A cold front is coming in. This may have been the last decent day to work outside. I think the front came in about 4, because it got pretty chilly.
I wanted to get the fuse box located and the dash removed. I can build the dash harness inside where it is warm this winter.
After looking at the underside for a while, it looked like the easiest thing to do would be to build a bracket to attach to the brake pedal support.
The scrap pile yielded a section of 2 x 3 rectangular tubing. After a few quick cuts and some drill and riv-nut work, I had my bracket. The tubing provides nice rounded corners to prevent wire chaffing.
With the bracket mounted and the fuse box installed, the dash wires were separated out and marked as to where they reached the dash. The dash was removed. A nice, cold winter's day project is ready to go.
The cable from the control unit in the dash reached the trunk, but just barely. The main unit would have to mount on the package shelf or the bulkhead. Since the package shelf would have forced the speakers close together, the bulkhead was chosen. The bulkhead has a bead rolled in it which would interfere with the unit. So I snagged the 3/4" square aluminum tubing from the failed attempt using it to mount the radiator and cut some short sections, drilled holes in them, and put in riv-nuts. I will need to work out the antenna, the remote control unit, and the speaker wires. But the big issue of getting a unit to fit the car is done.
Since the column was in the car and the steering shaft and u-joints had arrived, I decided to make the car steer. After cutting the collapsible shaft to length I discovered the shaft and u-joint hit the header.
I will push the column in about an inch. The wheel is a little close now. Pushing it toward the firewall about an inch will make it just right or maybe a little far. This should move the shaft and the u-joint down and away from the header.
If that isn't enough, I will probably try to move the engine to the right about half an inch and maybe up about a quarter inch.
In the end, I may have to get a different set of headers. How do the guys with the stock steering column location do it? I moved the column over to the left as far as I could and I still have clearance issues!
All of the vent hoses were cut to length and installed. With the two defroster hoses and the four AC vent hoses in place, the wiper motor was test run to assure clearance. Everything worked fine.
I went into this morning planning on cutting the dash and flipping the wiper switch and the headlight switch. Closer examination showed that the headlight switch has about 1/8" clearance to the wiper motor, so all is well there.
Newport Engineering sold me two plain knobs so the wiper and headlight switch would match. The headlight switch shaft had to be shortened slightly and the edges filed slightly to allow the know to slide on all the way. A small flat was file to accept the set screw. A little extra insurance since this knob will be pulled.
The rest of the dash equipment was installed. The goal was two-fold. First, verification was needed to assure there were no other clearance issues. Second, could all the dash items be installed while the dash was in the car. The clearances were great. Unfortunately, the HVAC control panel probably will have to be installed on the workbench. This eliminates one of the holes through which my hand will fit. The joys of dash work!
The rest of the cowl related items were installed in order to determine where the fuse box will be best mounted. Wiring will come soon.
On the subject of wiring, the cable for the stereo was run through the roof above the passenger side of the car. The good news - it is long enough so the head will mount behind the back seat under the package shelf. The bad news is that the ipod cable won't reach. Not sure what I am going to do there. I will probably load up a ton of music on a memory stick.
The cuts were made in the real dash middle part. It was re-installed between the top and bottom sections. There were two bolts which may have interfered with the gauges, so they were test fit on the bench. Sure enough, the speedometer and the oil pressure gauge mounting rings hit the bolt heads. The hex head bolts were removed and replaced with phillips round head bolts which provided enough clearance.
As this installation is intended to finalize all dash related connections, the defroster nozzles were installed and the hoses were cut to fit and installed. The right one was left long to allow adjustments. The left one is in a more congested area, so it was cut with a minimum of excess.
The dash was installed in the car. The clearance between the tachometer and the brake pedal support was checked. It is close, but a little trimming of the support and/or bending the electrical connection tabs on the light sockets will provide enough clearance.
A more critical interference was discovered between the headlight switch and the wiper motor. There is a possibility that cutting a new notch and rotating the switch may fix the problem. At worse, the switch section may need to be cut out and flipped around so the wiper switch is on the left and the headlight switch is on the right. Time will tell.