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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
I'm working on a '41 Ford rod I purchased unfinished. I've been able to identify most of the assemblies already installed so I can get parts...
The front end appears to be a clip-on type of unknown origin to me. I can't find any numbers, letters, or tags that would identify the manufacturer. It is new.
Any help to identify would be appreciated...
Thanks,
Tom
Here's some pictures...

616088


616089


616090


616091


616092
 

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Looking at it I would say that was custom made. Do wonder why they did not box it in by the bottom A arm. I understand it might not add to the strength of it but it would look neater. I would check the tightness of the roll bar clamp bolt in the first picture due to the rust around it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Looking at it I would say that was custom made. Do wonder why they did not box it in by the bottom A arm. I understand it might not add to the strength of it but it would look neater. I would check the tightness of the roll bar clamp bolt in the first picture due to the rust around it.
Thanks for the observations! As far as the steering gear itself, I've seen several outlets that provide new Mustang 2 type units...are they all dimensional identical? I'm an old guy in my seventies, and power steering would be a nice touch, and I see power units are sold by some vendors, so I'm wondering if it would be possible to install as a direct replacement.
Tom
 

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That is a M II after market suspension system. There are a gajillion different manufacturers of those kits. Yes, the racks are all the same with respect to mounting. The spline on the input shaft is different between the manual and power. One thing I would recommend is using a late T-Bird rack and pump. The mid 90s rack has a slight difference in mounting holes but Speedway sells the bushings to put the Bird rack in the M II mounts. The power steering pump for the Bird is much smaller in size and makes the accessory drive on the front of the engine easier to set up.
 

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To me it appears an early MII knockoff without the strut rod. Can't really see how long the lower A arm bolt is but it should stick out the back quite a bit to give the A arm leverage not to fold back. First, find someone who has a later MII and measure the length of that bolt and match it to yours. If yours is much shorter than an upgrade is in order for a more stable front end. Later lower A arms can be purchased.

For power steering I use a '88 Thunderbird NON-SPORT power rack. It has more turns lock to lock, a bit more compatiable with the GM pressure and does not "twitch" .
 

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+1 on the T-bird rack. It is design to operate at a higher line pressure and less prone to leaking than the Mustang II rack. This is especially true if you are running a SBC and it's pump.

If you run a MII power rack and don't reduce the pump pressure, the steering will be overboosted and very touchy (if it doesn't blow out the rack seals and leak). I had the same problem on my 46 coupe until I installed a Heidts pressure reducing bypass block in the steering lines. It was so touchy that I literately drove it the tips of my fingers on the highway with my arm locked on the armrest. It wandered and darted with what would otherwise seem to be a reasonable steering input. When I redo the car in a few months, I will be switching to the Fox body rack. The Heidts valve did work, though.

Actually, the T bird rack is a Fox body Mustang rack, which is the basis for the T-bird suspension. Keep in mind that some aftermarket manufacturers modified the the width of the basic MII suspension to fit various street rod frames. Somewhere I have the center to center distance for the stock MII lower control arms. I'll see if I can locate it and post it.
 

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BTW - That looks very similar to a Fatmans Fabrication front end. At least the lower control arms do, but with the way things get copied in the street rod world, you may never know who made it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the great information, guys. One last question (I hope)...the engine is a GM 454, are there certain parts I should look for in terms of mounting a T-bird pump to it, or just fab something?
 

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Thanks for the great information, guys. One last question (I hope)...the engine is a GM 454, are there certain parts I should look for in terms of mounting a T-bird pump to it, or just fab something?
Many vendors sell a pressure reducer to allow you to use the traditional GM Sagnaw PS pump with the Ford rack. That's a bunch easier than trying to mate the Ford pump to the 454.
 

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Since you have a Chevy engine, finding a mount for the pump should be easy. The problem is the big block. Even though the 41 uses a fairly wide frame, it is still narrow compared to the cars and trucks that GM put the big block in originally. Point being that stock GM mounts may not work due to mounting width. Most stock pump mounts put the pump low on the engine and that wide big block may not allow that with your chassis. I would suggest an aftermarket mount that uses a remote reservoir GM pump from a later model engine.

Here is a link to the Alan Grove site. They sell aftermarket brackets for a variety of engines. About half way down the page are 2 different mounts for the Type 2 remote reservoir pump for the BBC with a short water pump.

Big Block Short Pump

Chevy used a long and short water pump. You need to know what you have to get the correct mounts. Search the web for BBC mounts and you will find several manufacturers selling them.

The mounts don't come with the pump or reservoir.

The next question you have to ask is do you have AC or intend to add one in the future? If you do plan to add it, you might want to consider a complete front accessory system all from the same manufacturer. Some complete kits will come with alternators, AC compressors, and the PS pump. It will also come with all the hardware and often with new pulleys. These kits solve a lot of issues, but they are far from cheap.

I tried a couple of the pressure relief kits that Joe talked about since they looked like a cheap solution. I couldn't get them to work as advertised. They made no noticeable difference in my steering. To revalve a pump, you really need to have a way to check the pressure, which I didn't have. The pump on my 46 is bear to get on and off and I couldn't chance the internal parts of the valve on the car. I got tired of pulling the pump and just bit the bullet and bought the Heidts system. The Heidts bypass is adjustable after it's installed, so I could dial the steering in easily. The Heidts bypass is expensive, but it solved my problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I can't thank you guys enough...you've made things sooo much easier for me to decide on what I want and find what I need. This hot rod journey is a lot of work, but a lot of fun too - and challenges is what I like. After I get the mechanical parts sorted, I have to deal with a completely gutted interior - I've got relatives who just don't understand why I am doing this...I tell them a hot rod car is a mechanical art form...and a thing of beauty to those of us who dig it.
Thanks again,
Tom
 

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Tom, you got it right. A car is a blank canvas and you can do whatever you like. I have found car shows will not only motivate but give new ideas and meet fellow rodders to build a network. Sad, but fewer and fewer shows have many pre '49s. Research never stops. Like you did with the front end, ask questions, go online and educate yourself. Much better product that way. Last and maybe a little surprising is think about doing the interior yourself! Lots of help both here and on line videos. You will be happy with a skipped stitch or two.
 

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I've got relatives who just don't understand why I am doing this...
I gave up hunting and fishing many years ago. Both are far too expensive around my neck of the woods for the return. Hunting club dues can easily be around $5k a year and you must have an ATV. Tack on another $10 to $20K. Public land is overcrowded and over hunted.

Fishing? Not much cheaper just to bake in the sun all day drinking beer.

Not that I begrudge those that chose to do those things, they are just not my thing at this point in my life. And yes, I did both in my younger years. Lived for hunting season. Trouble is, none of the guys I work with have ever understood why I do the things I do with cars and motorcycles. If I spend $20K on a hot rod they think it's a crazy waste of time and money, but they think nothing of dropping $30K on a bass boat that will lose 50% of it's value in 2-3 years. I feel your pain. Good luck with the project.
 

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Since you have a Chevy engine and as mentioned before might be short of space I solved my space problem by using a Pontiac Sunbird type 2 power steering pump. Much smaller and utilizes a remote recirculating tank. Worked out perfect when the ham can would not work at all as far as clearances go. Let me know if you go this direction there's a few more details to work out.

 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Last and maybe a little surprising is think about doing the interior yourself! Lots of help both here and on line videos. You will be happy with a skipped stitch or two.
Funny you should say that....as that is exactly what I have been contemplating. In my town there's only one upholstery shop and he's so far behind there's no way he could help out. I'm thinking about springing for a used HD sewing machine and giving it a try. That'll be later tho', as there's so much "little" stuff I have to deal with first, like emergency brake, shifter, windows (chopped top), door and window hardware....argh... LOL...sometimes I can't get to sleep thinking about how I'm going to do this or that....but it sure beats watching the tube!

Tom
 
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