Now that the weather is starting to break, it’s time to warm up the cutting wheels and grinders – remembering to measure twice (or more accurately dozens of times) and cut once…..we hope.
This update won’t be as exciting as the last blog post, engine noises are always great, but this kind of work is essential to the final interior form and fitment. Pushing the engine forward has yielded all kinds of benefits including the ability to lengthen the foot-boxes and narrow down the transmission tunnel to make room for a certain “larger than average” Factory Five enthusiast.
Pictured here is the new drivers side foot-box with installed pedals and steering assembly.
Plans are in the works to add access panels on the side and possible the top of this assembly so pedals and electric steering electronics can be adjusted as required.
The next issue to tackle is head room, or distance from floor to ceiling. Given that we want to have a ‘production’ finished interior complete with a headliner, sound deadening, and concealed frame, something has to be done about the lack of headroom.
On the off chance that we want to wear helmets in this car, the problem only gets worse.
For a brief moment we both considered a ‘Gurney Bubble’, Dan Gurney was 6’4” as well and it worked for him right?
After a couple adult beverages, it was decided that this would only hurt the appearance of the car as well as inhibit my ability to see out of the windshield.
If we can’t go higher with the roof, need to go lower with the seat. First thing to do, take apart the drivers side newly ordered Corbeau leather bucket and see how it’s made. These were custom ordered, so you have to be REALLY sure when you make a cut.
After tons of test fitting and measuring, it’s decided that the only way to gain the required inches in height is to cut down the seat frame as well as modify the floor.
For this modification, the chopped seat base will be lowered down below the stock floor location. The seat will still have slider rails but will move up as it moves forward for my fathers seating position. This will mean 2 extra inches for my head at the furthest back location while still being able to relocate for my father, who fits in the stock setup.
Pictured here – the stock floor with the wheel located on the right hand side just out of frame.
The floor is an especially tough re-design, as there are suspension points that are located in that part of the frame for the three link suspension as well as a rear wheel directly behind the driver.
The yellow line in this picture represents the existing floor line as it came stock from Factory Five.
The drivers side primary frame tube will also have to be channeled out to make room for the lowered seat base.
Here are pictures of the design planning as well as the CAD (Cardboard Aided Design) templates that will be used to cut the frame tube and surrounding area.
Also, due to the chopping of the frame, the Corbeau ratchet mechanism for the seat recline will have to be ditched in favor of a custom setup. The seat will still have the ability to recline, just not as many positions to choose from.
Once the hacking of seats and floor are complete and test fitted, it will finally be time to prep and paint the chassis and get ready for the next step – plumbing.