Project Muscrate

Is it Spring already?

Hi everyone and welcome back! Sorry I missed last month, but I have gotten super busy again at my business, Roeder Performance Machine, as all my customers waited longer than normal to bring their engines in for freshening or just a valve spring upgrade and they all seem to want it tomorrow. Some things never change! But, in the current economy I am not complaining and I’m glad to have the work. Needless to say, I didn’t get as much done to ol’ Muscrate as I wanted but I have been making some headway. On to the taters’…

In the last article I finished up the interior sheet metal, fabricated the sissy, err, wheelie bars, parachute mount, and mounted the fuel pump assembly. I have a couple other little projects I want to touch on this month. I needed a place to install battery charging posts and I didn’t really want them hanging out in the breeze.

This is the charging station. I will eventually install a volt meter and it makes for a nice clean install.

I thought about installing them in a couple different places but ended up with what I think is a pretty nifty setup. Now that I’m using a fuel cell. the factory fuel door is hanging around doing nothing. So I removed the factory plastic housing/overflow housing and went to work. I cut out the back of the piece leaving about a ¼” flange around the outside. Then I grabbed a piece of 1/8” aluminum plate and held it up against the back of the housing opening and used a black marker to trace the shape of the opening onto the aluminum. I then cut out the traced shape after adding about 3/8” all around to leave a mounting flange.

I marked out where I wanted the two charging lugs (Moroso #74140 ) and a small 1 5/8” gauge and used a hole saw to cut them out. I then drilled a series of 1/8” holes through the plate into the plastic housing and secured the plate with rivets. A little semi gloss black paint was applied and voila! Another masterpiece created!

The entire housing bolts back into the car using the factory fasteners and I added a piece of plastic beading around the metal edge of the opening to help prevent any accidental arcing when attaching the charging cables.

My new design for the "X" brace still allows easy access and should add strength to the cage design and pass certification. I'm almost happy now!

Next on the list was a modification, actually a complete redesign, of my driver and passenger side door opening “X” bars. I never was happy with the way I initially made them because I wanted to keep them functional first, SFI- and NHRA-legal second, and still be able to enter and exit without bending into positions that I am not built for in the process.

The SFI 25.5 chassis specs state that the “X” brace needs to start high at the front and end low at the rear. It doesn’t specify how high or low however. I searched the ’net looking for pictures of other similar chassis and finally settled on my own adaptation.

The picture tells the story, but what I ended up doing was making two “X” braces per side. Similar to a bridge truss, I suppose. The front brace still gives support to the windshield pillar bar and the rear brace lends much more support to the primary door bar and ties into the helmet bar support on the driver side.

Hopefully I will never need to test my design, but I am confident it will work if needed and it should pass inspection. Probably added a couple pounds, but I never set out to build a lightweight in the first place. Now I can enter and exit with relative ease and it looks pretty good too.