03

 

 
With the body of the dash complete, John used a series of Dzus fasteners to strategically hold the dash in place.  Dzus fasteners are designed to release quickly through a simple 90 degree turn of the Dzus button.  This allows the entire dash to be disassembled and removed from the car in less than ten minutes, which comes in handy when working inside the car.
 
John Kuchta Specialty Cars
 
When I first envisioned an aluminum dash inside of Project 240LSR, it was nothing like this.  I imagined a piece of sheet aluminum bent at a 90 degree angle with a bunch of gauges boringly stuffed into it. I guess my expectations were low. Thankfully, John Kuchta’s weren’t.
 
John Kuchta Specialty Cars project 240sx land speed racer motoiq

Note the smaller radius anvil wheel used to contour the edge of the outer hood so that it could later mate nicely with and be welded to the inner hood.

 
To exercise the right side of the brain a bit and avoid a boring look, John constructed a complex gauge hood from three different pieces of sheet aluminum.  Using an English wheel, both the outer and inner portions of the hood assembly were contoured and shaped to match the profile of the flat gauge plate.
 
John Kuchta Specialty cars aluminum dash project 240sx land speed racer
 
Once the hood was shaped with an English wheel, John welded the flat gauge plate to the inner hood first and then welded the inner and outer hoods together.  If you look closely at the right side of the gauge hood (above the MotoIQ logo), you can distinctly see the separate inner and outer portions of the gauge hood.
 
 
After the hood was tig welded together, John trimmed, filed, and ground the outer hood to better match the contours of the aluminum dash panel.  I’m honestly not sure how John managed to match up the compound contours like he did.  Then again, this is what makes John the sheet metal whisperer.
 
aluminum gauge hood specialty cars john kuchta
 
After the perimeter of the outside hood was shaped to match that of the dash, the weld which joined the inner and outer hood was also ground smooth so that it was no longer visible.  Holes were then cut in for gauge mounts.   
 
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Comments
Dan DeRosia
Dan DeRosialink
Tuesday, September 04, 2012 3:31 AM
Man... always a bit envious of people's skill when I see sheetmetal work like this. Seems a shame to cover it up, if it weren't for the whole 'going blind' thing.
Dusty Duster
Dusty Dusterlink
Tuesday, September 04, 2012 10:53 AM
Using an English wheel is a black art. I honestly have no idea how those things work and am always amazed by what people can do with them.
Dave Coleman
Dave Colemanlink
Tuesday, September 04, 2012 2:14 PM
What's that sweet baby-poo colored air-cooled micro-van looking thing in the background? (4th picture, 1st page)
Chuck Johnson
Chuck Johnsonlink
Tuesday, September 04, 2012 3:36 PM
Dave Coleman, the lover of all things odd and obscure. That baby poop colored, clown car that you've got wood over is a Subaru 360. It's powered by a air cooled, two stroke engine which should rate it pretty high on your sex appeal scale.
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Tuesday, September 04, 2012 10:12 PM
I made something with an English wheel once, a mess.
sr20freak
sr20freaklink
Wednesday, September 05, 2012 8:51 AM
@Chuck Johnson comment....... BWHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!
oh man....my stomach hurts....good job Dave. :)

On a different note, that race car dash is super sexy Chuck!
Dan Barnes
Dan Barneslink
Wednesday, September 05, 2012 9:00 PM
F40s have flocked dashes, I'm pretty sure. And they're actually made of carbon fiber.
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