1986 Squarebody Project

by Scott Mason

Some big moves have happened since our last installment of updates. I’ve been jumping around on some of the tasks at hand, but powering through a few of the must-do items on the list. 

Most notably, the Bowler T56 Magnum is bolted up and the tunnel is trimmed out to allow the cab to sit on the mounts. A little more trimming is still needed for driveshaft clearance, but only after I get an actual driveshaft made. Shifter placement is spot on and the hand-to-steering wheel distance is very comfortable. 

The Vintage Air under dash unit is mounted semi-permanently. Hose routing will go through the former kick panel vent and will exit through bulkhead fittings custom mounted in the blower block off plate. I need to remove everything in order to put the final touches on the mounting brackets, so I’ll shoot a series of photos to show the complete installation in an upcoming issue.

Initial trimming on the Slosh Tubz has begun. I’ve removed enough material to get the passenger fender assembly to fit on the truck for now. Some strategic trimming will be necessary for access to the adjustment knobs on the triple adjustable Viking coilovers.

The biggest strides were made in the exhaust system. I was able to mock up and tack together the entire system from the headers to tailpipes. Everything is made from 3” 304 Stainless Works tubing from Summit Racing, mandrel elbows from Verocious Motorsports, and 8×14” Magnaflow stainless mufflers. A small redesign is in order to get the pipes to fit around a newly finalized panhard bar solution. Once that is complete, I’ll use my belt-style tubing polisher and clean everything with 400 grit before TIG welding while back purging each section for perfect penetration and that great coloring that everyone likes to see.

The seat bases were fitted to the floor of the truck. I fabbed up some adapter brackets to mount the Recaro seats to the Corbeau adapters and seating position is practically perfect. I’ve had a ton of questions about the seats. They are “Trophy” style Recaros originally from a 1991 VW Jetta GLI 16v and relatively rare to come across these days. This set is in near mint shape, but will be re-covered to match the new interior.

As final assembly comes along, I’ll dive into some deeper how-to features on some of the technical aspects of the installations in future issues. Stay tuned!

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