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Projects 1939 Ford Convertible Sedan Resurrection

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by The 39 guy, Sep 6, 2020.

  1. The 39 guy
    Joined: Nov 5, 2010
    Posts: 3,052

    The 39 guy

    Thaanks ,I like that new metal also!

    Thank you! This project waited through a 40 coupe, a 54 Mercury and several small projects for others I am happy to finnially be working on it. I hope your coupe is done soon.
    Yes and it also much easier to weld on than that 82 year old stuff....
    Thanks okiedokie !
    Thanks sshep! I have enjoyed our recent conversations and your CS is a beauty.

    Thanks Joel! I am still using .023 ESAB Easy Grind mig wire. I was just looking at the spool so I could answer your question. Looks like it is about time to buy another spool. This car has been a major fabrication project so far and the welder has been in constant use.
    kidcampbell71 and loudbang like this.
  2. The 39 guy
    Joined: Nov 5, 2010
    Posts: 3,052

    The 39 guy

    It's been over a month again since my last progress post. We have been working on the project but there seems to be a lot of other projects and family stuff causing some delays. This posts project was a fun one. It's hoovering around 100 degrees around here lately so hiding out in the air conditioned shop in the afternoons is a welcome respite after trying to keep my yard , plants and trees alive outside in the morning. I have been wondering if this is what living Arizona usually feels like.

    It's time for some mini wheel tubs. I installed tubs like this in my 40 ford coupe a few years ago. They have worked out fine, so I thought I would install some on the convertible sedan. I think the Tub will have a lower ride height than the coupe and will also be hauling passengers in that comfy back seat which would result in tire rub if I don't make this modification.
    After some careful measuring I made a rigid cardboard template.

    Then used it to lay out cut out for the wheel well.
    The cardboard template was also used to make the new wheel tub panel.
    After laying out some strengthening ribs we first ran the panel through the English wheel.
    We stretched the panel on the opposite side of the 18 gauge panel that we were to bead roll.
    Doingthis first keeps the panel from warping too much when bead rolled. It came out pretty flat.
    Some 18 gauge flat stock was bent 90 degrees and then contoured to match the contour
    of the wheel tub. The plug weld holes were drilled first.
    Test fitting to establish the width of the tub top.
    Self tapping sheet metal screws were used to rough in the top piece for welding.
    IMG_5848R.jpg IMG_5849R.jpg
    Lots of plug welds.

    Plenty of plug welds. Remarkably this panel did not warp from the welding.
    Metal finished the welds. with a flap disc.
    IMG_5852R.jpg IMG_5853R.jpg
    Tacked in. Notice the excess top metal which was trimmed off with a cut off wheel
    before final welding.


    I ran a full bead along the inside before cutting the excess off of the top of the tub.
    Then I ran a full bead along the outside edge before metal finishing.
    That heavy steel brace is a subject for another post.

    Looks like I will have ample clearance for the wheels.
  3. Pbbbbbbbt' !!!! :eek:

    WOW. Very, very, very .. nice work.
    The 39 guy and loudbang like this.
  4. sshep
    Joined: Oct 13, 2018
    Posts: 41


    Nice work Sam, thanks for the update on your CS.
    The 39 guy and loudbang like this.
  5. joel
    Joined: Oct 10, 2009
    Posts: 1,924


    Wow, Sam! As always, great detail showing your process. Your post could be the blueprint for people who want to run 8 in. wheels in the rear. I wanted to run 8s on my coupe and I could if I narrowed the rear ( dimension-ally the same as 69 Camaro) but I would have needed the modification you just did. I didn't have the balls or the idea.
    The 39 guy and loudbang like this.
  6. The 39 guy
    Joined: Nov 5, 2010
    Posts: 3,052

    The 39 guy

    LOL Kiid! Thanks!

    Thanks sshep! We are always stiving to do the best job we can.
    Thank Joel, It took balls the first time I did it on the coupe. I was a little more sure of the outcome on this one. I am still concerned about what effect it will have on the back seat area, especially the arm rests.

    So lets look at the passenger side rear door for awhile. It will probably take two posts to cover this subject since I took so many pictures.

    Like the trunk lid the bottom of the door frame was rotten but the skin was okay.

    This corner was really rotten.
    So we cut off the bottom leaving the folded over (pinched) door skin. To remove the
    bottom without having to distort the bent over door skin the door bottom was cut into
    three pieces. The pinched bottom edge was the carefully raised just a little bit to free it up.
    Then by gently tapping on the door bottom it came out of the pinch pretty easy.
    You can now see some of the area that was not exposed to the sand blast media years ago.
    Don carefully heated up the tar sound deaden-er and scraped it off of the door skin.
    Mineral spirits was then used to get surface to clean metal. As ugly as that tar insulation
    was it had done a good job of protecting the metal.
    Eastwood's Rust Dissolver was used to cleanup the rust. I really don't like this stuff. It is
    difficult to neutralize it when you are done cleaning.
    Anyway we got past that and spayed some primer on the cleans surfaces. That bolt in the
    center was used to maintain the shape of the door. Otherwise it would sag. Holes were drilled
    for plug welding.
    Don cut and bent some 18 gauge steel 90 degrees and then spent some time on the
    shrinker-stretcher to match the door contours.
    I tacked the top piece on first
    Then the bottom piece was inserted under the pinched flange.
    Note more plug weld holes were drilled into the bottom piece before installation.
    Plug welds now hold everything in place.
    I then ran a weld along the entire seam between the two pieces. This was to be the
    finished edge but I changed my mind later.
    a new corner was then formed from three pieces .
    We used similar technique as the door boottom for this piece .

    Fully welded with a little bit of weld on the doors edge also.
    You can see the piece we cut out of the corner on top of the door. Note that the
    new door corner is square. I later decided that was incorrect and rounded it off.

    Well, I'll have to finish this door project in another posting.

    Attached Files:

  7. That will be a strong door bottom. You were lucky to be able to get away without having to do anything with the skin itself.:)
    anothercarguy and kidcampbell71 like this.
  8. neilswheels
    Joined: Aug 26, 2006
    Posts: 934

    from England

  9. The 39 guy
    Joined: Nov 5, 2010
    Posts: 3,052

    The 39 guy

    Quote from Neilswheels:
    Nice work on the tubs, I see you pulled that last little but of the original inner fender bac as well. I fell foul of that the first side i did, had to cut it after and gently persuade it in a tad. Interesting to see how other people tackel the same job.

    Thanks Neil, yes we did have to make the cut following the same line as the template farther into the inner fender and then align the the two pieces before welding. Yes there are so many ways to accomplish the same goal. Sometimes we are limited by tools, skill or imagination but we get them done eventually. I would have liked to have a nice rounded top like the factory tubs often are but this will do.


    Yes we were very fortunate to not have to replace any of the door skin on this one. We have two other doors that will require re skinning. So we get the pleasure of learning that skill soon.

    Lets finish this door now.
    Bottom back corner required a patch.
    Similar technique was used here as on the other end.
    Finished weld came out pretty good on this one.
    So then I decided to round off the corners so the door would have a more stock appearance.

    This picture was taken to show the finished corner but it also shows that my bottom repair
    left a step down between the bottom patch and the inner door panel. I couldn't let this go
    so I decided to fill it in.
    I cut a piece of 18 gauge clamped it down and welded it to the door every 2 inches so
    it would be nice and tight to the inner door skin.

    I left the corner a little long and hammered it down into the rounded corner.
    I ended up doing a full pass of spot welds and then metal finished it. I also drilled the 3
    drain holes (1/2") in the bottom same as the original door.
    Finished! Looks original to me.
  10. Nicely done!
    loudbang likes this.
  11. The 39 guy
    Joined: Nov 5, 2010
    Posts: 3,052

    The 39 guy

    Thanks Tim! Glad you are watching and anxious to see your next post on your project.

    Door Latch Project:
    While we were working on the doors I decided to see if I could solve my missing door latch problem.
    I suppose my drivers side rear door latch, window ,window channels window regulator were misplaced when the door was stripped down for a a new door skin many years ago . When the car changed hands someone forgot to throw these parts into the car. It was a costly mistake (for me).

    I have looked for years for these parts with not much success. I was able to find a new door latch assembly O1A-6621800/1 and inside door handle assembly 81A-732412/3-NA from Bob Drake. They make full assemblies for some cars and trucks but not for convertible sedans. So that makes for another project.

    The new latch on the left comes with a lock mechanism which I cut off. You can see
    that the latches are not built exactly the same as the original unit on the right. What a surprise!
    In order to get the new latch to fit the door I had to cut the bottom of the door latch recess out at
    the red line and make the indentation for the latch a 1/2 in wider.

    A C clamp was used with a bridging piece of sheet metal to hold the new piece in place
    for welding.
    A piece of sheet was bent and welded into hole.
    Latch fits now.
    This link arm is not provided so a mirror image of the link had to be made.I had some
    1/8" sheet in stock so I traced the shape of the link arm onto the sheet and cut it out.
    I used the sawsall for most of this cut and the 4 1/2" flap wheel to shape the corners.
    A little work with the vise and hammer formed the ends.
    The handle assembly comes with this rivet and washer.
    I used this centering punch start the rivet forming. I also used regular punch in the rivet
    shaping process. The rivet worked well. I checked the catalog but could not find these
    sold separately. If any of you know of a source please let me know.
    A little paint on the link arm and the assembly installed easily and works well.
    I will be using electric power window in these back doors so I don't need a window regulator.
    I have located a window but it is for the opposite side. I am in the process of modifying
    that now. We also need window guide channels for this door. They are not made either.
    At least I have not been able to find them in the last 18 years. That's all subject matter for
    some future posts .
  12. nor6304
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 277

    from Indiana

    Thank you for posting your work It is really good Enjoy watching as you build
    loudbang and kidcampbell71 like this.
  13. Rramjet1
    Joined: Mar 13, 2018
    Posts: 132


    Time for an update Sam.
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  14. The 39 guy
    Joined: Nov 5, 2010
    Posts: 3,052

    The 39 guy

    I have been kinda busy and goofing off a little John... I have made a little progress and will post something soon.

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