The bottom channel of the dash needs to be beefed up in order to support the steering column and the brake assembly.
Two plates 1-1/2" x 3" were cut out. These will bolt on where the stock dash bolted to the A pillars. Then a 1 inch square tube was cut to fit between the plates.
The lower bolt is probably going to interfere with the tube. The tube will either get notched, crimped, or otherwise modified to allow the lower bolt installation. The lower bolts were removed for now to allow fit up.
After the dash was installed, I realized I should have checked the tube against the bottom channel of the dash while everything was out of the car. Then I could have cut the reliefs on both sides so the tube would drop down in the channel. Oh well, I am getting really good at removing and reinstalling the dash. What's one more time?
The seat was shimmed and leveled to be close to the right spot. This was just the first go at it. I will have to fine tune it, but this let me know how much work to expect. Based on today, I think it is going to go OK. Well, let's just say it won't be awful.
Fitting the dash seemed like the next logical step so that I would have a better feel as to where the final resting spot should be for the seat.
This dash is the second metal part from a particular after-market company. Let's just say it is the one that starts with a B and ends with an itchin. I have been disappointed with both of them. The first one was a cowl vent filler panel. It was so bad that I intend to make my own. The dash is a little bit more work than I want to take on as far as building from scratch, so I will make this one work. The dash took most of the afternoon just to get it in the car. I am not talking about the fine tuning, which is expected. Today was simply to get it in the car.
To be honest, the trans cover is from the other guys and it isn't much better.
I guess for what the dash sells for, I expected more. Oh well, that's hot rodding. As you can see, I had to take pie cuts out of the sides to get the bottom of the dash back into the cowl where it belongs. I will still have to fit some filler panels to fill in the huge gaps on the sides.
The next item of business will be to build a 1" square tube brace to run from cowl side to cowl side in the bottom channel of the dash.
Well, the condenser was in stock but the line kits were supposed to come in Friday. They didn't. Since I didn't want to mock up the condenser without the lines, and I didn't want to make two trips for parts, I decided to pick them up next week when everything is in.
So, I started working on the driver's seat.
The four bolts had to be knocked out first. The have a square shoulder which is swaged in the hole. I wanted to save them in case I reuse them. So I double nutted them and beat them out with a big hammer. Got all four of them out with only damage to the nuts.
I then powered the seat track forward and made a reference mark. Then I powered it back and made another reference mark. Measure and divide by two, make a mark, and power the seat to the mid-point. I want the seat to be mid-travel when I mount it. I figure I am average and that will allow for adjustment for bigger and smaller folks should I sell the car. OK, I'm not average, but I am close. I am a 6 foot guy with the legs of someone who is 5'-8"!
What you can't see well in the middle photo is the fact that I also raised and lowered the front and back of the track, measured, and set both front an back at their respective middles.
I knew I was going to be making a lot of marks on the floor. I wanted to see them easily. So I cleaned the floor with lacquer thinner and shot some rattle can gray primer. I then measured and marked the centerline of the car with a Sharpie.
Wow. 200 posts. 2 years and 8 months. Will I ever get it done?
The radiator was reinstalled on the core support and put back in the car.
I did take a minute to admire the way the tank fits the modified support. I think I will do the final mounting with hex socket button head stainless cap screws. Easier to tighten and easier on the eye.
A quick test fit of the thicker Flex-a-lite Syclone fan shows that I have room to spare. I think I have hit on a combination that is going to work. The AC condenser and line kit is supposed to be here tomorrow. Hopefully, I can move on to the seats, steering column and brakes after this weekend.
We have gone from cold and wet to hot and humid. It was brutal out there tonight. Must get car done before August.
The transmission was sitting too close to the floor. The mount rests on the top of the existing cross member. This cross member is actually a k-member. I intend to build a new one from 2 x 3 rectangular tubing. But for now, this rusted out original does a fine job of holding the tail shaft up.
Two slots were cut. Then heat and beat. This will lower the tail of the tranny about an inch.
Once the modification cooled, it was time to drop the engine and tranny back in. The drop amount was perfect. The engine sits i there nice. I need to massage the passenger side of the firewall to make some clearance to the head and valve cover. There is clearance now, it just need a little bit of safety factor. The distributer will either need the firewall massaged, or I will have to go with an non-HEI unit. I think I am going to go with a pre-75 GM with a conversion kit.