A Bitchin Steering Wheel Cowl For Your JZR
After having the kit on hand and studying some pictures of the old racing versions of the 3-wheeled Morgans, I made up my mind to not use the kit windshield. I wanted a more vintage racing look. Of course an areoscreen is a great way to convey that look. But, something is missing!
I soon found out what was missing... Those vintage racers had an element I did not...
A steering wheel cowl! The little "bump" just under those areoscreens; that was the missing element! I wanted and needed one to get the exact look I was after.
So, I brooded for a couple of days...and muttered words I cannot print here as I searched for one. But, then as I flipped through a magazine at the grocery store I saw one! Or, I saw what I felt I could easily make one out of...
Enter a company named "Bitchin Products" out of Prescott, Arizona. There pictured in their ad was a replacement transmission cover for a 1928-1931 Ford as shown below.
And, a view of the other side below.
And, below you can just make out the word "Bitchin" that is stamped into the metal.
The transmission cover does not exactly fit as it comes. The first change that needs to be addressed is the sheet metal lip. The lip was formed to fit the contour of the area where it will be mounted on the front bonnet. I formed it using some good old fashion hammer and dolly action.
The hammer forming took me about 2 hours, hammer a little and check it against the bonnet......hammer a little more and check it against the bonnet......and so on until I worked all the way around the lip. Below is a picture of the finished work.
In the picture below you see a side view of the cowl and the bonnet. You can see that I cut the rear edge of the transmission cover to an agreeable finish with the bonnet. This was done with a pair of metal snips, cutting along a scribed line made on the sheet metal - in the desired location. One word of caution here - when you cut, its forever! So, please make sure the line you make is exactly what and where you want it!
The pictures below are some more views of the raw cowl and the front bonnet.
The above view shows the back of the cowl - Hey! A place to put the gloves and goggles!
This view shows a transmission cover as it comes vs the modified one clamped to the front bonnet. There really was not all too much work to this. The most time consuming was the sanding. After hammering the lip to fit the bonnet's curve, I had to sand the hammer marks out.
These two final pictures are of the cowl and bonnet mocked up on the JZR. All in all not bad for a day's work!
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