With the steering wheel moved back to allow the driver to sit lower, the gear lever was too short, unless you are built like a chimp. It also needed something to locate it in space but still let you change gear.
No problem for lengthening the lever because I had two of them, the original and one from a wreck we got near Almonte. So, I simply cut a 4.5″ long piece from the wrecks’ and welded it into the middle of the original. With a bit of grinding and polishing, it slid nicely in its sleeve, and you can only see the joints if you look really closely.
The next problem was locating the lever. On the original, the inboard end attaches to the front edge of the parcel shelf. Oops, hang on, I forgot all about a parcel shelf. So, to provide something to support one, I cut a length of 1×1 thinwall box section and welded it in. Tada!
Well that was all well and good but the lever needed a front pivot mount. Not a big deal, a simple piece of 1×1 welded at 90 degrees plus a couple of triangles out of 16 gauge took car of that problem.
But another problem cropped up. There is always another one isn’t there? Because the lever is so much longer, the gearbox end just flopped around in space when your worked the lever instead of operating the gearbox. What to do? What to do?
So I took a leaf from the design of early 2cvs. The early models had a support arm that attached the gearbox-end of the lever to the firewall and allowed the lever to move up and down but not left to right. So I just copied the idea and here is the result. In this picture you can see the mount made of 1×1 and the two triangles that hold the front gear lever buying in place. If you look in the background, you can see the horizontal support arm that constrains the gearbox-end of the lever so it cannot move from left to right. The support clamps to the sleeve surrounding the lever.