With the e-brake lever more or less where it belongs, we face another challenge: the heater control.
As VW freaks know well, the company attached several levers to the parking brake mounting frame, all for controlling the flaps and doors that allow hot air into the passenger compartment.
Bridget was blessed with good heat–the builder ducted the engine heat into the tunnel, whence it exits behind the legs of both driver and passenger. The passenger side retains a sliding valve to control flow there as well. Primitive, yes. But far better than what was available from Abingdon in 1950, and better even than most Bugs had through the 60s, at least.
To retain this feature requires fabrication of a bracket to hold the control lever (only one of the levers is in use), which must be done in tandem with the new plate to cover the hole we just made removing the e-brake lever. Here’s the basic idea:
Getting this strong enough took a bit of gusseting.
Making a platform to bolt the fire extinguisher to was also on the agenda, and with that decided to modify the tunnel to look more like the transmission hump of a TD.
Here’s a shot of an actual TD shifter remote control, before the final cover is placed on it.
Note how the shifter sits about 2 1/2 inches above the level of the tunnel. This is very noticeable when you look at a parked TD; the parking brake lever ends up just lower than the bottom of the shifter, which is housed in this round housing attached to the longer piece. To approximate this look I took a piece of swagged exhaust pipe I had lying around the shop, and added a piece of 2×3 steel stud.
Turns out there’s plenty of room for the shifter this way, and with the rug on top, it will look a lot more like a TD hump than the VW tunnel it is. Now to fabricate the fire extinguisher bracket, which must be relieved to clear the heater controls and also strong enough to handle the weight of the bottle.
Riveted it all together and then attached with SS sheet metal screws. The fire extinguisher holder will be screwed through the bracket and into the thinner stud material below to firm up this admittedly baroque rig. The rear cradle is left loose for now; rug will cover everything except that. There’ll be a hold down strap too.
Now on to the pedal assembly.