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Wagon Progress

Well, we have the new engine dropped in place.

....and she decided on fuel injection over the 770 CFM Holley (still new in the box). Of course this meant and O2 sensor bung on an already finished H-pipe. The bung that came with the FI Tech kit matched well to the outside radius of the exhaust pipe, but was rectangular in shape, and included a gasket for a "clamp installation"... As we aren't having any of that nonsense, the bung found it's way into the lathe, where a round outer perimeter will serve better for our TIG welded installation..

And after some touch up at the powder coaters....

Next, our arm rest enclosures for the rear seat needed a base for the padded arm rests. So Jake used the Go Kart slick to add some radius to 14 gauge cold rolled steel in order to match the enclosure...

.....and trimmed to fit....

These will be held in place with Mopar style door panel retainers, so we can still have ready access for any future maintenance on window mechanisms.

Progress on the wagon...

Mike got the new fuel tank all prepped with the fuel pump...

Tank mocked up so we can do test fit/fabrication of the filler neck down to the tank...

An elbow will be needed to join these two together.

The local NAPA store had some smooth elbow exhaust pipe that we used to fabricate the complete filler neck, all the pieces were TIG welded together, and Dana powder coated the assy black for us.

Bracket we fabricated for bolting to the floor flange.

Next, the drip rail area was scuffed well and the car inverted so we can seal the bottom of the drip rail to the top of the quarter area. This is using the self leveling sealer, so we needed to counter the gravity effect.

Next time we'll get the top side done..
Well, we've had about a month long hiatus as I've been in VA for the day job. Back to some wagon progress, we made a sanding block for the drip rail, this will get some PSA paper applied and sand away!

We did have a back up and punt moment. The factory style radiator that we had from Be-Cool did not have quite enough room behind the core support to use a cooling fan. Plus, it was questionable if the size would be enough for the 383 cooling needs. So we are going to use a cross flow, specifically the aluminum version for a V8 S10 pickup. Of course, this will require modification of the core support.

Shown above mocked up with the splash pan, the stiffening edge along the c-channel follows the splash pan. We need to insure any future version also clears the splash pan. Also note the three drilled holes in the side adjacent to the blue sharpie. These were added for our version of the AC car battery tray, so having the new upright just outside the old will allow us to bolt to the new upright on the inside, and keep the battery tray in the same locaton.

So the hired help started grinding out the spot welds that hold the lower radiator baffle in place.

After some modification, one side is taking shape. We will likely add some rings to the weldment to route the water hoses to the front side of the core support.

.....and more progress on the core support... Note comparison to old core support, we've added 3" in width to the opening.

As with most changes we've done to the wagon, we try to keep them subtle enough that they could be mistaken for factory.

Like so.....

Still need to add mounting brackets for the radiator and fabricate a new baffle, but happy with the results so far..

Yesterday we got some seam sealer applied in the drip rail. I had tried a few different brands over the years and have to say I'm really liking the Norton 97121 epoxy sealer. Really smooths out well.

Spreader was modified to help get things consistent, as well as pull the sealer up into the hemmed edge...

So we had fabricated a duplicate of the 55 AC car battery tray to get the battery off the firewall. This bolts directly to the outside of the core supports "horseshoe".

So when we decided to widen the opening for a crossflow, the tubing had to be placed directly next to the old upright to locate our battery support in the same location.

This means the new uprights would also conflict with radiator necks. Dominoes, they do fall.... Core support now with relief holes for coolant hoses and lines. Thankfully side baffle plates will hide this ugliness!

Video Version:

So this weekend the core support was mocked up and some "sample" radiator hoses bent out of 3/4" EMT. Once bent to fit, these samples were taken to the local NAPA store, where they have become used to me sizing up radiator hoses in the store room. The lower hose was from an S10 pickup or Blazer, but with the battery bracket in place, there was interference to the hose.

So our battery bracket is modified to provide clearance for the hose, and a "hem" added to the inside.

The upper hose has no such obstacles, so we should have smooth sailing there.
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Well the past few scheduled shop nights (and days) have been a bust, between college open houses and extracurricular activities...

Back in the shop we needed to finalize our console lid design as some parts are getting ready to go for upholstery. Our piano hinge showed to have clearance issues when using it in "hidden" mode..

....as shown here...

We could notch the rear of the console and lid and move the hinge flush with the rear, but that would leave the hinge visible when closed, and now require and lanyard to keep it from flopping all the way over..

We started looking at hidden hinges at one of our local cabinet maker. Although this one looks plenty stout, it was far to wide for our present design, and would require quite a bit of rework..

With the new options, we narrowed our search to a cabinet hinge that was narrow enough to fit within our side confines, and found this one online..

Test fit, a straightedge is clamped to the hinge, aligned with the rear edge to see what interference this may have. Looks like this is the one..

Hope to finish the hinge details up tomorrow. We also took delivery on our stainless mesh samples to make a decision on our speaker grilles..

More progress on our console, with the new hinges we got for the console lid being such an afterthought, the room provided in our void openings was going to drag the sides of the angle bracket once upholstery was wrapped inside the slot.

Better to make changes (and weld) before the upholstery goes on. So we made some new rear corners that bump us out slightly more than a 16th and use a slightly larger inside radius for a bit extra strength.

This is much better clearance than we had before, one more corner to go and we can fit up the lid.

More progress on the console, the rear corner is opened up for hinge clearance..

8-32 machine screws cut off and sharpened to serve as spotters for our hardware location in the lid..

8-32 rivet nuts installed in our match drilled holes for attaching the lid to the hinges..

video version:

Nice work & nice find on the lifting type of hinges. Don't remember seeing any like that at home depot. Think I got another use for a few of those.

I've done a lot of different types of hinging projects at my day job & at home, such as my electric operated parallelogram linkage hood system on my camaro nose el camino project being the most unique.. Figuring hinging geometry can be trying. With single pivot point hinges, the opening part can only move where that one pivot spot location is set up at & any other differences in single pivot hinges are only for mounting purposes, whether hinge is straight curved or whatever . Either gotta have the pivot point show or have clearance gaps of some sort, which ain't always cool. Some premade items have plastic hinges with a flexible weak spot rather than a barrel that will minimize this, but not exactly a hinge bin selection item.
Multi point mechanism hinges get you different movements, but as you know, are a bit more work to fit. Another choice that could have worked here is the SOSS hidden hinges, which have a bunch of fingers that pull apart, giving a little bit of lifting motion, nut line up evenly with each other when closed. Available from woodworking supply places such as Woodcraft.
Cool to know what options may exist, because there's always a next project, right.
Some days I can't leave well enough alone. I thought I'd see how stout my fancy hinges were before we get too far along in the upholstery stage of the console. I guess I had a gut feeling on these, but some slight side to side deflection rendered the hinges loosened, and the swage of the semi-tubular rivets showed some cracks...

We're a bit too far down this rabbit hole to change directions again, so I checked my inventory of semi-tubular rivets and found these HD items.

These are used in securing latches and hinges to the HD saddle bags and tour packs. When I paint the Harleys, I break these things down to nothing to get fresh paint everywhere, then reinstall the hardware with new rivets. These are stainless and have shown in the past to be rather robust, so we'll drill out all the off shore rivets and install these..


One set done, one to go..

I've looked at cabinet hinges before & wasn't happy about deflection, but sometimes you gotta get what's available. One thing I'm short on in life if something cool to do mechanism rivets with. Is it the hand pliars or the jig mounted pliars or both needed to compress these rivets? need to eventually add this to my tool list.
The unmodified is sold by HD (for too much money, might I add....) for replacing the rivets in their saddle bags and tour packs. Wouldn't you know, as I'm re-assembling from a paint job, the rivet squeezer won't reach one spot, not enough throat. So that is where and when the modified tool (which is still a portable, hand version btw..) came to be. I love being backed in a corner. ;)

Either works to set the rivets, one just has more reach..
If the need comes up again, check out Soss hinges. I think german made.You can get from mini barrel hinges for small furniture up to 4 of em holding up a 150 lb door.

Yea, I know a day late & a dollar short......

Now if you want to be stupid like me & make some really crazy hinges, check these out. Skip ahead to 2:08 & ignore the ignorance, not my video.

Would make a cool console hinge setup.:eek:
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Thanks for the link!

Saturday morning Mike and I went to look at a 39 Ford that needs a complete new wiring harness. What a rats nest the under-dash was, with far too many splices. When people run wires with no regard to movement and function of things like the cowl vent handle or parking brake, when three separate wires are spliced to go from one point to another, you just shake your head. For me I guess it validates what I do in sharing the various tips and methods in this thread. If it helps one person to get some ideas to better improve their own build, or it keeps hack work like we saw Saturday from happening, then mission accomplished.

When we returned from that, I finished up the remaining hinge conversion, and Mike cut out some 18 GA cold rolled and made some bolting angles for some inner fenders we have planned in dressing up the blah engine compartment. Undoubtedly there will be some components bolted onto the original inner fenders and these "covers", and this bolting angle will allow us to remove them for access without having to remove fender bolts.

Monday evening we had a departure, the upholstery has left the building! Well, most of it, we still have door panels, arm rests, etc, etc.... to address.

Thanks Gary!

Last night we cut out some bend sample strips to nail down our console lid insert, should get the final version cut out and fabricated Thursday night. Meanwhile, E and I worked on locating attachment holes on the mounting angles Mike had made. The original inner fenders were attached to the fender, and noticed we needed a mounting hole up front of our angles for better stability, so we added those holes and installed some rivnuts in the inner fenders. This will allow assembly without the need to hold washers and nuts on the opposite side.

E gaining some rivnut installing skills....

This shows the side by side with the angles installed.

Thursday we'll get the attachment holes for the new inner inner fenders located, drilled, and rivnuts installed. Then these parts can get sent off for powder coating.
Awesome stuff. Thanks. I always learn a lot from your posts. Reading through I noticed a post from a few years back where you used a copper backing near an edge. I haven't had much luck using one. I always seem to blow through. In the pic you have the copper under but not completely flat against the underside. You had it rolled out and upward a tad. As if to act as a bit of a deflector just off the edge of the metal being welded. Is that the trick? Angle it a bit? I always keep mine under and flat against the metal.

This one? The area in the center had been fatigued by a bumper bump, and this was to fix a crack. The area is a compound curve, the copper is just a flattened piece of pipe that a curve was added to best fit snugly against the damaged area while allowing a clamp to hold it in place. Any curled or angled away effect was not intentional, just how it was bent to fit in the small area needed. For a backer the copper should fit fairly snug to the back side of the sheet metal where the weld will take place.. This had a stress crack that was no doubt going to blow out if I hadn't used the copper, I typically only use it in rare cases like this one. If using a mig and your efforts normally seem to blow out too much, try increasing wire feed speed so you have more filler entering the heat zone. X amount of heat will burn X amount of metal. If its burning away parent metal, you need to feed the heat with more filler.. Thanks for the comments and question!
E worked Thurday evening on drilling holes and installing rivet nuts for the inner inner fender mounts.

Oops, I think she chipped a nail..

Meanwhile, I fabricated the console lid insert...

Today, Mike and I worked on the lower radiator mount. We tossed around various ideas, and settled on one that would keep the lower condensor mount a separate isolated part. We decided to use the same dies used to for the J-channel detail on the back of the 52 Chevy tailpan that we made up a couple years ago.

Here the J-channel detail is added on a piece of 16 gauge cold rolled steel..

Radiator test fit: