Thanks for the input....
The lowered seating position is a compromise. The pedals are already hanging as is the gas pedal ( most of which will get redone with somewhat more modern parts ). For me, the seating position feels much better. I don't mind having my knees up a bit, but I hate being compressed forward and having my knees up at the same time. Even with my butt at the same distance to the firewall, having the seat leaned back helps a TON. Visibility is a trade off. Getting my butt 2-3" lower should help greatly with the 'feel' of the chassis making it feel much more stable. I don't want a cage taller than the windshield....and I don't want it sloped up in the back.....its just a personal taste thing. Really, the seating position is only going to be about 2-3" lower than it is with the factory seats. The biggest change is that I will be leaning the new seats back ( or at least the backs will not be at 90 degrees to the base ).
This little guy will NOT be getting a full top or doors. Its very easy to just lean over and look out the side to double check stuff. I find myself doing this a lot more than looking out over the hood. On the highway I currently look at the top of the windshield or over it....very annoying.
The frame model picture is incomplete as far as structure. I apologize for that. This was just a model for the layout of the side plates for the laser cutter, and to get an idea of how much material to order. There will be a cross member in the factory 'machine gun' location ( basically right at the rear spring hanger location ) The engine mounts will be tied together left to right. The cage will also be tied into the frame in 6+ locations. The cage is going to be 1.5, .120 DOM. This isn't going to be a race car, the cage is just going to be simple and clean. No matter what the new frame can't be any worse than the factory frame! The factory frame is basically spaghetti. Its only boxed from the motor mounts to basically the 'belly' area. There is nothing at the ends...just .090 c-channel.