Great write up John. I may have to do go back and fix some of those on my car. When I replaced the uca bolts I just used grade 8 bolts without splines never thought about wheel studs. Your car is looking good. Thanks for all the info.
The ARP # 100-7705 studs work out nice and come in a 5 pack.Great write up John. I may have to do go back and fix some of those on my car. When I replaced the uca bolts I just used grade 8 bolts without splines never thought about wheel studs. Your car is looking good. Thanks for all the info.
Oh ya, frame will be painted. I've got a couple belly pan mounts to weld on then all the frame modifications will be finished and I'll do final prep for paint. Probably be painted this weekend.Are you going to be repainting all the subframe, while you have it apart?
I was really thinking about those G braces, I saw them in a modification magazine from 1978. But i guess i won't now since I only used polyurethane body bushings, and i love them.
Thanks!, Don't know why but I thought Blackout already had G braces. IIRC you've got all that cool Speedtech coil over stuff correct? G braces will allow all that cool suspension stuff to work as well as it can.Great write up John!
I do run solid mounts and weld in connectors. But it's just a street machine at the moment.
I have looked at the braces in the past, but my thought was they look cool, but I don't think they will help me ?
Thanks for re enforcing my decision!
Carry on...keep up the great work!!!
Thank you! I know when I write some of my long posts people will use the info but it's always nice to hear people appreciate it.Best write up I've seen in a while, nice work.
BTW, when you gonna stick an LS in that thing? :sofa:
Probably not gonna happen. Though I will be building a more powerful engine (probably IA II based) coupled to a 5 speed manual once I get the aero and suspension sorted and tuned on track. I try to keep the car as simple as possible so everything just works with no fuss on track. The pits are usually busy with folks fixing "stuff" at track days. Most of the things I see them messing with are due to problems with modern technology on things my car doesn't have. I strive to have the least number of electrical connections, plumbing connections, etc. so there's a minimum number of places for something to go wrong. My car might be a little slower BUT, it's out on the track not in the pits trying to cure an injector, blow off valve, or computer problem. Most times I've raced and tracked the car I don't do anything but add gas. Once I had a tire problem due to a shifted belt from a hit the tire took on the street and had to replace a tire after the third session at Sebring and once I had a reused nylock shock nut loosen up at Road Atlanta (learned my lesson). That's it. Track time is costly so I want to be on track getting seat time rather than chasing gremlins.
Thanks! Shot final paint on the frame yesterday, will let it harden up over the weekend.Awesome work and detail!
What kind of carb is that?
Cool, thank you!
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The carb is a 575 Speed Demon on a mild 400.Great write up!
What kind of carb is that?
The Old Guy37
Thank you for the compliment!!!I fab'd my own firewall reinforcements when I noticed the holes in the firewall for the top of the braces were getting elongated.
Your work, Sir, is amazing!
Thank you for the compliment!!!
The leading edge of the firewall isn't strong enough as you found out. The lip flexes too much (you can flex it with your hands) and the overlapped sheet metal isn't thick enough for the force being applied. Herb & his associates also realized the same thing. When I was working on the designs for the Lab-14 products I talked to Harry Quackenboss who was Herb's chassis engineer and went over all the pieces I was making.
First thing to consider is that when hitting a hard bump, the amount of force transferred through the sub frame to the G brace is like a sledgehammer although not as abrupt due to the tires and shocks taking the "snap" out of the hit. So an opportunity for metal to bend or stretch (elongating holes) occurs every time the vehicle hits a bump or hole. There's constantly smaller forces applied in both directions any time the vehicle is moving over anything but a perfectly flat surface at a steady rate. Whenever the vehicle is accelerating or decelerating there are also tension/compression forces being applied. The combination of recurring push/pull forces can elongate holes and bend metal if the materials aren't up to the task.
I currently make two types of reinforcements for the firewall lip. Both are steel and sandwich the lip. It's also VERY important that bolt holes where the bolts clamp the G-brace to the firewall lip are an exact fit to the bolts otherwise the bolts can/will elongate the holes. The Lab-14 "race" versions are wider on the drivers side to compensate for the extended section of "lip" where the windshield wiper motor is recessed into the firewall.
The braces you have were probably made by Alston back in the day. They were good for the era but the modern Pro G-braces have a few advantages. The Pro braces have a hole rather than a slot where they attach to the upper control arm stud, so they can't slide on the stud like the slotted versions can. They also allow the brace to be exactly the right "size" for each vehicle due to the adjusting ability of the main support and side support. This makes them a custom fit for each chassis and they can be used with whatever height body bushings (or lack of) the owner wants. They should be adjusted with full weight of the car on the suspension so there is no "pre-load" on the braces. It's very hard not to have some pre-load with non adjustable braces because every chassis is a little different.
Race version of Lab-14 firewall sandwich plates for use with G-braces.
The braces in the pics of my '73 Fire Am are definitely Herb Adams VSE pieces. I bought them new directly from Herb Adams around 1978 when I did this Fire Am build. They were recently power-coated and that may be why they look new-ish. The 1978 FA build included Stage I, II and III VSE pieces including the following components:The carb is a 575 Speed Demon on a mild 400.
I got a lot of response from members on various pro-touring and F body forums about the pieces I'd made. A lot of them requested I make them for their cars, offering to pay for the pieces. So I started making a few of the pieces for them. Then once they saw the parts and results they referred others to buy the parts. This was through PMs on forums.
It got to a point where it was more than just a couple parts for folks and I started making batches of certain parts. I also needed a way to sell people the parts without all the time consuming and delays of going back and forth with PMs on about 10 different forums every day. I figured an online store would be the way to go so people could use all different types of payments and be able to receive orders quicker. Also, at that time it had become a small business so I decided to make it a legal business and collect state sales tax from FL residents before I got in trouble with the government. The legal name of the company is "Laboratory Fourteen" and is located in Delray Beach, FL. Every piece is still hand made by me, so "Made in the USA". I'm sure some of the hardware is probably made overseas but I use U.S. steel and all the modifications and fabricated parts are created by hand by me in beautiful S FL.
Over the years folks started asking if I could make certain 2nd gen F body parts that weren't being reproduced so I've added some restoration type parts to the catalog as well as things like modified early 2nd gen Firebird V8 engine mounts.
Lab-14 website & online store. Lab-14 Products
Everybody likes pics so here's a couple.