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I finally have gotten off my ass and started to work on the racecar again after not doing squat to it for three months. The rollcage is now about 6 hours away from completion. After that there's still a ton of bodywork and exterior rust repair to do. Thankfully, the only structural rust was on the driver's side foot area, particularly the jack-pad area. Here's the driver's floor, Fred-Flintstone-style.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Here's the old jackpad, and a reproduction jackpad from Goin Manta (www.opelmanta.com) , which will greatly reduce my time trying to fabricate a new piece. Thank you Charles!
 

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While I was in the driver's footwell area, and before the rollcage tubes to the firewall were welded in, I took the time to make a 'dead pedal' to rest my foot on and brace myself while cornering. It's a sheet metal base with an aluminum diamond-plate surface to provide some grip.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Here's the passenger side door bars. In case you're wondering why the bars come to a low spot, it's because the car will remain registered for street use, and entering the car is much easier this way than with NASCAR-type bars. It will retain a passenger seat for the street, but it will be removed for track use. The rear seat is history, simply because.......
 

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.....there's no room for it! This gives a pretty good overview of the rollcage design. I integrated a few ideas for rollover protection I've learned from rallying, and added a few extra tubes not required by the rules to improve chassis rigidity. Unfortunately, I'm only allowed 8 points of contact with the chassis, otherwise, I'd have a lot more. More photos as the car makes progress.

Bob
 

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You're sick..

I say that in a good way.. the work you do is beyond professional.. its amazing. Truly amazing. How do you weld that cleanly?

To have just a tenth of the talent with a welder and fabrication..

Also, thanks for the comments. Manta/Ascona Sheetmetal, Rubber and special orders are my specialty.
 

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No, you're wise

Now, THAT'S a cage, Bob. It's good to know the Opel brain we depend on will be well protected. We could all take a lesson--skulls are fragile, cages are good. Mine won't be as elaborate, but have ideas for a wintertime project along these lines. And, yeah, very clean welds. Looks great.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Thank you Charles....do I smell sponsorship money?

I can see it now, the "Goin' Racing" ITB Opel Ascona.......
 

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Travis, as a fellow Opel racer, you're just jealeous I asked him first. :)

Bob
 

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Don't forget who engineered Jim's car....
Give me his budget and a rust-free GT, it might be a different story!:D

Bob
 

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Another photo of my rollcage progression. I unfortunately haven't worked on the car for two weeks now, I've been away pretty much every weekend this summer! But hopefully, this is the weekend that I finally lay the last welds, and start prepping the interior for painting.

Bob

A view of the passenger side door-bar area, but this time with the footwell protection in place. Per the Improved Touring rulebook, I can't protrude beyond the firewall, so this is all I could do and still fit the dashboard in place.
 

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And here's an overview of the rollcage where it converges overhead. Note how the triangulation of the tubes makes for a very rigid structure, and (hopefully) protects the driver's head from injury.

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Finally! I completed the last of the rollcage work this weekend on my ITB Ascona. It was REAL fun this time, since I had a pinched nerve in my back and a few times I simply couldn't climb out of the car because of the pain of trying to sqeeze by the rollcage tubes! Thankfully my friend Tim was there working on his racecar too, and he helped me get out of the car a few times when I was welding in confined quarters and my back was acting up (but not before laughing at me as I helplessly tried to climb out of the car first....with friends like that who needs enemys?)

Next on the list is the rust/bodywork and paint, then assembly can begin. I can't believe the rollcage is finally done......

Bob
 

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I also got my center gauge panel fabricated up. The stock 'Rallye' gauge panels are easy enough to find, but the placement of the panel is less than ideal (just above the shifter). So I made this aluminum panel to fill the void left by the radio, and took the time to bring it closer to the driver's line of sight. The 16 holes in the lower segment are for my fuses. I've relocated all the fuses from the stock fusebox to the dashboard for easier access, and added two more fuses and a junction block for accessories (electric fan, fuel pump, transponder, etc). The reason there are 16 openings and not 8 is because I've provided for 8 spare fuse holders directly above the active fuses. So if I pop a fuse while on-track, changing a fuse takes seconds without having to unbelt or pull off the track.

My selection of gauges includes a water temp gauge with a 220 degree (blue) warning light, a voltmeter, and a clock to let me know when I'm supposed to be on grid! Directly above my gauge panel, where the standard air vents normally are, I'm using two more gauges......an oil pressure gauge on the left, and an oil temperature gauge on the right, each with warning lights as well for low oil pressure and high oil temperature, respectively.

I'm retaining the stock speedometer too, but it has been relocated from the center of the main dash panel to the righthand location, and a larger 5" aftermarket tachometer has been fitted to the center of the dash panel, slightly proud of the surrounding surface, and more prominently displayed for the driver to see.

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Gee, my favorite subject....rust.

Well, it was inevitable. I started the rust repair today on the ITB Ascona. Nothing fancy mind you, it's just a race car, but the thought of rust holes in the body panels doesn't sit well with me, so I had to make SOME effort to repair it. The passenger front door is hit pretty bad, but I got a spare one to work on which was much straighter (not straight, just straightER). Of course, it had some rust at the lower portion of where the door skin meets the inner door frame.

Bob

Here's the progress on the door today:
 

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After cutting out the rusted area, I made a cardboard template, and from that made a simple patch from 18 GA steel. It's fitted flush with the surrounding metal, not overlapped.


Here the patch is tacked into place before final welding.
 

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Finally, I welded the patch in place with a mig welder, and ground it down flush, finishing with a DA sander. It won't get any filler since it's a racecar, but if it were a restoration, I would apply epoxy-based filler and sand it smooth, then apply epoxy primer to it and you'd never know it was repaired.

Repair area after welding and grinding:
 

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I had to do the same thing to another section of the inner door frame, and also to the outside of the door skin at the lower rear.

Same process, at the outer door skin. Rusted area cut out....
 

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