This was a period of mostly loose ends. I had run my main harness through the giant hole in the firewall where the heater core used to be. Now that everything was run I didn’t want to unplug everything, pull all the wiring back, and then run it through a grommet. That would have been the right thing to do. But that’s not what I did. I took an old rubber mat, chopped it up, and then pop-riveted it to two pieces of sheet metal and then assembled them around the harness and screwed them to them firewall. I threw split loom at everything in the engine bay. Good enough for burnouts.
I also took the opportunity to install hall effect sensors to set up traction control. In the rear I glued two magnets to the back of the differential pinion and welded a little bracket next to it to hold the sensor. Up front I glued five magnets straight out from the lug holes and welded my sensor bracket onto the steering knuckle. Well, I tried to weld the bracket onto the steering knuckle. I welded it once and it fell off on its own. I welded it a second time, then gently bent it into position only to have it come off in my hand. Then I got junior to weld it and it stayed. I should point out that he used my el-cheapo flux core welder. This is significant in that it proves that the operator makes a difference and also proves that I can’t blame my welder for my bad welds. Seeing as how this is my blog I suppose I can blame whatever I want, so bad welder it must be.
I also patched the giant hole in the floor. I had tried doing this earlier unsuccessfully. My failure the first time was not cutting out a large enough section. If there is a enough rust to eat through your floor in one section then you can safely assume that the surrounding sections are also pretty lean. I assumed that I wanted to make the job as easy as possible so I cut out a tiny section. Then I proceeded to burn holes everywhere with the welder. Then I gave up.
When attacking the problem the second time after watching YouTube I came at it from a different direction. I laid a piece of cardboard into the space and made corner cuts to fold the piece into the space. I transferred the cuts to a piece of sheet metal and folded it to fit. I set it in place and massaged it with my Mattox hammer and dolly set from (you guessed it) Harbor Freight. Then, with it snugly in place, I marked the perimeter with my sharpie and cut away the rust damaged area, leaving about a 1/4″ overlap between the existing floor and my replacement piece. I fired up my trusty flux core welder and began stitching it all together.
This was all running up to The Big Reveal where I was going to triumphantly show the car off to the world, the hot rod shop, the parents, etc. I was working feverishly on the car after work, and on this particular evening was still working as 11:00PM came and went. I parked the car in the driveway, ready for the big show tomorrow morning.