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Discussion Starter #21
Yeah, I guess I know a little about toploaders as I thrash the hell out of them at the track. :D

Yes, I would probably find a good small block one that matches your car with the wide ratio gear set. A good small block toploader would probably work fine for you as-is unless you become a serious racer. Swapping to the bigger input is fairly easy if it becomes a problem, but from your intended usage you should be fine (unless you want go big in the first place.)

I have not seen David Kee at the Carlisle Ford show.
First, thanks again for all the info.
I found a local guy with a toploader for sale. He says it is wide ratio small block, with small input shaft, with short tailhousing. he also has 2 shifters with it. He doesn't have the ID code though. It was in his uncle's stock and he ended up with it. Trans hasn,t been used in a car in 20-30 years he said.
I am going to look at it tomorrow. So from the info I got (thanks to you) I need to count the teeth on second gear to make sure it is a wide ratio, need to measure the tailhousing 14 inch, and make sure it has wide mounting 8 bolt case. Plus check for any visable damage. Anything else I should look for? If it has the wrong tail housing/shifter mount I can just change that right?

Also what are they worth in good shape. he has the trans, factory shifter (for what car don't know) and also has a vertical gate shifter for it.

He would like to get around $800 is this a fair price? If I can use it. I think he may drop $50 or so but not sure.

Thanks
Lou
 

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Lou,800 for a used smallblock toploader is to much 500 tops keep looking swapmeets are a good place also e-bay....ED
 

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Discussion Starter #23
Haven't posted a update in awhile, Really haven't had time over summer to do much to comet, Lot of customer work, and summer fun stuff. I did buy the top loader with the V-gate. got a bell housing at carlisle. pretty much finished up the stitch welding on front. Hood is in primer, Finished the backsides of my bumpers and in primer, Got the car on rotisserie and into main garage.
I was going to do the spring relocation and mini tub it for tire clearance. Something like Falconlovers white falcon. Love the look of his car with the big tires! I want something around 275/60/15 or 295/50/15 But seems that is pushing the limit. some rubbing and lips need rolled. plus wasn't real big on the rear shackles in kit. Decided to move the rear frame rails inward. With car on rotisserie seen that if I moved them in 5" they would line up with the front rails which will make doing the connectors easier, and give me plenty of tire clearance.


I sand blasted the area's that I was going to work with, easier to see the spotwelds and nicer to work with clean metal. here is what I started with

I cut the shock mount crossmember in the middle and drilled out a lot of spot welds. I removed the rail with the front spring mount attached and the section of crossmember with the upper shock mount attached this way when I move it in all spring and shock mounts will move inward together.

Then I cut out the center trunk drop. I am going to have to play with these later so I cut a few inches past where the inner rail flange was welded so I could move it in or out a little later. also notched all raised area's so when rail was put in it would sit flush with floor.

Took the rail and cleaned it up, ground down leftover spot weld, cut 5' off the crossmember, and had to cut off a small tab on the front spring mount that was hitting torque box

Clamped the rail into it's new location, Fits nice! Flush, mesurements are all on the mark. Should have mentioned earlier but took lot's of measurements multiple times before doing this LOL. Crossmember butts flat. I"m real happy on the fit.

I clamped in the section of trunk I cut out just to see how it would look


I still got to revamp the front spring mount and torque box. Then sandblast the inside of rail and por15 the inside. Before I weld it back on. Hopefully get a lot done tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
Got some more work done. When I removed the rail it was also serving as the end/side of torque box and the rail itself didn't have a inside upfront


I made templetes and cut/bent some 16 gauge to replace the torque box end and inner side of rail


I didn't really want to extend the bottom of torque box another 5 inches without some support.


I don't think I will use the cap on the rail, instead I think I will run the sub-frame connector inside the rear rail to the spring mount. after welded in I will extend the bottom of torque box out to rail.

Also got the rail itself cleaned up, spotwelds ground down, sandblasted it and masked it off for POR.


I am probally going to cut off the edge/flange of rail where the inner wheelwell is going to mount so I decided to box it. Made more templetes and cut pieces


Here's what it looks like. When welded in it should be flush with flanges. I will do the Por and then weld the pieces into rail.


I got the metal to make my connectors that is next so I can start welding it back together.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
That is going to need one skinny ass gas tank when your finished. :)

Nice work!!! :tup:

I am pretty sure I am going with fuel cell. 17" wide, 30" long and 7"high 17 gal. RCI Racing 2172A - RCI Aluminum Fuel Cells - Overview - SummitRacing.com On paper it will fit LOL. I should have enough room to run my exhaust between it and springs to go out the back too. The only thing is I really didn't want fuel cell (again looks) but getting tank custom made is expensive.
I am thinking of cutting up my original tank and sectioning it so I can bolt the bottom of old tank over fuel cell so when looking under rear you don't see cell. Trying to keep it looking stockish. Hard to explain, But when people are looking under car when I'm done I don't want the modifications to be "hit ya in face" looking mods, but more subtle? . Other thing will be bumper mounts, I already had the bumpers rechromed If I hadn't I would make new holes in bumper and weld up old ones then get rechromed. But I didn't so I will have to fab some new mounts.

Having a blast with it tho! :)
 

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WOW!..That is some outstanding work you are doing..I have never seen anyone totally remove and then reinstall an entire frame rail like that..The car is obviously in amazing rust free shape...The bottom of your Comet looks very similar to the bottom of my 63 falcon so I am watching this thread very closely....
 

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Discussion Starter #28
WOW!..That is some outstanding work you are doing..I have never seen anyone totally remove and then reinstall an entire frame rail like that..The car is obviously in amazing rust free shape...The bottom of your Comet looks very similar to the bottom of my 63 falcon so I am watching this thread very closely....
Thanks Frdnut. Really wasn't very hard to do so far. More time measuring and re measuring than actually cutting off. 127 spot welds. All I used was drill with 1/8 bit and spot weld cutter, 2 panel splitters straight and 90 degree, hammer and center punch. and cutoff wheel. Drilled the pilot holes from inside car because frame rail to tall to get straight on with 1/8 inch bit in drill from bottom . then used spot weld bit with a extension from the bottom,. Was carefull when I center punched the spotwelds too, most weld came free only had to split dozen or so.
The floors have some rust and will need to be addressed but after rails and connectors are in. rails and torque box's are rust free. I was surprised after I took rail off there was no rust inside rail or on floor under where the rail was attached. was also never coated under rail...bare metal.
plesantly surprised lol
 

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Discussion Starter #29
Got to work a little more on car. I started making my Subframe connectors. I could not find tubing correct size. So going to make my own. Bought 4 sheets of 16 gauge steel 10"x60". And found out no one local can bend to the size I want. So I will have to bend myself with hammer, angle iron and clamps. Took first sheet cleaned it, Hit it with DA 80grit, and marked for first bend


I got 2 pieces of 2.5x2.5 angle 3/32 thick 6 feet long. layed one across work bench. Then place the sheet over it and put 2nd angle over sheet. Position line on sheet to line up with edge and clamped down. I use a lot of clamps if the metal moves while your hammering it then ya really need new piece. Didn't want it to move


After a good bit of hammering here is what it look like after first bend.


I turned it 90% so that the bend section pointed in under workbench. I didn't have to measure because angle 2.5 and that was what I wanted for next bend. I positioned the bend right up against bootom edge of angle. Put a tack at each end to hold it in place. Place the 2nd angle on and clamped.


Then with hammer bent metal toward bench. the rail on left is what I ended up with. rail on right still needs one more bend. I had to put spacer on angle for second one because I needed it to fit over first.


Here are pieces after trimmed. The one on left is 1/8" taller and wider on the inside so it will fit over smaller one.


Here is what they look like together. Front will need cut to fit. but rear will fit directly inside rear frame rail. seams in rail will be on top inside car


Bottom part showing under car will be smooth and straight


I am going to try and get rear frame rail fitted and welded in this weekend. I don't want to slice floor untill I get some more support in the rear. then install connector.
 

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Discussion Starter #31
Made some more progress. Took my rear frame rail sandblasted the inside and coated inside of rail and bottom of pieces I made to box it with POR15. When I was boxing the rail I started at the front and fitted it so it fit inside rail, then tacked the front. As I was working my way back the rail I would take my grinder and fine tune/fit the piece as I went. And tacked every 5-6 inch. I did this because I did not want the piece to push out on the rail any. I have a lot of markings to line it back up and didn't want the rail distorted??. But here is rail after boxing it and spraying with weld-thru primer. Pieces I welded in are 16 Guge same as rail.


I needed to revamp front spring mount. Original is 1/8 inch thickness. I bought 2.5X2.5 angle 3/32. Couldn't find 1/8 that size and since it was going to be 5" longer figured the extra thickness couldn't hurt. Piece is 13" long will run from inner rocker to rail over the orig.


I then test fitted the rail on car make sure my measurements didn't move
The new spring mount fit nice, Just barely touching inner rocker when everything was clamped in place.


The rail is pretty much ready to be welded back on. While it was clamped on I made my templete for the trunk floor. from inner rail flange out toward trunk drop. Did this with poster paper. WAY easier to cut lol


After making templete. I cleaned a section of 18 gauge sheet and marked it . (Actual floor measured 19 gauge) and cut out with cut off tool.


After cutting it out I do ALL edges with angle grinder get rid of SHARP edges they suck. and then took a DA with 80 to it. Here is what it looked like fitted on car. From bottom of car and inside trunk



It fits nice But not big on flat sheetmetal look. Didn't want it to look like a patch being so flat. Decided to put a bead or 2 in it. Before I do the actual piece I will do a test on same thickness scrap. To make sure it will look like I want without ruining the piece. First I need to set my bead roller for the thickness 18gauge. To do this loosen tension bolt and slide in test piece between the FLATS of the rollers not the actual die? part But like this


As you tighten the tension bolt make sure you can slide the metal through with your hand. If the rollers turn when you push the metal thru then back off a little. Should feel a drag on metal but rollers shouldn't spin as you push metel. I mark the position on my tension bolt, has a "T" handle. Then turn bolt out 6 revolutions. Then put sample piece in to roller. Line up mark I put on where to start bead with roller and tighten bolt 6 turns. This keeps metal from getting bowed from over tightening. Here is how sample piece turned out


Here is the good piece with first bead in it. I also clamp a piece of straight scrap on table for a giuide.


Here is piece finished with the second bead rolled into it.


And here is what new pice looks like fitted on car. From in trunk and from bottom of car



Rail is pretty much ready to weld in now. Got a few little things that need fine tuning. Still not happy with the looks of the new front spring mount But will get to that next and hopefully have this welded in soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #32
Got couple more hours on Comet. I haven't been happy with how front spring mount looks and really wanted to make this area strong. With the rail clamped on car I cut a piece of smaller angle 13" long. It fit snug right in the space between mount and torque box.


I taqcked it and removed the rail to weld it on,


And the clamped rail back on the car again. here is what front spring mount looks like now.


I think it looks more finished now. And will be alot stronger. When I finish the torque box I will weld the seam between torque box and angle too.

And......................Got the rear frame rail tack welded into its new location. I'm happy!


Have to finish welding it on then I can get rotisserire bolted back to rail and start on inner wheel well. Plus get the engine lift out of my way.
 

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Discussion Starter #33
Finished welding my rail on. Started on wheel well. Cut out the inner well and the floor up to the frame rail.


Here is the inner wheel well trimmed down. I decided to keep about a inch flange around the bottom of well and to keep the flange on the frame rail. This will place the inner well about a inch away from frame rail. I was originally going to cut flange off and weld inner well flat against frame rail but think this will look better and won't make a difference since leaf spring will be the inner limit for wheel/tire combination.


Didn't like the humps on left side and was going to hammer and dolly them out but since I have to make filler pieces anyways I decided to just cut the humps out. I also drilled out the spotwelds that held the lower part of trunk hinge mount, and welded up the holes. Here is piece ready to be clamped back on car.


Clamped inner well back on car and made the templates for filler pieces.


Took the templates and cut the pieces out of 18ga. Stepped the edge where the pieces will be welded to the trimmed inner well.


Clamped the new filler pieces and inner well to car for fitment, had to grind a couple edges but pretty happy with how it fit.


Once it fit how I wanted it to, I welded the pieces and inner well together.


Here is picture that shows the diffeence in size between the new wheel well and the old one. :)


I will spot weld the new inner well to the outer one on the outside and weld the seam inside to preserve the factory seam. also have to remount the lower part of trunk hinge bracket to new inner well.
 

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Discussion Starter #34
Got some time this weekend. Sandblasted and ground the welds on inner wheel well.


Welded the well in and finished welding the outer trunk floor


Here is picture from inside trunk. Should be able to fit decent tires when done lol


Started on frame connector. Laid sample piece in rear frame rail, With tape marked where I wanted opening. Then laid tape on the inside to figure the flange.


Marked where I wanted to cut. I will cut between the black marker lines. The part between the marker lines and tape will be the flange.


Here is what it looks like after I cut it out. I also cut reliefs where the floor bends so I can bend the flanges


I used various sizes of angle iron clamped from the inside to hammer/bend the flange inward.


Here is what it looks like after making the flanges. This will make it easier to weld the connector in and give a more finished look from the bottom.


And what the opening looks like from the bottom.


The goal was to get the connector to fit snug/tight but not have to be hammered in. It does fit snug, will actually stay in place by itself and can pull it out by hand. I am going to have to tweak it a little to get it fitting better, But pretty happy with it and it basiclly worked out how I wanted it. Here it is slid in place.
 

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Discussion Starter #37
Thanks guys,

Been trying to spend as much time on it as possible, and still keep up with customer work. Goal is to have it done for summer.

Going to be taking a break for the holidays but after that going to have to get serious with it to have it done for summer. There should be a lot of pictures.
 

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Discussion Starter #38
Holiday's are over, Son went back to school and me back to my shop. Got back to work on Comet. Have the driver's side subframe connector fitted and next step is welding the 2 pieces together. The top piece will slide inside the lower piece. This way the seam will be inside the car, and underneath the car it will have a nice formed edge. I coated the inside of top piece with POR and did the outer sides with weld thru primer. The lower part I POR'd the inside bottom and weld thru on the inside uprights, then drilled the holes for the spot welds.


After coatings dried I slide the pieces together and spot welded down the sides. Here is finished connector.


Placed connector into car and started to make templates for floor boards and such. Going to wait till I get almost all the pieces made before I weld anything in. First section I need to make is a extension for bottom of torque box.


I made the piece so it also fills back of torque box and will have a flange at top for floor board to weld to.


Also put a bead in it, just don't like the look of flat sheet. here is what it looks like fitted onto car. When welding in this will be welded solid so bottom of torque box will be one piece out to the seam with frame rail


Next started on the inside floors. Pulled the connector out and made a template for the floor under rear seat. Didn't cut the old floor out yet this way the poster paper can lay flat on what is left of old floor, also gives me some reference points. This will give me a better fit.


Used the template to cut the piece out of some 18 gauge. Put some beads in it and then did the radius, and then bent the flanges.
I marked the beads on the template and fitted in to car to make sure none of the beads would interfer with welding/fit before putting beads in the metal


The rear floor now is 2 pieces with the connector going thru the middle. I made templates to fit with other pieces in place.


Cut the pieces out of sheet metal


Did the bead's, radius, and flanges to form the 2 floor pieces.


Here are the 3 rear pieces of floor fitted into car with the connector


Still have a little tweaking but next I will weld these parts into place. While the car was level I put in the rear spring and measured from spring to inner quarter panel lip.


Have 16.5 inches of room for width. Hoping to fit a 29x15 tire in the new space:)
 
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