The tube was tack welded to the side plates with the dash in place. Then everything was removed and the tube and plates were finish welded at the bench. After welding, it was bolted back in to assure it still fit.
The dash was installed and the seats located to determine an initial driver location. A little fine tuning to determine the centerline and then the steering column can be located.
The dash was cut to allow the tube to drop into place. Once the tube was located, the side plates were marked to see where it would fall in relation to the bolts. The top bolt is fine. The bottom bolt is in the tube. I decided to use a button head allen bolt for the bottom. Reliefs for the bolt were cut in the ends of the tube.
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.