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Projects Installing flat firewall in a Brookville coupe

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Bcap55, Dec 10, 2016.

  1. Bcap55
    Joined: Oct 5, 2009
    Posts: 139

    Bcap55
    Member
    from PA, USA

    Picked up a Brookville coupe and frame at Fall Carlisle and ordered a flat firewall for it.
    I understand that the body was lowered over the firewall when Henry Ford built these, but I tried to install the firewall with the body bolted to the frame. Managed to get the top in , but I'm having trouble getting the bottom part in. The channel that the firewall gasket sets in won't fit passed the brass mounting bracket as seen in the photos below.(see white arrow).
    Can anyone tell me the right way to locate and install this firewall.
    I need to know how to install the lower feet onto the firewall, I need to drill the firewall and bolt these on.
    Should the gasket overhang the ends of the firewall or does it get cut short of the ends. IMGP0150.JPG IMGP0149.JPG IMGP0146.JPG IMGP0142.JPG
     
  2. I built a Brookville '32 roadster and dealt with that very issue. Took firewall in out an out numerous times. I inserted the lower part of the firewall into the body first (probably starting about half way down the opening) and then slid it down, pushing in the top last. I was coming in at an angle if that makes sense. If I recall I left the lower body mounts (the cast piece that tensions the cowl down onto the firewall when bolted down) unbolted, putting those bolts in after the firewall was set in body cowl. When I was ready for the final assembly I installed the rubber seal on the firewall and taped it in place, used silicone spray to lube it and make it slide in easier. Pulled tape out after it was in place. Worked fine. The feet were a pain in the ass, I set the firewall in the body, tensioned everything properly then positioned feet and marked firewall for the mounting bolt holes.
    Hopefully this all makes sense.........
     
  3. I just reread your question about the firewall hitting the bracket, I had no problem there, perhaps the 3 window body is different in that area.
     
  4. image.jpg To me it looks like the firewall is longer/taller than a stock 32 firewall. Maybe just the angle of the picture but I will post a picture of a original 32 firewall in my original roadster. Look at how tall the feet are from frame to firewall. Hope this helps maybe someone can measure one for you.
     

  5. I'm out of town now but will be home soon I will try and give you a better answer later today. I'm thinking the gasket ends at bottom of the body, and you just trim it off BUT I'm not 100% sure in that. Theirs a lot more 32 experts on the hamb so hopefully they see this soon for ya.
     
  6. swifty
    Joined: Dec 25, 2005
    Posts: 1,806

    swifty
    Member

    Been meaning to ask this question on the HAMB for awhile. I've got a UPAC 5 window and an aftermarket firewall. Could not bring myself to cut an original firewall to suit the nailhead. I'm having the same problem as I can't get the firewall past the body feet. I assume that the body was originally lowered onto the chassis with firewall fitted but my 1 man body lowering technique is just not accurate enough for this. You could spring the bottom of the cowl enough to fit the firewall but this would be a 2 man job.
     
  7. Ok, just went and looked at my roadster, the firewall fit over the top of the body bracket. seemed to just slide right into place, don't recall have any problems fitting it and I had that firewall in and out numerous times.
    IMG_3950.JPG
     
  8. I also was installing the firewall after the body was mounted, not trying to fit body over mounted firewall.
     
  9. Bcap55
    Joined: Oct 5, 2009
    Posts: 139

    Bcap55
    Member
    from PA, USA

    Thanks guys, I'll put the firewall back in without the gasket tomorrow to see if I can get it to fit over the body bracket.
    I'm gonna try Ric's method and put the bottom in first and slide it down and then push the top in.
    If I cut the gasket so that it is above the body bracket I wonder if that would let the gasket channel slide over the bracket.
    I'm really worried about getting the height of the firewall right when I drill and bolt it to the feet, to high and the body won't fit, to low and the gasket won't seal.
    I'll let you know how it goes.
    Hopefully someone with a coupe will respond.
    Thanks.
     
  10. Bcap55
    Joined: Oct 5, 2009
    Posts: 139

    Bcap55
    Member
    from PA, USA

    I worked on the firewall this weekend, put it in without the gasket and it fit over the body brackets.
    Got to thinking the firewall would fit if the gasket didn't overlap the body brackets.
    I marked the top of the brackets on the gasket channel and cut the gasket at those marks.
    With the gasket in and some soapy water for lube I put the bottom of the firewall in first and pushed
    the top in. It fit much better this way.
    IMGP0154.JPG


    Next step is to mount the feet to the bottom of the firewall. I'll use vise grips to clamp the firewall to the body and compress the gasket for a good seal. Then I'll put the feet in place and mark and drill the bolt holes.
    Does this sound like a good way to locate the firewall. Any problems with doing it this way.
    IMGP0156.JPG IMGP0157.JPG
     
  11. That is exactly how I did it, bolted body down,installed firewall with clamps, mounted feet to frame and marked firewall for holes. Bolted it together !
     
  12. SDS
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 69

    SDS
    Member

    I just got a Brookville 32 roadster body and am having the same WTF moment with the firewall...
    Did you end up with the firewall covering the bronze brackets? Did you do anything to "stretch" the cowl to get it in there tight?
    The contour of the cowl looks different than that of my firewall - thinking of bolting the cowl down through the bronze brackets and then jacking the firewall upwards with a floor-jack to get it in there tight and stretch the cowl around it to meet the same contour (before installing the feet).
    Any advice or help is well appreciated...thoughts?

    Thanks,
    Scott
     
  13. @ric , Roadster owner
    @Bcap55 , 3 window owner
    @swifty , 5 window owner

    See if we can help @SDS update this old thread.
    Thanks guys.
     
  14. Bcap55
    Joined: Oct 5, 2009
    Posts: 139

    Bcap55
    Member
    from PA, USA

    I did what ric suggested. Tilt the top of the firewall towards the front of the car and feed the bottom in above the brass feet and down onto them then tilt the top of the firewall into the cowl. I was able to do it with the gasket installed on the firewall, use some soapy water to lube the gasket if you need to. I did trim the gasket to be just above the brass feet.
    IMG_1448.JPG IMG_1449.JPG
     
  15. SDS
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 69

    SDS
    Member

    OK...I can get the firewall in there, just can get it "pushed up" hard enough to take up the slop/slack in the cowl/firewall curvature mismatch. My firewall overlaps the bronze brackets by more than yours as a result.
    I'm fixing to put the bolts into the frame through the bronze brackets (with the firewall in place), then put a 2x4 across the bottom edge of the firewall to push it up into the cowl, then clamp it in place.

    Thoughts?
     
  16. Bcap55
    Joined: Oct 5, 2009
    Posts: 139

    Bcap55
    Member
    from PA, USA

    Can you post some photos that show the mismatch. My firewall fit the cowl without any problems.
    Also you can call Brookville and talk to the shop guys that assemble these body, I called about an issue I had and they helped me.
     
  17. swifty
    Joined: Dec 25, 2005
    Posts: 1,806

    swifty
    Member

    @Bcap55 can you use your method with the firewall feet bolted to your firewall? My problem is that the feet are rivetted to the firewall and are wider than the bronze brackets so you need someone each side to spring the bottom of the cowl so the feet clear. In the Ford factory they lowered the body onto the firewall and I assume there were 2 workers there to spring the cowl sides during the operation. Original firewalls had rivetted feet. Not a job I can do on my own.
     
  18. I don't see why that wouldnt work. If my memory serves me, and it is suspect, my firewall did not seat fully. I had to use vice grips exactly like Bcap55 did to pull it up and into place. Not sure if I can share any more insight, I certainly do not recall it being a struggle to assemble it. I would call the Brookville factory and see what they suggest, per Bcap55's suggestion.
     
  19. Bcap55
    Joined: Oct 5, 2009
    Posts: 139

    Bcap55
    Member
    from PA, USA

    You can install and remove the firewall with the feet on if you remove the bronze brackets from the cowl. I didn't like the look of the rivets sticking out from the cowl, so I ground them off and removed the bronze brackets. I brazed the rivet holes up and drilled and tapped them for 1/4-20 screws. I'll use stainless button head screws to mount the brackets for a cleaner look.
    I never tried to install the firewall by spreading the cowl bottom out, but it might work if you have help.
     
  20. SDS
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 69

    SDS
    Member

    Will post photos of the mismatch as soon as I get a better cowl seal and get it back together :)
     

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