Chevette Update 5: Body Count (in da house!)

With the chassis and engine done, it is time to get this thing looking like a Chevette, for real! That means mating the interior, body and chassis into one glorious, beige testament to world-car engineering!

The windows went in nicely, but the firewall and dashboard didn't want to play with them. Getting things to sit properly, as you see them, was a pain!

The windows went in nicely, but the firewall and dashboard didn’t want to play with them. Getting things to sit properly, as you see them, was a pain!

I guled the windows in with some CA on the bars that go across the roof and then put some white glue down the edges of the windows, to help hold them in. This worked fine, and I’ve never used the CA trick on windows before. I am usually too nervous about fogging to put CA anywhere near glass. The windows kind of float a bit, though; they could go a bit backwards or a bit forwards. I picked the one that seemed to fit the best.

The interior, seemed to go in fine, but when I went to put the chassis on, it all hit the fan. Of course, the chassis won’t sit right! The transmission was hitting the floor too early. Why? The interior sat on the chassis just fine. Taking a closer look I noticed that the firewall was NOWHERE NEAR to touching the cowling. Why, you ask? Well, the dashboard and windscreen weren’t getting along. The seemed to fit fine before, but add in the chassis, and it’s clear that it’s not going to work. FML.

It all looks good from here, but there was a 1/8" gap between the cowl and firewall at one point. Oh, the rad shell was in the wrong place, too.  Note to self; I should have painted the front of the lower chin clip black. That haunted me later.

It all looks good from here, but there was a 1/8″ gap between the cowl and firewall at one point. Oh, the rad shell was in the wrong place, too. Note to self; I should have painted the front of the lower chin clip black. That haunted me later.

I had to rip out the dashboard and move it forward about 1/8 inch. I did this by  trimming off the locating tabs except for the last little bit. This moved the dash in and gave clearance for the bottom of the window between the dash and the firewall. As it turns out, the windows should have been installed a bit more backwards, to keep the bottom of the window level with the bottom of the cowl. How was I to know?

Once that was done, the whole thing almost fit. ALMOST. As expected, the front radiator clip was in the wrong spot. I had to break it out and then glue it into the proper place. The good news is that it matches the interior contours of the wheel wells excellently. The bad news; there’s no wiggle room!

The back end was a dream compared to the front. Things just went together as expected and designed. If only the other end had been so forgiving!

The back end was a dream compared to the front. Things just went together as expected and designed. If only the other end had been so forgiving!

Once the chassis was on, and the radiator clip glued in place, I glued the chassis into place. I’m hoping that this ting will stay together permanently, but there were a lot of bits that wanted to bend and twist. There was a slight warp in the chassis, too, making life difficult.

Eventually, I was able to get the engine bay accessories in, too. The battery fit nicely, but the little white tank was a pain. Also, while nicely detailed, the Master Cylinder should be at more of an upwards angle, I think. Oh well. The radiator hose and the air intake hose both fit well.

This kit has the best fitting radiator and intake hoses of any car I've built. Another testament to the fine engineering at MPC. I imagine the guys on the line at Chevy had more of a problem fitting these than I did. It was the '70s afterall...

This kit has the best fitting radiator and intake hoses of any car I’ve built. Another testament to the fine engineering at MPC. I imagine the guys on the line at Chevy had more of a problem fitting these than I did. It was the ’70s afterall…

The grille and front bumper fit on no problem as well. The positive location by large pins was a welcome bit of assistance, even though I broke one of them off during test fitting. Shoot.

Here it is with the front grille and bumper on. Still needs a hood, hubcaps and a wing mirror. I hate wing mirrors...

Here it is with the front grille and bumper on. Still needs a hood, hubcaps and a wing mirror. Hoodless and hubless… isn’t that how a lot of these things ended up in real life?

Well, it’s all done but the tiny stuff now. The next thing you hear about will be my final report! Go Chevy Thunder!

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