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Greatest 3x8 Mod Ever!

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by donaldh2o, Nov 26, 2003.

  1. donaldh2o

    donaldh2o Karting

    Nov 10, 2003
    143
    Irvine CA
    Full Name:
    Don
    Right now it's just an idea...

    How about cutting a humungas panel out of the wall between the engine and the car interior on the 3x8 and installing a removable panel. Or even two, three or four smaller panels. Aluminum panels are readily available to do this.

    On the GT4, for example, simply removing the rear seat and removing one of the panels would give you quick access to the many parts of the damn car that are only accessible from underneath.

    This would allow access to the front half of the engine (spark plugs, injectors, etc), transmission linkage, starter, alternator, air conditioner, coolant lines, etc., etc.

    Thread Serts or Nut Serts would be the ideal way for attaching the panels.

    Anyone ever done this?
     
  2. Jerrari

    Jerrari F1 Veteran

    Jul 24, 2001
    5,458
    Michigan
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    Jerry Wiersma
    No, but it sounds like a great idea!!!
     
  3. WaltP

    WaltP Formula 3

    Nov 1, 2003
    1,457
    Cape Canaveral/Atlanta
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    Walt P
    I've thought about that very thing in the past, usually while I'm trying to access something on that side of the engine. If someone were to develop such a set-up with off the shelf items I would buy it.
     
  4. 308GTS

    308GTS Formula 3

    Dec 27, 2001
    2,220
    TN
    I have thought about it too. Lotus would definately benefit from this but it would compromise the structurally integrity of the car.
     
  5. Nuvolari

    Nuvolari F1 Veteran
    Sponsor Owner

    Sep 3, 2002
    5,052
    Toronto / SoCal
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    Rob C.
    A few problems with this idea:

    1. There are many layers of carpet and insulation between the engine compartment and the inside of the car. This would have to be a multi-layered design where the fasteners are hidden under a removable carpet section.

    2. Any seams would have to be pretty air tight to avoid being gassed to death should the exhaust donuts or seals leak a little.

    3. Structurally, depending on the size of the panel, there would have to be a lot of fasteners to hold this together nicely. I believe that the back panel offers some structural rigididty and is operating as a stressed skin. This would have to be taken into account.

    All in all I think that the idea is a good one but that the excecution may be more trouble than it is worth.
     
  6. Dave

    Dave F1 Rookie

    Apr 15, 2001
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    David Jones
    I like it, that way rather than going under the car,
    I can drag my dirty parts out over my nice leather interior.
     
  7. Napolis

    Napolis Three Time F1 World Champ
    Owner Honorary

    Oct 23, 2002
    32,118
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    Jim Glickenhaus
    My MK-IV, Lola and P4 are all built like that.
     
  8. 308GTS

    308GTS Formula 3

    Dec 27, 2001
    2,220
    TN
    They did it on the 360. It is called an access panel. It would be ideal for the TR, 355, 348. Just imagine doing that on a TR. Man easy to get at those t-belts. You would have to make some type of reinforcement bar. I am wondering if you made one would it keep the structural integrity.
     
  9. Dave

    Dave F1 Rookie

    Apr 15, 2001
    2,722
    Little Rock
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    David Jones
    But they also have flip up rear bonnets too don't they Jim?
     
  10. PSP

    PSP Formula Junior

    Mar 31, 2001
    603
    Lake Forest, CA USA
    Full Name:
    Patrick S. Perry
    On the TR, wouldn't you still have to drop the gas tanks?
     
  11. BigAl

    BigAl F1 Veteran

    Mar 17, 2002
    6,146
    TX
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    GSgt Hartman
    Panteras have an access panel. Definitely convenient.
     
  12. Napolis

    Napolis Three Time F1 World Champ
    Owner Honorary

    Oct 23, 2002
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    Jim Glickenhaus
    They do but without this panel you wouldnt be able to get to some things without removing the engine. The P4 also has something that is really cool. The windshield is mounted into a frame that unscrews and gives you access to the entire back of the dash. Of course on the MK-IV all of the fuses, relays, and major switches are mounted to a panel that detaches and can be unplugged but it's a Ford.
     
  13. formula1joe

    formula1joe Formula Junior

    Nov 3, 2003
    436
    Atlanta, GA
    Full Name:
    Joe Bennett
    Great idea, but wonder how the handling of the car would be effected?

    I am probably wrong, but I believe the 512BBi has the panels you are talking about to access the engine from the drivers comparment. There is a large x-brace that goes through the opening though that several limits what you can do. I know I have seen this on a older Ferrari, but not too sure of the model.
     
  14. donaldh2o

    donaldh2o Karting

    Nov 10, 2003
    143
    Irvine CA
    Full Name:
    Don
    Examined the panel that's already on there. And it's just that, a large aluminum panel held in with a few small rivets. Thinking the rigidity in the area comes from the top and bottom horizontal structures that the panel is attached to rather than the panel itself.

    It appears that panel was installed from the inside of the car but riveted from the engine side before the engine and gas tanks were installed.

    Could install smaller panels with the existing panel in place but it would be easier and a better installation with the original panel out of the car - if that's possible.

    In addition to the panel(s) of the right gauge aluminum, the following hardware would be needed:
     
  15. Spasso

    Spasso F1 World Champ
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    Feb 16, 2003
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    Land of Slugs & Moss
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    Han Solo
    Through my own past experiences I see two ways to go with the modification.
    1. A structure that can duplicate the shear strength of the original firewall without the access panels in place.

    2. A monocoque design that incorporates the access panels as load bearing components of the firewall.

    In my own opinion option one would be ideal because the removable panels can be lighter and use a simple method of attachment. Structural integrity isn't compromised when the panels are removed.

    The drawback to option one would be major structural rework to the car in the firewall area that, to do correctly, would involve removal of the engine and interior. (something to consider for a track car?).

    Option two would involve heavier access panels and a system of rigid load bearing attach points that would not flex under lateral stress conditions.

    The drawback to item two; see the drawback to item one.

    If I were to keep my 308 'forever' and the engine was out of the car I would probably go ahead and build a space frame in place of the firewall as per item one. I would not do it otherwise.

    Just my humble opinion. DJ
     
  16. thecarreaper

    thecarreaper F1 World Champ
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    Sep 30, 2003
    15,227
    Savannah
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    name
    dammit somebody read my mind. i was thinking nutplates with countersunk fastners and a form in place gasket to keep the fumes out. not to be a broken record but we do this on aircraft ALL THE TIME . and its hot/cold/pressurized. be a great thing to do. if i get a car like the one i have outlined in the " beater off color " thread i started i will do it. to hell with the resale, i plan to be buried in the ferrari anyway. ( j/k)
     
  17. atlantaman

    atlantaman Formula 3
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    Mar 31, 2002
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    Charles
    If i recall correctly--Steve Barney once had a 365 bb that the pannel behind the seats came out.
     
  18. atlantaman

    atlantaman Formula 3
    Rossa Subscribed

    Mar 31, 2002
    1,726
    Roswell, Georgia
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    Charles
    My car is one of the "old" ones where the motor has to come out thru the top--for a long time I have thought about doing this mod and also modifying the rear to "unbolt" like later model cars so the motor can come out thru the bottom.
     
  19. davem

    davem F1 Veteran
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    Jan 21, 2002
    5,140
    Stepford, Connecticut
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    dave m
    I want to say the X1/9 had an access panel behind the seat. Been a long time since i owned one. That Fiat is just a mini-308 after all.
     
  20. MondialTCab

    MondialTCab Formula 3

    Sep 5, 2001
    1,020
    Pacific Northwest
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    John Michael Gross
    The Mondial T Cab has an access panel...held in place by screws. No fumes unless you consider my love of the car a post exposure symptom.

    - JMG
     
  21. 308GTS

    308GTS Formula 3

    Dec 27, 2001
    2,220
    TN
    JMG Can you access your Timing belt on your T with the access panel?
     
  22. MondialTCab

    MondialTCab Formula 3

    Sep 5, 2001
    1,020
    Pacific Northwest
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    John Michael Gross
    Believe the frame is still in the way...we dropped it when we changed it. Mind you, it appears as though all access points in the car were designed by a 5'-2" proctologist...those with man size hands need not apply.

    - JMG
     
  23. joeyy

    joeyy Karting

    Nov 11, 2003
    190
    long island
    Full Name:
    joe
    this sounds like a great idea in theory. however i had the entire back panels out of my car to replace with polished aluminum. some problems outside of the fact that there is insulation.

    -first. there is a X section of square stock that is used for rigidity as well as to hold some brackets. it will be very difficult to re-engineer something to replace that.

    -second. if you ever had your motor out you will see that there is a slew of cables. hoses, breather lines, ect. that pass through this area.
    it would be difficult to relocate them and stay with stock components.

    - third. any of the work that really needs to be done in this area. that this mod would help with, would be better attacked with the engine out and the engine swap is easier than the engineering nightrmare of the back panel.

    this is a great idea for a race application after the car is gutted and new chassis is in place
     
  24. zff

    zff Karting

    Nov 1, 2003
    145
    Hawaii
    Full Name:
    Ken
    Perhaps instead of one big panel, two or three smaller panels would be more feasible. Ideally, one of these panels would be big enough to pull the exhaust header through...
     
  25. johnbob

    johnbob Karting

    Nov 8, 2003
    124
    Oklahoma
    And all this time I thought it was a Lola!
     

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