The problem with having bespoke bodywork on your car is that a lot of parts available from retailers were not designed to fit the car which leaves you with a bit of a problem. Take the two wind deflectors for instance (I can’t really call them windscreens). In period they come with a very simple 2 inch high mounting bracket on either end which whilst adjustable to a certain degree are not able to accomodate being mounted on anything other than a fairly flat panel. The bodywork on our car doesnt have *any* flat panels… The big butterfly nut allows you to adjust the angle of the glass so that in theory the wind is pushed up and over your head.
I dont like these mounts and they dont fit my car anyway so what is needed is an elegant engineering solution.
I have spent many a happy hour across several months looking at how other people had crafted a way of bolting down the wind deflectors. Some had simply used the bracket shown above and lived with whatever angle the screens ended up at (in some cases it looked horrible) but most had come up with something else. Some people had removed both the bracket and the fixture it is clamped onto replacing them with a simple alluminium panel folded to conform to the shape of the bodywork. In some instances this looked quite nice but it wasnt really the look that I wanted.
Some people weld a vertical tube onto a spreader plate. The plate then being bolted to the bodywork with 3 or 4 bolts and the screen end is inserted and clamped into the top of the tube. This was more elegant but I didnt like seeing the mounting bolts and wanted something cleaner. Having learned to braze-weld alluminium recently, a design concept formed in my mind as I really wanted the whole structure to be crafted out of alluminium:
Step one – investigate the challenge.
By far the most complex challenge is the highly shaped cowl in front of the driver, it has steep angles and complex curves. Having worked out where I think the best place for the screen will be – you can see below that the new screen vertical support needs to be cut at quite an angle in order to mount flush onto the curved panel
The round disk is a two inch ‘useful throw away’ from when i cut out all the holes on the intstrument panel – as luck would have it, I need 4 disks – 2 for each of the wind-deflectors and I had cut cut 4 holes.
You can see in the photo above that the disk needs to be slightly curved to match the profile of the bodywork and the bar needs to be cut at an angle somewhere around 45 degrees but its impossible to measure what that angle actually is. Rather than risk wasting lengths of alluminium – I cut a piece of wooden dowel (which is much cheaper) and sanded the angle until it fitted.
This particular support I then knew needs to be cut at 48 degrees. Before making that cut, using the lathe I drilled a deep hole into the end of the bar in readiness for fixing the threaded rod. This way when I cut the bar at 48 degrees – I would know for certain that the hole in the bar and the cut-off end piece would line up perfectly. In case you were wondering, the cut-off end piece would be used on the oppostite side of the body panel as it matches all the angles of the body work and allowing the nut to be fitted square to the threaded rod (see the sketch if my wordsd confuse)
A thread was then cut into the long bar and a length of studding fixed into place. Below you can see how all the pieces go together although for the photo I merely slid in a smaller bolt so you could see it as a unit.
Transferring all the sections to the car means I now had this:
The bar is purpously far too long to enable me to adjust the angle on the end until it bolted in perfectly vertical. I needed the length so that a bubble level could be held against it. The bar was now cut to size and another hole drilled in the top to accept the screen fittment. Below is yet another trial fit and you can see where I am heading.
The final stage was to braze-weld the disk to the bar so that they became one unit. The completed support will now be cleaned up and all the machining marks removed.
I followed the same principle and fabricated the screen mount for the other side, the angles and lengths were all different but the process was the same.
And this is the finished result (before cleanup of the parts and fitting of rubber sealing washers etc). The broken glass will of course be replaced its only there for the photo.
Now onto the passenger screen.