The shifter tower is fiberglass and VERY near to the area I am going to be welding so I figured I should remove it first. Once I did I found a nice collection of seeds and hardware which might well have been there since 1967.
This is what the shifter and tower looked like when I removed it. This needs some cleaning up I think.
I took the shifter partly apart to clean it. Then I lubricated everything and put it back together.
The nuts holding the shifter to the fiberglass tower had been over-tightened and the washers were being pulled into the fiberglass. I do NOT want to think about what will happen if this breaks so I found some larger washers.
And this is my secret weapon. Nyloc nuts will let me just snug up the bolts and not have to worry about them coming loose.
The last nut was a bit of a problem because it was RIGHT under the reverse light switch. This tiny ignition wrench saved the day. This is now all ready to install when the welding is done.