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Interior upgrades have started

        I am finally done doing stuff under the hood and am moving on to the interior. I plan doing a lot of changes in there. A new gauge cluster, a floor shifter, new bucket seats, console, sound deadener, carpet, stereo speaker upgrade and maybe a headliner.

        July 22, 2016

        Before I start the wiring I will install a floor shifter to replace the stock column shifter. That will require some fabrication to the floor. I measured my bucket seats height to check for the shifter’s location. I am using a B&M Unimatic which allow me to place the shifter wherever I want….within reason. The plan is to build a pedestal for the shifter and then fabricate a console around that. I made basically a box for the shifter and bolted that to the floor. The cable will run out the back of the box and loop around to the transmission as per the instructions. All this will only require one small hole in the floor for the cable.

        August 01, 2016

        I pulled out the seats, floor mats and seat belts so I can treat the floor before installing carpet. I am pleased with the condition of the floors. There is some evidence of a few small repairs but overall. They only need some seam sealer, sanding and a coat of POR-15 before I put down some Fat Mat thermo-sound deadener. I will come up with a better way to mount the inner seat belts that does not use a nut and bolt to make it easier to reinstall. While I was in there pulling out the seats I thought this would be a good time to remove the gauge cluster and install the new wiring harness. Getting the cluster out was not as easy as I thought it would be. The PO installed two non-stock items. A weird water temp gauge and a manual choke that was bolted to through the cluster face. That and several of the attachment screws were messed up. But I finally got it out, the circuit on the back is totally hacked up, somebody tried to fix this thing, no wonder the dash lights did not work.

        August 2, 2016

        Getting the cluster out was nothing compared to removing the firewall connector. I know how to remove these things but no socket I had would fit the bolt head…or at least that is what I thought. So brute force was called for and I drilled out the bolt head. Funny thing is after it released my ½ socket fit it. No clue why it did not fit before. Oh well, it is not like that connector will ever be used again. I still have to figure out how the radio and the Vintage Air are hooked to the fuse block and pull all the engine wiring out before I put my new harness in. I sanded and cleaned the floor the best that I could and slapped POR-15 over everything that will be covered with sound deadener and carpet ignoring the “wear protective clothing” rule. It is like battle scars! After that dries I will seam seal some places that look like they need it and make some block-off plates for the used holes in the firewall and floor.

        August 5, 2016

        The seam sealer is down and dry so I moved on to the actual wiring. As you can imagine this 49 year old wiring has issues. There are so many bare wires, cracked wires and wires that don’t do anything under the dash it is amazing the truck runs and has not caught fire! The relays and the circuit breaker for the Vintage Air just hanging is space and the radio wiring looks like a rat’s nest. I have decided I don’t like the Retro-Sound radio. I’m not sure the point of this thing other than it fits the old style dash without cutting but the operation of the features is a nightmare so it’s gotto go. Once the radio was out it was much easier to get at the rest of the wiring. I pulled the ignition switch and found some very scary wiring. I bought a new ignition switch, a pigtail and new tumblers. The wiper harness doesn’t look too bad and as yet I haven’t found a replacement for it. To make wring neater and more efficient under the dash I installed a terminal block for grounds.

        August 6, 2016

        I think I am going backwards! Okay I did get the wiper motor connectors installed, soldered on the new connectors for the parking lights and even got the new fuse block holes drilled and nutcerts installed. But then I got crazy and pulled out the steering column. I have a new tilt column I will be putting in since it currently is a column shift and I am going to a flood shift. I think I took off more stuff that I had to, but it is out. And at least I won’t be banging my head on the steering wheel anymore!. That little endeavor pretty much wore me out so I quit for today.

        August 7, 2016

        This was a much better day. I got the tail light connector and horn relay rewired and installed, rerouted the HEI, water temp, AC dryer and the starter solenoid wires so they will run through grommets in the firewall. Then I started putting down the FatMat sound deadener. Thus is something that seems like it should go quickly it doesn’t. Since I pulled out all the 49 year old firewall insulation I am replacing that with FatMat, that took the entire afternoon. I still have the actual floor to do as well as the rear cabin wall and since I am putting down two layers I don’t think I have enough FatMat to finish.

        August 8, 2016

        I was right, not near enough FatMat, I hope I ordered enough to finish, it should be here on the 10th. I got 95% of the rear cabin wall done before I ran out which still leaves the main floor to do. I had one more hole in the firewall to address, the square one where the e-brake cable comes through. I did some searching but couldn’t find anything. I used two pieces of 1/8” rubber and attached them with poly-urethane sealer and then added a steel plate over all that. That should stop the header heat from getting into the cab. The dreaded wiring is next. I got the headlights wired and the turn signals but I haven’t found a wire for the parking lights so I may have to figure out how they get wired. Fighting with this harness is not fun. So far I have found several wires I don’t need but they were loose wires so I didn’t have to cut anything. It is a universal harness so that is to be expected. But it was $300 less than the Painless one. Once I get most of the wires figured out I will mount the fuse block.

        August 9, 2016

        All the front lights wiring is done and tested wiring is tucked behind the inner fenders. The radiator covers are back on. But this was a short day so nothing else happened plus I am waiting for some parts I ordered to come in.

        August 10, 2016

        I mounted the fuse panel, hopefully permanently. The order for the FatMat came in. I put it all down but I am still short, guess my math skills need tuning! The new stereo also came in and with a little cutting on the old radio opening this is going to be nice. Blue Tooth compatible and USB port on the front panel. I had to do a tiny bit of body work to fill the outside of the old radio’s knob holes so I am going the paint the indented part of the radio opening black to match the glovebox that I already painted black.

        August 12, 2016

        I got the new stereo mounted, I did have to make a small bracket to support the back because the one that came with the unit did not work out, plus it was super flimsy. I ordered a power amp for it and some kick panels and speakers. I may use the rear speakers I already have. I want to come up with a better way to mount them, the PO simply had them sitting on the rear shelf behind the seats. I am still fighting through the massive wiring harness but it is getting closer. I still need to figure out the ignition switch and the headlight switch.

        August 14, 2016

        I spent today attempting to install my new B&M Unimatic Floor Shifter. The stock column shifter had issues with the detents to the point you really could not depend on it staying in park, not good. Plus I wanted a floor shifter! I had already pulled the steering column so getting the stock shifter stuff out was easy. B&M has good instructions for installation and it was all going great until the cable adjustment part. I did this several times but it just isn’t working the way they say it would, I guess I will try to call tech support. Since I made a pedestal for the shifter to get it high enough to be useable the cable had to come through the floor. I ended up cutting a slot about 1” wide and 3" long to allow the cable to fit without binding or kinking. I lined the slot with rubber to prevent the cable from getting cut on the sheet metal and will seal it against the elements. All this will be under my new console.

        August 15, 2016

        Working alone sometimes make it necessary to get creative. All the seatbelts were installed to the floor with a nut and bolt, I’m sure that is not how Chevy did it assuming they even had seat belts in 1967 C10s. This was not a big issue on the outside belts although relying on sheet metal to hold the belt is shaky at best. But the inner belts were damn near impossible to remove by myself. I basically had to put a wrench on the bolt inside the truck and rig up a way so the wrench would stay on the while I removed the nut. Making it more difficult was the fact the PO had welded the exhaust hangers to the pipes and then welded the other end to the frame making it impossible to drop the exhaust. But I eventually got the belts out. So I don’t have to go through that again I made some 1/8” steel plates with the nut welded to them and a matching plate with tapped holes for the inside of the truck. These two plates will sandwich the body and are bolted together through the sheet metal. This way I can bolt the belts in from inside the truck. It will also give the belts a more substantial area for mounting. If I could get at the area I could have simply welded the bottom plate to the body but I can’t even get to the area to clean it up for welding. I also made some 1/8” plates for the two outside belts.

        August 23, 2016

        I got a power amp and front 6.5” Kicker speakers with kick panels for the new sound system. I am in the process of tricking out the rear cabin area. I have to figure out how to mount decent size rear speakers. I am making corner pieces to cover the part Chevy left wide open but they won’t be wide enough to support speakers. More FatMat went in today so that project is finished. I then was able to permanently mounted the floor shifter pedestal.

        August 24, 2016

        I got the starter and +12v wired to the ignition switch and the switch and new tumbler mounted. I’m still a little confused about the other two connection to the ignition switch. I got the dome light wired and inserted a LED bulb to replace the festoon bulb that was blown.

        August 27, 2016

        Since I am have so much trouble with this wiring I moved on to something else, the rear cabin wall. I already made some panels which will be painted silver like the body for the open area behind the doors. Today I started fabricating the actual rear wall. I bolted aluminum strips to the five old gas tank mountings at the top and to some angle aluminum I bolted to the floor. Plywood will be bolted over these strips with black semi-gloss painted aluminum vertical strips. The plywood will be covered with dark gray vinyl.

        August 29, 2016

        Now that I have a floor shifter I need to address the old steering column. I could just remove the shifter and the indicator but I’ve gone this far so a non-shifter column seems s no-brainer. The aftermarket choices have dubious reputations but I decided to get a tilt one from CPP.

        September 5, 2016

        Being the holiday weekend I wasn’t able to do much on the truck. I got the back wall aluminum strips installed, why is it that things you mock up don’t ever go back on the same way!!! I have also started making rear speaker enclosures for some Kicked 6.5 speakers. They are less than 3” deep so I should not have any clearance issues.

        September 7, 2016

        I am waiting on a few things related to the rear wall speakers so while I wait for them I have started mocking up the console. This is sort of a design as you go project since I really have no plan. I made some brackets which will hold the console to the floor and some side walls and a top. Next I will figure out how I want to blend all this into the dash and the front of the transmission tunnel. Once I get the seat installed I can figure out how the center seat center console will blend with this piece. Scary, hope I can pull it off. Right now it is all being made with wood but I probably switch to aluminum or fiberglass for the final product since they can be manipulated easier than wood. It will all be covered with the same dark gray vinyl I used on the rear wall.

        September 8, 2016

        I have lost my talent! Maybe my memory is just failing but I don’t really remember making so many mistakes on the Z or the AMX. Today I thought I would drag the seat assembly that I put together months ago out to the garage to check for the console configuration. But when I put it I the truck I realized I had assembled the mounting platform backwards! How could that happen? I would swear I checked the orientation before I assembled it, apparently not! So I pulled the whole thing out, not easy by myself and took it all apart and put just the platform in. Of course it doesn’t really fit very well. The bolt holes to mount the platform don’t line up and the center support bracket (not a stock Chevy feature) is too tall. Some modification will be necessary. Plus because the platform was mounted backwards the center console mounting holes no longer work……………..more modifications!

        September 9, 2016

        Okay, I got over feeling like a total failure, LOL and started fixing stuff. I elongated all the mounting holes in the seat platform, cut off the too tall center support, made a new one that will work and drilled new holes to mount the center seat console. With that all fitting well I turned back the my center floor console mock up. I really did not like what I did yesterday so I started over. This version looks better and after I figure out the blending into the seat console and the dash I can start making the real version. Material choice for this is still being considered. I also made the rear speaker enclosures, they are ready to be upholstered or painted whichever I decide to do.

        September 10, 2016

        Boat in a basement! You know the old story of the guy that builds a boat in his basement and then can’t get it out? Well I did the same thing with this console. The part that blends into the dash prevents the whole thing from coming out, damn. Not sure yet how to correct that, either piece it or just forget the blending part all together. After some beer and weighing my options I decided to forget about trying to blend the console into the dash. Way to much work and I don’t think I have the skills to pull it off anyway. Using my prototype as a model I made some real parts, still out of plywood. I will be covering it all with vinyl so the expense of aluminum seems pointless. I will still use aluminum strips like I did on the back wall for continuity.

        September 12, 2016

        Just when you thought it was safe………………… After several attempts to install this console I realized some massaging was needed. It took many attempts and different mounting brackets but it finally will go in each time without a struggle. Since there are no curves to this the installation of the vinyl was easy. I got all the surfaces covered with the vinyl, made the top trim pieces and drilled the holes for the shifter boot. I haven’t decided how to mount the trim pieces. I may try double side tape but I don’t know how well it will stick to the vinyl. The other option is to screw it down like I did for the rear wall. I also painted the rear speaker enclosures then wired and mounted them.

        September 13, 2016

        I have decided not to go with the tape and used screws to hold on the trim. I drilled the holes for the top trim pieces and painted them semi-gloss black like the rear wall trim. The side trim pieces will have to wait until the edge trim comes in rather than just guessing where it will sit. Ordering all this stuff on-line certainly slows things down but the cost saving is usually significant. For example the local hardware store wants 45 cents for a #10 black screw, on-line they are 18.4 with free shipping and I need 48!

        September 15, 2016

        The edge trim came in and after a few adjustments I made and painted the side trim pieces. I also made trim pieces for the seat console since my attempt at upholstery left a lot to be desired. These are only ½” wide so I will try the tape method to see if it works out, I can always add screws later.

        Septembar 19, 2016

        The trim pieces are all installed and it came out pretty nice. Now that the two consoles and the back wall are finished I need to get back to the dreaded wiring. I wired the stereo and the power amp along with the rear speakers. I need to modify the front kick panels before wiring the front speakers. I added LED courtesy lights to each side of the front seat platform, these will light up the foot area when the doors are opened. This truck has been off the road way too long.

        September 20, 2016

        I started modifying the passenger side kick panel first because it was free of any loose wiring. But there is other stuff in the way, like some Vintage Air terminal and a ground terminal block I added. Plus the seam sealer and sound deadener I added at the floor were in the way too. It soon became clear I was going to have to cut away a lot of this kick panel. But after a few tweaks it fit perfectly. I then mounted the speaker but luck kicked me in the butt again. The Kicker 6.5” speaker is about 1/8” too deep because the kick panel speaker boss is not symmetrical being shorter towards the passenger compartment, I assume to “aim” the sound. I made a ¼” plywood spacer to sit under the speaker where it mounts to the kick panel boss, problem solved. I need beer!

        September 21, 2016

        I modified the driver side kick panel to clear the vent opener rod but ran into another issue. Whoever designed these apparently never installed them in a 1967 truck. The speaker part sits right on top of the headlight dimmer switch! No huge deal I simply moved it over a couple inches. I assembled both kick panels with the spacers and speakers, installed them and ran the wires to the power amp under the seat.

        October 17, 2016

        I has been almost a month since I updated this. I ran into issues with the AMX that needed addressed but to tell the truth I needed time away from the truck. But over the past two days I got most of the wiring working. Everything on the engine, front and rear lights, stereo and power amp, wipers, and interior lights are done as are the connectors for the gauge cluster. All that is left is the +12v HEI and tach connections and for some reason the Vintage Air fan isn’t working. I have the schematics for the unit but am at a loss as to why it doesn’t work. There is a fuse on the fuse black labeled heater but I think the Vintage Air unit uses its own circuit breaker. I ordered ACC black loop carpet. I have said I would never attempt carpet installation again but I feel I need to try one more time.

        October 19, 2016

        Today I got brave. There are still a few things to finish up but I thought starting the engine was the thing to try now. I jacked the rear of the car up just for safety sake in case the shifter is not adjusted correctly. At first attempt it would not start, it turns over fine but it would not fire. I have fuel so the only thing it could be is the voltage to the HEI. I pulled the connector off and checked the wire with the ignition turn on….+12v! I plugged the wire back in and the damn thing fired right up! Apparently I did not have it plugged in correctly, no clue how that could happen, just one more thing to worry about in the future, LOL. I checked the transmission and it operated correctly, cool.

        Here is a valuable lesson if you are working on a Chevy C10 wiring harness and you decide to fire up the engine before installing the gauge cluster. REMEMBER YOU HAVE A MECHANICAL OIL PRESSURE GAUGE! I did not! Fortunately I did not run the engine very long but it still dumped a substantial amount of oil on the floor. Funny thing is I didn’t notice it until I went back in the garage after lunch

        October 24, 2016

        Today I managed to install the gauge cluster. Everything seems to work but there are a few things I can’t test until the steering column wiring is connected. Of course the wiring harness and the steering column do not have a mating set of connectors for the turn signal harness so I will have to change the harness connector before I install the steering column, I just happen to have one.

        October 25,2016

        This was a short day to work on the truck. But I spliced in the matching turn signal switch connector and I now have brake lights and turn signals. It appears all I have left to do from the electrical side is to figure out why the AC/heater fans doesn’t work.

        October 28, 2016

        After reading the 25 pages of instructions for the Vintage Air system again I finally spotted a violet wire that should come off the hot side of the ignition switch. I had to pull out the glove box to get to that connector so I could follow it to determine where my disconnect was. I found it and it looks like I had cut the wire and put some heat shrink on it assuming I would not need it….wrong. I wired it to the fuse labeled heater/AC and now I have power to the system. I believe I am now done with the wiring. YAHOO!!!!!

        Before I install the new tilt steering column I will try to install the carpet, just so I have more room. I bought carpet for a floor shift truck but since I built the pedestal for the shifter and my power amp is sitting on the floor I will need to make some modifications to the carpet. The hard part will be cutting the holes for the dimmer switch, door sill plates, seat frame, console mounts and seat belt mounts. Hopefully if I take my time and do things in a logical sequence all to work out. Yeah like that will happen!

        October 31, 2016

        Carpet installation is one of those things I hate. This is a skill I have yet to master but hey, the only way you learn is by doing. So I started on the passenger side figuring that side would be easier. I cut the carpet down the center lengthwise knowing I had to fit it around the shifter pedestal and the power amp. The first thing I noticed was that cutting the carpet is fairly easy but cutting through the jute insulation is not but I managed. After a few pushes and tugs I got it position. I cut the holes I needed for the sill plates and screwed them down, that held the carpet in place. I got under the car and used a small screwdriver to push through the carpet for the seat mounting bolts and mounted the seat frame. Trimming around the center console bracket was tough and I discovered I did not account for the thickness of the carpet for the mounting holes. I will have to modify the brackets, no big deal. But I am worn out so I will attack the driver side tomorrow.

        November 1, 2016

        The driver side carpet was a little harder but it went reasonably smooth. I drilled new holes in the center console brackets so allow for the thickness of the carpet and bolted down the console. One place I am not too happy with is the seat mounts. I wanted the frame to sit on the floor, not on the carpet but now it looks unprofessional so I will make some thin bezels to fit over the carpet. I have no idea why the carpet is cut the way it is around the transmission tunnel, maybe to accommodate the stock heater but I have a lot of exposed sound deadener. I have leftover carpet so I will insert some to cover those areas.

        November 2, 2016

        Today I made the final installation of the seat frame and the consoles. The bezels I made for the seat frame mounts worked out great. I wired the courtesy lights on the seat frame and the inside console light. There are still a couple places that the carpet does not cover so I will address those.

        November 4, 2016

        I made a couple brackets and covered them with carpet to hide the exposed areas at the back of the cab. I also added some carpet pieces to the firewall that were exposed on the transmission hump. Seems like those should have been covered by the stock carpet but they weren’t. The passenger seat is in but I will wait until I get the steering column installed before I install the driver seat. At this point I wish I had taken some pictures of all the steering column brackets that hold the column in, but I didn’t. It should be much simpler than the old one since the new one is for a floor shift column so I don’t have to deal with all the shifter linkage and the new shifter has its own neutral safety switch.

        November 8, 2016

        Today I tackled the last, well maybe the last, project for this interior, the steering column. I finally figured out all the brackets to hold this thing in place and it looked simple enough but trying to align this by myself seemed risky so I called in some help. We did have some issues in getting the splines on the intermediate shaft to seat but finally got it in. I got all the brackets installed, hooked up the turn signal connector and tested all the function. Turn signals, brake lights, horn and hazards all work.

        November 10, 2016

        The steering wheel was another issue. I bought a Grant GT wheel and an adapter for a 1967 C10. However the CPP column and the adapter did not want to play together! I had to make a couple of modification to get it to work. I installed the driver seat and took the truck out for a shakedown cruise. Right from the get go I noticed the seat is way too high. I had bought the seats and the frame from the same company, you would think the seats would sit in the same place as a stock seat, but NO! I can live with it for a while but will come up with a modification to get it where I want it. But everything else seems to be working great. The new dash, consoles and carpet all look awesome.

        This interior job took me three and a half months. Granted I did not go at this as hard as I could have, I guess age is starting to take a toll on my energy level! Over all I am very pleased with the results, time to find another project.

        December 10, 2016

        Like I said the seats sit way too high. I decided I really can’t live with that so I have modified the frame. At first I thought I could simply chop out some of the legs on the frame to accomplish this but that proved to not be the case. The legs aren’t simply straight so trying to cut them and re-weld them did not work out. Plus to cut off enough to lower the seats enough the center section hit the transmission tunnel. I cut up the one piece frame to make individual frames for each seat. Of course that presented several other issues. I now needed four mounting points instead of two on each frame meaning drilling holes through the floor. After a lot of measuring and checking for clearance under the floor I drilled the holes. I made 1/8” reinforcing plates for the new holes. The second issue was the frames are so close to the floor I will have to mount the seat on the frame before installing the whole thing into the truck. This is not an issue on the rear mounting brackets but the front mount bolts are under the frame so I will have to mount the front mounts before the seat goes in. To solve this I drilled holes in the front of the mounts and welded nuts inside the frame to allow me to bolt the mount to the frame after the seat is in place. To make it a one person job I welded bolts that go through the floor on the new mounts so I can put nuts on from under the truck. Then to mount the center console to the transmission hump I bolted a ¾” wood platform to the floor and screwed the console to that. It all came out perfectly. Seating position is great other than I would like the seat to sit further back but that is the way these little cabs are.