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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have decided to start posting pics of the build I started on in 2012. I haven't posted, because there wasn't much progress, until lately. I will apologize if I post too many pics, but feel that too many is better than too few.

OK, let's start at the beginning. In 2012, I decided that I wanted to start playing on road courses, and I already had a lot of spare parts from my Laser build. The natural choice was a Daytona. My original goal was to find a car that could be used as is, then upgraded. The limitation was that I needed to find a driveable car, within a few hours of where I lived, because I didn't own a pickup, or car trailer, so shipping costs would make it too expensive.

Ironically, I found 2 identical '87 Daytonas, within 3 hours of Syracuse. One was a parts car, and the other a driver. I bought them both on the same day.
This was the parts car.



This was the driver, which I drove home the following week.





When I got the driver home, I tore the interior out and found far more rot than I expected. I tore down the parts car and took everything, except the body, in 2 trips. Luckily, my neighbor loaned me his pickup truck.

I thought that I had 2 good 2.2L turbo engines, 555 transmissions, wiring harnesses, and other goodies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
The running car was in rough shape, but had a new gas tank and new rear solid disk rotors and calipers. The underside was covered with the usual rustproofing, and NY state salt rot.

This pic was taken after I was playing with my new shocks, not the originals.








The spare tire well was shot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
On Memorial Day, 2013, I decided to completely strip the car down to the bare body and frame. I was making great progress, until I got to the rear axle assembly, which was still loaded with the calipers and rotors, so it was heavy.



I unbolted the rear shocks and rested the axle on the springs, while I unbolted the front arms. After the front was free, I reached under the center of the axle, to drag it out, but accidentally bumped one of the springs with my foot. That sent the axle falling toward my arm. Before I could get my hand completely out of the way, the axle landed on my middle two fingertips.

Even though I was wearing gloves, it cut them almost completely off. When I removed my glove, all that was still attached were the fingernails and the small pieces of skin, on the sides. I headed for the ER, thinking I had just lost my fingers.

At the ER, two gunshot victims arrived, just after I did. Six hours later, I finally got tips reattached. I thought they were lost, from lack of blood, but I was fortunate enough to have kept just enough circulation, along the sides, for them to make it. The bones were also broken, but I still had my fingers intact.





I was lucking to have been wearing Mechanixs gloves. After looking them over, we realized that my fingertips had not been cut off, because the gloves looked fine. They actually had been crushed off.

When working on cars, I always wear safety glasses, and frequently wear gloves. A lot of people don't think it's necessary, but I would have lost my fingertips, if I hadn't had my gloves on. The gloves also kept the rust and other contaminants out of the wound area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That sucks Dad! Reminds me of trying to set an upright piano down on it's back and not having any blocks under it. Couldn't get two of my fingertips out in time when I dropped it. My ring fingertip exploded!!

Hope it heals enough to be feeling ok SOON.
Thanks, but that happened in May 2013. They were 100% by Labor Day. I did have issues, during the next winter. When they would get cold, they would really hurt. For some reason, they haven't been a problem since. I guess they just weren't completely healed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Still in 2013, I was stripping the car, to get rid of the undercoating and fix the rot. I bought a cheap Mig welder, and watched some YouTube videos, to learn how to weld.





The rear bumper was almost gone, but I eventually had if powdercoated, and it came out OK.




I strengthened the K-frame, before sending it be be powdercoated.


You can't see it here, but the left wheel well was pretty rotted, under the rustproofing.


This seems to be a common issue with G-bodies.


Another common rot area.


The rear bumper mounts were also rotted.


I patched the rear bulkhead.


The welds were bad, but they are non-structural.


I cut out the spare tire well.


I spent a week of vacation stripping the undercoating with a wire wheel, on a grinder. Even though I wore goggles and a mask, I had melted rubber stuck to my skin. It was so bad, that my wife had to strip it off using Safety Kleen.

I later learned, from a professional, that the way to remove undercoating is to use a heat gun and scraper. After that, it is thin enough to use a solvent, like Safety Kleen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The nasty parts!

Behind the rocker panels, there was a lot of rot. It was so bad that I was worried about the integrity of the car.


I thought about putting square tubing under the length of the car, but changed my mind and used angle iron, because it would allow me to weld more area, and be stronger, with the same weight penalty.


I also put angle iron on top, and welded the two together, creating a sideways "T" shape.


The underside has angle iron front to back, but the top has sections of it, since there were crossmembers in the way.






I can't tell you how long it took to do all that welding, but the grinding took longer. I have a lot of burn scars, from hot slag falling onto me. I tell people that since I have started welding, my grinding has really improved.


You can see the welded angle iron, along the passenger side. I coated the entire car with a brushed on PUR paint, to seal the metal and keep it from rusting.


I also strengthened the frame rails, using angle iron, then painted the car with spray cans.


 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
G-bodies are notorious for flexing under hard cornering loads. I was not happy when I discovered that the crossmember was rotted.








This is what the crossmember looked like, on the driver's side, looking rearward.


I cut out the lower half of the crossmember and boxed it with 1/8" steel.











My initial plan was to get rid of the crossmember bulge, and convert the rear axle to a Watt's link setup, instead of the original cross-link type. I bought one from a junkyard PT Cruiser, but could never make it fit. The spare tire well and gas tank, just don't leave enough room.






The crossmember is now not only half as high, as before, but is also far stronger.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I also wanted to strengthen the shock mount, so I decided to tie them together.


I drilled through the mounts.


Since I planned to use the plastic inner panels, I put spacers far enough out, to to pass through the panels.






I also put the spare tire well, which I cut from a junkyard car, in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Now, we are in to 2014.

For the front suspension, I cut out the the tops of the strut towers, to mount Rich Bryant's camber plates.




I brushed on the PUR paint.




Then sprayed the front red.




I started assembling the front suspension.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
I put the new front suspension on. By the way, I forgot to mention that the K-frame and lower control arms are from a '93 Daytona, so they have the better geometry.


I bought the coilovers and plates from Rich Bryant. We worked on the first set, for my Laser, back in 2009. He has them custom built for our cars.


This is one of the steering knuckles before I had it powdercoated.


For tires, I found a place on eBay that sells used Spec Miata racing tires for under $200, delivered. That's a great deal and they still have many track days left in them. The only issue is that they are a slightly smaller diameter, 205/50-15, than the stock 205/60-15's. On the plus side, when I had them on the Laser, at Watkin's Glen, they helped the gearing from my 520/555 hybrid tranny. The car came up on the pipe quicker, and still could handle the rpms.


That's pretty much it for the front suspension.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Now for the rear suspension. I started by boxing the crosslink support arm, and the axle housing.




You might notice, that I also added supports to connect the trailing arms to the hub mounts. I noticed that some of the newer cars had a similar setup, so I thought it might help strengthen it. It would probably make more sense to strengthen the training arms, but I didn't think of it, at the time.


The barrel shaped springs and adjusters also came from Rich Bryant.


Here's a link to Rich's website:
Rich's Customer Support Web Site
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Now, onto the rear brakes. The '87's came with solid rear rotors, with the external emergency brake setup. I wanted to convert to the larger slotted rotors, but couldn't find any backing plates, so I decided to build my own.

I started by using a set of solid rotor backing plates, which will not allow you to put the larger rotors on. The e-brake shoes are internal, and work with the slotted rotors.


First, I cut the ears off.




Then, I ground the raised ridge and caliper bolt tabs away.


I jigged up a rotor, mounting plate, and caliper, then started making adapter plates.






I made the support arms and had everything welded by a pro, because I didn't trust my ability.


After powdercoating.


I did discover that the powdercoating will chip, so I later filed it off the mounting tab, where the caliper slides.


And this is how it looked.


One setback was that the parts store sold me calipers for solid rotors, instead of slotted. I took them apart and had them powdercoated, before I built the new backing plates. When I went to assemble them, I discovered the error, but couldn't take them back. I don't want to turn this into a for sale thread, but if you are interested, PM me.


On the plus side, I later changed my mind on the color, so I would have had to replace them anyway.

I have AutoCAD 2000 drawings, of all the plates. If anyone wants to duplicate what I did, I will give them away for free. Please PM me, instead of adding more posts. This is an easier mod than you would think. There are no pieces that need to be bent, and all of the plates are standard thicknesses. Having them cut and welded are the most difficult parts of the project.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 · (Edited)
Paint

By the end of summer, 2014, I had completed the underside and interior metal repairs. As I mentioned before, my plan was to do a spray can paint job, because the car was mostly to be used for track days. By this time, it was looking so good that I couldn't bring myself to put a crappy paint job on it.

While we were at the Watkins Glen vintage races, I spotted my favorite race car, a GT40 that was painted in the Gulf racing colors.


After my wife took my picture, I told her that I wished I could have my car painted in those colors. Her reply was, "Why can't you?" Of course that was all it took to get my mind working. Yes, it would cost more money to redo what I had painted, but that really wasn't much of the car. The body still hadn't been painted, so it wouldn't cost much more than having it painted red.

I started scouring the internet for Porsche 924 & 944's, to see what schemes they had come up with. This is the one that I really liked.




If you remember, the Daytona was developed to compete with the Porsche 944's, and they look very similar. Besides, I think it might be fun to see how many people would mistake it for a Porsche, and never suspect it was a Daytona. Our cars never get any respect.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 · (Edited)
One of the problems with buying a northern car, with body panels, is that you can't really tell what lies behind them. When I bought the car, this is what I saw.


After pulling the side panel, this is what I found.


Once I started poking away, it ended up looking like this.




Before patching, I sprayed Eastwood's internal frame coating/sealant. It is designed to get into areas that can't be accessed, and seal the rust.
Eastwood Internal Frame Coating 14oz Aerosol

I patched on a section of new rocker panel. Keep in mind that I was still learning how to weld, and not worried about how pretty this section would look, because it would be covered by the body panels.




Before:


After:


I also had to fix the passenger rear fender, above the wheel, where it was damaged. It also turned out to be rusted from underneath. I guess that I never took pics of the patch job, so you can't see how bad it was.


Before sending it off for paint and bodywork, I put the original suspension back on, and locked it in full extension, to allow better access, for painting.


I cobbled up a solid front strut.



At this point, in early 2015, I had the entire car stripped of body panels, wiring, and any removable parts, so it was off to the paint shop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
In January, I dropped the car off at my painter's. He warned me that he probably wouldn't get to it for a while, but I wasn't in any rush.







Mid-summer, I was at the Syracuse Nationals and came across a vendor who sells sound proofing and thermal barrier spray coatings. Of course, my painter had already done the interior, and the spray coatings required that it be sanded, before they could be applied. Then, the paint could be put back on. My painter was really happy to hear that.







In November, he called to say it was time to pick it up. The plan was to paint everything so that none of the old color showed.








He will paint the inside of the various panels, that need to be bolted on. After I get them all onto the car, he will paint the outside again. We decided to use a one step urethane, so that touchups will be easier to do.

Since then, it has been on the trailer, waiting for me to finish the Laser. Hopefully, the Laser will be done this week, and I can finally get started.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
If you intend the car to be for track days, why bother putting the spare tire well back in? I am seriously contemplating removing mine.
I pondered that when I was starting the project, but decided that, since I also intend to drive it on the roads, I will need a spare tire. If I ever decide to go with a fuel cell, then I will get rid of the tire well.
 
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