Creating KITT's Firewall Pad, Part 1

posted Feb 16, 2013, 8:14 PM by Jonathan Imberi
We began work on KITT's firewall pad today. Because the original firewall pad was not salvageable I am creating a firewall pad based on RAAMaudio's suggestions using layers of RAAMmat BXT II and Ensolite. To construct a firewall pad, RAAMaudio suggests a complete application of BXT II, followed by strips of Ensolite with gaps in between, then a complete layer of BXT II and a final outside layer of Ensolite.

Here are two pictures of the firewall area before we started this morning.

The first thing I did this morning was remove the old pad's retaining clips.

I also removed the last firewall sealant patch.

Next I vacuumed as much of the dust and dirt off the firewall as I could.

Sara used her new pink ear muffs that her Dad got her for Valentine's Day while I vacuumed. Thanks Sara for all your help today!

It would be difficult to install the RAAMmat on the firewall with the steering wheel in the way.

So I removed the steering wheel. I should have done this before we painted. It would have been a lot easier.

There are three bolts securing the plate and seal to the firewall and two nuts on the C style clamp that hold it up.

With these removed, I pull the steering column out of the firewall and out of the car.

Next I cleaned the entire firewall with foaming glass cleaner so it would evaporate quickly.

Here it is cleaned and ready for action.

I applied the first sheet of RAAMmat BXT II in the center and shaped it around the contours of the firewall's dash support.

While I was flattening out the first sheet of BXT II, I noticed part of the C clamp for the steering column could be separated. Removing this would give me better access to the firewall's dash support.

I removed the single bolt while Sara held the bracket.

The bracket has been removed. It does not look like it gained me much from this picture but it is no longer blocking access to the bottom of the dash support.

Here is the dash support completely covered with a layer of BXT II.

The BXT II is easy to cut with either a utility knife or a scissors.

These are pieces we've cut off bigger sheets. We pieced a lot of the firewall together with smaller pieces because they are easier to work with in tight spots. We are making sure to use all of the pieces so we are not wasting any.

Here are two installation pictures. We cut out all of the holes in the firewall.

Here is what we had accomplished by 6PM. We went to Menards tonight to get a small hand roller to smooth the BXT II. The instructions say this is not required and it is easy to work with, but I would like to get it as smooth as possible. I was using the handle of a screwdriver to smooth the BXT II into the indentations and corners of the firewall, but I am hoping the hand roller will work better.

Our goal is to finish the firewall pad tomorrow.