We also made patch panels for the forward seat support area. This will add strength and minimize any rattles or squeaks. Once done, these panels were then ground smooth like the rear ones.
With the frame finished, we could then re-install the DSE tubs and begin welding them in place. We used our Miller MIG welder to place 1-inch welds about an inch apart around the bottom of the mini-tubs.
For the flange, we brought out the big gun: our spot-welder. If you don’t have a spot-welder, then you can just punch, or drill holes through the flange of the DSE tubs every couple of inches, then weld away.
With the new tubs secured, we could begin re-attaching all of the various brackets. First up, we welded the trunk hinge supports as shown.
Next, we tackled the seat back. As stated earlier, we felt it would be better to take out the distance from the center area rather than the ends. It might take a bit longer, but it yields a better finished product. This is also where we practiced the “measure twice, cut once” principle.
With the section removed we could re-install the end piece. After welding it to the middle section, we stitched it to the floor and DSE mini-tubs. Once done, all the welds will be ground down and everything will be painted.
Time to re-install the top mechanism brackets. By using the rods we tack welded in place, and the holes we drilled as reference points, we were able to precisely place the bracket in the same exact spot it was located before we started.
We had to slightly modify the lower flange for the bracket in order to get it lined up with the new tub. Once in place it was welded to the bracket and the tub. With the bracket secured, we could remove the rods we welded in earlier.
Here you can see the driver-side completely welded back together. Once seam-sealed and painted, we will be sure to bend the flange back over to protect the convertible top that will eventually reside there.
Here’s what the interior of our ’69 Dynacorn drop-top looks like with the DSE tubs installed and all the brackets re-attached. Once sealed and painted you would be hard-pressed to know this wasn’t a factory option. Keep in mind that some modifications will need to be made to the rear seat, but it’s nothing major.
Here is the outside view of the installed left and right DSE tubs. Before starting, we measured the available distance and came up with around 11 1/2 inches of room for a tire. With the DSE tubs installed we now had a whopping 14 1/4 inches of clearance. Even more if we rolled the wheel lip. At this point, all we needed to do was to seam-seal and paint, or undercoat.
And lastly, here’s the view from the bottom. It’s easy to see how the increased width of the tubs, combined with the frame notches, will allow for super-sized rear tires. Total install time for a coupe is around 35 hours, but since our ’vert was a bit tougher, it took us a few hours longer.