November 17, 2003

Can you say "Your weight in gold"? We can, because a new suspension for a 917 is worth its weight in gold. You can buy parts like this at Carl Thompson, Inc.

Although the chassis is new (34 years ago), all the threads in the welded bungs (seat belt bracket) needed to be cleaned with a tap because of the paint. Carl and Armando chased the threads on every bung on the chassis, making my job a little easier. The picture on the right shows the side pod mount that was not attached. We welded in the left and right side.

The side pod sits on the aluminum and then is held at the top of the door sill with
three 6mm weld-on bungs.

The clamp is holding the aluminum bracket for the side pod. In the other picture, you can see the three 6mm weld-ons (we call these bungs).

We've used the side pods from our Gulf 917 to index the body. We will put new side pods on Carl's car. It was easy for us to do this because I want to repaint the Gulf side pods so the car can be nice and pretty at the Porsche event in Daytona next April.

The only dash I own for a prototype is an original 908 dash. I have to make a mold of this dash to make a part for the 917. The part won't be exact because the switch face is a little different. I will make the 917 switch plate from a piece of foam and then attach it to the existing dash.

The three molds are headlight covers, front naca ducts (for driver's comfort), and the dash mold.
I made these parts Saturday and Sunday.

The molds are waxed and then shot with duratech.

After the duratech kicks, I give them two layers of 3/4 oz. mat and one layer of 4 oz. s-weave.

The parts are done, out of the mold, and ready for trimming.

Trimmed and untrimmed.

Before the two halves are glued together, I sand them with 220 because it's too hard to get your hands in there after they are glued. I don't want to have cleco holes so I use vise grips.

The bottom of the car is 4mm nomex honeycomb. Where the floor meets the nose, the top layer is removed so the cabosil will join the nose to the floor at the same level. This is done because the thickness of the nose is 2.5mm.

The underside of the nose, just below the headlights is actually open. Porsche would use an aluminum panel that had louvers, but not for every race. The louvers were a down force trick.

A lot of magic happens real quick when the parts are made. Here, the roof is fit to the nose.
This seam will be finalized when the window is set in.

Andy, get the battery on charge and some fuel !

I couldn't find my mold for the brake ducts, so I made a new one. Then I made two ducts.

Here is the installation of the right side duct.

Here, the firewall is cut to fit. All the parts that you've seen installed on the car are held in place by clamps or clecos, but they all are indexed. They will be removed various times and then attached permanently after the chassis is painted.

The lower section of the naca duct is on the nose from the mold. When the new duct is installed, you have to cut this area out. When the duct is glued in, a little body work on the outside and it's done.

It looks more like a car every weekend. My demands for the parts are answered immediately by Carl (old mother Hubbard cuz he keeps going to the cupboard). These are the parts that he provided and they are all original N.O.S. parts. The picture on the right is the Daytona window (it goes on the roof so you can see the top of the bank). The other two parts are the rear window and a fiberglass spare tire mount.

Back to their weight in gold.

The parts are the hardware for the deck lid and the doors (hinges, door latches, etc.) Having all these parts makes it easy to have this car painted and delivered to Carl in less than 90 days.
Don't forget to keep checking Carl's website at www.pbase.com/917carl

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