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Old 10-16-2019, 06:01 PM   #181
1971BB427
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My project today was to get the gauge panel built. Nowhere near needing it, but I figured it would be a good change of venue today. I had a 1/4 sheet of 1/8" aluminum, so I marked it out to fit the 5 gauges inside the 4" x 12" dash opening. It was a tight squeeze, but made it in the area I had. I found studs on the backside of the dash, so drilled a pair of holes at each end of the panel, and opened up between them so I have a little adjustment to ensure it centers in the opening.



I got a set of white face gauges from Speedway. They had a similar panel, but wanted $130, and I figured I could make one and save a lot. Unfortunately my holesaws are not exactly gauge sizes! I only had to take about 1/16" off each side of the 2" gauge openings. But the speedo needed a 3 3/8" opening, and my kit has a 3" and a 3.5", so had to go 3" and spend an hour with a hand file opening it up to 3 3/8"! I marked the edge of the opening with a black felt marker so I could tell how much and where I was taking metal off. Helped keep it round, and avoid taking too much off.
I'm waiting for turn signal and high beam indicators, and they'll be added to the panel when they're here to double check hole size. Should be a way easier hole to make too!
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Old 10-17-2019, 05:29 PM   #182
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I got a couple dozen holes welded up in my firewall this morning. I have no idea what the vast majority of these holes were even for? Can't begin to imagine on some of them? Of course they were the usual PITA to weld and not blow out too. The bigger holes got filler plates welded in, and 1/4" or smaller just got welded.



Then a coat of All Metal over them to finish them off.



After that I sanded down the dashboard and gave it a shot of 2x primer. Then another sanding and a 2nd coat. Some spots have some rust pits, (like the glovebox door) but most of it is pretty nice shape.


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Old 10-18-2019, 07:18 PM   #183
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Got my 3/8" heim joints, so made up the shifter arm. The lever I got for the trans is an aluminum piece and when I bolted the heim to it the head of the bolt hit the trans in reverse or park. Stupid design with no offset. It's 5/16" thick, and not easily bent, so I countersunk the backside and used a flathead allen bolt to attach the heim and it cleared fine.
Lots of adjustment as each heim end has an inch. So I installed it, and adjusted travel to make 1st-4th easiest to reach, and just a little bit farther to get to park and reverse.

1st


Park


The stupid shaft on the trans drove me nuts trying to find a nut. Then I remembered it's new enough to be metric!! It's a 10x1.5mm, so went and bought one.
On the way home my trusty '69 Suburban was fine for 3 or 4 stops, and then in the parking lot of the parts store it wouldn't start! I could hear it trying to pull in, but wouldn't crank. The parts store checked the battery and said it was great. I reached down between the headers and tried to twist the hot cable and it moved! I cranked it CW to see if it could be tightened and it started up after that. So had to climb under it when I got home and give it a good wrenching to ensure it was really tight. Not sure how this stuff loosens with a lock washer on it?
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Old 10-19-2019, 07:35 PM   #184
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Got my front brakes fully assembled today, right down to the hoses. No lines yet. Then I pulled the rear tires and put on my 1.5" billet spacers. The guy who custom makes these tells me they're the only spacer allowed by NHRA. Very nice quality! So the tires are sitting out just where I wanted them now.
But of course I had to cut clearance on my fenders to allow them to hang out a bit. Just close for now as I'll do one more layout and cut the openings exactly where I want them. Whoever repaired these fenders used 3/8" rod, and it wasn't even down in the recess in most places. I cut the tack welds and the rod came right out.



So now I'm looking for input from you guys as to possibly doing a bit more trimming. If you look at the image above you'll notice I marked the front edge of the fender where it meets the body. The fender hangs down past the body because of the original running boards. I'll never use running boards on a car myself, and I think this extra looks odd. But I'd like to hear from you guys as to whether it looks OK, or if I should just trim them off where I have the mark? Feel free to give your honest thoughts before I get to cutting!

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Old 10-20-2019, 12:45 AM   #185
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Got my front brakes fully assembled today, right down to the hoses. No lines yet. Then I pulled the rear tires and put on my 1.5" billet spacers. The guy who custom makes these tells me they're the only spacer allowed by NHRA. Very nice quality! So the tires are sitting out just where I wanted them now.
But of course I had to cut clearance on my fenders to allow them to hang out a bit. Just close for now as I'll do one more layout and cut the openings exactly where I want them. Whoever repaired these fenders used 3/8" rod, and it wasn't even down in the recess in most places. I cut the tack welds and the rod came right out.



So now I'm looking for input from you guys as to possibly doing a bit more trimming. If you look at the image above you'll notice I marked the front edge of the fender where it meets the body. The fender hangs down past the body because of the original running boards. I'll never use running boards on a car myself, and I think this extra looks odd. But I'd like to hear from you guys as to whether it looks OK, or if I should just trim them off where I have the mark? Feel free to give your honest thoughts before I get to cutting!

If it were me I would come out a bit straighter (square to the body) and then curve it in. Maybe don't cut right to the line to start. Just sneak up on it and stop when it looks good to you. Nice build you have going. I like your idea of making your own shifter among other things.
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Old 10-20-2019, 11:08 AM   #186
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If it were me I would come out a bit straighter (square to the body) and then curve it in. Maybe don't cut right to the line to start. Just sneak up on it and stop when it looks good to you. Nice build you have going. I like your idea of making your own shifter among other things.
Thanks! Yeah, I think paralleling the existing edge would be better than the line I have drawn.
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Old 10-20-2019, 12:03 PM   #187
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Thanks! Yeah, I think paralleling the existing edge would be better than the line I have drawn.
That was going to be my exact suggestion - like maybe that's what would've been offered on a 'non-running board' option, if there ever was such a thing. It should look more natural to the rest of the body...and after it's done most will think it was just made that way!
JR
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Old 10-20-2019, 02:22 PM   #188
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That was going to be my exact suggestion - like maybe that's what would've been offered on a 'non-running board' option, if there ever was such a thing. It should look more natural to the rest of the body...and after it's done most will think it was just made that way!
JR
Thanks. I think that's what I'll do. Looked around on a Google search for 1939 Chev coupes, and appears most cut it off straight when they go without running boards.
This early picture when I bought it really shows how long that leading edge looks compared to the back, and the rocker area.

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Old 10-20-2019, 02:27 PM   #189
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I agree with the others. If after the cut you don't like it you can always cut off more. Cut too much in the first cut and you're stuck with it.
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Old 10-20-2019, 03:13 PM   #190
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I agree with the others. If after the cut you don't like it you can always cut off more. Cut too much in the first cut and you're stuck with it.
Thanks Dan! I try to always do cuts twice. Seems like anytime I try to save time and only make one cut, it costs me time welding back what I shouldn't have removed! It comes off a lot faster than it goes back on!
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