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Old 05-08-2009, 08:34 PM
Kerry Pinkerton's Avatar
Kerry Pinkerton Kerry Pinkerton is offline
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Location: Near Huntsville, Alabama. Just south of the Tennessee line off I65
Posts: 7,665
Default The Art Deco Imperial Project - Part 18

Been working on the engine for a while but this week I decided I wanted to shape some metal before I leave for the Bugly meet. The door is next in line. I shrunk some 18 ga angles to match the fair curve that I lofted from the grill to the back of the door and welded them in place. To make a Burt Buck, I sheared some 1/2" strips of some 5051 aluminum (I got some from Frigo when I got the 18 ga and us it for misc. stuff.) I wove it into a grid that lays on top of the angles. At the top, I bent the strips to mate up with the armrest portion of the top of the door and tucked the strips under the door top and taped everything in place.

Some aluminum tape and here is the Burt Buck. I needed about 6 feet of tape off a new roll, the second so this tape goes a good way.

After the fiberglas tape was applied, you can see how the door side transitions from a pretty tight radius at the back of the door to a large radius at the front.

This is a fairly low crown panel all over...not a lot of shape anywhere. I was able to use 2" wide transfer and fiberglas tape.

I'm going to try and whip this out tomorrow. It LOOKS easy but it will probably kick my butt.... I'm going to try it in one piece.
Originally Posted by jhnarial
...How will you attack the top of the door?At one point on the top of the door there's a 90 degree angle.I am not sure how to do that with a English wheel....

Beats me....

Seriously Johnny, my thinking is to shape to the flexible pattern before I worry about the tip. I'll then mark the tip "line" on the back side of the panel, and work it over using a combination of the tipping wheel (probably the one in the Hoosier tipper rather than a Pexto tipper. Also work the rolls with the gokart slick, various lower dies, and some hand work. That's the plan. This and 5 more will make an even half dozen door skins I've ever done.

That said, one thing I learned in the Army was that plans go to hell with the first problem so I expect to be OBE. (Overtaken By Events)

I REALLY like the whole Burt Buck concept. It works very well, is easy, cheap, and most important, it lets me pull a rough flexible pattern that SPEAKS TO ME! Hard bucks don't. AND it lets me 'see' what the panel will look like.
Some progress on the roadster...

A couple weeks back I started on the right side door based on the flexible shape pattern pulled from the Burt buck. I quickly realized I would want to make the skin in two pieces but also quickly ran into a nasty twist.

I got lots of good input on what caused it and how to fix it but still haven't really got a handle on what the problem was...

At any rate, I worked and worked on this panel getting closer, farther away, closer etc and decided I would eventually make a new skin but first wanted to get this one as close as possible. I don't think I've ever made a panel in my VAST metalshaping experience that fought me this hard. It just wasn't speaking to me and the flexible pattern off the Burt buck was just not close enough to true surface to help me out. And there is a LOT of complex shape in the skin.

The main problem was the upper part which had a large buckle in the center. I went around and around with different approaches but finally got it to lay down. UNFORTUNATELY by this time, I had stretched the center WAY too much and had a large hump in the skin. The good news is that the skin now lays fairly easily on the door. Except for this hump...well no time like the present to see how well I could do with a shrinking disk.

In this photo, I've already some some work with the disk and you can see the scuffs.

The hump needs to come down a good bit. This contour guage is 3/4" inch high on the left side so the hump needs to drop about 3/8"

There is also a low spot on the right side but that's EASY!

Getting pretty close now. I've shrunk the area quite a bit. This is by far the most I've used the disk and the only work I've done on aluminum so I've got some questions:

1- Is there a 'limit' to how much I can shrink or can I just keep going?

2- Does the disk fatigue the metal? Can I wheel it a bit to loosen it up or is that not necessary?

I have a new favorite tool. The shrinking disk is indeed amazing! I spent about 3 hours on this skin today with the disk and it slowly came into shape. In addition, it is all relaxed and just lays on the door.

In this photo you can still see a small high spot in the center.

An hour later and it's all gone. It actually is a lot better than it looks in the photo.

Decided to move on to the door top and did the center section. I've decided against a hard 90 at the back of the door and will have a roll the whole length. Should finish it tomorrow unless my wife snags me for 'stuff'...

I was working on this as a piece of scrap just to try and get a grip on the shrinking disk. When it started to shape up, I decided to try and save it if for no other reason than I didn't really know WHY it was twisted to begin with so there was no guarantee a new skin would be any better....

Really good learning experience!

I just love it when you finish something and are happy with it. Not many better least in the shop.

Whipped this sucker!

Shaped and welded in the top end pieces. The radius to the flat 'arm rest' top changes all along the weld seam. It's really hard to hold this stuff in place. I need some of those aluminum magnets! Any tricks besides just clamps would be appreciated?

Here it is on the car. It doesn't lay in place perfectly because the flanges are not bent over. The panel behind the door top will be redone to have a radiused corner instead of the 90 degree tip that is on it now.

I'm really liking how this looks. The center portion looks flat but it's really not.

Same view from lower

3/4 rear view. You can see that panel with the 90 degree edge that will be softened.

Top 'O the door! At this point I can easily side the skin on and off the frame which is what I needed.

I think I'm going to push it outside soon and get some photos. I need to redo the front fender bondo buck first...maybe by the weekend.

This panel really worked me hard. The scary thing is that I don't really know what I did to make it get off OR get back right. At least now I will be able to make a clean flexible shape pattern for the other door. I think I have about 32 hours in the door so far. It's probably 95%

Really pumped! Starting to look like what's in my head.

Tony Sanchez pulled up in Bennett Chapman's driveway today for a short visit. He and his wife drove over from California to visit her relatives in Georgia not far from Bennett. He's coming by here Monday on his way to pick up his kick shrinker frames from Ray the machinist.

Tony's an aluminum guy as well as a master metalshaper so I'm hoping for some good insight from him. Wish he had time to stay and play a while.
Kerry Pinkerton
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Old 05-08-2009, 08:39 PM
Kerry Pinkerton's Avatar
Kerry Pinkerton Kerry Pinkerton is offline
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Location: Near Huntsville, Alabama. Just south of the Tennessee line off I65
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Default The Art Deco Imperial Project - Part 19

progress looks good kerry,

is the door the bottom of the car or is there a rocker panel that will go below it??

Thanks for the kind words everyone...

There will be a rocker panel that goes ALMOST to the bottom of the frame. I want the frame to touch if anything does. NOTHING will hang below the frame.
Along with some outside Honeydos, I managed to reshape the front fender buck.

Here was the original bondo buck. Notice the hump in the rear?

And here is the new fender, smooth curve to the back.

It's supposed to rain all weekend but as soon as I can, I'm going to pull the car outside, put this fender on it and take some photos of all the skins and this buck to date so I can check proportions and the 'look'.
When Bennett, Dutch, and I first built the chassis, we decided on an X cross member with mufflers on each side of the X. The inline 6 presented a problem because the split headers are on one side. I ordered some pre-mandrel bent tube from and modified them so swing under the oil pan. There is enough room to drop the pan without pulling the header.

I also welded in some stainless vibration mounts direct to the header.

Been working on the engine. Got it put together with clutch, reinstalled the head, changed out the valve springs, painted it etc.

Then I did some measurements and made the support for the radiator. The stock Corvette cross member positioned the radiator a little high for the nose so I modified it a's stronger now than ever but the radiator sits about 3" lower.

A new firewall is in process so the old one is missing in this photo. I put all the accessories on the motor so I could do the look and smile bit.

I've got about 3" between the fan and the radiator and there will be a shaped aluminum shroud. The radiator is rubber mounted and I may put some larger rubber which would move it back a bit but I wanted enough space to work on the car. Some of my Imperials have NO space in front of the motor and even changing belts is a pain. The radiator is a 65 Mustang 3 row for the 289 AC model. It should work fine with the warmed over 250 inline and was only $190.

The carb is a 500cfm Edelbrock. The Clifford intake has a 3 .75 square bore mounting pattern and I'll need the Edelbrock adapter which will raise the carb about 1". I have plenty of room under the hood. I probably could have gone with the taller 292 time.

The motor is set to the right about 1" and the radiator is also and now I've got a straight shot from the steering column to the steering box. You can see the Ujoint.

I got the clutch and everything in today and picked up the slave cylinder. I was all excited until I realized the headers were in the way....I was really thinking dark thoughts until Dan Shady suggested a bellcrank! DUH! That will work better anyway as I can hide the plastic slave cylinder under the floorboard out of sight from the engine compartment.
Originally Posted by Marty Comstock
Oooohkay, hmm. How is the feel of the steering going to be with a lighter motor and body? Any noticable difference do you think, or may you have to desensitize the power rack?


I have no earthly idea! I expect it will be pretty light from a steering pressure standpoint. I don't know how/if it can be desensitized. Can it? How?

I guess I can run it without the power steering hooked up. It isn't going to weight squat...less than 2000lbs...I doubt I'll need a lot of additional boost. I've been told by a couple mechanics that as long as the power rack is filled with fluid and the hoses are connected together it will be fine without the power steering pump.
I've been fortunate to have made some great friends through this community.

Bennett Chapman, Joe Hartson, Dan Shady, and Barb (Coppretta) Lawrence are some. Last Friday, Joe and Bennett came over and spent a week playing metal and working on my roadster. Dan Shady came over Sunday and Monday and Barb was here for several days.

Joe threatened to have a sign made..."Will shape metal for food!"

We had a blast. Usually at it by 8:30 and went till 9-10pm every night. Bennett left yesterday and Joe left this morning.

We got a huge amount done! Here is some of the work on the front fender.

Joe wanted to focus on making actual parts so he started by making a flexible shape pattern off the bondo buck I made a few weeks back.

Taped up the bondo with low stick masking tape. (Transfer tape doesn't stick well to unpainted bondo)

Then overlaid it with a couple layers of fiberglas strapping tape.

Dan Shady worked on a couple he is tuning a nose that I think was roughed in by Bob Baisden up at Dutch's last summer. It was pretty close to the new buck.

Joe spend a good bit of time working with a panel that was in the 'pile' trying to make it fit the center top. After a couple days, we scrapped it and started over with new metal which went much faster.

Then Joe worked on the center rear which was an interesting asymmetrical shape.

After Joe and Dan got enough sub panels we started tipping edges.

After some work with the tipping wheel, Joe finished the nose flange by hand.

I started welding the panels together and finishing the seams with Joe's help. Here is the fender where we left it when Joe headed south. Dan Shady made the rear side panel.

A change in approach meant that we did not finish it.

Joe shaped the center side panel and tipped the edge (. I decided after he had it finished that it would be easier to weld an un-flanged panel in place and tip the wheel opening lip as a single unit. I was concerned that if we did it in sections, we could not get a smooth curve.

I'll try and get it finished next week after I catch up on some sleep.

This is not all we did...more later.

Thanks Guys!
Kerry Pinkerton
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Old 05-08-2009, 08:40 PM
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Kerry Pinkerton Kerry Pinkerton is offline
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Location: Near Huntsville, Alabama. Just south of the Tennessee line off I65
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Default The Art Deco Imperial Project - Part 20

Regarding the slave cylinder, I did order one from my parts house but it did not fit the tranny snout inside the bellhousing so rather than fight with trying to figure which make, model, and year was the correct one...if there was one...I decided to go back to the external slave. I did find a metal slave though.

The clutch fork was a challenge. The local parts houses couldn't get them and the dealer wanted $150! Rather than hassle with digging in a junkyard, I just ordered a new one from Speedway for 18 bucks. I got several neet things from Speedway.

It took me a day to make the mount and bellcrank but primarily because I was trying to make Grant Leeser (Gleeser) proud and match the motor mounts Grant made. There isn't a straight line in it and I even drilled some holes...

It's painted the same color as the bellhousing but you can see it if you look for it. The front part mounts to the bellhousing to the block by two bolts and the rear uses the bolts that hold the tranny to the bellhousing. The master and slave cylinder are the same bore so it's a 1:1 ratio on the bellcrank.

I made some aluminum clevises and there will be a spring to keep any load off the throwout bearing except when pushed.

The whole thing is below the floor level except for a tiny bit up by the right corner of the footwell where the clutch fork is higher than the floorboard...about the size of a pack of Lucky Strikes.. I'll make a 'bump' for it in the floorboard/tranny tunnel.
While Joe and Dan were working on the fender, Bennett started on the floor pans. I had previously done a new front hoop spaced 1" further back to give some clearance for the longer engine. The first thing we did was mount a wooden mockup and fit it to the hoop. To locate the steering column we cut a large hole, positioned the column where we wanted it for comfort, and used wooden blocks larger than the hole in the firewall that were screwed in place. This gave us an exact template to use to cut the 16ga steel firewall which was installed after all the floorpan mockup was done. The steel firewall will ultimately have an engine turned aluminum panel fastened to the outside...probably by panel adhesive.

In the photo below you can see the plywood blocks we used to locate the steering column at the firewall. We took great pains to make sure the gearshift/steering column/seat position was right.

Next was to make hoops over my floor braces. These were 2x1/4" bar flat heated and bent over a piece of 6" material then welded in place. The front brace was not cut out at the bottom to act as a safety hoop in case the driveshaft fails. The Corvette driveshaft has no travel up/down or side to side so the tunnel can be smaller than in a car with a moveable rear end.

When I picked up the driveshaft about Day 4, we discovered it could be installed easily even with the bottom in the rear brace so we welded it back in place for additional rigidity in the floor brace.

Bennett welded strips of metal to my original floorpans to make templates for the new space. Moving the firewall back 1" changed the shape of the area.

Once he cut the blanks out and marked the beads, my son Kris, and Barb helped him do the beads on the Pullmax using beading dies he got from Stan Fulton. These dies have a neat feature that 'coins' the end to close the beads.

With the drivers side floorpan in place, we made Barb try out the seating position and make appropriate VAROOM noises. You can see the steering column hole. The steering shaft is a straight shot to the Corvette front with a neat support bearing in the center and a single Ujoint on each end.

Bennett is a CAD guy and I tend to work from templates. With no CAD capability available at my shop, we took this approach to laying out the tranny hump.

A large piece of cardboard was bent lengthwise so it was flexible enough to fit up to the firewall opening as well as the driveshaft tunnel and marked.

Yes, the beads are UP. This is so they won't hold water when the inevitable happens and I'm caught in the rain. On the floorboards, the beads run to the end. They rest on a turned flange on the firewall and rear and the turned up ends you see in the photo below are now cut off.

This was the result, a perfect template.

We transfered the cardboard to metal, added the flat part on the sides and the flanges and bent it to profile with the gokart slick. My wife noticed the HF ewheel in one of the fenders posted yesterday..."What is that useless thing doing in the photo?" she asked. I have a gokart slick in it. It works poorly even for that but I can't bring myself to cut the dang thing up.

Still it works for the gokart slick a little and I didn't take time to move the slick to one of our other frames.

The cockpit back is large and definitely a 3 person job to manage on the Pullmax.

A little slapper action flattens out the warpage caused buy stretching the beads. On the back the beads do not go to the end and we used the kick shrinker to pull things back into shape.

The floorpans, driveshaft tunnel, and tranny tunnel are welded together and come in and out of the car as a unit. The rear panel will go in last.

Bennett was pleased with the result and I'm tickled pink! Thanks Bennett!

I still have to do a new side panel for the drivers side tranny hump. There is about 2" of foot space that I'm going to reclaim with come custom metalshaping.

Here you can see my new custom driveshaft in place. This was made by Huntsville Driveshaft from an S10 driveshaft which they shortened and balanced with a yoke for the Corvette Ujoing. Cost $185 including the S10 unit.

The other major accomplishment of this week was the starting of the modified Chevy 250 inline 6. Joe is an old hand at engines and took a break from shaping to hook things up. I decided to ditch the HEI distributor in favor of a more traditional points system. I picked up the distributor Saturday morning but we quickly found out it was a dud. The shaft was bored off center and it would not install. A new one was not available until Tuesday afternoon . Also the electric fuel pump I had turned out to be a dud. It ran but didn't pump. Decided to go with an original style pump and that was not available until Tuesday either. In the meantime, we wired up some cheap guages, verified oil pressure, did a preliminary set on the lifter adjustment, mounted the carb and got ready to go.

I also found a water outlet that matched some formed hoses. In the background you can see the cast aluminum Offenhauser valve cover that Rondo provided.

Guess what's happening here?

VAROOM, VAROOM! Motor sounds great. We let it get to temperature, adjusted the valves, set the timing and just smiled a while then shut her down and got back to work.

I can't begin to thank Joe, Bennett, Dan, and Barb enough for their help. We had a blast and got a tremendous amount done. I work MUCH MUCH harder when someone is working with me and this 7 day period of at least 14 hour days by the crew probably represents a month of effort at my normal pace.

The day will come when I will return the favor for them.
Weighted the car last night. The front is 981 and the rear is 1854lbs. Not a lot more to add...the aluminum won't weight much. Interior, gas tank and gas, dash, pedal assembly's...probably 500lbs.

Matt Inscho (Kustom Chop Shop in Decatur, Alabama) came over this week to get some help making door skins for a 31 Chevy. I'll post some photos on that saga later.

Anyway, Matt has done a lot of tanks from various materials, steel, stainless, and aluminum.

I've decided to take everyone's advice and drop the tanks down to frame level. With the recent installation of the driveshaft, I can do a tank on either side of the driveshaft right behind the rear interior panel and tie them together below and above the driveshaft so they act as a single tank.

I'm leaning toward .125 aluminum for the tanks. They'll be installed with straps so there will be no flanges to vibrate and crack.

Bennett Chapman is coming back tomorrow for a few days...we hope to get the brakes working and drive around the block.....
Bennett Chapman is here for a few days and our goal is to have a running and driving frame before he leaves Tuesday night.

Making progress.

On Friday before Bennett got here I worked on the tranny tunnel. The plan was to increase leg room by cutting into the sides as well as making a small hump for the bellcrank system.

I made a Burt Buck for the complicated part at the front that will do for mocking up the pedal positions.

This gives me about 3" more foot room width. Now we can hang the pedals.

We mocked up the pedal location and plumbed in the clutch master/slave. We ended up tweeking the bellcrank ratios a bit and still have some work to do but it works.

We then started putting the coilovers on the front suspension.

We had to make shock mounts for the top and bottom of the shocks.

I don't have spring compressors so we pulled the upper control arm in order to install the coilovers.

Came out really well. Still have to do a little "pretty work" on the lowers but it will do to make a test drive.

Today we installed new calipers and started running the brake lines. Bennett has a set of "Imperial Eastman" tubing benders and flaring tools that are just awesome! State of the art.

After we got the rear lines up to the firewall we decided to make the permanent mounts for the clutch and Break pedals and master cylinders. they bolt in and can be removed from the access panel under the hood if necessary.

Hopefully we'll finish up the brakes tomorrow.

We're going to narrow the driveshaft tunnel so the seats will fit. We've got way more space around the shaft than we need and when we pick up the 4" the seats I have will fit.
Dang! Stuff happens.

We got a lot done but ran into some issues that we just couldn't get resolved before Bennett had to leave. Yesterday we finished plumbing the brakes and started bleeding the brake lines. While we were tightening the ever present leaky fittings, we noticed the master cylinder was leaking internally. DANG!#$@@&&^

This morning I called ECI and found out what kind of master cylinder it was. Turns out to be a 84 Chevette 7/8" bore from a power brake model. They are cheap...about $20 and the non power version is in stock everywhere. It was used on many GM cars throughout the 80's and 90's. The power version however is not a stock item. We looked everywhere and finally found one 60 miles away. We made the trip...40 bucks worth of gas to get a 20 buck part...yeah I know....

Got back about 2pm and just couldn't get everything done in time.

I really wanted to get a photo of Bennett driving the car. He's worked so hard on it.

It's just a thing though. It'll get done. Thanks to the help from Bennett, Joe Hartson, Grant Leeser and quite a few others, I'm months ahead of schedule.

How will a car like this be registered, and insured? I have always had an issue in k.c. mo. on insuring a REAL value to a creation of this sorts. WHat do you plan to do on this?

Just thinking out load.

Bill, Alabama has a process for registering a scratch built car. I have to fill out some paperwork and someone from the DMV will come out and inspect the car. Insuring is easy. There are several insurers of special interest vehicles and street rods that advertise in Hemmings and other magazines.
Kerry Pinkerton
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Old 05-08-2009, 08:41 PM
Kerry Pinkerton's Avatar
Kerry Pinkerton Kerry Pinkerton is offline
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Location: Near Huntsville, Alabama. Just south of the Tennessee line off I65
Posts: 7,665
Default The Art Deco Imperial Project - Part 20

Slight delay. Those of you who know my son Kris may be interested to learn he and his wife had a baby girl about a month ago and Carolyn and I have our first GrandDaughter. Last Friday his wife went in for some minor outpatient surgery. She was supposed to be home by 2 pm Friday and ended up being in the hospital for 5 days. Soooooo Carolyn and I got to experience what it's like to deal with a newborn by ourselves. Dang getting old and not getting sleep ain't as much fun as it used to be!

I had an hour or so here and there so here is what's been going on since Bennett left last Tuesday afternoon.

The first thing I did was find my pressure bleeder and make an adapter plate for the master cylinder.

The pressure pot is just a simple pump up sprayer with a hose adapted to a barb fitting screwed into a tapped hole in a 1/4" plate. Some gasket material and some clamps holds it tight with no leaking.

Fill with fresh brake fluid, pump a few times, lock the trigger open (notice fancy trigger lock!), crack the bleed screws, and let it flow until all the air is out. Works better than any other tool or method I've ever used and I've used this pump on probably a dozen cars.

Before Bennett arrived I cut down the side of the original tranny tunnel and made a Burt buck for the shape that will be behind and under the gas pedal.

I've decided to redo the tranny tunnel to better fit the actual shape of the trans. There is a lot of space that can be recovered and I'm of the opinion that you cannot have too much foot room.

I'll probably remake the whole floor board down the road and just use this for testing and mock up. None the less, these two pieces were pretty challenging. I also got to practice tigging steel.

It's actually better than it looks. The gas pedal will mount on the upper part of the flange.

I've also ordered a new cam. I discovered that my existing cam has a very large duration that gives very little vacuum and a rough idle and I just want something more drivable. The new cam should be in next week. 7/3/08
I'm a dumb ass and I've probably trashed my motor and wasted a grand and a bunch of time. I ordered a new cam from Clifford for my Chevy 250 because the one that came with the motor was just too hot for a street car, one of their 264s based on their recommendation. The cam that came out of the car had a thrust plate AND a tapped hole with a bolt and washer to locate the cam. The new cam did not have the tapped hole and I didn't think anything about it (THE CORE MISTAKE IN THE CHAIN OF EVENTS). Froze the cam and pressed the timing gear on, installed, set the rocker clearances etc. Used the Crane Cam Break In additive. Motor ran for about 10 minutes and started backfiring through the carb.

I quickly shut it off, pulled the valve cover and noticed #4 pushrod was about 2" below the rocker...pulled the side cover and found a lifter broken in half...bottom half and internals in the pan.

The cam walked backward and the lifters got off center lobe and a couple lobes are wiped. Called Clifford and they said there is supposed to be an allen screw behind the rear freeze plug on the cam gallery that determines the forward location for the cam and the thrust plate determines the rear location. News to me and there was NO paperwork or instructions with the cam....still it was my fault. No warranty of course but whatever I do it won't be another Clifford. I expected some instructions at least but I still
should have called them with questions.

I'm still using the head with the repaired boss and stock springs. The locak speed shops said it would be fine with stock springs. Clifford said I needed 125# springs anyway and I'm not sure the head will hold up to it so I'm not sure what to do. I have no idea what new stock SB springs rate and don't have a way to test them.

Haven't pulled the block yet so there may or may not be damage in the innards.

I'm thinking I basically wasted a bunch of money on this whole thing...I've got three choices as I see it.

1- IF my short block is good, I could get a new head. I'd like something better than the stock head especially since I have the Clifford intake and a 500 cfm Edelbrock and tube headers. I do want a very streetable motor though...something the wife can drive without having to slip the clutch at 2000 rpm to get it moving. What kind of head work do you think I'd want, cam to go with it. Who builds such things and what kind of price would
the loaded head run me?

2- IF the bottom end is ok, replace the cam with a milder version that will work with the stock small block springs (new) in the existing head. If I do replace the cam I'll drill and tap for a retaining bolt/washer if the new cam doesn't come with it already. According to Clifford, some manufacturers do...some don't and I was too ignorant to know.

3- If things are bad in the short block, I found on ebay an outfit in Washington state that offers a totally rebuilt 292 for $1000 + $175 shipping + $175 core and it has a 7 year 100,000 warranty that looks really good. Everything new. I have room for the 292 and it's only $100 more than the subsitute for cubic inches and all that. Should have gone that way to begin with but EVERY DAMN TIME I TRY TO CUT CORNERS IT BITES ME. EVERY TIME! You'd think I'd learn after nearly 60 years.
Anyone ever heard of them?

I'm asking some questions on the inliners board. This happened this morning and I was so happy I just cut the grass...

Dang, I don't like this mechanical stuff any more. I just wanta shape metal! Quote:
Kerry that plain sucks!! The old head broke a stud boss? If so before you trash it take it to a machine shop and see if it can be machined down for screw in studs. You take the stud boss down about 1/2" and tap the hole 7/16nc.

Jeff the stud was broken when I got it and an extended 7/16 stud was drilled and tapped all the way into the water jacket. I took it to a speed shop and they said it should be fine with stock springs. The head has a lot of work but obviously has this problem....not sure it's worth messing with. Quote:
... How much hood clearance do you have. The 292 is taller then a 250. Not sure how much, but the inliners would know.

The 292 is less than 2" taller. I have room. Quote:
edit: I forgot, the stock sbc spring pressure is 80lbs on the seat. The 250 would run 1.7 instead of 1.5 ratio rockers and more lift and more agressive opening rates, usually. That's likly why they recomended the stiffer springs.

80 lbs huh? Didn't know that. Stock 250 rockers is 1.75 ratio and that is what the cams are designed for. Some folks use big block rockers (1.7) but you have to change to longer pushrods.

I just don't know if I want to continue to mess with this head....I've got a line on a brand new performance head loaded for $850. Probably be closer to $1500 with the new cam and stuff to go with it....or about the same price for a totally rebuilt with all new parts and warranty on a stock 292...

I need to check the state of the short block this weekend. If it's not hurt the new performance head may be the way to go. I don't know... I'm heading up to Dutch's next week with Bennett and I'm sure we'll solve all the worlds problems before we get back.

Well crap, this is the gift that keeps on giving.

Dropped the pan and found all sorts of Chunks 'O Lifter in the bottom but no apparent damage. Until I ran my finger down in the broken lifter bore... Really rough and a good lifter won't go down it. Lifting the car this is what I see from the bottom:

You can't really see the scoring but the bottom part of the bore is pretty chewed up. Don't know if this can be saved or not but I doubt it without some heavy duty machine work. I could hone the bore but I expect the lifter would wobble and soon wipe the cam lobe.

Given everything else I'm leaning hard toward just buying a rebuilt, warranted long block 292 and be done with it.

Ya pays for your education one way or the other. I've now learned that you ALWAYS need to replace the aluminum cam gear when you replace the cam because the press fit has to be tight enough not to let the cam slide backward. If I had drilled and tapped the cam for a bolt I'd have been OK.

The Clifford guy was wrong about a set screw in this particular engine. It's the thrust plate and the press fit gear that locates the cam.
Talked to some local machine shops today. None are set up to do inline engines but will 'try'.

Picked up the bronze sleeve that is 1.002 od. The technique is to bore/ream to 1.000, freeze the sleeve and press in place, then bore/ream to the .845 lifter diameter. I've talked to Ray (the machinist who does our shrinkers). He has the reamers and other tools and we're going to do it at his place when I get back from Dutchs and get the motor out... 7/29/08
No metalshaping but progress non-the less. Last weekend Ray Ferguson (the machinist) and I installed the sleeve in the lifter bore. Came out fine so the short block is in good shape.

Given the problems in the head, I've decided to get a new head with the work done that I want (bigger valves, lump ports, hardened seats) and the valve springs for the cam I'm going with.. It should be here on the 11th. Also ordered a new cam and lifters from Competition Cams.

I'm probably going to swap the Clifford intake for a Offy intake which is better on low end. The Clifford is mainly a race intake.

More money in the repair than I wanted but it should give me the engine I want.

Oh, I've also got a 'pull' type slave cylinder. The bell crank system just was too many failure points.

I'll be glad to get this thing running, drive it around the block, so I can get back to metalshaping. 9/14/08
Been working on the car. Some of this update was posted on HAMB but the rest is new.

Bought a new head (long story) from Tom Lowe with lots of head work and lump ports. Put in a new Comp Cam and broke it in September 2. Everything went fine. On Thursday the 4th I drove the chassis for the first time.

- I'm not running a PS pump. I've tied the two power steering lines together with fluid in them. I'm concerned that as light as the car is, it will be twitchy with power steering. It turns easily even when not moving and is nice and responsive on the road.

- The front coilovers have too heavy springs on them. They are TCI All Americans and I'll order new springs when I can weight the car. You might notice the front end sits a little high. That's because of the hard springs.

- Everything worked great. LOTS of power...scary fast and I didn't even get on it....bat out of hell comes to mind. Got it in 4th probably up to about 60 and let off.

- THEN I heard a GROWLING sound coming from the right rear. With no bodywork the right rear is about 3' from my head so it was pretty easy to pinpoint the noise even while driving. Turned out to be low on positrac additive and rear end dope. Nice and quiet now.

Earlier this year Matt Ischo from Kustom Chop Shop in Decatur, Al spent a few days at our shop working on some difficult door skins. He offered to help with the gas tank for the roadster and since I've never done any before, his offer was gladly accepted.

The roadster is a bit cramped for space so I went with two tanks that fit just in front of the Corvette rear on either side of the driveshaft. They are cross connected. I chose 11 ga 3003 aluminum (1/8"). Monday I picked up the metal and took my mockup tank over to Matt's shop. The mockup was done with 1/4" masonite (7 sheet) and the aluminum duct tape....handy stuff.

In short order we had sheared out the panels on Matt's stomp shear and started TIG'ing them together. Matt did all the internal welds. All seams are welded inside and out except for the top. I did a lot of the external welds.

The trapazoid shape of the tanks made the internal welding a challenge, especially with the heat conductivity of the aluminum. Try sticking your arms through a 6" slot welding, and touching the metal!

Both tanks have baffles. The top was welded on last and, of course, it could only be welded on the outside.

Pretty welding! My welds aren't that pretty but seem to be OK. Won't be able to see them anyway.

Here is Matt with one of the finished tanks. I've leak tested them and everything is good. Hopefully I'll be able to get them installed early next week and get rid of the plastic gas can and hose! Bennett Chapman had turned some 2" bungs for filler and balance tubes while he was recuperating from his knee surgery. I also bought a length of 2" ID gas line.

My Stewart Warner gas gauge was an easy install. You can see the hole where it goes on the top of the tank.


We probably both had 8 hours in making both tanks but a good bit of mine was watching Matt weld. I plugged everything up and put about 5psi in the tank. Some soapy water showed one tiny pinhole in the pickup tube weld which I fixed.

Each tank holds a little over 8 gallons so I'll have 16 to play with. At 20mpg, 320 miles will probably be all I can stand anyway.

Then I realized that I had located the filler tube in a bad place and my gas filler tube would be IN the cockpit. Not good! After a few minutes turning the air blue I bit the bullet and took a pie cut out of the bung and laid it back toward the rear.

For mounting, I bent some 1/8 flat and welded it across the frame at the front top and bottom of the tank PLUS some space for some gasket isolation material. Then some straps and brackets were fabricated. When the nuts were tightened, everything is really locked in tight.

For NOW, I'm just using the right hand tank since they will probably have to come out and go back in several times.

If you've been following along, you may have noticed that the body structure is now painted. It's getting that time that I'll need to start putting metal on the structure so I got a gallon of Southern Polyurethanes Epoxy primer. GOOD STUFF!

I talked with Barry Kimes, the owner. He said that this stuff will not chip and I should need nothing more where I'm putting the aluminum on via pinch joints like on the doors.

While I had the floors out, I decided to redo a few things. A new pull type slave cylinder makes the clutch work really, really nice. I was able to use a good bit of the bracket I had made for the bellcrank setup.

Also decided to redo the tranny hump and make it tighter to the tranny. Learned the hard way that the tranny hump needs to be a separate piece. We'll be remaking the floors (for the third time), either next weekend at Pat Groovers meet or at MM08. Yep, I'm coming.

Did quite a bit of shrinking on the front portion to get it down tighter to the tranny.

Kind of in a thrash to get the car ready to go to Pat's meet. Bennett is coming over next week for a few days to play so we should make it.
Kerry Pinkerton
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Old 05-08-2009, 08:42 PM
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Kerry Pinkerton Kerry Pinkerton is offline
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Default The Art Deco Imperial Project - Part 21

Btw, here is a link to a YouTube video of the test drive.
Originally Posted by Marty Comstock
...Does your tranny cover have shape, or is it a simple roll?

The original one was pretty simple but there was a TON of wasted space. I started cutting and slicing early on but knew I just needed to start over. This one actually has quite a bit of shape and will have several different tapers and transitions.

Originally Posted by Marty Comstock
...Is the car going to be road worthy at MM08? I'd like a ride

Should be. Probably won't be legal so we won't be able to go anywhere except around the closed up loop. We'll see. I've got the paperwork to apply for a VIN and my Title Lady told me I could register it for whatever I wanted so it's going to be a 1939 Art Deco Imperial. No title for pre 76 and no inspection required.
Welcome back Kerry and nice job on the car. Do you have any protection for the gas tanks if the driveshaft disconnects at the rear?

There are two hoops that keep the driveshaft in place but I'm going to make a 1/8" steel shield over the Ujoint since it's so close to the tank.
Here is another thing off the gotta have to drive Emergency brake.

I wanted a hand lever and someone on the HAMB suggested a VW handle. Lewis Gillies is a VW guy and got me one free. A local VW place had new cables and for 5 bucks I got a shortening kit...basically a threaded end with a set screw to lock the cable down.

The VWs have cab les that run lengthwise through the floor and mine needed to come straight up from the bottom so I took some of scrap housing and welded some short ends to the bottom of the lever so it would have a even curve without kinking the cable. I may make a permanent spreader to hold the housing apart but it works fine without it.

The VW housing is only about 2' long although the cables come in various lengths. (that's why there is a shortening kit...) I needed a way to terminate the end of the cable so I made a tab, welded it to the gas tank angle, punched a hole, and tapped the end of the cable for a 7/16 nut.

The Corvette rears have a hook on the end of the actuator arm and to my surprise the VWs was the same. I had to modify the end of the cable by cutting of the end of the old Corvette housing and welding it to the VW end so it would fit in the Corvette bracket.

Took me about a day to figure all this out but it works great. The handle is mounted to the driveshaft hump sheetmetal which will be a more or less permanent part of the inner structure.

The floor pans will go in separately as will the new tranny hump. The tranny hump will have to come out in order to pull the engine/tranny.

Well, no good idea goes unpunished. Now my seats are too tight... So I either need to move the ebrake handle or get new seats.....((&%$###@@%$&*(
9/25/08 Bennett came over Tuesday and the FIRST thing we did was go for a drive.

Bennett was grinning more than I was!

Even got my long suffering wife out for a trip around the neighborhood.

Then it was time to get to work. We designed and built a scattershield that surrounds the rear U Joinyt and protects the fuel tanks in the unlikely circumstance that the U Joint exploded. It bolts in to the chassis and with some careful design, the fuel tanks will actually still come in and out as well as the driveshaft.

Here is the top view. The rear firewall goes in front of it.

I also relocated the Ebrake to the top of the tunnel so now the seats fit again. Still not sure I don't want a more retro seat but after some spirited driving with no seat belts, those side bolsters feel pretty good!

We also made ramps to get the car in the box trailer and made sure it doesn't drag. Tomorrow we'll install some D rings to tie it down and load the trailer.
9/25/08 Quote:
While the 318 may have been more powerful and throatier, there is nothing that beats the sound of a "split six". That motor may have been a pain in the butt at times,but it sounds like it was worth it. Thanks for taking us for a spin.

The 318 was about 200 hp. I'm thinking the SIX is closer to 275-300

It REALLY starts to pull around 3000 rpm. And I agree....nothing sounds like a hot six with split headers.

You kind of have to listen for it in the bad video but Kris had a great comment about the time I hit second gear...
The sheet metal has been off the car for several months and I haven't seen it at a distance. At Pat Groovers MetalMeet we were able to hang the sheet metal on it outside and get far away (Note the high tech support for the fender and nose!)

At this point I was able to verify that the basic lines were what I was seeing in my head. BIG GRINS!!!

Originally, my plan for Pat's meet was to make the inner fender panels. After talking over various options, I decided to wait on the inner panels for several reasons:

1- I'm not sure that I'll stay with the rear tires currently on the car.
2- With inner fenders in place metalfinishing the skins will be impossible

Sooooo, I'm coming up with bracketry to support the fenders without the inner panels.

With that decision out of the way, Bob Baisden and Bennett Chapman started finishing the decklid that was started at MM07. We had pulled a flexible shape pattern of a bondo buck and that was used extensively. Then it got down to sanding to find low spots and either bumping them up or wheeling them up.

In short order, they had the decklid laying down nicely. It was wonderful to be able to drive the car outside so we could see it fully.
Monique, my aluminum girlfriend, makes a great test dummy...

Humm...needs about a faired headrest?

Kerry Pinkerton
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Old 05-08-2009, 08:44 PM
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Kerry Pinkerton Kerry Pinkerton is offline
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Default The Art Deco Imperial Project - Part 22

...I am curious, what % of the time would you estimate has been spent on actual sheet metal work? Looking at the work that has been done up to this point (mechanical, chassis, wiring, ect...) I am going to guess it will end up about 30% metalshaping. ...

I think it's closer to 15% Of course, if I had only done things one or two times instead of my normal three times to get it right, 30% would probably be pretty dead on.

Also, the panels you see are not remotely finished...they're probably around 80% and the last 20% is going to take considerable time.

Here is a closer shot of the fairing. It will be trimmed about 3/4" around the edges as it is fit to the decklid.

Here I laid the Burt Buck in place to see how a double fairing might look. I don't think so.....

Took me a couple days to unload and recover from Pat Groover's meet last weekend.

My goal for this week was to hang the sheetmetal from the body without any inner fenders.

I did the rear first. I have three supports, here is the lower one. It is made from two 1/16" aluminum angles welded together forming a box about 1/2x1.

For now, I'm using Clecos to hold things in place.

The center support is a single angle. As you can see, the shape is not perfect yet. The goal was to make three supports so one at a time could be removed for working the panel. The fender is pretty solid and will get more so when it's attached to other panels that themselves mount to the structure.

For the nose, I went a little heavier duty. I ran a piece of 1/8" aluminum pipe between two aluminum brackets bolted to the frame. From the tube I welded a piece of 1/4x1 aluminum flat bar that was bent to the proper curve. Another piece of flat bar was bent and welded to the top. Simple angles bolt into the radiator support. The nose is VERY solid and I'm thinking the 1/4" material is the way to go and will probably redo the rear mounts.

I ordered and installed new coil over shocks for the rear and will probably raise the rear fender anyway. I think the fender needs to be deeper. A pretty simple fix actually.

The reason for raising the fender is clearance. I'm afraid the wheel will hit the inner panel when I hit a bump and the wheels swings up to the stop.
Plus, it just looks a little too 'low'.

The front fender wasn't finished so I welded in the patch panels that Joe Hartson and Dan Shady had made last winter.

One thing I've discovered is that it's best (for me at least) to mount the fender and THEN mark and tip the wheel opening. That's why the opening looks odd. There is a good bit of extra material for trimming and tipping. I made a tool that fits in the wheel center and allows me to quickly mark the desired opening for tipping.

I had hoped to have the roadster licensed and legal for Oblong but I'm out of time. Tomorrow Kris and family is going on vacation and leaving Carolyn and me with our 4 month old Grand Daughter for a week. I'll be doing good to finish the mounts and get loaded before Sunday when Bennett and I leave for Oblong.

I guess any rides will have to be on the closed road in the fairground....Oh well. Next year for sure. It certainly is nice to have a drivable chassis for when it needs to be moved!
Robert Kolenta arrived Sunday evening and he worked like a dog all week. I simply could not have accomplished what got done. Thanks Robert you get the first ride next year!

We started out by raising a low spot on top of the front fender about 1" and then started making a Burt Buck for the fender transition. Note the double curve on the hood opening. More on that later.

We used the aluminum strips to determine where we wanted the bottom of the reverse. Drove it outside to get a long distance look.

Back inside, we applied the aluminum tape and took it back outside.

Then it was time for tape patterns. We also did a Burt Buck for the hood.

We also marked the transition where we wanted to cut for subpanels.

Robert, Hank ? from IL (??), Jay Paganelli (Jpags)and I worked on the panels. All reverses, all tough. I tacked and welded them up. Difficult welding. All 3 dimensional cut lines. Hard to hold, hard to get into position, hard!

Jeffery Mindt (GoneJunking) gave me a great tip. Use magnets to hold a copper strip as a backer. "It's aluminum Jeffery." I said...probably with some frustration. He replied, "So... put a magnet on the back side of the copper too and they'll attract each other." DUH Kerry!!! Works great!

Al Jewel helped me wheel that honking big panel.

While I was welding and grinding the welds, Jay and Robert tackled the hood.

Jay is a really good TIG welder.

They then ground the welds, wheeled, and metalfinished the hood.

Sunday night the building had cleared out a bit and I moved the car to the end where we could get away from it a bit. The first thing we did was raise the rear 1 1/4" by adjusting the coilovers. Made a huge difference in stance and how the fender fit the car. I was still concerned that the decklid was lower than the hood line.

Steve Hamilton did a good bit of metalfinishing on the doorskin. It's almost ready to tip the lips.

After a discussion with Al Jewel, and Big Sky Bob, we raised the front of the decklid 2" and it's now even with the back of the hood. Much better flow!

I also used tape and a black marker to show possible trim lines for the fenders and grill. The rear fender is already lipped but the front will have a 1/2" larger opening when the lip is put in.

More photos taken outside shortly. Here are shots of the car outside in the sunlight just before loading up.

LOTS of work still to be done on the panels. I'm probably at 50% of total labor just for what's done so far. In other words, I'll probably have another 200 hours in getting these panels ready for paint...or more. The decklid line is off. It's just sitting on a couple rolls of 2" masking tape. The inner structure will have to be changed.

I'm thinking about bringing the decklid forward and curving down toward the seats...keeping the flow of the headrest fairing flat on toward the drivers head. There is a lot of room behind the seats and I don't expect they will ever need to be moved back much more than they are here. I'll use my 6'-8" son Kris to determine the rearmost seat position.

Still have to decide on taillights, gas filler cap, and license tag placement.

The top of the doors will have a walnut surface. Also a walnut dash. Haven't decided on the other interior features yet. I have two leather hides in the same brown shade as the steering wheel. A unique color to the late 30-s early 40's. I'm thinking pale yellow or possibly silver as exterior colors...non metallic.

I'll do some photoshop playing when I get a chance. I'm also thinking of a stainless trim piece that sweeps up from the nose, down under the doors and tapers off above the rear fender.

This is my favorite view on the car. I LOVE the way the back of the front fender sweeps.

Grant Leeser drew a grill opening that we modified a couple times. This is what we ended up with and I blacked in the masking tape. I'll think about it for a while before any cutting. If I redo the top and sides of the nose I'll have lots of options anyway.

The bottom edge of the fender is coming up about 1 1/2" and will sweep up and over to the nose. I'll make that piece with the car on the lift so I don't have to lay on the floor.

Here are some of the folks who helped out...from left to right.

Big Sky Bob (Vinton?), Jay Paganelli (Jpags), Bob Baisden, Bennett Chapman, Robert Kolenta, Dutch Comstock, Steve Hamilton, John Reinhardt, Grant Leeser. Other folks who have had a hand in the build....the nose was worked on some by Gary Tisdale (I'm probably going to redo the shape some to blend with the hood better). Joe Hartson has done a good bit of work on various areas. Rick Tucker helped me layout the fender profiles. Mark Savory (Superleggra) has helped me tremendously with information on era build techniques. There will be a brass plaque on the A pillar with everyone's name so if I've misspelled yours (sorry) or left you off (oops), please let me know.

I'm the old fart smiling in the drivers seat.

Many thanks to all those who have, and continue to offer support, encouragement, and hands on. I certainly wouldn't have been nearly as far along if I'd been working alone and the group input on design issues has been very valuable in getting just the right 'look'.

The hood has a slight crown but I'm thinking of a center hinge. Haven't decided on the windshield configuration yet but it will definitely be flat glass. one or two pieces, or perhaps Brooklands style windscreens.
Kerry Pinkerton
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Old 05-08-2009, 08:47 PM
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Kerry Pinkerton Kerry Pinkerton is offline
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Default The Art Deco Imperial Project - Part 23

Originally Posted by adtkart
... Now you just have to get the other side to match.

You mean like this:

I had a couple hours so I whipped it out.

Yeah RIGHT! This side is "art". Duplicating it will be skill and craftsmanship. Everyone will soon know if I'm a real metalshaper. Won't be anywhere to hide.

Seriously, Mark Savory (Superleggra) did some photoshop magic and sent this to me. I can play around with Kerry Draw and get a sence for what various things will look like. SO MANY decisions and things to consider. Most of them can have a great impact on how things turn out.
Originally Posted by adtkart
I'll bet that is a real challenge to wheel that fender once it is all welded together. How many people does it take to keep from bending it all up?


Aaron, all the shape makes it really non-floppy. That said, I'll probably finish it with hammer/dolly. It will be faster than building a new special purpose wheel and I need the practice.

Mark Savory has done some more photoshop magic. This rear view is minus the fairing but includes some period type taillights.

The side view has wire wheels and is also sans fairing but does include the lengthened decklid.

Thanks Mark. Those will really help.

I've been busy with some non-metalshaping projects and finally had some time to do metal work.

The first thing I want to do is finish the front fender so I can start on the other side. First order of business is to clean up all the welds and get the shape right. There is a lot of hand work involved in this but I've also used a hand held planishing hammer to stretch the weld beads. The aluminum moves so easy that I can't do much with the Phammer or it will overstretch.

What you're looking at here are the file marks left from vixen files. This particular area is really close. Every time I take the fender off the car it gets bumped or dinged so I'm not going to make it ready for paint until I'm actually ready to paint

Here you can see some highs and lows. The lows are just barely low and it wouldn't take much to file down or bump them up but for what I need now, this is close enough.

The plan is to finish the fender including the lip to the hood flange and tipping the wheel opening. Then I can take a flexible shape pattern as well as make some bondo and wire stations. Once that is done, the other fender can be started.

I've got the rest of the sheet metal off the car. I'm going to redo the rear shock mounts. At MM08 we raised the rear ride height by adjusting the coil overs but they are near the limit of their adjustment so I'm going to lengthen the mounts and put the coil overs back where they can be tweeked up or down a little and still have adjustment.

Most the panels we did at MM08 were not really finished when I welded them together and I knew that at the time. However, I really wanted to get them together so the folks who had worked so hard on them (and me too) could see the big picture when the panels were put together. In retrospect that may not have been the best way to do it but if I had it to do over again, I'd probably still do it the same way because it was so much fun seeing it coming together even if it will mean more work to bump the fender into shape.

When I finally get to the other side, I'll be doing several things differently (and hopefully better). This has been a significant learning process for me. 12/16/08
Some progress

I've actually be working on some stuff on the car. I traded the Clifford intake for an Offy and had to build a hot water system for it. Installed now and seems to run fine. Has a slightly different sound than the Clifford...not sure how it's different but it seems different.

Still working on getting the right front fender finished. Several things to do, first was putting the flange on the inside top so it can be mounted to the structure. I bent an angle and shaped it to match the coke bottle swoop of the structure, scribed, and tacked in place.

Once it was all welded up, I ground the inside weld. While I had it secure and upside down, I finished cleaning up all the inside welds. I just realized there are 16 sub panels in this thing! I think I should probably have done it in two major pieces and may yet split it down the valley.... We'll see.

I haven't ground down the outer edge yet. Tomorrow hopefully. While I was working on it, she fell off the table and put a nice dent on the top...of course it was where I had spent a good bit of time bumping. I think the moral of this story is that I'm not going to do the final hammer and dolly work until I'm almost ready for paint.

Finally some time in the shop. Seems like it's been something every day and then when I finished there wasn't enough time to justify turning on the heat or whatever...

Anyway, yesterday I started on the bottom front of the fender. I've been looking at it for a few weeks trying to decide what line I wanted it to take and finally got it marked out and was satisfied with it.

The inside part was done with primarily the hotdog die and the ewheel. It was a fairly simple reverse but it was a changing radius thing and kicked my butt.

But this piece...REALLY kicked my butt!

This is was the center portion and, as you can see, is a double reverse. I didn't use the hotdog dies on this but did it totally with the kick shrinker/stretcher and an Ewheel with some speciality 3x2 anvils (really tight). What was difficult was just fitting it up and tweaking that last little bit to fit. A little shrink made a big movement and I went back and forth several times...too much, too much, dang...

Finally though it came together...took about 3 hours to make the panel and another couple to fit it in and weld.

Still have some filing to do to get the front right and the entire wheel opening will need to be tipped but I'm waiting until I have some help for that. Joe Hartson is coming up fairly soon and we'll do that before we start on the other front fender.

It's kind of interesting how the file marks look like lumps... It's actually much better than it looks in the photo. I can't do over by the nose until I pull the fender tomorrow. This metalfinishing stuff is SLOW! And I'm not remotely shooting for perfection at this point.

This is a fairly low angle view. Without the flash, you won't be able to see the aluminum control arm but if it turns out they are noticable, I'll paint them black.

Still thinking about the headlight and grill but leaning toward XK120 type headlight pods in the valley of the fender. Haven't decided on the grill opening either but lots of time for that.
I had an email asking about engine cooling with that small grill opening.
I understand the concern. The PROBABLE shape of the grill is the dark tape opening but that will probably change somewhat and I'm willing to deal with having to have a special radiator made if necessary. What is in there now is a 65 Mustang V8 AC (3 row). The grill opening is about the same as the surface area of the radiator and I have a fairly aggressive mechanical fan that will be shrouded.

So far, no sign of overheating even without a shroud. I am concerned about stop and go traffic but will have to play it by ear. The engine is not that high performance, especially at idle when it's producing relatively little horsepower. It may or may not have an AC system...haven't decided yet.

I'm more concerned about getting engine compartment heat out of the compartment. I'm most likely going to have some vents on the sides of the fenders. Don't want to louver the hood but that's a last resort option.
Kerry Pinkerton
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Old 05-08-2009, 08:49 PM
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Default The Art Deco Imperial Project - Part 24

Starting in the middle.
For several reasons, I'm shifting future documentation of the roadster to this web site. Ultimately, I'll get a unique URL and link directly to it. But for now, just follow the path on my signature. I'll rewrite the existing saga in this format as I go along but for now, we'll just start from now.
Most of December was spent in bumping and metal finishing the right front fender that we built at MetalMeet 08. One significant lesson learned is that it is really hard to try and metal finish an entire panel made up of welded sub panels. It can be done but I don't think it's the way to go.
In the middle of January some friends came over for a while and we worked on the panels.
The goal was to try and get many of the sub panels built for the door skin and the fender on the left side...all while keeping it symmetrical with the existing left side. Joe Hartson arrived first and we spent a coupled days bumping and filing on the left fender to get it smooth enough to pull a flexible shape pattern. Friday, Bennett Chapman and we had all three of us working on the fender.
Friday afternoon, Barb "Coppretta" Lawrence came out and wanted to work so I quickly pulled a pattern on the right side door skin. While the top part is pretty nasty, the basic door skin is fairly straight forward and pure stretch.

One of the ewheels I have set up is 'short' and it was perfect for Barb. Notice the tape on the edges. When wheeling, the tape will keep you from rolling off the edge. If you're making a pure stretch panel, you don't want to stretch the edges. I'll credit Kent White for that trick.

Tipped the lower edge and did some shrinker work to get the correct profile. Once it fit the flexible shape pattern, it was a very easy push down to the door frame. Kent White (TinMan) talkes about the "two finger rule", that is, if you can push it into arrangement with two fingers, it's good enough.

Decided not to make the top part the way I had originally intended so I shaped and welded a couple small pieces on the top ends. Still have to do some filing and tip the edges but it fits the frame very well.

Meanwhile, Joe and Bennett had finished bumping on the fender and started taping up the flexible shape pattern. Bennett is the one in the chair.

The fender looks really good with tape on it.

One of the smarter things I did was mark the pattern for how I wanted to make the sub panels BEFORE it was pulled from the car.

All the edges were marked on the back side with a sharpie and trimmed back to the panel edge after the pattern was pulled.

The reference marks also came to be something I was glad we did. It really helped when I was lining up the panels for welding.

Everyone chose a panel and had at it. Bennett had to leave the next day so he chose the 3 panels on the outside. The one show here is the side of the fender behind the wheel well opening.

Barb chose the front fender top...a basic bowl shape. Although it was only her second aluminum panel, she got it to 90% in short order.

Joe hung around for several days and made quite half a dozen panels. Barb's "short wheel" worked well sitting if the panel was small enough.

As Joe finished the fender top, I started welding them together and metal finishing the seams. Here is Joe holding 4 of his subpanels. The other two can be seen behind him on the car. One thing we discovered is that small reverses are MUCH easier than large ones. We decided pretty quickly that it was much easier to weld two panels together than shape it in one piece. The panel in Joe's left hand was a real bear. We chased the last 10% of the shape all over the panel. Ultimately I scrapped it and started over and made it with a seam down the middle. We probably had 6 hours in the panel in Joe's hand and I put a couple more in it before I started over. The new panel including the welding and metal finishing only took about 2 hours. I'm still not the best aluminum TIG welder in the world but at least I'm not afraid of it any more.

Bennett even got my Grandson mason got in the act. (He's standing on a milk crate)

Here are some of my Vixen files. The bottom file is a double convex and the one above it is a flat face convex curve. The one to the side is a straight convex. Somehow my bullnose file didn't get in the photo. They all get used....a lot.
Kerry Pinkerton
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Old 05-08-2009, 08:50 PM
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Kerry Pinkerton Kerry Pinkerton is offline
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Location: Near Huntsville, Alabama. Just south of the Tennessee line off I65
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Default The Art Deco Imperial Project - Part 25

Feb 5, 2009
Spent the last few weeks battling a cold and THE cold but started to put the various panels together. One of the things I learned is to finish the welds as I go so I can clamp to finished panels and also have small enough panels that my clamps will reach. I start by tacking every inch or so.

Then it's time to file the proud off the welds and bump them up/down as necessary.

Here you can see some of the filed/ground welds. Some areas can be wheeled but some are just to hard to get to so I revert to hammer and dolly.

Inside view. Notice the small beater bag. It's full of lead and makes a good deadman.

I made some templates of the right side and at this point I started checking the arrangement.

At MM08, Jay made the cowl and the reverse in one piece. I didn't even try. This is the reverse part which was all stretch and only tool a few minutes on the wheel.

The side part of the cowl has a fair amount of crown but it didn't take long. It took much longer to weld the reverse to the side and finish it than make the panels.

Here is the left front fender all done except for the parts at the bottom both front and back...and finishing the welds....and about 4 days of bumping.

I'm pleased with the fit and arrangement. The templates fit good and my precision EYES can't see any obvious oops.

That's all for now.
Kerry Pinkerton
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Old 05-08-2009, 08:52 PM
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Kerry Pinkerton Kerry Pinkerton is offline
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Near Huntsville, Alabama. Just south of the Tennessee line off I65
Posts: 7,665
Default The Art Deco Imperial Project - Part 26

Mid February 2009
Dang this is slow work. I've been pretty frantic trying to get ready for the regional meet next weekend. I can tell I'm getting better at welding the aluminum seams but I've still got a long way to go. Below is the right rear fender that was shaped last year. What I had to do was reshape some of the panels to raise the top of the decklid up 2 " as we decided at MM08. These were cleco'ed together and the lines scribed, cut, and tack welded

This one seam took me 8 hours to get to a metal finished result as shown in the following photos.

Fitting and welding the seam took about 4 hours. The remainder was in filing, bumping, etc

With the two bottom pieces in, the fender is more less ready for flexible shape patterns. Still a lot of work to do on it. Flanges to tip and final bumping to do. Also the fender mounts will need to be redone but that can wait.

I haven't decided how I'm going to do the lower center section yet. There will be a license plate indention somewhere, probably in the lower pan. I have to determine how I want to join the two fenders together at the back. At the moment I'm thinking about a single seam in the center. Part of that would be behind the license plate.

I like this view.

Kerry Pinkerton
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