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Race Car Fabrication There is a lot of cool fabriaction going on the race car industry, show us what you got.


Race Car Fabrication There is a lot of cool fabriaction going on the race car industry, show us what you got.

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  #1  
Old 12-12-2013, 01:16 PM
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How would you do this? Radiator screens...

I'm doing a radiator and a few parts for the supermodified in my rebuild thread. After three seasons, it's time for some new parts. At any rate, I want to improve a few things, one of which being the screen to protect the radiator from debris.

I've seen a number of cars that use what appears to be stainless screen attached to a tube "hoop", that gets attached to the car, like this Tony Matthews picture I found of a Penske PC10 Indy car:



My question is: How do you attach the screen to the hoop in such a way that you don't have to worry about it falling off later? Just fold the edges and hope it stays? Safety wire? Or is there some other clever way to do it?

I'm drawing a blank and I figured some of the smart guys here would have a solution.

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Old 12-12-2013, 04:37 PM
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Could you eliminate the hoop altogether by forming the screen into a stiffer / 3D shape? Just folding the outside edges all the way around might make it stiff enough to stand on its own. If not, you could corrugate it. Then for attachment you could either hook it over existing framework or screw through the webs.
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Old 12-12-2013, 06:59 PM
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We build stainless steel filters at work and the connection depends on the screen size you are using. Typical progression from coarse to fine is TIG, Plasma Weld, to Spot weld.

What is the screening size and material you are working with?
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Old 12-12-2013, 08:46 PM
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Bent up aluminum "frame" with screen or perforated sheet riveted to it. Like the offroad race guys use. Looks cool!
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Old 12-12-2013, 09:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBandit View Post
Could you eliminate the hoop altogether by forming the screen into a stiffer / 3D shape? Just folding the outside edges all the way around might make it stiff enough to stand on its own. If not, you could corrugate it. Then for attachment you could either hook it over existing framework or screw through the webs.
You know I hadn't thought of that. If I hemmed the edges that should make a strong enough flange to attach with. A definite possibility.

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Originally Posted by 12husky View Post
We build stainless steel filters at work and the connection depends on the screen size you are using. Typical progression from coarse to fine is TIG, Plasma Weld, to Spot weld.

What is the screening size and material you are working with?
I don't know for sure what sizes I'm going to use yet. My initial thought was 1/4" or 3/8" tube for the frame and screen with roughly 1/4" holes in it. I hadn't thought about welding the two together. I have a TIG but no spot welder.

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Bent up aluminum "frame" with screen or perforated sheet riveted to it. Like the offroad race guys use. Looks cool!
Another good idea. Do you know if they sandwich the screen between two aluminum sheets or use washers on the back side?

Thanks for all the suggestions so far!
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Old 12-12-2013, 11:38 PM
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Somewhere, and I don't remember where, I remember a screen done up like this, maybe a car museum. Anyway, from what I remember it was a frame and screen just like what's in your picture and they had just used stainless wire wrapped around and threaded through the mesh. The mesh was just a wee bit smaller the the inside dimension of the frame so that when the wire was pulled tight it also pulled the mesh tight. Kinda like a shoelace. It would be super light and secure and I would bet if someone took a good amount of care while threading the wire it would look really trick.

Hope it helps,
Jaysin
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Old 12-13-2013, 07:38 AM
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Thanks Jaysin! That's actually quite helpful. I'm trying to go back in my memory banks of what I've seen different places and sort of drawing a blank right now. I've never worked with stainless screen, so any advice helps.
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Old 12-14-2013, 05:40 PM
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Along time ago in a shop that is no-longer there were built several interesting vehicles and on one of them that demanded a screened intake that, was as robust as it was light weight, all the while looking good; the following came about because Mother is truly a necessity. I first did this in Stainless and subsequently in Aluminum and Stainless.
The picture below I hope clarifies what I am going to say.
From Left to Right and you are looking into the intake:
We had an opening for the intake and while I have drawn an 8x10 ours was in-fact a bit more of a pentagon this will work in any shape and can be made 3 dimensional.
First get a panel of suitable metal I'll say 11-Ga 6061 or 1/16" SS and completely fit it into the opening and locate & create the mounting points (I just created a Blue outline of my panel.)
At this point you can mount a solid panel into the intake which can be a good thing but not what we are looking for so... Figure out how much of the opening you need and machine the opening. In every case that I have done this for, being able to brush off the intake quickly in the pits was required and that is the reason that I have left an "X" in the center, it could be left out and there could be just a big-ol'hole.
Now we need a way to attach the screen and that is why there is in the fourth panel over, a Red Line which if you look at it and cut from the outside in on a Band saw will give you two 'L' shaped pieces. At this point you are going to do a little fiddling depending on your screen. Your goal is to weld the two 'L' shaped pieces back together and to have enough space between the outer frame (2 "L"'z now back to a rectangle) and the inner frame. Note that in the first pix of the panel in the intake opening there is a gap around the panel this is so the outside can grow by the thickness of the screen.
Next you cut and form the screen to fit around the inner frame so that it is as tight as you can get it and you cut it off about 1/2" (12mm) and you (If you did everything right) press the outside frame around the screen and the inside frame and it all stays together. If it bows the outside is too tight and you can flatten the screen (hammer) or file the outer frame opening, or both.
Here is where your materials come into play. With everything being Stainless I simply TIG'd the outer frame to the inner frame (stitched around) and used the Screen for filler. With Stainless screen and an Aluminum Panel when I cut the screen I did so that the screen could be woven back on itself to create a finished edge (give yourself more and trim after the edges are done) and then created a few openings per side. I then used some Alum filler wire and stitched the outer and inner frames together through the opening in the screen: the screen can not pull out because it is pinched between the frames and it has stitch welds in the openings you created on the back side.

There is one more way I have done this but it really was not worth the work on anything but a show car and it will remain a secret

E
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Old 12-15-2013, 03:12 AM
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A good source to find different types of mesh is on mcmaster. Lots of different options for material, wire thickness, and opening size. http://www.mcmaster.com/#wire-cloth/=ptc6qd

I used a couple different method for attaching.
Zipties- easy and quickest
Rivets- looks good
Cutting screen to wrap ends around tube- slowest by far
My offroad car is getting a new screen windshield, using crimped steel mesh .125" wire x 1.25 opening. It will be welded to a frame of .125 x .500 flat bar that will bolted or riveted down.

Always sucks when you get poked by one of the ends. Even though it looks kinda ghetto, in the past I've put duct tape around the outside perimeter of screen if its in an area that gets worked around often.

I like the idea of using two pieces to sandwich the screen in. Tigging the screen to a tube frame would look nice too.
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Old 12-16-2013, 07:40 AM
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Again, thanks for all the suggestions. I have a little bit to think about it and decide direction. I'll post pictures when I decide what I'm doing...
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Old 12-18-2013, 10:57 AM
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I made a screen similar to this for the vw project. I simply TIGd the SS mesh to a SS frame. I have yet to actually put it in use, so I cant speak to the durability of it, but here it is:











Dan
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Old 12-18-2013, 04:07 PM
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In the stock car world, I build a surround out of aluminum sheet the size of the opening, with added flanges around the perimeter to hem the edges with. Put the screen in, then hem the aluminum to hold it into place. In the center I rivet a backer in where you can't hem it. It's a consumable part for us so it needs to be pretty quick to make. Fasten the AL surround as needed.

http://www.arbodies.com/abc-bodies/a...s/grillscreens
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Old 02-17-2014, 10:28 AM
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So, here's what I wound up doing...

I decided to go with a frame made out of stainless rod, then wrapped the screen around and welded. Part of the logic behind this was there really wasn't a duct or anything, so sheet metal would have created more work than I already had in front of me.

I didn't take any pictures of just the frame, but here are a couple of the assembly:



The frame is 3/16" 304 stainless rod. Part of the reason for using rod instead of tubing was that rod was half the price of tube. I think the next time I do this, I'm going to use something like 1/4" or 3/8" x 0.049" wall tubing because welding 0.047" screen wire to solid rod required more heat than I would have liked. The mounting tabs are 0.060" 304 flat stock. I wound up using 4 x 4 (4 squared per inch) x 0.047" stainless screen. Summit had about the best pricing I could find, and they're local to me, so that was a no-brainer.

Another shot, from the front side.



I left 1/2" of screen (two rows) oversize relative to the frame, and formed a 90 degree flange with my brake. I finished forming it around the rod with a rawhide mallet. I didn't weld every wire to the frame. I did about 1-1/2" or so, then skipped the same distance. Even doing that, it took about an hour for the form/weld process.

It looks like this on the car:





Thank you to all that contributed to this thread. These things are deceptive...when they look good, you barely notice them on the finished car. When it comes time to make them you realize how many different ways there are to do them, and screw them up!
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Old 02-17-2014, 12:29 PM
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A successful execution of K.I.S.S. and it looks good to boot - bravo
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Old 02-17-2014, 01:00 PM
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So I assume this is aesthetics only? I can't see it stopping any damage to the radiator.
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Old 02-17-2014, 01:16 PM
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So I assume this is aesthetics only? I can't see it stopping any damage to the radiator.
I'm sure that clarification will come BUT generally this is not to stop "Rocks" but smaller stones, pebbles the occasional plastic bag or other debris that would potentially ether pierce or plug the radiator, or cause damage when being brushed off in the pits...
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Old 02-17-2014, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Chocflip201 View Post
So I assume this is aesthetics only? I can't see it stopping any damage to the radiator.
The car races on pavement, so there's not really boulders to contend with. It's for small stones and rubber chunks that get kicked up off the track. This is actually sturdier than what most guys are using right now, which is paper honeycomb that attaches to the radiator core with plastic ties.

It's mostly to keep the core from getting clogged up and the fins from getting bent. As E points out, as much damage occurs trying to clean it out as from the initial impact.
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Old 02-17-2014, 02:05 PM
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Looks good!

Dan
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Old 02-17-2014, 06:03 PM
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Ah gotcha. That makes sense.
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Old 06-02-2016, 10:34 AM
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Dragging this back to the top...

I ran across an article about Lil' John Buttera's Eagle Indy car that had some great closeup pictures of the car. One of them shows how this was done on that car...looks like someone spent a bunch of time welding the individual wires, just like Dan and I have:



Here's a link to the article, if anyone is interested:

http://www.hotrod.com/features/histo...-the-indy-500/

There are a number of good photos that show how this thing was put together. Lots of good ideas on detail fabrication.

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