Nearly finished with the main plug

After completing the right side wheel well, I decided to make a time lapse video of creating the left wheel well. Here’s the result:

So the first coat of gel-coat has been sprayed on each wheel-well. Now I want to sand the wheel wells, make any minor fixes with body filler, and then will get a second, hopefully final gel-coat sprayed on after that.

I’ve also rotated the plug to be upside down so I can prepare the underside. The rear/tail area was completed previously, just needs a decent spray of gel-coat in that area. I had one small dent/crack on the underside that I had to repair, as well as a sand down of the underside. Then I sprayed gel-coat on the underside, essentially from the center of the wheel wells to the rear. This will get masked off for now.

P1050036
Final coat of gel-coat on the underside, ready for first sanding in the wheel wells.

One of the things I never cared for is how the WAW tail cone is cut in a U shape on the bottom, leaving a flap of material left and right of the rear tire. When bolted onto the body, the leading edge of those flaps get opened up by the air stream (you can see the flaps in lower right in this photo). I used to put a piece of duct tape on that edge to keep the flap tight against the body.

The tail cone I’m creating extends forward of the rear wheel, where it exits the body, so there won’t be loose flaps. The cut out for the rear wheel will be supported all around. I had planned for three riv-nuts and screws to secure the underside, but I realized I could get away with two screws on the underside, instead of three. I’m pointing to the location of the lowest screw on the sidewall. So there will be 9 screws for the tail cone and 10 screws for the nose cone.

P1050035
I’m pointing to the recess where nut rivet will be installed. That’s the lowest mounting screw on the sides; the red circle is approximately where I’ll make another nut-rivet recess.

Working on the forward edge of the underside, I cut off what was left of the heel bumps. My design makes the heel bumps as part of the nose cone. And I’m also grinding down the surrounding areas so the nose cone fits smoothly onto the main body. This photo is before the cutting and grinding.

P1050023
Before surgery…
P1050037
Heel bumps removed, and grinding down to create the recessed nose cone mounting.

I have plans to create a carbon fiber boom for the Zephyr, but I decided last week that initially I will go ahead and use the aluminum boom (purchased through Katanga). The only thing I have to do is create a pocket at the top of the plug, to support and secure the top portion of the boom.

This will allow me to get riding way sooner :), I figure the carbon fiber boom creation will take about 5 months. I’ve never done the process of vacuum bagging to make a tube, so there’s going to be time devoted to a learning curve. And I’ll have to use pre-impregnated or pre-preg CF to make the boom. That will require an oven for curing, up to 350 degrees F. I’ll have to build a curing oven for that…. and of course I have to make the mold itself…

And as if I don’t have enough work planned, I’m toying around with creating a weathervaning dorsal fin 😉

P1050033
Possible modification: a dorsal fin project! Red area would be tail/brake LED’s embedded in the fin. Black area would be mounting area for Garmin Varia radar unit.

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