Pimp2 - the rebuild starts

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Pimp2 - the rebuild starts

Post by pimpdriver » Wed Jan 19, 2011 12:22 am

Quite a few years ago i hillclimbed and sprinted a yellow Rawlson Imp. This got nicknamed the Pimp (Performance IMP) and the name stuck. :oops:
Image
Unfortunately the car got written off in a roll at MIRA. :cry: :cry: :cry:
Image
Wanting to carry on competing, I then bought a Clan shell and transferred the mechanics into it.
Image
I competed in this until now, developing it into a pretty quick Turbocharged beast. This year the class structure for hillclimb and sprints has changed, namely, in modified production cars the minimum number of cars that needed to be produced was 100 per year ( making the Clan eligable) 8) . This has now changed to 1000 cars per year, ruling out the clan :cry: :( . I will have to play in the Kit car classes, up to 1700cc, up against bike powered locaterfields, ah well, at least i've got a roof when it rains :D .

So, its time to rebuild, or more correctly, build, a new Imp - Pimp2.
This will be eligible to compete in the mod prod up to 1400cc ( with a 998 turbo engine), hopefully being competitive against 1400cc mini's

The old steel shell was twisted with a bent roof, and was weighed in for scrap a couple of years ago. The car was not a spaceframe, It had a full imp inner bodyshell fitted with GRP one piece front end, GRP rear wings, GRP doors, and GRP engine cover. It was run in the mod prod clas but had a few illegal points, like the lack of rear wings :oops: . To be legal with the new car, a replacement shell was required and this must retain all the imp steel bodywork between the wheel centres. (within the wheelbase).

I ended up buying a shell advertised on this forum a few years ago from down in Weymouth. This was an acid dipped shell, with new 6 point cage, seam welded but then work stopped. I bought it knowing it was a long term project and wasn't able to start on it for a few years. I wanted to store it indoors, and Chris at Fenn Lane offered to store it in a barn, as long as it didn't take up floor space. I made a steel frame to store it in the air, with room for another car too fit underneath and took it over to its new home. When Jeff saw it, he was impressed with how good the outer body parts were, so knowing what bits i wouldn't need, i borrowed a marker pen and marked up what he could have. 30mins with a plasma cutter and the car donated lots of bits to keep other Imps going :D :D .
The shell was moved back to my house a couple of years ago and sat under a tarp round the back. Its now in the garage, with me wondering were to start.

Image
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Bit of work to go, but aiming for it to be ready for the 2012 season, with a 998 turbo engine.

Eric
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Re: Pimp2 - the rebuild starts

Post by lukesoanes » Wed Jan 19, 2011 12:59 am

i think im going to have to keep my eye on this one, if it ends up anywhere near as good as the clan it will be amazing!! :D

cant wait to see it progress!!

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Re: Pimp2 - the rebuild starts

Post by skamanfrank » Wed Jan 19, 2011 7:51 am

Good stuff!
I seem to remember a few of us getting this down from it's stand in one of the Fenn Lane barns when Jeff had hi autojumble?!
Cheers
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Re: Pimp2 - the rebuild starts

Post by HARTWELL MK1 » Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:37 am

first stage bolt the doors on and pull the shell straight!
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Re: Pimp2 - the rebuild starts

Post by basil imp » Wed Jan 19, 2011 6:57 pm

What was the pimp like in comparason to the clan then, clan must be lighter?

This is a project worth keeping an eye on!

Take it thats what the rawlson front was on your clan at the national then?
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Re: Pimp2 - the rebuild starts

Post by pimpdriver » Wed Jan 19, 2011 11:39 pm

The Clan originally was heavier, It was am ex-racer and before that a rally car. It is a Luff shell but not a superlightweight one. I would say at the start the clan was 570 Kg and the pimp was 520 kg. The clan to start with was slower than the imp on hillclimbs (with the same 100hp N/A 998cc engine) but slightly faster on sprints where the improved aerodynamics came into play. Over the years, I have lightened the clan to about 520kg whilst upping the power to about 150hp and now its much quicker than the imp was/ For comparison the best i achieved at curborough with the Pimp was 36.05 secs, this year i got the time down to 33.9s, which is only 0.5 secs of the upto 1400 mod prod circuit record, not bad for only going there once a year :twisted: .

Yep, that was the new front end off Colin Rooney, who kindly brought it too the national for me. The rear wings and doors are repairable

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Re: Pimp2 - the rebuild starts

Post by Lotus-e-Clan » Thu Jan 20, 2011 8:49 am

c
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Re: Pimp2 - the rebuild starts

Post by colin rooney » Thu Jan 20, 2011 5:34 pm

Nice 1 Eric it will be good to see another rawlson out having a bit of fun just make sure you put a saloon cage in it this time :lol:

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Re: Pimp2 - the rebuild starts

Post by HARTWELL MK1 » Thu Jan 20, 2011 7:58 pm

pimpdriver wrote: Image

Wonder where the rear shelf ended up, :oops:

Eric
Image
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Re: Pimp2 - the rebuild starts

Post by pimpdriver » Fri Mar 18, 2011 11:27 pm

Update time

Had the day off work today and got on with straightening the shell. As Jeff alluded to previously the shell is actually bent. It had been Acid Dipped before i bought it and it looks as though lifting the shell in and out of the acid using ropes or slings under the roof has allowed the shell to bend. See piccies below for how bad it was.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

The whole shell was bent around the door aperture, you can see evidence in the 3rd picture of where the ropes went :x . The door shown is the fiberglass door of the original Pimp, its been repaired but its a lot straighter than the shell :shock:

After talking to Jeff (HARTWELL MK1), and deciding the best course of action, I was advised to straighten it before i cut the sills off to keep the strength in the floor. Jeff very kindly lent me some straightening bars :D , without which non of this would have happened - cheers Jeff :D
These bars are basically large turnbuckles with grips/clamps on the end. The ends clamp onto the flange around the door aperture and by turning the blue sleeve in the middle you can pull or push the bodywork.
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Re: Pimp2 - the rebuild starts

Post by pimpdriver » Fri Mar 18, 2011 11:44 pm

Right - let the straightening commence.

First attempt - try and pull the top of the rear wing in to close the gap with the door.

Image

Image

Unfortunately all this did was pull the front of the door aperture in, the back didn't move at all. I wanted to get the rear wing at 90 degrees to the top of the sill.

So lets try it from the sill up to the top of the rear wing - that should do it.

Image

Better - but as i put more tension on, the clamp on the sill started to 'dig in' to the sill, probably because i wasn't pulling in line.

Bit of thinking time latter - i made some plates to weld in the corner to enable a better pull.

Image

Success :D - I managed to get the rear door line vertical, in doing this you could see the roof pulling back into shape 8)

By putting the bars in various positions i was able to push the front corner of the roof up and out into position, straighten out the kink from the rope in the top of the door aperture and basically push and pull the shell back into shape.

Image

One last job was to pull the the top of the b-post in towards each other as the had splayed out. Again the brain had to supplied with coffee,but i managed to wrap some sling offcuts round the pillars and clamp them in the straightening bars and pull them in.

Image

See next post for results.
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Re: Pimp2 - the rebuild starts

Post by pimpdriver » Fri Mar 18, 2011 11:53 pm

After i got the shell roughly straight, i fitted some original imp doors i borrowed earlier of Brian Gomm (cov_climax). I thought i better get the shell to the correct shape, not to the shape of rawlson doors.

A little more tweeking and now it all seems pretty straight

Image

Image

Image

Image

The roof has gone back pretty mush to shape but it still has a couple of flat areas behind the B posts, not as bad but will still need a bit of work.
Pretty happy with the results - i can now carry on with the rest of the work, at least with a straight shell now.
Not done a lot of steel bodywork for years, too much playing around with plastic cars. Quite enjoyed this though :D :oops: :D
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Re: Pimp2 - the rebuild starts

Post by cov_climax » Sat Mar 19, 2011 12:15 am

that's a marked improvement eric, has the dip in the roof above the B posts come out much?

I did have a long-bed sander (air powered) somewhere, though it may be on loan as i've not seen it for a while, if can locate it you're welcome to borrow it for when the filler session starts or just paint it a matt colour to save weight.
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Re: Pimp2 - the rebuild starts

Post by Lotus-e-Clan » Sat Mar 19, 2011 12:47 am

c
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Re: Pimp2 - the rebuild starts

Post by pimpdriver » Sat Mar 19, 2011 9:38 am

Peter
Yep, the plan is to transfer all the running gear from the Clan over to the Imp. I'm not sure what i'm going to do with the Clan afterwards, but its going to be used again this year. Development will continue. This year stronger rear springs have been fitted,A Speed sensor is being fitted to help the datalogging, Electronic Boost control has been looked at and will be attempted again, plus, the 998 engine will be fitted sometime when i get all the parts sorted. I'm also gradually getting parts together for another turbo engine - who knows where that will end up.

Eric
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Re: Pimp2 - the rebuild starts

Post by Lotus-e-Clan » Sat Mar 19, 2011 9:50 am

c
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Re: Pimp2 - the rebuild starts

Post by capriman » Sat Mar 19, 2011 8:02 pm

Eric,

Some cracking work there - that was not a little bit of sag!

That was one of my biggest concerns when I had my car dipped at SPL but it came back spot on.

Keep up the good work.

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Re: Pimp2 - the rebuild starts

Post by blown_imp » Sat Mar 26, 2011 8:01 am

Hi Eric,

Well it's good to see this, as I may be paralleling you in a build. I have been stripping my supercharged imp down to a bare shell for work, and it would appear that mine is rusty in all the places that yours has had panels removed! I have been swooning over the spaceframe cars again too, so it might be time for me to follow your build and get busy with the anglegrinder and slitting disks :shock:

How do you strengthen the shell after removing all the panels? Do you tie in a cage and put further bars in for suspension pickups etc?

Cheers

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Re: Pimp2 - the rebuild starts

Post by cov_climax » Sat Mar 26, 2011 9:12 pm

Hi J,

if the shell is straight to start with, (where possible), i would fit the cage and weld the bracing in before removing redundant panles.

depends on if you want to go for a particular motorsport series with regarding extending the roll-cage to suspension pick-ups, get very famillular with the Blue book ( i can probably get you a copy of last years if needed) , or if you plan hillclimbs then sound eric out as he's building this one to keep the mini boys quiet when he beats them :lol:

hope all is well BTW?

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Re: Pimp2 - the rebuild has continued - slowly

Post by pimpdriver » Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:01 pm

I have been slowly continuing to work on the shell, I guess it is time for some long overdue updates.
There are some gaps in the photo's as I lost a few by losing my phone.

My major work was on the back corners of the car and the parcel shelf. As you can see from the picture below, there is quite a bit missing.

Image

Image.

First job was the recreation of a parcel shelf. The regs say that the shell must be as original up to the wheel centres, so this meant the 4" or so of the parcel shelf to just past the shocker mounts needed replacing. A nice piece of 25mm square box fitted nicely to achieve a solid back to this panel, to which i could attach the seatbelt mounts and steady bars for the engine mounting.

Image

Image

A new panel was the made from 0.8mm steel wih folded edges to stiffen it and plug weld holes to attach it

Image

Image

More to come
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Re: Pimp2 - the rebuild has continued - slowly

Post by HARTWELL MK1 » Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:08 pm

pimpdriver wrote:
First job was the recreation of a parcel shelf.
Blimey eric, did someone nick the parcel, whilst you had it parked :oops: !
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Re: Pimp2 - the rebuild starts

Post by pimpdriver » Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:24 pm

There's more

Now the sides of the parcel shelf needed making. A lot of head scratching and quite a lot of cardboard later a plan was devised.
Instead of following the original shape, I decided to go in a straight line up from the shocker mounts up to the base of the rear window scuttle underside.
My plan is to have a removable panel to give access to the back (front ?) of the engine and the transaxle, so i just needed the sides and a lip at the back.
Some 16mm thin wall box section fitted between the box section fitted across the car and to the scuttle underside gives me a nice strong straight mount for the panel work. Excuse the shoddy camera work, it does go to the box section just out of shot to the left.

Image

The panels were cut to join to the inner wheel well and folded round the side to join to the inner wings.

Image



Image

A tube was fitted through the panel so i can fit flexible ductwork taking air from the side windows to the turbo inlet. Also on this side added a rectangular cut out (with folded edges to stiffen it ) to use as an area where the electrics will pass through.

Image

I also added ( a bit later) a second box section (16mm x 1mm wall) to join into the old chassis members to help stiffen the rear.
Also in this picture you can see the strip added at the back to close off the fourth side of the parcel shelf access panel.

Image

Image
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Re: Pimp2 - the rebuild starts

Post by pimpdriver » Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:43 pm

Whilst I was messing about with the parcel shelf area I also incorporated an engine mount.

A section of the rear scuttle underside was cutout and strengthened by adding ties up to the top panel, whilst filling in the rear window lock.
You can just see the folded over ends along the edge of the cutout.

Image

These were plug welded in.

Image

A piece of 2mm wall angle was then welded into this cut out, with captive nuts on the inside, to mount the engine mount to.
Unfortunately I haven't got a photo of it on its own welded in, just this one with the engine mount.

Image

The triangular engine mount was then made using a similar system to the one I had in the Clan. The mount is nice and vertical.
I also added some steady bars to help triangulate it, not sure how necessary but makes it nice and stiff.

Image

Engine access should be pretty good thro' the car if required.

Image

More to come soon once i have sorted out the photo's.
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Re: Pimp2 - the rebuild starts

Post by colin rooney » Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:53 pm

nice to see your back on the build mate keep us posted

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Re: Pimp2 - the rebuild starts

Post by basil imp » Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:20 pm

Really looking forward to more updates on this car in a while. Looking forward to seeing in action :twisted:
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Re: Pimp2 - the rebuild starts

Post by Lotus-e-Clan » Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:34 am

So is the spacer tube butted directly to the timing cover mount and held in compression with a long through bolt to the vertical mount off the rear shelf?

Just wondering about the tube loosening during service by digging in to the softer aluminium and then all of the bending strain transferring to the end of the long bolt at the vertical mount end?

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Re: Pimp2 - the rebuild starts

Post by pimpdriver » Tue Dec 04, 2012 9:29 pm

Peter
The photo does look like you describe, but it isn't so. The round tube has an 1/2" unf insert welded in at both ends. The box section that goes to the dynamo support casting on the block is welded to the tube and a bracket that goes under a head bolt is also welded to the tube. The bolt thro' the timing case doesn't do a lot, and are steering rack tie rod bolts. This is the bracket off the clan i mocked it up with first,(with a square section top tube) before I made a new one for this car. The steelwork on the side is for the ford coil pack. The bush is a polyurethane universal one from Superflex.

Image
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Re: Pimp2 - the rebuild starts

Post by Lotus-e-Clan » Tue Dec 04, 2012 9:46 pm

A hah! Yes, the latest picture makes it clear!

You usually do come up with a proper solution - should never have doubted it.

Does the recent increase in activity mean the Rawlson will be ready to go out campaigning next year?

And if so, what have you decided to do with the Clan? It's too admired and too famous to go out to grass!

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Re: Pimp2 - the rebuild starts

Post by pimpdriver » Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:14 pm

Peter
The plan is to get the Imp out competing this year, but trying to do it in a way that doesn't make the Clan unusable. I'm not planing on selling the Clan, It might even get 'tarted up'. I've been trying to get the Imp running for a year or so now, I do tend to work on it in spurts.

Eric
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Re: Pimp2 - the rebuild starts

Post by Lotus-e-Clan » Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:42 am

Your Clan - tarted-up- would be fantastic thing. It'd make a fantastic Scoobie-eating road car (well-up to 100mph)! 8)
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Re: Pimp2 - the rebuild starts

Post by moose » Wed Dec 05, 2012 9:00 am

Looks really good Eric top job on getting the shell square again.
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Re: Pimp2 - the rebuild starts

Post by pimpdriver » Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:49 pm

Mike
I was very pleased with the shell straightening, big thanks to Jeff Day for the loan of the Kit, I'm still not sure if it was worth a Parcel Shelf in exchange, the amount of work to replace it was a lot more than I imagined. My loss, Jeff's gain, decisions you make and learn to regret :wink:
I still have the little job of swapping roofs, as there are two dents where the roof hasn't flexed back, I've got a roof and pillars off the Benoys, just got to stick it on :o

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Re: Pimp2 - the rebuild starts

Post by bks974c » Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:59 pm

Eric

Having replaced a roof skin its not a difficult job but as it provides a lot of stiffness to the shell make sure its well braced before you remove it otherwise you may end up back where you started. Sure you have this all ready figured out :oops:

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Re: Pimp2 - the rebuild starts

Post by brakedisc » Fri Dec 07, 2012 10:57 am

Never good to use a cylinder head bolt as a mounting.
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Re: Pimp2 - older roof now on

Post by pimpdriver » Wed Feb 20, 2013 12:10 am

New Update

At the start of the build, the bent shell had to be straightened, unfortunately this left the roof with two huge dents where the metal stretched and wouldn't go back. I'm useless at filling and its a really hard shape to get right ( to me anyway ), so i decided to replace the roof. The Benoys were having a clear out last year and I helped the situation by removing a nice blue roof from their back garden. It's about time I fitted it then.
I was going to cut through all the pillars and splice in the new roof ( well old roof, as the shell is 1974 and the 'new' roof is an earlier one ), but Jeff day advised me how the roof is fitted to the 'C' pillars, so I followed his advice and got out the angle grinder.

First job was slit the back of the roof off just above the rear joint, and then the corner was cut out of the roof above the 'C' pillar to give access.
The roof ( and gutters) is only held onto the top of the 'C' pillar by a few spot welds and a bit of braze. The gutter just sits on the step of the 'C' pillar, brazed at the back with one spot weld at the back, one between the roof stiffener and the rear window surround and one on the leading edge of the 'C' pillar. These were drilled/ground out and the corner was free.

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View on the inside,

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Other side , I hacked the gutter off at the back which made access easier. Bit rustier this side but not too bad.

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The 'B' pillars were carefully measured and cut.

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And so were the 'A' pillars

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We have lift off - roof gone.

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More to follow tomorrow.
Eric Morrey

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ImpManiac
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Re: Pimp2 - the rebuild starts

Post by ImpManiac » Wed Feb 20, 2013 1:14 pm

:shock: :shock: Wow! Nice work, Eric! :D :D I'm going to steal those photos for when I repair the damage to the roof of my Chamois. It is dented in the driver's side rear corner, as well as an easier to hammer out dent near the front on the passenger side.

Looking forward to the next instalments. :)

IM 8)
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Re: Pimp2 - the rebuild starts

Post by Dave ' Linwood ' Lane » Wed Feb 20, 2013 1:16 pm

Looks quite drastic , top work Sire. :)
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Re: Pimp2 - the rebuild starts

Post by pimpdriver » Thu Feb 21, 2013 11:46 pm

Time to prepare the replacement roof.

First job was to work out how do I work on the roof without damaging it. Easy, find a nice metal structure, the width of an Imp and support the gutters 8)

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The rear window area was removed, again by using a thin slitting disc, and then the metal remaining was ground back to just leave the roof skin at the rear.
The 'C' pillars were then removed with the angle grinder

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The underside of the roof still was covered in the horrible bitumen based stuff that holds the sound deadening felt on.
Using petrol and wire wool and an excess of elbow grease I got this far removing it, and after about 2 hours gave up for the day.

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Another couple of hours on the Sunday saw a nice clean underside to the roof

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The 'A' pillars were trimmed to the correct length and cleaned up ready for welding.

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The 'B' pillars were treated the same.

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The 'A' pillars on the car were then readied to accept the new roof. This involved plug welding in 2" (50mm) long strips of 1mm plate
in 3 places. When the roof is fitted these would be plug welded thro holes in the roof, helping to tie the two bits together. It also gives
a great backing strip for the main weld, making it possible to weld with a higher setting giving better penetration.

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Again the 'B' pillar was done the same.
Also you can see, I fitted the Roll-cage to help stiffen the shell, which was much easier to fit with the roof off (making sure all the bolts would come out from underneath :shock: )

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The rear of the roof was then cleaned up and holes drilled to weld thro' later.

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All I had to do now was fit the roof, but had too stop as I needed to wait until the next weekend when a friend would come round to help lift the roof on.

Roof on - and relax :D 8).

Fitted surprisingly easily, just needed the 'B' pillars adjusting slightly to get it to sit down properly. Considering how bent the car was and
the amount of cutting and welding done on it, I'm happy :D :D

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Better start welding, 'A' pillars first. The gutter lips were slightly out, but by clamping a bit of brass in the gutter, I was able to bridge the gap with weld. The brass supports the weld, without getting welded into the structure.

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Finished welding and cleaned up, just filling required. This area is lead filled usually anyway, to hide the roof skin joint to the pillar.

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The 'b' pilllar needed a bit of clamping to get everything straight, we are talking millimetres here, but it easier to get it right than try to correct it after welding.
Very pleased with the pipe grips and tie wrap clamp, worked a treat. The cage was useful to pull the pillar back a bit.

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All welded and cleaned up.

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Last job done was to weld the rear up. The holes along the back lip were plug welded, and for overkill I welded along the seam as well.

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This is as far as I've got, some cleaning up to the inside of the car where the roll cage has restricted access, but the roof is pretty much on.

Eric
Eric Morrey

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Re: Pimp2 - the rebuild starts

Post by 19James » Fri Feb 22, 2013 12:02 am

Nice work there Eric :) When I'm on the road I will have to drive up to Curborough to see it competing ;)
Cheers, James Imp004 Imp005
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Re: Pimp2 - the rebuild starts

Post by bks974c » Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:08 am

Lovely work there, its quite normal for the B pillar to spring out of alignment as its under tension being bent in towards the centre of the car and springs back outwards when cut.

Scott
Last edited by bks974c on Fri Feb 22, 2013 9:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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