Project Split Personality AC and Audio Install

Covering Interior Features, A/C, And Audio Systems

Rich & Barb Lagasse Feb 22, 2009 0 Comment(s)

Another change we wanted to make was to convert to a three-point seatbelt system. We chose a set from Juliano's Hot Rod Shop in Connecticut. The installation followed their directions for the mounting points. Basically, that involved welding in the lower mounts for the belt retractors and the upper mount for the shoulder harness in the B pillar and bolting the seatbelt clasp to the seat frame. You can find a good location for the shoulder belt mount in a depression already present in the B pillar as it's at just the right height. You'll have to drill through the halo panel and notch the molding around the door openings slightly to clear the mounting bolt. We've become accustomed to three point belts in modern cars, and this proved to be a worthwhile change. (See photo 02: installed seat/shoulder belts)

Dash-Area Gauges, Underdash Panels, Pedals, And Glove Box
The dash was changed in several respects. The main changes involved filling in the original speaker hole, installing new defrost vents, reconfiguring the center of the dash to house two additional gauges and the A/C outlets, along with the audio control unit and Vintage Air control panel. The dash "eyebrows" were also covered in medium grey leather, and the center of the dash was covered in lighter grey leather. The gauge cluster was changed to install custom gauges from Classic Instruments, and both the gauge panel and restored glovebox were painted grey to match the leather.

The gauges were made to our design by Classic Instruments who did a great job. They will work with you to make exactly what you want. We chose to have a spun aluminum background, stainless bezels, domed lenses, and they even painted the needles in our special red. We also sent them our Pro-Classic logo which they silk-screened onto the gauge background. The usual type of gauges were used for the gauge cluster, and two additional gauges (fuel pressure and exhaust temperature) were placed in the center dash area. The speedometer reads to 200 mph and the tachometer to 10,000 rpm-just wishful thinking on our part. (See photos 03: gauge cluster; and 04: center dash area.)

We made several new panels, including the kick, radio, and underdash panels. The new radio panels are the location for two additional A/C outlets and speakers. We also wanted to cover the underside of the steering column area and the A/C evaporator. New kick panels were also made. All of the panels were made using aluminum, which helps to retain their shape, and they were covered in leather. We also mounted courtesy lights in the underdash panels on both the driver and passenger sides which match the billet dome-light design.

To get as smooth an area as possible under the dash, several components were moved to new locations. For example, the fuse panel was moved inside the driver-side vent recess, the high/low beam switch was moved to the turn signal stalk, and the area of the floor forward of the pedals was filled with dense foam. This allowed for a clean and flat area for the new panels and carpeting. (See photo 05: fuse-box location; photo 06: kick panel; photo 07: radio panel; and photos 08 and 09: underdash panels)

New billet-aluminum pedals were made by Lokar to fit the stock pedal arms. A matching throttle pedal was also sourced from Lokar. We also smoothed the pedal arms, polished the leading edges, and painted the sides to match the upholstery for a more custom look. The throttle pedal is a fly-by-wire unit from a C6 Corvette which works great and prevented the need to run a cable in the engine compartment. (See photo 10: billet clutch, brake, and throttle pedals)

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