I know you are only supposed to get stuff done on nice days, right?
The new dash is one step closer!
But today despite the drizzle I fabricated a new one piece lower dash brace / bar for final use. It replaces a cobbled together temporary bar I used to lay out the brackets and braces for the dash. I used the same size square tubing just this is steel and not aluminum.
Yesterday [ Friday ] – The last brackets
I did spend quite a bit of time yesterday setting up and fabricating the brackets that will support the dash gauges. There are three brackets the left and right are identical and tie from the dash upper to the dash brace. The middle is a simple drop from the dash upper down. It took a bit of finagling to get them right. I ended up tagging into some existing tabs on the upper frame. To make it easier to deal with I put nut-serts in all three locations rather than using the original j-clips. Then I was able to mock up the drops in coat hanger wire and duplicate that into some aluminum flat bar stock. Once that was done I spent a small bit of time to generate a pattern for the flat gauge panel that would eventually mount on these brackets. It took a couple of tries but after a bit I was able to come up with one that fits in snug but nice. That will be some simple aluminum flat sheet stock and mount the speedo, tach and gas gauge.
Today [ Saturday ]- The new brace
It started with a trip to Metal Mart on Dequindre just north of 13 Mile Road for a 60″ length of 1X1 square steel tubing and a section of aluminum sheet for the dash gauge panel itself. These guys were recommended to me by a fabricator friend and they are open on Saturdays. That’s way cool.
Once I got back to the back to the house / shop I set about pulling the temporary brace out and transferring the holes over to the new blank piece of steel tubing. It was pretty straight forward. I used a cheater stick to transfer the hole locations over. Then it was a trip to the drill press to make the holes happen nice and straight! A quick test fit showed I did it right. Then I made the unilateral decision to just go ahead and use 1/4 20 nut-serts in all the locations, Ant then with a hand full of new hardware I bolted it in. Once tightened down it was all solid as a rock! No wiggle or waffle! The three gauge panel mounts to this brace right in the middle over the tunnel using the existing brace bolts. No new holes needed.
The only step left is to possibly drill a series of holes in the back side of the brace in order to mount some push-in wire clips for some harness wiring. After that it will be out for a quick coat if paint. But only after we get all the holes drilled.