Continuing with the shock mount extensions, the more I look at the welded tabs the more it bothers me. At first I thought a skim coat of filler would do to smooth things out but the tabs are just too wide. I'm afraid to grind too much off and reduce the strength at the business end of the mount. My next great idea is to add 1/4'' rod and basically outline the mount below the tabs. There will be a round shape detail from the tabs no matter what so maybe just continue that line down the mount. It would also serve to widen the top of the mounts and so blend everything together. I will finish the welds on the rods, both sides of the mount, and then fill inside to smooth the round into the flat sides of the mount. It might be a nice detail. I really need a better camera for this, mine doesn't focus close very well but hopefully you can see where I'm going with this.
Continuing on with extending the shock mounts. Thinking it would save some fabrication time, I bought some frame tabs from Speedway's catalog. I ran a bolt through them to clamp on the shock mount and checked the measurements, then I asked my friend Tom to weld them in place. He is a much better welder than I and I don't want any of this to fall off. The next step was to cut some metal to box them in, just for looks as they should be strong enough any way. Then the sheet metal was clamped and tacked as it was bent over the tabs. As I tacked the boxing on I appreciated the effort Tom had to put in to work in the very tight spaces between headlights and brakes. A quick trial fit to insure that everything would fit and work. Now comes the grinding and shaping and finishing. Still lots of work to do.
I have started on the winter list of things to do on the hot rod now that car shows are over and my garage project is finished. I can't believe how much room I have now to work on/around the hot rod. The headers have come off and the primer coat of paint is applied although not cured as yet. I also intend to try to smooth out the front suspension and ride. After some measuring and research I decided my shocks need more travel. By measuring between the bulges in the body of the shock it appears the shaft is 5 inches. At ride height now there is only two inches of shaft showing. I'm informed there should be 2/3 to 3/5's of the shaft extended for proper travel-which should be 3.2 inches of the 5. My plan is to raise the shock mount enough to achieve the correct measurement. My first thought was to cut the mount off and move it up and maybe notch it over the frame as the pizza box cutout shows. This would have added a bit more angle though. My son had a better idea of just extending the mount instead of removing it. This will give me the longer travel but even better will mount the shock more vertically. It also turned out after removal that my original shocks were dead, probably beat to death. So I have ordered new shocks.
It was such a beautiful fall day that I drove the hot rod to a nearby state park for a car people picnic. I didn't take a potluck contribution as I had no plans to stay, but just wanted to see who was there and take some pictures. By noon only about 25 cars had shown up, mostly of the antique variety. I greeted some car show friends and took a few photos and then drove back home. I have to wait for the ceiling and lights to go in on my garage addition project before I make the hot rod stationary for winter fixes. First on the list is to remove the shock brackets on the front end and raise them for more travel, hoping for a little softer ride.
You may have guessed that I like festival car shows as much for the food as the cars. This one had great BBQ brisket. The car show was located in parking lots around the court house which made it a little odd getting in and out due to the parade blockades and many vendors booths.I can't complain as usual about the rough roads as this trip was maybe the smoothest this summer. I won't even gripe about the rain, at least it was easy and gentle for an hour instead of blowing sideways with constant lightening. It did shorten the day somewhat with early awards. There was even plenty of time to stop by another show at an airport on the way home. They seemed really happy to see three hot rods come rumbling in and we had a good time visiting and watching a crew of firemen cut up a car. A complete day. And added show number 133-29 so far this season.