The Fake Jaguar Thread

Rat Rod Bikes Bicycle Forum

Help Support Rat Rod Bikes Bicycle Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.
I am taking plenty of measurements, but no photographs. When I cut the pan I knew I would be trimming it off another inch, so it is a very rough job.

The frame head is now squarely on centerline. Now, I must mark and trim the pan.

Laying this out is a very difficult thing, because I only have 1/8 inch clearance on either side to the fiberglass body.

The body is flexible, so it is easy to get the wrong measurements.

I clamped the original pan rails back onto the pan, to get a dimension between the holes, to gage the body.
I got the measurements laid out in space with string. Now I can form the pan edge up to make room.

I painted the string line onto the pan, so I don’t lose it if my string is broken.

This tool is just a bar with a slot, used to bend the pan out of the way. I also used a crescent wrench, lineman’s pliers, plus hammer and dolly.

I chalked the edges where the lips must be bent down. The entire edge of the pan gets bent first. After fitting the frame rails, I will bend the pan back exactly into place, and weld it to the frame.
Last edited:
I have to fill this opening in the headframe if I want the “frunk” to be weathertight.


This is the scrap of sheet metal from an old wood lathe. I roughed it out with the electric nibbler.


I don’t have any kind of a sheet metal brake, but I’ve bent up this little pan in my vise, using some small square tubes and clamps, and a rubber mallet.


So now I have to clean it up and then I can weld this in place.


It won’t get continuous welding. Just a dozen little welds will hold it in place, and then I will seal it with body sealer.
This is my DIY sheet-metal flanging tool. I used it to open up the angle on these flanges for a better fit.

I decided that 10 welds was enough, but I also welded up two unnecessary holes from the old brake hose brackets.

For easy welding access, I had to take this off the jig, and I made a little mistake. I should have welded the stops, but instead I just clamped them down, & they were displaced. So I must realign this to the chassis.

I was hoping to start on the frame rails today. I did a mockup of one rail subassembly, but it rained and I had to take my wife to the dentist, so no more welding got done.
Thank you, Luke. I am taking care of my wife with a broken wing every day, after her bicycle crash, so going is very slow.

Massive rain last night put an end to any welding progress as well.

I expect to see a lot of snow up on Mount Whitney this AM. But that mountain is about 5 kilometers tall. I live far below at elevation 200 meters, so it never snows down here in the San Joaquin valley.

Nobody likes delays, but sometime these delays are important, because they give me extra time to develop the design.

Last night I decided to raise the rear of the frame rails 1.5” which will have some advantages. I will not have to cope them around the crossrails so less work, less welding, and they will be stronger.

I will also get a better connection at the main mid crossmember.

But it means the main frame rails will sit completely above the runningboard cross rails. I will be able to add some 1.5” extra metal below this area, which will strengthen the frame at the car’s weakest point (thru the doors) and keep the crossrails from snagging the road.

It also brings the rear end of the frame rails more on center with the rear most crossrail of the VW frame. That will definitely simplify the connection.

There are other advantages as well and I will add some photographs later to display all this.
Last edited:
For anyone who caught my mistake, I was half asleep this morning. Mount McKinley is in Alaska. I live in California below mount Whitney. Waaaay below.

The peaks are all shrouded in cloud this morning and the snow caps were only visible for a brief moment as the clouds moved in.
I had to abandon the oem fuel line. It was damaged and corroded. Yuck!

I will still use it for vacuum, and so I cut it and re-bent it. I drilled a hole in the tunnel so it can come up behind the instruments.

The little tubing cutter is a jewel from the 60’s. The bender is nearly as old, but unmarked.

I will still need to run new brake and fuel lines thru the tunnel, but there will be lots of time.
I am really not happy with the new crossmember design.

I have been trying to design some more reinforcement into it, right at the tunnel interface. I have some steel plate and some bent tubing that might be suitable, but I am still sorting through my stash of used steel for the perfect bits.

I also bought some new tubing for the subframe ties. These rails will eventually tie the whole underpan from the front appliance to the rear subframe.

The similar recycled tubing I was going to use wound up in my jig.
I am sanding/prepping to drill, cut & weld some parts for my car. This is the template, torch guide, & tunnel flange, all ready.


The tube is chromed, and it needs more sanding. Fortunately there was almost no rust on this stuff.

The floor is damp but not wet. We are still dodging some rains.
This plate is 0.140” and has some nice 1.25” flanges on it. It was once part of a retractable RV step.

I made that little 4 inch ring as a torch guide, but I decided not to use it. Finally I remembered that I had a fly cutter!

This plate just barely fit in my little drill press. Of course the cutter is adjustable for large or small holes. The cutter is pretty good steel but I still had to stop and sharpen it twice.

These things are clumsy, and dangerous. You must take it very slow so it doesn’t snag.

There is still a little sanding to do, but I got the plate pretty much cleaned up and ready to weld.


I must also still make a cover plate for the big access hole.
Last edited:
Before I go welding that plate to the chassis, I need to fabricate a tunnel closure plate, which will also clamp the fuel line and brake line to the chassis.

It doesn’t have to be very thick if I make it stiff. This steel is 0.040”. It was once the drawer divider in a World War II navy desk, which is now my spare parts locker.

I chose it because it has a cute little rolled edge already.

With some scraps in the big vise, I put a flange on one edge.

Then I folded it to a hem, and I flanged the hem.

I flanged the ends as well, and this makes the whole business quite stiff.

I made a short one and a tall one, just the same. My new clamp assembly is offset to keep the new fuel and brake lines at the correct elevation.

The lines will seat in the clamp with rubber grommets, and I’m using these little bits of split conduit to perch them.

I will make the relief cuts and weld these in place tomorrow.

Thank you SOK. Expect to see more bits of steel from that desk, the RV steps, an old washing machine, a welding cart, chair frame and wood lathe.

I have some virgin bits too. ($350 in new steel, and it ain’t much.) I’m sure glad I didn’t buy all this new!
Life is what happens while we’re busy making other plans. After many distractions I am back to shaping my little plates.

Under battleship gray paint and red primer, what do I find?


WW2 army olive green.

Unlike the gray, this did not strip easily.
That is genuine baked-on World War II army paint. It’s much different than the paint on my modern army things. The red primer and gray paint was applied over it, and it is not a baked on factory finish. It was probably shot out behind the motor pool.

In the war, they weren’t concerned about a show finish, so there’s no leveling primer or sandable primer under the green.

I believe they just hit the metal with a phosphoric acid wash as a primer, because there’s no color under this green except the faint black of phosphated metal.

That WW2 paint probably has chromate in it to make it stick good.

I programmed machines (primitive industrial robots) out at Vendo where they made vending machines. During the war, they made airplane parts and they sprayed this paint out there which is very toxic. They also did various electro plating operations.

All that stuff got into the ground water, and they did expensive steam injection for about five years. Eventually, they brought it all up out of the ground, so they could dispose of the highly toxic zinc chromate and hexavalent chromium etc.

That property became valuable as the town grew up around it, so they sold it and moved to a different county.
Last edited:

Latest posts