Monday, March 28, 2016

More Dash Work

Dateline - 03/26/2016 - Continued to work on the dash this weekend.  My first chore was to rewire the center instrument cluster.  This took about two hours to do but the results are nice. I ordered two connectors to finish up the wiring harness, but they have not come in yet, so I'll do that later.

Center gauge cluster wired together
Next I installed the Tach and Speedo in to the left hand dash and started working on fitting that.  Well, things just did not fit.  Again, the problem with a prototype!  The biggest problem was the bottom facia is just too long.  So, I pulled back the upholstery and grabbed the had saw a cut a section of the middle, right below the steering column.  It took about an hour to cut, sand and glue it all back together, but it worked out well and I was able to pull the loose upholstery up to get it tight again.

I also had to talk the steering column back down again because I had to remove a bracket that sat around the key hole.  The bracket was there originally to hold the piece of black plastic molding that went around the key.  I don't need it anymore and was getting in the way.  But the only way to get it off was to pull the steering column back down to get to the screws.  What a pain!  I was really hoping I would not have to deal with that anymore.  Oh well!

So, once I got that sorted, I was finally able to get the left side of the dash mounted.  Now I needed to make brackets to hold the dash.  My new dash sits about 3/4 of an inch further back then the original dash did, so it does not quite fit against the original dash mounts.  I made two brackets out of aluminium that hold the dash in place. I need to fasten the dash to these brackets, but I don't want them to be too solid so that they can flex a bit, so I think I'm going to use industrial hook-and-loop tape.  I think that will hold it, but still give me the ability to pull the panels without too much effort.

Finally, I put the dash pad, steering column cover and steering wheel lock on and took some pictures.

That was a full nine hour day and I was pretty pooped after I was done.
Dash with fittings from back window
Dash from driver side
Dash from passenger side
What's left?  Well, I still have some under dash wiring to deal with as well as finishing the center warning light cluster before I can mount everything.  Then I can attach the center console.  After that, Seats, and dare I say it, external panels!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Wiring and Dash!

Dateline - 03/20/2016 -  Saturday was consumed with my first bike ride of 2016, so I put time in on Sunday instead.  This weekend was dedicated to the dash.  Before I could do anything, I needed to take care of some wiring issues that I still had outstanding.  I needed to wire in the distributor power as well as the power to the new electrical cooling fans.  I needed power that was coming from the ignition side so I wired it into fuse #1 which is hot with ignition.

After getting that sorted, I needed to install some of the vacuum hoses for the heater/air controls.  This of course was harder then it should have been, but with persistence and a few broken knuckles I got that done.

Next was installing the center gauges in the dash and hooking them up.  Here they are installed without wiring:
Center gauges installed
Center gauges installed (back)
Then I hooked them up and tried to get them into the dash and realized I do not have enough room!  Yikes!  I'm going to need to do something different.  Before going hog wild on re-wiring, I decided to make sure I really understand how the dash is going to fit together, so I started putting in the passenger side of the dash.  This required that I install the pressed board glove box.  I needed to modify this somewhat to give room for the new wiring to the fuse blocks, but fortunately I din't need to do a lot and was able to retain most of the glovebox space.
Original glovebox with slight modification to fit new wiring.
I also installed the glovebox door and air vent. Then I "fitted" the unit in the car.  Of course, it didn't fit correctly, which required that I pull some of the vinyl back and file down some of the fiberglass underneath.  Fiddly work, but better to have things fit! With the dash fitted, I can see that I have a couple of brackets to make, but not a big deal at all.

To fix the center gauge issue, I'm going to need to pre-wire them using the nut/screw connectors provided on the gauges instead of the bayonet type that I originally planned to use.  The plan is to wire in all the gauges, leaving pigtails that I will be able to plug/unplug on the left hand side.  This will allow me to install and remove the dash panel much easier.  Should have thought of this before!  All things you learn with a prototype!

Next week I want to install the drivers side panel to make sure I really understand how all of this fits together.  Once I know that everything is going to fit, I'll start installing braces and screwing things in.  Here are pictures of the dash thus far:

Dash from passenger front door without flash
Dash from passenger front door with flash
Dash back window without flash
Dash back window with flash

Monday, March 14, 2016

Center console installed!

Dateline - 03/12/2016 - I installed the center console this weekend.  I know, that doesn't sound impressive, but really it is!  In order to get it installed, I had to do the following:

  • Batten down and seal the transmission tunnel cover
  • Tidy up the relays attached to the transmission cover
  • Installed the shift cable from the shifter to the transmission.  This required a lot of  hole cutting into the transmission cover since I changed the location of the shifter from where it was at when I started work on the car.
  • Install the backup lights and ignition lockout wiring to the switch on the shifter
  • Install the left and right foot well vent boxes.  These direct airflow to the driver and passengers feet and sit behind the center console
  • Install center console air box control doors (had been removed previously for sandblasting and painting)
  • Install the air box into the console
  • Install the console into the car
  • Install the handbrake lever
  • Install the handbrake cable and adjust
  • Test fit the tunnel kick panels

So, a lot done but not a lot of pictures to show for it.

Center console installed.  Ignore the ugly upholstery on the end.  I'll clean that up when I do the back.

Next up is the dash!  Yup!  Things are starting to come together nicely!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Finished the Carpets and Headliner

Dateline - 03/05/2016 - This Saturday I finished up the carpets and headliner.  The morning started with finishing the carpets on the passenger side.  I had to install the padding along the transmission tunnel and the driveshaft tunnel.  Once that was installed, I was able to glue in the carpets along transmission tunnel.  I then installed the carpet that sits against the bottom of the back seat.  There is no padding there normally and with the Dynamat on that surface, I think it will be pretty quite.

I also started installing the passenger side door threshold plates.  This required installing the wood (yes wood!) former on the door sill and installing two metal brackets that the plates screw into.  Unfortunately, I didn't have stainless steel screes the correct size to screw the plates down with, so I need to pick up some hardware (surprise!)

Passenger back door threshold plate with wood former
Once I got those installed, I was able to start on the driver's side of the car.  This went much faster because I had already figured out all the trouble spots and the correct sequence to do the work.  Basically a repeat of what I did on the passenger side.  Once I had both sides done, I could install the final piece which fits over the driveshaft tunnel.  This is one piece and had to be installed once everything else was done.
Padding installed on Driver Side
Carpets looking back to front
Carpets looking front to back
After getting the carpets installed, I installed the B-pillar upholstery, the A-pillar kick panel and the fuzzy trim around the doors.  Again, because I had done these on passenger side already, they went in pretty quickly.
A-pillar kick panel
B-pillar upholstery
Drivers side with carpets and upholstery complete
The last piece to install was the head liner piece that goes over the doors and down the C-pillar.  Like the other side, this was fiddly work because I had to make sure the holding pins lined up with the holes in the body.  Tricky work that required pulling the trim away and trying to line things up with my fingers.  I got it eventually and am very pleased with the effect.

Headliner piece over doors installed
I did work on a couple of other trim items.  In the center console there is a heater vent on each side that drops hot air under the front seats to help heat the back of the car.  There are two upholstered metal plates that sit between the vent and the carpets.  I had previously sandblasted and painted these but had not completed the upholstery.  I finished those and you can it in the picture below.

Center console hot air deflector mounted on driveshaft tunnel
The final job of the day was to upholster the upper B-pillar upholstery items.  These consist of a metal plate what was originally padded with a dense foam and covered in headliner material.  I decided to do it a little different.  I cut and glued in a piece of pink foam, sanded it to shape and and then upholstered it with the Burgundy vinyl that I used on the dash pad, door caps and back package shelf.  I was pretty burned out by the time I got those done, so I didn't install them yet.  Once I have them installed, I can install the B-pillar interior lights.

The way things are lining out, it looks like installation of the center console is next!