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04-27-2005 11:31 PM Juliano's soft top insert 2
After the steps in part 1 of this essay, I painted the car. Now it was time to put the Juliano's soft top in permanently. All I am showing here are the exceptions to Juliano's installation directions. For the whole procedure, you need to buy the kit!

The three photos below show how the Juliano's aluminum welt strip fit in the Willys soft top trough. I cut a couple of 2" long chunks of the Juliano's vinyl snap on welting material and snapped them onto the welt strip. As I moved along drilling holes for the rivets and riveting the strip in place, I straddled the rivet hole with the chunks. They fit perfectly in the channel and that guaranteed the final welt would fit down in the channel when finally installed.

The last shot show how I used a putty knife under the strip as I bent it to fit the curve of the channel which protected the new paint job.

Black pen tick marks show where the sheet metal screws that hold the aluminum in place are so I don't wast time and 1/8" drill bits trying to drill through them!


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  [Entry #126]

04-27-2005 11:24 PM Juliano's soft top insert 1
Juliano's soft top insert kit is a life saver to those who want the original look of a 30s car but don't want the high maintenance, leaking stock style roof insert.

There are few things I don't like about how they say to install the top though. The main thing is that they recommend putting the rail outside the trough that held the welt of the original cloth in place. If you do that, you add about 1/2" thickness ot the top insert which looks pretty bad.

On the installation on my Willys I decided to put the Juliano's welt in the welt trough that Willys designed there. Photo 1 shows the 1/8" plywood insert I cut and screwed to fill the opening. The silver rim showing around that wood insert is where the original Willys trough is.

Photo 2 shows a closeup of the trough. It was swiss cheesed on the bottom from the factory with nail holes and if I tried to rivet the Juliano's aluminum welt retainer, there was no place for the rivets to hold. In addition the trough was quite deep and the welt sunk below the surface of the top which looked as bad as sitting too tall on it. My solution was to cut some strips of 1/16" thick aluminum sheet and screw it to the wood frame with sheet metal screws. I put a generous bead of DAP 30 year paintable caulk w/ silicone (white residue on the edges of the aluminum) under the strips before screwing them down so it was permanently sealed.


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  [Entry #125]

04-10-2005 10:11 PM '53 AD extended cab how-to74
Finally, I made a bracket to hold the mechanical thermostat since the manufacturer didn't provide for it. They recommend using a zip-tie to hang it on something-or-other. Hokey! The photo shows the bracket I made from a section of the rectangular tubing it is resting on. A couple of holes in the frame and it will be well hung!

Off to the powder coater for a coat of gloss black on all the doo-dads.


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  [Entry #124]

04-10-2005 10:06 PM '53 AD extended cab how-to73
I screwed two lengths of my thin angle iron to the sides of the cooler. Then I held it under the truck to see how I would mount it. It fit best at about a 45deg angle to the frame and 100% vertical. The fan is to the rear so it will suck air aided by road wind when traveling. Photo 1 shows the parts I welded to the bracket that is closest to the frame. There is 1 1/4" bolt through the floor of the truck (hidden under the seat) and an angle iron bracket that extends over the frame in which there is another 1/4" bolt.

Photo 2 shows the only mounting point on the in-board bracket - a 1/4" bolt attaching it to the existing flange around the transmission access hole that Chevy built.

Photo 3 shows that the cooler is still not as low as the transmission or gas tank so shouldn't see any road hazards.


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  [Entry #123]

04-10-2005 09:56 PM '53 AD extended cab how-to72
I am using a remote fan cooled tranny cooler as shown in photo 1. I will use an electric thermostatic temperature control to turn on the fan for cooling and the mechanical thermostat shown in photo 2 to bypass the cooler for quicker heating to operating temperature.

The cooler didn't come with mounting brackets so I had to make them. I decided to put the unit under the passenger side floor board between the tranny tail housing and the frame. Photo 3 shows how I make light weight angel iron for projects like this by splitting square tubing on my metal cutting saw.


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  [Entry #122]

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