|The Sweet Manufacturing steering column is a sweet piece. It weighs 15 lbs less than the stock part and is infinitely adjustable for position|
At this point we decided to get rid of the stock heavy steering column, replacing it with a cool billet unit from Sweet Manufacturing. The Sweet steering column is adjustable for position via a machined billet aluminum mounting clamp that bolts to the forward cross member of our cage. The Sweet column also has an important safety feature in that it can collapse about 10”. This is so the steering column won’t spear you in a bad accident.
|The Steering column and seat mounted in the car. Now you can see how the seats thick composite head protectors can really help protect the drivers head and neck in a severe side impact|
We topped off our steering column with one of Sweets steering wheel quick release mounts designed especially for Sparco steering wheels. The quick release mount is important, we can remove the steering wheel instantly so it does not get in the way when entering or exiting the car. This is important for safety as it speeds the ability to get out of the car fast in an emergency.
|Sweet also makes this steering wheel quick release for Sparco steering wheels|
To finish off the cage, we welded in tabs for our Racer’s Wholesale window nets. The nets help keep body parts in the car and debris out of the car in a bad accident. We welded in the brackets for our Longacre master kill switch. This switch shuts off all of the cars power at once. The switch must be easily accessed by both the driver and emergency workers so we mounted it right by the driver’s side mirror. We also welded in the brackets for our fire system’s halon bottle and release handles at this time. To clean up the interior, we removed every unused bracket, stud and accessory mounting point from inside the car. These parts look ugly and can snag or injure the driver and mechanics working on the car. They also added up to nearly 10 lbs of unneeded metal.
|This section of the Sweet column is collapsible to help prevent the driver from getting speared in a bad head on collision. The Sweet part has more articulation and travel in this section than the stock steering column has|
After the construction of the cage and all of the interior welding was done, we proceeded to finish off the cars interior with some paint. Painting a race car interior is one of the things we hate the most about building a race car as its dirty, smelly and tedious work but it is an important step that must be done. The paint serves several functions; first it makes the inside of the car have a more professional finished appearance. Second it prevents corrosion of the raw welds and tubes of the roll cage. Third it helps reduce glare from being reflected around inside the car which interferes with the driver’s vision and finally it provides a surface that is easier to spot fluid leaks and to clean them up once they occur.
|The window net tabs were welded in as a final step|
We used off the shelf aerosol canned paint because the interior of a race car tends to get scratched and banged up and it is much easier to grab a spray can of paint to touch it up and to keep it looking sharp rather than bother with mixing some automotive refinish paint and dirtying up a spray gun. We prefer Rustolium Industrial enamel because it is nearly as durable as automotive paint, choosing dark industrial grey as the color due to its non reflecting properties.
|The master kill switch is mounted to the cage where it can easily be reached by both the driver and rescue workers|