I decided to repair a rusted-out mounting bracket on the left-hand running board by transplanting a bracket (and the surrounding sheet metal) from the other board, which is too messed up to be worth restoring. I cut away the bad part, and trimmed the donor piece to fit perfectly in its place. Then I welded it in place. The welding caused the board to warp a bit, which I will have to fix by un-shrinking the weld beads.
To replace the unusable right-hand board, I am using an old repro board that is missing its mounting brackets. I made a new pair of brackets from some U-shaped metal channel, and drilled and filed the keyhole-shaped holes for the bolts that attach them to the car’s frame. In the next few days I will weld the new brackets to the board, and add some additional bracing to compensate for the fact that the repro board was made from thinner sheet metal than the originals. Then I will be able to sandblast and paint both boards, mount the rubber sheeting to their top surfaces, and put them on the car.
I got the seat belts fully installed. Now I can drive with less fear of getting killed. I also figured out a good way to make shoulder harness mounting points for the front and rear seats. Those would have to be installed before the interior panels, even if the shoulder harnesses don’t get added until much later. I also installed sound-deadening material on the insides of the cowl panels.
Somebody gave me an old set of repro running boards. They are missing the mounting brackets and some reinforcing strips, but I will probably use the right hand one, since the original right-hand running board is beyond repair.
I installed the cowl lights and hooked up the wiring, and they worked. They are repros that were on the car when I got it, and didn’t need any attention. I had to make the little wooden spacer blocks that go inside the cowl where the lights attach. That just took a little time with a piece of oak, my bandsaw, and my drill press.
The seat belts for the front seats arrived, so I started working on getting them mounted. I located and drilled some holes in the floorpan behind the front seat for the mounting bolts, and I cut some pieces of heavy steel plate to serve as reinforcements. I need to weld the nuts for the mounting bolts to the plates, paint them, and attach them beneath the floorpan. It would have made more sense to do this a couple of years ago, before I refinished the floorpan, but at that time it was simply not on my mind…