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Wagon Progress

Another part we're adding due to the length of this car is a second interior light. We chose to go with the original version, so here's a factory mount, spot welds ground out from the back side of the included section of roof crossmember. Then it will get media blasted, epoxy primed, and plug welded in place.

We got the baffle/lower radiator mount plug welded in place...

...and the rubber edge trim for our lower radiator mount added.. The "final" version will include weather strip adhesive to keep it locked in place on the radiator.

Needs to be pressed in a little more but this is the idea...

Side baffles for the core support were trimmed on the inside (for our larger opening) , new mounting slots added, and access holes opened up..

Lower radiator hose clearance to the battery support bracket...

I have a couple radius bends to do on the AC condenser bracket, so a piece of 1/2" 4130 was added to the Magnetic Brake die.. This will help keep things from moving, and it is welded on what is usually the back side, so no interference otherwise...

This will be the mounting flange to the radiator..

1" rod is used to form the radius on the side "covers"

A test fit before we cut out the gaping hole for air flow....

The center hole is cut out and a flange tipped for wrapping a 3/16" rod for wire edge. This should add plenty of strength, if the 16 GA wasn't enough..

Our anvil we made up for stretching the metal in the corners for tipping..

Where we left off....to be continued..

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Had a request to show how the inside corners were tipped for wire edging the AC condenser opening. Here's a video (with poor audio.. iPhone seems to want to do a noise cancelling) that shows stretching the inner corners. I do spend a bit more time and accuracy on the real part, this was a quick, down and dirty demonstration. ;)

We drilled out mounting hole pattern in the AC condenser to the radiator, and added AVK style rivet nuts to the radiator cross bars to secure..

Installed, this will be the profile of the upper mounting bracket (about 24+ inches wide), that will share the AC condenser upper mounting screws. Not sure if we want to do this in polished stainless or paint. Thoughts?

The upper bracket will be attached to the core support also using rivet nuts, mainly from the back side to hide some of the hardware..

Really nice work. I would probably go with paint to be able to complement the other painted parts or blend in where polished stainless might stand out too much and detract from the other areas of your work. Plus it might look too much like something that was bought rather then something you made by hand. Just my two cents.
Happy Thanksgiving to you to.
We have a few pieces of chrome going on the engine, but for the most part the underhood will be paint and powder-coat. I was leaning toward painting body color..

So this weekend I worked on the "new" dolly to remove some of the rust..

Started with the media blaster to remove all the rust and scale...

Next, the pits were removed using 60 grit roloc sanding discs, followed by brown, red, and then blue scotchbrite discs. Then some media blasting to give a good finish..

Lastly, some 320 on the DA to remove scratches from the dolly face, and a trip to the pedestal buffer with some thick gloves.

All that fun aside, back on radiator mounts. The upper will be a combination mount and also cover for the top of the core support. This will be 44" long, so to help the magnetic brake make some more crisp bends we'll thin the bend lines in the Lennox using a tipping die. the 44" length on the panel is a bit long for my 48" linear slide, so another section is added to give us 96" to play with. Just clears the Pexto shear..

Motion picture of the process:

Bend lines in place ....

….and we left off there for some turkey dinner. Should get it trimmed on the sides and folded up this Tuesday night.
Thanks for the kind words guys!

Our 18 Gauge upper radiator mount / core support cover is cut out and bent to fit. Still needs some minor trimming around the radiator top and then we’ll make some threaded spotters to mark our rivet-nut holes.

Well as normal, one change leads to one or more others. We thought we'd test fit to check out the clearance for the hood latch striker out in front of the AC condenser.

I missed getting a picture of our attempt, but here's a view of the original from the service manual.

No way the original latch striker will work with the AC condenser that far forward. So we filled in the rear bolt hole and bent the latch striker as close as we could to the latch hole, which gave us 1-1/2” more room.

The support structure would no longer have the rear bolt hole in the same location, and we needed to slim it down to the same width as the modified striker...

Next, the rear bolt for the striker will need to be horizontal now, so a stud is fabricated and welded in place, and the support bracket modified for this bolting arrangement as well.

Media blasted....

test fit....

.......and on to the next hurdle
I took delivery the other day on a set of slide tracks so we used the opportunity to get the Arbor Press metalshaping dies from Pat Brubaker mounted under the table for better use of space. We used the Diacro press brake to bend some 1/8" aluminum for making some angle brackets for mounting.

For those with a Diacro manual press brake, be aware the factory cast parts may not be 100% compatible with cheater bars. This happened a few months back, and our billet steel replacement is holding up much better, still has yet to transfer the problem farther down the line, knock on wood.

E got the holes drilled out in the brackets, and I assembled the pieces..

This is much better.. a good start to cleaning off the table..

A demo of the process of using the arbor press....

.....and then today, Mike and I worked on blocking and straightening out the roof to get it a bit closer for painting.

We did find a stretched spot in the roof, and chased it around a few times in using the body hammer and shot bag. No matter what we did, it tended to still have an up and down wave, so too much metal. The roof has been covered in SPI Epoxy for a while and I had no intention of removing the epoxy, so we opted for the donut dolly (this one home made) as it would leave the paint intact over using a torch....

Part of the difficulty in using the donut dolly is insuring the hammer aligns with the dolly for the most effective shrink.

So we employed our magnet trick seen here:

.......once the trouble areas needing a bump outward were located (they were stretched inward), the magnet was placed directly over the spots and then we could trace the locations on the inside for proper hammer strike while the donut dolly was held over the corresponding location on the outside. This was about the best results I've had using the donut dolly.

Here are a few of the shrink locations used to straighten out the roof and its waves...