Thanks to my buddies Tom and his tin bending son Mike, the Fordillac is now TANKED! Mike made a beautiful stainless tank, to my crude pattern (I'm always pleased and surprised when my measurements are correct!), and I just got from him today the stainless straps and copper covers for them. I'd wanted brass or copper straps, but was concerned about strength, so Mike simply sheared a strip of copper the same width as the stainless straps. These I made slightly smaller than the straps, so when the bolts are snugged up, the copper tightens up against the stainless. Viola, polished copper gas tank straps.
The roll bar is mocked up in PVC tubing, and I'll get the main hoop bent by a local fabricator. I'd originally wanted, planned and built the mounts for, a 6 point cage, but the side bar, particularly on the drivers side, didn't allow for entry and exit. With the top down, I could get out around the wheel and the side bar, but with it up, no way. So, the bar is the main hoop, and two struts to the rear, angled slightly to the center. The 3 point seat belt retractors will mount to the bar,and it looks suitably "racey". I don't know if it's gonna be techically "legal", but since I probably won't be racing it, it will provide rollover protection. It probably won't hook up anyway...
Well, it only took a week, but I've got the front fender brackets done, fenders mounted and aligned. Whew! It's tough making mirror image parts as complex as the seemingly simple fender mounting brackets, but I think it looks cool. Now, on to the rears, after I get 'em widened to cover those ginormous tires!
On looking closely at my left fender today, I wasn't happy with the way it fit the tire at all. So, with much difficulty, and trying to to totally undo what I'd done, I managed to adjust it so it wasn't way off the tire in the middle and slightly cocked to one side. That worked out well, and only took two hours. Sheesh.
Got the right hand brakets almost done, and they're close enough to look the same, although if one measures closely, they are ever so slightly different. I'm not telling. The fender fits better, at least for now untill I torque things down and weld everything fully, which is what I think happened to the left side, things warped a little with final welding.
No pictures of todays work, it's time to put up the Christmas tree. Wow, a year since I started this journal, and the car still isn't done!
Well, this was more difficult than I'd thought. Took me all day to make the bracket just for the left side, but of course the other should go quicker.
I made a simple L bracket which bolts to the steering arm, and built the rest of the brackets in place off that, with the fender sitting on a piece of 1" pipe insulation foam. The brackets are made from some really cool looking hex bar, and 1/4 x 1 cold roll. I also added a small stand off to each one from the bracket to the wheel cyl. mount, as they were pretty "shakey" just mounted to the steering arm. I'm sure the mount would have fatigued and broken, should be good now.
Now, I can tackle the right side, then do the rears, which of course, will be totally different from the fronts. I've gotta widen the rear fenders (a '37 Buick sidemount spare ring cut in half) to cover the big 7.20 x 16's.
Big progress today! Picked up the absolutely STUNNING stainless gas tank made for me by a sheet metal bending buddy. Holy Cow, now I have to be REALLY meticulous with the finish body work to make it as nice as the tank! It's really a shame it's under the car, not out in the open. As it does mount to the floor, and I sectioned the rear of the body about 12", it can be seen from the rear and sides of the car, so it's not all hidden.
I polished the bottom and sides, and mocked it up under the car this afternoon. Cut holes in the trunk floor for the filler and vent tubes, and also gritted my teeth and cut a hole in the side of the body for the Chris Craft bronze gas cap and trim ring. I hung the tank with a couple of bungee cords, untill I get straps made. I was originally planning on a couple of 2" wide stainless straps, but now I'm thinking maybe some brass or copper straps would look nice, and make the polished stainless tank "pop" a little. We'll see...
It's exciting to get one of the "finished" parts of the car, and be able to start plumbing the car now for gas and brake lines. It's no longer a pile of parts, but a real car. Very exciting!