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Projects An Exercise in Practicality - 1939 Ford Early Custom

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by RainierHooker, Mar 22, 2015.

  1. I made a comment on IG, but I thought I'd elaborate here. I saw you're swapping in a 41 rear with 4.11s. Unless you really want the 4.11s, you can keep your 3.78s. you can rob a bell and axle off the donor rear, or you can swap the entire center section and ring gear to the new rear end. It's a little more work, but those 4.11s will be fun off the light, but slow on any freeway.

    The hard part is setting the bearing pre-load with the gaskets between the bells and the center section. It's not mentally challenging, but time consuming and it helps if you have a buddy. But I did for my first time and it's working fine. I was given a 42-48 rear end with 3.54s and I swapped the entire center section and ring gear into my 40 rear end.
     
    Stogy and rodncustomdreams like this.
  2. RainierHooker
    Joined: Dec 20, 2011
    Posts: 1,994

    RainierHooker
    Member
    from Tacoma, WA

    Thank for the comment @Dan Hay The plan was to only install the 1941 4.11 rear in the car while I have the '39 rear out of the car for rebuild.

    However, after much waffling I'm going to be leaving the original rear in the car. After pulling the hubs and doing a million measurements, I think it will live for a while longer. The drum took the brunt of the impact it would seem, having a good 1/16" bend. The axle shaft and housing seem strait, with maybe 0.010" runout on the axle stub. Although getting that measurement with a dial indicator was problematic, I think its okay. With the hubs pulled and the tranny in neutral, there was no binding, and play seemed to be at a minimum. I'm picking up a good hub/drum tomorrow and will be replacing, at a minimum, the wheel bearings, before re-checking runout with the hubs installed. I've already got a rebuild kit on order, and am in the process of tracking down a good '37-40 rear axle assembly to rebuild and put on the shelf for if/when this one shits the bed.

    I will probably end up replacing the u-joint and u-joint housing seals too as after the accident the car developed a 'thump' in the driveline under initial acceleration. I'll be checking all the body, tranny, and engine mounts while I'm at it.
     
    Stogy and rodncustomdreams like this.
  3. Sounds like a good plan. those axles probably had that much run out when they were new! That's weird about the "thump" keep us updated.

    I've only got 500 or so miles on my rebuilt banjo, and all is good so far. I have a SBC for power so I'm trying to baby it. I don't want to break it.
     
    Stogy likes this.
  4. RainierHooker
    Joined: Dec 20, 2011
    Posts: 1,994

    RainierHooker
    Member
    from Tacoma, WA

    The Tudor is back on all four feet...

    image.jpeg

    Just need to paint the fender, install it, and we're back in business.

    I got some new skirts, original Foxcrafts, that need some work, and I need to put the Firestone on a non-bent wheel, and a few other odds n' ends before the car is back to 100%, but it'll be nice to get behind the wheel of his thing again.
     
    Stogy, Dan Hay and chryslerfan55 like this.
  5. RainierHooker
    Joined: Dec 20, 2011
    Posts: 1,994

    RainierHooker
    Member
    from Tacoma, WA

    Whew, I haven't updated this thread in a while...

    Well, I still have the ol' Tudor. She went back on the road after getting patched up from her little fender bender. She resumed the daily grind and went back to the dragstrip at the end of last summer. That's when things started going a bit wrong. She developed a bit of a knock at the big end of the strip and on the drive home overheated for the first time since I've owned her. A tune-up and some fiddling later she, again, went back to work every day. Until early this year.

    One night on the way home she just flat died on the highway. I got her restarted and limped her home. No power, no nothin' unless at wide-open-throttle, and even then not much. Rebuilt the carbs. Rebuilt the distributor. Did just about everything on the outside of the motor that could be done. Nope. I think that little knock last year at the track was a warning that I ignored.

    Anyway...

    IMG-4527.JPG
     
    chryslerfan55, 40LUV and Stogy like this.
  6. Now what's the plan?
     
  7. RainierHooker
    Joined: Dec 20, 2011
    Posts: 1,994

    RainierHooker
    Member
    from Tacoma, WA

    Spent yesterday cleaning up the front end's bits n' pieces...

    IMG-4540.JPG

    Should make for a nice seamless transition to the 'new' motor. As to what that is, well, we're moving the build's timeframe foreword a decade or so. We're being practical, and it was all the rage in those Hot Rod rags around abouts '56, so I dug this thing out of the corner...

    31277660_10156258990484437_6528265283927277568_n.jpg
     
  8. Been watching on IG with your new motor swap. I just got the 283 for my 39 back from the machine shop, doing the same exact swap. cant wait to see this back together.
     
    Atwater Mike likes this.
  9. After taking my roadster to the hillclimb and eruption drags, I decided to "retire" it from the racing aspect. I just don't want to hurt the car, as I didn't really build it to all out beat on it. So I feel your pain. As for your swap, I have a 57 283 power pack going together (slowly) for my 46 coupe. I've always wanted to build a pretty stock drive train early Ford with a warmed up 50's chev. There were literally thousands of them built in the late 50's/early 60's. I've always wanted to experience that time period.
     
  10. RainierHooker
    Joined: Dec 20, 2011
    Posts: 1,994

    RainierHooker
    Member
    from Tacoma, WA

    ...its the original motor out of my Dad's '58 Chevy truck, an early front mount, 165 horse, 283. Standard bore, standard crank, as near as I can figure about 60k miles before Dad yanked it and put a 327 in the truck. Its getting a complete stock rebuild, but with a Duntov 097 cam and a Corvette four-barrel carb setup...

    33041394_10156320099634437_749895435841175552_n.jpg

    Stock tin and '56 265 exhaust manifolds to clear the steering linkage:

    33867857_10156345651934437_4769743898706706432_n.jpg

    Its going in with the help of an NOS Hurst front mount and a Cragar bellhousing adapter:

    34382076_10156355547409437_782303609789349888_n.jpg

    34386180_10156355547309437_4197880913188618240_n.jpg

    And to back it up I built a new transmission for it. '39 Case, '46-48 Gears, NOS Synchros, and topped with an old chrome shifter:

    33850522_10156338624674437_855326192784375808_n.jpg
     
  11. I may have scoffed a few years ago, but I appreciate the direction you're going in. I'm kinda done with flatheads.
     
  12. I still love flatheads, but also know not every early Ford needs to be flathead powered. Are Chev's cliché? yes, but also used since 55 and fit so flippin good it's not even funny.
     
  13. No arguments here!
     
  14. RainierHooker
    Joined: Dec 20, 2011
    Posts: 1,994

    RainierHooker
    Member
    from Tacoma, WA

    True, an SBC in a 1939/40 Ford may be cliché, but there's a reason. It's damn near a match made in heaven.

    I can take some amount of pedantic solace in the fact that what I'm putting in is an early Chevy V8. I had no idea the amount of little quirks and differences these motors have compared to the more common side-mount SBCs.
     
  15. looks great Evan.. should motivate that 39 down the road really nice.. Sure glad my 36 has a SBC in it .. The 51 Woodie was great car...and the 8BA in ran great... but had I kept it any longer before my trade...it would have got modern running gear. call me if you need a hand with putting the nose back on.. or anything else.
     
    rodncustomdreams likes this.
  16. Uncle Bob
    Joined: Oct 20, 2007
    Posts: 1,088

    Uncle Bob
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Salado, Tx
    1. Northwest HAMBers

    You guys are making me feel good. 15 or so years ago I expressed the belief that the younger enthusiasts in the traditional vein, who stuck with it and grew in their knowledge and enthusiasm, would eventually embrace the SBC as a reasonable, and traditional, alternative to the venerable flathead. No, not that I'm any savant, just old enough that I've lived through that cycle before...…………..50+ years ago. Nice move Evan, especially given that your dad will be a part of it...………..
     
  17. RainierHooker
    Joined: Dec 20, 2011
    Posts: 1,994

    RainierHooker
    Member
    from Tacoma, WA

    Still nothing wrong with flatheads, I've got one Model A with a flat motor and another with a banger, so I'm not turning my back on them. The one that came out of the '39 will be saved one way or another too. I'm not lacking in flathead parts, or even blocks if it comes to it...

    31713373_10156274112114437_7338890307498409984_n.jpg

    ...but I've come to the conclusion that for a car that regularly sees highway speeds, a higher winding Chevy is just a more prudent choice. I've always been a GM guy anyway (heck if some of my relations knew I was messing around with Fords, I might just be disowned). I have plans to eventually use this car to tow my Model A drag car, and for some longer road trips, so the reduced hassle, reduced fuel mileage, and increased power should be worth it.
     
  18. Has anyone noticed the number of likes this statement got ?
     
    Outback and chryslerfan55 like this.
  19. RainierHooker
    Joined: Dec 20, 2011
    Posts: 1,994

    RainierHooker
    Member
    from Tacoma, WA

    Three?
     
  20. krusty40
    Joined: Jan 10, 2006
    Posts: 817

    krusty40
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Great cam choice! I have one in a 283 my '40 coupe with stock driveline. Nothing beats the solid lifter sound.

    vic
     
  21. (@504640 is a member, it's not the number of likes).
    haha!
     
  22. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 9,689

    Atwater Mike
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Well...True stories get fewer 'likes', but the history is sometimes important...and comical.
     
    rodncustomdreams likes this.
  23. Oops my bad.
     
  24. Boy do I feel stupid.
     
    Outback likes this.
  25. 100% Matt
    Joined: Aug 7, 2006
    Posts: 2,452

    100% Matt
    Member

    I have a later flathead in my 40. When it let’s go it’s either getting a y block or an early sbc


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  26. Dick Stevens
    Joined: Aug 7, 2012
    Posts: 2,560

    Dick Stevens
    Member

    The SBC is every bit as traditional as the flathead! :cool:
     
    HemiDeuce likes this.
  27. RainierHooker
    Joined: Dec 20, 2011
    Posts: 1,994

    RainierHooker
    Member
    from Tacoma, WA

    Been working without a day off for a couple of weeks, so all my work takes place in the little time I get after getting home in the evening. The new engine made it to within a few feet of installation last night...

    IMG_4605.JPG

    Should have the motor and tranny joined up and sitting in the frame soon enough...
     
  28. RainierHooker
    Joined: Dec 20, 2011
    Posts: 1,994

    RainierHooker
    Member
    from Tacoma, WA

    Got the engine and tranny dropped in tonight...

    IMG_4615.JPG

    I'll say it again: it is crazy how well these motors fit with stock parts. Zero clearance issues. Henry's ghost was apparently working for GM around 1954...
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2018
    David Gersic, Stogy, e z i and 2 others like this.
  29. 4 pedals
    Joined: Oct 8, 2009
    Posts: 621

    4 pedals
    Member
    from Nor Cal

    Duntov designed the small block to fit where a flathead once was.
     
    BigO likes this.
  30. That's an interesting thought! I wonder if there is/how much truth there is to that.
    It would certainly fit with his "Thoughts Pertaining to Youth, Hot Rodders and Chevrolet" mentality.
     

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