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54 Ford Mainline Build

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

  1. Spent the day working out bugs on the 54.

    There was a small coolant leak....turned out to be the lower hose.

    I had the shift linkage sort of jury-rigged so that I could drive it, but I spent some time today getting it working nicely and properly and if I do say so myself....it is sweet. I'm using a stock 54 Ford automatic steering column and shifter to shift the AOD. The way I've got it set up, it just shifts so soft and nice. It turned out way better than I hoped it would. The stock safety/park detent even works.....way cool.

    I'll grab some photos this week and post several of them. I also have a video that we made of the car's first drive under it's own power. I just need to download it off the phone and onto youtube.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2012
  2. thebugbox
    Joined: Nov 29, 2009
    Posts: 255

    thebugbox
    Member

    I've collected a lot of parts, but still need to move it into the garage. I just don't have enough help to get it there yet. I'd love to get it there this spring before it gets to hot here!
     
  3. I'd be happy to come by and give you a hand....anytime.
     
  4. thebugbox
    Joined: Nov 29, 2009
    Posts: 255

    thebugbox
    Member

    Give me a couple weeks to finish cleaning the garage and I might take you up on that! Thanks
     
  5. Been working a ton of hours lately, and all the time I've spent with the 54 has been in shakedown mode....tightening nuts and bolts, chasing leaks, etc.

    Nothing too exciting, but it's the stuff that makes them good runners.
     
  6. My latest projects have been perfecting my transmission mount, adding a return spring to the kickdown cable and installing the neutral safety switch.

    All went well, and it all looks nice and tidy.

    Here's a couple photos of the shift linkage, kickdown cable and linkage and the bracket I made for the added return spring (neutral safety switch isn't installed yet in these photos).
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 18, 2012
  7. Laying under the car, roughly where I was when I took the transmission linkage photos in the previous post.....looking straight up towards the master cylinder....you see the steering column and my shift linkage on the column.

    I REALLY wanted to maintain a stock steering column, as I really dislike modern steering columns in old cars.

    My car was originally a 3-on-the-tree car, but I found and rehabbed a stock 54 Ford automatic column and reworked the shift arm to accept my homemade linkage. It turned out better than I hoped and shifts very smoothly.
     

    Attached Files:

  8. Good on you for a stock column. I hate seeing modern columns in old cars, especially tilt.

    My 51 F1 was 3 on tree, made it work a 700R4 and I left the clutch pedal.
     
  9. Up until today, the bolts on my transmission mount were simply inserted into the crossmember, but not bolted to the crossmember. This was good enough for a low speed trip around the block, but not for anything more than that.

    The problem was I could drill a hole big enough for the mounting bolts, but not big enough to get a socket into the crossmember to put nuts on the bolts. I needed holes about 1.5" in diameter and I didn't have anything that would drill holes that size. I could've torched some holes in the bottom of the crossmember, but I haven't done anything half-ass on this project yet....so I'm not gonna start now.

    These 1.5" holes need to go through metal more than a half inch thick and it was actually too big of a job for my local NAPA machine shop, so I took it to a shop that creates massive rigging, braces, etc for the oil industry and they had it done in about an hour.

    I'll get it painted up and installed tonight.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 20, 2012
  10. Bigcheese327
    Joined: Sep 16, 2001
    Posts: 6,660

    Bigcheese327
    Member

    I thought I was the only HAMBster without a fully equipped machine shop at home!

    Love the Ford-o-Matic column. That kind of effort makes a car, and the automatic in a Mainline should make some people's heads spin.
     
  11. 29ToyA
    Joined: Oct 29, 2010
    Posts: 413

    29ToyA
    Member

    Great project! Thanks for sharing.
     
  12. I've been stripping paint for the last week or two. It's tedious, nasty work and doesn't make for good build-thread fodder....hence my lack of updates.

    Also....I've decided to paint my car in a color very close to the original Sandalwood Tan. I'm catching holy hell for it from essentially everyone around me, but I like the look of it.

    I've also firmly decided to go with a rolled-on Rustoleum paint job. Their Gloss Almond color is amazingly close to the original Sandalwood color.

    I've experimented with it on a piece of scrap sheet metal and after several rolled coats and a ton of wet sanding, I get what looks like an old, single stage paint job....which is exactly what I'm after.

    Like I said, I'm catching all sorts of derision from my wife, kids, parents and neighbor about my color choice, but I guess I'm just turning into more and more of a grouchy old rebel s.o.b. because I just don't care and I'm gonna do what makes me happy.
     
  13. Your car, your labor, you're happy, that's what counts.
    All the naysayers will still want rides when it's completed.

    My old truck is tan, ivory, off-white, whatever.
    Initally I didn't like it but it's grown on me and gets positive comments.
     
  14. Bigcheese327
    Joined: Sep 16, 2001
    Posts: 6,660

    Bigcheese327
    Member

    When it's their car, I guess they can repaint it whatever color they want.

    This is actually the first inkling I had you had ever considered changing the color. I probably would not have ordered that color in 1954, but I can't blame you for changing it. It will look good.
     
  15. Yeah.....tan is kind of a utilitarian, old-man color for a car and it's almost always ditched in favor of more popular colors.

    I guess that's part of the reason why I like it.
     
  16. Good build thread and thanks for the link to the paper filter conversion.
     
  17. Bigcheese327
    Joined: Sep 16, 2001
    Posts: 6,660

    Bigcheese327
    Member

    Yeah, like all the malaise-era Corvettes (i.e. two-seat Buicks) ordered in that color.

    It’s a good sleeper color, though.
     
  18. Don,I think the almond color will look great! HRP

    [​IMG]
     
  19. :) Danny, that very can is sitting on my workbench.
     
  20. A nice side benefit is that all the door jambs, the trunk floor, fender wells, etc are still in the original tan color (a lot of which is still nice and shiny in that single- stage Rustoleum sort of way).

    This will make it all come together.
     
  21. yetiskustoms
    Joined: May 22, 2009
    Posts: 1,932

    yetiskustoms
    Member

    Nice work on the steering column linkage. Clean clean
     
  22. not much to add....

    I'm spending hours and hours and hours and hours, stripping paint and prepping the surface for my roller paint job.
     
  23. KustomCars
    Joined: Jul 31, 2011
    Posts: 3,457

    KustomCars
    Member
    from Minnesota

    rustyfords : This thread is AWESOME I cant wait to see it painted!
     
  24. Thanks Jason!

    I'm watching that 53 of yours as well. Welcome to the world of old car ownership young brother. Let us know if we can help you in any way.
     
  25. 40FordGuy
    Joined: Mar 24, 2008
    Posts: 2,908

    40FordGuy
    Member

    Great '54 build.... Especially the correct engine paint ! I always thought the '54 was the best looking of Ford's 1950 thru 1959 offerings. Keep us posted,.....

    4TTRUK
     
  26. 40FordGuy
    Joined: Mar 24, 2008
    Posts: 2,908

    40FordGuy
    Member

    Nice...... 54 was one of the best looking of the 50's...... Our family car was a Skyhaze Green Crestliner 2 dr sedan, dark green interior. It was bought one year old, from the same dealer who sold it new.

    4TTRUK
     
  27. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 13,999

    Squablow
    Member

    I'm not at all against painting a car with Rustoleum. I just wonder if a $20 spray gun from Harbor Freight wouldn't be a better way to get the paint onto the car. It'll build up thickness a lot faster (will take a ton of coats with the roller) and also will probably be less wetsanding when you're done. Just a thought.

    Either way, keep the updates coming. My '52 has the same headlight and tail light treatment as yours, I look forward to seeing it finished.
     
  28. Good question....I have several reasons but the main one is that I want my kids involved in the paint project and rolling and sanding rustoleum is something that is pretty hard to screw up.
     
  29. Don,I want to see some photos of you and the kids rolling the car!:D HRP
     
  30. Sure thing Danny.

    We've been hitting the body prep pretty hard lately and will be at that point pretty soon.
     

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