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Thread: 39 Ford Project

  1. #141
    Registered Member Custer55's Avatar
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    Progress Update

    Thanks for the kind words guys!!

    So on to the firewall replacement. Getting the old one out wasn't as bad as I thought it would be once I decided to not take it out in one piece. I started out with the intention of getting the old one out in 1 piece but it didn't take long to decide that wasn't going to be worth the effort.



    Here it is before starting on it. The upper part wasn't in bad shape but the battery box area was pretty rusted out. And since I will be putting a small block engine in eventually the original would have needed to be modified anyway so taking it out to replace it with a recessed version was an easy choice.



    After removing the hood support brackets at the top edge, drilling out about 100 spot welds and getting the battery box area cut out and removed.



    With the lower section completely removed.



    And finally completely removed. I had one of the Bitchin Products replacement front floor pans just set in place approx. where it will end up.



    And some shots of the lower cowl area that will need rust repair and some hammer and dolly work.



    And the outside of the cowl damage. These shots are of the drivers side. The passenger side is not quite as bad but will still need some repairs as well. The lower sections were made in 2 pieces that were spot welded together so I will probably end up drilling out the spot welds that hold them together, separate them, do the repairs and weld them back in place. About the only way I can see to do it the right way.



    Here is a shot of the first fit up of the new firewall. Looks ok in this picture but not fitting very well to the cowl.



    The first issue I found was the top part was wider near the top of the firewall while the cowl opening was not.



    So I took out a slice at the top corners and pulled it in at the corners. (No picture with it pulled in.) Then checked the fit again but it was still not going up in the opening like it should.



    So I set the hood in place to see how that fit to the cowl to figure out if the shape of the cowl was off, or if the shape of the replacement firewall was off. The hood fit pretty well to the cowl so firewall modifications it is.
    Brian

  2. #142
    Registered Member Custer55's Avatar
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    Progress update continued




    Another shot of how the hood fits to the cowl.



    So I made a carboard pattern to the upper part of the cowl opening and placed it under the firewall. Hard to see in the picture but the firewall is not shaped the same as my pattern. I bought this firewall over 25 years ago so no returning it now. The bottom corners will need to be pulled outward also to fit the cowl where I have the marks in the lower corners.
    This was supposed to fit 37 to 40 Fords. 39 Ford Tudor sedans not so much!!



    Here is a section of the original firewall that seems to fit the shape of my pattern much better.



    After cutting off the top flange of the firewall and clamping the flange and the lower section where they belong you can see how much of a gap will need to be filled in to make it all fit correctly.



    A more close up view of the gap to fill in.



    So I have everything held in position with sheet metal screws ready to start cutting some pieces to fill the gap.
    Funny thing is that the firewall and floorboard kit came with 4 or 5 pieces of 16 gauge flat stock about 5" x 18" so they must have known that they didn't fit all 37 to 40 Fords correctly when they made them. No mention of that in the directions though, go figure.
    Brian

  3. #143
    Registered Member Belair-o's Avatar
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    Hi Brian,
    That new firewall really smooths that area up, including what I would assume is the battery mount area?
    If you are handlining all that by your lonesome, I am really impressed. I would be needing two men and a boy, just to move the parts around and align them. Good work, good progress!
    Thanks for sharing your thread! Doug

  4. #144
    Registered Member Custer55's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Belair-o View Post
    Hi Brian,
    That new firewall really smooths that area up, including what I would assume is the battery mount area?
    If you are handlining all that by your lonesome, I am really impressed. I would be needing two men and a boy, just to move the parts around and align them. Good work, good progress!
    Thanks for sharing your thread! Doug
    Thanks, Yes that was where the original battery went. I am doing all this by myself for the most part. Luckily the hood on this car is fairly small so I can handle it by myself and not to worried about getting a few scratches in it right now as it is just in primer.

  5. #145
    Registered Member Custer55's Avatar
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    Progress Update

    With the top flange and firewall screwed into position time to make some filler pieces to make it all one piece again.
    The first step was to put the hood in place to check the fit again.



    With the hood set in position I verified the fit and noted where the cowl was a bit high vs a bit low so I could make my filler pieces to get the fit a little better. The cowl is a bit high in the middle and a bit low where my weld seams on the ends of the cowl vent door. Most likely due to a bit of distortion from that repair. The goal here was to get it as close as possible but no need to be perfect at this point. Once all the body repairs are done and everything is bolted together I can decide if it looks good or needs some more tweaking.



    Here is one of the filler pieces fit up ready to tack weld in place. I am doing these in about 5" sections as it would be about impossible to make one piece that would fit properly.



    Here I have 4 of the 5 filler pieces tacked in place. At this point I just want to get enough pieces tacked in place to hold everything in the proper position.



    And the last one fitted up ready to tack weld in place.



    With all 5 filler pieces tacked in place another check on the hood fitment. looks good yet. It's a good thing this car has a small hood so I don't need to get a helper every time I need to check the fit!!



    Of course the firewall flange at the top in the middle wasn't the correct shape either so I had to make a piece like this for each side to correct that.



    And the lower corners of the firewall didn't fit right either so I had to make about a 3" cut in each lower corner and tack in pie shaped pieces to correct that. So it's finally ready to take out the screws and take the firewall back out to finish the repairs. It will be much easier to do this out of the car.



    Out of the car easier to see where the top center flange needed to be extended.



    Adding the remaining filler pieces to fill in the gaps.



    And finally with all the filler pieces tacked in place. Just lots of welding and grinding to do to finish it up. It's a pain the butt to have to do all this extra work but at least it will fit properly when it's done. Next up will be to remove the lower cowl sections to repair the rust and dents, get them back in place and install the firewall for good.
    Brian

  6. #146
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    Nice work on making it all fit together. It’s amazing some times how much time it takes to get things to fit together as they should!

  7. #147
    Registered Member Belair-o's Avatar
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    Brian,
    That was a LOT of painstaking work as you snuck up on the fit - looks great!
    Regards, Doug

  8. #148
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    Keep up the good work.

  9. #149
    Registered Member Custer55's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Belair-o View Post
    Brian,
    That was a LOT of painstaking work as you snuck up on the fit - looks great!
    Regards, Doug
    Thanks Doug

  10. #150
    Registered Member Custer55's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markm View Post
    Keep up the good work.
    Thanks Markm
    Keeps me busy!!

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