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Old 02-17-2020, 09:37 PM
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1971BB427 1971BB427 is offline
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I got my brace built and installed to tie the fenders together today. Took no time at all to build it, but a lot more time to take everything apart to sandwich it into the fenders and my other braces. It stiffened things up so much I bet I could stand on those fenders now! The U shape will give me plenty of clearance for the fan.

I also made up my 3/8 radiator support rods. That took way more to thread than I ever guessed! I figured it's aluminum, so couldn't be that hard? But the short threads at the radiator end were brutal to get done. A 1/4 turn at a time or the die stuck to the rod! I decided the other end's 2" of threads would be impossible at this rate, so I turned the rod down on my 1" belt sander to reduce diameter. I think the 3/8" size they call it was much larger! Even after reducing it was tough, but not nearly like before!
After threading both ends I bent the offsets to get them widened, and drilled holes at both ends. They went in great, and the radiator is also really solid now.

Next I bent up some 1/8" x 1" steel flat bar and drilled two holes in it for my hidden hood pins. I drilled two pilot holes first, and laid it on my grille top plate and then opened all the holes up to 1/2". I bent up the flat bar so it contoured to the inside of the hood. Then spaced it up and put it over the hood pins so I could bond it to the hood. At this point things went a bit sideways as they sometimes do. I set up the 3M panel bond in the double caulk gun, but no matter how hard I squeezed only the gray half moved! The cream colored half wouldn't budge at all, and eventually it started bending the caulk gun. So I stopped and removed the tubes from the gun. I grabbed my band saw and cut the ends off of both tubes, and used a paint stir stick to dig it out of the tubes. I mixed it together on a pallet, and applied it to the inside of the hood where I'd pre marked it. Then sat the hood in place over my bracket and let it set up. It worked fine, and the bracket is extremely solid. I'll need to open up the holes in the bracket slightly so the bracket slides over the hood pins easier, but not much. Maybe 9/16" should do it.
Stripped both headlights, and shot them with primer. I need to weld these holes up on the side, so didn't bolt them down yet. There's one hole per light, but both on the right side, so maybe these were off two different cars and both from the same side?

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