Now that the steering column is located, I can go ahead and mock-up the steering linkage. I ordered the u-joints from Borgeson: (1) combination u-joint and vibration reducer to connect to the steering column, (1) 9/16-26 x 3/4-36 u-joint to connect to the Unisteer rack, and (1) 3/4-36 u-joint for the middle. At first I thought that I could get away with just two joints, but the geometry wasn't right. So I had to go with 3 joints. Anything over 2 joints, and an intermediate support is required.
The first picture shows the mock-up of the system using 3/4" wood dowels. This worked well, because I could cut and try until I got a good layout. Once I was sure that everything fit, I ordered up the real 3/4-36 splined shafts from Borgeson as seen in the second picture.
In order to brace the hoop, there will be a horizontal bar located about seat height between the hoop uprights. Also, there will be bracing that extends down and to the rear from the horizontal bar to the frame rails. In addition, there will be front braces from the hoop down towards the floor along the side of the seats. These front braces will "shadow" the seat, so there will be no need for a swing out style brace. Again, when I bring the car in to have the bar fabricated, I will be able to show what I want. From there, the layout can be refined to allow for interior upholstery and overall fit-up.
I will be installing a roll bar in the Willys, so I thought that I would try mocking up a bar to see what it will look like. I will not be doing this work myself, so this will give the fabricator an idea of what I have in mind.
I started off by getting a few lengths of 3/4" PVC electrical conduit and some foam pipe insulation. The O.D. of the insulation is the same as the roll bar material, which is 1 3/4". I first took some interior measurements, and began by making the hoop. A couple of PVC elbows help keep the foam rigid enough for a reasonable looking roll bar.
I placed the hoop inside the vehicle to get an idea where it can be placed in reference to the seats and roof. I'm not paying too much attention to the interior just now. This is just to be used as talking points with the fabricator.
I have the seats located, and I've determined the location of the steering column based upon the centerline of the seat, tilt of column and view through the steering wheel to verify that the gauges can be seen. I'm using an ididit steering column along with their bottom swivel mount and column drop. Also, the location of the column was checked against the location of the brake & clutch pedal arms. Everything checked out, so it was time to drill some holes. I located the bottom hole up as high as was possible on the removable floor/trans tunnel section.
The column drop was attached to the dashboard brace. Additional bracing will be added to the dash brace once the pedal assembly is installed.
Here's a few pictures of the brake & clutch pedal assembly that I'm using. It's a Reverse-mount behind dash unit from Kugel. I wanted to try this style instead of having the more traditional pedal setup through the floor. As can be seen from the photos, the assembly will mount to the firewall, with both master cylinders facing inward. The height of the assembly will be set by the clearance needed between the cylinders and the dashboard brace. The dashboard itself will need to be moved out by about an inch to clear the end of the brake m/c, but this actually works out okay. I will need the extra room to get the gauges placed where I want them and still clear the cylinders.
There are just a few of the early mockup photos showing the steering column and pedal arm relationship. I'll have more on this later on in the buildup.