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Thread: 39 Ford Project

  1. #191
    Registered Member Custer55's Avatar
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    Progress Update

    Next up was to check all my clearances and finalize the engine and transmission positions.



    I added a piece of t-bar from an old garage door opener to the balancer that would set across the frame so I could set the engine height and get it centered more easily. Hard to see in the picture but I have a bracket with a threaded adjuster that sits on the crossmember to get the engine level side to side also. I got the transmission set in place at the rear with a piece of square tubing and some shims sitting on the original x-member.



    With the heads and intake bolted in place I pulled and HEI distributor from another engine to check for clearance to the firewall. I had to move the engine forward about an inch to have just a bit more than 1/4" clearance. It will be tight but it should work fine without doing anymore modifications on the firewall.



    Another view shows how tight it is but everything else will have plenty of clearance.



    Next I bolted the fenders and grille back on to check how much room I would have for a radiator and fans and figure out how big of a radiator would fit. The 39 standard is narrower in the front and the stock radiator is 16" wide vs 19" wide on a 39 deluxe.



    Even with a long water pump and fan looks like there should be plenty of room for a radiator. (flex fan is for mock-up only, I won't be using it) I do have a short water pump available which I found later so that will be an extra 1" plus clearance.



    With the hood sides set in place it almost looks like a car again.



    I ended up making a cardboard mock-up of a 39 deluxe - 40 ford radiator because speedway had a Griffin radiator for them as a garage sale item at $215. vs the regular price of over $900. With my short water pump in place It looked like I could maybe make it work with a mechanical fan or electric fans in front of the radiator. Very tight to the hood sides though. I was going to call them to get some exact measurements of the radiator but when I checked back on their website they had already sold it. So much for that plan. They do have some universal fit radiators that will work for around $300. so not the end of the world but of course those will need custom mounts etc. so a lot more work than one that would pretty much bolt in.



    Another view with the cardboard mock-up. Really tight at the hood sides so probably better to get a radiator closer to the original size anyway.
    So with the engine position finalized time to work on the motor mounts and transmission crossmember. I ended up ordering a trans pad and motor mount cushions from Speedway Motors for that project.
    Brian

  2. #192
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    I wish that my 72 K/5 Blazer had the firewall clearance you have. Good news I have got away with very little clearance for almost 40 years.

  3. #193
    Registered Member Belair-o's Avatar
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    Hey Brian,
    Really nice to see the shape forming up in the pics! What big advances you are making, as so many subassemblies you have built start to coalesce. Thanks for sharing your process and build!
    Regards, Doug

  4. #194
    Registered Member Custer55's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markm View Post
    I wish that my 72 K/5 Blazer had the firewall clearance you have. Good news I have got away with very little clearance for almost 40 years.
    Quote Originally Posted by Belair-o View Post
    Hey Brian,
    Really nice to see the shape forming up in the pics! What big advances you are making, as so many subassemblies you have built start to coalesce. Thanks for sharing your process and build!
    Regards, Doug
    Thanks Mark and Doug.
    I will be posting some updates shortly.

  5. #195
    Registered Member Custer55's Avatar
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    Progress Update

    With all the mock up done to confirm engine and transmission position time to make up some motor mounts and a trans crossmember. I ordered a transmission pad and motor mount cushions from Speedway Motors and built the rest myself.



    For the plates that bolt to the block I had some old mounts from my mock up block that I ended up cutting up to use the flat part that mounts to the block only.



    I made the rest of the mount out of some 2 1/2", 3/16" wall square tubing that I had on hand. After laying out the position on the plate where they would weld together I cut slots in the plate to make a good strong weld joint.



    With the 2 pieces tacked together I have my digital angle finder to make sure it ends up at a 45 degree angle to the plate that will mount to the block. I know it says 44.5 but when I put the angle finder on my table it was .5 in the opposite direction so in total it is at 45 degrees. I have the bolts in the plate because the factory piece was not a completely flat piece as it was a stamped out mount.



    View on the backside of mount. Once I run a couple of weld beads on this side the mount will be very strong.



    While the mount was just tacked up I did check to make sure it would fit well. Looks good from this angle.



    With an old exhaust manifold from a 77 Chevy pickup bolted in place there is plenty of clearance to the mount. These manifolds are the style that go down under the spark plugs so any type I end up using should be fine. And it looks like there should be enough clearance for the steering shaft and universals. The motor mount cushion and frame mount will end up closer to steering shaft but it should be fine.



    So with all that confirmed I built the 2nd mount and got them both welded up.



    Next was building the mounts for the frame. These I made out of 3/16" flat plate with the bend at the ends to act as a gusset plate to the frame rails.



    This is the motor mount cushion I will be using. It also has a rubber bushing that sits under the frame mount and a shoulder bolt that holds it to the mount on the block which sits on the top of the cushion.



    Here the frame mount is fitted up to the frame. Since the rubber cushion will be about 1" high when it is bolted in a compressed by the shoulder bolt I made a spacer out of 1" square tube to hold the frame mount in the correct position for welding to the frame. At this point I just have 1/4" holes in everything that will just act as pilot holes to eventually drill them out to the proper size which will be 7/16" for the block mounts and 1 1/16" for the frame mounts.

  6. #196
    Registered Member Custer55's Avatar
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    Update continued




    Drivers side fitted up as well. With both fitted up at the same time I tack welded them in place. Hopefully this way it will all fit well once they are all welded up. Not much margin for error with this style mount set up but it should work well.



    With the frame mounts fully welded I got the holes drilled out to size. These were kind of a pain since I had to do it with a hand drill and my step bit I had went from 1" to 1 1/8" and since I needed a 1 1/16" hole I ended up drilling them to 1" and then used a half round file to finish them out to size. The block mounts were easy as I could just unbolt them from the block and drill them out to size on the drill press.



    So on to the transmission crossmember. I made this with 3/16" plate as well. My need for a shop press and a press brake reared it's ugly head again on this one. I had to use my welding torch to heat and bend this up which does a decent job but a press brake would make the job much easier and faster. I needed a 3/4" jog up to the trans pad on this so I made a 45 degree bend first, then clamped it down to my welding table and tack welded a 3/4" piece of rectangular tubing to the table, then heated and bent the tab over onto the tubing to get the jog I needed.



    To make sure this would not have any flex to it I added a 1" rib in the center and gusset plated to the trans pad tab.



    View from the bottom side shows the gusset plates added to that side of the trans pad. Should be plenty strong with these welded in.



    The last step was to weld in nuts on the frame so I will just need bolts from the bottom to bolt it in place. I trimmed back the original x-member a bit but left enough in place to add the original cross member back in and have two extra bolts on the trans crossmember. On the sides where I widened out the x-member I welded the nuts to plates bent to a 90 degree angle so that they are also welded into the upright part to the frame to add some strength at that point.



    The last step of the x-member modification was to weld the original frame cross member back in place. I debated over if I even need this back in place and/or modifying the original pieces vs just making something all new. As I had been working on the trans cross member It became pretty obvious it needed to be in there as I noticed the outer frame rail would actually twist when I stepped on the running boards. I ended up trimming the original piece and modifying them to fit as you can see in the photo. I think this was the right call as I was able to mostly bolt them back in place to outer frame rails using the original rivet holes. That way I only had to clean up a couple of spots to weld vs cleaning up the entire inside frame rail to completely weld in something new. They for sure do the intended job as there is no twist at all in the outer frame rail now when stepping on the running board.



    View of the cross member from the front of the car. I will eventually get some shorter button head bolts on the ends so they look more like rivets but it looks good for now.



    With the mock up block and transmission back in place and on the new mounts everything has plenty of clearance.
    Everything bolted up good without having to fight with it as well so that was a relief.



    And lastly the view from the front of the engine. My only concern with this style of engine mount was clearance for the steering shaft but it looks like that won't be a problem at all. The harmonic balancer (6 3/4") is a bit close to the steering rack but should be fine as it clears by close to a half inch. If I end up needing more clearance It would be easy enough to add a spacer between the motor mount cushion and the block mount. I plan to make sure I install the floor boards with enough clearance that the transmission could be raised a bit also if needed.
    So now finally I can get back to working on the floor boards!!
    Brian

  7. #197
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    Looking good, Brian. Nice work, you’ve been busy!

  8. #198
    Registered Member BamaNomad's Avatar
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    Outstanding fab work (as usual for you), Brian!

    PS. I think I recall you saying you planned to sell this car when finished... I suspect you may change your mind after all the work you've put in, and the great quality to your work! I'm wishing it were mine!

  9. #199
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    looking good...

  10. #200
    Registered Member busterwivell's Avatar
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    That kind of work just amazes me. I should just throw out my tool boxes. Outstanding work, Brian!

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