Hang your fenders; smash your firewall
The madness continues. My firewall wasn't accepting the width of the V6 very well, and my fenders have yet to be hung. How much work could that be?
Note: Captions are on top of photo renditions
A 10lb sledge can do wonders for your sainity, but it's hell on the lower back. Look how diminutive the original straight DOHC 6 bellhousing looks compared to the smashy smashy! I had to cut a little bit to get the engine to fit in there without moving it forward several inches.
I'm going to have to sit the engine somewhere... some steel cut in the shape of this cardboard stensil should get it pretty close.
And the transmission falls back a bit in the Mustang chassis
There... that should fit nicely. Hey wait! Something is missing... or added... or... maybe I got a little ahead of myself. Doesn't this thing need fenders?
Finally, I get to cut off some steel. The front radiator support for the Supra will simply not do. Away with you, foul metal! I welded a steel cross piece in front of the strut towers to hold things together while I sculpt. Oh yes, more steel will be added.
Let's see what this should look like. People have asked me if I intended to keep the Supra front end. Well, in spite of the 80lb front bumper and freaky '80s good looks... no. Clamping the front sheet metal in place should give me some ideas about roughing it all into shape with minimal steel or fuss.
I made a stensil of the Mustang's radiator support. It's integral in positioning the fenders (made assembly easy in '65) so I'm using it as a guide
More positioning and posturing. I'm wrestling with the top radiator support bar.
I tack welded some supports onto the top bar to keep it in position while the fenders were on. Now that the fenders are off, I can get to work.
Now weld on the real supports
File off those old positoning tacks. Now I'll have to locate it laterally.
Lateral locating bars
I welded some stumps so that when someone leans on my fender, they'll be relaxed and chatty instead of "Aw man! Sorry about that dude!" It's nice to know my fenders will be attached to the car, rather than just hung for show.
Another view of my fender supports. About 2lbs of steel up high where I don't like it, but I gotta have it.
I left a bunch of holes in my firewall. Let's clean them up. I cut some sheet metal and formed it into a boxy thingie.
Then I tack welded it and clamped it into place.
Then I had to cut off the extranious metal (I love my plasma cutter). This is kind of tough to explain. Once the piece is tacked into place, I used a body hammer to shape the metal to the adjoining piece. Then I'd tack it into place. I continued the process until the metal was propery formed in place. Then I double back on my tack welds and stitch it all into place. No bucks. No fasteners. Just freeform sculpture.
Now I have a big hole to box in. The valve cover and head of the engine intrude into the passenger compartment, so I welded on a 2 inch strip of sheet metal on the side.
And then I simply put a metal lid on the box I created. You can see the engine through the steering shaft hole. It fits rather nicely.