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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: 3,106

    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: 3,106

    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.
    vtx1800, 36 ROKIT, dwollam and 12 others like this.
  3. Pbbbbbbbt' !!!! :eek:

    WOW. Very, very, very .. nice work.
    The 39 guy and loudbang like this.
  4. sshep
    Joined: Oct 13, 2018
    Posts: 51

    from NJ

    Nice work Sam, thanks for the update on your CS.
    The 39 guy and loudbang like this.
  5. joel
    Joined: Oct 10, 2009
    Posts: 1,990


    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: 3,106

    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: 963

    from England

  9. The 39 guy
    Joined: Nov 5, 2010
    Posts: 3,106

    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: 3,106

    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 .
    Jim Bouchard, X38, 36 ROKIT and 5 others like this.
  12. nor6304
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 283

    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: 151


    Time for an update Sam.
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  14. The 39 guy
    Joined: Nov 5, 2010
    Posts: 3,106

    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.
  15. joel
    Joined: Oct 10, 2009
    Posts: 1,990


    Really nice work, Sam. Reworking that latch was great . I've tried repairing regulators and all I can say is " I'd rather do bodywork". .....I hate bodywork.:)
    loudbang likes this.
  16. I used 40 Ford 4 Dr rear door latch and handle assys and changed the length of the link arms/ pull strap, used them on front and rear doors. Worked real good.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2021
    The 39 guy and loudbang like this.
  17. The 39 guy
    Joined: Nov 5, 2010
    Posts: 3,106

    The 39 guy

    Thanks Joel! I like your comment on regulators!

    Thanks John Lee

    Well it was a fun summer. Don was gone a lot camping and I stayed busy with car shows, cruises and helping with a friends 37 Dodge project . Oh yes we modified my open car trailer too.



    The dodge just went to the painters shop this week. That's a 331. Sounds pretty awesome!
    Trailer stuff: Got a little carried away here. Installed a maintainer in the box and installed
    a volt gauge. When I get ready take the trailer out I can verify voltage by pushing the
    momentary switch to check the lighted gauge.
    Some of my buddies ( that borrow the trailer) got tired of using the manual boat winch
    on this trailer and chipped in to help pay for the winch. I bought a 12,000 lb winch.
    That's probably overkill but it should do the job easily.

    The tool box is sitting where the old hand operated jack was so I decided to upgrade to
    an electric jack. It is a 3500 lb. model works well.
    I added this roller to the back of the trailer so that hook doesn't get caught on the
    ramp gutter.

    We also helped get a couple of cars started for the first time. That's always fun! Otherwise
    we spent some time working on the power window conversion for the rear doors of the CS.

    Here is all of the stuff that was missing from the drivers side rear door. The task is to
    make mirror image parts to replace them. The door latch has already been done. Now
    it's time for the window.
    Apparently ford made at least two different types of window frames over the years. I
    could not use the one in the foreground.
    So the roller assembly in the foreground here is the one that had to be reversed for my
    DS door.
    The roller assembly is still in decent shape but I did replace the springs.
    Bob Drake does offer a kit to replace this mechanism. 01a-6622218-K The Drake kit uses
    plastic or HDP wheels. We chose to reuse the stock stuff ( steel wheels) except the springs
    on one door while we used the plastic wheels on the other.

    I decided to cut this roller bracket off here and flip it 180 degrees and weld it back on.


    The old sawsall was used to cut the roller mount off

    IMG_6082R copy.jpg
    All jigged up for welding. this pic shows the mirror image we were looking for (arrows).
    IMG_6105R copy.jpg
    Looks like I didn't take a picture after the weld so this will have to do. IMG_6083R.jpg
    Don had to make a new piece for the front diagonal support.
    Backing plate over old regulator channel
    IMG_6105R copy.jpg
    The plate was welded on attach the power window mechanism. This was not super technical
    but I did find it difficult to continually process the mirror image thing in my senile mind. But
    it's DONE!

    Sorry I missed taking some important pictures of this project. I will cover guide channel
    project next.
    Thanks for following along.
  18. Thanks for the update! There is a lot of mucking around to make all that stuff work. Keeps the mind active.
    The 39 guy likes this.
  19. joel
    Joined: Oct 10, 2009
    Posts: 1,990


    That Dodge is going to be pretty nice. I don't think I've ever seen one . I'm amazed at what you have done to rebuild the CS; it gives me incentive to tackle my cab repairs. Good job.
  20. I love it, Sam! BTW...Dave did relay your hello when he was here in town for the Forty Ford Gathering.
  21. Rramjet1
    Joined: Mar 13, 2018
    Posts: 151


    Thanks for the update Sam.
    kidcampbell71 and loudbang like this.
  22. The 39 guy
    Joined: Nov 5, 2010
    Posts: 3,106

    The 39 guy

    Thanks for watching, your recent posts got me off my butt ( well on my butt) to start posting again. Yes it is a lot of mucking around.

    Hi Joel, Yes this is the only Dodge like it that I have seen. It has some nice lines. I am unhappy to report that the painter I delivered the Dodge to this week now says he can't work on it right now so the owner is looking for another painter.

    Hi Brett, Dave did drive along way to deliver that message. Sounds like he had a great time! Looks like we both had some success with the events we hosted that weekend. Do you have any 2X shirts left?

    Your welcome John! I will try to keep the updates a little closer together.

    So this next project was an interesting one. Once again the reason for doing the project was that we did not have the parts but wanted maintain the original windows. This project has a little kicker at the end. The project took us a at least two weeks to do not counting all of time spent figuring out how to do it and trying some forming with some dies and a hydraulic press (didn't work). If we had a pull max it would have been fairly easy......

    After a lot of measuring we decided to make the roller guides from several pieces.
    The runner was bent on the sheet metal break.

    After jigging the parts several small welds were applied.
    IMG_6090R copy.jpg
    The guides were then ground down to the needed dimension.
    All of the attachment points were fabricated and welded to the runner.
    That same mirror image element of this project was a problem some times but we worked
    through it.
    The other runner presented similar opportunities to tax our imagination.
    I cut a groove in this piece of wood with a router at the depth we needed for the
    wheel runner. Don ground he steel down to the wood to give us the runner channel
    I cut another piece of wood at the width we needed for this guide and clamped the three
    pieces for welding.
    I decided to keep the welding to a minimum to avoid warping.
    More challenging to fabricate attachment brackets were fabricated and attached.
    Here is the comparison of the original equipment to the fabricated parts.
    So here is the kicker to this story. After painting and installing these fabricated parts which
    worked well by the way, I shocked to find some original runners in a box while looking for
    something else. As I think I mentioned earlier I had purchased a full set of windows many
    years ago. Some how I had forgotten about these parts ( senile me). So I had to tell Don.
    Of course I asked him not to kill before I told him...... So we decided to put the original
    Ford parts in the door. So if any one needs a set of window roller guides for the passenger
    side rear door of a CS, I have a st I am willing to part with.

    So why did I share this process? Well we put so much time into the project that I thought
    we should share it. maybe it will help someone else build something similar. It's getting late
    here so that's all for today.
    ronzmtrwrx, 36 ROKIT, 40LUV and 6 others like this.
  23. sshep
    Joined: Oct 13, 2018
    Posts: 51

    from NJ

    Wow Sam, that's a crazy story on the window roller guides, nice job making them though.
  24. corncobcoupe
    Joined: May 26, 2001
    Posts: 5,672

    Staff Member

    Oh Man...very impressive Fab work.
    With your self drawn blueprint of the floor pan, you not only aced shop class with your Fab work but math too in high school I presume.

    You were one of those guys in high school that would make it look so easy to us busted knucklers..
    A compliment of course.

    Not sure how I have missed this one from day 1 but very impressive.
  25. Glad I could help :)
    Great job on the tracks. What can be achieved when good thinking and workmanship come together.:):)
    kidcampbell71 and lothiandon1940 like this.
  26. Weedburner 40
    Joined: Jan 26, 2006
    Posts: 855

    Weedburner 40

    And that my friends is what make rebuilding/restoring these old cars so much fun. That was a great project that needed to be done to complete the car (at least until you found the originals) and one that many would have made a lesser man through in the towel. Thanks for sharing.
  27. I'm sending in an order for a "last and final" order on Monday. I've got you down for a 2X Indigo Blue short sleeve. I am going to be ordering a few long sleeve t-shirts, so shoot me a message if you want anything different. ;-)
    kidcampbell71 and loudbang like this.
  28. The 39 guy
    Joined: Nov 5, 2010
    Posts: 3,106

    The 39 guy

    Thanks sshep!

    Thanks corncobcoupe, I was a fan of Hot Rods in High School but lacked a lot of skills and tools many of which would be acquired over the next 50 years... I did take and enjoy mechanical drawing in High School and have used that skill throughout my life.

    Thanks X38!

    Thanks weedburner, I'm so senile I can't find the towel......;)

    Those shirts come in yet Brett?

    I will try to post another episode later tonight.
    loudbang and kidcampbell71 like this.
  29. Not yet, but hopefully soon.
    loudbang likes this.
  30. The 39 guy
    Joined: Nov 5, 2010
    Posts: 3,106

    The 39 guy

    I don't know if it is okay to show this stuff but I will try to anyway. Since I didn't have a regulator for the drivers side rear door I decided to install power windows in just the back doors. It should be very convenient to be able to roll the back windows up and down while driving the car. IMG_6163R.jpg
    I bought this kit from Auto Loc a long time ago before I had heard of the Hoffman
    groups reputation. Despite the reputation I would say this is a pretty good kit.
    The instructions for the install are on the box (only).
    They had two types of kits the other one has the motor remotely attached. I think that
    would have been an easier and better install in these skinny doors. despite the rigid
    mounting of the motor on the end of shaft we got them in there with barley enough
    room for the future Dynamat insulation.
    I used the clear plastic trick to get the holes lined up correctly for mounting to the door.

    Because of the slim clearance issue I wanted the window frame and motor to be mounted
    very rigid so that when the doors are slammed shut they power window motor doesn't
    slap against the door skin.
    I missed some photo opportunities during this install and it was hard to take pictures of
    some of the details inside the door. As with most custom installs the hardware was installed
    and removed for modifications several times. I showed the adapter that was welded to the
    window frame in an earlier post.
    This is an overall shot of the install on the passenger door.
    Again, since we did not have a regulator we needed a method to open and close the window.
    The Hoffman group also sells this nifty switch that allows you to use your original window
    crank handle. Of course the door had to be modified again to install it in the original location.
    The area marked by red pencil was cut out and anew piece of sheet metal cut and bent fit the hole.
    I used this hole template to find the center.
    Transferred the mounting holes to clear plastic again and used the plastic to mark the
    mounting hole locations.
    We haven't tried to wire these switches up yet but it looks pretty straight forward. I will
    use hidden rocker switches in the drivers area to run the windows from the front when

    That's it for tonight. I have a few other projects in progress so the next post shouldn't be
    too far out....

    Attached Files:

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