|January 28, 2009 - With the frame rails assembled, I cut them to shape to fit the floorpan, then tacked them into place.|
They went in quite satisfactorily and with the angles all looking good. Then, to make sure, I stuck the steering rack crossmember in place after cutting it from a calculated (not measured) length. And it fit perfectly. Everything looks to be centered and the dial level is happy. So we're good! That didn't happen right away, I had to play around with it all for a bit until it all just clicked into place. Sharp eyes will notice that I did have to cut a slot in the frame rails and weld it up, using that to take out a small bit of warp from the welding. It's minor, but spread over a 4' length even half a degree could be problematic. But it's all good now!
I just need to fully weld the frame rails on, then I'll come up with some steering rack mounts. Then, once I know where the steering shaft will run, I can start reinforcing and integrating the new frame into the unibody. I'll also start massaging the transmission tunnel to fit the (huge) T56 transmission.
I feel as if I just unlocked the potential for a large percentage of the project to move ahead.