Finishing the Driveshaft Tunnel

I started off today tying up some loose ends.  Drew came over and we piled all the remaining junk from the tear down of the caprice into the U-Haul and took it to the dump.  Now the side of my house doesn’t look like an auto wrecker’s anymore!

Last night after getting back from the Rogers cup I started to create the driveshaft tunnel with some 1 x 1 tube.  I made sure that I had about 3/4″ spacing all around the drive shaft to allow for a little bit of sway.  The driveshaft is at its top most position so I don’t need to worry about upward travel.

I didn’t want to make it too small, but at the same time I have very little space between the 4 x 4 outside chassis tube and the driveshaft.  It ends up being about 21.5″ of space between the tubing.  Just enough to fit the seat and some seat pan material between them.

I jammed in two 1/2″ pieces of plywood between the bottom of the dash and the driveshaft to give me a guide on where the dash needed to rest in order to provide clearance on the top of the driveshaft.  I’m still going to have to do a bit of fiddling around considering I’ll also need to have enough space to run the gear shift linkage on top of the tunnel and under the dash.

The tubing was welded to some 1 x 1 pieces coming up from a front cross member and also a rear 1 x 1 cross member that I welded in place stretching right across the chassis.  That’s where I called it a night.

After today’s morning clean-up, I started in on finishing up the tunnel. I started off by first welding in a 2 x 2 cross piece into the cage that connected the two ladder bars and rested on top of the two 1×1’s I used for the driveshaft tunnel.  This let me weld the 1×1 tunnel tubes to the new 2×2 cross piece to act like a hanger.

After I had these all connected I was able to cut the middle piece out of the 1 x 1 rear cross member to allow the driveshaft to travel downward as the car is raised.  After cutting out that piece I also tied the front cross member to the rear one with another piece of 1×1.

This ends up creating a nice little basket for cradling the floor pans which I’ll end up building next.

I still need to tie the cage into the rear clip and also weld in a nice roll bar.  But I think I’m going to plate the rear clip with some 1/8″ steel first to stiffen it up.

The pictures are a bit hard to see my tube compared to the tube on the floor.. but I only have so much room in the garage, and under the car ends up being the storage area for all my steel.

Lots to do, but I’m having fun doing it 🙂

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