6) Anything less doesn't polish up as well. To cut it I either used a scroll saw, plasma cutter or the ocasional snips for small areas. You have a nice little prodject going. I will be very cool in the end. Have you put interior in it yet? A friend of mine had an oldd esperit and we did a custom interior in it with aluminum, it looked real cool. Fast little cars

HK
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Old 10-21-2002, 09:56 AM
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Air nibblers work good too. Then smooth out the edges with a die grinder and scotchbright pads.
I do that all the time on my aircraft. Works great.


Spoon
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Old 10-21-2002, 04:28 PM
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Toy,
Look thru the yellow pages for some sheetmetal fabricators. They usually carry all the metal and in different gages for what you would need. Usually these places have the huge shears, brakes, and rollers. If you have the pattern or plan size you need they can cut and bend in no time. Prices are not outrageous either. They sell the metal by the square foot and price varies depending on gage thickness and type of material. I had some inner rockers bent up for my '62 and I only paid $15 for the pair material and labor. One other thing, if you are not going for the polished look then got with the 6061-T6 which is readily available. 5052-H32 or H34 is a real good aluminum to work with also. Shears will be your best bet. I would avoid a plasma cutter on aluminum as it tends to leave really crappy edges. One real easy way to cut aluminum is if you have a table saw and a carbide blade. Go slow with it and you can get good clean cuts with only a small burr. Don't try to cut any 6061-O though as it will gum up because of the softness of it. Stay with the T6 or the 5052 series. If you want a mirrored finish you can go with Alzak that is already polished or with an 1100 or 3000 series that would need to be polished. The 1100 or 3000 series polish up nicely due to the fact that they are a softer material. T6 will not polish up as nice due to the hardness. Small pieces of T6 on a good buffer and with some good compound will polish but as far as bigger sheets, forget it. You can try here for getting some prices... <a href="http://www.copperandbrass.com/" target="_blank">http://www.copperandbrass.com/</a> <a href="http://www.centralsteel.com/" target="_blank">http://www.centralsteel.com/</a>
Good luck and keep us posted on the progress.

Kevin

[ October 22, 2002: Message edited by: Kevin45 ]</p>
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