1957 Chevy Restoration "The Godfather" Part 15

1957 Chevy Restoration "The Godfather" Part 16 - Firewall

    I had a polished chrome plate from another `57 that nicely covers the heater pipe access hole - Pic 1. The Raingear Electric wiper motor system kit had a cover plate for where the vacuum wiper motor was mounted which I painted glossy black - Pic 2.
    Now we’ll attack the heater cover plate - Pic 3. Yes, an aftermarket cover is available but I like making pieces myself. Years ago Paul M. Gold (Goldy) taught me to make what you need. He taught me about Hot Rods and mechanics. My father taught me how to use my hands in the auto glass and glazing construction business.
    I cut off the four factory studs and fashioned a steel plate to cover the hole. The heater access hole was actually raised and the plate I cut out just sat on top. I didn’t like how the edge looked so I rolled the edge all around to form fit it. To accomplish this I placed a 3/8 round steel rod in the grove of the table vise. Opening up the vise let the rod sit in the groove. I then used a ball peen hammer to roll the edge of the plate over the rod. Worked like a charm. I drilled the mounting holes around the edge using Cleco Fasteners to hold in place as I went around drilling mounting holes - Pic 4-5. After painting it I had to wet sand the cover to get some paint imperfections out. - Pic 6.
     After buffing it really shines! - Pic 7. Here it is mounted to the firewall. Sanding and painting produced a nice looking cover.- Pic 8.
Ignition coil and box
    I was concerned about where to mount the Hyfire VI and Mallory Coil. I have seen pics of the Hyfire IV mounted in the glove box but I held it there, looked, and nixed that idea. I then looked at the traditional firewall location and because of heat from the exhaust and the elements (Rain etc) I nixed that also. The Heater Cover I made turned out to be a perfect location – as long as they were mounted on the inside of the vehicle. I covered the inside of the plate with a rubber mat. I figured I needed a gasket to seal it anyway and the rubber mat fulfilled that purpose. It also acts as a great mounting surface for the electronics (vibrations). I drew a line around the inside of the plate to show me the area I had to mount the units - Pic 9. Centering the Hyfire VI at the bottom allowed me just enough room to mount the coil inside at the top. Drilled all the mounting holes. Attached the electronics and sorted out the wires to see what size rubber hole grommets I needed. A 3/8” grommet was perfect for the coil wire as well as a 5/8” rubber grommet for the control wires. I then used plastic ties to clean up the wiring. I hate when your wiring looks like spaghetti - Pic 10. It was a VERY tight fit maneuvering the cover plate in place with the electronics attached but it made it. Here’s how it looks from the inside - Pic 11. It wouldn’t make sense to mount them on the heater cover plate if it couldn’t be removed with them in place for any maintenance in the future. I did visually check to see if it would work before I started and tested if it would or not at each step. It’s so rewarding to come up with a solution and have it work as planned. And here’s how it looks on the outside  - Pic 12.
    UPDATE: Well now we have a dilemma. As I stated in my Publishers editorial last month it got down to 32° in Sunny Florida. Now I’m going with a Heater and defroster from  DCM Manufacturing. It’s a compact unit and I think I’ll be able to install it under the dash without any unforeseen problems. We’ll see...

Paul M Gold “Goldy”. Inducted into the 2016 East Coast Drag Times Hall Of Fame as the Hard-Core Racer of a Thousand Cars and Tracks.

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