I installed a new 1 piece Export brace, and did some more on the seat pan. I also got a Monte Carlo bar but just test fit it in. I will drill the holes for it after I finish the passenger side work. I actually got it far enough on the seat pan install to bolt the seat back in and sit in the car again!! First time since April. I got a really nice wooden steering wheel for Christmas too! It sure does look good with the wood grain dash.
The new export brace installed and the new monte carlo bar test fitted
I welded some more on the seat pan it’s 3/4 welded in now, I also had an exciting moment as I sat in the car for the first time since April when I started the restoration. Now that I have somewhere to put the drivers seat I put it in to mark off where the seat ultimately will go. I moved it back about 3 inches from stock and it made a big difference comfort wise. Not only did it give me more leg room it also lowered me a little bit which will give me a little more head room. It felt damn good to sit in the car again and have it set up and comfortable for my 6 foot 2 frame!!
There indeed IS a light at the end of the tunnel and I can just start see it!!
Well last week I got the seat pan tacked in and I had to force it into place, I was not happy with the fit so I remove the temporary spot welds and remove it. I did some minor cutting on it and it now fits better. I needed to move it about 1/4 – 1/2 inch forward and the torque box was in way. When I first put it in it fit perfect but there was no torque box at all as I had removed it. Anyway I got it trimmed and now it is about 1/2 way welded in. I can see why people short cut the welding and don’t spend the time to do it right. There is a lot of odd places to get to and different thickness metals which make the welding a little more challenging. With Christmas coming that is all I had time to get done this weekend. During the holiday I plan to finish the seat pan welding and get the seat support in on the drivers side. I am going to install it about 3 inches rear of the stock location as I am 6 foot 2, this will give me a little more leg room and since this is my car I want to make it more comfortable.
Got the Torque box welded in, got toe board installed (I still have a little welding to do on it), and I got the seat pan tack welded in. Lots of welding to do there. BUT I am all most 1/2 way through the frame project now. The hard work is done just some finish work now on it. The seat pan fit perfect before I installed the new inner rocker now the extra thickness of the steel as small as that is has made the seat pan a very tight fit. I got out the 1 pound rubber hammer and persuaded it into place.
For those who are interested in doing this type of restore I have an interesting note for you. This part of the restoration is the bloodiest thus far. Those convenient holes in the seat pan may look ideal to grab and move the pan around but they are sharp and make rather nice surgical type cuts in flesh..beware…In other injury related news maximum smashed fingers were achieved during the front frame replacement.
Here you can see the new toe board, seat pan and inner rocker. I still have some welding to do on the seat pan (you can see the holes that I pre-drilled for the plug welds).
Another view of seatpan and toeboard. If you look close at top of picture you will see the headlight dimmer switch hanging, now I finally have someplace to screw it down!
New toe board installed and welded in.
Well I didn’t get everything done I wanted this weekend (I had set the bar pretty high) but I did get the inner rocker installed and the Torque box tack welded in. Not bad for a weekends work! Now all I have to do is put the toe board and seat pan in and I am 1/2 done!!! By the end of next weekend I should be there and then I will start the removal of the passenger side front frame and do it all again to the passenger side….should be faster though as I know exactly what I am going to do this time.
Torque box tack welded in
Torque box tack welded in
Another view of torque box
View of new inner rocker before torque box is installed
View of new inner rocker at front extension area before torque box install.
This weekend I want to get as close to 1/2 done with the project as I can. To do this I need to get the drivers outer rocker panel extension
installed, the Drivers inner rocker, the drivers torque box, and the toe board, seat pan. Ok so I may be dreaming but I have gotten the rocker extension and the inner rocker panel in. I had most of the prep completed already.
Usually it seems like when people fix the inner rocker panels they don’t really replace it to stock with the entire inner rocker structure the just put a flat piece of metal there instead. That is how my car was. If this was not a convertible that may have been ok but being it is a convertible this structure is load bearing and putting in the entire new box rocker panel structure will make the car much stiffer. It was a lot of work but I think it is worth it.
View of new inner rocker
Another view of new inner rocker
View of new inner rocker at front extension area.