When we started the Formula Ford restoration project, we quickly decided that the current engine cover was unusable due to being excessively heavy and the unsuccessful alterations made to accommodate the relocated air filter.
Therefore the decision was made to make a new engine cover out of glass fibre reinforced resin using an existing mold that we planned to modified. After the minor modifications to the nose cone, it was thought that the engine cover would be a similar task. However we were more than surprised by the amount of work that it required to get it to the state it is in today.
Initially the mold was modified by adding a piece of supported mdf to made the mold shallow and effectively bring down the height of the pattern (to allow for recovery access to the roll hoop in case of an accident). Unfortunately this plan did not work as the weight of the glass fibre matting and resin while being laid up, caused the mdf to bow and set in an irregular shape.
When the engine cover was placed on top of the chassis, it was apparent that certain sections did not have adequate clearance. This resulted in the offending sections being cut and the cover made to fit. Replacement sections were made from the mold and flat panels and merged together (plenty of resin).
The majority of time created this new engine cover was spent either filling or sanding. This was to ensure that the top was perfectly flat, sections met without a seam and all imperfections were removed. The filler was applied in thin layers and heavily sanded to keep the weight to a minimum and strength high.
Unfortunately it is still waiting for it’s final coat of white paint to match the rest of the freshly painted body panels, but will hopefully in the near future be either used on the car or as a pattern to create a mold for future engine covers.