Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Section: 46B
Hours: 6

I continued fitting the wheel cover parts today. I initially sanded the flanges to achieve as thin a join line between the two halves as possible. I went slowly and cycled multiple times between sanding and checking the fit. I was able to close up the gap, but I wasn't able to improve the match at the bottom where the wheel opening is. The nose section nests over the tail section and was obviously coming up short where the wheel opening is. Where the flanges overlap, there was close to 1/4 inch difference on both sides of the wheel opening.
 I determined that parts of the nose section had been laid up a little thicker than optimal. The manual specifies that you thin down the section where the joint layup occurs, but I also found that the bottom corners were too thick (see below).
I went all the way around the nose section and thinned the inside edge of the layup to a consistent thickness using a sanding drum on the dremel tool. I also went around the outside of the tail section flange with the sanding drum to smooth it out.
By evening out the thickness of the flange area of the nose section and smoothing the outside of the tail section flange I was able to get the wheel opening to almost match up. Much better than what I started (see above).
I also put a slight bevel on the inside of the nose flange area to account for the slight radius in the joggle of the tail section flange. This really tightened up the fit. By evening out the thickness of the nose flange I also ended up with a much better exterior fit. I now have a much smaller mismatch in thickness between the two halves at the join.

After all the sanding described above, I then did a careful measurement with the mounting bracket (as described in the manual) and discovered both the wheel pants were still slightly too long. I did another set of sand, fit, measure cycles to cut down the nose flange to get the overall length to spec.
I'm really glad this part of the build is done!!!!

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