Looking at the pictures hereabouts, it would appear we jumped a long way since last month, doesn’t it? Mounting the body to a chassis can make it seem that way, and can be a huge morale booster when tackling a project. What we’ve actually done in the intervening weeks is mount the body and bed, gas tank and radiator, and install the windshield, lights, and engine dress-up items. However, this part of the build has involved a certain amount of fabrication, drilling and tapping holes, and cutting fiberglass. Now that we’ve stopped itching, we can write about it!
As supplied by Speedway, the body has six small holes in the floor that align with the top of the chassis ’rails. These were used to mark the chassis, which we then drilled for rubber well nuts. With the body mounted, we trimmed the sides of the pickup bed to clear the suspension and rearend (the Tribute T isn’t designed to have a pickup bed) and bolted the bed to the tub, then fabricated mounts to bolt the rear of the bed to the frame. With the windshield mounted, and the ’50 Pontiac rear lights fitted, all we need to do before the body gets prepped for paint is cut the holes in the dash for the gauges.
We deliberately powdercoated the chassis at the very beginning of this project, to show that the T could be built without having to do any welding, so everything we attach to the chassis has to be drilled and tapped. As the framerails are relatively thin, we opted to employ fine threads wherever we had to tap, so the gas tank, radiator and grille shell, and headlights are all secured using 5/16-24 bolts.
It may look like a car at this point, but we still have paint, upholstery, and wiring to come. We are, however, still on schedule, and next month should see it in color. See ya then!