Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Sticking to Stock and Sticking to the Schedule

To ensure I miss nothing preparing Glinda for the upcoming national convention and its associated driving events, I’m creating a schedule of tasks that need (and some that are desired) to be completed by the July 13 departure date. The most involved jobs are upgrading the suspension, repairing the backlight channel, installing the backlight and trim, finding and installing a decent driver’s seat, and installing an anchor for a 5-point harness.

It’s the last two items, as well as moving the battery to the trunk and adding a tachometer that have me really thinking. Glinda is still VERY stock. The only modifications from the way the General built her are the nice carpet kit from Clark’s Victoria and I installed and the lack of engine smog equipment the previous owner removed. The set of speakers in the rear package tray don’t count since they’re coming out. With this originality in mind, I’ve challenged myself to come up with creative ways of making any modifications as inconspicuous as possible or easily reversible. Removing the bench seat is just a matter of removing four fasteners and pulling it out. The racing seat would be set up to bolt at the factory points, but I will have to expose the two inboard holes that should be in the car. I’ll also have to poke a hole through the carpet and drill one in the floor in front of the driver’s seat to anchor the anti-submarine belt of the harness. To anchor the shoulder belt of the harness I plan on bolting a chain between the two left side rear seatbelt and connecting the harness to that. If I do that right, I could even keep the stock belts bolted in place as well. The lap belt portion of the harness would just bolt in place of the current lap belt. My original plan for the tachometer was to mount it in the empty clock spot in the middle of the gauge cluster, but I think I’ll go old-school and strap it to the steering column. The electrical connections would be with a plug allowing me to remove the tach fairly easily. I think the battery in the trunk will just have to be conspicuously wrong. What I may do, however, to keep the illusion is empty out one of the dead batteries I have lying around until it’s just a plastic shell with two posts on top. I’ll even route battery cables to the firewall and the ground stud. The engine compartment will look stock with very little excess weight.

On to sticking to the schedule. During the school year Wednesday evenings are Girl Scout night for Loriann and Mikhaila, so I usually make the most of that and spend it in the garage. Tonight I was scheduled to tear apart Glinda’s front suspension. Instead, I’ll be driving west to check out, and hopefully buy, a racing seat I just found on Craigslist. So, just like at work, schedules are meant to be broken.

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