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Hot Rods A 40 Ford Coupe for Uncle Mike Build Thread

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by The 39 guy, Oct 27, 2014.

  1. The 39 guy
    Joined: Nov 5, 2010
    Posts: 3,549

    The 39 guy
    Member

    So I am recuperating from a major surgery and think I have some time to file some posts on a Forty Coupe that has been under construction for awhile.

    Some History: My Uncle purchased this coupe at auction in Cascade Montana in May of 1996. The previous owner appears to have owned the car since 1971. Mike brought it home to Redmond Washington and drove it a little before parking the car after hearing an engine knock.

    Somewhere around 2004 (I think) Mike decided he would like to get the coupe out of the high humidity environment of the Seattle area . Since I live on the other side of the Cascade mountains in a semi arid area I volunteered to store the car.
    0529 edited copy.jpg

    I did just that for a few years. The Forty sat in the dirt floored portion of my shop. Eventually we talked about getting the car running which we figured would require building a new Flathead. I had good 59 L block from another project so we laid out a preliminary plan.

    Progress has been slow. The initial plan was just to get it running but after the initial tear down to get the engine out I could see that the car would need a total rebuild to be roadworthy in the Seattle area. I built the engine first and then we kind of stalled out because it became apparent that the cost would be more than Mike wanted to spend on the car.

    I have had this dream of building the car to look like a car my neighbor owned when I was just 8 yeas old. The owner and I were reacquainted several years ago as we were members of the same car club. I asked him if he had a picture of the car and he soon obliged me with this one of the powder blue coupe I drooled over as a kid. Terry Henke\'s 40 Coupe copy.jpg
    Uncle Mike eventually called me and said he would have to sell the car. Did I know anyone who could buy it? Of course I jumped at the chance and the project is now mine.

    I will be sticking with a lot of the things my Uncle wanted to do to the car. It will have the Flathead with a single four barrel carb. It will have a column shift 49 Mercury 3 speed with overdrive. A dropped axle up front with disc brakes , a Ford 9 inch rear end on parallel leaf springs, white walls and a traditional interior.

    We will be catching up to the current status of the car in the near future. The plan is to get it on the road by next spring for the car's and my uncle's 75th year. Hope you guys can bear with me as I try to master windows 8 the HAMB and my photo editing program.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2014
    woodz, chryslerfan55, Lifter and 6 others like this.
  2. The 39 guy
    Joined: Nov 5, 2010
    Posts: 3,549

    The 39 guy
    Member

    Lets take a look at some of the as found photos of this coupe Drivers Side Cowl.jpg
    Drivers Side Cowl . This car had been hit hard on the drivers side. There is a lot of damage and a poor bondo job. The door gap is pretty well closed up.
    Drivers Side Fender.jpg
    This fender was pretty lumpy but you will see later it is saved. Drivers Side Hood Gap.jpg
    Talk about cowl to hood fit. This one needs some adjustment. Hood to Grill Fit.jpg
    The grill to hood fit was terrible. I had never seen a cast grill like this one. The outer grill piece was broken also.
    Passenger Side Grill.jpg
    Passenger side grill is also broken. The whole front end was pushed down. Trunk Gap.jpg
    The back left side of the car had been pushed down about an inch so the trunk lid would not sit down.
    Trunk AC.jpg
    The trunk was filled with a wall hung AC Unit...No don't think I will use AC on this build. Drivers Side Trunk.jpg
    Tool pocket in the trunk rough but fixable.
    Passenger Side Trunk.jpg
    The other side of the trunk. Interior.jpg
    Interior was pretty well stripped. The headliner bows were missing. Notice it has 39 Ford doors ( no wing windows) She also came with a 39 Ford transmission. I kind of like the Mercury steering wheel and may use it.
     
  3. The 39 guy
    Joined: Nov 5, 2010
    Posts: 3,549

    The 39 guy
    Member

    More as found Pictures.
    Engine 1.jpg
    Here is the Flatty. Looks like it may have had a multiple carb intake on it at one time. It had offy heads.
    Engine 2.jpg
    Fuel Pump.jpg
    Quite the fuel pump! Rear End.jpg
    The rear end. Nice pipes attached to some glass packs. How about that shock angle?
    Grill Bottom.jpg
    The bottom of the grill. I think somebody was using this car a hunting rig or something. Tow Marks.jpg
    The car had a poly fuel tank in it. It sat so long with fuel in it I had to remove it and get it cleaned out before I moved the car into the shop.
     
  4. I'm liking where this is going.:) Looks like lots of work ahead, but what a great start. Love the fact that it has the '39 doors and tranny and yes, I hope you keep that Merc wheel as well. Good luck. Looking forward to the progress pics.
     

  5. Cool build. Was the undercarriage painted silver at one time ? Old hot rod speaking to 'ya....would be nice, without having to guess, huh ? Love those coupes. So then what happened ?
     
    chryslerfan55 and lothiandon1940 like this.
  6. This type of build would be very cool. I love the look!

    [​IMG]
     
  7. okiedokie
    Joined: Jul 5, 2005
    Posts: 4,798

    okiedokie
    Member
    from Ok

    Watching. Love the blue coupe, used to be one about that color around here.
     
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  8. mj40's
    Joined: Dec 11, 2008
    Posts: 3,303

    mj40's
    Member

    Watching also, take a good look at the frame on the cowl side that was damaged. My was hit hard there and the frame was bent to the point that the door wouldn't close. Ended up changing frames. Drake makes some nice cowl panels and they fit well.
     
  9. mj40's
    Joined: Dec 11, 2008
    Posts: 3,303

    mj40's
    Member

    Is it blue or just gray primer?
     
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  10. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 11,624

    Atwater Mike
    Member

    Nice start. My '47 sedan has similar 'ills', but repairable.
    '40 Coupe styled like you're doing it will be a definite time piece. (Love that era!)
    '49 Merc column shift w/O.D. and open driveline are great choice.
    Hope you use 2.5" header plugs like the light blue one had...
     
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  11. i.rant
    Joined: Nov 23, 2009
    Posts: 4,373

    i.rant
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    1. 1940 Ford

    Watching x3 the look of that blue coupe is outstanding. Go for it.


    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
     
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  12. olcurmdgeon
    Joined: Dec 15, 2007
    Posts: 2,289

    olcurmdgeon
    Member

    looks like you have good bones to build upon! Will be interested in how it comes along.
     
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  13. olscrounger
    Joined: Feb 23, 2008
    Posts: 4,783

    olscrounger
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    will be watching this one progress
     
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  14. The 39 guy
    Joined: Nov 5, 2010
    Posts: 3,549

    The 39 guy
    Member

    Hey cool most of my favorite 40 Ford fanatics have responded this morning!
    There was no sign of silver or any other color paint on the frame. Glad to hear you agree with the 58 -59 build style. Old okie there have been two other coupes in this style and color built in the Northwest region since I started this build, but what the heck it's my dream and I going to follow through with it. Mike Atwater I will install the header cutouts if there is enough ground clearance for them. Mj 40's the frame was straitened previously and is usable. I will show the Drake cowl piece going in, in the near future. The color is a 56 Ford commercial color. I think they call it Waterfall Blue. I will confirm that later when we get to it.
     
  15. The 39 guy
    Joined: Nov 5, 2010
    Posts: 3,549

    The 39 guy
    Member

    So lets start the rebuild with the Trunk Apron replacement. This is my first ground up build. Although I have some fabricating experience and have done partial rebuilds I am doing this major sheet metal work for the first time. My friend Don has been a huge help with all phases of this project. Together we take years of accumulated experiences and a lot of reading how to books and try to apply it to this project. Sometimes we do thing more than once but we don't use the term close enough very much.
    Rear Apron Removed.jpg
    The rear apron was pretty much done in. I know some of you may have tried to fix it but I decided my skill level required a new piece form Bob Drake. DS Trunk Detail.jpg
    You can see the substructure was pretty weak and we decided to make the appropriate patch pieces needed to firm things up.

    PS Side Trunk Detail.jpg
    The Passenger Side was even worse.
     
  16. The 39 guy
    Joined: Nov 5, 2010
    Posts: 3,549

    The 39 guy
    Member

    Trunk 2.jpg
    So we melted the lead out of the joint with a propane torch.You can see the pick hammer work that must have been done trying to repair the damage to the trunk.

    Trunk 5.jpg

    Fitting Trunk Patch Panels.jpg IMG_5048.JPG
    Inner structure formed from Sheet.jpg
    A simple shrinker stretcher was used to shape most of the replacement panels. The pocket brace in the picture below is in the Drake catalog but as usual they were out of them so we made a pattern from the rusty piece and made a new set.
    PS  Bumper Brace Pocket.jpg

    Sand Blasting theTrunk Area.jpg
    Sand blasting in the driveway can be fun. Well cheap if not fun. We set up a plastic sheet enclosure. The little blaster works pretty good but it is very slow. When done blasting we just pull the plastic tight and send the sand to the center and shovel it back in the bags. We are able to reclaim 90 percent of the sand if it is not too windy.

    Trunk Apron Substructure Ready for Primer.jpg
    Ready for Priemer
    IMG_5076.JPG
    All Primed and ready for the new panel.
     
  17. lewk
    Joined: Apr 8, 2011
    Posts: 1,011

    lewk
    Member
    from Mt

    Cool! Looking forward to more!
     
  18. The 39 guy
    Joined: Nov 5, 2010
    Posts: 3,549

    The 39 guy
    Member

    Don Prepping New Apron for Welding.jpg
    Good Buddy Don prepping the trunk panel
    trunk Apron Panel Prepped for Plug Welds.jpg
    Trunk Panel was drilled for plug welds. New trunk Panel Installed.jpg
    Must have had this panel on and off the car 20 times before finally welding it on. It is a nice piece and fit well in the end. New Trunk Apron Finished.jpg
    Another view showing some of the bracing purchased from Bob Drake. All of the pieces required some adjustment. The trunk lid was mounted for test fits. The blue marks are where we shrunk the floor to get the oil can out of it. It was pretty stretched.Someone hauled some heavy stuff in this old Ford. We also were able to jack the drivers side of the trunk floor up enough to get the trunk lid to fit good.
     

    Attached Files:

  19. The 39 guy
    Joined: Nov 5, 2010
    Posts: 3,549

    The 39 guy
    Member

    The next project we took on was the mini tubs. I had seen this done in a Rod and Custom how to many years ago and noticed BBob's 39 coupe had them too. I helped with a 38 Ford build lately and the car had some moderately wide tires and wheels on it. The car had some wheel rub issues so I decided although this coupe will not have real wide tires in the style I am building it this time, it may need them later if I lower the car or put bigger tires on it.
    Mini Tub 35.jpg
    I took a tire and wheel and raised it up as high as it could go if the rear end was bottomed out on the frame. then added two more inches for a C frame notch. Then marked it off on the wheel well. When you make this tub you only gain a small amount of clearance at the frame rail in the front but up to 3 inches at the top in the front.
    Nini Tub 9.jpg Cuts were made with one of my favorite tools the Dremel.
    Mini Tub 21.jpg
    Here is the cut out. Some of the body inner bracing is cut also.
    Mini Tub 36.jpg

    It is hard to see here but there is a wedge shaped piece of floor that was cut out in order to get the wheel well to be flattened against the frame. MIni Tub 32.jpg
    We learned a lot about how not to flatten the wheel well. A ll ball peen hammer was used on the rusty double wall panel to flatten it.We did not use the heat and hammer technique on the second panel.
    Mini Tub 28.jpg We test fit the panel several times and made up a filler panel. Mini Tub 7.jpg
    You can see how much arc the panel has in it to start with. Mini Tub 19.jpg
    This support brace was plg welded to the panel. Mini Tub 26.jpg
    Test fitting the support Don formed this from sheet stock with the shrinker stretcher. Mini Tub 16.jpg
    Bench welding with the Mig welder. Mini Tub 17.jpg
    Here is panel one welded in. We had to make that little piece in the bottom left corner to bridge the gap between the original panel and the newly flattened mini tub. Mini Tub 6.jpg
    Inside view . Some modification of the trunk bracing was required. Mini Tub Welded 2.jpg
    Inside of passenger side.
     

    Attached Files:

  20. Nice job on those wheell wells (nice job on everything). I need to do the same thing as my tires rub on a hard turn.
     
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  21. missysdad1
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 3,306

    missysdad1
    Member

    You used the words "pushed down" and "jacked up" in your previous posts. I hope you took the time to double-check the frame and body to be sure it's square and correctly configured before beginning body mods. If you fit new parts to a bent frame or body there'll be hell to pay later. You'll always be chasing your tail to get stuff to fit right throughout the rest of the build.
     
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  22. olscrounger
    Joined: Feb 23, 2008
    Posts: 4,783

    olscrounger
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    nice work==wheel fit is always tight on these
     
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  23. The 39 guy
    Joined: Nov 5, 2010
    Posts: 3,549

    The 39 guy
    Member

    So far the frame has checked out as square. We have been making frequent body fit checks at every step so far making sure that each new component repair is not changing the body fit we achieved at the last step. When we got to the floor ,left cowl and door fit steps this paid great dividends.We chose to do all of the body repairs on this frame knowing that this would be the platform the body would ultimately have to fit.

    Thanks for the compliments Olsrcrounger and OL 55. I was able to eliminate the fender rub on the 38 with some corvette air shocks but this mini tub looks like a better way solve the problem.
     
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  24. The 39 guy
    Joined: Nov 5, 2010
    Posts: 3,549

    The 39 guy
    Member

    I skipped over a quarter panel project we did before the wheel tubs yesterday. The DS quarter panel had a crease in it just forward of the rear fender. It was hardly noticeable in the cars current condition but needed to be addressed. Being rookie body men we struggled with the correct approach to make the repair. The crease didn't seem to want to flatten out so we made some cuts in wheel well which seemed to release the tension on the quarter panel and allow us to return the QP back to that beautiful shape we 40 guys all like so much. QP1.jpg
    The red line marks the crease or dented area.
    QP2.jpg
    This shot shows the relief cuts made to allow the QP metal to be hammered and dollied to contour.
    QP3.jpg
    The HF shape gizmo was used to compare the contour to the PS quarter panel.
    QP4.jpg
    Here it is roughed out. I have a painter that will do the finish work.
    QP5.jpg
    I welded the cuts back together with my Hobart WF . I have been using an ESAB easy grind wire.
    QP6.jpg
    Oops, an out of sequence shot of the cuts. QP7.jpg
    Notice how nice that trunk fits compared to some of my early pictures.
    QP8.jpg
    Welds ground back to contour. Fender was test fit several times and all is fine. This may have been an unconventional way to fix this quarter but it worked.
     
  25. ooooh. I have to replace the tail pan and braces in mine. Thanks for the thread and photos! I'll be saving these for reference.
     
  26. The 39 guy
    Joined: Nov 5, 2010
    Posts: 3,549

    The 39 guy
    Member

    The next project was the drivers side cowl panel. The original cowl had been badly damaged and very poorly hammered and bondoed, just enough to kind of get the door to shut. So I bought a set of drake cowl panels. Even though I only needed one all of the retailers steadfastly say they can only sell them in pairs.

    We didn't get any pictures of the process of cutting the old cowl out. It was important to preserve all of the original support structure for the cowl. Drakes panel does not have the support structure included in the panel. Previous experience installing one of these cowls in a 39 Ford made realize that this would be the be the process that would produce the strongest and best appearing repair.

    I took a lot of pictures to show the process so this post may require more than one episode.
     
  27. The 39 guy
    Joined: Nov 5, 2010
    Posts: 3,549

    The 39 guy
    Member

    LC1.jpg
    The original cowl panel There is a lot of plastic under that paint. LC2.jpg
    Before cutting out the panel I scabbed in some support tubing. LC3.jpg
    This makes the car look bar naked! LC4.jpg
    Notice all of those little pieces of scrap metal a large variety of cutting tools used to carefully separate the old cowl from the sub structure while leaving the substructure intact.
    LC5.jpg
    Sub brace that the hood hinge bolts too. The jagged looking stuff at the top is a part of what is a 3 layer attachment point for the top of the cowl. This area was eventually cleaned and straightened before installing the cowl. LC6.jpg
    Another view
    . LC7.jpg
    Here the parts have been cleaned,straightened and weld repaired as needed.
    Notice the combination door hinge and hood hinge brace is separated and lays on the floor.
    LC8.jpg
    Note that the upper hinge substructure was saved. We pretty much had to peel the old cowl off of this piece to save it.
    LC9.jpg
    This section of the rocker was folded back in.
    LC10.jpg
    LC11.jpg
    A little hammer and dolly work and it is ready for the cowl.
     
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  28. The 39 guy
    Joined: Nov 5, 2010
    Posts: 3,549

    The 39 guy
    Member

    LC13.jpg
    This section of the cowl was sticking out to far so I made a pie cut in it and welded it back together.
    LC14.jpg
    LC15.jpg LC16.jpg
    Upper hinge support cleaned up and ready .
    LC18.jpg
    The new cowl piece would not go on over this upper hinge support without cutting a portion of the flange off.
    LC19.jpg
    This is the section we had to cut off to get the cowl on.

    LC17.jpg
    Lots of plug welds.
    LC21.jpg
    The cowl piece installed with the inner piece welded back on.
    LC23.jpg
    This flange was matched up and plug welded also.

    LC22.jpg
    I could not get a picture of the welding required on the inside. It is a hard place to weld and even harder to photograph so there are no pictures of that.
    LC24.jpg
    The project came out pretty good. We did have to make some more adjustments for hood and door gap fitment later on but we will show that later.
     

    Attached Files:

    • LC20.jpg
      LC20.jpg
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  29. okiedokie
    Joined: Jul 5, 2005
    Posts: 4,798

    okiedokie
    Member
    from Ok

    Thanks for a very informative post.
     
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  30. The 39 guy
    Joined: Nov 5, 2010
    Posts: 3,549

    The 39 guy
    Member

    Thankyou okiedokie,I hope that the post helps some fellow HAMBER have the confidence to give such a project a try in the future.
     

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