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Projects Tim's (aka anothercarguy) 1938 Ford Club Cabriolet Build Thread

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by anothercarguy, Dec 10, 2020.

  1. Dedsoto
    Joined: Jan 7, 2014
    Posts: 188

    Dedsoto
    Member
    from Australia
    1. Aussie HAMBers

    The only 5/8 x 36 spline uni joint I've found that's actually 5/8 not 0.600 is Borgeson 114921
     
    anothercarguy likes this.
  2. Not much of an update...but still slowly making progress. I pulled all of the front end sheet metal down from the "mezzanine" level storage of the garage and carted it down to the shop.
    20211206_112456_resized.jpg I decided to start with the inner fender well panels. I'm not sure what this grey stuff is/was? I originally thought it was some sort of poorly applied body type filler, but when I began removing it with the abrasive wheel, it became kind of soft and gummy (almost like the tar coat on the inside panels of the Ford bodies). So, I scraped it off using a razor blade and heat gun. Was it applied by Ford as a heat barrier maybe?? I don't know. Both fender wells had it similarly applied.
    20211206_142713_resized.jpg Once the grey stuff was removed, out came the purple abrasive wheel/disc on the sacrificial $10.00 Harbor Freight 4 1/2" grinder and the metal cleaned up quite nicely (especially considering it's 83 years old). I suspect this car, while it had it's rust issues and minor fender bumps and bangs, lead a somewhat charmed life. The odometer had 84,000 miles on it, the last registration plate was dated 1955, and I know that it was stored inside a barn since the early 70's (I don't know where it was kept between 1955 and the early 70's). The factory paint on the wheel side of the wheel well panel was in remarkable condition. It stripped to shiny metal with very little effort. This is the passenger side.
    20211206_120915_resized.jpg
    And, after a quick pass with the da sander its ready to fit to the car.
    20211206_134921_resized.jpg
    The driver side unfortunately is not in the same shape. The car was obviously involved in some sort of driver side fender bender and the repair was less than stellar. I have some banging and hammering in front of me to bring this one back to shape. It's pretty much rust free (that's the good news), but it's been badly stretched! Anybody have a spare one in decent shape?
    20211206_154356_resized.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2021
  3. The 39 guy
    Joined: Nov 5, 2010
    Posts: 3,250

    The 39 guy
    Member

    That panel IS pretty lumpy but I am sure you will hammer it into submission.I would probably end up cutting some of the worst metal out and welding in some new stuff. But I am not the metal magician you are.
     
  4. Lol...I've been pondering my attack on this panel. In the back of my mind, like you, I'm thinking worst case, I could always cut out the bad parts and build new sections. Stay tuned, we'll see which direction this panel takes us.
     
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  5. Malcolm
    Joined: Feb 9, 2006
    Posts: 7,875

    Malcolm
    Member
    from Nebraska

    I skimmed through your progress to catch up to current point. Lots of work, but it looks great! I'm looking forward to following along with the rest of it.
     
  6. Thanks @Malcolm, I'm hoping you guys are finding the progress interesting.

    After working this morning replacing and repairing the broken snow blade on my ATV (after yesterday's snowfall!), I spent the afternoon back on the '38. Specifically on the hammered up driver side inner wheel well panel. Here are the first 2 areas I decided to concentrate my efforts towards. I know about repairing accident damage in the reverse order of impact (last damage in is the first to come out). The problem is that the damage is not exclusively the accident damage, the damage made by the previous body man must also be reversed. I decided to try a "middle out" type approach.
    Fender well mark up.jpg
    The first order of business would be some time on the HF planishing hammer. It reminded me of removing the "walnuts" after stretching sheet metal on the shot bag. The little planishing hammer does a pretty good job of that task. .
    20211207_135542_resized.jpg
    In fairly short order (15 or so minutes), it did a pretty good job of smoothing out that area of the panel.
    20211207_141957_resized.jpg Next a few minutes with body hammers and dollies worked out a few of the remaining "worst" spots.
    20211207_142325_resized.jpg For now, this area was close enough to move on to the next area.
    20211207_143429_resized.jpg
    The 2 ribs that run front to back about 2-5" up from the bottom of the panel were pretty badly banged up. It took some patience with the hammers and dollies to knock them close to their intended shape and resting place. I still need to work on the leading edge of the lower rib, but for now, it seemed like a good stopping point.
    20211207_143627_resized.jpg 20211207_155806_resized_1.jpg
    I hope to continue on this panel tomorrow, assuming none of my other junk breaks and needs emergency repairs...lol.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2021
    Jim Bouchard, brEad, alchemy and 3 others like this.
  7. The 39 guy
    Joined: Nov 5, 2010
    Posts: 3,250

    The 39 guy
    Member

    You made a lot of progress on that panel for one day! You asked if anyone had an inner fender the other day. I don't , but I think I have one of these out in the shed. This one is on Ebay for around $ 30.00 right now. Mine would be free to you but You would on the hook for the shipping . I think mine is in a little better shape than this one.
    Sam
    upload_2021-12-7_18-26-31.png
     
  8. That's very generous Sam. Thank you for the offer! I think my version of that panel is also in pretty good shape. I'll verify tomorrow.
     
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  9. @The 39 guy , I checked the version of that panel that I have and my memory was correct. I do have one and it's in good shape. Thanks again for your generous offer.

    My plan for the day was to continue straightening out the driver side inner wheel well panel. That is until the sun made a showing and the temperature in front of the shop felt like it was in the mid 60's (F). It was a better day to get something done outside the shop. So, out came the saw horses, the strip it disc on the disposable HF grinder and I made dust (outside dust! the best kind, way better than in the shop dust! I've made both.) stripping the front fenders. Once down to bare metal, I could see there are areas the need attention, but they are in better shape than I thought they might be. Especially after seeing the condition of that drivers inner fender panel...perhaps the driver side fender had been replaced following the fender bender? I've said it before, the primer (looked to be at least 3 colors and in varying thicknesses), is a tough, slow strip.

    For those out there asking why I don't just have the car/parts sandblasted or dipped, the price I was quoted to have the parts dipped (which was my first choice/plan) was north of $20k and was told it would take between 8-12 weeks...couldn't justify it (either time or money!)! And as for the sandblasting, I've had really nice panels come back warped like tortilla chips by people/companies that were supposed to know what they were doing...not to mention the logistics of living on an island, ferries, open car trailer, weather in the Pacific North West etc. Bottom line, a couple hundred bucks in strip discs, some carefully chosen therapeutic time with the body parts yields acceptable results. Ok, I'll shut up now and here's a couple pictures of today's project.
    20211208_145855_resized.jpg 20211208_145906_resized.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2021
  10. The 39 guy
    Joined: Nov 5, 2010
    Posts: 3,250

    The 39 guy
    Member

    I am glad to hear you have a good panel, that way I won't have to go out to the shed to find mine. Those fenders look pretty good. As in not much of a challenge for you.;)
     
  11. Great work! Thanks for the progress report.
     
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  12. There hasn't been a lot of progress in the shop over the past few weeks. I've been dealing with a shoulder issue that's simply rendered me pretty much useless. The remedy (cortisone shot) should happen early in the new year.

    I did make a very small amount of further progress on the driver side front inner fender panel. Specifically, after hammering out most of the damage in front of the brace, I ended up with an area of "raised pucker" from the stretched sheet metal behind/above the brace (circled area). I used the oxy/acetylene torch to shrink the pucker out. 20211212_104110_resized.jpg
    20211212_111323_resized.jpg After the first pass, there was still a slight pucker remaining, so one more round of heat shrinking with the torch and it came out. (Sorry about the second picture being upside down...I've tried a few times to correct it, but apparently it's beyond my limited tech ability).
    20211212_111925_resized.jpg
    20211212_112847_resized.jpg

    I then re-introduced a curved/flowing character line that ran from the brace to the rear vent outlet area. I didn't take a picture of the process because my hands were busy...but I used the English wheel with the flat die. I rolled it through with only slight pressure on the wheels, but applied downward pressure on one side of the panel as it rolled through to introduce the character line. The character line is visible in the following picture...and may need to be "softened" a bit with a hammer and dolly.

    20211212_122041_resized.jpg

    So, that's about it for now...and will likely be my last update until my shoulder stops protesting. In the mean time, I'm wishing you all a great Christmas and happy/healthy holiday season!
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2021
  13. J. A. Miller
    Joined: Dec 30, 2010
    Posts: 1,775

    J. A. Miller
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Central NY

    Merry Christmas Tim! Panel is coming along nicely. Sorry to hear about your shoulder.
     
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  14. The 39 guy
    Joined: Nov 5, 2010
    Posts: 3,250

    The 39 guy
    Member

    Great save Tim! Hope that shoulder heals soon. It is surprising how much one sore shoulder can affect your total mobility and your ability to work on anything in the shop. Merry Christmas!
     
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  15. Nice. And rest that shoulder.
     
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  16. RodStRace
    Joined: Dec 7, 2007
    Posts: 2,777

    RodStRace
    Member

    With the quality of the metalwork so far, and the latest pics showing parts that still need your talents, I understand why the shoulder is holding up that work, but perhaps redirect progress to something less demanding. Layout of wiring, selecting paint and interior colors, sourcing parts sellers, etc.
    The shop looks nice and clean, so that's not needing a couple weeks effort like many others, including my own!
     
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  17. Thanks to those who have wished me well in my shoulder recovery. It's been very slowly coming along, and without wanting to re-injure it, I've carefully begun making my way back into the shop. On the first day in the shop I tidied the place back up (it's been a dumping ground for any parts I've ordered over the past few months while I was unable to beat things with hammers!).

    Day 2 in the shop I began to re-introduce the drivers inner fender panel to it's fender mate to see if and where additional shaping is required (there is definitely more work required). The fender edge/flange received a bit of hammer and dolly work to straighten it out. I then attached the side of the grill to the fender to make sure those mating surfaces still fit together (they did...I had a win!). That's as far as I've gotten because I don't want to overdue it. Sorry no pictures because frankly, it's not that exciting to see...unless you've been flat on your ass for the past 2 months waiting for your body to heal...then it's over the top exciting! I promise more action and photos as I begin to move forward again. Cheers! :)
     
  18. Great news. But take baby steps. Sounds like you're in control of that even though it's tempting to do more.
     
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  19. You have that right! I'm saying day 1 and day 2....in fact it's more like a couple hours each day. Like you say, baby steps.
     
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  20. The 39 guy
    Joined: Nov 5, 2010
    Posts: 3,250

    The 39 guy
    Member

    That's good news! Hope you can keep on that recovery path.
     
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  21. loudbang
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 40,111

    loudbang
    Member

    It takes awhile. I had my shoulder done and it just takes some time to get back to normal. :)
     
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  22. Hey guys, progress has been extremely slow on the project due to my ongoing shoulder issue...but I'm shouldiering on slowly anyway(see what I did there? :rolleyes:). So here's an update.

    After beating on that mangled mess of a driver's side inner fender panel, it was time to marry the panel to the fender and grille to see if they all still fit together.
    20220313_115243_resized.jpg The fit wasn't too bad, but it wasn't great either. I had to make a slice in the two lower reinforcing beads of the inner panel to allow it to relax (see circle) and open up to meet the fender and grille. I won't weld up the cuts until I get all of the front sheet metal together in case there is a need for further "adjustment".
    1938 Driver inner fender.png I then took this assembly and began mounting it to the car to see if we were still on the same page. The fit with the aftermarket running boards was better than I expected. They will still require a bit of work. But again, I don't want to make any cut and weld type adjustments until the rest of the sheet metal is attached to the car.
    20220316_151406_resized.jpg 20220316_151425_resized.jpg 20220316_151433_resized.jpg
    I did a bit of light hammer and dolly work to remove 3 small dents/low spots (circled in felt pen on side of fender). I then turned my attention to a small crack on the bead. After straightening it, I thought about just welding it but it seemed to be work hardened and brittle, so I decided to cut it out, make a small patch and welded it in. 20220322_123813_resized.jpg 20220322_123820_resized.jpg
    It was now time to address the front lower portion of the fender where it looked as though someone ran up on a curb or something. It had a pretty nasty crease and the outward side was pushed back about an inch plus.. The opening for the bumper iron was also cracked and badly distorted (including the doubling plate behind). It seemed the best approach was to remove the doubling bracket, repair the damage and then weld it back together. I ground out the spot welds with a carbide burr because there was not enough room for a drill and then more hammering on stuff and welding happened.
    20220322_123932_resized.jpg 20220322_124131_resized.jpg 20220322_140009_resized.jpg That's it for now. With shop time limited to 2-3 hours every other day or so (that seems to be the limit that my shoulder is able to endure), progress will continue to be slow (but I'm still moving forward none the less!).
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2022
  23. J. A. Miller
    Joined: Dec 30, 2010
    Posts: 1,775

    J. A. Miller
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Central NY

    It's still progress Tim! Let that shoulder heal.
     
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  24. I thought I might also add (in case you guys have any specific ideas and/or knowledge on this), the fit of the fender at the cowl is not great. In the center where the bolt is (near the door hinge), it's able to suck the fender up to the cowl, but forward of the bolt (toward the hood opening) there is about 1/4"+ gap and at the lower edge of the fender (below the door hinge) at the cowl there is about a 1/4" gap. I know that I could/should have fender welt in there, but it still seems like a pretty wide gap to me (see pics).
    20220316_152915_resized.jpg 20220316_152930_resized.jpg
    I could cut the fender flange free and allow it to better meet the cowl and weld in a sliver of filler steel...but again, I think I'll wait until the rest of the sheet metal is attached before making any cut and weld adjustments. Are there any other solutions to this? Adding more fender to cowl attachment nuts/bolts to help suck in the fender? Or?
     
  25. having played with the front sheetmetal on my 39 Standard, I would recommend that you put all of the front end on the car, with all of the support brackets that go along with it, including the inner fenders, and the grill, hood and hood sides. it is shocking how much the fenders can twist in and out for adjustment. Example, the gap you are talking about there, went away on mine when i put the grille and inner fender panels in.
     
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  26. I thought that might be the case...thanks for the confirmation Jason.
     
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  27. I am working on all the same areas right now myself. I will also ditto what Jason said.

    Over on my build thread I had the same fit issue on the cowl side and marked a line parallel to the cowl and cut a sliver out of the fender, welded back together and the fit is good. this fender had a million (320) rust holes in the crown, but good shape. The other one I'm dealing with now has no rust issues, but bad shape and a LOT of old repairs and welded splits. It is proving difficult.

    So...am enjoying seeing what you are doing here. Carry on please...carefully!
     
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  28. The support brackets that go from the inner fender down to the front crossmember are critical. The keep they weight of the fender from pulling the fender away from the grille and hood sides. I actually slotted the holes in the cross member for the brackets and was able to use that to really tighten up the hood to grill and hood side gaps.
     
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  29. Good info/tip. Thanks again Jason, I appreciate your input. Because I moved my front crossmember forward 1 3/8", the chassis brackets that those struts bolt to were modified. The struts will also need to be slightly modified but I want to wait until the bulk of the front sheet metal is in place before I make the changes.
     
    Nailhead Jason likes this.
  30. I wonder if you could fab up a little turnbuckle connection to use until you get to the point where everything is spot-on and you can then make a precise strut.?
     

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