My first welded part – a shifter mounting bracket

Let’s go weld!

In short: functional, not very pretty, but getting better at welding.

So now that I have my awesome new welder, I’ve been putting together little things here and there. They’re things which normally would have been a pain to have to find a way to screw together instead. I’m still working on getting the wire feed speed and voltage settings right for each task, but I can weld stuff together that doesn’t necessarily need to win a beauty contest (i.e. it won’t be visible). On the welder there’s a guide for the settings based on metal thickness, but it clearly states that it’s only a guide.

The first bigger part which I needed to do was to fabricate a mounting plate for the shifter. The shifter has a base that’s about 3″ wide and 8″ long. It somehow needs to be affixed to the top of the aluminum frame under the center console, which is 2″ wide and 4″ high. There are a few different approaches, but I went with one where the bracket is shaped like a “pi” symbol and mounts with through-bolts to the driver and passenger side of the frame (pics below will make more sense…). This of course starts with cutting metal into the three pieces I needed:

Cutting the pieces

Above is the cut for the rectangular top piece and below are the two sides. The odd shape is to accommodate the mounting screws on the bottom.

Shifter bracket bottoms

I drilled the mounting holes in the top plate and went to work in mounting the sides. Below is the weld I was able to lay down (bracket is upside down in the pic):

Tim’s first major weld

Then comes a quick coat of paint:

Painted shifter mounting bracket

And here is the bracket on the car. Well, it’s actually not yet mounted with the through-bolts to the car, because I want to wait until I can properly align the seat, steering column, pedals and shifter – but it’s ready to go:

Shifter ready to be bolted to frame

 

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