Chassis Stiffening – Part 2

By: Bob Goodson
July 26, 2020

Author: Michael Yount

Continued with work on gussets — these two for the firewall brackets.  I’ll probably bevel that weld seam on the backside/bottom since that surface will have to be ground flat to bolt to the firewall.

I used my wooden mock up pieces as templates to cut the rectangular tubing.  Sure made things MUCH easier since the end that will be welded to the tower plates has compound angles.

And — REALLY pleased with the fit.  Just one picture – but both sides sit perfectly flush with the tower plate surface.

Ready to start welding.  Tacked the tower plate gussets.

Double clamped the firewall bars to their brackets, pulled brackets off the car, tacked them, bolted brackets back on — and miracle of miracles – the fit of the bar to the tower plates is perfect.

And, did a final fit of my wooden bar to use as a template for cutting the tubing.  Really happy with the fit.

Still have to finish tacking – below, got the firewall bracket gussets tacked and…

Came up with this rig to pull the hand-fit cross bar up into place and hold it for tack welding.

Fully tacked — came out pretty good.

Fabbed up this little piece at the suggestion of my friend Brad — to help keep the two “free” arms from moving around when we get a little welding heat in the piece.  Tricky to match the angles of the pieces this bolts to — it sort of mimics the firewall.

My friend Brad at work with the TIG.  Welding turned out great.  Afterwards, the piece literally fell into place – I think it fit better than it did after I tacked it.

Now for the top motor mount fab.  This little motor is on very soft motor mounts – OEM’s probably wanted to quell the typical 4 cylinder vibrations.  Don’t make enough torque to waste any twisting up the rubber mounts, so I’m going to constrain the movement at the top of the motor with a 3rd mount.  A “torque strap” if you like.  Bracket that mounts onto two really beefy threaded bosses on top of the valve cover.
 

Piece of 1.5″ x .75″ clamped to the cross bar and holes drilled.  I had a few sway bar end link bushings — I’ll do something like this using a new sway bar end link piece.  

Picked up a new sway bar end link from Advance Auto – about $5.  Primarily wanted the bushings and washers.

Ready for clean up and paint.

The final product. 

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