Donut - gift of FF at T14 sweeper 2nd apex .. my speed 100 MPH, his probably 120


 Sheared mounting bolts and warped transmission saddle


bent engine brace (this and sheared bolts probably saved the engine flange and transmission housing from cracking.


bent and twisted frame at rear - trans nosecone was also broken (this is almost perfectly "aligned" with the front beam now)


Another view - note the angle on the oil cooler under the silver insulation behind the air filter. That is the result of the bent engine brace shown above.


Collection of a few of the damaged parts. Nose (trash), brake drum & axle, Center trailing arm support (middle just below drum), left side trailing arm and axle tube end support.
Additional parts not shown -

front steering damper
steering box
transmission saddle
trailing arm support box at rear
front engine mount
clutch pulley mount
engine/trans/roll bar brace
significant body damage
whatever else I haven't found yet. Plus about 80 hours of WORK! Roughly $1700 in parts (not counting the frame)...so far.


trailing arm after judicious application of HEAT and pressure (I SAVED it!)


2/1 - Bent rear section of frame. Appears to be straight from there forward, thankfully.


2/1 - Cut the bad part away.



Put a decently straight line on the floor (right edge of paint)


2/3 - After a few more hours of work on the front engine mount and pre-cutting frame extensions, I double check the center alignment.
The left side of frame extension had to be 'adjusted' to reestablish CENTER on slightly bent frame. (it's not quite as bad as it looks
since the left side of the gearbox is extends left further than the right side.) Yes .. one side is shorter than the other too.. they have not
yet been trimmed for length.  You can ignore the 'square' too.. it just happened to be lying there.
So far, so good .. I think.

2/4 - Another 8 hours of work today...


Extensions trimmed and cross member cut to fit. Left extension 'adjusted' to put center of cross member .. IN THE CENTER happy


This is the cross piece that goes between the 2 frame extensions shown above (looking from the back).


Prepping the cross member with internal supports for the through bolts to mount the rear section that provides support for the trailing arm center heim joints.


Cross member with supports welded in place.


Cross member first welds to extensions.  Extensions will be welded to frame LAST to allow for easier welding of the cross member.


Another view .. the line scribed on the floor is SUPPOSED to be the location of the back of the gear section of the transaxle.
Let's hope it's pretty close. (The bar below the extensions is just a spacer from the floor. Got bumped somewhere along the way.
The horrible looking piece of crap in the center is just a shim for the spacer below the cross member.)


Left side - all welded in (crappy welding - not sure what went wrong).


Right side welding.  About to get the settings correct. MUCH better welds.

Tomorrow afternoon hopefully, I will inspect all the welds again and then tack weld the extensions to the main frame.
Then it will be time to get the frame back on my rolling cart so I can get access to weld the bottom of the extensions.
Will probably be Monday before I can get back to work after the 'elevation' though.


2/5 - got the extension welded to the frame today.  Instead of putting the frame on my car dolly, Linda suggested we use the engine hoist .. so that's what we did.  It actually worked much better since we could lift the frame by a side rail and vary the height as well as turning the car up on its side to better access some of the weld locations.  Sure is nice to have Linda around when I'm working on the car .. she has some really good ideas.  I might have HER design the next FV happy.

Next we reinstall the engine/trans dummies and take a shot at developing the transition piece from the frame to the trailing arm supports just behind the transaxle shifting rod.  I think I'll take a couple days off, though. Next workday will be Monday.

2/8 - not much happened today. I spent the day trying to figure out HOW to do what I want in the rear and playing with ideas.. as well as searching for vendors that have the steel that I need available on the shelf.

2/9 - finally, some progress.  I located the steel, then had to drive to Greenville, SC to pick it up - 4 hour round trip.  When I got back, I started the process of building a fixture for the trailing arm pickup points.


The picture makes it LOOK like it's sloping downward quite a bit.. but it's level.  You can see a heim joint on top of the spacer. The top tube is the one that will hold the actual mounting points. The bottom one is the spacer, but it's a bit too high at the moment. Have to fab something the correct height.


Another view.  The fixture is clamped to the frame at the moment.  Eventually, I'll fab a mockup for the rear cross member and weld it to the fixture so that it can be used away from the chassis.

2/10 - The fixture is finally complete (I think).

This is the completed fixture, the first Heim support, and the 'first cut' of one side support.  I wrestled with just HOW all that was going to work, but finally came up with a solution I like near the end of the day today.


The last pieces of the puzzle were .. HOW would the side supports actually attach to the frame, and would I WELD or BOLT the side supports to the center heim support?  I believe that I am going to weld the sides to the heim support and have the '3 piece unit' as a single replacement part.  Having a bolt-together 'unit' would be a LOT more work and I had to buy 24 feet of the tubing when I only needed about 4 feet, SO.. I have plenty of tubing and welding rod which makes the fabrication easier.  Once I get the angles set up on the band saw, it should be a relatively "quick" task to knock out several spare sides.  A bit less quick to fab the center heim support, but most of the original work was deciding on the exact measurements and method of building it.  I have high expectations of completing at least two units tomorrow.

2/11 - OK.. we're finally starting to look like something.  I had hoped to get 1 .. or possibly even 2 complete units built up today, but I did manage to get the pieces fabricated at least.


Nuts are welded to 3/16 plates to attach the unit to the chassis.  The side pieces will be tacked to the plates in the fixture, then fully welded.


All pieces assembled together waiting to be tacked and welded tomorrow.


The only part prep remaining here is the ends of the sides that will be trimmed after tacking.


Actually, this is iteration 1.  As I built the parts for i2, I made a minor alteration to taper the ends of the heim support so that the sides do not need to be bent where they connect to the heim support.  Pretty sure I'll have at least 1 unit complete tomorrow.  Might even get the real trans installed.  As I type this, I realize that I'm NOT through yet.  I still have to fab the plate to connect to the nose cone and the tabs to mount it to the frame.  That should be a "quick job" (HA!  As if there were any such thing around a race car!)

2/12 - had to do other stuff for most of the day, but I did get the first set of parts tacked together.  I'm basically OUT of Argon on this tank, so have to truck things over the my other shop to do anything significant.  It'll be Monday before I can refresh the Argon tank.

2/13 - Spent the most of the day double checking my work.  The extension is tacked together, but I wanted to make CERTAIN that everything was going to work before I finished the welding. I did find a couple of minor issues, but was able to correct them so I was able to proceed with the final (?) welding. I was less than happy about some of the gaps between the various parts, but refinement is for the next version.  If I am to have a chance of making NOLA, I must proceed and just remember to take more time to FIT the parts next time.

Extension assembly bolted back to the frame.  You can see my fixture still on the floor just above the nosecone.

2/14 - Linda's visiting her mother today, so I "get" to keep working on the car. More study - more double checking - and more welding.  Today I fabricated the brackets that hold the plates that attach to the trans at the rear. I have one at the back of the gear section and another at the mounting plate on the nosecone.

Both plates made (at least this version) and mounting tabs welded in place.  I think I'll change the way I mounted the forward plate, but that'll be a project for another day.  I also looked at the roll bar to engine braces - since I tilted the engine down a small amount, the braces are a tad too long.  I got the left side fixed today, but am pretty worn out from working so many hours almost EVERY day - so I'll put off the right side till tomorrow...after I go get some more Argon.

2/15 - OK! Fresh Argon in the tank and FINALLY we see a day that really LOOKS like something has been done.

First, all the dummie equipment has been removed and some paint has been added so it won't rust to death too quickly.  Then, a few hours later....


The REAL engine and trans are INSTALLED!!  Was beginning to think this might never happen.  A couple minor glitches getting everything to fit, but it DID .. with minimal massaging. Linda and I were both amazed that the install went as well as it did.  Something less than 2 hours to get both trans and then engine installed.  Still lots of little things to do - carb, exhaust, cables, wiring, etc, but the basics are there.  I should have her running by Wednesday .. I hope.  I still have the steering box to address, but that's the last big item on the list. Hmmmm... I started seriously working on the FRAME on the 1st - after several pretty full days of working on PARTS and PIECES .. some of which still remain, but are not needed at the moment.  I'm guessing that I spent at least 7 hours per day average .. sometimes much more and I took a couple days off. SO .. today is the 15th (after at least a 10 hour day today), but figuring 7 hours per day and 13 days - that's 78 hours of labor .. with quite a few days having 2 people, although Linda's time is probably only a quarter of mine.  Still, that's a LOT of hours (not to mention MONEY) to have to spend to correct the results of the stupid behavior of one driver.. that wasn't MEslaping smiley .

2/16 - Got a good bit done today, but most doesn't show.  I prepped several parts and put them in the oven for powder coating. Got the exhaust installed, and several other things.


This shows the clearance - exhaust to shock/spring which has been a problem in the past.  Roxannes Headers fixed this for me on the way back from Sebring.  Now, I just have to HOPE that it clears the bodywork adequately to not start a FIRE happy.

2/17 - A *LOT* of details today.  Got the freshly powder coated parts installed and then found a crack in the flange of the oil cooler ... then fixed that. Also added some 1/8" plates to the bottom of the chassis to hold threads for bolts to support the 10# of lead on the bottom of the frame underneath the trannie.  More DETAILS. Hooked up the wiring and brake lines, fixed a leaking rim (trash on the bead from the wreck) and then ... FINALLY....


put the front tires back on so I could let Bullet back down to the floor again.  Ready to put fuel back in and crank 'er up I think.  Still have the steering box and bodywork to go yet, but I'm pretty sure we're going to be able to make the next race at NOLA now, though I'm confident we'll find even MORE things to address after we get there.  Hopefully, they will be minor.

2/18 - still the work continues..

The details continue.  Today we got the bodywork re-installed - to make sure the exhaust system cleared and the overall length was correct. All good, I'm happy to report.


From this view, you might not even realize there was a problem .. except for the trashed nose.  It's really MUCH worse than it looks here.  Basically NON repairable. But the engine runs and sounds good.  If the weather is decent tomorrow, I plan to take Bullet for a stroll up and down the driveway to make sure the trans shifter is working and adjusted properly :-).

2/19 - Alignment is done. Changed out steering box and finally got far enough along to take Bullet out for a 'spin' - in my driveway. Everything seemed to go just fine. Only needed to adjust the shift linkage a bit.  Started working on mounts for my rear body panels - got one done - one to go.  Still have to fabricate new nose floors (I keep thinking of stuff), and START ... and then FINISH the bodywork.  To do it right will take a HUGE amount of time.. to get it ready to track.. maybe just a couple of days (thanks to rattle cans).

2/20 - took the day off.

2/21 - Got the rear body panel mounts done and also cut out several new nose floors - got one of them mounted onto my new unused nose. And I did finally START on the bodywork.  We leave for NOLA on Wednesday night .. so time is getting short.