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Wagon Progress

Mike did some component assembly today so we could make sure things fit before powder coating brackets. Good thing we did..

The AC condenser bracket came with the Vintage Air setup, and we bought the alternator bracket to match... I'm not really keen on the mix of vintage air cleaner and AC condenser in front of it, but I think the owner would frown on the lack of cold air exiting from the dash..

While Mike was working on those issues, I added some color to our paint sprayout sample.. It's too cloudy out today but we're hoping for sunlight tomorrow to better show what this will look like. Until then, Milwaukee Sun...

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Since we got our freshly chromed speaker trim rings back from DGM Chrome in Philly, it only stands to reason that we need to put another sample together for the car show in Leonardtown on Sunday. So today I stopped by Norris Upholstery and picked up a scrap to cover one of the kick panels to make it more presentable. Fake upholstery, if you will..

We planned on adding a plateau to the stainless speaker mesh rather than flat, so some pressing fixtures had been cut out on a water jet for us..

Comparing the flat to the plateau....


This might even work....
So last weekend I went to Ron Yeager's shop in Kingsville, MD for a metalshaping workshop. Reconnected with some old friends and made some new ones.. Thanks to Ron for opening his shop so we could all learn some new tricks and methods..

Today I got another speaker trim ring put together.....this one for the sub in the cargo area of the wagon. We planned on a recessed crest in the stainless mesh, so the mesh was aligned in our aluminum plates and pressed in the Diacro press brake using flattening dies.

Video Version....

Well it's been rather hectic around the home front as E is nearing graduation. Seems like yesterday she was showing me how to properly wet sand bare foot..

For shop activity, Mike has been working on a sign for a "Drummer's Lounge", since we had the wire edging tool already made up for the Biederman, he used that to give the outside bands of the arrow the beaded look...

CAD drawing:

Parts is parts:


Meanwhile, I've been block sanding, and priming.... here the rear kick panels are now ready for upholstery...

I did break out the Meco torch again the other day to get the dust off....

This first coupon shows how Peter Tommasini teaches tacking in gas welding. Tack a spot, then the next is placed where the HAZ (blue ring) touches the seam between the halves. And repeat. Note how this method leaves an almost perfect HAZ for minimal distortion..

And we had a blowout. Don't stop, keep going and come back to it.. This is fusion welded, no filler, front side shown first, then back side

Stephen has been mocking up the power windows in the front doors so we can side step all the components and find a good location for our speakers. No pictures yet, I'll get some this week...
Liking the gas torch, ain't ya? Is that 18 or 16 gauge you were welding there?
One blowout to show you're human , so what. ;) I know a little part of the trick is having as soft of a flame as possible, since it is literally blowing at melting metal.

You gotta admit, even a tig doesn't give you quite as great of a level of penetration as gas.
Just wish it were as easy with 20 gauge steel as 16 or 18.
We're making some speaker "adapter" rings to be able to mount the speakers in the door. We used some 18 ga CRS to form rings, the seam was gas welded.

The outer flange is started on the Fasti-werks bead roller using the tipping die and the lower die we made last week.

Once it started to resist the tipping (needs stretching of the flange) we changed to using the linear stretch dies in the Lennox TE250

Originally we were looking at using the area below the power window motor, but in order to clear the power connector it would be too close to the bottom of the door...

With not much else for room in the door, we opted to open a hole at the rear area of the inner hinge brace.

With space above for the tweeter, this will closely mimic what we have in the rear kick panels..

The rings will get TIG welded in place, but before that we'll add a bit of structure back in the hinge brace.

Mike is still plugging away on the Drummer's Lounge sign.

Saturday he started fabrication of the insert panels. One side will be plug welded in place, the other will be removeable to access the wiring for the flashing lights.

Tracing the first pattern onto some 19 ga crs, and adding mounting flanges.

The bend lines are run through the bead roller with a tipping die into the skate board wheel to better mark the bend location. Makes it easier to locate the upper press brake die as it will fall into the indent.

Since everything is a tool, and we needed to fold down a bit of metal in the inside corner, a piece of angle is chosen for it's inside radius match and a body hammer with a nice barrel roll on it does the trick...

Side #2....

While he was busy with that, I continued on our speaker mount modification to the doors. Since we had cut away at the hinge mounting structure, we needed to add strength back in that surrounded the speaker. We chose a cone shape over cylindrical as we thought that would have less chance of collapse under stress. Our pattern is cut out and transferred to some 14 gauge cold rolled, the same thickness as the hinge structure.

I forgot to get pictures of us rolling the cones, but basically as shown here with the pattern, the bend line was kept aligned with the vertex of the outer angle cuts, and slightly pressed, move and repeat, and continued until we have a good roll where the ends met up.

We plan on wire edge on the edge inside the square opening, so let's use gas welding for a more pliable weld area.

The cone is then trimmed to fit the structure profile...

Flange is left for our wire edging of the open area...

The flange is tipped on the bead roller and then used the linear stretch dies in the Lennox to both stretch and tip the flange over to flat.

Then we use this modified Craftsman punch to hammer over a rounded void for the 3/16 wire to lay in..

Then we have some modified vise grips that have a relief cut into the top so it won't slip off the wire when clamped.

The wires were left long so they could better tie into the hinge structure, here the VEE relief is where the wire will weld to that structure.

Tacked in place with the MIG, then TIG welded....

All cleaned up and then primed with some epoxy primer before we weld the speaker mounting ring in place.

Passenger door modifications, inner structure added...

…..speaker mounting ring welded in place and brush painted using SPI epoxy primer..

In our attempt to finalize all the needed fabrications before getting deep into paint mode, we had some clearance issues to deal with on the Vintage Air bracket for the AC compressor. The initial mockup showed that the upper mounting tab was too close to the tall valve covers we have on the 383 stroker. A half inch spacer under the intake mounting tab gives us about 1/4" clearance, and shows how much we need to modify the water pump mounting tab.

I didn't have much in the selection of 1/4" flat stock, so the shoulder of a 5/16 bolt was used, first the root pass and then a filler pass.

Another part checked off the list....
Thanks guys!

Time to play catch-up, had a short hiatus in Upstate NY on the St Lawrence river.
Daytime and sunset:

I picked up some louver dies that are set up for the press brake but should be the start of a louver press eventually... got both 2" and 3" dies.

I also have a couple good friends that understand my tool addiction that both sent me a link to an ad for body tools, especially for the Vise Grips. Here's what I picked up from a retired bodyman, now to keep these quality tools going. VG collection is now over 130.. never enough.

...and with the engine brackets back from powder coating, and our new 45* water neck arrived, we were able to get the belts and upper hose all mocked up. The hose we used was a Dayco 72384, made as a lower hose for a V6 Ford Explorer, but it fits this application like a glove...

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