Incredible G-Forces!

Posted: 11th April 2011 by 4amRacing in DIY
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With the incredible amount of g-force we experience… haha – hard to even type that with a straight face.  Anyway, one of the things that’s been missing when it comes to driver’s comfort in our car was the lack of a dead-pedal.  We were able to reach the wheel-well with our foot and that did help to brace us during the high-load turns, but it was a far reach and didn’t feel natural at all.  This has been on the list of things to do for a while now and with such nice weather this past Saturday I got motivated enough to get out in the garage and see if I could bang something out… literally.

The only material we had on hand was sheet of aluminum we had originally used to cover up the underside of the sunroof panel prior to the cage install.  And since the panel was so large we had rolled several beads through it to help give it some strength.  Once the beads were all hammered out it was obvious this wasn’t going to be a pretty piece, but hopefully a functional one at the very least.

Projects like these require a lot of sitting and staring for me.  Especially the ones in which I have no idea how to go about solving the problem.  I started with some cardboard, scissors and some tape – cutting up pieces and taping them together.  Once something starts to take shape I usually feel a bit more inspired and then the process seems to pick up some momentum.  After I’ve taped together a bunch of scrap pieces that form the rough shape of what I want, I generally find a nicer piece of “cardboard” or posterboard large enough to trace the entire rough pattern.  I do this so that the next version is cut from one piece of material and so that it holds its shape quite a bit better.  This way I can fine tune the pattern before I trace it onto the final material, in this case aluminum.
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I ended up creating two final patterns.  The first one, although seemed to work fine, wasn’t comfortable at all.  It was too far forward and needed to be angled in order to face the driver a bit more instead of being parallel with the pedals.

The second one felt much better

Once I was satisfied with the pattern, I traced it on the aluminum, and in this case used an angle-grinder with a cut-off wheel to make all the cuts. You can clearly see the lines of the beads I hammered out.

I did many test fits to figure out the correct angles for the bends and to make sure it “felt right”

After a few tweaks, some additional trimming, a few holes for the rivets and some grip tape, here’s the final. Nice that the grip tape hides the hammered bead lines on a big portion of the aluminum.

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