Tuesday, December 24, 2019

'36 Ford roof...

I decided about a week before the Race of Gentleman event this year that I wanted to finally go.  The plan was to drive the '36 3 window that I had replaced the lower half of the body several years ago.  However, the forecast for the drive was rain and with no roof insert, that would be miserable.  So, I needed to build a roof, even if it was only temporary.

Someone over the years attempted to install a sunroof.  It appears that they used a hatchet..

In order to hold it in, I first need a frame.

Once I had the frame, I rolled a piece of aluminum sheet on the English wheel to get a nice crowned panel.  The edges where then folded over the framed.

It's way more waterproof than before!

'65 Mercedes Floor repair...

We had a customer drop off a '65 Mercedes 220 SE that had some previous floor "work".  As you can see, the owner wasn't too pleased with the quality of what was done. 

Here is the previous "work"...I understand that it all gets covered with carpet, but...

Everything had to come out.  The owner actually was able to find replacement panels that made it a bit easier.  However, with most patch panels, they are not quite big enough.

As with most floor repairs, it is always worse than what it first appears.

All patched up as close to original as we could make it for the budget we we given.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

'46 Chevy Truck...

I met this customer several years ago when he started putting this truck together.  His grandfather bought this thing new and it has been on his family's farm every since.  His goal was to get it back together but still use it like a truck.  He definitely wanted a 5 speed for it and so I rounded up all of the parts he needed for the swap.

Well fast forward 3 years later and the truck is all together and on the road.  However, it handled like a stock '46 Chevy truck and was legitimately scary to drive over 60 mph.  So, with a little help from Fatman Fabrications, we installed a new front end and addressed a bunch of little issues.

Here it was when he drove it over.  Overall a fairly respectable looking old truck.

Even though the original front end was completely rebuilt, there was a lot of wear in the steering components...

Before the Mustang II could be put in, the frame had to be boxed...

The rack interfered with the original front cross member and original front motor mount.  This forced us to move the motor mounts to the side of the engine.


The inner fenders also interfered with the suspension hats.

There were a lot of little things that needed to be done like fix an AC leak and recharge it.

Not much difference on the outside, but it drove like a completely different vehicle.  I wouldn't hesitate to take it cross country now.

Monday, April 8, 2019

'64 Merc T5 install continued....

Since the original transmission tunnel was in poor shape, it was cut out and a new removable tunnel was fabricated.

It was started by first  rolling a piece to about the correct size...

...then after an evening of hammering, shrinking, stretching, and some time on the English wheel, it fit fairly decently.

I love these things...weld nuts make everything better!

I was amazed how the original floor was not symmetrical at all.  The transmission and engine were centered in the car but the floor had a much more pronounced hump on the driver's side compared to the passenger's side.

Since the transmission I used had an electronic speedometer and the factory speedometer was mechanical, I could have either found and '83-'88 tail shaft or use a speedometer drive.  There are a couple of companies that are now offering these.  Dakota Digital and Speed Hut both have options.  Speed Hut's version can be used either with a VSS signal, GPS signal or a combination of both.  They were a bit more expensive and had a 3 week lead time.  Dakota Digital's box only uses a VSS signal but it was very easy to hook up and calibrate....just follow the directions.  Best part is that with their dealer network, I was able to get one within a couple of days.

I made a mounting bracket so that it could be mounted under the dash.  The box came with a 24" long speedometer cable that fit perfectly.

I used some more weld nuts...since I like them so much

'64 Mercury T5 install...the Ford Narrow Pattern bellhousing

A customer dropped this 1964 Mercury off for a T5 install. It has a 390 with a 3 speed. Originally, it was a three-on-the-tree, but someone decided to "install" a custom floor shifter.  Galvanized sheet metal and rivets....my favorite.

Apparently, they missed cutting the hole in the correct location....

The T5 is actually a hair shorter than the 3 speed. The shifter is in a much more favorable location.

I made an adapter for the Ford "narrow" pattern.  This adapter uses both T5 bolt patterns.  It worked out really well since the bottom holes of the Ford bellhousing line up with the late '93-'96 S-10 T5's.  The adapter kit included a new pilot bearing, a bushing for the release bearing, a new clutch disc and the adapter itself.

Since the floor was already a mess, I decided to just go ahead and cut it all out.  A new tunnel will be made to cover all of this up.

The cross member needed a bit of modification for the lower rear rod mount.

By modifying the original cross member, it was much easier to retain all of the emergency brake linkage.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Steam Power!

It's not every day that you get a chance to work on a steam powered vehicle.  This is a '37 Packard that was converted to steam in 1940.  The guy who built this used early 20's Stanley Steamer parts...actually, he used the entire drive train and then some from the Stanley.  It's a bit of impressive engineering.

The owner did get it running using compressed air...here's a video.

There were some issues that needed attention on the rear axle so it was dropped off at the shop for a rebuild.