Don came over after work. In short order he burned the MII hats to the frame rails. I will do the body and non-structural welding, but I prefer to have a pro do the critical welding like the front suspension. Anyway, we double checked the measurements before he started. We also checked them afterwards. Everything was within 1/16" or so. Don and I agreed it is probably better than most new cars. I can move on to modifying the inner fender panels now.
Removed the motor mounts. They are going to move back about 1-1/2" and were in the way of the new location for the MII hats. Measured, checked the shocks, measured some more, and then tack welded the hats in place. Then I did some quick and dirty checks of the camber and caster at ride height. If this didn't nail it nothing will. Don will be by tomorrow after work to finish welding them in place.
In preparation for moving the engine and tranny back, I trimmed out the cross member to clear the TH350 pan. The whole K-member is toast and will be replaced, so I gas axed it. This will let me mock up the engine location. I will replace it with a custom built piece once I am sure of where it will go.
Well, I haven't been able to work on the 41 for almost 3 weeks now. I finally told the contractor that I would be taking vacation time to help him finish our house. We got the walls finished. I did the tile work. My wife and I got it painted with some help of our friends. The carpet is finally in, so the furniture gets moved back this weekend. The outside still need to be finished and painted. I had to take all the trim off the north wall and re-do it.
I am going to fit the MII hats to the frame this long Labor Day weekend. Don will weld them permanently next Tues.
I can't remember how many measurements I made before I had Don weld the hats on. I may have missed the rake of the car. Anyway, once the car was on the ground, it was obvious that it would be difficult to obtain a 4 or 5 deg. positive caster. The upper shock mounts would also have to be "pulled" forward to fit. I just flat had the hats too far forward.
The car was put up on jack stands, making sure the frame angle matched the on-the-ground angle. The side to side level was checked and was dead on. The suspension was jacked up, one side at a time, until the lower a-frame was level. A plumb bob was dropped of the lower ball joint so an axle centerline could be marked on the floor. This will be for future reference when the new hats go back on. Finally, the hats were cut off and the welds ground smooth. Other than the shiny spots on the frame and my slightly lighter bank account, you would never know the hats had been installed wrong.
The "rake" was checked so when the car was put up on jack-stands, the angle on the ground could be duplicated. Then the front sheet metal was removed. Before the engine was removed, I broke out the valve covers and marked the firewall for the cut. I allowed for enough room on the top so I could remove the covers with the engine in the car. The clearance on the sides was set for a little "rock". I'm still hoping I don't have to do this, but I am getting prepared. I need to modify the radiator support first. But before I do that, I need to put the fender panels in place to make sure the support is correctly located. Before I can put the fender panels in, I have to cut them to clear the MII. Before I do that, I have to get the MII hats in the correct location (I missed on locating them the first time around). So the engine came out and was set aside for now.