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54 Ford Mainline Build

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by rustyfords, Sep 4, 2011.

  1. I'm working on closing a big deal for work and it's consuming nearly all of my time. So work on the 54 is at a standstill.

    I really want to be able to say, in the end, that I did all the work on this car myself, but to be perfectly honest, if I had the $$ right now, I'd take it over to Bruce's Hot Rods in Spring and let them finish it out for me.

    All it needs is the rest of the paint and body work, the exhaust, some tweaking on the throttle linkage and some other minor engineering things to get it truly on the road.
  2. Bigcheese327
    Joined: Sep 16, 2001
    Posts: 6,660


    I feel ya. We just sold our house and my Falcon is on hold for the indefinite future.

  3. You're not the only one in that boat. Since I started my new job 6 months ago, the F1 has been sitting. All I need to do is rebuild and install the carb a friend gave me and oh yea... looks like it needs a new master cylinder too since there's a puddle under it now. I did sit in the truck last week and listened to part of a ZZ-Top CD.

    I'm promising myself to have those little things done by the 1st nice spring day 2013. My best "hobby" time is Dec-April anyway since it's dark early in the PM and my yard work at home is minimal. Maybe I'll go hog wild and get that T5 transmission installed too!

    Don't start stacking stuff on the '54 or it'll never progress.
  4. I spent a few months doing a lot of back breaking work, clearing the heavily forested acre behind my house. The family wanted to actually be able to use the property and I couldn't argue with the my little JD tractor and I have been busy.

    In the process, I stepped away from the 54 for a while, but as of a few days ago, I'm back at it....with the goal of driving it to the LSR in April 2013.
  5. I wasn't happy with my proportioning valve, so I ponied up the $$ and bought a nicer setup from Summit.

    Finished the installation of it today. I'll get photos of it posted asap.
  6. austinhunt
    Joined: Nov 26, 2011
    Posts: 533


    Great to know you're back on it! I think of this build and the one by KustomCars everytime I get welding wire. There is a 54 on the way out that needs some love.
  7. I'm still waiting to see you driving down the road. HRP
  8. Austin: Thanks....your build is pretty dadgum inspirational too.

    Danny: You'll be seeing that video within a week or so. I'll be installing new front caliper hoses tomorrow and finishing the proportioning valve the day after.
  9. austinhunt
    Joined: Nov 26, 2011
    Posts: 533


    Thanks very much, I'm just learning as I go. Very slowly!
  10. I swear....this dern 54 is gonna be the death of me.

    I've never had a project be such an example of 2 steps forward and 1 step back as this one has been.

    Here's the two steps forward: My sweet wife informed me today that she's teaming up with her parents and her sisters to buy me a crate motor 302 for Christmas (yeah....she's a keeper). The 302 I currently have installed is questionable...probably ok...maybe not.

    The one step back: Since I'll be installing a new engine, and since my fenders need to be removed to be painted properly, I've decided to pull the front clip off the car.

    I hate to do it, but it'll allow me to paint the firewall the final color and it'll be a hell of a lot easier to install a windshield without a front clip in the way.

    So...I'll start ripping into to the front clip tomorrow.
  11. I won't have the new engine until the end of next month, and I plan to have the front fenders rehabbed by the time the engine is installed.

    So...the plan is to have it all go back together all at once.
  12. I said it over and over while I was building the wagon,,if you make progress this week you will have to undo it next week,,,these damn '54's will fight you ever inch of the way.

    But,how cool is it when Mrs. Clause arranges a new crate engine,,,Merry Christmas to Don!:)

    Well,I guess you need to start preparing that new 2013 Challenge post. :D HRP
  13. I don't know what it is about these #!@$% cars Danny. If I wasn't so attached to the damn thing with it being my high school car and all, I would've pushed it off into the San Jacinto River a long time ago.

    However...I'll be driving the 54 to the LSR in April if I have to cut a hole in the floor and do it Fred Flintstone style!

    Pulling the clip off is a pain, but 99% of the engineering and modification is already done, so in a way, this is kind of like the pros on TV do it. You all the mods, assemble everything, then tear it back down to do the final paint and put it all back together.
  14. It seems like thinking too much about it makes it seem more difficult than it really is. Pulling the clip will be worth it twicefold. You get a clean looking engine compartment and the ease of installation with the new mill. Nothing like a brand new engine. Congrats!

    On my F1, I installed a disconnect plug in the front lighting harness, just in case I wanted to pull the clip again sometime.
  15. And so it begins. I started pulling off the front clip this afternoon.

    Attached Files:

  16. I finished removing the front clip last night (photos to come) and will pull the engine and transmission as soon as possible.

    I have some "final-touch" type engineering issues that will be MUCH easier to tackle with the clip and engine removed....such as:

    - Re-engineer my gas pedal and throttle cable (my current setup is too stiff and not up to snuff)

    - Finish the final connections on my new proportioning valve and bring the braking system up to first class.

    - Like a doofus, I completely forgot to install my factory horns. Installing them with the grill in place was impossible. The stockers will go in place this time....with voltage reducers.

    - Firewall will get painted the finished body color..."old-man-tan", as will the cowl, A-pillars and roof.

    - Windshield will be installed (yes, Im going to attempt this...with the help of my neighbor)

    - a few other misc things.

  17. I heard that,,I did the exact same thing,,I wasn't going to pull everything back apart,,so the wagon has 66 Mustang horns.:rolleyes:

    Have fun with that and make sure your children are wearing ear protection,,you really don't won't them repeating what daddy said when you and your extended family are having Christmas dinner. :D HRP
  18. Sometimes I surprise myself.

    I had originally loathed the thought of disassembling the front clip on my 54 after so much work and effort getting it to the point where it was.

    However...I had some nagging engineering flaws to correct and some just plain stupidity to correct and these things were getting me down about the project as a whole. None of them were huge, but the sum of them as a whole was really getting the better of me.

    Now that the clip is off and I'm solidly fixing all of these issues....really fixing them correctly.... up to the high standards that my dad and his hotrod buddies always insisted on......I have to say that it is truly invigorating.

    Add to that the fact that I'll be installing a fresh 302 and the fact that installing my windshield will be MUCH MUCH easier with no engine/transmission in place, and I've really gained some steam here.

    I spent a whole day on the car yesterday for the first time in a long time.

    With the exception of my 25 roadster build, this has been my first frame-off total build of a hotrod, and it has been a challenge to say the least. There is no comparison between doing the the 25 T-bucket and this. The 25 was like a big tinker toy and this is vastly more intricate and time-consuming.

    I used to question the logic of the professional builders where they would build out the hotrod, then strip it all the way down, go to paint, then reassemble everything. After building this car, that approach makes total sense to me.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2012
  19. Here's a couple of photos of last week's deconstruction project.

    Once the 302 is pulled, I'll paint the cowl and firewall the finished body color and correct the issues with the brakes and several other issues.

    I decided to pull the inner fender panels/radiator side panels/radiator all as one big piece. I left as much attached to this unit as possible to make re-assembly easy. (solenoid, overflow tank, battery tray, etc).

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 2, 2012
  20. Funny how small the garage gets when you remove all the front sheet metal from the car. HRP
  21. You can say that again!

    Add to that the world's sweetest vintage John Deere 318 and 3 kid's bikes and I have to unload the garage each time I want to work on the car.
  22. Been flat on my back with the flu for the past 3 days.

    I hope to get out to the garage today to follow.
  23. JohnSunliner
    Joined: Feb 4, 2012
    Posts: 3

    from Seattle

    Don, I am at a very similar place with my 54 Sunliner. Rebuilt 302 with a C6 just installed yesterday. I was going to wire my two horns in series for 12 volt power, but what "reducers" are you using? Also, I need to make a forward shift arm for me C6, do you recall the length of your arm?
    John in Seattle
  24. John,

    I plan on using this to step the voltage down for my horns.

    Although, I must admit that I've run 6V horns on 12V before and they'll work (nice and LOUD) as long as you don't lay on them for too long.

    As for my shifter, I simply used a length of all-thread for my shift linkage from the AOD up to a stock 54 Ford automatic column. I put a rubber grommet from the hardware store in the stock hole in the factory arm on the column and it shifts the AOD buttery smooth.

    It was one of those rare things that I've done when modifying a car that worked seamlessly and beautifully smooth the very first time. Gotta love those instances.

    I'll get a photo of it if it'll help you.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012
  25. JohnSunliner
    Joined: Feb 4, 2012
    Posts: 3

    from Seattle

  26. austinhunt
    Joined: Nov 26, 2011
    Posts: 533


    If you want to make a project out of your voltage reducer I can draw you up a schematic for using Zener Diodes as a voltage reducer. It's traditional and interesting. As a kid, my dad had me playing with ham radio parts instead of toy soldiers. Needless to say I learned very early on that a soldering iron is hot!
  27. You are a man of many talents, young Mr. Austin.

    Sure....I'd love to give it a whirl. Send it to me when you get a spare moment.
  28. Can't wait to see the reconstruction.
  29. austinhunt
    Joined: Nov 26, 2011
    Posts: 533


    pm'd, maybe ill do a tech week thing on it...

    I forgot to turn the pics so you will have to save them and rotate them... and maybe zoom in to see the writing.
  30. JeffB2
    Joined: Dec 18, 2006
    Posts: 7,747

    from Phoenix,AZ

    When you get this new found knowledge together please put it in the 1952-59 Ford "sticky file" to share,things kinda get lost here on the main board.

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