Wheel Tubs

cutting machine

Dave could have purchased pre-made wheel tubs, but he needed them to be a specific shape, so he made his own out of 0.065 5052 aluminum for Big Red. Practicing the tried-and-true method of using cardboard to create templates, he then transferred the shapes to aluminum. Dave cut the upper shock mount hole, but the shock reservoir access hole hasn’t been cut yet. Once the parts were cut and formed into shape, Dave TIG welded the tubs together. Dave did his metalworking magic to create the 16-gauge-steel wheel tub flange that he welded to the inside of the quarter panel. The aluminum tub mounts to the steel flange and creates an air-tight seal, which is good for reducing dust when running on the El Mirage dry lake bed. With the tubs in place, Dave used his shrinker/stretcher to create a flange for where the interior panel will meet the wheel tub. The wheel tub is held in by Cleco fasteners. The wheel tubs will not be welded or bonded in place. Even with rivets holding them in, they will be removeable/serviceable if the need arises in the future.

During the rebuild, carbon-fiber wheel tubs were chosen for weight savings and strength. RJ checked the weight of the tub. But resin in the wheel tubs can melt in a fire scenario and ignite tires. The carbon tubs created an unnecessary hazard and made the team re-think the use of carbon-fiber tubs. As cool as they are, it just wasn’t worth installing another set. So, Dave built some new tubs out of aluminum.

Big Red’s original steel wheel tubs worked great for the old configuration, but things were changed. Those changes include additional bars being added to the cage in the rear area. The two round holes at the top of the old passenger-side tub are for the old routing of fuel supply and return lines. Dry-sump oil lines mimic the coolant hoses, but run on the driver’s side of the car. These lines will be relocated for safety and the sake of cleanliness. Looking through the vent hole in the quarter panel, a small panel can be seen in the front of the tub. That’s for an old speed sensor setup that was removed many years ago… remnants of the past.

Rear Sheetmetal Panels