With the holes drilled and tapped through the bottom of the dash into the 1 inch square tubing cross bar, it was time to move the dash to a bench. The column was removed, then the dash, and finally the cross bar.
The cross bar was then put back in the dash. After measuring the distance between the cross bar and the front of the reinforcing pad already attached to the dash, a bracket was cut out of 1/8" stock and formed.
The bracket was inserted in front of the cross bar and centered over the column drop holes. After tacking the bracket in place, the cross bar was removed and the bracket was completely welded to the cross bar. The bottom was ground flush.
After drilling holes to match the dash, nuts were tacked over the holes.
The cross bar was re-installed. The dash was quickly installed to assure it would still go in. After verification, it was removed, leaving the bar. The column was then installed. This will allow fitting up the brake assembly.
I don't know about you, but I find a solidly installed steering column makes it more realistic and enjoyable to sit in the car and make engine sounds.
The column drop was bolted to the bottom of the dash. Eventually, I will build a bracket off the 1" square tube cross bar to the bolt holes so the column will be mounted to it instead of relying solely on the sheet metal dash. I am also going to have to lengthen the shift tube extension which I previously cut to what I thought was the correct length. Oh well.
The lower mount makes for a very clean install. I have the boot, but will wait to install it.
I did drill and tap the 1" cross bar so the bottom of the dash will bolt to it in two places. This is more for verifying the location on the bench than it is for mounting. The heat was on the rise, so I called it a day.
I decided to wrap up one loose end before moving on. The chin was cut and a flange was hammered down to allow room for the AC tubes. After the clearance was checked, the cracks were welded. After clean up, the radiator core was put back on the car. A final check showed the tubes exiting in an excellent spot.
Reassemble. The good news is this should be the last time for a while. I will need to get the 4-40 machine screws and nylocks for final assembly.
A final check of clearances shows that everything is good. It is hard to see in the photo, but the joggles in the tabs assure the the screws clear the radiator to prevent chaffing.
A quick check of the chin assembly showed that even with the factory relief on the passenger side of the car, a notch will have to be cut and flanged to clear the tubes. That will wait. It is time to get back on the steering column.