Sunday, March 22, 2015

New Opel, New Hope

It's only been two weeks since we cut up the white Opel, and we're already back in business.  Our faculty advisor and big Opel fan, Professor Dan Frey, has been a huge help all along the way and already fixed us up with a new Opel, one in much better condition than the previous car.  

With the excitement of bringing in yet another car, we brought in recent alums John and Thomas to take a look and assess the damage.

The body is in much better shape, and the new interior looks awesome as well, with everything complete and in very good condition.  It's definitely a relief to not need to worry about a full and complete restoration!

The Porsche 914 and Opel GT are now both in the garage and make quite the combo.  It took a while to obtain the new Opel, but now that we have it in the shop, we're ready to get started and excited by its possibilities it presents as a conversion platform.  

Monday, March 9, 2015

Opel Destruction...

It appears as though the last major team effort before spring break is going to be in the annihilation of a car, rather than creating a new one.  The white Opel had been a bit disappointing in its appearance, with its aesthetic inadequacies apparent at the time of its arrival.  As we had continued working on the car for the next few months, we soon realized that the rust damage was irreparable if we wanted to one day restore it for any reasonable cost.  We consulted our faculty advisor, Professor Dan Frey, and came to the conclusion that scrapping the car and finding a new alternative option was necessary.

The MechE team had faced some frustration in recent weeks as we realized the difficulty of implementing the intended plan for the Opel drivetrain, and chopping up the car was a great way to vent!  Since the frame was so damaged, we couldn't find any viable options in recycling the body or selling the scrap metal.  Space is tight in the garage, so we salvaged what we could and got right after it with the reciprocating saws.  Jimmy cuts it right in half below:

Fortunately, there was a good bit that we found could be salvaged from the old Opel.  All of the glass was saved, in case we need to replace it on the new car for any reason.  The entire dashboard was removed and saved so that the EE team can start designing and developing the layout for the final set of controls and dials.  We also saved the entire rear end, cut down so that it would just barely fit through the doors of the milkdrop shop upstairs.  Having the back of the car will allow the MechE team to prototype the new suspension designs with the actual car geometry in mind, even before we get a new vehicle.  

After getting everything situated in the prototyping room, Trevor and Jarrod welded up a stand to hold up the car for easy access.  

We continued cutting down the rest of the car, removing nearly all the sheet metal from the body...

After hours of slicing up the old car, we removed as much as the reciprocating saws could handle before calling it quits with only residual bits still attached to the frame.  We had high hopes that this car would one day travel down the alley, and it was a bit of a bummer that it had to happen by us carrying it...

That white Opel presented unexpected challenges every step of the way, and even its final march was no exception.  After the exhausting day of tearing it apart, it took the four of Jacob, Joey, Jimmy, and Jarrod to get it down the alley and somehow fit it into the dumpster.  

 When it was all said and done, we still had to clean up a mess of rust and residue left over in the aftermath of dismantling the car.  Overall, everyone had a fun time and made some good memories, in what we expect to be the only time we get to entirely disassemble a car with reciprocating saws.  Now we just have to catch up to get back on track with the Opel project!