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MARTINSR 04-27-2015 08:38 PM

That is all looking so good.


Rip VW 04-28-2015 07:49 AM

Thanks for the encouragement Brian, Sometimes it seems like one step forward and three steps back. I am determined to do this the right way.

Rip VW 05-13-2015 11:18 AM

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Progress although slow is moving ahead. I touched on making sub rails for the back of the T body earlier. Everything structural from the doors back was in sorry shape. I needed to replace the sub frame from the doors back. I also needed to curve the sub rails over the kick up in the 32 frame.

My first attempt to build sub rails was not exactly what I was looking for. I used a "Cut and weld method" to form the 1 X 2.5 inch rectangular tube over the frame rail. This worked good for keeping the curves of the rail close to the frame profile. It may have fit well but it looked like crap or something from the twilight zone. Too much welding and grinding and I was not happy at all with the result.

So after a lot of reading I decided this needs to be bent. I figured if I made a jig I could set the whole rail in a jig and press it in my 12 ton press.

Well it almost worked. As I reach about 3/4 of he distance I needed to go the rail buckled. OK try # 2 failed.

More reading and research and I had another plan. This time I was going to use heat and sand, and My Jig and My press. I secured 2 more replacement pieces of steel and taped up one end and filled them with sand. I sealed the tubes and set one in my Wooden Jig and got things ready to go. I added some pressure with the press and lit up my torch. I heated the apex of the first bend to a real low red. I then backed off the heat and added pressure to the piece with the press till I could feel the load increase and then I would stop and heat again. I continued until I ran out of jig. My jig was getting a bit burned from the heat and torch.

I removed the rail and laid it in place over the main frame. Of course it needed more bending so I clamped in to the main frame and used a bunch of C clamps and more heat and formed the rail and made sure it was fully clamped in place. I then used my torch to heat the tube in all of the bent places and stress locations That should realign the steel molecules to reduce stress and bend back. The sand in the tube kept the tube hot for a long time. After getting the tube hot I left it clamped up till the next day.

When I removed the clamps there was very little bend back. The sub rails fit real good and the bends were excellent.

The second rail was a bit more of a struggle as by then the wood jig was starting to deform and was burnt pretty bad in the bend areas. I could not get the bends perfect but What I did get was a looking good where it needs to be and 100% useable.

Next step is to remove the rear panel of the body so all of the sheet materiel and rear sub frame can be attached to the new sub frame.

1. first try with cut and fit.
2. pre bend fixture
3. pre bend fixture Completed
4. first usable sub rail
5. front view of new sub rail.

**Side note: i used some 3/16 steel rods bent over the jig and then I placed the rectangular tube over this. This helped the steel start its bend inside and helped keep things straight.

Rip VW 06-17-2015 07:48 PM

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In my last post I kind of ended that update with out finishing it. So I will pick up where I left off.

I had already removed a lot of sub frame that was rotted and now it was time to determine where the new sub frame would meet the old and then getting the tubing curved and molded to the rear frame rail. I have made 1 sub frame rail so far and I am not happy with it.

After cutting and welding the tube It just looked like crap. I didnít make pie cuts but rather a single cut through three sides and just closed the opening and welded it. I ground the welds down and it looks better, but I think am going to use this first one as a pattern to bend the next set of rails in a jig I am building.
My thought is I can bend this 1 X 2.5 .086 box tube with C clamps and my hydraulic press. I have 1 piece of tubing left to set up my jig and I have 2 of the last pieces on order.
I am building a set of pattern blocks to clamp the steel to while I bend it to the required shape. I am building this pattern on the fly so it is a process of trying this and that.

Sub rail building was not a lot of fun. bending the final sets of tubes using my wood jig, C clamps, hydraulic press, Acetylene torch, and lots of sand is not something I would like to do again. I finally have a set of left and right sub frame rails. The rails came out pretty nice all considered. Next time I will get a pro to build them for me.

So, on to the next item of business. I need to repair the back of the body. The center panel rebuild will be the next key as the panel is attached to the rear sub frame cross member, which attaches the sub frame to the rear of the body. I liken it to a giant jigsaw puzzle you need to figure what piece depends on what other pieces need be fit first.
So stay tuned my friends.

TCoupe 06-18-2015 06:40 PM

Looks like you have been having fun. I know what you say about the rear panel. I just made a new top cross member, and both side braces, and rebuilt a center brace for a guy. He couldn't find any good parts anywhere. Talk about bending slicing, and welding, and then cut again, because it wasn't just right! Now it looks better then the ones I have.

You say that next time you'll have a pro build them, but now when someone says where did you get the sub-frames, you can say "Made them myself!" instead of "I paid $xxx.xx to have some one make them for me!" I try to build everything I can myself. I just replace the other quarter panel corner. I wasn't going to, but decided that I didn't want to fix it with body mud. My quarters looked like someone shot it #00 buck shot a few times, on each side on the rear corners. then brazed some steel over the holes. It was up to 3/4 inch in places. I'm no body guy, but I sat with a pick hammer & dolly, and worked it back into looking & feeling like it should (in the mid 90's, and high humidity). It will have a little skim of mud to make sure it's smooth, but that's it now. Now I get to put every thing back together on the rear end. I have to re-rivet the T strips & rain gutters back on first.

Good luck, I'll be watching.

Rip VW 06-18-2015 10:20 PM

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I am slow on my updates lately. I have almost finished my rear center panel rebuild/replacement. Getting the center panel out was fun. It was riveted and bolted together in the rear. The bolts being rusted and such were very cooperative when removing them. (NOT).

The damage was extensive with the left and right braces eaten off on the ends and extensive rust all along the length. The center post was gone from the tab that mounts it to the cross member to the end, The top portion was in pretty good condition. Main cross member was just a loosely arranged bunch of rust. The ends of the sub frame that the cross member was attached to were also just so much dust and chips.

I built the 2 vertical side pieces from scratch using some of my left over box tube. Not as pretty as I wanted but the fit is exactly like the stock pieces and even looks original.

The center brace was absent it's lower portion and so I trimmed all the damaged material from the last 2 inches and replaced it with new steel. I used a piece of square tubing on the back side to to replace the spine portion of the brace. The top cross portion of the center piece was fairly solid but I added some 3/4 wide strips across the top to give some more support.

A lot of fitting and refitting and I have the framework attached to the rear cross member. I have had the skin on and off a couple of times and right now I am getting ready to put the skin on for the last time.

Because all of this steel is new and is in a location that lends itself to rust in a big way. I wanted to give it some extra protection.

I decided to try some spray on bed liner on the center panel skeleton and on the sheet metal skin all along the lower part the center and ends that set in the rain channel. My theory is the bed-liner will keep the steel all nice and cozy for years to come against dirt and dust and water.. I am at the point where when everything cures I will fit it one more time and then attach the skin for good. Then on to the the quarter panel ends and then the focus shifts back to the frame to finish all the cross members. and hang the suspension so I can finally get the thing off the frame rack.

OK, that wraps up the progress up to today. I am feeling a case of summer fever coming on so may take a few days and just coast maybe a nice road trip.
Till Next time.....

Rip VW 06-18-2015 10:51 PM

Hey T coupe,

Yeah I got to admit I enjoyed doing this. it allowed me to work a little out of the box by recreating the replacement parts.

Once I get the center panel finished, marked, measured and such then I can do the quarter ends. I want to make sure things fit so when I open up the quarters and pull the rain channel loose I know how things are supposed to fit. After removing some rivets and manipulating the rain channels away from the quarters so I can replace the corners. According to theory if I am careful I will get it to fit all Back just like new.... Right?????

I have I think 2 holes in the quarters that will need fixed and I think I am going to use a technique my Grandfather taught me years ago and that was to use Lead to fill and repair holes. Oh I hear them now... Not lead they say.. Poison and all. Oh no call the EPA..

Yes I use lead from time to time because it is so mice to work and easy to apply. You can get it to look so good no mud is necessary except a very light skim coat if even that.. I love to solder and braze and I love working with easy to work materials. I have done quite a few Harley Davidson fender repairs and some custom work and have used lead a lot. There used to be a spot on the FL Harley rear fenders everyone wanted filled or messed with. and the spot was just slightly larger than a penny I would take an old copper penny clean it real good and solder the penny over the hole to plug it. Then lead in over the top and poof another fender hole made to disappear.

OK, off to dreamland for the evening :cool:

TCoupe 06-19-2015 05:02 AM

You have a typical '26/27 T. You have the "New improved model" with the metal around the rear windows, instead of the wood, but they quit using the four bolt spare tire mount in '26, and went to a three bolt hole mount. He did it to save the cost of one bolt & nut. Mine is a three bolt mount, and wood around the rear windows. But they also used parts till they were gone, so it could be the reason why.

Fords bad idea was for the rain gutters to just dump the rain water into the rear behind the sub-frame on the coupes, that is why they are all rusted out back there.

His other bad idea was to put the brake in the tranny, to stop the drive train, through the drive shaft, to the rear end, through the axles, to the skinny tires. Everyone knows what happens when you go down the road, and pull the E-brakes.

Your car is looking good.

Have a good day. Pat

Rip VW 06-30-2015 04:39 PM

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Today I have done something I have never done before and that is weld on a body panel and metal finish it.
Some will remember my problems in the welding thread about MiG welding thin sheet metal. I found I was having machine problems. That fixed, I jumped into replacing the Right rear quarter panel corner.

I cut the bad metal out using the new corner as a template. I then took a 1" strip of sheet metal and spot welded ( With my handy Harbor Fright spot welder) it to the top inside edge of my replacement panel and slipped the sheet metal under the T quarter. Then I butted my new panel up as tight as I could and spot welded the strip in place.
Next step was to spot stitch with the MiG. I would do about 5 spots then hit the panel with air. I kept the temperature of the panel to room temp and it turned out pretty damn good for a beginner. I did learn Mig welds are harder than heck to hammer down. A lot of stitching, hammering, and grinding and it is almost complete. I may draw file it a little more but for now I am going to jump on the other side before I forget how I did this. Just a couple a pics today a before, during, and after.

TCoupe 06-30-2015 05:39 PM

Looks good! I have been having problems lately with my mig welding good also. Some days I couldn't ask for better welds, and then some it won't weld worth a crap! I've replaced the liner, ground clamp, put a cleaner on it, one day I welded the ground clamp to the metal, because it act's like a bad ground! Arrrr! I have to go buy some new contact tips, and .023 wire. What was wrong with your welder?

I was cleaning off some bad weld, on a part in the vise, and I caught my thumb with my 4 1/2" grinder, oooooh :pain: did that hurt, I jumped up & down for a bit, then raped kleenex on it, and raped some tape on it, and continued to grind. Damn, that's going to leave a mark.

They do sell a softer wire, that hammers down better, so day before I finish welding on the body, I might get some. LOL

I separated the upper parts of the quarters above the belt line, Wow was there a lot of surface rust under there! I cleaned it up, and it was good and solid under it. Glad I did it, even if it's a pain in the butt to do, I'm going to coat it with Rust seal. I know now the rust won't bleed down, after painting it.

Rip VW 06-30-2015 08:56 PM

Thanks for the compliment there Pat. I will say I was surprised it turned out as good as it did. Yep if you haven't drawn blood yet you are destined to loose some. I cut the web of my hand yesterday playing with that sheet metal. I try to always remember your playing with razor blades but even I slip once in a while. The upside is I am helping the economy by having to buy Hydrogen Peroxide in the large volume drums..

TCoupe 07-01-2015 06:05 AM

When I went into the house after a hour or so the wife spotted the tap, and asked "What did you do this time." She made me wash it out, and then put peroxide on it (we also have several bottles of it), I told her she just like to see me in pain, she just smiled. And back to working after she got done. The burning from the grinder,. hurts much more then the cut it's self.


Rip VW 07-01-2015 09:20 AM

I know what you mean about the other half. I am bald on top and the skin is getting real thin. It seems I have a propensity for bumping my head and now "The War Dept" is threatening to make me wear a helmet out in the shop! After this latest gash on my hand she now wants to wrap me in a layer of Bubble wrap. I said only if the bubble wrap is aluminized so I can make myself a AFDB. (aluminum foil deflector beanie):mwink:

lakeroadster 07-02-2015 07:25 AM

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That panel weld looks great. I am a bit surprised you didn't have a lot of pinholes though. Cleanliness is godliness when it comes to TIG and MIG. I'd suggest getting the steel cleaned adjacent to the proposed weld location of all rust, paint, oils, etc. before welding. I think you will find things will progress much easier.

Hope that helps.

Rip VW 07-02-2015 08:00 AM

I was really surprised that it turned out so well. The picture above was of fitting the panel. then I very carefully cleaned the quarter where the panel fit. It was nice and clean and shinny both the front and back. I had to do the sanding initially by hand as a power tool would remove to much metal and make the panel too thin.

My earlier practice on the bench showed me that hitting it even lightly with a power grinder or power sander just removed to much metal. I cleaned the metal all by hand being extremely careful not to remove metal...:sweat:

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