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09-Mar-01 Steering Column Mounting Part 5

Totally Floored



ImageThe transmission cover panel was removed and the tubing was cut. I left about 1/2-inch on the inside of the car. I plan on drilling a hole through this flange into the column and tapping the hole in the column to accept a small bolt. This will keep the column from moving in or out and spinning in the mount. The insulation and carpet on the floor should cover the inside flange. The outside (engine compartment) piece of tubing will remain as it is and be molded to the toe board with filler to create a seamless look.
ImageI used my 1 3/4-inch hole saw to cut a piece of wood for a drill guide in the plastic.
ImageGuess what - the ID of the hole saw is exactly the ID of the tubing (blind luck). The wood plug was tapped in place and the tubing was drilled to 1 3/4-inch ID so the column will slide nicely into it. You can't drill for very long without heating the plastic so it was drilled in stages.
ImageThe new thinner wall of the tube in the engine compartment should give it the look of steel. The thick inner area (with the bolt) will give it strength, this side is just for show.
ImageHere's a quick view of the inside after the plastic tubing was cut and drilled. 2 more layers of glass were added after this photo was taken to further reinforce the area.
ImageThe floor fits great and it's now time to make it look pretty again. My body filler is about a year old now and the hardener has dried up. Time to head to the parts store to get some more. Fortunately it's just across the street and my brother now works the counter. In the next article I'll cover the walk to the auto parts store! - more exciting web sites just don't exist! :)