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...


'50 Chevy Convertible Rewire...

Work has been progressing on the '50 Chevy convertible that is in the shop now.  Even though it came in for an engine swap, we decided to go ahead and replace the wiring.

I used an aftermarket harness from Speedway Motors.  I like this harness for the simple fact that it used a molded fuse box.  Many of the aftermarket harness are made from separate piece that are clipped or screwed together.

There really isn't much room under these Chevy dashboards.  I had to make a mount for the fuse panel that bolted to the driver's side hood hinge.  It's a little difficult to get to, but it was about the only place available. 



Whenever I wire, I always crimp, solder and heat shrink the connectors.  It makes for a very reliable connection that will be trouble free.



It is a good feeling when you finally put power to the harness and it all works like it suppose to.





Wednesday, August 22, 2018

We Are Back....

Back at in the shop...feel free to give us a call or send an email.




Also, you now can follow me on Instagram!

@thevintagemetalwork



Monday, August 6, 2018

Vacation time....







Finally!  It has been so busy and hectic around here that we needed some time away. 

The shop is going to be shut down from August 7th - 15th.  If you need something, feel free to call or email and I will try to help the best that I can.

Thank you.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

'50 Chevy Convertible Engine swap...


Since we are going with a 250 in place of the original 235, new mounts are going to have to be fabricated.  I also start with the transmission mount first.  This sets where the engine needs to be.

There was a bit of measuring and some math involved laying out what to cut.  The convertible frame lends itself nicely for a fairly elegant removable mount.




With the Mustang II front end the spring towers are somewhat in the way.  Also, since we used a bolt in front cross member, we opted to make the engine mounts bolt in as well.  You have to start somewhere, so we made the passenger engine side first and then moved to the frame mount.




There is a bit more to contend with on the driver's side, but it's basically the same process.





Not a lot of room, but the engine is in.  Now, on to the wiring...


'50 Chevy Convertible Front End...


By the the time the rear end was installed, the front end parts were finally delivered.  What's nice about these old Chevy's is that the entire front suspension just unbolts.  


We opted to use a bolt in Chassis Engineering front cross member kit.  There were some minor tweaks needed but overall all, it fit pretty well.


With the cross member in, everything else bolts to it.


To get the car to sit where we wanted it, we ended up using 2" dropped spindles.  The customer wants it to sit lower, but we are going to wait till the springs are installed and settle after some drive time.


Monday, May 21, 2018

1950 Chevy Convertible...

There has been quit a bit of activity since the last post.  We recently took in another customer's project that was suppose to be a quick engine swap.  However, as it happens so often, the project has snowballed into a full build.

The plan is for a new front end, a new rear end, a complete rewire and of course, an engine swap.


Since the plans changed a couple of days after the car was dropped off, all of the parts had to be ordered.  The first thing to show up was the TCI rear spring kit.  So, that is where things started.

The spring brackets bolted into the original holes with the exception of a couple of new holes needing to be drilled.  Because this car originally had a torque tube rear end, the center line of the rear end sat 2" behind the locator pins on the original springs. With this kit, the locating pins are in the correct location on the new springs which definitely simplifies the install.




The kit was fairly comprehensive and well put together with the exception of the u-bolt plates.  These placed the u-bolts approximately 1/2" away from the perches on each side.  As the bolts were tightened, the plates the wanted to bend.


I ended up making some new plates that kept the u-bolts close to the perches to prevent this bending, plus, I thought it looked better.




As for the rear end itself, the owner supplied a Ford 9" from a '57-'58 Ford truck.  It measured 61" from wheel mounting flange to wheel mounting flange.  The original rear end measured 60".  When mocked up, this extra 1" of width prevented the fender skirts from fitting so a narrower rear end was needed.  The other downside to the early truck 9" rear end is that they had a 12" x 1-3/4" shoe that is almost impossible to find a drum for.

After a bit of searching, we came up with a '57 Ford Fairlaine 9" rear end.  This one measured 58" from wheel mounting flange to wheel mounting flange.  These also had a narrow shoe that is difficult to find drums for but luckily I happened across a set of much more common '61 galaxy 11" x 2-1/2" backing plates and drums at a recent swapmeet.



The factory wheels are 15 x 5 with a 3-1/2" back spacing.  Using the Fairlaine rear end, a 15 x 6" wheel with a 3-1/2" back spacing works out almost perfect with the hubcaps and skirts.  There is a 1/2" between the skirt and hubcap and there is an 1" between the tire sidewall and the frame.



Since the 9" had a 5 on 4-1/2" wheel bolt circle, the pattern had to be changed to a 5 on 4-3/4" wheel bolt circle for the GM wheels.  While there are wheel pattern drill jigs available, I ended up making my own.



With the rear end bolted in, it's time to move to the front...