Progress Thread 1978 Mercury Cyclone Spoiler..Somebody point me to a wall......I need to bang my head against it.

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CarMichael Angelo

I don't like your attitude, let me fix that.
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Ok........The dash,....*sigh*.............. again.

The problem with the dash, other than trying to make it work has been about the little things,......like how to attach the sheet metal top to the top bar,...how to mount the structure, so it can be removed,.......all while trying to make it look like i want it to.

The sheet metal top was the first obstacle i dealt with today. Where the two pieces meet, and how to trim it out was what I committed to today.
Several weeks ago, I bought this expensive assed 1/4" wide x 1/8" thick steel flat bar (uhh "hot rolled" I believe he called it) it is almost machined quality w/ regard to the edges. I bought about 20 feet of the stuff at $3.50' with the intent of using it as trim pieces to go on top of all of the steel to finish it off. Problem was,....it's only 1/4" thick, and I had to find a screw that I could countersink w/o basically negating the ability of the stuff to hold anything when it was all said and done. I went to fastenal, and bought 100 4-40 tapered head screws, several drill bits, and one lonely little tap yesterday, today I drilled 30 holes, tapped 15, and countersunk the other 15 so I could get this end result:
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Then I transferred the top back into the car. I decided to use a 3" spacing instead of the 2" spacing that I had before, so I ended up cutting the top away from the bottom, The 2x4 that you see is a spacer to hold it at the desired spacing.
The gauge cluster is 90% done, and in the pics It's just sitting there. Next I have to mount the drivers seat to see how bad the steering wheel is gonna obscure the gauges,....right now, it's pretty bad unless I move them way down. But like I said, I gotta mount the seat first to see it.
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At Christmas, the wife bought me a power window retro kit from Summit. Goofy ased Italian made gizmo w/ a flexible, belt driven gear w/ about 18" of gooseneck that can be bent and twisted this way, and that. If I was trying to reuse the stock door panel I dont think it'd work w/o accommodating the gear head, as it projects out about 3/8" off of the door,.....but since I'm making a custom panel,...I will make it work.
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I had to make a bracket to allow the motor part to recess into the top of the door, and had to cut the obvious,.....I took the entire window out to clean up, and lubricate the regulator, as the instructiosn state that the thing is only rated to move so much weight,....so I wanted to be sure that it moved as easy as possible. I also removed the window run channel, because it had become as hard and brittle as Bakelight. Fortunately, A Mustang uses the exact same window run channel, so getting new stuff will be no problem.
Compared to trying to either find a Fairmont w/ power windows in a JY, (freakin' impossible), or trying to convert the already a giant pain in the ass fox mustang power window assy into a Fairmont door, it was a relatively painless process. I got an old battery and tested the operation,....and it works as good or better than any factory fox pwr window I've ever had, so I'm calling that a victory.
 

RaggedGT

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Just a thought,what about making the pod run across to the passenger side,and sink it down into the dash a couple inches, you could duct your vents through it and the defrost vent where the pod and dash come together.
 

CarMichael Angelo

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The gauge pod is mounted, but I left my computer at a customers house, so the pics that detail that are out of my reach at this minute.

I did move it way down to the top bar and it looks way better because of that.

I also decided to separate the dash and the console from each other, and now the console's whole purpose will be to conceal the shifter, and give me a place to mount a couple of drink holders.

I widened the space between the two center bars, and now the AC vents, the HVAC controls, head unit, and a few switches will all reside there now.
 
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95BlueStallion

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The gauge pod is mounted, but I left my computer at a customers house, so the pics that detail that are out of my reach at this minute.

I did move it way down to the top bar and it looks way better because of that.

I also decided to separate the dash and the console from each other, and now the console's whole purpose will be to conceal the shifter, and give me a place to mount a couple of drink holders.

I widened the space between the two center bars, and now the AC vents, the HVAC controls, head unit, and a few switches will all reside there now.
I feel like Miss Cleo right about now. And by that I meant the psychic, not the p0rn star.
 

CarMichael Angelo

I don't like your attitude, let me fix that.
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Just a thought,what about making the pod run across to the passenger side,and sink it down into the dash a couple inches, you could duct your vents through it and the defrost vent where the pod and dash come together.
That is a good suggestion, but it's all behind me. There is only one more "revision" that I may make to my recent changes, and that will be to create an "underpod" to mount the HVAC control and head unit in, and just keep the center reserved for A/C vents. The only reason I'm considering that is because the center area will get real busy w/ all that junk crammed in there. We'll see I guess.
 
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CarMichael Angelo

I don't like your attitude, let me fix that.
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I feel like Beaky Buzzard..........Just slowly plodding along, while singin "I wish I was a baby bumblebee..........Hyuk Hyuk".

I drug the seat out from under some other pile of crap that had managed to accumulate on top of it, and welded a mount point on the stock front seat riser so I could get a vantage point from a "seated" view angle to be sure that all of those gauges are not gonna be obscurred by the wheel rim.
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These are Scat Pro seats from Summit. At 209.00 ea. they are cheap enough, and unlike some of the other cheapo's on the market, these seats can be released to tilt forward w/ a lever. They still have a "micro tilt" knob that lets you set a more infinite recline angle, and to some that may seem a pain in the ass. To me, It's NBD. Once My seat is set, it's set. So I don't anticipate having to change the recline position to worry about a stupid knob.

Once the seat was bolted in it's approximate location, I sat in it to see if the gauge pod, (now permanently lowered to it's lowest possible position) was gonna be acceptable.
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I do believe that I can live with it. The camera angle lies somewhat, and you only have to tip your head to see the entire outer gauges on one side or the other, so I'm Ok w/ the view angle.
What I'm not OK with is the seat height. It's about an inch-1/1/5" low. Ideally, I want my eyes looking dead out of the middle of the windshield. Fortunately, Only one bolt is mounted holding the front of the seat, and raising the entire thing is simply a matter of getting two pieces of square 1 or 1-1.250/500 tubing and welding that thing across the floor in front and back.
Also no big deal, is the fact that the entire dash is in a floating state right now, temporarily held up w/ some clampy-dudes. So raising the dash to compensate for the change in view angles isn't a big deal.

At Christmas, I also got this hunk of aluminum from #1.
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Whatever thread it had tapped into it wasn't the thread size that was at the top of my stupid shifter, so I re-tapped the thing to 1/2-20 and screwed it down. Fits like a glovie. It will be the only thing hovering above the deck of the console. There wont be a half of an inch between the bottom of that shift knob, and the console.

The distance between the top bar, and the bottom bar is also in flux. One day I'm gonna put only the A/C vents in there, the next day, I'm gonna put everything in there. Until I set that in stone, I've been using this "Change-O-Mindo" strap that lets me twist the 18 ga. steel strap to either increase the distance, or tighten it up.
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Actually, I have decided, as I went to the Metal Supermarket, and had them cut the filler piece 2.250" wide,....which is just big enough to accommodate the A/C vents. I also had them shear the pieces that'll make up the under-pod that will hold the head unit, and the HVAC controls. so,.....I am slowly flapping along........
(Duuuhhh,,,Dum da dump da dump dahh dump da dee,.....
 

95BlueStallion

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All I can say sir, is that you have good taste. As far as Googling Miss Cleo, I should have put that bio hazard warning in there. I Googled the name to make sure I was thinking of the right psychic, and boom, there the alternate was right up in my eye sockets. Glad Im not the only blind one in here now.

Now Mike, not to be too critical, but you think the mesh in the gauge pod will expose the wiring to the eye? Again, just my opinion, but would a solid piece of metal look a little cleaner? You could even wrap it in whatever you wrap the dash in, and leave the metal surround as the divider between the two wrapped pieces.
 

CarMichael Angelo

I don't like your attitude, let me fix that.
SN Certified Technician
Nov 29, 1999
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All I can say sir, is that you have good taste. As far as Googling Miss Cleo, I should have put that bio hazard warning in there. I Googled the name to make sure I was thinking of the right psychic, and boom, there the alternate was right up in my eye sockets. Glad Im not the only blind one in here now.

Now Mike, not to be too critical, but you think the mesh in the gauge pod will expose the wiring to the eye? Again, just my opinion, but would a solid piece of metal look a little cleaner? You could even wrap it in whatever you wrap the dash in, and leave the metal surround as the divider between the two wrapped pieces.
Nope to the visual pass through,......see,......it's dark in that hole, once the gauges are sealing it up, it's dark in there. so it'll kind of work like this:


My only concern about my decision to use the perf'd stuff deals w/ the other sense.

Sound.

I think, It'll transmit the click of that ratchet shifter, the whir of the blower motor on the evaporator, and any other noise that may have been muffled by a solid surface. Some noise I'll like, Others I'll just drown out w/ the Turbo, a solid roller cam, or an audio system w/ over 1000 watts.
 
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