03 July 2011

tres huevos - cowl

I've made a temporary rule to work on my own stuff after 9pm.
Traditionally it has been my peak work time,
and I need to throw some hours at the Tres Huevos 40.
There is a ton of sheetmetal work to do,
and I'd really like to get it buttoned up.

(1940 ford coupe chopped sectioned and channeled)

One of the biggest hangups is the cowl.
There is alot going on and there is a ton of sheetmetal gaps.
Each project is layered on top of each other.
- firewall - cowl - door jamb - door hinges - doors - dash

firewall BEFORE shot

The heavy cadillac flathead engine is set back way into the firewall.
I've already pushed the firewall back a couple inches,
but I was struggling to figure out the bottom part.

So maybe here you can see.
The middle section angles forward ,
and it actually covered the rear spark plugs.
I wanted to keep the 40 look with that angled panel,
but not make it difficult to work on.

more firewall modification

The only way I could figure was to reangle that angled piece.
This would give a couple inches of accessibility.

The headers cover up so much of this area I can live with it.

reangled firewall and header cover-up

The next part was figuring out how to finish the fender to cowl gap.
I have the green 40 with the bolt-on fenders and that welting inbetween,
and this is where water gets trapped.
The rear fender seams are already welded up.
Decisions, decisions.

the templates for the curves are the same so need to start somewhere...

template preparation

while making the templates,
I saw how rusty the inside of the fenders were.
Redoing the fender lip, and making a bolt-on plate or...

weld it up

just weld it up!
After 2 years looking at this gap,
one night and one side was hacked together.

hack away

The drivers side was tough.
I only have right handed hammers,
and this took a lefty.
No problem, I needed the practice.
The primer helped to see any really bad spots.

work space

After a bunch of tapping,
I couldn't resist doing the 3-color rattlecan patina.


By 2 am the driver's side was finished.


Dead break...

If you're working stream the whole show.
Cool to listen to a Phil (bass) heavy mix.
It's fun to hear, like they're playing outside in a park, which they are, in the bronx.

Grateful Dead Live at Gaelic Park on 1971-08-26 : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive

(the last hard to handle #7, one of the last early st stephens. check #3 mr charlie too)


Usually I like to sleep in the next day,
but with a mid-day obligation I woke up early to start the other side.

passenger gap

There were a couple reasons for these huge gaps.
The body was "sectioned" a couple inches,
which raises the fenders on the body.
Besides this part of the body was rusted away.

 "my little pony" templates

Its amazing how fast something gets done the second time.
I should have done this side first as there is more room,
and its more right-hand oriented.

inside workspace

This was yesterday morning (saturday),
I took way too many pictures!

So here is an in depth play by play.

proper work shoes

This is the best hammer ever.
I got this from my Uncle Steve.
90 percent of my work is done with this PROTO hammer.


These clamps were from my grandfathers (papa's) stash.
They work pretty good.

wiss metal shears

These Wiss shears are also from my grandfather.
I've had them at least 20 years now and they are still somehow sharp.
Unfortunately the other mirrored side has a nick in it,
so I usually double mark the template and cut using this pair!

mig tacked up

With a 2 hour morning coffee rush,
I had the pieces tacked in.
Not my best work but I'm thinking big picture here -
get it done quick.

I couldn't wait to finish up that night.

inside buttoned up

Another 9pm start!
In a bit over an hour the piece was all welded up.
Alot easier on the right side.

passenger side welded up

Again couldn't resist sniffing the rattlecan fumes.

patina'd up
new lower door jam?

It's a huge step.
The fenders and cowl are very rigid now.
The lower firewall can now be integrated to the fenders.

cleaned up

I've also got an idea for the door bottoms.
It's just an idea for now it might be too crazy.

now what!

If the lower firewall section can get mocked up,
I can pull the engine/tranny and really finish the engine bay.

Or should I finish the rear decklid.
Or doors.
Or floor.


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