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Underbody braces, turbos and more!

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 6:36 pm 
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You can use this as a tutorial if you wish. I didnt want to do another traditional "Swift GT parts on a Geo Metro" build and often think outside the box. So, I went to the local wrecker and bought an additional front bumper and started chopping and slicing and welding...

The end result will be unlike anything I have seen on this or any other Geo/Swift forum. It will be completely blocked off in the front for optimal aerodynamics. I want the look of it to have people think the car "came that way". I am not trying to be "ricer/fast and the furious", but still want it sporty and functional.

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This is how is looked from the wrecker..

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Removed the upper part and flipped the lower part upside down..

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Took (2) 1 inch strips of tape and marked where I wanted my cut..

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did the cut and then cut the upper portion of the bumper cover (just under the headlights)

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lined up everything and clamped into place. Ready to start the plastic welding..

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tach welded it

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after all the tachs were done, had to see how it will look and make and adjustments..

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clamped it up to see how it all lined up so far

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another angle

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last angle

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popped off the front bumper and cut the yellow vallance at the crease, removing the 1 inch strip. sanded the paint off the blue bumper for better welding. tach welded it up..

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another pic of the tach welds

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started welding it

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began sanding it to see how it is coming along..

I took a ton of pics that arent shown, click the link below to see more pics. This has taken about 10 hours so far (not in one day). Will keep new pics coming along as I progress 8)
http://s218.photobucket.com/albums/cc14 ... %20bumper/

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Last edited by nixmixin on Fri Mar 29, 2013 2:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:11 am 
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NICE.......Look forward to seeing the finished bumper.........


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 1:30 pm 
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Cool ... what did you use to 'weld' the pieces together?


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 2:42 pm 
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Looks good, looking forward to the finished product :)

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 9:57 pm 
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What?? Weld plastic ?

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 4:23 pm 
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Well, the welding started with taking a soldering iron and black plastic zip-ties. Learned that melting the zip tie is half of the challenge. U also have to melt the 2 pieces that u are joining, slightly to make it a good melt/weld. The only down sides are that the zip ties arent the exact same type of plastic and "can" crack later on and it is a very slow process to do as much welding as i wanted to do. Although it was working rather well, i saw that harbor "china" freight had a "plastic welder" for 60 bucks. I went and got one...it sucks. U need an air compressor for the one i got. That wasnt a problem. It isnt a welder at all. It is literally a soldering iron with an air nosal. It just blows hot air. Took it back. Having the heating element of the plastic welder and air compressor on kept popping the mini breaker on the power strip. I did get "plastic welding rods" though from china freight for $6. :-) so, back to the soldering iron and my new nifty plastic welding rods. These work great by the way. So, finished all the welding... more progress pics coming soon.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 10:52 pm 
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finished all the welding for structure. ..

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started on the foam shaping

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another angle of the 1st stage of foam..

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after it set up and dried, i cut the excess with a filet knife

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40 grit sandpaper and 30 minutes later..

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blocked off the big hole with scrap dried foam i had cut off and cardboard and tape, then squirted another coat of foam and filled in some spots that i oversanded...

the cool thing about this foam, is that it sets up fast and is kinda flexable. after i get it the shape i want, I will start layering the "liquid bumper"... it is a secret... I will show a pic when I get to that stage... :lol:

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2012 7:53 pm 
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Anything new? I am still waiting for the finished bumper :D

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 12:44 am 
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Got sidetracked with a couple more pressing projects. Should be back to the bumper and other body mods this week though. More pics on the way, i promise

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:47 pm 
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OK, it has been a while... I honestly was nearing the completion of this bumper and realized that I was very unhappy withe the direction it was going. So... I started over. The idea was working but I soon realized that the bumper was quite heavy and I hated how far the bumper projected forward.

Step 1- Remove front bumper and create "skenphp/frame". I had read on several other forums that people were using this pink foam that was sold at Home Depot. I found that my local HD didn't stock this any longer and quickly found this blue foam from Lowe's. Unlike the typical white foam that we are used to seeing in cups, this type of foam cuts nicely using a fresh/sharp Olpha (hobby) knife without the annoying balls of foam every where. I only used 4 tools during this first step; Olpha knife, straight edge, 3M #77 spray adhesive, and a tape measure.

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After the framework was in place, I cut a strip to fill the indent in the stock pumper. Every 2-3 inches I cut the foam vertically to help the foam bend better. Using the spray adhesive, I glued the foam to the bumper. I was anxious to keep working on the bumper and resorted to using my mini clamp to allow the glue to dry. Normally, You should spray the glue, wait a couple minutes for the glue to get "tacky" and then stick it.
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Then I started filling in the blanks ;)
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I wanted the body line from the hood and headlights to lead right into the bumper and eliminate the gap under the hood. Here is a pic of the hood closed..
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Time to fill it in...
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Here is the corner before I shaved off the extra.
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Step 2- Shaping

I mainly use 80 grit sandpaper and the bondo body filler file. (I will take a pic of that tool if requested). MOST IMPORTANTLY, when shaving the foam, know that it gets everywhere and has crazy static cling! :ermm: So, with 1 hand sanding, filing or shaving, turn on a shop vac with the other hand and try to catch 90% of the crap coming off. HUGE help!! :D

The shaping begins..
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After I shape it, I will be adding more foam in certain places and will explain then what and why I am doing.

Please note that I am also relocating my radiator and AC condenser to the rear of the car that will be vented through side vents that you can see in some of the pics above. So, I want zero air flow in to the engine compartment with THIS bumper. I will also be creating custom (bad-ass) fog/driving lights and LSi style projector headlights. I will post my "how-to" on them when I get to that. I will be using the projector lenses, bulbs and wiring from the Infinity J35 headlights. I know there is a "how-to" for the rectangle headlight conversion using 7 series BMW projectors on this forum that are amazing (http://geometroforum.com/topic/3184640/1/). BUT, I have found that finding those cars with the lights still in it is not easy. The Infinities are in ample supply AND want I my LSi style lights, so the rectangle conversion doesn't work for me. I have seen the phrase "ANGLE EYES" and don't fully understand that term. I think that my LSi style lights with the projectors in them is what it means but I didn't wanna use the wrong lingo. :thumb

More pics and updates coming soon. I have a deadline to have all the custom body work done by the 2nd week of April. I will be driving to Sacramento (600 miles away) to meet with a buddy of mine that is a journeyman auto-body guru. We will be painting the car up at his place.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 8:36 pm 
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When you get a moment would you tell my a few key steps in removing the front bumper. I need to remove mine and make some repairs.

I also need to do the same to the rear.

It almost seems that many fastners are missing but i am not sure.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 2:49 pm 
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I started shaping the bumper and found that I needed to add more foam. I expected that. And I wanted to add a body line from the headlights. I also knew I wanted to add a lower splitter/lip to the bumper too.
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I added more foam so I could add a gradual body line here.

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I shaved the new added foam down and using the blue tape and a tape measure, I found the lines I wanted and continued my shaping.

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starting to look more like a bumper than something from a bad Tetris game! ;)

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after a ton of shaping the bumper and repairing lose parts foam, I finally got to add the splitter. There are 2 layers here because I will shape it down.

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I used a toothpick to hold the lip in place while the glue dried.

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looking better and better! I will be carving out a spot in the middle of the bumper for the license place and also cutting holes under the headlights for the fog lamps. So those huge blank panels won't stay that way for long.

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got a little frustrated with the gaps so I had to fill them in. Spray foam to the rescue! ;)

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letting this dry for a few hours and will get back to shaping and shaving. Hoping to start on the fog lamps tonight or tomorrow morning! B-)

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 2:55 pm 
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scubaman wrote:
When you get a moment would you tell my a few key steps in removing the front bumper. I need to remove mine and make some repairs.

I also need to do the same to the rear.

It almost seems that many fastners are missing but i am not sure.

Assuming that you have an MK2 or MK3, here is how to remove the bumper cover...
The way I do it takes a few extra steps but well worth it. You can skip removing the headlights but it makes it way harder than just removing the lights first.
So, step 1: remove the headlights and corner lights. You might need to remove the front wheel splash guards to access a couple to the nuts holding in the lights.
step 2: remove all the 10mm bolts along the top of the bumper. There are 2 bumper bracket in front of the tires that need to be removed as well.
step 3: remove the (3) 10mm bolts inside the "mouth" of the bumper. there is 1 in each corner and one in the middle.
step 4: there is a screw inside the wheel arch in the fender that might need removing too. I don't remember.
step 5: remove and disconnect the turn signal lights
finally, pull the bumper off! 8)

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 8:56 pm 
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thanks for the tips.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 11:08 am 
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For those of you that aren't on GMF, I am duplicating my thread here too 8)

Started off today by cutting away the extra spray foam that oozed out of the cracks.

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Take a look at the hard edges on the front lip shown here. That has gotta be fixed! :ermm:

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started off by taking a razor blade and shaved off the hard corner/edge

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Which brings us to the "TOOLS OF THE MONTH"!!! :lol
I took a cooking syringe normally for squirting juice on turkeys and glued 80 grit sandpaper to the outside. I then needed an inverted version of the same thing. So I saw a broken piece of cinder block and noticed the inside curve was a perfect match!!! :thumb

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Simply placing 80 grit sandpaper on the brick and the bumper's edge gets shaped in no time

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After the sanding is done...

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profile shot of after the tools of the month were used on the lower lip

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time for shaping and making the fog light holes and brackets...

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 11:25 am 
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Well I pulled into the light to just walk around it and clean up a little bit in my work area. Here is what it looked like as of Sunday morning..
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This is the engine bay. Notice the foam around the hood latch.

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Started but cleaning up the foam around the latch. Had to dig out the holes that the bumper bolts onto. This will allow the fiberglass access to those holes for easy mounting

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Cleaned up the body lines off of the fender into the bumper. OEM ignores these lines from the fender!

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And I finally flattened a spot for the license plate. Nevada and California require the front plate. So, the fewer tickets, the better.

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So, Here it is, Monday morning. About to start on the fiberglass process. ...

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 5:29 pm 
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Ok. Fiberglass pics...

I started off by taping off the engine bay wheels and fenders. Don't want any drop to hit the rims.
I also used 2 inch clear packing tape and covered the entire foam bumper with it. You can't really tell from this pic, but it is glossy now due to the tape. This is the shortcut that bit me in the butt later on.

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More pics of the prep'd bumper...

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started on the 'glass

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The darker area here is where I didn't add enough hardener to the resin and it started eating my foam!! :O But I topped it with another layer and it all worked out nicely by the morning.

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Finally done laying the matt fiberglass layer for the strength. Tomorrow, I get ready to itch and start sanding down the high spots and get it ready for the cloth layer to smooth it all out.

Image B-)

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:35 pm 
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let me say this ...You have skills and good job.....But
I'm a half empty glass kinda guy so........what about the radiator.?
were is it going to get air.?......jv&s

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:36 pm 
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Looks good so far keep up the good work. :mrgreen:

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:25 pm 
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Relocating the radiator, AC condenser, AC compressor and electric fan to the rear. Ducting through the side vents and out the rear, where the license plate is currently.

Thanks the compliment Mr.Vette. 8)

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 9:35 pm 
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New Pics that I promised!!! :)

Here are several similar shots, The only things different between them is that I added more layers of matt fiberglass and did some sanding here and there...

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Did a bunch of sanding here...

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2nd layer of glass was added..

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Had to fill those "dents"... this is the kitty hair drying. nasty stuff to work with but very functional.

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pulled the bumper off after I talked to my fiberglass gurus....

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the car without the bumper and still has the radiator and AC bits in their "original" location. This will be the last pic with those located there! ;)

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2 more pics of the removed bumper...

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Tomorrow, I begin removing the AC and Radiator and begin fabrication of their mounting, plumbing and ducting. :thumb

I will work more on the bumper later too. Tired of working on it for a day or so. :lol The fiberglass guru said that this is going to be a plug after all. He convinced me that his process will result in the best outcome and will be able to reproduce the bumper if I wreck, crack or want to change it.

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PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2014 6:25 am 
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Any progress?


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PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2014 1:16 am 
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Not lately. I am trying to get the motor 100% for the summer. Having issues with timing/fuel system. Soon, I hope.

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