Ok, here's the thing. I needed to turn the hot rod around to work on the bed so I backed out of the garage but the trans wouldn't go into drive then. My super-dooper shift lever didn't work. It bent and the holes were egged out not letting it shift. The aluminum was too soft. I gave up making my own lever and put the B&M stick back in. Then I turned around and backed in.
There were stress cracks in the filler on the bed from vibration so the bed rails were welded to the stake pockets to support better and more body work was done.
On top of every thing else it seems that taking out the carpet to "fix" the shifter has created a wire problem, probably at the steering column base where they are bundled and I now have no brake lights. So that is next before more body work. It doesn't look like paint any time soon but I'm still trying. Only about a month until the first scheduled outing. That is if I don't break anything else. It's always some thing isn't it!!
Just catching up on my journal entries. With lots of help I was able to install claw latches and make them work the stock door handles inside and out. The first trip lever maybe worked too well as it didn't take any effort at all to unlatch the door. The second version which used a modified part from the original latch took more movement to trip the latch. Now I feel a little more sure that the door won't unlatch by accident. The latch lever is pushed down by the yellow lever which also attaches to the strap which goes to the inside handle. Now it all works just like stock, only alot better. I also finished up on the hood side by extending the nose down a little which surrounds the grill better I think. Now on to the bed and paint...but time is getting close to DRIVING SEASON. Gotta hurry!!
The newest version of my home made shift lever is done. At least until I find out if it works on the road. As the shaft is aluminum and I'm not sure of its strength I fabbed up two small steel brackets that sandwich the area where it fastens to the shifter works. I used two carriage bolts for the piston for a smoother look than regular bolts. Here it's stuck in the boot to see how it looks, I like it and sure hope it doesn't down shift. The weight seems to about the same as the stock lever in the first picture. If all goes well then I will evenually make a new one and be lots more careful about the holes and scratches and finish.
I finally finished both sides of the hood panels. Moved them back to the cowl some and trimmed for a better gap. Both sides were shaped to fit the cowl better and shortened a little. I tried to smooth out the area around the louvers and where the new metal had been added. Each side now also has a bracket to hold it at the front as well.
Taking a break from body work on the hood panels. It has bothered me for some time that I couldn't use the shifter I had made due to its weight causing down shifts. It was replaced with the original B&M shift lever, but I still wanted something of my own. An idea cooked around in my head after I made that little hood prop from scrap aluminum shelving. So this is what I did...
(1) I bent some pieces of the alum. channel (see profile) to match the heavy 1st shifter's 1/2 " rod. As I wanted a connecting rod profile I used two pieces back to back.
(2) This mockup looked good/right to me.
(3) I used the same beveled holes, 1 inch apart. I like this. Now, what to do for a bolt through the piston, clean and polish it all, and wait til spring to see if it works. It looks bigger but is a LOT lighter, and seems proportional with the piston