Body On The Frame
Before finally fitting the body to the frame a few minor details need to be taken care of. First is to make sure the hemi and all its parts properly clear the firewall, which they do and second, determine where some of the wiring, mechanical gauge sending units, and throttle cable need to exit the firewall. Don't get the idea that this body will stay in black. It will be painted the same color as the wheels and gas tank with the exception of the firewall, which will stay JD Blitz Black.
Its finally starting to look like a Hot Rod again.
Before I start the bodywork I'll take the time to bend up the sheet metal needed to mount the grill shell and do some small repairs to the original 1932 Ford grill. I purchased this grill at a swap meet about 10 years ago for less than a hundred bucks which was a pretty good deal then. Now you can't touch an original in decent condition for less than three times that figure. This one just needs a couple of the bar holding fixtures fixed and I have to strip the black paint off and re-do it.
Although this is a fairly inexpensive glass body you can see it is better quality than most when it comes to fitting the frame. Nothing looks worse than deuce body that has a 3" gap between the pan and the fuel tank. Henry's bodies didn't and neither should a glass replica. This body has just enough room to fit your finger between the tank and pan which as far as I'm concerned is just about right.
At the risk of being a little repetitive, here is the radiator overflow tank and you can see with the body on there is plenty of room to remove the cap if needed. This location is unobtrusive but still easily accessible, just what a radiator overflow tank should be.
I needed to fabricate some sort of mounting system for the grill shell that looks fairly original. What I decided to do was make a shroud that fits between the radiator and the shell and install the required brackets behind that shroud. You can see the shroud in this pic as well as the radiator overflow hose, which simply runs down the shroud, and along the frame to the overflow bottle.
There are four brackets, two on each side, and the grill shell simply bolts (in this case screws) in place. It's a very solid mounting but the whole grill and shell can be removed in about 2 minutes if the need arises.
Here is the repro Ansen brake and clutch peddle assembly temporarily mounted in place. The washers are to adjust the width of the pedals so they have proper clearance from the steering column. This unit was made specifically to use the early 60's Chevy/GMC truck dual master cylinder.
The gas peddle is a matching unit. I'm trying to keep the firewall as simple as possible so a bracket was fabricated that mounts the peddle without any holes through the firewall. There will be an interior trim panel that covers these square tubing supports once the interior is installed.
Here's a shot of all three peddles.
While I was messing around with the pedals I decided to make a mounting system for the trim ring that will hold the leather shifter boot in place. I decided to use threaded inserts and just epoxied them in place. The trim ring then just screws to the top of the raised boot. Simple, easy and one more little job out of the way.
Before I mounted the grill in the shell I tack welded the loose bars in place from the back side. I was lucky and there were only about a half dozen that were loose. This was a delicate job considering the age and thickness of the metal I had to work with. Anyway, with the repairs now finished and the grill mounting system done, the next job will be to strip it, paint it, and polish the trim. Then I'll get the grill shell ready for paint.
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