Well I got a little time aboard the Lancer today, it sure is a great way to put your mind in neutral and just coast for a while.
Here's the original condition of the strut support and mufflers. The strut support has some sort of a heavy duty steel plate with aluminum spacers, which bring up immediate concerns about dissimilar metals and corrosion. The mufflers are fed by a larger diameter pipe but they are reduced at the outlet side into the original copper pipes. Of course, with a 427 going into this rig the exhaust pipes are going to be a lot bigger.
I pulled out the old mufflers which still look pretty good, but looking inside I see the copper pipe was stuffed so far inside the muffler that it was up against one of the baffles, which is not such a nice thing for performance and efficiency. These mufflers are being set aside as I doubt if they are usable with the 427 concept.
Once I got the mufflers and pipes out of the way I went to work on whatever the heck it was down there holding the strut in place. The nuts came off and I was surprised to see they were silicon bronze, as were the bolts. The aluminum blocks had suffered from corrosion, but the raw steel was really deteriorated badly, and it flaked off.
Here's a close up, bolt looks okay actually, but see all that aluminum oxide, it was once aluminum! And that rust colored stuff was once steel.
Well after a little tapping and the use of a large visegrip, these aluminum blocks actually came free. Thankfully whatever they used in the way of sealant allowed this to break loose, or maybe all the corrosion just let it break. Obviously all of this will be redone in a first class manner. I put two nuts back on one of the bolts, placed the aluminum block on top, and struck it lightly with a hammer, it pushed down nicely so they'll come out.
New helm seats are on the way now, they should be here in Nashville in a day or two. They're Todd seats, and they look very much like the original seats installed in some of the Lancer models. I thought I may as well not put in cheap seats, since this particular boat will probably remain in the family for the duration. Other issues, the 72C Velvet drive has been located for a good price, I just need to get it on the road UPS, stay tuned. That 427 has the same side to side bolt pattern as a small block, amazing!