The tilt shell reinforcing ribs were installed for the final time. When the ribs were first installed and adjusted, alignment holes were drilled through the ribs and mounting tabs. For the final assembly, the ribs were bolted up loose and drill bits were used to align the ribs to the correct location. Once the ribs were located correctly, the grille was installed via tabs bolted to the ribs.
The last two photos show both the finished interior and exterior of the tilt shell with the ribs, grille and headlights installed.
With the rest of the Willys in the interior shop, I focused on doing the finish work on the tilt front end. The first thing to do was to install the headlights, which consisted of a rear-mounted plastic bucket and mount ring. These aftermarket assemblies were updated to include a parking/turn light socket. The ring was painted a flat trim black, and the bucket exterior was painted with Gravitex chip guard, which matched the interior finish of the tilt shell. The buckets bolt through the fiberglass shell and are sealed with some 3M rope caulk. On the outside, the headlight assembly consists of a high intensity PIAA H4 bulb, and a super bright amber LED parking light bulb. Two layers of foam weather-strip were applied to a channel in the mounting ring to provide a seal against the headlight bezel and lens assembly.
The Willys is ready to go to the trim shop. The Tea's seats have been installed, along with the roll bar, shifter, pedals, and dash. There will be a full length console, which will house the stereo, A/C controls, and power window switches. Shift lever is a Gennie Shifter. The second and third photos also show an aluminum plate that was bonded to the interior door panel. This will be used as reinforcement for the arm rest/door pull.
Up until now, the Willys had been up on the Kwik Lift. Now it was time to get it down off of the lift and prep it for the interior shop. The lift has proven invaluable in building this car. Here are a few photos of the Willys on and off the lift, and a photo of the ready to be upholstered trunk area.
Before going to the interior shop, the interior door handles needed to be located and installed. I found a good spot on the door for the handle, directly in line with the latch assembly. I was not using the stock handle mechanism that was supplied with the body, so a mounting plate was fabricated to adapt the new lever-type handles to the inner fiberglass molded panel. The mounting plate was bolted to the inner door panel, and the door handle was then bolted to the mounting plate. I was able to use the original return spring, but the latch actuation rod was replaced with a flexible cable. The new handle is spaced out far enough for the door panel to be fit correctly.