I spent my available time this past week building the recessed firewall. I decided against making it removable, and I made it intentionally asymmetrical to provide more room for the clutch hoses/ linkage.
I went through 2 sets of cardboard mock ups and ultimately warped the heck out of it by welding it too quickly. I need to be more patient. Lesson learned, I hope. I made a slice to help alleviate some of the warpage, but it'll need more finessing to make it presentable.
I still need to build a cap in the front, as there is a slight overhang of the firewall sheet metal on the top passenger side. I'll box that in.
This week I've worked on the frame crossmember altercation to make room for the LS engine. There was a little scalping, a little reinforcing, a lot of grinding and trimming, a lot more hammering and pounding and bending and tweaking and adjusting to get it to fit.
My neighbor helped me with this and welded this together for me. My 110 volt welder would not be strong enough to handle this.
After getting this back together it became apparent that the headers won't fit and will need some modification on the driver's side. It's a bummer, too, as they had that coating on them. Oh well. This will give a chance to modify them as needed to clear the engine mounts/ supports.
I also raised the trans tunnel to give more room for the trans. Even with that lift it is still a snug fit up there. I only tacked it in place in case it needs more modification.
Next steps will be to mock up the mounting systems/ brackets, etc and start building them.