Posted: Sat Mar 14, 2009 4:48 pm Post subject: 55 sema 3 fold rag
OK so I've got my ass back in gear and started working on my car again, thought i'd post my crap here too. For those of you who don't know the story here I copied my build thread off another forum.........
It's an early 55 three fold rag that I bought thinking it was close to paint, how wrong was I :hrmm:
I've been working on this for about a year now. It's come a long way looking at all the pics in one post but has a long way to go yet.
My quest is to end up with a super clean street/strip car and have big hopes to get it featured in the end
Lot's of parts are from a 57 I kinda wrecked in a crash..........don't really want to go there :-[ Spool/slicks/corners+lots of jam from a 2332 =1 donor oval
heres the puzzle.....
It was all stripped and body work done in the early 90's by a porche shop in the oakanogan. heater channels, and a couple other rust repairs were done at that time. It has all the correct parts with it like non cutout rear apron, 4 tab hood, big spring W lid, ribbed doors etc, etc.
Body came on a 69 ball joint/IRS pan that I ended up selling off.
I tore down the rag and man some of those little screws are a biatch to get out after 53 years. some stripped, some snapped and ended up heating some up with the torch. will replace with all stainless hardware.
The original 3 fold....
and the mechanism parts after being stripped and powdercoated. Crincle black and the 2 aluminum bars done in chrome powder, side rails re-polished.
Almost too nice to cover in canvas.
For some very strange reason the caged square nuts were cut off on the inside of the roof where the tensioning strip holds down the canvas.
I've started building new \"cages\" out of sheet metal and finnished drilling,tapping and cutting little square nuts out of 3/8\" flatbar, lotsa fun i'll tell ya :rolleyes: then i'll weld them all back on so I can adjust the canvas without having to pull the headliner to get a wrench on the inside.
I don't like the shape of the aftermarket heater channels at the front, they're all square like a 70's beetle and have the pressed louvered heat out lets instead of the mesh ones.
I found a set of original grills but once I got them shipped to me they turned out to be too rusty to use, oh well at least I have the shape/size to make new ones.
when I cut these areas out, i'll have a chance to coat the inside in rust bullet or something to protect them.
I un covered a few sheetmetal repairs done by this \"profesional\" porshe shop that are kinda scary. I knew there was some filler in the wheel well openings around the body mounts because they had the shaved look but holy crap they must have gone through a few 5 gal tubs
got the captive/caged nuts made up and welded back into the inside of the roof for the ragtop tentioning strip.
started on the heater channel recreation
I don't like the heater tube outlets and where they go through the rear crossmember is crap so I think i'm gonna completely do away with them and weld the hole up..........who the hell runs heater boxes in a hot rod anyway This will give me room to mount the accusump under the rear seat and some extra space by the torsion housing for my oil cooler.
found some beautiful lap welds on the rear quarters they scabed back together
this is the inside........
and outside skin, looked really straight, the guy was a sculptor
OK enough bondo pics.......
got the new pan head ready to go, just gotta build a jig to keep it true when welding. I calculated some built in caster to eliminate the need for shims under the beam.
I'm working getting on an entire ass end of an oval from cali, that's straight original geman and un fuct with to re-fix the past repairs and make it mint. I plan on building a rotissery for it and cutting out all the shady shit, send it to get walnut blasted and then i'll have a clean slate to start welding to.
here's a couple shots of that nasty quarter....... looks like they used all the scraps lying around the shop.
found some more scabbyness in the rear of the car. strips welded here and there, more lap welds, the majority of the fender mounting nuts must have been seized or broken of cause they are all messed with. all the black lines are seams
I bit the bullet and order a pair of these from wolfe in sweden, got a quote of $295 shipped to my door. not too bad for the quality I have heard his stuff is.
trying to descide the best place to graft the quarter panel/wheel wells in.............any experienced pro suggestions welcome.
It was a tough call on the original non pea shooter H apron but after having both my last 2 cars have removeable rear aprons, I just can't go back to a solid one.
I thought drilling factory spot welds was a pain, well it's a hell of a lot better than drilling and chiseling off rosete/plug welded panels. I will be weldin a new flange out of some 18 gauge for a little more strength.
the rear apron isn't bad, here it is after a quick hammer and dolly, and a guide coat, still needs a little lovin. I made a stainless shrinking disk for my grinder and will be trying to get the panels as straight as possible without gross amounts of filler needed.
been practicing my welding with my little tig, I think i'm getting the hang of it. starting to fill some of the unnessisary holes drilled in strange locations.
making some LED tail lights for the hearts
Started with a sheet of 1/8\" copper and cut out the shapes with a tab top and bottom. layed out the template/pattern and ended up with 29 LED's in each cluster. the template shows how I figgure i'll wire them, the black being running lights then all of them for the brake. keeping standard incandesent bulbs in the \"heart lense\" and using them as a signal to come on with the semaphores.
I still gotta make up my mind on how to solder them all together, leaning towards mini circuit boards. I did a quick test just by bending the tabs to contact each other and just about blinded myself and the guy next to me they get a little toned down behind the lense but still should be pretty bright.
I've recieved my rear inner fenders from wolf.......very nice indeed just waiting for donor sheetmetal so in the meantime i've got a bunch of powdercoating and clean up of little parts done.
biggest hurdle were the IDA's, thought about polishing but ended up going semi-gloss black powder coated :rockon: they were a major pain in the A but I think they look killer. many hour went into prep not to fill all the threads with powder, stuffed every little hole full of tinfoil and it worked great. going for the low bling stealth bomber look on the motor, no chrome but a couple bits of polished alum, mostly black. I'm thinkin' annodize the velocity stacks black and then polish the insides and top lip to match the intakes.
my super fierce muts wondering what the hell i'm obsessing over :rolleyes:
powdercoated dual circ master cylinder with rabbit reservior
lots more stuff done but not assembled yet like steering box, pedal cluster and torsion arms, link pin carriers, various other brackets and bits'n'peices. I LOVE POWDER COATING
I was debating on a trade deal for my IDA's on a T04 and a set of staggs intakes but descided to stick to N/A for now.
finnished my pedal cluster.....rebushed, powdercoated and made a new wheel for Russ's killer cruizer to ride on complete with skateboard bearings, o-ring grip and speed holes of course way better than the cheezy plastic stocker.
finnished the crusty seat frames/springs and re-assembled them today ;D really happy with how they turned out after all the welding and making 3 rows of new springs (should have taken pics of that part, had to make a jig and hand bend spring wire to replace the rusted through ones that had no more sproing) one of the back rest frames was so bad I had to take a spare 56up frame and narrow/shorten it to get the right shape/contour to match. everything was bead blasted and powdercoated.......springs matte black and frames a cream colour that is very close to the factory light beige.
what I started with.........
the top and bottom rows of spring are the ones I made......can't tell
not bad for free seats
back seat came with the car and was painted and re-uphostered but it was all gloss black and the bottom was already scratched up so did it at the same time.
they made the trip down to the storage room to patiently wait for me to finnish the rest of the car. I'm thinking have covers and panels sewn up in a pinstriped tan/brown cloth
finnished the black 51.5mm IDA's feeding the 2332cc specs are............
fk-46/ pauter 1.5 rockers
comp eliminators (ported by AJ)
Wisecos and a 5.5" rod
T1 DTM shroud
1 3/4" S&S
Yadayada...... Motor went 11.4's I think in the old car before I bought it :devilsidesmile:
NO TURNING BACK NOW!!!!!!
Lots of careful measuring, scribing and inching up on the lines got the gaps nice and tight
Got a little more fine tuning to do and will start tacking it in then off to the next side........
connect the dots
finnished welding up the pass side rear quarter and started dressing the seams....
re worked the flange for the removeable rear apron
final fitting to check for gaps..... fit NICE
Now its onto the drivers side which should go a bit quicker now that my confidence is up....it was a little scary making that first cut
Looks like I will be putting new heater channels in too cause low and behold these ones were done half ass....welded in too high and then when they went to put the doors on, they hit the channels and more cutting smashing and welding followed by a healthy dose of mud
gonna try and get my hands on some good donor channels and modify them to be like real 55's. not only for the proper fit but so I can say the car is 100% german (not original to this car) steel.
Got my LED tail lights almost done, really hard to get a pic of them lit up but here's a taste.
got the pass side quarter all drilled out and starting to do a couple mods to it so it looks right on the oval (was from a 60 I think)
couple more shots of the hearts
Took a week off to build a shed and clean the garage should be a little easier to work now
here's the pass side quarter, all ready to go. still might graft in the wheel arch from mine to make it right.
new shiny bitz.........Jamar 4 pot rear disks (thanks wayne) should slow it down better than the old drums. just gotta figure out something for an e-brake.
Idea was obviously to match the other gauges I already had including a tach that was MIA for the photo
all in all i'm happy with the outcome although the silver paint I used doesn't exactly match they'll be 2' apart and not as obvious as side by side.
I cut up a semi-farked 59 to rape some parts from. cut the front drivers quarter and crusty heater channels out of it in my quest to have a 98% german metal (2% swedish (wolfe) close enough right?) frankenstien
Will be removing what's left of the bottom plates, removing the 56up inner heat duct, grafting in a few sections of metal and por15 coat the insides before installing these.....
just in case that last one didn't hurt your brain here's the latest.....
Got a bunch of welds all ground down and smoothed out on the panel splices. For those who are interested here's a bit of a how to on the process I have been using.
Obviously cut out the offending hunk of panel to be replaced (I use a cut off wheel in an electric angle grinder) nice and straight.
Trim your replacement panel to fit while taking precise measurements and trial fittings (the blue transparent paint is called dykem (sp) machinists use it a lot for scribing precise lines). And end up something like this......
Then start tacking it in jumping around so you don't put too muck heat into the thin sheet metal and burn though. The trick that i've found is to have a max gap of say .020" if not closer. If you can use a copper heatsink to back your weld, i've made up an assortment of shapes and sizes some brazed to the end of a bar for leverage. It's not fun to blaze a hole through where you can't get to the backside.
Here's what it looks like connecting the dots......
Then using a mini 3" X 1/8" cutoff wheel in the air grinder take the tops off the welds very slowly making sure not to hit the panel surface then using these puppies........
They come in a bunch of different grits and blending pads, twist off of the arbor and work SHIT HOT!!! they don't last long tho.
End product is something like this....
And with a quick squirt of black spray bomb to protect the bare metal......
You can barely feel the seams when you run your hand over, they are all just a bit indented (maybey .010") so I will only need a super thin feather of filler once I get that far. A far cry from what I started with!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
One more thing these bone heads forgot was to fix the super sloppy door hinges before they put it in primer.
The lower passenger and upper drivers were so worn not even a 3rd oversize hinge pin would work plus they don't make an oversized mirror mount pin for the 101 style Hagus mirror that I have. Since ribbed doors don't grow on trees I machined up some bushings out of phosphorus bronze, reamed the middle of the hinge out to 10mm (stock pin is 8mm) and pressed the bushings in.
been picking away at stuff. made some good progress on the pan.... I ended up scrapping the idea of welding a new panhead on the 57 pan (didn't want to risk ending up with shitty alignment on a built pan) and drilled the mint pans out and installed on a 59 spine I had.
New early flat seat tracks welded in
Mocking up with cage making sure seats fit
mid mount done.....no more solid mounts!!!!! 57 was LOUD!!
more mock up with kafer brace, will be tying this into the package tray mounts of the cage to stiffen things up even more.
Broke down and coughed up too much money for a pair of original dry heater channels form down south......came today
This was the last piece to this mega puzzle and I figured I was going this far and deep, I may as well do it right!!
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