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.


'50 Chevy delivered...


It's finally done and delivered back to the customer.  Onto the next one!






Thursday, November 15, 2018

We are still here....

So it's been a while since I have had time to do a post. 

This last month has been crazy and I apologize if I have been hard to get a hold of or haven't had your parts to ship.  There was a multitude of reasons why I wasn't able to dedicate the time needed over this last month to the business.  First and foremost, there was some family medical issues that had to be taken care of.  As much as I love this business and working with customers, my family comes first. 

As hard as I try to plan and only work on one big project at a time, things just so happened to line up where I was trying to jungle 3 large builds simultaneously.  While trying to help customers out, I put myself in a position where I simply couldn't keep up.

On top of it all, my CNC mill decided that it needed some time off.  I have to say that I learned quite a bit about the control systems on vintage Fadal machining centers while diagnosing the issues.

Well, finally, I am starting to get caught back up. The mill is up and running, the never ending '50 Chevy convertible is almost done and very shortly, I should have an empty shop to maybe work on my own project.

So, we are still here, still kicking, and still machining parts.  Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

'50 Chevy Convertible Engine Bay...

Since the motor was out of the car and the front end was still raw steel, we decided to tidy the engine compartment up a bit and paint it with Summit Satin Chassis Black.  We've used the Summit Racing brand paint in the past and it is pretty impressive.  It sticks to anything, it is a very tough finish and you can spill brake fluid on it and not hurt it.

Before we could paint though, there was a bit of rust to take care of...



I formed some 18ga over a dolly and post to get the approximate shape then cut out the rusty part...




After a bit of weld and grinding...


It's all ready for paint...


It always looks better when it is all the same color...



Love the contrast...still have to do something with the spark plug wires...