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Projects '51 Merc Kustom Project

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by michaelvz51, Aug 22, 2012.

  1. michaelvz51
    Joined: May 24, 2011
    Posts: 424

    michaelvz51
    Member
    from So Cal
    1. HAMB Merc Club

    Merc Passenger Floor Brace 1.jpeg
    Once Craig had left that day, I was exiting the car to clean up and SERIOUS DISASTER struck! Stepping into the door opening to exit, I noticed that the whole side of the car was flexing!!! Had we ruined the car? Talk about dropping deuces in your pants! Months of work done in an instant is what I thought. I was sick to my stomach and called Craig back. Upon his return, He and I realized that we should not have removed the bracing yet as the bracing usually stayed in place until the chopped hardtop roof usually done here was welded back in place giving the car back its structural integrity. We decided to try to weld the large plate in place front to back and see if it helped. It did a little but there was still flex and this would certainly ruin the car in the event of driving up a driveway sideways!
     
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  2. michaelvz51
    Joined: May 24, 2011
    Posts: 424

    michaelvz51
    Member
    from So Cal
    1. HAMB Merc Club

    MErc Passenger Floor Fill Gusset.jpeg
    Being a welder by trade, this would not beat me I thought! So, we used principles of gusseting and made a long slice into welded the floor brace, through the floor and into the rocker panels. I got some 3/16" flat bar, Craig and I used a hydraulic spread tool in the door opening and inserted the plate into the slot and skip welded it in place. This process was one of the hardest parts to do as I had to use a cutoff wheel to do this because my bad ass plasma cutter could not get in there! The company I work for now has new consumables for this type of work now! Once heavily tacked in place, Craig and I held our breath and jumped on the door opening and it held fast!!! I could not wait to weld this all up and jubilation was now had by both of us. By the way, Mr. Gene Winfield gave us this idea and this proves why he is the master...
     
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  3. michaelvz51
    Joined: May 24, 2011
    Posts: 424

    michaelvz51
    Member
    from So Cal
    1. HAMB Merc Club

    Merc Driver Floor Brace 1.jpeg
    Here is the driver side all done. Now we can get back to the top!
     
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  4. michaelvz51
    Joined: May 24, 2011
    Posts: 424

    michaelvz51
    Member
    from So Cal
    1. HAMB Merc Club

    Merc Top Frame Fab 1.jpeg
    Here is the start of what gets very exciting in a relatively short period of time for Craig and I. We used 1/2" round tube for the backbones to get the shape. We wanted to have a full flowing shape that looked like the original top shape but flowed right into the trunk and falls away. Shaping the 1/2" round tube was an interesting adventure as we started with 10' long sticks, grabbed each one like a samurai sword and smacked it on the concrete driveway. The reverberation will actually bend the tubing consistently and if you "choke up" on the tubing you can create tighter bends too. I would not have believed it until I saw it but Craig told me that Sam Foose, Chip Fooses' Father had taught Gene Winfield this fabrication trick way back in the day and Gene had taught Craig too. My wife to this day cannot believe that we got all of the back bones bent within 1/16 of an inch WITHOUT using the standard tube rolling machine-she's a believer now!
     
  5. michaelvz51
    Joined: May 24, 2011
    Posts: 424

    michaelvz51
    Member
    from So Cal
    1. HAMB Merc Club

    Merc Top Frame Fab 2.jpeg
    Craig at it again setting a piece in place for me, the monkey welder, to tack in place.
     
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  6. michaelvz51
    Joined: May 24, 2011
    Posts: 424

    michaelvz51
    Member
    from So Cal
    1. HAMB Merc Club

    Merc Top Frame Fab 3.jpeg
    Continued progress using 18 gauge bent Sheetmetal and more shrinking and stretching and of course tacking.
     
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  7. michaelvz51
    Joined: May 24, 2011
    Posts: 424

    michaelvz51
    Member
    from So Cal
    1. HAMB Merc Club

    Merc Top Frame Fab 4.jpeg
    Another view from front to back
     
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  8. michaelvz51
    Joined: May 24, 2011
    Posts: 424

    michaelvz51
    Member
    from So Cal
    1. HAMB Merc Club

    Merc Top Frame Fab 5.jpeg
    Now the back window frame. I like the shape of the 48' Ford Back window and having a friend who has one made life easy as I made a template out of MDF for mock up. You can also see the trunk detail in past posts here
     
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  9. michaelvz51
    Joined: May 24, 2011
    Posts: 424

    michaelvz51
    Member
    from So Cal
    1. HAMB Merc Club

    Merc Top Frame Fab 6.jpeg
    Another view of the rear window layout
     
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  10. michaelvz51
    Joined: May 24, 2011
    Posts: 424

    michaelvz51
    Member
    from So Cal
    1. HAMB Merc Club

    Merc Top Frame Fab 7.jpeg
    Here is the shape of the top with the rear window frame in place
     
  11. michaelvz51
    Joined: May 24, 2011
    Posts: 424

    michaelvz51
    Member
    from So Cal
    1. HAMB Merc Club

  12. michaelvz51
    Joined: May 24, 2011
    Posts: 424

    michaelvz51
    Member
    from So Cal
    1. HAMB Merc Club

    Merc Top Frame Fab 9.jpeg
    I wanted to fill in the gaps so we chose to use very thin perforated sheet in order for upholstery to be handled later so this shows the "skin" of perforated Sheetmetal welded and sanded smooth in place. You know, I used to like welding...…….
     
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  13. michaelvz51
    Joined: May 24, 2011
    Posts: 424

    michaelvz51
    Member
    from So Cal
    1. HAMB Merc Club

    Merc Top Frame Fab 10.jpeg
    Taking shape, notice the line runs right into the trunk lid and falls away.
     
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  14. michaelvz51
    Joined: May 24, 2011
    Posts: 424

    michaelvz51
    Member
    from So Cal
    1. HAMB Merc Club

    Merc Top Frame Fab 11.jpeg
    A side view
     
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  15. michaelvz51
    Joined: May 24, 2011
    Posts: 424

    michaelvz51
    Member
    from So Cal
    1. HAMB Merc Club

    Merc Top Frame Fab 12.jpeg
    Rear and side view of the top shape
     
  16. michaelvz51
    Joined: May 24, 2011
    Posts: 424

    michaelvz51
    Member
    from So Cal
    1. HAMB Merc Club

    Merc Top Frame Fab 13.jpeg
    Filling in the Sheetmetal front of the top. You can see the Sheetmetal fill pieces in the windshield frame, the Vette release handles and more tacks.
     
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  17. michaelvz51
    Joined: May 24, 2011
    Posts: 424

    michaelvz51
    Member
    from So Cal
    1. HAMB Merc Club

    Merc Top Frame Fab 14.jpeg
    Here is an inside view and the latch mechanism I used to hold the top down to the body located right behind the front seats. This will work well in an accident and will also work well when removing the top for top down motoring. These came off a Jeep CJ Hood latch and are spring loaded
     
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  18. michaelvz51
    Joined: May 24, 2011
    Posts: 424

    michaelvz51
    Member
    from So Cal
    1. HAMB Merc Club

    Merc Top Frame Fab 15.jpeg
    Here's the front of the top Sheetmetal done
     
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  19. michaelvz51
    Joined: May 24, 2011
    Posts: 424

    michaelvz51
    Member
    from So Cal
    1. HAMB Merc Club

    Merc Top Frame Fab 16 Fiberglass 1.jpeg Merc Top Frame Fab 16 Fiberglass 1.jpeg Merc Top Frame Fab 16 Fiberglass 2.jpeg
    Here is "Fiberglass Day" which Craig and I decided to do to seal up the top prior to upholstery. It also makes it super strong and yes a little heavier but that's ok too. I hired some local Aerospace composite specialists to do this work since they have it wired.....
     
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  20. michaelvz51
    Joined: May 24, 2011
    Posts: 424

    michaelvz51
    Member
    from So Cal
    1. HAMB Merc Club

    Merc Top Frame Fab 17 .jpeg
    Making progress again with the skirt installed and we can see the side view of the top now. Again, notice the fall away right into the trunk
     
  21. michaelvz51
    Joined: May 24, 2011
    Posts: 424

    michaelvz51
    Member
    from So Cal
    1. HAMB Merc Club

  22. michaelvz51
    Joined: May 24, 2011
    Posts: 424

    michaelvz51
    Member
    from So Cal
    1. HAMB Merc Club

    Merc Top Frame Fab 19.jpeg
    Outside getting a sunburn...…..Body work is coming along too. I like welding better than body work now.
     
  23. michaelvz51
    Joined: May 24, 2011
    Posts: 424

    michaelvz51
    Member
    from So Cal
    1. HAMB Merc Club

  24. michaelvz51
    Joined: May 24, 2011
    Posts: 424

    michaelvz51
    Member
    from So Cal
    1. HAMB Merc Club

    Merc Top Frame Fab 21.jpeg
    Roughed in top needs sanding and shaping but this will come later. In this view we notice that the windshield glass opening does not look symmetrical to the top of the top, So Craig and I get after this next.
     
  25. michaelvz51
    Joined: May 24, 2011
    Posts: 424

    michaelvz51
    Member
    from So Cal
    1. HAMB Merc Club

    2018-03-24 Windshield Fab 1.jpeg
    Laying out the windshield glass opening to better match the front of the top.
     
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  26. michaelvz51
    Joined: May 24, 2011
    Posts: 424

    michaelvz51
    Member
    from So Cal
    1. HAMB Merc Club

    Cut

    2018-03-24 Windshield Fab 3.jpeg
    Cut away, spooky again...…….
     
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  27. michaelvz51
    Joined: May 24, 2011
    Posts: 424

    michaelvz51
    Member
    from So Cal
    1. HAMB Merc Club

    2018-03-24 Windshield Fab 4.jpeg
    Craig fills in the gap and makes it structural again. I get to tack it all up, weld it out and sand it down, oh well, beats body work
     
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  28. michaelvz51
    Joined: May 24, 2011
    Posts: 424

    michaelvz51
    Member
    from So Cal
    1. HAMB Merc Club

    2018-03-24 Windshield Fab 5.jpeg
    The idea was to make the glass opening "appear" to look bigger than it actually is to achieve symmetry which we believe we did. Some fine tuning was done after this and you can see it in the last top photo on the street if you look close
     
  29. Lines
    Joined: Jun 11, 2018
    Posts: 212

    Lines
    Member
    from Germany

    remarkable work you have done. Very interresting work. Thank you for sharing youre progress and details.
    Keep up posting
     
  30. michaelvz51
    Joined: May 24, 2011
    Posts: 424

    michaelvz51
    Member
    from So Cal
    1. HAMB Merc Club

    Thank you Lines, more to come soon!
     
    chryslerfan55 likes this.

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