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02-09-2005 08:48 PM Rat - Door - striker bolt
Photo #1 After marking the hole position, I remove the door frame piece and drill the hole in the drill press. I then clamped the door piece back on the jamb, as shown here, to check the alignment of the hole.

Photo #2 After checking the alignment I take the door frame piece off once more to install the nut and and striker bolt. This photo shows that due to the location of the hole, the nut is too wide, once it is inside the 1x2 tube, to line up properly with the hole.

Photo #3 I therefore cut off a portion of the nut so that it will fit in the correct position behind the hole in the 1x2 tubing. This shows the original along side the modified nut.

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  [Entry #100]

02-09-2005 08:26 PM Rat - Doors - striker bolt
Before welding the four sides of the door frame together the striker bolt must be correctly located and installed. Photo #1 shows the striker bolt from the donor F-150.

Photo #2 Fortunately the bolt position is not too difficult to determine. The F-150 latch has an access hole drilled in it for tightening the striker bolt and this hole should line up perfectly with the center of the striker bolt head. Here I am running a bit through that access hole in order to drill a hole straight behind it through the back side of the door jamb.

Photo #3 I then clamped the rear vertical piece from the door frame directly to the door jamb and positioned it where I want it in the final installation. I can then make a mark for the striker bolt hole by running a pencil through the hole I just drilled in the back of the door jamb (shown in this photo) and through the access hole in the latch.

(click photo to enlarge)

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  [Entry #99]

02-08-2005 08:07 PM Rat - Starting the doors
My original intent was to use the door window glass from the donor vehicle and have operating windows on the rat. Eventually I intend to make a removable top for the car and wanted windows so I could drive it comfortably in rain or snow. However, due to the curvature of the donor glass, I just could not figure out a way to fit everything within the limits of the door depth that I am working with. As a result, the doors (at least the basic skeleton of the doors) is very simple. Just 4 pieces of 1x2 rectangular tubing.

Photo #1 shows the four pieces for the door after being cut to size. The only tricky part is that the doors are not a perfect rectangle. The top line of the car angles downward from the rear to the front of the car. Therefore, the top line of the door must match that slope. I determined the angle of the door tops from the layout I did much earlier on my 3/4" particle board and made my cuts accordingly.

Photo #2 With the pieces of the door leaned together you can see the angle of the top of the door (shown at the top of the photo).

(click photo to enlarge)

(click photo to enlarge)
  [Entry #98]

02-08-2005 07:47 PM Rat - Rear body mounts
The rear body mounts are quite simple and will not be supporting as much weight as the four main body mounts installed in the prior entry, so they are not as heavy duty as the main mounts. I am using 1x1 square tube as the frame bracket which extends out from the chassis at a 90 degree angle and supports a small tab, made from 3/16 steel plate, which is welded to the body skeleton just behind the rear axle. I first mock up the parts where I want them and then clamp them together so that I can drill a hole through both the tab and the bracket at the same time.

Photo #1 shows the two pieces now bolted together, positioned, and clamped to the body skeleton ready for welding.

Photo #2 is another view showing the tab on the skeleton a little more clearly.

Photo #3 shows the bracket and tab welded in place.

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  [Entry #97]

02-06-2005 07:14 PM Rat - Body mounting brackets
After drilling the hole I install the mounting bolt and finger tighten the the tab in position on top of the bracket. I then return the bracket and tab back on the car and make any final adjustments to position the 2x2 bracket solidly against the chassis rail and the tab solidly against the door jamb as shown in Photo #1. I then remove the components one final time to fully tighten the tab to the bracket.

Photo #2 Is another view of the tab and bracket bolted together and snugged into place and ready to be clamped and welded.

Photo #3 The completed tab and bracket welded in place. I now repeat this same procedure for the other three mounting brackets.

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  [Entry #96]

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