Sunday, August 31, 2014

Making The Backs Of Switch Pods

With me getting a lot closer to being able to install the dash or at the very least do a few more test fittings as I get things ready I figured that I better get the lead out on working on my Switch Pods. I placed an aluminium support inside the back of the Switch Pods because I had heard that some people had problems accidentally breaking their pods by banging their knees against them whilst getting in and out of the car. So this is just one of those little extra steps that I'm hoping will prevent that from happening by making the pods a lot more stronger by giving them some additional internal support. I have also placed in 4 pieces of aluminum pipe 2 each side to act as wire conduits for the switches. I probably didn't really need to but I figure it's just another way to help keep wires neatly bundled together and help prevent any possibilities of dangling loose wires.

I have also used some more of that plastic I salvaged from an abandoned T.V. set's casing to make back cover plates for the Switch Pods. I will glass over these and eventually cut out an access panel on the back to allow access to the backs of the switches circuit boards. What I'll do is make an aluminum cover plate that can then be screwed onto the back that way there is no danger of accidentally coming into contact with the backs of the circuit boards or and debris to fall back into the pods and cause shorts or damage to the switches circuit boards.

Here you can see a view of the back of the Switch Pods with my plastic covers just resting in place for now until I am ready to glass over them. Once that is done I'll be able to cut out the access holes for each side of the Pods and then make my aluminum access plates. I'll keep you all posted on how that goes once I am at that stage. Next will be to glass my Pods to the Knight Rider 2 TV dash.

Dash Test Fitting

Here are a few views of my first dash fitting with the 2 TV Knight Rider Dash. There is a good deal of work to be done before the dash is fully ready to be installed but at least now I have done the test fit and I know what kind of things need to be done. Mostly small stuff like:

  •  Duct Re-routing
  • Stock Dash Top Trimming
  • Mounting the Switch Pods
  • Working Out Screw Locations
  • Wiring Loom Locations
And much, much more I'm sure. But as mentioned in my last post it gave me an awesome opportunity to have a good look at what kind of space I have to work with inside of the dash. One thing in particular is that without the Gauge Cluster plastic in there it sure opens up the inside of the stock OEM plastic dash a good deal and allows for all kinds of extra space to work in additional wire looms for any additional electronic "DooDads" that might get added in later on down the road.

Here is a shot of inside behind my Knight Rider Dash before I did any trimming of the stock OEM Dash Plastic. As you can see it's already pretty roomy back there. Even after I trimmed about an inch across the top of the drivers side dash plastic when I took a look under there again it looked like I might not have even needed to trim the top of the dash at all. But my initial first test fit looked like I needed to so it got trimmed. Oh well, I guess it makes for an easier fitting later on and we all know that whatever makes the job go smoother in the long run is a definite good thing ;)

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Dash Test Fitting For The First Time

FINALLY getting around to doing something I have been wanting to do for a long time and that is to FINALLY test fit the Knight Rider 2 TV dash. I figured it was high time seeing how I had mounted that Voice Projection button onto the dash plastic. I was a little worried that the Knight Rider dash might obscure the V.P. button too much and the best way to know for sure was to do that much needed test fitting of the dash. As it turns out the V.P. button is fine where it is mounted. This also gave me a chance to see if I would need to cut any of the dash plastic. I did need to cut about an inch over on the drivers side away across the top of the dash plastic. Funny thing is that when I put the dash back in for another test fitting it looked like I didn't need to cut any so not really sure what was going on there. Oh well gives a little more breathing room for the electronics if anything I suppose. ;) Loads of room in back for where the LCD screens will eventually go so it looks like there is lots of room to tuck away wire looms and connectors nice and neat for the final install stage. I just have to figure out where the best places are to screw the K.R. dash to the OEM dash plastic now.

On another note this also gave me an opportunity to test fit the switch pods to see how I will need to mount those onto the K.R. dash. I think what I need to do is make a couple of aluminium tabs or brackets to mount the pods onto the dash, bend it into position as best I can and then glass it all into place, sand and paint. At least to me that seems like the best approach. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Voice Projection Button Installed

I installed K.I.T.T.s Voice Projection button that I bought from Jupiter Electronics eBay shop. I just installed it today after making a mounting plate for it out of some plastic from a TV set's outer casing. The switch is currently not hooked up to anything but I do have tentative plans to wire it up somehow to the marine speakers in the nose that run off of Brenon's LED scanner and supply the "Swoosh-Swoosh" sound that K.I.T.T.'s scanner makes. I figure I should eventually be able to wire up an internal mic to the switch for projecting sound externally through those scanner speakers.... theoretically anyways ;) Perhaps even wire up a sound effects generator through the computer. All of which will need to be figured out how to be done but can be done I am sure. But in any event the button for those functions has a place and is installed.

You can see here (right) how I have used that switch bezel or whatever they call it to mount my plastic plate on for the Voice Projection button and supplied bezel. I had to cut away a small section to accommodate for the back of the V.P. button, I also had to Dremel off a small piece of plastic from the OEM dash to make room for the back of the V.P. button as well. Minor tweaks.

Now I know I have said this before but I REALLY need to bring out my Knight Rider dash and do a test fit to make sure certain things are still going to fit right. Yeah I know I've been kind of procrastinating on doing that but that's because there just always seems to be something else more pressing to do ;) One thing in particular is I want to make sure that the new dash will not obscure my V.P. button or any others I eventually place onto this mounting plate. Tomorrow I will make a couple of aluminum "L" brackets to put across the top of my new dash accessory to give it a little more support as right now it is just attached to that black plastic button bezel across the bottom with a couple of screws.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Scanner Tweaks Continued

After my top scanner space eliminator has been painted it was time to install that onto the top of the scanner bar. Now like I have mentioned most will probably NOT have to do this but if you find that you do have a bit of a gap to fill at the top of your scanner this is another possible way of dealing with it ;)

You can see here how with the hood down there is a much nicer filled gap at the top of the scanner. I can still reach in and grab the secondary hood release handle when the hood popper is pulled from inside of the car so this works out perfectly. You can also see how that little lip on that strip of rubber reaches over the top of the scanner gap filler nicely. It might also act as a bit of protection by preventing water from getting splashed into the scanner. I'm not going to put that to the test but hey, every bit helps right? ;)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Scanner Tweaks

Just some minor tweaks I am coming up with to close up the minor gap along the top of the scanner. Most probably will not need to do this but I'm finding that I have enough of a gap to fill in ;-)

Monday, August 18, 2014

Engine Running After Some Cleaning

I had done some cleaning in K.I.T.T.s engine bay with "Engine Bright" degreaser. I tried very hard not to get any on anything that looked "Iffy" and I rinsed out where I had used the degreaser with a high concentration of Dish soap and water. Left it for a few day to dry thoroughly. When I started up the car there was a fair amount of smoke coming from the passenger side headers or just under the headers. Turns out this is normal after a cleaning like that but it did have me worried for a bit ;)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Headlight Covers Painted Quick Video

Just a Quick video of the headlight covers painted. Here you can see how they look before wet sanding and polishing. They already look pretty good.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Headlight Covers Repainting

I started painting the headlight covers since they had some light chipping along the front edges where the original white paint was starting to show through. I was going to take them right off and do both sides but then determined it would be just as easy to just mask them off from the rest of the car and prime and paint them in place.

First I needed to prep the surface of the covers by going over each one with scuff pad. I know a lot of people use the grey scuff pad for this but I find with the sand-able primer I can get away with using the red scuff pad, its a little more or a coarser grade but the primer fills in the surface really well.

Once all sanded or I should say scuffed up it was time to mask off the covers from the rest of the car. Normally I use plastic drop sheet material for my masking but for small stuff like this and considering that it was an under the hood kind of area news print is more than good enough. I'm actually using flyers which are a little thicker paper.

Once all masked off it was time to give each headlight cover a good cleaning with some isopropyl alcohol to clean up and grease and dust. Then a going over with a tac cloth.

Once the primer was dry it was time to paint. I let the paint fully dry over night before putting on a few coats of clear coat. I'll let that dry over night as well so that way the clear coat is good and set before the wet sanding.

They look pretty shiny already with the clear coat applied. They will look even shiner when they are eventually wet sanded and then polished.

With the hood open I took the time to paint the edged of the scanner bar a matt black so it does not stick out as much. I just used my fine brush and brushed on some model paint as it's just a small area and that paint is pretty durable. I may eventually make some kind of plastic covers for those end pieces just to make the ends look a little neater, I'll see what I come up with and what looks good.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Monday, August 11, 2014

Front End Nearing Completion

K.I.T.T.s front end is nearing completion. I still have a few things to do but as you can see it is getting closer and closer to being done. You know I was amazed going through my photographs the other day at just how far I have come along with this project. I mean for a guy with absolutely no prior automotive experience I feel I have done pretty darned good all things being considered. I am well on my way to achieving a life long dream of owning my very own Knight Rider car.

I took some of the rubber that was on the original GM flat hood that came stock with my '82 Trans Am and cut some to fit across the top of the scanner between the hood so it helps close up the small gap at the top of the scanner. The rubber also acts as a bit of cushion between the top of the scanner and the front of the hood.

Here is a shot of K.I.T.T. with his new Turbo Hood finally on and his scanner working.

You can see I still need to do something with those front ground effects, not yet sure if I am going to use trim fasteners to attach those to the underside of the front nose or if people just take them out. I'm still looking into that.

I think I figured out the issues I was having with how the air cleaner assembly was attached. My guess is that they must have done some kind of engine modification that bypasses most of what the air cleaners original function was as that small short hose was clearly NOT attached to the Carburetor, where it would have gone was sealed up with a short piece of rubber hose with a screw in the end. So I figured OK if it was working fine like that before why mess with something I don't understand I'll just attach the new shiny one in the same manor. I'll get someone with much more automotive skills than me to have a look at it later on when I can get a chance.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Turbo Hood On

Finally got the Turbo Hood on with the help of our house guest Steven. (Thanks Steve). When I got the hood all bolted on I discovered that it would not close down all the way, I could not figure out why at first but upon closer inspection it turn out that the hood latch, the one that allows to you lift up the hood once the hood is popped was just about 1/4 of an inch too big and interfered with the aluminum casing on my scanner, so I unbolted it from the hood and used a hack saw to trim it off a little and hen file it smooth and now the hood closes perfectly.

 Here is this picture you can see how the hood was not closing due to the hood latch interfering with the top of the scanner. With it fixed it closes all the way now and I can work on adding some kind of a cushion or spacer for on top of the scanner between the hood and the scanner top. Probably not really necessary but it's just one of those little extras I'll do just cause ;)