The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Surf City, Mar 30, 2012.
That's great. It's going to be a nice car when it's done.
Made a bit more progress - finished off the area where the tailpan wraps around into the rear of the fender well. Nice discreet place to practice...
Both sides had rust to varying degrees and needed re-contouring to get a nice fit for the rear edge of the fenders.
The left side needed to be pulled out a bit with the slide hammer to meet the line of the rear fender.
There's still quite a bit of rust to be addressed in the left hand fenderwell but I may yet fill the cutout for the fuel filler pipe, so will sort that all out in one hit.
Then I got on to filling the fuel filler/taillight mount hole on the left rear fender.
Got a little bit unnerving welding on my new Drake fender - there are a pair for sale over here currently for $3622 NZ dollars! Thankfully I pre-ordered mine at LARS a couple years back and got them for a much better price.
So I got the fender patch all welded up, then moved on to mounting the taillights. I'm trying to mix in a bit of fabrication amongst the 'rust repairs' to keep up the enthusiasm levels.
Right from day one I knew the stock 'wheelbarrow handle' rear stalks and lights had to go. I wanted to clean up the lines at the rear and emulate the look of the lowered headlights to give the whole car a more cohesive look.
I bought these '37 taillights about the same time as I got the coupe, so it's great to finally be at the stage where I am putting these ideas in my head into practice.
I trimmed the housing down in stages till I got the desired amount of 'recess' while still retaining enough space inside to fit the bulb holder, along with an additional bulb for the blinkers.
It's surprising how much shape the 'flat' base needed in it to conform to the shape of the fender.
I had been messing around with the idea of running Lincoln look-a-like lenses to give the elliptical look of the headlights, but have decided the stock '37 lens seems to flow nicer with the bezel and housing.
Rather than patch the original mounting holes, I rotated the lights slightly so that the new 'base 'would be in the same area. This then meant I had to re-index the bezel mounting tags on the housings for the mounting screw to be at the bottom of the light. Also had to shorten the bulb holders and weld them inside the housings, and fit a couple of 1/4' studs thru' the bases.
This is the look of the headlights that was the inspiration
And here's the taillight in position...
This one shows the fit of the fender to body line after I had reworked the inner guard/tailpan area.
Pretty happy with the overall look now (except for that Lincoln lens!)
Hey Bear, I am heading out to Gissy this weekend on the Gumboot Rally. We are staying overnight in Gissy and would love to catch up with you and your project. Catch me on my cell if you are keen. 0273 764 214.
Love what you've done to the tail lights. If I ever re-do my '36 I'll copy your style of light!
Back into some of the more mundane stuff.
Both rear arches need reworking to fit the frame kickup and to get clearance around the axle tubes, so I started on the worst one first. The left hand side had some rust issues around the edge of the opening and most of the fender mounting 'cage nuts' were gone. There were also a bunch of holes where I had drilled out the welds holding the original floor in place.
The opening for the fuel filler pipe needed to be filled 'cos I am going to be relocating the filler position on the tank ( and the '37 tank I am using didn't line up anyways). There was also a lot of rust in the rearmost section of the arch.
Also the leading edge of the fenderwell was pretty much rotted out...
I trimmed away the lower edge to match the new angle of the frame rails, leaving a tag in the centre to allow for a new body mounting bolt. Then I cut a couple of patches to start getting rid of some holes.
Hammered out the suage in the centre so I had a flat area for the body mount.
Made some smaller patches to sort out individual holes
Then moved on to the rust at the rear.
Cut out a patch and hammered some shape into it.
By then I was feeling a bit more confident, so tackled the leading edge. Folded a soft right angle into a piece of sheetmetal, then started working it through the shrinker/stretcher till I had the right amount of curve in both planes. Then I had to hammer a gentle radius into the outer flange to match the curve in the profile of the body bead.
Scribed around the patch to get rid of the 'ugly' from the body
Then started tacking the replacement piece into position.
Trial fitted the fender to make sure everything was still where it should be, then welded and sanded it all up. Drilled the new fender mounting holes using the Drake fender as a template, and welded in the new cage nuts around the perimeter of the inner fender. Drilled the new body mount directly above the rear axle centreline - I will fit a new threaded bung to the frame next time the body's off and fill the now redundant hole just ahead of the axle.
And rear fender bolted up into place.
All up I figure I've got close to 40 hours in that one wheel arch, and who the hell is ever gonna' see it!
Feeling pretty happy with what I've learned so far - the other side is gonna' be way easier and quicker, and I'm now feeling more comfortable about working on the stuff people actually are gonna' see.
Little bit more progress... (sidetracked by a trip over to LARS again)
I bought some rear quarter patch panels, but the suage line on them was nowhere near as deep or defined as the originals, and the rust was only in the very bottom area anyways, so I ended up making some lower patches and joining them on the crown of the bottom suage. (That's copper spray on there, not rust!)
The left rear 1/4 had been repaired in an earlier life and had a fair bit of lead in it. Once I had removed that, the lower suage was pretty ugly. I'll need to come back to that later, once I've had a bit more experience with shrinking etc.
I ended up replacing all of the fender mounting cage nuts with new ones I had got off C W Moss. The bulk of them could be replaced from inside the car, but the two rear ones were inaccessible, so I had to cut out the old ones from the fenderwell, make up patches and secure the nuts to them, then reinstall from below.
Once I had gotten everything welded up and hammered out straight, I sanded up the wheelwell and check fitted the fender to make sure it pulled up nice and even.
I'm now well into the other side, and am planning on staying home for a bit, so hopefully the updates will become a bit more frequent...
Great thread. Beautiful work! Subscribed for the ride.
Wow killer work
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Good to see you back at it; really nice metal work!
You're killing it.
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Thanks for all the words of encouragement everyone!
Although the right hand side wheelwell was in better shape, I decided to replace all the cage nuts while I had the chance. Ground off the old ones...
And welded the replacements in from inside.
Once again, the rearmost couple were inaccessible from the back side, so I cut out patches, welded the nuts to the back, then fitted the patches into place.
Cleaned up the remainder of the wheelwell and trial fitted the fender to make sure everything was in the right place.
So nice to put together with all new threads everywhere!
Then I made up a new lower 1/4 panel section including the ferrule for the rear window drain hose.
Cut out the rusted portion along the crown of the suage line, and patched the inner rocker area before giving everything a good coat of copper weld-thru primer.
The lower portion of the b-pillar needed some patching inside and out too.
Then I fitted the lower patch into place.
Only problem with joining it down this low is that access to the back of the weld is very difficult, but it does mean that I can keep as much of the original sheetmetal as possible.
Really happy with the rear fender to body fit up at this stage.
That rear wide angle shot makes the taillight angles look kinda' goofy, but I can assure you they actually do both point straight back!
Nicely done. I've been following since the beginning, really appreciate your skill & your willingness to share the process.
Cheers man, you must have some patience if you're still hanging in there!
Moving right along, to the right hand cowl area. The lower cowl didn't look too bad, but on closer inspection there were a bunch of rust pinholes appearing, and some serious decay on the underside.
Things were pretty beat up around the hinge area too, along with some rot in the inner reinforcing.
I had bought a couple of cowl patch panels on 'epay' which looked good in the pictures, weren't too flash in reality, but were still a whole lot better starting point than a piece of flat sheetmetal. Spent a lot of time smoothing out the distortion in the flatter areas, and sharpening up the folds and suages, before adding a section to the underside, then cut out a slot for the hinge to go through.
Once I had the inner section patched up and the outer patch scribed to fit, I gave everything a good coat of copper primer.
Got everything clamped up and fitting nice, then tacked the new section into place.
Skipped around with the welding to keep the distortion down...
Then sanded the weld and worked the seam till it almost disappeared.
It's still not 100% there, but I think I'm getting a little bit better at every patch.
Now I can move back over to the other side, which is in a way worse state...
This is what the patches look like out of the box... needs a heap of work to crisp up the lines and smooth out the 'stretch marks' before they're good enough to install, but the basic shape is there...
Nicely done! Welding is a constant learning curve for me too but it is rewarding to see visible improvement in technique isn't it?
Thanks! You're right about it being a constant learning curve - it's one of those things you need to be doing every day to get real good at it.
I got started on the left hand cowl repair - definitely way worse than the other side, but I guess it's not too bad for 81 years old.
I made some reference marks on the outer sheetmetal, then cut the bottom skin off to see how bad it was inside.
Repaired the inner skin where it was rusted through...
Then remade the bottom portion of the pillar
And gave everything a good coat of copper weld-thru primer
Before fitting the new outer skin.
I should have learned from the first side to shorten my patch so that the weld seam was more accessible from behind, but I didn't, so I had a hell of a time straightening the panel. Even managed to drop a dolly down into the bottom of the cowl, which took a couple hours along with magnets and levers to retrieve!
I was almost at the point of A: cutting the patch open again, or B: squirting some sealer down in there to stop the dolly rattling and calling it done!
Took a break from the rust repair to finish off my firewall and get it ready to weld back in.
I had roughly cut out the bottom section to clear the bellhousing, which now sits way higher than stock.
I had saved the original lower edge, so raised the usable portion of that up into the remaining firewall and scribed it in.
Then welded it in to place.
Trimmed off the area with the cagenuts, as my new tunnel will butt weld to the bottom of the firewall - I'm planning on only having the section of floor around the pedals removable. Then I folded up some right angle strips of sheetmetal and ran them through the shrinker/stretcher, then blended the contour of the existing lower flange into the raised portion.
The idea is to have it looking as close to stock as I can when looking into the engine bay.
Once the floor goes back in I will fabricate a section of tunnel to tie the two together.
Nicely done on the firewall.
I just had the firewall lightly sandblasted to clean up around the outer edge. Picked it up yesterday - now that its all one color it gives a better impression of the finished look. Pretty happy with the 'stock' look I was going for - the first guy that saw it asked me if it was NOS!
You are doing really nice work. I saw the care and detail so I read through your thread. Keep up the good work and look forward to seeing where it goes.
Firewall came out great!
You have serious skills. Looks great!
Thanks guys, you are all too kind. I really have no idea what I'm doing, just learning as I go!
Well, by golly you are a quick learner then!
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