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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Triumph Spitfire Battery Box Installation #1

With the family getting back from Florida and Mystic Little League opening day for my youngest, I didn't get much time to work on either car over the weekend.

I also did some asking around on my favorite forum and though I didn't get a whole lot of replies, the few I did get recommended purchasing new sills vice using what came off the '64. Regardless, I intend to continue cutting the body up, taking what I need or want and offering everything else to whomever else. I've already put the bonnet up for the taking, so if you or anyone you know may want a bonnet for a pre-Mk3 Triumph Spitfire, please let me know.

The red bottom is new metal, the black is original This is the outside of the driver's sill.
My continually changing plan now is to get the black car torn down as much as possible and then get Dot's body off and moved to the back yard so I can concentrate on the frame / engine repairs and rebuilds. But, first, I wanted to actually accomplish something on the body so I decided to break back into the battery tray replacement.

Once I pulled the tray (pertinent post), I discovered some cancer on the top bulkhead underneath the tray. Not surprising, of course, and it will be replaced.

Need some new metal. You can see the outline of Sharpie where I'll cut away the rusted stuff.
I dug into this with some gusto, cutting away the metal that was thinning and ragged back to good, if pitted, metal. I broke out the usual suspects here (Harbor Freight (HF) 4.5-inch angle grinder, HF 3-inch cut off tool) and also my Dremel rotary tool for some of the tighter spots. I was thinking about using my sawzall, but that thing is just a bit too heavy for this...I was afraid I'd rip the thin metal apart (only 20 ga for this stuff). Unfortunately, I found some brass where a hole had been brazed up. I hated to cut into this stuff one, because I think it's cool that they used to do that back into the day and two because I'm pretty sure I'll have to do something about the reason they had to braze in the first place.

Brass braze just as the metal curves to the right and heads towards the center of the car.
Since I didn't really care about saving the metal, I used one of the carbide drill bits that I bought at Lowe's. Again, haven't really put it to the test, but I think I'm past the number of holes that I drilled with the non-carbide one and it's still cutting just fine. I also remembered to use lubrication this time!

To minimize the chance for collateral damage, I pulled the intake manifold and carbs (all in one piece) from the head. Better safe than sorry since that rear float was only about 1/2-inch from where I was cutting and grinding. Since it had been so long since I had gas in the car, it had all evaporated so I didn't have to worry about that. Thankfully the nuts (and studs, in some cases) came off with no problem.

Now there's an exhaust manifold looking for a paint job! I put rags in the intakes to prevent foreign material entry.
You can see in the picture above the vent tube coming out of the block between the rear and next forward pipes. This is unique to the open crankcase ventilation of the Mk1 motor before emission controls cared about discharging crankcase fumes straight to the atmosphere. Unfortunately, it interferes with the Mk2 exhaust manifold and it looks like the PO just banged at it to get it too fit. I'm hoping to convert the motor to a closed ventilation so I'll have to figure out something to do with that tube. Future me.

Intake manifold nuts, studs and and manifold clamps. Got a 50% success rate on only pulling the nuts.
Once the interference was gone, I simply cut the cancer out following my Sharpie trace and used a screwdrivers to gently pry where it hung up.

Damaged top bulkhead removed. Have some repairs to do to the front bulkhead as well, obviously.
Side-on view of the metal cut.

Metal that was removed. Those round metal dots on there are where I drilled though the tray with the spot weld cutter.
I traced and cut out a new piece of metal to replace the piece I just removed.
Should have flipped this over to save a cut and some metal...oh, well.
I set that piece aside and cut a piece for the bottom layer since I figured I needed to do this first. Being such a small piece, this was pretty easy to fabricate. Fabricate properly? That's a question that still up in the air.

Small half-D shaped piece cut. I traced from under it to get the curvature of the cut on the left, or inside, of the curve.
Since I had also lost some metal going down inside the curve a bit, I left some of the metal on the inside and then slice up to the curve line, so I could bend those pieces down, like tabs, to cover where the metal was missing.

Tab cuts set up.
New piece in very rough fit, giving the idea of the tabs.
Once I cleaned everything up, I removed a bit more metal to make the curved piece more like a puzzle piece to give me some interlocking stability for the welding process. The tabs, as it stands now, are just going to layer over the metal that's there. I'll have to worry about preserving this spot and prevent future water intrusion to prevent rust in the years ahead. I shot the area with a coat of SEM Weld-Thru Primer. Don't know if it was me or the paint, but it goes on very thick. It's zinc-enriched stuff that allows you to weld and maintains its integrity, unlike "regular" primer. Not sure if this was the best choice, but it's what I got.

A bit more metal removed.
I also coated the replacement metal with the weld-thru primer. I let both dry and finished with them for the night. When I get back to it I'll revisit this idea and make sure that it still makes sense to me to perform the repair this way. I may decide to just fill the little bit of metal that's missing inside the curve with MIG welding wire...we'll see.

The puzzle piece primed and drying.
As a final note, I discovered that I was a bit over-zealous on some spot welds when I was taking the battery tray out and had drilled through the "middle layer" of metal (the battery tray is top layer, the top bulkhead is next, and the front bulkhead is last...all of these are spot-weld-sandwiched together). So, I went back to where the two bulkheads were still firmly attached and cut the piece off just before that point. I'll rosette (plug) weld this back in once I get all the other repairs done.

Metal removed. No damage here and it cleaned up well.
I wasn't quite ready to quit for the evening so I pulled the passenger's side bonnet cone bracket. You may remember from Tub Tear Down #1 that I took both of these off of the black car since they are in sorry shape on Dot. I did use the spot weld removal tool this time since I wanted to save the underlying metal of the upper A-post.

Bracket removed. Clean this up, grind it down flat using a flap disk and it should be close to spot welding it back on using rosette welds.

Blurry picture of the removed bracket. You can see the torn metal on the right. The driver's side is much worse, but I didn't get a picture of that. Will when I pull it.
That was it so far. My wife asked me what I had done on the car since I was making lots of noise with the grinders and all. I told her I was fixing body cancer around the battery tray. I received the expected "what are you talking about" look. So I came up with an analogy for her that I'm pretty proud of. I told her something like "Imagine you have this 3000-piece puzzle that you hold near and dear so much that you glued it together, framed it and hung it on the wall. Well, one of the puzzle pieces had become damaged and you need to cut it out, very carefully. Then, you need to make a new puzzle piece from scratch and glue it back in. Oh, and do this so that no one ever knows you replaced the piece in the first place!"

I can only imagine how many times I will re-live this process. Cheers!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Triumph Spitfire Tub Tear Down #2

I changed the oil in the Odyssey yesterday. Ask me how that went. This is the second application of floor dry.
Got a bit more work in on tearing apart the '64 tub today. I had originally asked on my favorite forum if it would be worth investing in a little gas welding kit by BernzOmatic. The answer was a pretty solid "no".

When I was young, my Grandpop and I cut up a rusted out TR2 (it had a small grill opening, so maybe it was a small-mouth TR3, but I didn't know any different back then). He wanted to save some of the suspension and other parts for the '59 TR3 he had in the garage. He was a mechanic from way back in the day and had a oxy-acetylene set up. I remember him showing me how and letting me use the cutting torch and I thought I had the power of the sun in my hands. We made very fast work of that TR2.

Remembering that, I figured that maybe something similar would help me efficiently cut the tub up. However, there are some drawbacks to this little kit. First, the tanks are obviously small. If you read the instructions on the site, using the torch for cutting gives you enough oxygen for about 8 minutes...much worse than I thought and way too much money in the long run. Second, using the cutting torch would tend to warp and otherwise damage the metal and result in deformation and slag. Since I wanted to take care and save a lot of this stuff, it would probably end up making things worse than better.

Instead, I stuck with my Harbor Freight 4.5 inch Angle Grinder, 3-inch Cut-Off Tool, my cordless Milwaukee Sawzall and Drill, a flat head screwdriver, hammer, pry bar and various other implements to try and separate some metal.

I didn't mention the beer in my list of tools, did I? I don't condone drinking and using power tools, by the way...so I only had one.
The PO that I got the car from (here's the post on it) had done quite a bit of work on the body, including putting in new outer sills (partially) and patching a lot of other normal areas where Spitfires rust. He had spot and stitch welded and this made it difficult to drill out since the welds are so hard. I did use those carbide bits and they did seem to work much better, but because of the stitch welding that he did, it was easier to use the cutting wheels, so the jury is still out on whether they were worth the money or not.

Underside of the driver's sill showing the spot welds. This is looking up and towards the front. The darker stuff is the floorboard.
I used the flat head screwdriver to open up the seam between the sill and the floor board. I then put the grinder in that gap and cut the weld away. It took time and was very noisy (sorry, dear neighbors) but it was effective.

Driver's side outer sill removed. You can see the big weld seam that runs down the length of it.
Seems like the PO just cut away the rusted parts of the body and then stitched in the new sill. While this may have made for a quick repair, I would think it will result in a more difficult finishing job having to grind and fill the huge weld seams right in the middle of a body panel. I personally would think to use a "natural" seam to help hide the dirty work.

Anyway, I'm not sure that I will be able to use the sills on Dot (the '66) because of these trade-offs. I tried to cut the sill out as it was spot welded in at Coventry, but I messed up and didn't leave the lip where the door sits, so this may have screwed me.

Here are some shots of what was on the inside after the sill was removed. I shudder to think what this looks like on Dot, espcially on the passenger's side.

Upper and lower A-post.  You can see the new metal that the PO spotted in.

This would be the sill strengthener, I suppose. I've never seen what this looks like from the factory, so ???
All in all, the driver's side came out pretty easily. The passenger's side, however, instead of being only spot welded was more stitch welded. This resulted in a much bigger pain with a bead of weld to remove vice some spots. Since I needed a better vantage point and some more leverage, I decided to go out of the box.

Crazy how light the tubs are. I did this by myself with no problem at all.

Another view. Those are the tires that came with the car, too. A bit of padding, though the ground probably would have been fine.
The passenger's side, like I said, was more painful but it did eventually come off (again, sorry neighbors). Since it was more of a weld seam instead of spots, I took the Sawzall to it and ran it down the mating of the sill to the floor board. This seemed to work okay.

The mating of the sill (top), strengthener (middle - kinda) and floor board (bottom). The floor board you see is new, patched metal by PO.

Looking down the car. This lower A-post is virtually missing (rust) on Dot, so I need to recover this one. Some of it is patched, so we'll see.
Once I was done with all of that, it was starting to get towards dinner time and I didn't want to disturb anyone during that time more than I already had. I rested the body back down on the frame and cleaned up for the night.

All in all, I was happy with how it went. My weapons of choice all worked as I needed them to and they each served their unique purpose. The angle grinder was good for brute force work that was needed removing the hard metal spot welds. The cut-off tool was good for getting in tight when I wanted to minimize collateral damage, though not as powerful (slower) as the angle grinder. The Sawzall was good for more rapid, straight cutting like I did on the passenger's side. I tore that blade up good, though.

Heat damage to the blade (the black / blue part). 

Got a bit crooked, too!
Tomorrow I may try to get that passenger's A-post out of there. Eventually, I'm going to take the floors, too, but I'm concerned for the tub loosing too much strength and buckling on me, so I have to think about how to best do it. Also, the wife and boys get back after a week in Naples, Florida for their Spring Break, so the trip to the airport will curtail my time. I'll put another post up if it's worth it.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Triumph Spitfire Tub Tear Down #1

I started on the tub dis-assembly for the '64 this weekend. Ran into some issues, of course, but I got some very ugly welding in on Saturday. I really need to practice more.

My plan is to tear the '64's tub down and hack it up completely. I'll keep the bonnet intact and offer it to someone that needs it, for free, since Dorothy's (Dot) is fine. There are also several other parts that I can make available to others that are fine on Dot. However, she does have some body issues that require attention (don't let my wife read that!!) that the '64 can help solve.

First order of business was to brace the tub in an attempt to prevent if from folding in half when I finally remove that last magical piece (like that one bolt from the Bugs Bunny cartoons that would make the car fall completely apart). For that, I used some square tubing that I bought forever ago to do the same with Dot but have now re-purposed. I took two hinges off one door from the '64, banged the pin out of them, and used the side that bolts to the body, mounted backwards, as the front part of the brace.

The hinge and tubing. Yes, that's a welding table. Yes, I'm about to get my testosterone on!
For the back part, I had intended to use the door strike. But, it looked like it was aluminium and those things go for about $50 a pop, so I used some 16ga sheet metal instead. Another donation opportunity not wasted.

Sheet metal, pre-drilled for attachment to the door jam, ready to weld.
After several measurements and fit ups, I was ready to weld the hinge to the square tube. Not pretty, but this about doubled my time with MIG welding, so I'll take it. While I do have the capability to do solid wire and CO2/Argon mix, it was pretty windy and I didn't see a need for the prettier welds that the shield gas will provide. So, flux core it was.

Just a wee-bit of blow-through. So awesome!

I bit happier with this side.
Once I got that all done, I bolted and screwed it in. I figure the body will want to fold inward on itself so the fact that the tube is there should be enough to provide resistance and prevent that. I hope, that is.

How the rear side attached. Hopefully the original screws are good enough.

The finished product.
This solution, while untested, seems to work pretty well. However, there is a drawback. While doing some research and asking questions on my favorite forum, it is advantageous when you are replacing the sills and/or the floor boards to fit the door up from time to time to make sure that the body hasn't flexed. Being that this method goes right across the door jams, it is obviously not a good choice if I want to test fit the doors while doing this repair to Dot. The door strikes were also changed, due to regulation, around FC56578 where they went from a rotating handle to a push button with an anti-burst strike. Therefore, I'll have to re-do the rear connection regardless. Future me.

A woodpecker was keeping me company during all of this. Cool to watch them.
I got both sides shored up and braced. I then started to dig into cutting stuff apart and slowed down a bit in the interest of trying to save more than I damaged. I want to try and save the sills as much as possible, since they are new steel. The floors would be nice, too, but they are patched so I'm not as concerned about them. Regardless, I raised several questions in my head about the best way to go about it all and decided to hold off on just going at it to make sure I wasn't going to cut away (using my HF 4.5" angle grinder and a sawzall) something that I would later regret. In the long run, however, it is fortunate that everything I need to replace/repair is available as new sheet metal...just not that cheap, of course.

I did, however, drill out both of the bonnet cone brackets. For whatever reason, they are totally trashed on Dot, but seem to be in fine shape for the '64. This is one of the sheet metal parts that is not available, so I saved them, of course.

Driver's side one removed.
You may notice that one of the holes is really big where I drilled out the spot-welds while the others are small. I decided that my spot-weld cutter, while very effective, would be wasted on this since I didn't really care if I popped through both pieces of sheet metal (which I did on all occasions). However, after I had drilled through the 14 or 15 spot welds just to get the two brackets, the drill bit was shot. This lead me to a quick education on the different materials that drill bits are made of.

For drilling hard steel, titanium or carbide drill bits are the way to go. The titanium bits are only coated in titanium while the carbide bits are solid. This makes the carbides more expensive, but they can be sharpened whereas the titanium ones cannot be since you would sharpen off the titanium coating. Trying to plan for the long run, though I don't have a drill bit sharpener, I bought two of the carbide ones for about $6 each.

I haven't tried them yet, however, because today I spent my day working around the house instead of on the car. However, when I get there, I'll let you all know. I think I'm up to four of you, now!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Triumph Spitfire Anti-Sway Bar Disassembly

This is my 100th post. Nothing special, just thought I'd mention it. Maybe I should talk about something momentous, but nah.

Anyway, while playing with the steering rack I also decided to clean up the anti-sway bar from the '64. I pulled the old mounting rubber off and took a flap disk to it to clean up all the gunk.

All cleaned up. Hey where'd that beer come from?! I hope it was after 5pm! Good reason to not have a time stamp on my pics.
The removal of the links was a little tricky but they didn't fight me as much as I thought hey would. Both of them turned right out of the end of the bar, but I had to put the link in a vice to get the bolts of of the link itself.

Link removed. The ball end bolts the lower A-arm while the other screws into the anti-sway bar.

Where the link attaches.

Using the vice to help break away the stud in the link bushing. Not as bad as other bushing problems I've had, that's for sure!
Otherwise, there wasn't much else to it. There was one interesting find in that I think the thing is quite bent. So bent, as a matter of fact, that it may be no longer effective. I decided to pull the one of the '66 to see how that was. Turns out this one was bent, too, though not as bad.

It should be resting flat on the bench (and, yes, the bench is pretty level). The end rises about an inch from where it lays flat.
Of course, I didn't pay attention when I pulled it off the '64 but it seems as though the driver's side on the '66 was the bent part; probably the same on the '64, I figure. This stuff is spring steel so I think I can forget about being able to straighten it out, at least using the tools that I have here.

Interesting, though, that they are both bent in the same way, though not to the same extent. I posted about it on my favorite forum. It got quite a bit of play with discussion ranging from "it's just bent" to "they did that on purpose to account for the weight of the driver". Of course, this would assume that Triumph designed the car around the assumption that only one person would be in it AND that you would have different parts for both the left-hand drive and right-hand drive cars. The part numbers are the same.

Though I've come to believe that the bend is not intentional (otherwise I would expect the same "bent-ness" from both bars made only 2 years apart), I find it odd that all of the forces acting on the car during the need for anti-sway are focused right to that point and cause some 3/4" to 1" tempered steel to bend and NOT cause other deformations elsewhere in the car...or at least none that I could find. Like I said, interesting.

That's it. Here's to 100 posts. Maybe by about post 1283, the car will be done!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Triumph Spitfire Steering Rack Final Assembly

Finally finished up the steering rack assembly today. I never did get the measurements figured out completely, but I'll get into that. Essentially all I had to do was get the rubber boot on that I had ripped and then get the measurements for initial fit as close as I could. Of course, I totally tore it apart to get this done. Glutton, I know.

If you remember from my last post on this subject, I was confused about some measurements that workshop manual called out. Because I really didn't understand how the measurements were working, I pulled the whole thing back apart to measure on the rack itself. In support of this and for measuring some "before" body points to make sure I keep her as square as possible when I tear into those repairs, I bought myself a Singer Pro Series Retractable Pocket Tape Measure 96". This is like my Harbor Freight Professional Series angle grinder...because, you know, I'm a professional. Oh, and it's pink.

Measuring between the inner faces of the lock nuts.
First thing I did was screw both inner ties rods in until they bottomed out. The distance between the inner faces of the sleeve nuts was about 635 mm (metric was easier for figuring this stuff out instead of fractions of an inch). I then measured the width of the locknuts at about 7 mm. If my math is correct, that puts the inner faces of the locknuts at about 621 mm if they are just touching the sleeve nuts. Now, here's what the manual says:

"1. Screw the locknut (33) on to the end of  the rack (32) so that its position corresponds with dimensions  3  +  4  +  5  +  3  on  Fig.  1, i.e.,  24.40"  (619.76  mm.)  between  inner locknut  faces. 
2.  Insert  the  spring  (36)  into  the  end  of  the rack  and  screw  the  ball  joint  assembly as far as possible up to the locknut  (33)."

I read this to mean that the ball joint assembly should reach the locknut before it bottoms out. My favorite forum was in agreement. Obviously, doing the math, that just isn't enough extra mm's to let this work. So, I set the spacing between the inner locknut faces at about 625 mm and went from there.

I put it all back together, including the new tie rod ends while observing their measurement settings and without all of the confusion.

Tie rod end attached. I used teflon tape, like for water pipes, to mark the approximate measurement position, though this turned out to be unnecessary.
I took another shot at the new rubber boots. There are two, obviously. Both have a small opening at one end that gets clamped to the inner tie rod and the other two ends are of different sizes. The larger of the two ends clamps to the rack housing while the other clamps to the rack tube. The larger one was pretty easy, but the small one is tough to get over the inner tie rod nuts. Using a recommendation from the forum, I used the upper end of a water bottle, cut off about 3 inches down from the opening. I then cut this so I could overlap the plastic. I put the bottle on, bottom first, so that the opening went up to the nuts and the remaining plastic covered them. This provided for a relatively smooth transition up and over the nuts to hopefully allow me to stretch the rubber over them.

I then put the boot on, positioned the rack assembly on the workbench so I could push on it, and pushed and pulled the boot up the plastic and over the nuts. Damn if it didn't work!

Not the best picture, but you can see the opening flaring up over the plastic bottle which is covering the nuts.
Unfortunately, however, the boot "ate" the bottle. Couldn't leave that inside there, so, I left the end over the nuts to let it stretch out for a while. I then quickly pulled it off, got the bottle out of there, and jammed the boot back over the nuts. Thankfully the rubber stayed stretched enough to allow this (it was chilly in the garage and the rubber was a bit stiff...probably helped).

Rubber boot end covering the nuts. I left it this way to let it stretch out a bit.
After I high-fived myself for getting that done, I clamped the boot ends down, made sure they would take full motion of the rack and gazed upon my success! Now if only the rest of the car looked this good! At least the steering rack will be waiting when she's ready.

Looks just like the last picture in my previous post, but this thing is actually done this time (the u-bolts were attached after this picture, so I guess not done-done).
I have another post coming soon about the anti-sway bars that I pulled off both cars and the fact that they are bent...I think. Also the cool curly-cue u-bolts that attached it on Dorothy.

Curly-cue attachment u-bolts from the '66 (Dorothy). The '64, and the workshop manual, just show standard u-bolts.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Building Vehicle Dollies

No direct car work today but work in support of it.

One of my more favorite movies is Jurassic Park. There is a quote, for the character of Dr. Ian Malcolm, that goes "Yeah, yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn't stop to think if they should."

As you all know, I buy quite a bit of stuff at Harbor Freight. While I wouldn't say that I'm on a very strict and limited budget, I'd much rather spend my money on good parts than on good tools that I will end up using very rarely. And, while I've only been burned by one of my larger purchases there, I also wouldn't buy something like a Harbor Freight MIG welder, either. I cannot stress enough to keep your receipts! They allow returns within 90 days BUT ONLY WITH A RECEIPT. I bought a vise for about $50 and over-tightened the swivel clamp and stripped it right out. I had trashed my receipt and shortly after, trashed the vise. The reviews on their vises aren't that great. In hindsight, it was a mistake to buy one there. But, enough of that...

One of the things I've had my eye on for a while is their Vehicle Dollies. While I rarely buy anything big there without one of their coupons, at about $40 a pair, I think they are pricey for what they are. If I had a big shop that I needed to move the car around it, it would be a no-brainer. But, I just want to be able to move the car a few feet in any direction to give me some more room when I'm working in a particular area. So, $80 was just a bit too much. I tossed around the idea of making my own, but just the swivel casters were about $4 each. At $64 just for the wheels, again, a bit too much. But, then I had an idea...

There was a coupon for their Mover's Dollies for about $8 each. They were rated for about the same capacity (1000 lbs). Of course, they were made of wood and had a big hole in the middle, but maybe I could do something about that. So, for $32 +tax, I picked up four of them.

First thing I did was take them apart. While I tore the carpet off that is attached to them, it is only held on with staples. I pried the staples off with a flat-head screwdriver and, if I was careful, I could have done that all the way around and save the carpet for re-installation. I just didn't see the point. Also, MOST of the bolts were already loose. While not only finger-tight, they were definitely not as tight as I would want them so if you are using these things in general, I would check on this before using them again.

Dolly from the bottom - as bought.
Next were the casters. Of course, I came across two different attachment methods and had unknowingly bought two of each. One way used carriage-like bolts, flat washers and lock washers. The other method used Phillips-head machine screws and nyloc nuts with no washers. Given the choice, I would prefer to use the Phillips-head method because it just seemed easier to make it work. I did note an external difference between the two styles, so you can pick the right one if you choose. In the long run, however, both were not too difficult and I would buy either kind to modify.

The burned-in label on the preferred design dolly.
Fortunately, the four pieces of wood are glued together so when you pull the caster bolts out the whole thing stays together. I had initially left a few screws in (you'll see that in the picture below) to keep everything aligned before I figured out it was all glued.

While I think the open bottom of the dolly would have been okay, I wanted to give something for the bottom of the tire to rest on to distribute more of the weight of the car. Also, this is how the "real" dollies are designed so I figured it would be a good idea. I bought a $5 piece of 1/2-inch plywood that was 2 x 4 feet. Each dolly measured about 17 3/4" x 11 1/2" and I cut a piece of plywood to about these dimensions. I centered the plywood up on the dolly and clamped it using a bar clamp (also Harbor Freight).

Clamped. The 12" bar clamps have pretty bad reviews, but they've worked "Harbor Freight good enough" for me.
Once clamped and steady, I used a drill bit just slightly larger than the screw and, using the existing holes as a guide, drilled through the plywood. I had originally intended to buy longer screws to make up for the extra thickness of the new plywood, but they run about $0.30 each. While this may not seem like a lot, when you add it up, that's almost $20 just in screws which would bring this whole thing close to defeating the purpose. With some more modification (below), I used the same screws.

I decided to put the plywood on the bottom of the whole thing to provide a bit of a recess that the tire could sit in while also providing a lip all around to minimize the chance of rolling the tire off of the dolly. To be able to use the same length screws, I used a 1/2" drill bit to cut a relief in the top of the dolly to provide a large countersink for the screw heads. I decided that about half-through the thickness of the board was probably good enough and I marked the drill bit to give me an idea of how deep I wanted to go.

Drill bit marked with Sharpie for a depth gauge.
Once that was done, I essentially slapped it all back together and tightened down the screws. I also greased the caster bearings (some were greased and others weren't).

Completed dolly, bottom side (obviously).

Completed dolly, top side. You can see the screw reliefs that I drilled.
Car on the dollies. They work, so there's that.
I dare say that I would recommend going this route if you don't mind taking a few hours. For about $40, I was able to build/modify four vehicle dollies that would normally cost me almost $80 (or $100+ without a coupon). They are definitely not as slick looking as the metal ones, but my guess is they are strong enough for a little car like this and will work just as well.

Back to the movie quote; while I was on the fence about getting the actual metal vehicle dollies, once I got it in my head of trying to do this, I just did it without really thinking if I should. It took an afternoon to accomplish and I'm not sure that I will really need to move the car around all that much. I also discovered that my 1.5 ton Harbor Freight jack does not have enough height to raise the car high enough to get the dollies under the wheels. I used my larger 3-ton Sears jack, but I'm sure a block of wood on the HF one would have done the trick.

So, while I'm glad I did it, I think if I had dropped the $80 on the metal ones, I would have taken them back. Who knows, though. Maybe that will become invaluable in mysterious ways. If I had a bigger garage that I could actually move stuff around in...these would be almost a necessity, I think.