When the seams are welded, add fish plates of 14ga metal to top and bottom of rails. As photo 1 shows, the fish plates are diamond shaped to wrap half way around the frame from top and bottom. The diamond shape insures there will be no vertical weld lines on the frame which could cause stress risers and eventual cracks. This way only long diagonal lines are created.
Photo 2 shows the finished and painted joint. Missing is the usual globby lap of mismatched frame sections common to other clips. In fact, once painted and with the fenders on, we had a hard time even seeing the joint from the engine compartment!
Fig 3 shows where the front frame rails need ot be cut to allow mounting of the bumper bracket in their stock locations. Now weld the radiator mounts removed from the old frame rails in the exact location they were on the old frame. Done carefully, the stock sheet metal will bolt right into place as though it was meant to go there.
Photo 1 shows how the stock Monte steering gear bolts right on. Note in the foreground of this photo, just in front of the steering gear, the radiator mount that I have been talking about. Welded to the frame in the exact same relationship to the rest of the truck, all the sheet metal bolted back up, no problem. Very clean installation. We even had room for the commercial 4-tube headers that came on the truck when my friend bought it. Red arrow shows where we cut the rivets off the Monte engine mounts. We then bolted the mounts to the engine and dropped the engine in the bay. Bolted it to the tranny and welded the motor mounts where they fell. Very poor boy but it worked like a champ!
One of the last things we did was slap in an EZ wiring harness (last photo).
THE classic hot rod tail light is the '59 Caddy. End of story. For my "Factory King Cap" '53 Chevy pickup, there was no other choice for tail light. Here is how I did it.
There are a couple of companies that make Caddy installation tubes with the back plate welded in, the baloney cut, holes drilled - ready to just weld in.
Two problems with that - They cost $40 a pair and most importantly, I would rather do it myself! I found that the 3" outer case of a 2" glass pack muffler is the perfect diameter and is nice heavy steel. It gets even better than that; Jegs sells them for $17 each
so I got two 2' pieces of 3" pipe, four nifty belled steel cups, 4' of great perforated 2" pipe that I can use for something I'm sure, and a pile of monofilament glass fiber that I'm sure will come in handy some day. Thus I got plenty of material to make my 4 tail light holes, plus the normal couple of ruined attempts, and a pile of treasures for 1/3 of what the four commercial cup would have cost. Life is good!
Prep the muffler tubes by cutting off the belled ends just as they begin to swedge down in size and remove al the internals. Photo 1 shows the muffler and a slice I took from another muffler on which I cut the shape of the two fender locations (top and bottom have different radii) for a pattern.
Photos 2 & 3 show how to use a tape measure to index the tubing pattern. With the fenders accurately mounted on the bed, measure up from the bottom edge of the fender and mark the bottom (or top) of each hole on both fenders. I used 9" & 13 1/4" respectively. Then measure from the bed to the location of the end of the tube with a line that is parallel to the bed. I used 6".
Now using the pattern pipe previously made, line it up with the index marks made previously, level it and make sure it is parallel to the bed and draw around it for the outline of the hole (Photo 1). Use an air powered abrasive slitting saw to cut the hole inside the line. Then using a die grinder with a carbide cutter, clean up the hole until a 3" tube slides snuggly inside.
Photo 2 shows how to mark the cut to make one of the final tail light tubes. Cut or grind one of the tube ends perfectly square and slip that end into one of the holes you just cut in the fender.
Make a mark on the tube about an inch from the inserted end which is how deep you insert the tube into the hole. Adjust this measurement to reveal as much of the chrome trim ring you want to show on the installed tail light. Now simply draw around the intersection of the opening on the tube and cut out this shape. I didn't show a level on photo 2 but use one for insurance. Perfect fit every time! Hint; there is a weld seam on the inside of the tube so position this weld seam to the outside of the tube so it will be hidden on the final installation and greatly ease final finishing.
Photo 3 shows the resulting tube welded into the fender with a sheet metal plate welded in the bottom that has been drilled to accept the tail light. All done except the final finish. I braze stainless 1/4 " x1" bolts inside the tail light bases, assemble the lights and stick them in the buckets with the bolts going through the pre-drilled holes, and secure them using stainless lock washers and wing nuts. That makes it easy to remove the lights and change bulbs when necessary.
Here is the final installation. As the photos show, with careful planning, these lights go into fat fendered cars giving great rear and side exposure of the lights while being contained within the envelope of the sheet metal. This serves several purposes - first it protects the lights from damage, second it allows great all-round visibility for safety, and third it tempers the still outrageous look of the light for a more civil appearance.