SL-C Manual: Arrival & Unpacking
- Utility knife
- Two wheel chocks Commercial as from Harbor Freight, or self-made from 2X4s)
- 2-4 able bodied people, depending on your situation
- Adhesive remover (see below)
- Nitrile or Latex or gloves
- Paper towels
Many builders use a commercial carrier to deliver their car from the factory to their garage. In that case, generally the driver should remove the car from the trailer, as delivery should be complete when the car is on the ground. Do a walk-around when the car is unloaded before you do anything else, so you can check for possible damage in shipping. It's rare, but it happens, and this is the time to find it and resolve any problems, not after you've started moving it, or worse, when the driver has left for the next delivery. Sign the acceptance sheet from the driver only after you are satisfied that the car is undamaged, and complete.
Some builders use their own trailers. If you have your own trailer, you probably know how to unload a car safely. In either case. here are some helpful ideas about moving the car about after it is delivered.
Moving the car around once unloaded
The car is delivered as a roller, which means that the car can be rolled, but not braked. The steering column is connected to the steering rack. If the steering wheel isn't connected to the column when you get the car, you have a couple of choices if you want to steer it:
1. Use a Vise Grip around a cloth on the steering column spline to temporarily steer the car (not recommended as damage to the spline is likely!)
2. Open the car, find the steering wheel and adapter, and loosely install them on the column
3. Remove the nose, and with the help of a few strong helpers, steer the car by pushing on the tires as the car is moved slowly. You'd be surprised how easy it is to steer a car in this manner (especially one like the SL--C, which has most of the weight in the rear anyway).
Since the car doesn't have working brakes yet, you may want to plan on using wheel chocks to hold the car in position when needed as you move the car from the trailer to your garage or shop. There is little to no room in the front for chocks, so plan on using them only in the rear. If you have a race tail, you can use regular commercial chocks. The street tail doesn't have much clearance, so you will have to cut the commercial chocks down to fit, or just make low-profile ones from a couple of 2X4s.
It's a good idea to place two people behind the car, each armed with a chock, and one person along side each of the front wheels. You can slowly steer the car by having the people at the front of the car pull/push the wheels in the desired direction. Note that the faster the car rolls the easier it is to steer. Keep your hands and fingers out of the wheel spokes- just put your hands on the tires (which will be easy to do since you removed the nose). If you aren't careful, it's also easier to get your fingers pinched between one of the wheel spokes and the calipers. Take your time as you move the car.
Unpack Car & Reconcile Parts
Your kit will arrive with the doors and front and rear bodywork pieces taped in place and depending on what options are selected, parts may be securely taped to outside of car. Use the utility knife to carefully cut the tape so that nothing is damaged and so that you have a large enough piece to pull the tape from the body in one piece. This will greatly reduce the amount of cleanup that you need to do later. Remove all of the parts from the cockpit, the tail section and the nose section.
Please take the time to unpack all contents and confirm everything against the supplied packing list. Check off all the parts fitted to chassis with the packing list as well. You may find some parts are backordered; if so, keep track of these so you can check them off when they arrive later. If there are any shortages or discrepancies please contact us immediately upon delivery.
Despite the fact that your car may have shipped with the windshield taped in place against the body, be sure to remove the fiberglass windshield opening plug where the windshield is placed because the shape of the glass windshield does not exactly follow the body shape that is to be cut out later. Failure to do this will likely result in a cracked windshield. Don't leave the windshield on the car, especially with an uncut windshield opening.
Make sure that you store the windshield in a safe place where it can’t be damaged. The windshield must be supported during storage, and should be stored upright, resting on the bottom edge of the glass. Don’t store it resting on the ends that wrap around to the doors, or on its curved face- this will almost certainly cause it to crack. Like all glass, the windshield is susceptible from cracking from a chipped edge, so be very careful about protecting the edges when moving it, and storing it.
Do not put long-term stress on the body parts as they may take a permanent ‘set’ and be difficult to return to their original state when you are at that stage in the assembly process. If this has already happened, use wooden forms to push the body pieces into the correct shape and let them sit in the sun for a few days. This will relax the fiberglass and allow the body to follow the position of the wooden forms.
Remove Tape Residue
Your car will have lots of tape residue on the body and some of the chassis. It's best to remove it early, and not let it take a set over weeks or months- it just makes the job harder when you have to remove it later, and it tends to collect and retain dust which makes the work even harder later. Besides, a clean car is a happy car! Goof Off or Goo Gone works very well on tape residue and it won't damage the gelcoat (in a recent comparision Goof Off worked best). WD-40 has been used by some, but it leaves a petroleum residue that must be cleaned off later. Acetone will work for really bad stains, but use it very sparingly, as it's a strong solvent and will damage your gelcoat if used in even moderate amounts. Make sure that you keep folding/changing the paper towel because once the glue becomes gummy and attaches to towel you'll just spread it around if you don't rotate to a clean piece. Once the residue has been removed you might consider wiping the body down with water or a mild cleaner. This will remove any Goo Gone residue and it will also clean any soot from the factory and transportation