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EJ205 1996 Brighton coupe
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Close to 15 pounds of sheet metal gone. I got the plates tacked in. I pre bent them on the bench to contour the tower.


BEAUTIFUL! I am planning to do this to my rally car this winter. Reinforce the strut tower top, then brace, and remove all the OEM sheet metal. I was also considering adding bracing from the towers down to the diff/subframe.

Also use quick fasteners to mount the lexan rear window, so I can remove the window with a few 1/4 turns, making it a lot easier to work on struts (especiall a coupe).

Drawback is that you would have to make a bulkhead to separate you and the fuel cell, if you put one in the car, according to most sanctioning bodies.
 

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Discussion Starter #1,542
well that's one way to skin a cat.
I like a direct approach.

BEAUTIFUL! I am planning to do this to my rally car this winter. Reinforce the strut tower top, then brace, and remove all the OEM sheet metal. I was also considering adding bracing from the towers down to the diff/subframe.

Also use quick fasteners to mount the lexan rear window, so I can remove the window with a few 1/4 turns, making it a lot easier to work on struts (especiall a coupe).

Drawback is that you would have to make a bulkhead to separate you and the fuel cell, if you put one in the car, according to most sanctioning bodies.
I'm currently working out ideas on how to tie the rear subframe and associated frame rails into the cage .

For the rear glass lexan will be my likely choice as well. I was toying with the idea of making the trunk and rear glass one piece and hinging the top to get a hatchback style trunk.

A bulkhead will definitely be going in. Maybe a carbon Kevlar variant to keep weight down and still be removed with ease. I'd rather not have fuel and oil be so close to my battery without proper shielding.
 

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For the rear glass lexan will be my likely choice as well. I was toying with the idea of making the trunk and rear glass one piece and hinging the top to get a hatchback style trunk.
Maybe find some hatchback hinges and weld up a little frame. thin sheetmetal and lexan and some trunk pins. I think it would work well.
 

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Maybe find some hatchback hinges and weld up a little frame. thin sheetmetal and lexan and some trunk pins. I think it would work well.
I'll have to look into some OEM hatch hinge designs to see how feasible it is.

Welded in the rear strut brace.





And planned out my front taco gussets.

 

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Before starting on gussets I tacked the rear cowl together.



Then I had to tackle the problem of getting a dimple die kit. The sets online were rather pricey for my taste so after a bit of research a friendly guy from the North American rally FB page linked me to his diy. I modified his design a bit and came up with mine.



Scrounged around my scrap bin for some materials.



And got this out of it.



Other than doing it crooked it dimpled quite well. Don't mind the holes I didn't clean them prior to dimpling.



 

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Well I spent some time this morning before class further testing my die. It works great for 20 gauge and 18 gauge. I tried it out on a test piece of 16 gauge and here were the results:





And mildly bent piece of metal with no dimple in sight. This is after trying an impact and pounding the two dies together with a hammer. Looks like for my gussets I'll just be reducing weight with the holes. I'm not super worried about making the plates flimsy, after I tried bending a few test pieces by hand to no avail. No sanctioning body even requires cage to body gussets so there more for peace of mind than anything regardless.
 

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Call around, maybe a shop will let you borrow a set. Having only used real dies, they are so nice.
Shops in my area are few and far between, but the ones I did get ahold of said they won't let me use them because they're only good up to 18 gauge. There's a nice brand new set sitting in my classes tool box that I can't touch for the same reason. I feel like .010 worth of material isn't going to compromise the integrity of the tool but it's kind of hard to tell a fab shop they're wrong lol.
 

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The closeSt thing I found to something like that is the harbor freight set and theyre not really a tool I'd like to cheap on.

Despite the fact that I couldn't dimple my gussets I pressed on and started with the door X's. It took me a few tries out of cardboard but in the end I came out with this.



Cut them out and marked them for the holes.



Weight reduction because ricecar



They look the evil robots from the Fairly odd parents TV show once cleaned up.



Four tacks later and I could start folding them in.



A little bit of Asian persuasion from a ball peen was all it took to get them shaped.





I haven't decided whether or not I'm going to weld them all the way around or stitch them every few inches. Any insight from guys that have done this type of thing would be much appreciated.
 

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Interesting.

We make a hour glass like figure, then separate end caps that match yours, but straight, to box in.
I Googled "roll cage gussets" and pretty much went down through until I found something that looked good, functional, and feasible with the tools I have. This seemed to be a common way to do it and minimizes welding being a single piece.
 

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Ahh yeah pretty much the same idea.

The a pillar gusset was a tricky template to make. I tapered the gusset from 3 inches down to 2.5 inches to compensate for the twist in the plate.



Cut it out.



Marked it for the holes and lathered it up in my homemade cutting oil.



It took about 2 hours a side to tack and bend the plate to where I wanted it to go.





They came out pretty symmetrical as well.

 

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Made up a cowl to cage gusset today. It's slightly overkill but I figured since the front struts are going to be braced to the cowl that the back side would be equally as rugged.





For those hard to reach welds you kind of have to be one with the car.

 

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95 Coupe, 95 Sedan & 95 Wagon
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It's pretty, no doubt there.

I think I am used to a hole or two less on the a pillars. Yours are kind of long, but that does not mean anything. So the extra holes there plus below, just 'looks' like a lot :lol:

Keep it up! My car is next after this original M3 we are building.
 
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