--- Been a while but I am back at it. Between wrecking my back and trying to chase down parts that will actually work and fabbing some frame pieces...well...like I said, it's been a while.
Here's one of two frame inserts that will carry the replacement crossmember. I had a machine shop drill all the holes that I will use as a guide to drill the actual frame. Gonna be a nail biter and back breaker. I'll have to position the new section inside the frame rail, then get an air drill and cut down bit up inside the two so I can mark the precise locations for the 1/2" holes. Once drilled and bolted, the flat plate will bolt to the new C-channel and the crossmember will get welded to that. Piece-a-cake.
Then there is the saga of the steering shaft...
The bearing you see here is the third try. Two from a big name hot-rod shop were total crap. This is an actual bearing. But, naturally, the shaft (which was already custom fabricated to precisely 1" O.D.) had to be turned down a few thousandths to accommodate the 1" I. D. bearing which actually measures only about 0.994". Someone in the industry or engineering please explain why things are not really the size they are advertised.
Once the bearing was mounted to the home made steering shaft, I had to cut and fit some steel with which I can mount the bearing in place (it will either bolt or weld to an as yet to be built firewall component).
Anyhow, after a couple of months worth of chopping, cutting, scrounging and massaging...I finally have a complete steering shaft. Which means I can now start piecing together the dash, firewall and doghouse.
But first...there is that crossmember thing. Lots of hole. bolts and welding still ahead.