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Projects An Amateur Chops a Brookville Coupe & More

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Bcap55, Nov 26, 2018.

  1. deathrowdave
    Joined: May 27, 2014
    Posts: 2,647

    deathrowdave
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from NKy

    Great work , I have never seen the rear of a top hammered the way you completed it . It is fine as wine . Again I have no words to define your quality of work . Want to chop a virgin Henry steel one ?
     
    loudbang likes this.
  2. Bcap55
    Joined: Oct 5, 2009
    Posts: 166

    Bcap55
    Member
    from PA, USA

    Hi guys, thanks for stopping by. It will be a little while until I have more progress to show. I was going to go ahead with installing the motor, but thanks to more experienced rod builders here on the HAMB, I learned that it would be better to get the car sitting on it's suspension first. I've been looking at catalogs and websites picking out all the parts needed to do that. I'll be ordering parts next week.
    I'm building this car in a fenderless hiboy style.
    The front end will be a cross spring with a 4" drop and drilled I beam axle with hairpin radius rods. All front end parts will be chromed or polished stainless steel. I like a lot of shine up front on fenderless cars.
    Out back will be a Winters V8 quick change rear with ladder bars and coil overs. There was never a question about what rear to use. I love the look of a quick change under a street rod , plus I get to experiment with different gear ratios.
    Stay tuned, I'm gonna need help from anyone who has experience installing this type of suspension. I'll have questions on how to set the ride height and how to locate the mounting tabs for the radius rods and the ladder bar and panhard bar mounts.
     
    Hamtown Al and loudbang like this.
  3. Bcap55
    Joined: Oct 5, 2009
    Posts: 166

    Bcap55
    Member
    from PA, USA

    That is a nice tool to have. Flop gets some amazing finishes with it. That would be great to have if you needed to strip surface rust off of panels.
     
    loudbang likes this.
  4. Bcap55
    Joined: Oct 5, 2009
    Posts: 166

    Bcap55
    Member
    from PA, USA

    :eek: One is enough for me. I'm just glad I got thru this one without screwing it up. Don't be afraid to try it yourself.
    Even though this chop came out looking good and I'm happy with it, I'll be honest with you and say that it took more time than talent to get it like that.
     
    Hamtown Al and loudbang like this.
  5. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 7,186

    Rickybop
    Member
    from Michigan

    Patience with your work is a talent in itself.
     
    HemiDeuce, Hamtown Al and loudbang like this.
  6. Pewsplace
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 2,799

    Pewsplace
    Member

    You sir are not an amateur! Your shop, welding skills and overall attention to detail rank right up with the metal men I have seen chop a top. Excellent thread! Keep this one going or if you must — start a new one.
     
  7. Bcap55
    Joined: Oct 5, 2009
    Posts: 166

    Bcap55
    Member
    from PA, USA

    Took a long break from working on this project, but I've been working on it for a little while lately. I'll post progress pics this week and bring you up to date to where I am now on this. I'll continue on with this as a build thread.
    Here are some photos of the front end install. I ordered everything from So Cal because they had the style of hairpins I wanted, and I thought it was better to order all parts from the same source. Everything is either chrome or polished stainless steel. the axle will be sent out for chrome later.
    IMG_0127.JPG IMG_0124.JPG
    The front shock brackets that were on the frame came with headlight mounts welded on. I will be using separate mounts for the lights. I cut those off and replaced them with this set.

    IMG_0788.JPG
    Here they are mocked up on the frame. Because the frame horn curves down, the brackets don't sit square with the frame.
    IMG_0786.JPG
    When I squared up the brackets there was a 1/4" gap between the front bracket and the frame. In order to bring both pieces in contact with the frame I decided to split the difference between the two by removing 1/8" from the rear piece and adding the same amount to the front.
    IMG_0787.JPG
    IMG_0790.JPG
    That looks better and they fit tight on the frame.
    IMG_0792.JPG IMG_0795.JPG
    Before welding them on the frame I decided to detail the brackets to match the theme of the drilled axle.
    IMG_0801.JPG
    And added a stiffener plate.
    IMG_0816.JPG IMG_0820.JPG IMG_0822.JPG
     
  8. Hemi Joel
    Joined: May 4, 2007
    Posts: 1,024

    Hemi Joel
    Member
    from Minnesota

    Is that notch at the bottom of the side plates for weld clearance?
     
  9. Bcap55
    Joined: Oct 5, 2009
    Posts: 166

    Bcap55
    Member
    from PA, USA

    Yes and also it looked better that way to me.
     
  10. 4ever18
    Joined: Nov 1, 2007
    Posts: 474

    4ever18
    Member

    Cutting into such an expensive car means that I don’t need to tell you what these are... But, for everyone else, they are big, made of brass, and are spherical shaped FDEB2ACD-2AF3-40C4-935F-9744107CC35C.jpeg
     
    tom in nh, 41 coupe, j hansen and 4 others like this.
  11. Bcap55
    Joined: Oct 5, 2009
    Posts: 166

    Bcap55
    Member
    from PA, USA

    Next up , getting the Winters quick change ,ladder bars and coil overs installed. I converted my welding table into a makeshift chassis jig to hold everything straight and square.
    IMG_0364.JPEG

    I followed Pete & Jakes ladder bar install instructions and used a 4" spacer block between the frame and axle housing to set up for the correct ride height.
    IMG_0357.JPEG
    I leveled the front part of the frame because this is the way I want the car to sit at final ride height.
    IMG_0397.JPEG
    Here are the rear ladder bar mounts that I'm using.
    IMG_0388.JPEG
    The front mount fit and tacked in place.
    IMG_0501.JPG
    I set the pinion angle on the rear at 4 Deg. to match the motor angle and tacked the rear ladder arm mounts to the axle housing.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2021
  12. Bcap55
    Joined: Oct 5, 2009
    Posts: 166

    Bcap55
    Member
    from PA, USA

    The stands that were holding the rear in place were getting in the way of the lower coil over mounts, so I took the stands off and replaced them with an angle iron bracket that bolted to the bearing end housing.
    IMG_0537.JPG
    I had a problem with the upper coil over mount bar. The bar was not far enough back to mount the coil overs without them hitting the axle tubes and ladder bar brackets.
    IMG_0541.JPG IMG_0598.JPG
    I had the rear set at 106" back from the front wheel centerline which is correct for a 32 coupe. I called Brookville (their frame) and talked to the shop guy. He gave me the dimension that they use to locate the bar. This bar was 1/2" more towards the front than the dimension he gave me, but that still would not give enough clearance for the coil overs. I had to move the bar back 1".
    IMG_0605.JPG
    Welded on some cross braces before I cut the top mount off.
    IMG_0614.JPG
    I also needed more clearance between the quick change center section and the coil over mount, so while it was off I modified it to clear the center section at full up travel.
    IMG_0713.JPG
    Here it is tacked in place. Even managed to get the panhard bar in.
    IMG_0718.JPG IMG_0717.JPG
    Lower shock mounts tacked up, everything fits much better now.
    IMG_0716.JPG
    IMG_0719.JPG
    I took the quick change rear out to make it easier to do the finish welds.
    IMG_0725.JPG
     
  13. brady1929
    Joined: Sep 30, 2006
    Posts: 8,628

    brady1929
    Member

    Everything looks awesome. Pretty sure that you are not an amateur.
     
    j hansen likes this.
  14. The 39 guy
    Joined: Nov 5, 2010
    Posts: 3,052

    The 39 guy
    Member

    Great thread! Thanks for sharing!
     
  15. Bcap55
    Joined: Oct 5, 2009
    Posts: 166

    Bcap55
    Member
    from PA, USA

    This is only my second car project, the first is the 55 Chevy in my avatar. First time chopping a top, thus the amateur reference.
     
    brady1929 likes this.
  16. Bcap55
    Joined: Oct 5, 2009
    Posts: 166

    Bcap55
    Member
    from PA, USA

    I had to modify the trunk floor to clear the raised center of the coil over mount. Not happy with having this lump in the trunk. I'm hoping that it can be hidden under the trunk upholstery.
    IMG_0729.JPG
    IMG_0900.JPG
     
    alfin32, brEad, kidcampbell71 and 2 others like this.
  17. Necessity is the mother of invention which you overcame with the innovative hump.:) Beautiful work throughout and I am sure your upholstery will only exemplify the work.:cool:
     
  18. Bcap55
    Joined: Oct 5, 2009
    Posts: 166

    Bcap55
    Member
    from PA, USA

    I bought a stock capacity gas tank from Tanks Inc. The tank fit good and only needed to have the front flange trimmed back to clear the quick change gear housing on the rear. I rewelded the flange pieces on the edges at the cut to seal the tank. I went around the entire tank and welded all the flange edges and ground them smooth to make a more finished look to those edges.
    IMG_0756.JPG IMG_0757.JPG
     
    alfin32, lurker mick and brEad like this.
  19. Bcap55
    Joined: Oct 5, 2009
    Posts: 166

    Bcap55
    Member
    from PA, USA

    I don't like the open look of the rear frame horns, so I decided to box this area in like the rest of the chassis. I made cardboard templates to check the fit and used these to transfer the shape to metal.
    IMG_0778.JPG
    I welded spacers to the inside of the piece where the spreader bar will be bolted to prevent this area from squeezing in when the bolts are tightened.
    IMG_0780.JPG
    Pieces tacked in place, managed to get a nice fit for easier welding and finishing.
    IMG_0783.JPG IMG_0781.JPG
    IMG_0805.JPG IMG_0808.JPG
    I really like the look of the boxed frame horns, cleaner and smoother than the open look.
     
    clem, alfin32, lurker mick and 6 others like this.
  20. Bcap55
    Joined: Oct 5, 2009
    Posts: 166

    Bcap55
    Member
    from PA, USA

    Here is the motor and trans I'll be using. A 49 Olds 303 block with #7 heads from a 54 Olds 324. I used a trans adapter from Ross Racing to bolt on a T5 trans off of a Camaro and an S10 tail piece.
    IMG_20181201_170246486.jpg
    I made temporary motor mounts so I could move it back and forth until I was sure it was in the right place
    IMG_0831.JPG
    IMG_0832.JPG
    I used a piece of cardboard to make a template of how much of the firewall needed to be notched to clear the bellhousing and give me an idea of how far back the engine could be and still have clearance for the distributor. I also installed the radiator to check for fan clearance.
    IMG_0833.JPG IMG_0924.JPG
    I cut the firewall and installed it to make sure there would be enough room for the distributor. I can get the distributor in and out if I take the cap off first. I wanted the engine set back as far as possible to have enough room at the front to fit the fan.
    IMG_0851.JPG
    I needed to fabricate the motor mounts that get welded to the frame rails. I used 1/4" hardboard and chipboard to make a mockup of what I wanted.
    IMG_0855.JPG IMG_0853.JPG
    I used 1/4" plate and piece of 3" pipe to get started.
    IMG_0858.JPG
    Building them up one piece at a time.
    IMG_0861.JPG IMG_0865.JPG
    Got as much welding done as possible off the car.
    IMG_0872.JPG
    I added a strip of 3/16" steel around the bottom so that the mount would span the whole height of the frame rail so that it will tie in to the top and bottom of the frame for strength. The pieces were starting to look a little bulky, so I decided to "lighten them up".
    IMG_0874.JPG
    Getting them welded on the frame. I welded the upper joints to the frame before the angled top piece was put on. I have 100% weld all around the mounts.
    IMG_0877.JPG IMG_0882.JPG IMG_0890.JPG
     
  21. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 16,998

    alchemy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I really like your no nonsense bracketry and nice welds. You didn't go all artsy, but the brackets still have style to them. Bravo!
     
  22. Bcap55
    Joined: Oct 5, 2009
    Posts: 166

    Bcap55
    Member
    from PA, USA

    Thanks, without the holes the motor mounts looked like big blobs of metal plus they kind of go with the theme of the drilled I beam axle and shock mounts.
     
    brady1929, klleetrucking and lippy like this.
  23. Bcap55
    Joined: Oct 5, 2009
    Posts: 166

    Bcap55
    Member
    from PA, USA

    Now that the motor and trans are in, I needed a trans cover. I looked for a premade trans cover but couldn't find any for this project, so I decided to try to make one.
    Started by making cardboard templates using a sheet metal layout manual that showed me how to lay out cone shapes.
    IMG_0895.JPG
    Here is the main body piece.
    IMG_0897.JPG
    I used a slip roll to form the cone shapes on the trans cover piece and the bellhousing cover. I bent the flanges in a finger break after forming the cone. I made a flange piece to bolt to the firewall and welded everything together.
    IMG_0903.JPG
    I am real happy with the way it fit.
    IMG_0905.JPG
    The only thing I didn't like was that the tunnel was to high where the shifter hole would be.
    IMG_0908.JPG
    I used the cardboard templates I made to try different ideas on how to shrink the height of the tunnel.
    The easiest way was to cut out a wedge section and bring the edges together. After welding the edges I hammered the seam back into shape. This really lowered the profile of the trans cover, and I made a piece to finish off the end.
    IMG_0909.JPG IMG_0910.JPG IMG_0992.JPG
    IMG_0917.JPG
     
    charleyw, alfin32, Stogy and 13 others like this.
  24. Nice job on the tranny cover. Looks great!
     
    Stogy likes this.
  25. Andy
    Joined: Nov 17, 2002
    Posts: 4,765

    Andy
    Member

    Everytnig is beautiful. Excuse me for making some comments. A 32 stock crossmember has the rediator mounting pads lower. Your hood may slope up in front and leave gap at the bottom at the firewall. The mounting ears of the radiator actually go under the rails at the crossmember. The stock crossmembers have a joggle so there is clearance under the rails. You may have to rework the radiator mounting tabs.
     
    Stogy and kidcampbell71 like this.
  26. Bcap55
    Joined: Oct 5, 2009
    Posts: 166

    Bcap55
    Member
    from PA, USA

    Thanks, stay tuned I'll be doing more sheet metal shaping next. Working on a radiator fan shroud that I'll post next week.
     
    Stogy and brEad like this.
  27. Bcap55
    Joined: Oct 5, 2009
    Posts: 166

    Bcap55
    Member
    from PA, USA

    I don't plan on using a hood on this project, but you never know. I'll check the alignment with the cowl after I get the grill shell mounted.
     
    Stogy likes this.
  28. Bcap55
    Joined: Oct 5, 2009
    Posts: 166

    Bcap55
    Member
    from PA, USA

    I decided to use a shroud on the radiator since I'm only using a 15" fan for cooling. I could have used a 16" fan, but that would have been hard to make a shroud for it since the fan would have been very close to the outside edge of the radiator. I figured the little 15" fan needed all the help it could get in getting enough air through the rad so I'm making my own shroud to fit.
    IMG_0924.JPG
    I took lots of measurements and came up with plans for hammer forms to shape the metal around. I used two layers of 3/4" MDF board to make the forms. The first form I'll use has a 16 1/2" hole to make the opening for the fan. I'll have 3/4" clearance between the fan tips and shroud. This is less than the recommended 1", but it was as much as I could get and not go beyond the sides of the radiator.
    IMG_1267.JPG

    This form will be used to bend the sides and round the corner edges. I also have the lower radiator hose cutout notch in it.
    IMG_1269.JPG
    These are the backup forms that will hold the sheet metal tight to the form when I hammer the material over the edges.
    IMG_1272.JPG
    I'm using .063 3003 aluminum to make the shroud. I need to start with an accurate circle cutout to form the hole for the fan. Here is a trick I've used before to cut perfect circles in aluminum sheets. I made a circle cutting attachment for my router and use a straight cutter bit, perfect cuts every time.
    IMG_0937.JPG
    I'll start hammering away tomorrow, hope this works out and I can make this fit the way I want. I've made small hammer forms before but never anything this big.
    Stay tuned!
     
    4ever18, hfh, RatPwrd and 10 others like this.
  29. Bcap55
    Joined: Oct 5, 2009
    Posts: 166

    Bcap55
    Member
    from PA, USA

    I made real good progress on the fan shroud, here are pics showing how I did it.
    Here is the aluminum sheet held between the form for the fan hole and another backup board I made. I measured carefully and made sure the hole in the sheet was perfectly centered on the opening in the form. I used lots of clamps so that the metal wouldn't shift out of place when the hammering starts.
    IMG_0939.JPG
    This is how it looks after hammering the metal edge down into the form. Looking go so far.
    IMG_0940.JPG
    Next I took the piece out of the form and flipped it over and set in on the other form to bend the sides. I clamped the two backup boards on, but I wasn't happy with the unsupported gap at the sides. I used a fall off piece of the MDF board from the circle cutout and bolted it through the form on top of the flange of the fan opening. This really helped hold everything nice and tight. I really had a lot more confidence that this would stop the piece from deforming at the side gaps.
    IMG_0951.JPG IMG_0954.JPG
    The sides were bent over and everything looks good. The extra support really helped.
    IMG_0956.JPG
    I hammered the four corners around the form to give them a nice rounded edge and then I took the piece out of the form and welded the corner seams and sanded them smooth.
    I made a semi circle cut out for the lower radiator hose and put the piece back on the form and bent the metal over the rounded edge. I knew I couldn't bend the full depth of the flange (1") on such a tight radius, so I only bent a 1/2" flange and welded a 1/2" strip around the cutout.
    IMG_0961.JPG
    And here it is all done. Super happy with the way it turned out. I was worried that the shroud would not match the dimensions I needed to have it fit right, but taking the time to make accurate forms paid off it fit real nice. I will have to make a minor change to make it perfect.
    IMG_0982.JPG IMG_0983.JPG IMG_0975.JPG IMG_0978.JPG
    I hope this helps the little fan keep the motor cool. It's gonna be a while before I know for sure.
     
    tom in nh, charleyw, alfin32 and 13 others like this.
  30. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 7,186

    Rickybop
    Member
    from Michigan

    "I decided to TRY to make a tranny cover."

    Hahahahahahaha...
     
    loudbang and j hansen like this.

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