22 Apr 2012
Camino Steering Pt 2: The Steeringing.

Ok, so the pictures last time sucked and I promised no more iPhone pics.  Here's basically the same shot, but with a better crappy camera.  Interior upholstery removed.
It would appear that somewhere along the way, the cab became a storage location.  I have, among other things, wooden ramps in there.
Alternate view of the dash with no pad and no dash and no column and no glovebox.
So I took the new column and just hung it off one of the bolts to get some sort of idea.  This was not as helpful as it sounds; all the angles are completely off since it's not in the proper place.
It's not a good angle for the picture to see the angle of the shaft but it's aimed far too high.  Makes sense since the cab-end of the column is too low.
So while i was at it, after doing things wrong with the column, I got carried away while removing the windshield trim and ended up removing the windshield too (just as well, it was cracked and as you can see, the top of the dash desperately needed paint).  That's red, I think, from three or four paintjobs ago.
So next order of the day:  Make the holes in the pedal assembly wider so that they'll fit the newer column (you might remember I mentioned this back on 4 Jul 2010).  Initial try was the drill press.  That worked poorly.
So I tried the air saw.   That worked worse as it broke one of my new ears off.
So I pulled all the useless crap out of the interior (except the AC box as I don't know where else to put it and in theory I'll attach it to the car shortly)
So I have more rust - passenger side cowl, right where the windshield mounts.  Not a big deal, it drains into the cowl just like everything else up here, but needs to be fixed anyway.
So the bottom of the dash is too narrow to fit the widened pedals, and the holes are too narrow for the newer column.  I cut the middle of the dash out with the intention of taking ~1/2" from each end and putting them in the middle, to widen the unit without changing the overall dimensions.  Here we see the ends ready for welding.  Note:  Plastic clamp is a bad idea for welding.
So with the dash-middle out, time to mount the pedal-assembly.  Just threw washers and nuts on it for now...
.. and something bad has happened.  a) The bolts are too short (the pedal flange is > 1" below the dash bottom) and b) the bolts aren't in the right place.  They seem to be OK for the dash itself, so apparently the 69 Camaro pedal assembly is *not* the same as the 69 El Camino one.  (I also think I'm offset to the right just a little but have not yet measured).
Alternate view.
So in the spirit of "let's see what else doesn't work right", put the clutch master cylinder bracket on the firewall.  Figured I was going to have to cut a hole for the rod.
Did not expect that the hole I would have to cut would overlap an existing hole.  That's.. not good.
And with the interior cleared out, I could see that I had some rust issues in the floorpan as well (you can't really see most of it with the flash here)
but I bet you can with the flash off.
But, I went ahead and mounted the brake booster and e-brake handle.  I know I'll be pulling them back out shortly, but I like feeling like I'm assembling things.
And then I spent several hours getting rid of crap from the garage.  Pile in the bed is the inner fenders for both the Camino and the Chevelle, the Chevelle's fenders and I think both core supports.  All need at least sandblasting if not minor rust repair.
And I pulled the rear carpet out too (it hung to hide the rear panel).  It was faded and needed replaced.

So: Column lining up with the steering box is probably not an issue; box is still in the same place and if the column is in the same place then it should still line up.

I figure that on the pedals, I'll notch the assembly in two places to move the front end higher without changing anything with the geometry. Might come up with an alternate plan in there though

Still need to figure out how to connect the column to the box - looks like the box is splined and the column is just a double-d shaft but I suspect there's going to be 12-15" I'll need to add. I don't want to use two u-joints so I don't really know how this will work -- old shaft was splined and then had a rag joint at the box; that would have worked out great if the new shaft was also splined, but it ain't.

Luckily enough: I don't have to make that decision yet; I'll have to worry about that when I get closer to doing the headers.

On a happy note, I found the missing fuel pump (perhaps I didn't mention that: I bought an MSD fuel pump and then lost it.)

I'm trying to do something every day rather than just flop down at the computer when I get home, so hopefully progress will continue. Not sure what's next up after the column gets mounted - rust/firewall repair/rear axle/fuel tank? Body bushings? AC box? I don't know yet.

Go back to the previous day (4 Apr 12)