Final Frame Details

The final work on the frame, besides final assembly, is paint preparation.

On a Deuce the outside frame rails show so it is important that they look as good as the body when painted. I also wanted the rest of the frame to look professional as well so I'm spending a little extra time to "make things right" before spraying the final color.

The first thing that needed to be done was to cover the bare metal with a good quality primer to protect the metal. Today we would use a good epoxy primer but back in the day modern paints like that weren't available. I also don't believe etching primers were available either but sometimes you have to compromise a bit in order to ensure a quality job.

In this case I decided to use an etching primer from my local Napa store. This is a Martin-Senour product and will go a long way to protect the bare metal against rust and deterioration. First however I needed to remove all the surface rust that has collected in the past year since this frame was started. I live in Arizona so with the lack of humidity we have here there wasn't much to remove but it is an important step none the less. Here is the frame after coating with the etching primer. You can also see that all the weld joints have been treated to a coat of bondo and will be sanded smooth just to make things look better. It's a bit of work but a little extra time spent here will make a big difference in the finished product.

Here is a close up look at some of the weld joints after sanding. The welds were ground before the primer was applied and then the bondo was applied and sanded. This will give a nice smooth finished look when the frame is finally painted.

After a lot more hand sanding of weld joints the frame was finally sprayed with a two part filling primer.

I was fairly pleased with how most of the joints came out. A couple will need a little more work but generally they all came out nice enough. I have a tendency to be a perfectionist and I have to keep reminding myself that I'm NOT building a show car here and a few small imperfections are OK.

I am paying particular attention to the exterior frame rails and anything that will be seen once the car is finished. One thing I found is that every place I used a "C" clamp when welding the chassis together left a small ding in the exterior of the rail and those dings will have to be dealt with before a final coat of primer/sealer is applied. Here is the spot where the hairpin will attach to the frame. I was pleased with this one but the front shock mount in the picture below will need a bit more work.

One detail that had to wait till now was the mount for the electric fuel pump. I had to make the choice to run an electric pump because the big block Chevy water pump conversion I'm using on the hemi won't allow a stock mechanical pump to be used. I had given a new Carter pump to a friend a couple years ago but he didn't wind up using it so he volunteered to send it back. With the pump in hand I was able to fabricate a solid mount in a location that won't interfere with anything else. The pump itself mounts with rubber grommets to a mount that comes with the pump but I'll be adding more rubber isolators between the pump and this mount just to ensure it stays nice and quiet. Nothing is more aggravating than a noisy fuel pump. As you can see I still need to finish the welds.

Painting and Final Assembly

The reason this has taken so long is that after looking carefully at this project I decided that my decision to paint the entire car 1964 Ford "Candy Apple Red" just wasn't right. That color would have fit very well for a "street rod" but after some introspection and a good hard assessment of the attitude this car will represent I determined it needed a bit more of a sinister look. It's way more HOT ROD than street rod so low glass black was the obvious way to go.

Some will say that the "Hot Rod Black" look has been way over done. Maybe so but in this case I think it just fits. The problem is that there are several paint companies making what they call hot rod black and the reviews have been mixed at best. The choices are many. There's John Deere Blitz Black which is an enamel (which can be catalyzed) all the way to base coat/clear coat with flattening agent in the clear and just about everything in-between.

After doing some research I decided to try Kustom Shop "Hot Rod Black." This paint is a urethane and claims to be easy to use. In actual fact it is anything but easy to use. It is really nothing but single stage PPG Omni with a flattening agent premixed in the paint. It is inexpensive and worked satisfactorily on my frame. That said, I could easily tell it will be way too difficult to get an even sheen on a large surface with this product so painting the body with it is OUT. A professional painter may be able to use this product and get a good even coat however I'm no pro. So... another low sheen black will have to be used on the body. I would rather use a good lacquer but government regulations being what they are you just can't get one anymore. So the choice will be either another urethane or the old venerable John Deere Blitz Black however before that decision is made I'll need to do a bit more research.

Brake lines and the early Nova steering box can be seen here. The Nova box is a good inexpensive alternative to a Vega box.

Here's your basic Ford 9" installation using Pete & Jake's ladder bar suspension with a 1935 Ford transverse spring setup. This shot also shows the emergency brake cables and electric fuel pump installation.... more on that in a minute.

The original idea was to mount the pump to the bracket I welded to the frame. Well.... NOT SO FAST!!! Here is a perfect example of how, even though you thought you had all the bases covered, sometimes things just don't work out.

The bracket was installed with the frame on my home made rotisserie without the rear suspension installed. When it came time to install the pump on to the bracket it became very obvious the ladder bar would interfere with the pump which is not a good thing. So... the solution was to take a piece of 3/16 steel and make an adapter that will move the pump forward about 4 1/2" and in a little towards the frame rail. This solution ended up giving a good 2+" of clearance... problem solved.

One thing to note here is the mounting of the fuel pump. A lot of electric pumps vibrate and are noisy when running so to minimize this the pump itself was mounted to the bracket using rubber isolators and the pump mount was in turn mounted to the frame bracket using rubber isolators as well. The rest of the fuel system will be completed after the fuel tank is painted and installed.

The next project is assembling the Hemi and the rest of the drive train.

Check back often for more updates...

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