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Street Rodder Tech Article - 1940 Ford Sheet Metal

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Buckshot40, Mar 22, 2010.

  1. Lots of years ago, Street Rodder Magazine had an in-depth technical article with pictures regarding installing/adjusting the front fenders, grille and hood on a 1940 Ford. I had the magazine, but it's been misplaced during the moves over the years. Does anyone remember this article? What was the magazine month and year?

    Buckshot40 :D
     
  2. reefer
    Joined: Oct 17, 2001
    Posts: 746

    reefer
    Member

    I remember the article, it was by Frank Oddo on his `40 Coupe "Desire"...I used to have the mag with it in, ....I kept that one in the garage for reference while I was putting my old 40 coupe together, but I have had a search and it has gone,..sorry.
     
  3. garagerods
    Joined: Dec 15, 2006
    Posts: 452

    garagerods
    Member
    from Omaha

    Don't know about the article but we have great success doing it this way:
    (I made all of the mounts and brackets in the front. They aren't factory.)

    Assuming the body and suspension is mounted to the frame square :)

    1. Install hood and adjust gap around cowl. You need to temp. support it in the down position for this. Use the body lines running down the side for flow. I use a piece of tape on the front peak of the hood and find the centerline. Then mark the tape. I then measure from this point back to each corner to make sure the hood is square to the cowl.

    2. Center and align back fenders. Easy to use the body line where the felt is. Rotate the fender until the fender matches the body line. Then tighten up the fender to the body.

    3. Install running boards with rubber or space them if no rubber. Attach tightly to the rear fender and loosely to the front. Don't mount to the frame yet.

    4. Install front fenders. Attach to cowl and running board loosely and use a temp support for the front of the fender. Repeat on otherside. I use QuikGrip clamps to hold the fender to the running board tight. I also use my floor jack under the running board for up and down adjustment.

    5. I made a simple spreader fixture to use as a grill and bolt between the front fenders. This takes the place of using the grill and allows you the room to get behind the fenders in the front. Also by doing this, there will be no stress on the grill as we mount the front fenders to the frame and radiator support. The grill is mounted to the fenders, but can come out easily on it's own.This fixture will tie both fenders together and allow you to move them from left to right to square them on the cowl, hood and between the frame rails.

    As your fitting the fenders to the hood you will want to move both of them up and down to match the contour of the hood bottom to the top of the fender all while making sure the gap between the hood and the cowl stays consistent. If not, you may need to move the hood slightly forward or back until your happy.

    Once everything is aligned, go around and tighten everything up.
    1. The hood. Then prop open.
    2. Fender to cowl.
    3. Fender to running board.
    4. Fender supports to frame.
    5. Check hood to fender.
    6. Repeat on other side.
    7. Fasten running boards to frame.
    8. Install grill.

    The main areas for alignment are:
    1. Align the rear fender.
    2. Hood square to cowl with good gap.
    3. Align contour gap between hood and fender. Hood, front fender and running board goes up and down until you have a consistent gap.
    4. The front fenders move left and right to center the grill on the hood front.


    Lot's of patience and try to mount all pieces in a manner that there is NO STRESS on the parts.

    Lot's of blue tape on painted parts :)

    Hoped this helped!

    Good luck....
     
  4. Remember the article as well. Buddy of mine has virtually every edition of SR and has flagged all of the tech articles. I planned to make an index in a spreadsheet one of these days when I'm really bored. Only thing I found on the net was this index which seems to go back to 2002. http://streetrodder.automotive.com/tech/index.html It has a pretty crude search function however so cumbersome to use.
     

  5. This came up not too long ago, I think in January when someone posted about it. There's apparently someone on fordbarn.com who is an expert on restoring "40 Fords to AACA standards. Do a quick thread search for "40 Ford front sheetmetal and I think you will find his name.
     
  6. 19Fordy
    Joined: May 17, 2003
    Posts: 6,961

    19Fordy
    Member

    There are two articles that are helpful. "CONQUERING GRILLE GAPOSIS" by Frank Oddo in Street Rodder, June 1998 pages 94-100 and " HANGIN' THE '40 FRONT END' by Art Branum, Street Rodder, Feb. 1996, pages 52 -55. I also have the info. from KUBE (40Ford expert) that he published on Fordbarn in March 2004. If you can't get it ,I will zerox a copy of each and mail it to you.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2010

  7. You are the man! I'll try to find them!

    Buckshot40
     
  8. olscrounger
    Joined: Feb 23, 2008
    Posts: 4,007

    olscrounger
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    garagerods said it well--follow what he says--alot of moving around of pieces til its just right--I put vaseline on rubber hood bumpers as well for easy fit--have done 5 this way and starting another in 2 weeks--take your time and put tape along all edges--don't try to get too close a gap between hood and cowl or it will hang up--lots of times you must elongate hood hinges hole in cowl to get it right-on 3 of the 5 I have done, I had to move the front fenders/grille to the pass side about 3/16 to get alignment right after hood fit the cowl--

    I,m no expert but this has worked for me--take your time and watch the lower rear hood to cowl--easy to let it go down too far and chip paint--many 40's have chips here
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2010
  9. 19Fordy
    Joined: May 17, 2003
    Posts: 6,961

    19Fordy
    Member

    This is the 40 sheet metal article (I mentioned earlier) posted by "KUBE" on Fordbarn 12/30/07 at 4:20PM. His words are in quotes.

    "I POSTED THIS IN MARCH 2004. HOPE IT HELPS.

    "I received so many requests for tips on aligning the front sheet metal on '40s I was knocked to the floor! We all know that the factory alignment was usually quite poor. It's true there is (was) little room for alignment when these vehicles were new.
    Please understand I remain in the learning process and am certain there are various ways of properly aligning the sheet metal. However, the way I'll describe has worked for me on numerous occasions with wonderful results.

    I start the front sheet metal alignment only when I am completely satisfied with the door alignment. If you're restoring a convertible, it's a MUST that the top be completely installed and functioning as well.
    Running boards are not on the vehicle at this time. It is FAR easier to install them later and adjust the rear fenders to the boards.
    It is (in my opinion) imperative that the hood be installed and aligned to the cowl prior to any fenders/grill work is installed. Take your time at this step. It is important that you have good hinges and springs. There should be no wear at any of the pivot points. If there is, the alignment will not last.
    Be careful that the gap is even from side to side both along the top (between the hood and top of the cowl) and each hood side has the same amount of gap between it and the cowl. The height of the hood should be even with the cowl. Remember that a persons eye will be drawn naturally to the side of the vehicle and especially to the straightness of the trim and body line. It is imperative that these lines are straight! Bottom line-the hood MUST BE CORRECTLY aligned. Take your time and get it RIGHT! Before moving on tighten all attaching points. You should not have to readjust the hood.
    Prior to installing the fenders I elongate and enlarge the four clearance holes that will be used to bolt the fender to the lower cowl. * Also at this time enlarge the four holes in the front of the fender that the grille will later bolt through. *
    The grille should be a complete assembly PRIOR to installation. This is important as there is no allowance for adjustment within the grille assembly. Originally the stainless strips at each side of the grille (Deluxe only) were stapled to the sheet metal louvers. Doing this makes the installation a bit neater and positively easier. On concourse vehicles be certain to use round staples. Flat staples were not used in 1940.
    Now it's time to install the inner fender panel to the respective fender. Prior to this installation enlarge the clearance hole at the bottom (near center) of the inner fender panel. * This hole will be used later to bolt the inner fender to the frame directly next to the brake hose bracket. Be certain to enlarge the correct hole. Of the two holes in this area one will contain a grommet while the other is intended as a clearance hole for the fastener. There is a caged nut on the inner frame to accept this bolt/washer assembly.
    Bolt the inner panel to the fender at the top using the special flat carriage bolts. Tighten all securely. On concourse vehicles a thin webbing material is required between the fender and inner panel.
    Now's the fun part!
    WITH HELP, install a fender/inner panel assembly. Loosely install the nut/bolt assembly through the 'Y' brace to the inner panel. Install (snug-not tight) the four bolt/washer assemblies at the lower bottom of the fender to the caged nuts within the cowl. Now install the other fender.
    Again, WITH HELP, using the eight nut/bolt/washer assemblies install the grill assembly between the two fenders. Again, snug-not tight.
    Now's the (not) fun part!
    There is no easy way to do the remaining aligning. However, patience is a must! Do not be surprised if this takes two, even three evenings. I tend to 'walk away' when I become frustrated.
    Slowly and methodically push/pull/tug on the fenders and grille assembly until you are somewhat satisfied with the alignment. Keep a careful eye at the horizontal gap between the hood and the grille (top) as well as the vertical alignment of the hood to grille.
    Tighten the bolts at the grille/fenders just a bit more at this time. Recheck all the gaps. If you remain satisfied move on to the four bolts at the lower fender edge/cowl. Tighten these a bit more too. Do the other fender.
    Continue to recheck all the gaps after tightening each area. **
    Tighten the bolt/nut assemblies at the 'Y' brace. Again, check all of the gaps to be certain nothing has moved.
    If you remain satisfied with the entire alignment it's time to tighten all fasteners securely. If you are not satisfied you should be able to push/pull at the fenders as thus far the attachment points are only snug. Remember, "snug-not tight"? This allows the sheet metal to be moved a bit in to place and hold it there prior to firmly securing the fasteners.
    If this tightening causes the fenders to pull in too much it is practical to install a thin washer between the fender panel(s) and brace. On rare occasion (reproduction panels) I've found it necessary to enlarge this hole (inner panel) just a bit.
    Lastly, install the lower radiator air deflector. It may be necessary to enlarge a hole or two in this pan. Not to worry-all are covered by the proper fasteners.


    * I enlarge the holes to 1/2" and elongate approximately 1/8" on either side of each hole. The elongation should follow the curve of the fender. Remember that all these holes will be completely covered by the correct body washers.
    **If any gap should change after a specific area has been secured you know with certainty which area caused the effect. You may need to elongate a hole or two in that area a bit more. There should be NO binding at any attachment points."
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2013
  10. 40Standard
    Joined: Jul 30, 2005
    Posts: 5,810

    40Standard
    Member
    from Indy

    I got the Feb-1996 Street Rodder article by Branum, I can mail it or fax it
     
    Jybella likes this.
  11. 5window
    Joined: Jan 29, 2005
    Posts: 7,745

    5window
    Member

    Not your question,but still '40 Ford, there was an article on styling a '39-40 Ford rear pan and fenders in Street Rod Builder in July,2005. 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  12. Thanks for all your replies and help! I emailed Street Rodder Magazine asking how to buy the two back issues mentioned in this thread and this is the reply that I received:

    Dear Warren,

    Unfortunately we do not have Backissues dating back to that time period. We apologize for the inconvenience. thanks!

    Sincerely,

    Customer Service
    Source Interlink Media Backissues

    www.simbackissues.com

    1-866 542-2679
    M-F 9am to 4pm PST.

    I will be contacting some of you for additional help very soon.

    Thanks,
    Buckshot40 :D
     
  13. okiedokie
    Joined: Jul 5, 2005
    Posts: 4,083

    okiedokie
    Member
    from Ok

    I also have the mags and could scan and email.

    A note on 19Fordys post, which I have asked about previously. In the post it refers to bolting the inner fender to the frame at the brake line tab area. Even refers to caged nut. I have never seen this, any of you? Joe
     
    olscrounger likes this.
  14. 36tbird
    Joined: Feb 1, 2005
    Posts: 1,083

    36tbird
    Member

    Wasn't there an article in the GG Gazette on this about a year ago?
     
  15. I haven't seen a caged nut, and I'm not familiar with bolting the inner fender to the frame at the brake line tab area. Maybe I've been doing it wrong all these years! Sure would like to see pictures!

    Buckshot40 :D
     
  16. I do believe Art Branum's article is available at www.mr40s.com - if not, give them a call - they probably still have copies.
     
  17. 39 All Ford
    Joined: Sep 15, 2008
    Posts: 1,531

    39 All Ford
    Member
    from Benton AR

    Ther is a bolt with a cage nut....

    [​IMG]

    It does a lot to firm up the inner fender.

    I dont think that the bolt was actually in place for the picture but I did put it in later.
     
  18. okiedokie
    Joined: Jul 5, 2005
    Posts: 4,083

    okiedokie
    Member
    from Ok

    Neither the completely original 40 tudor or the 40 coupe I own have a bolt in that hole nor is the frame fitted with a caged nut to receive it. If you refer to a Drake catalog you will find Front Fender Inner Apron Bumpers # 01A-16188, set of four with the following description. "Plugs into holes on apron near brake hose, bumps against frame". I have just never owned a 40 that had a caged nut and a bolt thru that hole. Does yours have a factiry caged nut there? Now I can see why it might be considered helpfull to add one, although I have the same modified inner fenders on my 40 and am using rubber bumpers [one per side because the front hole is no longer there]. I truly don't care what anyone uses but I believe that the article in question was referring to stock 40 sheet metal and it thru me when I read that reference. You sure have a great fit going there with the hood/grill/inner fender by the way. Joe
     
  19. FOURTYDLX
    Joined: Feb 22, 2006
    Posts: 715

    FOURTYDLX
    Member

    Mine was bolted, but no caged nut. never wrecked,2 nd owner since 57
     
  20. 40 & 61 Fords
    Joined: May 17, 2006
    Posts: 2,000

    40 & 61 Fords
    Member

    Hood alignment was one of the big reasons why my 40 started out without a hood.
    Now, I just leave it off to make people ask if I have a hood for it.....;) LOL!!
     
  21. The 39 guy
    Joined: Nov 5, 2010
    Posts: 2,927

    The 39 guy
    Member

    My Forty has the caged nuts for the brake line gizmo and a hole for the front bolt hole of the two holes in the inner fender around the brake line bracket I will be using the front hole as an attachment point for the inner fender and the back hole will receive a rubber bumper. Both of my original inner fenders had the bolt tab broken off and there was severe metal fatigue and cracking around the brake line bracket. There are only three attachment ponts for the inner fender and they are supporting a lot of weight. I think you should use the front bolt to help support the center section of the fender. I happy to see all of this info on fitting the front end as I am about to take on the dreaded task this week. I will be doing this as a trial fit before the parts go off to the painter. Since my Forty had been wrecked both front and rear I think it will be helpful to check the parts fit before I get all of that pretty stuff back from the painter.
     

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