Here's my mock up of the Evinrude outboard control as shifter. I think that polished, with Ford blue oval or V8 emblem in place of the "Evinrude", it'll look interesting. The taller lever will be the shifter. The short one, which serves as throttle in a boat, I wanted to serve as a hand throttle, but my spousal unit thinks that is dumb. Since cars of this age had a hand throttle on the dash, as well as the pedal, I think it'd be OK. Besides, it could be a cruise control of sorts. The last photo is the newly repositioned top mount and hinge. I like the "approved" sticker. Nice to know it's official...
Took a little break from helping my wife take down the Christmas decorations (I got a pardon from this as I spent all day yesterday buiding shelves in the basement) and worked on the '36 seats. I temporarily Pop riveted the seat pan to the back, plopped a boat cushion on one and crawled in. Immediatly it became apparant that to be driveable, the back of the top had to come up a little.
I got out, stood back and to be sure, the window opening line actually dropped a bit from the windshield to the back of the door. I took the top off and cut the spot welds holding the hinge mounts (Sebring) to the body tub, cleaned things up, moved 'em up an inch a and a quarter and loosely bolted the bows back in.
That did the trick, the top now has a slight downward rake from the back to the w/s posts, and proof in the pudding was that I can now sit in the seat without my head hitting the top bow or frame. It's close, but even with a ball cap on, there's enough room.
The seats will be mounted on short risers in front, about an inch and a half or so, and the back just enough to get the pan off the floor. It looks fantastic.
I also dug out an old outboard motor control set I had, got the forrward/reverse cable freed up and set it on the driveshaft tunnel. I think it looks cool, I'll have to fab up a small bracket on the trans to hold the cable, and make a connecter, but it oughtta work! Photos will follow.
Got the seats all formed! I made hammer forms from some 5/8" particle board I had, and formed the seat pans this morning. I was worried about possibly having to anneal the aluminum, but it hammered easily over the form. I bought unmarked drops, turned out to be .080, much thicker than I needed, and I have no idea what the alloy is, but the price was right!
I loaded up the pans and backs, and went to a buddies shop who has a bead roller. We debated a bit as to whether or not it was up to the task with the heavy stock, and started in. Took two passes on each bead, but it worked great.
Now I have to get some brazier rivets and the proper die for my air hammer. I was going to use Pop rivets, but decided it'd look like I cheaped out. Besides, the beading looks pretty professional, and pop rivets don't! I have some Olympic Bulb rivets as used in Airstream repair, but I don't have enough, and they're pretty expensive. Plus, they're not strong enough to use in this application, I don't think.
I'm thrilled with how they turned out. I did it myself, they fit the car and me perfectly, and cost almost nothing. My wife pointed out that I have eliminated probably 99% of street rodders who would possibly be interested in the car from actually being able to fit in it and drive it, but I'm not building it for anybody but me! Besides, if somebody wants it, they can put their OWN seats in it!
Yet more photos of the seat project. I feel kind of bad that my shop is such a mess when I see shots of other guys nice neat, tidy, white painted garages!
The last shot is of the little paper seats I used as "prototypes". I ended up freehanding the shape on a piece of cardboard, and transferring it to the aluminum sheet. I think they'll look great, and the total cost was 40 bucks for the two half sheet, .080 drops. Deal, or no deal?