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So it Starts. My Countach Diary...

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  • So it Starts. My Countach Diary...

    I have loved the Countach since I was seven. Many Many Many... years later, I made the choice to buy a Countach Kit. I actually considered the real thing, but I am too tall, and I wanted to be able to work on the vehicle myself, so Replica it is. I web-ferreted Countach ads for years until my eyes bled. I was often tempted by the Fiero chassis versions, but I wanted something closer to the real thing. I saw a few AFI kits, and was really impressed with the build quality. (I'm bummed they are out of business. I'd love to talk to those guys and ask them questions). There are issues with the overall look of the car, but I do car design for a living, so I am not afraid of making the changes myself, but as I get older, time is of the essence so I wanted to start with a car and just modify, versus starting from scratch. I pulled the trigger last year and bought an AFI kit that had a few issues. I'll start with a pic of my new family member.



    I have about 4 trillion reference images of the real car, and I have begun to make some conclusions. One important one, was that the real car is all over the place. I know they are hand made, but I am still surprised at how much difference I find all the time, even in the same model year. The first thing I wanted to do was fix the taillights. The vehicle I have is using generic trailer lights. So my research began on the lamp shape. WOW.. there are a lot of variants. I made a montage of different shapes all from real Countaches (Countachs?) Here is the high contrast image I did of the shape differences. I want to declare that this part of the post is mostly rant, just to get it off my chest. I will pick a route and execute, but I was still surprised by the findings. (the lights are scaled a bit so you can see all the profiles at once).



    So, big deal. I would maybe just pick one and run with it, but I saw on lots of real Lamborghinis that the inner bezel and the lens were quite different. Here are a couple examples of what I am talking about.





    That would really piss me off if I was buying OEM parts. How is the countach community okay with that kind of error? hmmmm..

    Okay, more to follow....

    Gumby

  • #2
    Gumby, it looks like you are starting with a nice kit there. Good luck with it. As for your rant, my suggestion would be to buy a set of the tail lights that you want and then modify the car to fit those. Don't drive yourself nuts worrying about every possible variances in the parts out there as it will make your head spin. In the end does it really matter if the light was curved on every corner and not on other ones?? If it does to you then you might find yourself building all of your own parts that far exceed the OEM parts....
    -Glenn

    "One day I had a bit of an argument with my friend Enzo Ferrari, who reckoned I wasnít able to drive a Ferrari, only tractors. Thatís when I got the idea into my head and told myself Ė Iíll make the cars myself from now on!" - Ferruccio Lamborghini

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    • #3
      With that in mind, I started to figure out a mounting strategy. My current lights are surface mounted over the red plexiglass. The real lights have a clear cut all the way through to allow the taillamp to nest inside of it. There are holes in the metal bezel to allow mounting to the body, but I am confused about the mounting of the Red plexiglass. Is it just held in place by the Sikaflex goo, or are there screws of some kind? I guess you could bottom tap a few threads into the acrylic to hold it, but I am not sure from the pics I have. Which leads to my next issue... the sikaflex around the edge. I have seen that turn into a sloppy mess. Who thought of that? It's crazy... what keeps it from gushing into the crevice between the metal and the plexi? Nothing! what could be simpler? Here is an example of the ugly seal smoosh...


      Again, not the end of the world, but it still amazes me as the standard. Another thing is the texture behind the plexi. There seem to be two dominant versions. The small squares and the diamond plate looking version.



      I think I prefer the squares one. What I have been looking at though is that they indexed the pattern with the angled inner edge instead of straight to the taillamps. I am going back and forth on which on I like better... any opinions?


      That's an animated gif, so hopefully it animates when viewing.

      Also, I began to do a rough 3d scan of the vehicle so I can compare it to other things I have and determine where for sure I want to make changes. It came out really well so far.



      That is where I am right now. I was hesitant to start this build diary, because I may go long times without progress, but maybe writing about it will help me keep on track.

      Peace,
      Gumby

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      • #4
        Welcome! I did a Countach as my first kit as well. Still my favourite car of all time. Since you are changing things on your car, consider this.
        The front wheel well opening is too big near the bottom. In fact it looks like the fiberglass is too high at the front bumper. It looks like the nose is sitting too high and the base of the windshield is correct.
        Here are a couple of pics as a reference:



        Cheers!
        http://jimdinner.wordpress.com/

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        • #5
          Notice how the front spoiler body line is inline with the bottom edge of the door?
          http://jimdinner.wordpress.com/

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          • #6
            Some pics of my car from 14 years ago when digital cameras were a little less sophisticated.
            I had to make changes to make things look a little better.
            I exaggerated the bottom of the rocker only because I thought it look cool at the time. :/




            http://jimdinner.wordpress.com/

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            • #7
              Thanks for the input. That is the kind of stuff I was noticing. The front end slope upward is the one that kills me and HAS to go, but there are so many subtle ones. I will post more animated gifs showing my discoveries when I have some time. Here is one more I am hoping to get from the forum. How wide are the tabs on the engine cover? My engine cover is straight cut and I want it to have the proper tab recess. I am also trying to find the height from the edge of the engine cover to that quattrovalve power swell, and the height from the top edge to the lowest part on the engine cover in that area as well.



              I made this animated gif to show how the height of the engine cover at its' lowest point and the arc of the engine cover is sagging very badly. So I am trying to get some accurate dimensions to work to.



              Thanks again for the input.

              Gumby

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              • #8
                I don't know the exact demensions of the real Countach tabs, but I have a Euroworks body and I can measure them if you wish
                "Do a little bit everyday and eventually it'll get done"

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                • #9
                  Here is my current "keep them honest" check.

                  The taillamp surround I have is 16-1/16" X 9-11/16" (at its' widest points) Could anyone measure what they have to see if that is in the ballpark to what people have?

                  (and thanks in advance graffiti if you can measure that).

                  Thanks,
                  Gumby

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                  • #10
                    Here's the measurements for a Euroworks body. Hope it helps
                    Click image for larger version

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                    "Do a little bit everyday and eventually it'll get done"

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                    • #11
                      Gumby69;

                      I have been looking at the front end on your car and I am wondering.......?? It might be a bit of work to get the front end tilting down the amount it will be required to line up more towards oem but what about making relief cuts and pushing the nose down? From the picture, the section up to the tops of the fenders looks good. It just looks like the area in front, on top of the flares & forward was flattened out a bit which tilts the front portion of the clip up. If you are going to reshape the front section, you could cut in some relief lines from the flares to the top edge of the fender and then push the front section down at the front until it gets closer. Not sure how far it would go or whether it would end up not looking right but it is an option and you could do it cheaply, just some fiberglass cloth and resin and some cutting......

                      The other option would be to go get a new front end and bond it into the rest of the body but that would be a larger expenditure for the clip.....

                      Good luck keep us updated.

                      Cheers
                      Don
                      308 Ferrari replica
                      Prova Countach 5000S

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                      • #12
                        Thanks Don, That was one of my ideas.. I Have been smooshing this thing around in 3d seeing where I can get the best "bang for the buck" I was thinking about the very same accordion method. The front end is pretty good and just needs that transition area fixed. I have also been checking all the dimensions versus actual Countach numbers and man, that is where this kit really seems to shine. The wheelbase is spot on. along with many other checked dimensions, so the vanity stuff isn't as crucial. It's like a house. If you have a good foundation you can fix any other problem.

                        Peace,
                        Gumby

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                        • #13
                          Roof measurement

                          Hi Gumby69, This measurement was taken by me from a real car in 1987 I have other sketches taken at the time, I spent three days measuring the entire car so if you need any help just ask.
                          the gap around the engine cover tongue was 4mm.
                          Attached Files

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                          • #14
                            Thank you! One step closer... anyone have the other dimensions from the engine cover that I posted? I'm looking for the depth from the top edge to the top of the lid...

                            Thanks,
                            Gumby

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                            • #15
                              On my replica its 75mm at the Centre to the top , and 150mm from the top to the flat section next to the hump.

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