With the suspension wrapped up and the drivetrain mounts squared away, the next big hurdle to clear in our F-1 build is to mount the steering column and hook it up to the power steering rack that came with our Heidt's IFS kit. Before that, though, the cab needs to be firmly mounted to the chassis. We had previously set the cab on the frame and ran a few bolts through the mounting points when we installed the engine, which worked fine since all we were checking was firewall clearance, so it wasn't necessary to have the cab completely bolted down. With the installation of the steering system looming, it is absolutely essential that the cab be mated to the chassis using the correct mounting hardware and pads since we need to not only mount the steering column in the correct spot in relation to the existing pedal assembly, but we're also going to be using three universal joints, which requires mounting a support bearing to the chassis.
With that said, we called up our buddies over at National Parts Depot (NPD) to get the skinny on what we needed to mount the cab. They recommended their cab-to-frame bushing kit that comes with everything to mount the front of the cab correctly, along with a pair of arm assemblies for the rear of the cab. Antisqueak matting was also ordered up to run the length of the framerails to reduce any metal-to-metal contact between the cab and bed and the chassis. We're also going to be using a Totally Stainless hardware kit to mount all the sheetmetal, and our kit included some hardware to mount the cab as well, which will add some bling to our build.
The F-1 cabs attach to the chassis using three points: one at either side in front of the firewall, another pair inside the cab beneath the kick panels, and a dogbone arm assembly at the rear that acts as a suspension point of sorts. A set of donut-style bushings sit between the front four mounts to reduce interference between the cab and the chassis, while the rear arm assembly supports the back of the cab and keeps it off the frame.
As we mentioned before, mounting the cab correctly is not only necessary before we move on to the steering installation (which we'll cover in a future issue), but is essential as we begin to mount the front sheetmetal in preparation for the final fit and finish before any bodywork can begin. Like the statement made by Neil Armstrong as he first set foot on the moon, mounting the cab on our F-1 is one small step for this man, but one giant leap for our project, since the rest of the preliminary build hinges on the proper placement of the cab.
Here's the cab mounting hardware provided by Totally Stainless. This will handle the front
Here are the original rear cab arms and the brackets that attach to the chassis. Note the
A new pair of rear arms was ordered up from NPD to replace the rusted originals. The bushi