RB26 S13 – Front End Updates

Lots of pictures and a rundown of how my front end is coming along.

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I’ll go back to the day I cut off everything in the front end. Finally ready to start measuring things and planning what it’s going to look like.

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I spoke to Andy for hours on what the best setup would be. He is the one fabricating everything for the car so I wanted to make sure we had the same idea.

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First piece was obviously the long piece of tube that would end up being the frame of the front end. We wanted to do it out of a single piece of tube rather than welding bits together. Firstly, it looks much nicer and second, I think it would have reduced the need for more bracing to the rails.

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Before the main pipe was done, there were a couple other bits put in. A single pipe about 2m long was bent to 80º at both ends, then cut in half. The two halves were welded to the side of the chassis rails for a bit of strength and also allows to add some braces to the engine mounts on the crossmember. When it gets to the bends it will look like it disappears into the rails.

The next bits were some firewall bars. Going from the dash bar in the cage, through the firewall and meeting up to the front strut towers. These got knocked over pretty quickly, just a bit of cleaning up to do and it will be looking perfect.

I also bought a big trailer guard from a place in Sydney, amazing quality and single radius so I had a flat edge on the outside. 12″ wide and measured 32″ along the top, surprisingly it wasn’t that expensive either.

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It got cut in half and dummy fitted in the bay.

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At this point I was more worried about the back part of the wheel well rather than the front. At the moment, both front tyres foul on the rear side of the wheel well, so I’ll have to think of some way I can turn without having to raise the car. I’ll figure that out at a later point.

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Also you can see the chassis rail bars, they didn’t get cut until the main tube was ready to go in.

Threw the kit on quickly.

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After the tubs were sitting in the right spot, then came the hard part. Bending up a bit of tube and making some spaghetti.

Andy got it perfect first go. The dude is a genius.

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The rail bars got shortened and notched so it could grab the main bar.

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A couple of tabs were added for the castor brackets and plates were welded to the chassis so the main bar could be welded to the frame of the car.

My excitement level went insane when I saw it like this. I started taking a heap of photos and loving every bit of it.

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I have waited 4 years to see the car looking like this. This is what I have wanted for so long and now it’s finally made it to a point where I am happy to look at my engine bay.

Not done yet though.

Next on the list was making brackets for the removable top piece and bending the tube.

Andy made up these little pieces.

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They were slightly notched and ground down so they can grab the tube perfectly.

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Because they are in two pieces, the back half will be welded to the main bar whereas the front half will be welded to the removable bar. Then it will all be held together with a pair of big bolts on each side, making it a 2 minute doorway for the engine to come out if I ever need it to.

Andy measured the bends and starting making the removable piece.

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And this is it. This is my front end in a nutshell. Apart from a whole bunch of mounting tabs, some sheeting to cover the gaps and the final welds, this is my tube front end.

Anybody that knows me in person will know how much I have wanted this and for how long I have spoken about it. Holy shit it has been way too long but it’s finally done.

I wanted to get a better idea of the finished product and also go over mounting setups with Andy so I grabbed my intercooler and a radiator (random one I had at home) and we mocked up the finished piece.

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This is going to be so awesome! I could go on all night about how happy I am but I’m sure you get the idea. Ridiculously happy with how it is turning out and all the work Andy has done with the whole car.

Now that the major piece of fab work is out of the way, we can finish off some of the welds and move onto the other bits on the list. There are some odd things that I haven’t seen much of and other bits that are extremely common so it will be a bit of an all over job. There is bits to do under the car, in the boot, more in the engine bay, add a couple things to the cage and probably a whole lot more that I can’t remember at the moment.

For now, I am so happy that this front end is finally a reality.

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FINALLY WINNING!!!

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