Once the plywood reinforcement was epoxied into place, I added a layer of fiberglass mat over the ply and overlapped it onto the surrounding fiberglass. Now the mounting points are integral with the body and will provide a strong mount for the framework.
First pic shows the ply in the horn area after the fiberglass was applied.
Second picture shows the overall layout of the reinforcing points and the plywood installed.
Last picture shows the 'glass mat cut to size and ready for resin.
I still needed a way to attach the frame to the firewall area of the body. I wanted to be able to bolt it to the body at various points for a positive attachment.
The Willys has two "horns" that project forward on each side of the firewall, and also has a flat area just under the cowl that was perfect to use for mounting points for the frame.
I used 1/2" MDO plywood for the reinforcement, with a bolt installed through the back of the ply which would make a good mounting stud for the frame.
First picture shows the plywood and bolt epoxied to the horn area.
Second and third pictures show the plywood in the cowl area and the how the frame will bolt to the studs.
As mentioned in an earlier journal entry, I am using a Kugel under-dash brake and clutch master cylinder assembly. The problem was coming up with a secure mount for the unit. The fiberglass firewall was certainly not stiff enough to bolt the assembly directly to it, so I came up with the idea of building a steel framework that would attach to the firewall and provide a strong mounting point.
The first picture shows the mock-up of the assembly on the firewall. This part of the firewall is fairly thin and not suitable to mount anything to.
The second picture shows some 1" square wood that I used to get an idea of how to build the framework.
The last picture shows the frame as cut out of 1" square tubing ready to be welded together.
The outside of the floor/tunnel was done in the same way, but only one layer of mat was used, followed by body filler. The entire outside was then sanded down, and the hole for the shifter was located and cut out. A trial fit showed that everything was okay, so a few coats of epoxy primer finished off the project. It took a lot of time to do this, especially for a one-off part, but the final result was worth it.
The first pic shows how the new piece will fit into the original floorboard. I cut and fit the new hump into the existing piece, and then sanded a groove into the pieces where they butt together. The first layer of 'glass was only a thin strip to cover the seam, followed up by a wider strip for the second layer.