So, this is the original rail, lowered by me to give clearance for the steering column on the exhaust and alternator when i’d dropped the engine height by 2″. Now I’m on the new engine, it’s not needed anymore
So, welded the new on in on the night before last. It was really tricky to get all the intersecting plane angles right and to get the fitments close enough to get a good gap for tigging. Got there in the end.
This is the top-shot. The angle just ‘feels’ right and intersects the horizontal top of the pedal box nicely. I think I’m going to chop out all the remaining metal in the pedal box now, and go for a new enclosure. I’ll keep the 1.5mm mild steel thickness of the original design. Rather than stitch 1 inch, gap 3 as the current design is, I’ll stitch one, gap one. If I’m in a bad enough shunt to need the pedal box straightening, actually straightening it is the last of my worries.
Next we have the weld quality. I’m reasonably pleased bearing in mind it’s not the easiest place to get to. I added extra filler around the corners because I found it had a tendency to undercut there. The scattering of holes there are for the mounting of the tub, and other things I attached straight to the chassis. They look a little random, but when you take the mounting patterns of the components into account, they make sense.
Finally, this is the view from the exhaust’s perspective. there’s 50mm clearance between the cross member and the bottom of the flange. There’s also clearance now for the exhaust stud. If I find the exhaust is getting a little close to the steering column then I’ll add a little bend into it’s travel to give decent clearance.
Here’s an interesting thing I discovered though – This picture shows the remaining footwell plate (lower left diagonal) separated from the cross member (diagonal above it). To get this pic I ground the welds out and peeled one away from the other. When separating them I found that rust had creeped in. There’s not much but there’s no powder coat where in there to protect things. I think this may be the slow creep of trapped moisture rather than ingestion. However, it’s there and would over a number of more years caused more pain. It’s probably worth noting that this is 10 years worth of grief, so maybe the correct plan is ‘do nothing’, or once i’ve welded the new parts together, smear a little metal putty along the edges to get a seal before i send it off for coating.