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Suggested reading on this subject
The American Dirt Track
Dirt Track Auto Racing
Dirt Tracks To Glory ..
Outlaw Sprint Cars :Inside Look
History Midget Auto Racing
Quarter Midget Racing is for me
American Zoom Stockcar Racing
available at Amazon books
This page discusses building the firewall assy on a TQ Midget replica

TQ Midget Racer Build.

Installing the steering gear and fabricating the firewall

TQ Midget Project - The Stuchamp Special

In this 2nd installment of the TQ project, we'll be fabricating and installing the upper & lower firewalls and the brackets that will mount the Ross steering gear in place. Normally the firewall would be one piece mounted between the engine block and an in/out box, but since we're using the Crosley clutch and trans setup I decided to split the firewall into upper & lower sections.

The first thing we needed was some posterboard, (available at any arts and crafts store), to make the patterns. This is a time consuming process that requires a lot of measuring and test fitting. The easiest part is using the fiberglass cowling to trace the top section of the pattern. The difficult part is tracing the pattern around the bellhousing. The simplest way I found was to get a pattern cut to a close fit and then to use masking tape to follow the curves to get a tighter fit. From there you can then transfer this pattern onto another piece of posterboard for the final pattern. Once this was done I traced the pattern onto a sheet of .090 aluminum. The steps taken can be seen on the TQ Midget photos page

The next step is cutting the aluminum pieces and then checking them for fit. Once that was finished I welded some small brackets to vertical cowling brackets that will hold the firewall in place. The lower firewall will be bolted to the top section and also to the front belly pan with some angle brackets. Later on we're either going to polish the aluminum or possibly engine-turn it for that vintage look.

Next it was time to mount the Ross steering gear. First I made some temporary plywood mounts to hold the gear in place while measurements could be taken for its placement. This also required the help of my wife as a seat dummy" (heehee) to get the correct angle of the steering wheel shaft and to be sure their was enough knee room. Midget cockpits are a very tight fit and you need to position everything to get all the leg room that you can.

Once I had the measurements, I transferred those to another small piece of posterboard for a pattern. Next we cut out the mounts using mild steel plate. I then bent the plate 90 degrees near the top and drilled out the holes where we will be using exhaust clamps to hold the steering gear to the mounts. Next I welded a large gusset to the mount. This gives the mount a lot of strength and also provides a nice fit to the frame for welding. We then mounted the steering gear to the mounts and then I welded a piece of square tubing across the upper cowling loop which will also act as the lower dash support. Later we will add a bearing support for the steering wheel shaft that will attach to the lower dash support.

After we had all this accomplished, I removed the steering gear and the put the fiberglass cowling in place. Next I placed a wood dowel that was the same diameter as the steering gear supports, but short enough to fit between the insides of the cowl and placed it in the mounts. We then traced around the dowel onto the cowling. After removing the cowl, I drilled a pilot hole in the center of the trace and then used a holesaw to make the hole for the steering gear. I then reinstalled the steering gear and cowling. Later we will install a grommet on the cowl to give it a more finished look.

Phew, that was a lot of work for this installment ! LOL

Next up, we'll be fabricating the dash panel, installing the radiator, and also the brakes and linkage. While you're here, please check out the rest of this site and the other classic sites of our host.


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