Monday, July 7, 2014

Assembly Psychosis

Anybody remember Jason Russel? He’s the filmmaker that did that thing about Ugandan rebel leader Joseph Kony and his alleged war crimes?
Well, his star burst when he experienced a mild nervous breakdown curbside in San Diego. Click here to see it. This week I appreciate the circumstances that must have caused this reaction.
I wanted to attached the steering column brackets to the binnacle and column (in preparation for doing the wiring). The steering box was attached to the frame in the usual way. The frame was perfectly square, and with all the pieces in place.

I then attached the binnacle with the center nut exactly 20 inches above the floor. But the front end of the brackets didn’t reach holes in the pieces of bend metal that are included in the “bulkhead” under the front window. Actually, the left one was either too long or the right one was too short.  The brackets measure 11 3/8” (left) and 14 1/4" (right), from bolt-hole to bolt hole. In other word, I suppose I could have attached the brackets if I was to accept the binnacle angled counter-clockwise at about a 25 degree angle. I believe the binnacle is mounted perpendicular to the frame.
So what to do? I loosened the bolts holding the steering box to the frame, and I could get the brackets to reach the holes. This aligned the column slightly on an inboard angle; the bottom leading edge of the binnacle was slanted about 15 degrees off horizontal. I measured from the metal flange that’s just below the driver’s triangle window to the apex of the inboard part of the binnacle (LHD van, remember). I compared this to Steve’s van and it matched at 18.75”.
Problem fixed, right? Wrong.

Now the floor piece doesn’t fit. In the photo above you can see my original piece (grey), Steve’s (rust), and my new one (in black). The column when bolted in place using the brackets, meaning that to seat the column, the floor piece needed to move about half an inch inboard. Of course this would mean EVERYTHING had to move – engine cowl, the whole enchilada. The column has to be in the wrong location. The question remains: how do I connect the brackets to the bulkhead, but have the floor fit?
On the bright side, the rear seats seem to work well! 

No comments: