Posted 4/2/2016 4:12 PM (#88546) Subject: Am I making a mistake if I cut here?
Location: Michigan - Kalamazoo
my sidecar is an Auburn Gemini. Also called a Ride-By-Side and later a Texas Twinstar. It's a double-wide side car built for two people, well, two kids from my estimation. One adult finds it pretty roomy, but I dount think 2 adults would.
Anyway, my wife is mobility challenged and finds it difficult to get in and out of. One thought I had was to hinge the nose so that I could tip it up for her to get in. Another thought, and the subject of this thread, is to cut out the "dash" to allow a larger "well" for her to slip in and out of.
In the attached pic, I drew lines roughly where I thought I would cut. But, would these cuts compromise the structure of the car? Would buffeting of the windshield cause the superstructure to crack? What about "value" of the car? Not that I think it's all that valuable now, but I don't want to turn it into trash. It's no longer made, so I can't easily replace it.
Posted 4/2/2016 5:43 PM (#88549 - in reply to #88546) Subject: RE: Am I making a mistake if I cut here?
Location: Boise, Idaho
This panel is reinforcement that helps hold the contour of the body. If removed it will crack, probably in more than one place, Unless the remaining lip is reinforced somehow. Maybe a metal tube molded in from behind with fiberglass would work.
Posted 4/3/2016 12:30 AM (#88558 - in reply to #88556) Subject: Re: Am I making a mistake if I cut here?
Location: Independence, MO.
From your ideas it sounds like you are geared up and prepared to do some serious modifications to make this work. So, your idea of hinging the whole front end would make it easier for her to enter. Making a parallel tube structure with one hoop along the edge of the top half and one along the edge of the bottom half, then hinged together would stiffen the edges of both halves plus give a very sturdy structure. With a tube arch up and over behind the dash and from one side to the other connecting to the edge tube, you could still cut the dash away as you drew it, too, to give her more knee room. It might take some fancy and careful tube bending and then some good 'glass work to bond it into the body, but I think it would give a very strong structure. Actually, you will need to think INSIDE the tub on this one, or those tubes would look awfully ugly on the outside!
That would be a fun project to tackle. Keep us informed on your progress and post lots of pics!
Posted 4/6/2016 5:20 AM (#88596 - in reply to #88546) Subject: Re: Am I making a mistake if I cut here?
Location: San Isidro de Heredia, Costa Rica
I second Lonnie. You will have to reinforce at 3 areas.
the cut out behind the windscreen, the lower bowl at the cut and the upper bowl at the cut.
The backup material can be anything you are comfortable to work with. metal, wood, plastic, webfoam ... as long you include it into the fibreglass structure by generous fibreglass joints.
I had to redo my lower bowl of the Velorex once and applied right inside the female form 2 wooden reinforcements covered by fibreglass for the seat bases and stability. The whole bowl became sturdy and when riding after that modification the boat wasn´t flimsy at all any more.
The patches for mounting I modified at the same time. 2 time 3/16" stainless steel patches 4"*1 1/2" separated from the boat by 3/16" o-ring string and filled up the space in between with polyurethane roof sealant paste.(needed over a week to cure)
Result. the bolt through did not cause any more cracks even with the worst load and roughest roads and this monkeying rider. because the force is lead into the fibreglass over a big area and the fibreglass has still freedom to play. http://sidecar.com/mbbs22/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=7589&posts=3&h...
Hope this adds some help.
By the way the mold form is still there available for somebody else.