Fabricating Battery and Radiator Mounts

With the engine and transmission located and the ECM and wiring issues under control, it was time to address how I was going to cool the engine. My experience with trying to cool the 406 cu in Chevy engine in my ’39 Ford taught me that to get decent cooling, you need to have as much radiator as you can fit into the car, and it should use a two row, wide tube aluminum core. When I went to this type of radiator, without any other changes, it dropped the water temperature by 20°F. The grill shell design of the ’39 forced me to buy a custom made aluminium radiator which cost around $600. Thanks to the large grill opening and big core support, I could buy an off the shelf aluminium radiator from Speedway for $139.

Modifying the Radiator Core Support

The 1st thing that I did was to initially clearance the core support so that I could flush mount the aluminum radiator in the same position where the original radiator was located. Since this is a cross flow radiator, it has tanks on either side which required the inner fender panels to be notched on each side to allow the radiator to slide into place. Once everything was fitted, I went back and cleaned everything up. I had to add gussets to either side of the core support to stiffen it back up since I had to remove most of the original radiator mounting channel.

Finally I fabricated the lower and upper mounting brackets which were made in the same manner as the ones that we had used in our last off road race car.

Relocating the Battery Box

To complete this portion of the install, I had to relocate the battery box about 3 inches toward the outside of the inner fender panel. This area was fairly well rusted and rotted away thanks to battery acid over the years. I cut away the rotted metal until I found solid material, then made a patch panel that provided the extra clearance for the battery. This was my 1st effort at welding old sheet metal which provided quite a learning experience. After a lot of experimenting I developed a technique that worked realtively well, little did I know at the time how many more patch panels I would be fabricating and welding into old metal…

Sandblasting the Front End Sheet Metal

Once all of the fabricating was done, I sandblasted all of the inner fender panels, coresupport, grill bar and splash pan. Yet another learning experience… I finally covered the trailer with large blue tarps and the set the sandblaster up on it. The blue tarps caught most of the sand so that I could reuse the sand. It still was enough of a mess to where I was pretty sure that I didnt want to do much more.

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