Progress, progress, progress. February has seen many changes to the A45. The axles are complete and installed on the car. The car has been rewired and installation of the body has begun. Working three nights a week and even on a few Saturdays has helped to keep the car building moving forward.
The first goal was to have the axles and spindles completed and placed on the car. This took longer than expected, but we took extra time to double check our measurements to make sure we didn't miss anything. The biggest challenge was the welding. Senior Garrett McSorley did a great job welding both the aluminum and steel axle design. Garrett used the TIG welder, which took a little practice, and did a great job getting the axles welded solid.
Improvements have also been made to the spindle and brake design. Last year we had problems with the brake pads rubbing on the disc brake. The design change came with the removal of spacers, which we thought were needed to keep the caliper and rotor aligned. We also used thicker metal to keep the rotor from flexing when the brakes were applied. The combination of the two has removed 99.9% of all the brake rub we experience last year. We also hope with this improvement that we will no longer need to make adjustments to the brakes after each rally.
During the last Saturday work day, we started to fit the car with the body. We are again using aluminum trim coil for the body panels. Because of the many bends and shapes on the car, each panel is cut and fit on the car to make sure it matches up with the body panel next to it. The entire body will be fit into place using sheet metal screws to make an exact fit before it is secured using body panel adhesive. It is a long process, but a streamline body will help with efficiency.
The team will continue to work during the month of March to complete the car. We hope to have the body on the car with paint in a week or two and then have time for a test run before the first rally March 26th.