After selecting the fabric from the LeBaron Bonney catalog (direct link) and giving Peter an admittedly vague description of what I was thinking for the seat, I had to accomplish one of the most difficult tasks in building a project: waiting.
I have complete confidence in Peter’s ability to interpret my muddled attempts at describing a finished product, so there was no stress over that. I was more worried about the fabric, since I was the one who picked it, not heeding the advice of even my wife who has an uncanny ability to see color. She has chosen the EXACT color swatch sample from Home Depot three times over a period of about five years. Color doesn’t initially register as an adjective when I’m first looking at a car, for example. Anyways, this seat is AMAZING. Peter used the stock frame which was supplied with the truck (the seat that came installed was from a 1970 Fury 4 door). He refinished, painted, fixed the springs, added new foam… and kept the fabric aligned perfectly. I know it looks a bit purple in the pictures, but it’s actually a nice deep blue.
This is a nice step forward… I can make vroom vroom noises now!
I always appreciate a good “reusal” of parts to either change their intended function, or to keep their original function but in a slightly different way. Using body trim tastefully from one model on a different car comes to mind. The reused part needs to fit the theme, however, and not merely look like it was used because it was 8:45 on a Sunday night, and the auto parts store workers were on strike.
In removing the original leaf spring rear suspension on the Sweptline, I ended up taking the bump stops off the frame too. They weren’t lined up with axle centerline, and I decided I could use the space outside the rails where they were sticking out. Also, they were going to be in the space I needed to remove for step notch clearance. I like the piece itself; just not where it was mounted.
After the notches were installed, I started to think about bump stops and remembered I still had the originals, so I cleaned them up, made a few tweaks, and present them to you now!
You can see where the bump stop on the outside of the rail would interfere with the area to be cut out for axle clearance.
I felt the rubber was a bit too hard, so I added (er- took away?) some holes to let the material collapse a bit.
Surprised bump stop is surprised.
The bump stop will be contacting the axle instead of the leaf spring, and since the bracket holding it to the frame was lower than the actual rubber, I had to trim it.
I also cut a little notch in the frame edge of the bracket for water drainage. The sandblaster really cleaned them up, including the rubber!
I won’t be installing them until I have the truck sitting with the Shockwaves fully collapsed so I know where it actually needs to be. They’ll be welded to the inside of the frame rails on the step notch.
With a wheel opening that’s not three sides of a perfect square, you’re going to have to spend some time deciding what looks right to you. When you’re installing a new rear suspension, you have the ability to fine tune the wheel location, and fine tune you should. Look how the gap ahead of the tire opens up substantially in the first picture. This is why it’s important to have at the very least the diameter of the tires you’ll be using. If I was using a shorter tire, it might look better a little closer to the ground, for instance. Have a look at the pictures and let me know if you agree with our determined wheel centerline.
We measured from the door opening on the cab just in case the box had shifted a bit since I already took the bed bolts out.
To transfer the centerline to the frame, we could have used a laser level, OR just let a string hang between the axle centerline marks on your fenders, then pull it up slowly till it reaches the frame and make a mark.
I think this frame will be great for a four link. We can mount the lower bars outside the frame rails which will leave a lot of room for exhaust, etc.
I don’t think a step notch will be necessary at this ride height, which will be great because we won’t have to modify the bed floor.