A part of this project that seemed to take forever is the wiring and installation of the dash. I bought gauge panels from Chevs of the 40s for the four gauges and the 5" speedometer and tach (tach went where the clock used to be). I installed two 3.5" speakers from Crutchfield behind the grill in the center of the dash, which involved some fabrication. There is a lot of wiring under/behind the dash but I made an effort to keep everything neat and out of sight as much as possible. It was worth it; the dash looks great and I can't wait to see it lit up at night on a summer cruise.
More work has been done in the engine compartment. I received my alternator and AC compressor brackets from Alan Grove Components (they had to custom make the AC bracket to fit the bolt pattern on the Dart heads). I made sure they fit and then had them powdercoated by Wheelock & Sons. They look great!
I installed the alternator and BeCool radiator, condenser, and electric fan (BeCool is another Michigan company). The radiator set up was expensive, but I don't want problems keeping the beast cool.
I have been working on the inside of the 48 Chevy SD. I took the dash out and temporarily installed the Vintage Air Generation II Super Cooler evaporator with heater and defrost so that I could determine where my bulkheads would be located on the firewall for the AC and heater hoses. This is a neat installation. Once I figured that out, I took the evaporator back out and installed the B-Quiet sound and heat insulation. I also figured out the location of the Painless Wiring fuse block and routed the engine compartment wiring out the driver side kick panel to keep the engine bay a little cleaner looking. The wires will run along the fender liner in a black wire wrap.
I determined that my SPW windshield wiper motor would be mounted high on the passenger side kick panel. I have to use the stock defroster vents because the plastic vents that came with the evaporator are too big to allow the wiper transmissions to fit in the dash.
I used 1/4 inch carriage bolts to mount the evaporator and fuse block to the firewall. I painted the heads gloss black to match the firewall and "squared up" the holes to have the bolt head fit flush with the firewall. This made a nice clean installation and the firewall still looks uncluttered. After I got the stuff figured out, I cut the firewall sound insulation pad and installed it using a couple more of the carriage bolts and fender washers to anchor the mat, which is pretty heavy. Now I will get stuff mounted permanently to the inside of the firewall and start installing wiring in earnest.
I have had an issue with the radiator core support being 1.25 inches too far forward (see recent post). I have communicated this with Chassis Engineering and they have not gotten back to me with a response yet, but coordination with other hot rodders came up with the only solution could be that I needed to move the radiator core support to the rear 1.25 inches so the fender liner would bolt up to the frame in the lower rear and the hood hinge trough on the top rear. Last night I made a 1/4 inch thick plate that bolted to the Chassis Engineering radiator support cross member and the radiator core support bolted to the plate 1.25 inches to the rear. I bolted up the fender liners to the core support, the frame in the lower rear, and the hinge trough. Because the body is in the only location it can be in, the only solution here was to move the core support to make the sheet metal bolt up. I hope to have Chassis Engineering tell me whassup with the location of their radiator cross member.
Working on Vintage Air evaporator installation, hooking the clutch linkage back up, and will soon be installing the wiper motor kit and wiring harness. Lots of fun now (and $$$)!
Thanks to all the hot rodders who are giving me guidance!
Bear Lake Rodder
I got the engine for the 48 back on Saturday March 9. I had decided that the rebuildt engine needed to be jacked up. Although it had not been run since another guy built it, I decided to get rid of the 882 heads and unspecified cam and kick this mill up a few notches. We put Dart Iron Eagle heads on it with a Howard's roller cam, hydraulic rollers, Scorpion roller rockers, Dart "air gap" type dual plane intake, and new harmonic balancer. The lower end is a 4-bolt main, 6" Eagle rods, Speed Pro pistons, larger oil pan and all balanced so that part was good. We will make 10:1 compression with these heads. Robbie Girven built a 350 in similar fashion for a friend last summer for his 69 Camaro. When I rode in it I couldn't believe it and told him, "this is what's going in the 48".
I put the flywheel, Ram clutch, GM 621 bellhousing, and reconditioned Muncie 4-speed from David's 4-Speeds in Milwaukee, WI back on the engine and put the mill back in the 48. Then I put a new water pump and pulleys on it. When I went to install the Summitt fuel pump I found out that it won't fit with the new front suspension from Chassis Engineering. Only a stock fuel pump will work so I scrapped the mechanical pump plan and ordered an electric fuel pump from Jegs.
Next up I am working on installing the Gen II Super Cooler/Heater/Defroster from Vintage Air. More on that soon.