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48 ford coupe

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by joelocke, Feb 21, 2011.

  1. joelocke
    Joined: Feb 12, 2011
    Posts: 26

    joelocke
    Member
    from Tucson

    I picked up this car a few weeks ago. Its an Arizona car so no rust other than minor surface stuff. I plan to hot rod it as opposed to doing a restore. Before I joined the H.A.M.B. I had read several threads in the Jalopy Journal and had myself convinced to do a frame swap with an S10. Ya see, I got it with a Chrysler 318 in it as well as a chrysler front suspension. To get it in there they cut away a section of the frame in the front to get the power steering in. Also, they gutted much of the wishbone to accomodate the tranny. The entire underbody and frame has a tar like substance coated on it. It looks like an undercoating to prevent rust. Not alot of cars in arizona have had this done as we never run into salt around here. Bottom line is its kind of nasty stuff. Clearly the Chrysler gear has got to go...just too poorly done. I like the idea of modern suspension with ABS brakes and power steering. I plan to use this car. Probably not daily, but weekends and such. The S10 frame swap was appealing for this reason. I also plan to put in a modern motor (likely a TBI 8 cyl) The swap would have the tank and delivery system in place.

    So thats where I was. Then I got some feed back on my Welcome post that makes me think twice. I know that I will get opinions all over the place and some of you will think I'm an idiot no matter what I end up doing. I would however ask you all to tell me what you would do. Now keep in mind, I dont plan to show the car in any real capacity. Although money is always a consideration, Im not broke. I dont really ever plan on selling the car. I bought it as a project for my son and I (he's 14 years old) as an excuse to give us sopmething to do together. Its gotta be cool to keep his interest, and I want him to learn both how to do the mechanical work we will need to do, and learn respect for the history behind both vintage cars (the coupe), and vintage people (me).

    So there you go. Let it fly boys... and girls

    Ps I know some of you will want me to keep the frame and rebuild it some how to keep it vintage. Keep in mind, I would likely change out my own vintage frame if it could

    Joe
     
  2. Harms Way
    Joined: Nov 27, 2005
    Posts: 6,869

    Harms Way
    Member

    :D
    [​IMG]
    :eek::eek:"well,.. actually I did say "Fudge":eek:

    41-48 Ford parts are fairly easy to find,... I have a extra rolling chassis behind the barn,... Sounds like Chassis Engineering out of West Branch Iowa,.. might be a good place to start. There products are great, easy to install and understand. well made and engineered,.... This is where I would start if I were you, and this was your first build.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2011
  3. 42 chevy
    Joined: Nov 1, 2006
    Posts: 623

    42 chevy
    Member

    I would try and find a better original frame and update that. There has to be some around. That would be much easier than a whole frame swap. Is there enough of the frame left to do a front subframe? Fatman makes a front stub for those cars, that is one option. Pics of the way it is now would help.
     
  4. edwardlloyd
    Joined: Aug 2, 2003
    Posts: 2,067

    edwardlloyd
    Member
    from Germany

    Don't do the S-10 to it. Restore it original, with a nicely done flathead. The '42-'48 Ford was Ford's finest hour. The quality is amazing, they are quite simply one of the all time greats. Restoring it original maybe with a hot mill will be a wonderful experience for both of you. You'll learn to appreciate Ford's beautiful engineering and enjoy building it. It'll be nice to drive and will be worth something. Remember the clean black convertible in "Back to the future". It was great! If you rod it you'll have a car which will drive like every other crappy 80s car on the street and you will have lost the '48 experience. A bit like walking out with a transvestite. She might look great but when you get down to the nitty gritty the experience will be missing something. The '48 Ford is the very last Henry Ford. And you have a coupe! Original cars with period modifications don't go out of date. Modified cars do. You can still lower the front end an inch, fit tubular shocks, fit seat belts etc. Wider steel 16" wheels from The Wheel Smith or Wheels Vintiques will allow slightly wider tires and yet still run stock hubcaps and rings. Don't go too wide and you won't need power steering.
    Dismantle every component and rebuild it. Transmission, axle, steering box etc. Build it like it is a new car again. Get your flathead V8 professionally rebuilt. Don't overbore it because it sounds cool. Wider bores run hotter - not good in Tucson! If it needs boring, sleeve it. You could run a Mercury mill thou with the longer throw crankshaft. Your son will learn how a car works and will benefit his whole life from the experience. It'll also make him a safer driver. When he brakes, he'll know exactly whats happening. When he changes gear he'll also know. Knowing his car inside out, he'll know it's limitations and won't take risks.
    You and your son can enjoy browsing thru through the Bob Drake, Macs and Dennis Carpenter catalogues ordering new interior trim, dash trim, pedal rubbers etc.
    The famous 97 carbs are being remanufactured now, so you can rebuild the mill with double 97s, some finned heads and twin exhaust pipes. See Drake for the "police package" header! Fit a new radiator with electric fans hidden on the outside of the radiator. Use the lovely new 2" finned polished Lincoln drums. Convert to a twin circuit master cylinder for safety. There's no nicer place in the world than sitting on the bench seat in a clean 40s car parked up at a quiet spot listinging to the local radio with your honey in one arm and a coke in the other hand.

    I'll allow you one concession to 21st century living standards;-) Vintage Air airconditioning!
    A modern alternator type generator makes sense too although they are available with the looks of a traditional generator. Modern gel battery too, that way it'll always start even after being laid up awhile. Make a nice steel box to put the battery in with a louvred lid, and then it won't spoil the look of your engine compartment.

    I'm very envious!

    Ed
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2011

  5. joelocke
    Joined: Feb 12, 2011
    Posts: 26

    joelocke
    Member
    from Tucson

    Thanks guys,
    Ed, I especially appriciate your heartfelt connection to the nostalgia. Their is only one guy in Tucson who might have a frame. He wont even talk. Plans to die with the lot of cars he has. Wish he would work one one of them. I'm a faily handy welder, and could patch the frame back with enough strength, but anybody will always know its a patch job. My wife is really sold on the modern brake system and power steering. The last thing I want is to go through all this and have her forbid the boy driving it. Any idea on the cost (if I was to patch the frame) to buy kits to upgrade the brakes and steering? Keep in mind that I dont have any of the original suspension. Its all Chrysler now so I would need everything. I do kind of like the funky single leaf spring accross the back but it looks kind of wobbley. It would take a bit to find a flat head motor and tranny, but I sure I can research that on my own. Since I dont have any front end parts, and since the rear suspension looks so funky, I could not even begin to know what I need unless its simalar to a modern suspension. The rear certainly is not.

    When it got down to it, the frame swap just sounded easier. pop off the truck, rebuild everything with the luxury of not having to lay down to do it. Throw several brackets together and bolt the baby on. Sounds easy! I do take to heart the loss of the "Original" soul of the car.

    This is a lot tougher decision than I thought it would be

    Joe
     
  6. S-10s have a real narrow track width. The rear on a 2Wd is only 541/4 flange to flange. They also have a pretty deep cradle where the cab sits something you have to think about for sure. Lastly ABS brakes are primarily for people who dont know how to drive to be able to stop on a slick road they don't do anything to enhance the way a car drives or handles.

    As has been said '48 ford parts are pretty easy to find. If it were mine I would set about getting the front sheet metal off of it and then go about seeing what I needed to do to make it right. It can' be that big a deal certainly no harder than making a frame swap. After that and only after that would I decide what I needed to do with the old car. First inspect then decide what if any mechanical work needs to be done. If you are gonna teach the little fella teach him to be a mechanic not a parts changer.
     
  7. Mr 42
    Joined: Mar 27, 2003
    Posts: 1,216

    Mr 42
    Member
    from Sweden

    Lift of the body check and sandblast the frame.
    ive never seen 41-48 frames that has been to bad, not to fix.
    The undercoating would have help also.

    You can get Bolt on disc brakes on original spindles and get a dropped axle, and put an 8" rear axle and posie parallel springs for the rear.

    And there is a powerstering kit out there to (but original steering is really good).

    And you can place an AC kit under the dashboard if you want.


    ""DONT SWAP THE FRAME OUT"" :) It will cause more problem than its worth.
     
  8. cruisin30
    Joined: Apr 13, 2005
    Posts: 120

    cruisin30
    Member
    from Katy, TX

    Sounds like a great father/son project to me. Thats how I got both of my older boys involved in cars. They at least know how to work on them now and could build one if they wanted to. I personally like the 46-48 coupes as they are good sized and have nice back seats if you dont have a business coupe. I have the original type suspension in mine with some upgrades in the front and a 9 in Ford diff in the rear. My motor is a 383 stroker and fits well with A/C even. These cars ride very well and are built very well. Good choice by me.
     
  9. edwardlloyd
    Joined: Aug 2, 2003
    Posts: 2,067

    edwardlloyd
    Member
    from Germany

  10. Mr 42
    Joined: Mar 27, 2003
    Posts: 1,216

    Mr 42
    Member
    from Sweden

  11. joelocke
    Joined: Feb 12, 2011
    Posts: 26

    joelocke
    Member
    from Tucson

    None of the original steering is there either. Even a chrysler steering collunm and wheel. I'm begining to hate Chrysler just cuz of what was done to my new baby.
    Joe
     
  12. Aw you can sort it out its just a damned ol car.

    sell all that stuff to someone else and use that to help finance your project. Have fun with the kid they grow up too damned fast, then they are gone.
     
  13. Sounds like either way you're heading for a chassis swap on the car. My thought is to go for an original set up. Primarily, it's what was under there to begin with and there's all sorts of aftermarket parts to upgrade it. Also, like beaner mentioned earlier the bump(s) in the s10 frame will certainly not line up with the Ford body. You may have to cut into the body to get it to set down right. Are you willing to take it in that direction? The hunt for old parts may take some extra leg work but maybe that can be part of the father son project too. I feel like I have actually accomplished something when I find those rare parts for my ride. Shoot, you do not even need to keep an old flathead in between the Ford framerails if you don't want. Wilcap makes adapters.
     
  14. borntowrench
    Joined: Jan 7, 2009
    Posts: 28

    borntowrench
    Member

    From what I've read, the steering box on the S-10 is an issue interferring with the radiator. That can be resolved tho. Have you thought about a Ford Explorer frame? It's advantages are, R+P steering, ABS, 8.8 rear, many of them posi, torsion front suspension, leaf rear= easy to lower, and its a Ford. They also come with EFI 5.0 V8's . The difference in wheelbase is 2 inches as I recall, just move the rear spring perches. The only interference is the rear kickup starts a little early on the explorer frame. Some minor notching in the floorpan is needed, its under the rear seat tho and is minimal. Copy the original frames mounts for the new frame and there ya go.....
     
  15. chris55
    Joined: Aug 26, 2008
    Posts: 1,085

    chris55
    Member

    Glad to here you getting you son involved no matter which way you go.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2011
  16. grifcarnut
    Joined: Jan 10, 2007
    Posts: 62

    grifcarnut
    Member
    from Tucson Az

    Welcome to the HAMB.....lots of '42/48 fords here in Tucson, frames are the same except convertibles. I've built several with everything from stock suspension to clips. Best one I did was with nova subframe and parallel leafs in the back. I've used later flats, sbcs and 472/502 caddys.. simple cars to build, not real expensive.

    You might talk to Peter at the old ford store about fixing the frame or maybe another ford frame. Don't jump into the frame swap without really looking at it.
    You might look at one of the car clubs in town, over the hill gang has a lot of good people in it.

    Good Luck

    Dan
     
  17. I built my 46 tudor with an original frame, but I am using an s10 under a 48 F1 pickup...

    For your first build, I would suggest not going with the S10 frame... There are enough kits (many of them bolt on) out there, and you'll end up switching out just as many parts in the s10 frame to get things to fit, as you would using the original frame, the S10 rear end is too narrow to fit the rear inner fenders with normal offset wheels (so is a '65 Mustang, ask me how I know), the gas tank is on the side, ahead of the wheels, just to name 2.

    I am using the s10 under the f1 because #1. there is less stuff the cut up to get it to fit. #2, the stuff that needs to be cut up on the F1 is flat (i.e. the bed).
     
  18. we are putting a early nova clip on a 52 ford it's easier than fitting an S10 frame and making up new body mounts 8" rear it had been clipped before and was too low and they used big block springs to jack it up to get enough ground clearance some times it's better to redo and make it right than changing everything.
     
  19. joelocke
    Joined: Feb 12, 2011
    Posts: 26

    joelocke
    Member
    from Tucson

    Thanbks for the input everyone. Lots of good info. I have a week off work and going out of town, I will keep you posted with my progress as I progress. I will start with pulling the body off the chassis and determine if I can actually restore the frame, then make any swap decision after that.
    Best wishes,
    Joe
     
  20. 48FordFanatic
    Joined: Feb 26, 2011
    Posts: 1,335

    48FordFanatic
    Member
    from Maine

    I would agree with those who recommended finding an original frame . They must be available and in good shape in your area. I'm in Maine , but my 48 Coupe came from Oklahoma and was in decent shape ( rust wise). I'm running a Chevy small block ( I know ...Ford in Ford ) with a 700R4 and 3:55 gears in a Granada 8-inch rear. Chassis Engineering rear leaf setup with sway bars front and rear. Fat Man MII front end with power rack and pinion. 11-inch Granada discs with GM calipers. I have plenty of pictures of the chassis before I put the body back on so let me know if you would like me to post or e-mail them. Good luck. John
     
  21. Ahound
    Joined: Nov 5, 2010
    Posts: 1

    Ahound
    Member
    from Tacoma

    Speedway has a crossmember that lowers the front 3" that bolts in. CE has pretty much everything else(motor mounts.split bones,brake pedal.rear springs) that all bolt in. Not everybody likes bolt in stuff but it worked for my 17yr old 46 coupe.All the early fords I have built I have never had one that went together so easily with bolt ins. The frames in stock form are really underrated. Also the CE sterring box mount works for man. or pwr.
     

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