By Martin Gonzales & Steve Rockwood
Last time you saw Project G20 we were pounding the final nails in the coffin of its daily driven days with the addition of its roll cage, but we weren't quite done yet. There were still some inexpensive, yet effective, ideas we had to help improve the safety and rigity of our already stout roll cage. We’ll be going over the details of these additions as well as the steps to our interior's final prep and finish.
We once again took a trip to Revenge Motorsports in Escondido, CA to give John our fabrication wish list. This time our list included pillar and firewall gussets, a crash attenuator and “bull-horn” bars. Did we pique your interest yet?
Back when we originally designed our cage the A and B pillar gussets carried a 30lb weight penalty according to rules of NASA's SR Cup class, but we felt it was an insignificant amount of weight considering the added benefits to safety and rigidity. Now that SR20 powered cars don't have thier own class, our G20 falls under the regulations of NASA's Performance Touring Class. Though not specifically mentioned in the 2010 NASA Club Codes and Regulations, some of the additions we'll be going over will be assesed additional “class points” according to the NASA's Performance Touring Car Classification Form.
Looking at them you wouldn't think they were very strong or would add much to the structure of the car. After all, they are made of fairly thin 18g steel. The secret to their strength is the special punch used to create the holes in the gussets. The hole the punch leaves behind not only lightens the gusset, but the ridge helps strengthens the structure by adding a third dimension to it. The weight difference is nearly negligible, but the difference in strength is amazing. Before the holes were punched we could easily bend the plate with our hands, but once the holes were there it was nearly impossible to bend without tools.
|The ridge around the holes in this A-pillar gusset help strengthen it.|