In order to use the stock F-150 radiator and still maintain a traditional look to the front end of the car I decided to experiment a bit and mount the radiator in the rear. After mocking up a number of different positions I concluded the best location was to hang the radiator directly off the back of the rear cross member. This should get the best air flow and keep the heat of the radiator as far from the passenger compartment as possible. To complete the traditional front end look, I purchased an after market 1929 grill shell which will be mounted "empty".
Photo #1 This is the stock F-150 radiator. Note that two 1x1 mounting supports have been cut and bolted to existing holes on the radiator surround. These mounting supports will be welded directly to the rear cross member.
Photo #2 This is a shot of the rear cross member with the primer sanded off where the mounting supports will be welded. I positioned the radiator at the height I wanted by blocking it up with 2x4's and then tack welded it at the top and bottom. Later, the radiator will be removed and the supports fully welded to the cross member.
Here are some shots of the final paint color. I used Car Quest's generic flat black enamel paint - a whopping $35 a gallon. A note of caution, this paint needs to be thinned beyond the recommended amounts on the can in order to get it to flow properly but it can also be over thinned very easily. It took me a bit of trial and error to get the right blend and I got a few sags and runs in the process. I'm leaving them as they are, however, until I finish all the mechanical work on the car. I have already dinged the paint here and there with all the work that is going on so I'm just waiting until I'm done banging around on it and then I may re-shoot the problem areas (or possibly just shoot the whole thing again.)
You will also note that I am still using "cheater blocks" to hold up the grill shell. Haven't made the mounts yet.
Here are some shots of the final primer coat. This coat was shot after many many primer and guide coats had been applied and sanded down. Once I think I have the body straight using the guide coat method I shoot a coat of just primer and sand it with 360 and then "jump grits" and sand with 600. The 600 makes the primer pretty shinny and any remaining low spots, waves, divots, and imperfections can be seen pretty clearly. Once those have been eliminated I then shoot the final coat of primer and sand with 360 in preparation for the color coat - which in this case will be flat black enamel.
Photo # 1 shows how I taped around the area to be cut to prevent the saw from bunging up the existing primer. Also note the pilot hole has been drilled. I first attempted to make the cut using my air powered saw but for some reason it kept hanging up in the cut so I did the job with my trusty electric saber saw.
Photo #2 - The completed cut.
Photo #3 - The lights are inserted for a test fitting. They seem to hold securely but if, in the future, they seem to work loose I will figure out a way to actually bolt them in place.