Sincerely thought the installation procedure would only take an hour or two... but boy, was I ever wrong. It was only six hours later that I finally finished - granted I took my time carefully removing any and all existing parts for fear of breaking them (I broke some anyway), and the last hour or so was spent fitting the rear speakers/rear amp and tidying up all the cabling for the vintage audio install. Which I'm pleased to report is all fully functional
Started off by removing the plastic/fabric covers that hide the seatbelt retractor mechanisms and mashed one of the steel frame pieces in place as a rough test fit.
Was ever hopeful of not having to drill/tap any new holes in the floorpan for the steel frame, and fortunately, after carefully peeling back the original carpeted trim section in the footwell this fresh looking bolt hole was revealed (with a corresponding one on the other side of the car) that lines up perfectly with a hole on the frame. Sweet deal.
And continuing the theme of "this actually makes a whole lot of sense", the other corner of each sheetmetal piece lines up with the bolts holding down the luggage compartment straps. (The speaker at bottom right of frame is one of the "new" vintage 6" rear woofers.)
One piece overlaps the other and they both hold together in place with some screws. Worth noting at this point that I wouldn't really trust the frame to hold any more than say, 20-30kg of weight - it's actually rather thin gauge stuff. So no drunken joyriding in the back! :badgrin:
I hadn't asked the seller in the USA for the vinyl wheelarch covers - foolishly assuming I didn't need them - but he sent them anyway, which was a relief, as they turned out to be very different from the Jap ones (bottom piece in photo) which cover the whole arch, whereas the American ones only cover the part not already hidden by the frame.
Right, with the frame all bolted up, let's add some carpet...
And a clampdown rail.
Clampdown rail fitted, and one of the storage bins. Interestingly, the bins don't actually have a hard floor, just a piece of stretchy carpet instead. So I don't plan to store anything overly heavy in there that could potentially lead to collapse.
Fast forward a couple of hours, during which time I ran all the cabling for the rear speakers, tapped some holes and installed the speakers themselves, then fitted the boot panels... and that's a wrap.
Factory fresh! Although that storage bin lid does need a scrub with some upholstery cleaner, and there is but one minor trim flaw remaining actually; turns out I'm still missing a couple of pieces but they're such blink-and-miss that I'll leave it up to avid readers to figure out what they are
I also removed the passenger seat temporarily to install and wire in the rear amp. It's a compact enough size to chill underneath it.
So where to from here? Re-gas the A/C. Send off the clutch master and slave cylinders to be rebuilt, then it's WOF time I guess. Then drive it for a while. Tidying up the paint is also on the cards.
Not a hell of a lot has otherwise been planned for the car... the two-seater conversion has been such a long time coming that I'm relieved to have finally crossed that last major hurdle, and can start concentrating on squid (my Skyline) next.
But I'm sure I can always find something to change, or tinker with!