The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Jeff Norwell, Oct 20, 2021.
Well..... more progress today... my good friend Terry dropped by.... he is a Ford Tech and is a good guy to ask questions and bounce ideas and questions off of .It's snowing like a B***ch here. so.. its best to hang in the Den of Iniquity.
Anyhow.. he tackled the rocker tops and got them squared in.....
I on the other hand started to get obsessed with the steering boxes I have in Parts.
So I was looking and testing the boxes I have.... I have a 58 box... but.. the shaft has been welded and the end splines are toast.Nothing better than a mock up piece.
I found another box which I cannot identify.. yet..... the steering shaft is about 2 inches longer in length ..... so maybe its a 59?
the boxes are near identical except around the base.... Truck?..... not sure.... I was matching it up with the 57 and snookered 58..... bolted it in... fit perfect and a lot more clearance than a 57 unit....
First shot is the box in question......
The second shot is the standard 57 box That originally came with the car.....
Unfortunately ..... I never took a pic with the mystery 58-59(?) box in the car.. but the clearance is quite different than a 57 box.
Another thing is that the splines(Pitman arm) are different from 57-58..... The 57 has 4 king splines.... and a 58 has 2.... (or do I have that reversed?)
Anyhow.... another thing that confused me..... was the mystery (59) BOX.... Had ONLY 1 king Spline.
My foot indicated the OG 57 box.....
a tighter shot of the OG box in place with ref. to the Hedman headers..... very tight... but they fit....
another small bit of maybe useless info its that on the pass.(right side) ...I turned the bolts with the nuts facing out.... as the factory way.. would have given interference with the header collector and the idler arm bracket.....
Clears now..... this little tip could be used on any 54-62 Ford where exhaust spacing is at a ultimate premium.
Lastly,... Yours truly. Mr Cheap ass... is going to install seat belts.. and I have never used passenger car generic ones.... but I bought some used race belts..... that just recently expired.... I think I may piece together some lap belts.... I really liked @bobss396 placement of belts in his oh so fine 59.
I spent a total of 5 bucks for them.
To back up a few posts.......you mentioned "squared away with the rocker tops, and I couldn't tell from your pics, but hopefully, he installed them angled down towards the outside, not "squared up". This is important because our old Fords were designed for water to pass thru the doors and rear panels, and drain out the bottom so that rocker needs to be angled downwards to let water running thru the doors out, not into the cabin.
Interesting fact: on one of the Ford service bulletins, they address ('57?) T-Bird water draining issues. The recommended fix for the apparent design problem was for the dealerships to drill holes down thru the aluminum sill plate and rocker!! I wonder if any T-Bird restorers ever ran into an original "factory" fix.
No... all original rockers.... just the top area of the floors sills were rotten.... (the rocker tops) were replaced.Yes. the flat tops are slightly angled outward..... and...I plan on drills 3 or 4 large holes with flat rubber body plugs to I can inspect the inside of the rockers occasionally ..... It was a very poor design.... and frankly...Ford didn't care.
It's all good.
The race harnesses expire after 2 years unless you send them back to the manufacture for a re-certification. I bought a set of slicks from a guy a few years back and he threw in a couple sets of lap belts like yours. I like the look also, rather than some crusty belts from a 45 year old Maverick
Quick question that is sort of on topic. Is there a way to check on the oil level in the steering box? Do I take out all for bolts and lift the top off? Is there a way to clean it out so I can add new oil?
Yes Mike... on the 57 you can remove the vent cap/nut with a 1/2 inch wrench and see(a little) the status of what's inside.
Or you can remove all 4 bolts and clean.... new gasket required of course.
Once the vent cap is off and you want to clean... fill with a diesel fuel, varasol or parts washer cleaner.
I filled mine with a combo of CV Grease(very thick) and a Lubricant like Lucas or a very heavy rear end oil(for seal lubrication)
The Lucas or gear oil may or will leak out in time... past the seals... but its lubing the seals..
I packed mine 75-80% with CV grease first.
Back to the rocker panels: 3M makes a protective thick sprayable "wax" that is made to go inside places like rocker panels. It's applied with a special gun with a long wand that spays in a 360* pattern perpendicular to the wand. I borrowed Pat Fleishman's setup to do mine. The rocker is accessed thru 2" rubber capped holes, in the front wheel well.
Make sure all your welding is done before applying, although I think I do remember checking to see if it was flammable because I needed to do some additional welding after I had sprayed the coating.
That's interesting Rich.I will speak to Pat about this.... Mine are completely painted and sealed when the tops were off.... with a combo of Pro-15 rust products....
but It would good to see if you could spray this witch's Brew into the dog legs via the inside.... another very tough and rust prone area.....
I will look into it.
Exhaust spacing always a big PITA on stock Ford A-arm front suspensions.
That's wild Early '60s not much better. Always have to check those weep holes w/ a coat hanger to keep 'em clean. It's listed in service manual under maintenance schedule, so they saw it coming. A design issue that isn't favorable to longevity for a daily driver. Good reason to keep 'em out of the rain.
I should have been clearer.......the T-Bird issue was that apparently the rockers were NOT angled down/out, as Jeff and I discussed earlier. This meant the water coming thru the door just sat on the sill plate (or into the cabin) rather than draining out.
Any car with the fuzzies window channel or rattler strips, rather than the later rubber seals, is designed to let water pass thru.
I know nothing about late 50's Ford steering boxes, but earlier Ford boxes had the wider splines (king splines?) like you guys mention. The wide splines in the pitman arms I used were easy to file into the shape of a regular spline so it could be clocked anywhere. Basically just file a spline groove into the middle of the wide flat area. Maybe you can do the same to allow better interchangeability of the different year boxes. I used a small triangle shaped file to do the job.
If I ever replace the steering box in my 57 I'm going to go with a 63-64 Galaxie box. Apparently it's also a bolt-in. The column would have to shortened and a weld-on adapter to allow for a rag joint. One thing I dont like about the early boxes is the integral column shaft. Big pain if you just want to remove either the steering box or just the column.
That's exactly what I've done in the past... using the small triangle jeweller files.
I did this on the splines as well to fit other steering wheels on the steering shaft end.
MASSIVE PITA....Yea.. they only come out through the passenger compartment .... and possibly the seat and other stuff has to be removed as well......
Jeff, do you have one of these or the next step up?
I sure wish I did,....I managed to get one for the Black 428 car....but I need one for this car.....
are you teasing me?
Jeff, I removed that dash from a 58 4 door sedan that came with a 332, 3 speed od and 4.11 gears. I'm saving it for a project. I do know that there are 2 different emblems. The one I have is for the lower horsepower version. The other says police interceptor special. I have only seen the police special on 58's. I don't know if they were on 57's. My brother's 58 had the 352 and the police special emblem. I hadn't thought of selling it but if I change my mind, you will be the 1st to know. I didn't mean to mess with you.
Seat can stay, at least in a ‘58 it can.
Unless my parts car is so rusty the seat has settled some!!!
quote wfo guy: ".....police interceptor special. I have only seen the police special on 58's. I don't know if they were on 57's."
The Interceptor designation was for the 352 (FE). The first year was 1958, so no, they wouldn't have been on '57s.
That was the beginning of the horsepower race for FoMoCo. Had a chance to pick up a two-tone red/white '58 PI from my late brother's FIL back in the '80s but passed because I had two projects already. I can kick myself for passing on it and Grandpa Bob's '55 a few years later. Problem back then was finding parts in my neck of the woods, before Internet, after crusher frenzy.
T-Bird post was clear. Had my eye on a '57 Bird for a year. Glad you brought it up
Yes.. they made the dash emblem for 57....but of course it was for the 312 Police package.... A different styled one..... not really clear.... but I have a NOS one on my other 57 custom.
All good.... I'm always on the hunt for the obscure details.
........I love obscure details.
What a great build! Floor work is enjoyable to follow, gritty work. Love the quality tri Y headers and that a C**vy wiper motor fits.
quote Joe Traver:"That was the beginning of the horsepower race for FoMoCo. Had a chance to pick up a two-tone red/white '58 PI"
another obscure detail........imho, 57 was the beginning of the horsepower race.....E code 312=dual quads, F code 312= Paxton supercharger! I guess it was a race, I have no clue what Chevy/Mopar offered in '57.
Love your Comet(?), btw.
This runs through my mind...or just whack the shaft somewhere? I'm not sure it can be done without hacking up the column.
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