I’ve just finished a little project on Project Unfair that needed to be done to get to my next big project. In order to mount the seats, steering wheel, and Wilwood pedals, I had to move the sheet metal from behind the throttle pedal area away from the driver. Otherwise we’d be driving the car with our knees figuratively in our chests.
The driver’s side header needed some relief as well, so I extended a raised boss in the floor to the firewall, which gave the header plenty of room.
I cut out the offending sheetmetal in a single piece, using a combination of three tools. Two are my old standbys: pneumatic wheel cutter and a Bosch jigsaw, but the third tool is one of the coolest new tools in years, a cordless Ridgid Jobmax Multi-Tool. Using a Bosch bi-metal “blade” (the Ridgid can use a variety of other manufacturer’s accessories), I was able to cut straight and curved lines without the bother of air lines or power cords. The Ridgid uses the new-style Li-ion batteries, and they recharge in about 30 minutes.
I’ve also gotten a lot of use lately out of Bosch’s similar toolset. I use the little impact driver on everything. Lug nuts, suspension bolts, exhaust clamps. It can really speed up assembly and disassembly, which I do a lot when I’m figuring out fabrication sequences.
I’ve also gone from red to blue: I sold my Lincoln welders, and bought new Millers. I’ll write about them next.
In last week’s blog, I promised more about the stereo installation that William Fonseca and 1Off Rides did in my Z06. William and his crew did a fabulous job meeting my requirements, but he also worked very hard to make the whole install look like a factory installation. So there aren’t big bunches of wire connection barrels, or wire nuts. Instead, all the connections are done in-line with soldered connections and automotive grade OEM style wrapping.
All the wiring is tidy: easy for maintenance and any enhancements.
Here’s one view of the wiring behind the head unit. The nylon mesh along with shrink wrap tubing is a quality of keeping wire harnesses together.
Here’s another view. You can see the original and the additional wiring.
Late last year, after buying a new-to-me 2007 C6 Z06, I took the car over to William Fonseca at 1Off Rides. William has done several installs for me, and wanted to show off his new brand of gear: Hertz. He took detailed photos of his whole install process, so I’ll show off some of his work across a few blog entries over the next couple of weeks.
I gave William two requirements:
- The system couldn’t cut any wires to install. I wanted to be able to return it completely to stock for resale.
- The sub and amp had to be removable for track use.
William did that, and added one of his own: when the sub and amp are removed, the system still plays! He put audiophile relays in all the speakers and connected both to the big Hertz amp and to the head unit: a Pioneer AVIC Z110BT. The sub and amp are removable with two mil-spec connectors and two nuts. They float in the back of the car: that is to say: they don’t touch the carpet. So when you remove them, there’s no matted down carpet.
All in all, William and his shop did a fantastic job with the install. Here’s a few pics for now:
The Hertz speaker is mounted to an aluminum adapter.
Here it is mounted to the door.
The GM LAN interface module and main power relay, along with the splice harness.
The mil-spec connector for the amp. It’s a simple pull to disconnect.
Just a few of the relays needed to allow the dual mode system to work seamlessly.
Project Unfair won’t be using standard gauges. Instead, we are going to use the integrated dash display from Stack Systems. The Stack display has several advantages over traditional gauges:
- It allows the dash to be completely visible through the steering wheel. No more disco head-bob to see the gauges hidden behind the wheel.
- It’s programmable so that limits for each supported sensor can have alarms defined. Things like low oil pressure and too hot water temperature can turn on a light and then show the value of the sensor. When you’re on the track, you don’t have time to scan all your gauges to look for problems.
- It allows fine-tuning of your fuel tank sensor, so you’ll know within the gallon of how much fuel is left in the tank.
- It integrates with a data recorder so that data can be played back and analyzed later, along with data directly recorded such as sensor data for ride height, steering angle, and brake line pressure.
- The data recorder will be integrated with the Holley Dominator ECU allowing analysis of nearly all the available sensors in the car at the same time using the amazing DataPro Analysis system. No more coming in after a few hot laps with some sort of vague driver “It felt a little weird” or “the car was turning in slowly”. With DataPro, we’ll be able to tell exactly how the car responds to changes in tuning, be it suspension, braking, or engine.
- The wiring is dead simple. A single 19 circuit mil-spec connector provides all the connection needed.
Check out all the available real estate on the dash when it’s all integrated into a single display. The gauges on the lower right are boost and lambda gauges. We’ll integrate their sensors into the data recorder as well, though the dash display doesn’t have direct support for them. We’ll put A/C vents in the space to the left and right of the display, and the traditional headlight and wiper switches on the lower left.
Here’s a closer look at the display, gauges, and recorder. The single harness is all that is needed for all the traditional dash gauges: oil pressure, water temp, tach, speedometer, odometer, fuel level, oil temp, fuel pressure, and voltage level. It also supports display of lap times (we will be installing a lap time sensor).
We are using a very interesting new material for Unfair’s interior. It’s called Airex C70.
AIREX® C70 is a lightweight, closed cell foam for universal use in sandwich constructions. Its excellent stiffness and strength to weight ratio and high toughness make it suitable for a large variety of applications. The foam is ideally suited for statically and dynamically loaded structures and is compatible to all resin systems.
Our friend and collaborator Guillermo (William) Fonseca of 1Off Rides is working on the interior panels using this awesome material. It can be fabricated as though it were MDF (the standard material for speaker boxes). It cuts fine with woodworking tools, and can be glued or screwed together to make complex shapes. Once the shapes are glued/screwed together and all the panels sanded/finished to fit, you can use ordinary fiberglass mesh and resin to make the shapes permanent.