More Progress Being Made!

Time for a quick update on my 1940 Ford Project.

Mated the engine and transmission for final install in the chassis. The 1st time I did this I used a transmission jack to hold the tranny and I hung the engine from the cherry picker. The transmission jack was high to easily work with the engine swinging around on the chain. This time I rolled my fabrication table out into the middle of the shop, put the transmission on it and blocked it up to where it would mate with the engine.

I then transferred the engine from the stand to the cherry picker, I had to remove a good part of the front drive so that I could access the bolt holes in the heads to hook the chain to. Swung the engine up onto the table and slide the transmission on to the alignment pins. Used a couple of long bolts to help keep everything aligned while I bolted and torqued the bellhousing to the engine. All that was left was to bolt the torque converter to the flexplate and then reset the chains to balance the extra weight of the transmission.

I then put the engine mounts back on the block and bolted it into the chassis, then installed the rear transmission mount and the chassis reinforcing plate that I had made when I had to trim the x-member so that the transmission could be pulled separate from the engine.

Next up was to put the March Performance front drive back together. Had to relocate one of the sensor mounts that was attached to the right cylinder head by fabing a bracket extension for the mount.

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  • 038 - Ava Gets Her Heart_001_Conrad Monroe

Mating Engine and Transmission

Once the engine and transmission were in the chassis it was crunch time to see if the radiator would still fit, and to install the new fender aprons.  Luck was with me, I had placed the engine and transmissions mounts as far to the rear as I could, and although the March Performance Front Drive added several inches to the front of the engine, I still had enough clearance for the radiator!

The new fender aprons had to be clearanced for the front suspension. Unlike the stock aprons which are totally different from side to side, the new ones are mirror images of each other, so once I worked out the cuts for one side I could use it for a template for the other. The plasma cutter made short work of the job.

I cannot say enough about the quality of the sheet metal parts that I bought from Absolute Sheet Metal LLC in Chino Valley. The parts were made from 18 ga metal and came with a set of well designed braces to mount the aprons to the frame. Another nice touch was that they included a set of radiator mounts to connect the radiator to the apron supports. Good thoughtful design and excellent quality. Looking forward to installing the new firewall and front floor! www.absolutesheetmetal.com 

Everything seems to fit well and have enough clearance. The tightest point being the space between the lower radiator outlet hose and my front sway bar. I have about 1/8″ at the tightest point with the front suspension fully extended. I have to drill mounting slots in the tabs on the radiator so I might add a small spacer to raise the radiator a bit.

  • 039 - Fit Up Fender Aprons_001_Conrad Monroe

Ready to Roll!

I am helping Michelle do some much needed home improvements so I will not be working on Ava for a short while. When I get back to her, I will be bringing the body and rotisserie down from the 4 post lift and to do an initial fit up on the chassis. I downloaded and printed a dimensioned drawing  of the stock 1940 frame. Looks like TCI got all of the bolt holes in the right place!  From there it is time to replace the firewall and install the front floor.  Then I have to figure out how I am going to lower the top bows…

Fun project!

Till later… C.


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