Starting with the Steering Wheel

I REALLY needed a break from working on the rear end rust removal and bracing….  It was starting to drive me nuts!!  So today I decided I would start and put the steering wheel and column together.

The steering column showed up in the mail at the end of last week, and I’ve had the steering wheel kicking around the garage for a couple of weeks now.  I needed to get the steering wheel positioned so that I can get the dash properly trimmed and figure out where I’ll need to run my firewall.

The firewall is going to be a bit tricky without growing a second set of hands, but I’ll try and get something mocked up.  The biggest thing for me is to make sure that my pedals are set where I want them and the steering wheel is at a comfortable distance.  The steering column can pass through the firewall by a couple of inches if needed.

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Finished Rear Clean-up

Finally!!! All that rust on the rear of the frame has been cleaned up! Inside/Outside the spring perches, rear cross member, plated and braced the rear for support and cleaned up all of the rust proofing.

I have a couple small plating pieces to put on the passenger side rear, but other than that, the dirty work at the back is done.  I sprayed on a couple of coats of engine enamel to seal it all up.  I’ll have to send the rear axle out for some sand blasting and priming.

I’ll be able to turn my attention to building some more tube supports for the trunk floors and also get the two side frame rails tied together with my 2 x 4 ninety degree bends.

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Crappy work.. but it had to be done!

I took the last two days, used up some vacation time, and dug into some nasty work.  The back end of the BatBerry needed lots of TLC.  First up was rust removal.  I needed to get all the rust off of the frame and spring mounts.  This was absolutely nasty work!

I spent most of the last two days with a dust mask on so that I wouldn’t breath in all that rusty junk.  My arms also look like pin cushions from all the debris coming off the grinding wheel and went through two pairs of work gloves.  I spent 10 minutes tonight picking metal slivers out of my arms 😦

Once I had the driver’s side all cleaned up, I started in with the task of plating the spring mounts.  The existing ones are really rusty and for long term strength I wanted to box them in with 1/8 inch plate so that one of my air bags don’t come through.

Continue reading Crappy work.. but it had to be done!

Seat Belts and Chassis Work

Today started off with a repeat of my previous rust removal and bracing but this time it was on the driver’s side.  After that I created my cross beam that’s used for the seat belt anchors.

I started off by cutting the piece of 2 x 2 tube to the proper length and then I boxed in both ends so that it was a sealed tube that would be water tight.  Then I welded on a couple pieces of plate steel to the bottom of the side ladder bars to act as a hanger for when I needed to weld the cross beam in place.

Then I drilled holes that are big enough for the new seat belt anchor’s nut to fit into.  One on the top and one on the bottom of the vertical brace.  The top anchor is used for the shoulder loop and the bottom anchor is for the retracting mechanism.

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Headers Installed

On Saturday morning I did some quick work on the engine.  In order to get the exhaust mocked up I needed to get my new headers on there.

That meant that I had to rip off the good old air pump and then the old crappy headers.  Surprisingly the bolts seemed to come out pretty good with no real problems.  Then I cleaned off the surface where the header gaskets were and covered them up with some duct tape to keep junk from getting into the engine.

The new headers are on with a couple of bolts so that I can mock-up my exhaust routing.  The paint that’s on them is REALLY cheap.  I’ll end up having them media blasted and ceramic coated.

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Some more rust removal

I decided to take this afternoon off, but I did manage to get a little bit of work done this morning.  I wanted to weld in a brace from the rear to the new cross piece that ties my two side ladder bars together.  (This can be seen in the top right of the picture)

The idea of this piece, and the duplicate one eventually going in on the driver’s side, is for the following purposes:

  1. It will provide as an extra brace to support the rear of the frame and provide chassis strength
  2. It will serve as the floor support for the rear floor pan above the mufflers.  I’ll likely place either the air tank and compressors for the suspension in here, or the fuel cell.
  3. It should provide as a surface to weld another vertical 2 x 2 tube down from the new horizontal cross piece that will hold the seat belt anchor

Before welding this piece in place I had to clean off all the rust from the frame.  I also had to drop the bottom trailing arm to be able to get the grinder up onto the frame.

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Throttle Quadrant…. Installed!

I picked up where I left off yesterday… fabricating a bracket/cradle for the Throttle Quadrant that I’m using for the shifter.  As seen in the top picture, I was able to create a cradle out of box tubing and used the existing mounting points to run some nuts/bolts to secure it to the cradle.

The other side was left open to allow for the adjustment knob to fit and to give me some wiggle room to get the throttle quadrant in and out of the cradle.

I had originally planned to weld this cradle onto the driveshaft tunnel, but then I found that trying to get the nuts/bolts secured to the throttle quadrant didn’t give much room.  If it was welded to the tunnel it was going to be a pain in the ass.

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A Hot Day’s Work

I managed to finish up the passenger’s side basket for the floor pans and the mounting points for the seats.  Then it was on to working on the driveshaft tunnel and shift linkage.

But first was a trip to the local hot rod shop to pick up some goodies.  My headers and steering wheel came in.

The steering wheel is as close as I could find and is a 13″ wheel from Grant.  I’ll have to fab up a center piece over the horn to give it that Batmobile look.  I’m thinking of a center “bat” section that pushes down on the horn button.

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