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Discussion Starter #61
I got most of the rough-in done on the console today. I’ve been feeling lousy all day so I figure if I croak I need to leave my wife a finished car instead of a pile of pieces, thus the continued push.

Anyway, all I have to do now before the finish work is to build in a rear storage tray. I keep playing the mental coin toss game regarding just how I’m going to finish it. My initial plan was to just wrap everything in vinyl but now I’m leaning more toward spending some extra time finishing it off nicely and painting it. I’d just make a leather boot for the shifter then cover the stereo/gauge plate in some nice leather.

I’m open for suggestions here...
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Discussion Starter #62
Finished up the woodwork. A bit of Bondo, a bit of sanding, then some oil based primer and now I'm ready to try to make it pretty.
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Discussion Starter #63
Well... it’s the right color now. Hopefully tomorrow it’ll be dry enough to move it into place. The paint is showing brush marks from the oil based primer below it. I figure I’ll stick it in then pull it back out once it‘s fully cured then work on some color sanding and polishing.
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Discussion Starter #64
Well Shoot: I bolted the console in then played with the mounting of the Hurst rubber boot to cover the hole. It fit perfectly. BUT... the rubber accordion is just stiff enough that it pulls the shifter out of gear and back to neutral from every gear. Nothing wrong with the boot, but it‘s made to mount lower on the stick so that the leverage isn’t an issue. My first plan was to fab up some sort of leather boot but this rubber boot seemed to be made just right to cover the opening and finish it off nicely. And it does that just fine. But I figure I spent enough on this conversion that I think I’d like to put it in gear and drive it occasionally.

So back to the drawing board. I’m wondering if there aren’t any pre-fab leather boots with mounting rings out there that I can buy rather than having to pay a local upholstery shop way too much to make one.

Any ideas?

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Looking good.
Question. Was the wood kiln dried? Just wondering about any potential cracking on the bondo filler you used.
 

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Discussion Starter #66
Looking good.
Question. Was the wood kiln dried? Just wondering about any potential cracking on the bondo filler you used.
Wood is just MDF so it SHOULDN'T be an issue. MDF is basically just sawdust and glue so not much it can do once a bit of oil based primer soaks into it. Of course, my fingers will remain crossed for a while. The good news is that I've got about $30.00 into the whole thing so if something goes south I'm not out much. After looking at it this morning I'm already inclined to sand it down a bit and shoot some semi-gloss on it. Darned thing looks like a piano sitting on my hump right now. I didn't expect "gloss" to be so, uhm, "glossy." Duh....
 

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Have you thought of vinyl wrap?
My one experience with it went real well. The carbon fiber wrap blends so well, it's really hard to see the places it overlaps.
If you did do that, I think it would look sharp and if you do get any hairline cracks develop in the filler, it wouldn't make any difference. I've got some pretty detailed photos of the carbon fiber wrap work I did on the dash of my car in my project thread. The radio surround bezel was the hardest to do and I did have to do some separate piece overlap on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #68
I have thought of wrap. In the end I may just go in that direction. The nice part of this whole thing is that it was cheap to make and it’s easy to get in and out in just a few minutes. Who knows where this will end up.

In the mean time I did fine a couple of Lokar boot/ring combinations that would work around the shifter. Kind of expensive for what they are, but it’s on the short list. A buddy jokingly suggested that I just toss a cheap lei or garter over the shifter and be done with it. I’m ashamed to say that I’m strongly considering that right now.
 

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Discussion Starter #69
This morning I did a quick and dirty scuff then shot on some semi gloss black. MUCH better than the high gloss. Now I need to let it cook for a while so I can properly sand then recoat it with the semi gloss. UPS showed up with my 3.70 gears, but unfortunately I’m still waiting on my third member bench stand to arrive so I’ll not be swapping rear gears until next week.
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I've had good luck with US Gear gears. What posi unit do you have?
 

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Discussion Starter #73
Your console looks very nice, great job.
Thank you. I’m still making it up on the fly. I may try to add a bit of a curve to it where it transitions up to where the stereo will eventually mount. And this morning I cut a section out of the drivers side lower panel next to my accelerator pedal. I discovered yesterday that my extra wide foot barely squeezed between the brake pedal and the console. Now no longer a problem. I‘m also considering adding some felt to the inside of the rear storage tray. And who knows; maybe even an upholstered lid/armrest. I’m just glad that I can do it on the cheap so if I don’t like something it’s easily modified.
 

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Discussion Starter #74 (Edited)
Today I swapped from the 3.00 gears to the 3.70 gears. MUCH better drivability at speed. And as a side benefit this rear is finally nice and quiet. I bought it set up last year directly from Strange. It’s always had a slight gear whine. Not horrible, but noticeable to an OCD guy like myself. When I tore it down this morning it seemed as if the pinion preload was pretty loose. After I finished up the swap and went for a drive I was immediately surprised at just how quiet it was now.

I bought a couple of specialty tools for this swap. The eBay spanner wrench made specifically for the 9” Ford wasn’t even close to fitting. I hit a couple of parts stores once I discovered this and none had a spanner wrench. BUT... I tried a couple of 4-WD spindle bearing sockets and low and behold, the socket for a 3/4 ton truck with Dana 70 axles was a perfect fit for my side adjusters!

Now to go play....

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