The Great 1939 Ford V8 Project

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The Great 1939 Ford V8 Project

Post by Steve » Mon Feb 15, 2010 8:46 pm

(Split off from this thread)

Ok, photo time. As some of you witnessed today, the V8 made it home safely. The wife and I spent several hours cleaning it up and removing years of dirt buildup. Most exciting is that I was able to buff the nasty oxidized black paint off of one section of the hood, to reveal sort of shiny green paint underneath. I will continue over the next week or two, hopefully getting the rest of the black off. It looks like someone did a back yard paint job at some point with a can of black spray paint.

I was also able to attach the hood and realign the front end body panels to a pretty decent fit, and install the front bumper. All of the extra parts have been moved to the garage for protection and the engine is covered with a heavy towel. I will get something into the bores to protect it as soon as possible.

The immediate plan, meaning this week, will be:

- Replace both side windows
- Install rear window
- Rebuild both doors, and replace all weather seals
- Rotate engine and evaluate its condition

The plan for the next month or so will be:

- Drop and rebuild front end
- Service steering as necessary
- Flush transmission
- Drop and rebuild rear axle
- Rebuild brakes
- Try to make the engine run!

Ambitious? Absolutely.

And now for the photos. The third shot is so Jimmy will stop bugging me to post a photo of my new hat / torn upholstery cover. The last photo shows the green paint revealed after about 30-45 minutes of buffing. Only 150 hours to go before the rest of the truck is green. :wtf:
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v81.jpg
1939 Ford V8 Pickup
v82.jpg
1939 Ford V8 Pickup
v83.jpg
1939 Ford V8 Pickup
v84.jpg
1939 Ford V8 Pickup

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Re: The Great 1939 Ford V8 Project

Post by Steve » Mon Feb 15, 2010 8:55 pm

And don't forget my fan club...
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Ford V8 Fan Club
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Ford V8 Fan Club

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Re: The Great 1939 Ford V8 Project

Post by gorms68 » Mon Feb 15, 2010 9:08 pm

Wow that looks great! Are you planning on repainting the truck after how good if buffs out? Or is that just a trick of the camera. With that long list of yours i hope you don't have to waste too much time at work.

Any plans to attend the Big Three Swap Meet in San Diego to look for stuff for the new truck? I'll be there, never know what you'll find.
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Re: The Great 1939 Ford V8 Project

Post by Steve » Mon Feb 15, 2010 9:15 pm

Buffing it out is an attempt to postpone painting for a while. The black will have to come off anyway before even a cheap paint job can be applied, because it's cheap paint that was not applied well. The green appears to be professionally applied. I think the original color was light gray, because I found some beautiful, smooth, shiny paint in that color underneath a hood hinge. I've found no trace of it anywhere else so far, so I assume the truck was sanded down when it was painted green at some point. It will definitely need to be painted for a couple reasons - because there are rust patches and because the wife wants it painted.

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Re: The Great 1939 Ford V8 Project

Post by gorms68 » Mon Feb 15, 2010 9:22 pm

Well at least you are not stuck trying to preserve the original paint. This makes it easy to decide. Are you planning to keep both truck? Kinda his and hers?
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Re: The Great 1939 Ford V8 Project

Post by Scott Pettit » Mon Feb 15, 2010 9:38 pm

Puleeze keep the grill that lovely color combo.

By the way, my wife told me to stop bringing home cars. What drugs do you use on your wife, and where can I buy some?

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Re: The Great 1939 Ford V8 Project

Post by Steve » Mon Feb 15, 2010 9:42 pm

We will almost certainly have to sell something to make room for the V8, but deciding which one is an impossible task. :(
Scott Pettit wrote:Puleeze keep the grill that lovely color combo. By the way, my wife told me to stop bringing home cars. What drugs do you use on your wife, and where can I buy some?
The same drugs that make you think orange, green and black is a good color for the grill. :P

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Re: The Great 1939 Ford V8 Project

Post by gorms68 » Mon Feb 15, 2010 9:48 pm

I guess it's time for the Beamer to hit the road :cry:
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Re: The Great 1939 Ford V8 Project

Post by HealeyBN7 » Tue Feb 16, 2010 5:49 pm

Wow. What an improvement. Just returning air to the tires and bolting on the loose body panels quadrupled the value. After missing out on $1.50 Ford stock this has to be the best Ford investment of the year - Sorry I couldn't help load. I trust the trailer/angle was not a problem, or did you pull it to the right and load it on the flat of the circle drive.

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Re: The Great 1939 Ford V8 Project

Post by Steve » Tue Feb 16, 2010 7:00 pm

gorms68 wrote:I guess it's time for the Beamer to hit the road :cry:
Don't laugh, we've actually considered that. My wife has this crazy idea that she can drive the '39 every day. Maybe I'm crazy but I actually talked her out of it.
HealeyBN7 wrote:I trust the trailer/angle was not a problem, or did you pull it to the right and load it on the flat of the circle drive.
Actually I ended up calling a flatbed instead. It was money well spent. Getting that thing out of there with a pickup and trailer would have taken all day.

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Re: The Great 1939 Ford V8 Project

Post by gorms68 » Tue Feb 16, 2010 7:17 pm

So what's the history on Linda new truck?
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Re: The Great 1939 Ford V8 Project

Post by Steve » Tue Feb 16, 2010 7:26 pm

The history as I have it is this... The gentleman bought it around 40 years ago and used it as a work truck for ten years. After that it was parked and not driven again. For some reason the heads were removed, and that is the great mystery - why?

It was last registered in 1984 according to the pink slip. The fellow passed away and his son sold me the truck. He said he remembered driving it around way back then. I know it sat outside at some point because there were pine needles in the bed and grill. But it seems to have sat in a closed garage for most of its storage. The only history I uncovered during cleanup was an old road map of the South Bay area, showing populations I wish were still accurate.

Oh yes, and I forgot to answer about the swap meet. Sounds interesting and I may see you there. I need a hub cap. ;)

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Re: The Great 1939 Ford V8 Project

Post by Jimmy » Tue Feb 16, 2010 7:33 pm

So now that you've ruined the perfect patina, have you considered metallic green paint?
In baseball, running into someone is apparently a "collision".
But doing the same thing in a car somehow makes it an "accident".

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Re: The Great 1939 Ford V8 Project

Post by Steve » Tue Feb 16, 2010 8:07 pm

No metallic on my cars. Too modern. But it will probably end up olive green (light green). For now, the dark green will do. And you never know, Jimmy... you may like the patina of the green underneath better than the cheap black spray paint that was on top of it. It was soft and poorly applied so it wouldn't have lasted forever anyway.

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Re: The Great 1939 Ford V8 Project

Post by max71 » Tue Feb 16, 2010 9:01 pm

Sell the model T. Its a toy. This is a real driver. :o

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Re: The Great 1939 Ford V8 Project

Post by Steve » Tue Feb 16, 2010 9:09 pm

I think most of the MGs are as much toys as the Model T is. For example I don't consider the T so much of a toy as the GTS. The T is far more practical. I drive it all over the place, hauling stuff and running errands. I never run errands in the GTS, or even the MGA for that matter. ;)

Granted, the '39 will be a far better working truck than the T. But one of the many attractions of the Model T is that it's more unique than anything else we own. I'd actually rather sell one of the MGBs than the T. Not saying that'll happen or anything.

8-foot beams and concrete.....
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Model T at work
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Re: The Great 1939 Ford V8 Project

Post by max71 » Tue Feb 16, 2010 10:06 pm

Steve Simmons wrote: Granted, the '39 will be a far better working truck than the T.

Bingo :)

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Re: The Great 1939 Ford V8 Project

Post by spitfire » Tue Feb 16, 2010 10:12 pm

I bet the guys at the lumber store are shocked when they see you load up the T for a weekend project.

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Re: The Great 1939 Ford V8 Project

Post by Steve » Tue Feb 16, 2010 10:19 pm

That's the problem. Everywhere we go, the workers don't want to load it because they're afraid of damaging the thing. I always have to explain that it was built to be a truck and haul huge loads. They just don't get it because the only time they see something like that is in a parade, so they assume it's some highly valuable and highly fragile show car. Ever see what these things did when they were new?

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max71 wrote:
Steve Simmons wrote: Granted, the '39 will be a far better working truck than the T.
Bingo :)
Just to be fair... By the same argument, the MGB GT is a far better work car than the TC, but I'm not selling the TC! :P

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Re: The Great 1939 Ford V8 Project

Post by spitfire » Tue Feb 16, 2010 10:22 pm

Yep the T did a lot of work in its day. Its cool that you actually use yours, since so many are simply trailer queens.

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Re: The Great 1939 Ford V8 Project

Post by Jimmy » Tue Feb 16, 2010 10:34 pm

So, realistically, if you just cut the roof off of the GT you could sell the T, right?
In baseball, running into someone is apparently a "collision".
But doing the same thing in a car somehow makes it an "accident".

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Re: The Great 1939 Ford V8 Project

Post by Larry Kluss » Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:46 am

Looks like fun, Steve. I remember riding around in my Grandfather's '31 wide bed. Of course it didn't have the V8. Congrats.

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Re: The Great 1939 Ford V8 Project

Post by Steve » Sat Feb 20, 2010 3:20 pm

Today's progress: Axlectomy! I plan to rebuild everything seen here (axle, brakes, steering linkage, shocks, swivels, hubs, spring) during the rainy days this week.
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1939 Ford V8 Front Axle

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Re: The Great 1939 Ford V8 Project

Post by Steve » Tue Feb 23, 2010 12:05 am

Today's progress: Disassembly of axle and prep for sand blasting. I didn't get to the leaf spring but will do that in the morning before dropping the parts of to be blasted. I couldn't believe how much "crud" came off this thing. The axle was literally double the actual diameter, because of the amount of this stuff on it. I think I've filled up my shop vac just sucking it off the floor throughout the day. The bright side is that it appears the truck was well maintained as far as greasing goes. He just never seemed to wipe up the old grease that came out!

Every nut and bolt came out with relative ease. No penetrating oil or heat was required, and much to Jimmy's dismay I pulled almost the entire thing apart with an adjustable wrench. I did need heat, oil and great force to get the tapered fittings apart. They weren't rusty but were stuck fast.

Let the disassembly begin!
3.jpg
1939 Ford V8 Front Axle
3.jpg (32.02 KiB) Viewed 10070 times
Lots of yucky, nasty crud. I removed pounds of the stuff with an old screwdriver, just so I could find the fittings I needed to remove! This photo is after a LOT of scraping, so most of the gunk is already removed. For reference, the pin you see sticking out was at least 1/4" underneath the outer layer.
2.jpg
1939 Ford V8 Front Axle
2.jpg (29.84 KiB) Viewed 10214 times
This was kind of scary. The wheel studs are almost completely without threads. The threads that are still there are only half height. Obviously original, but they have to go.
4.jpg
1939 Ford V8 Wheel Stud
4.jpg (18.11 KiB) Viewed 10213 times
More evidence that the original color of this truck was dark green. I'm still looking for more evidence of light gray, but so far no joy.
5.jpg
1939 Ford V8 Wheel
5.jpg (24.85 KiB) Viewed 10213 times
Think this shackle pin is a bit worn out? For those who don't know, this should be a smooth, round pin. Half of the pin is completely worn away! The other half is deeply grooved. Since there is only a single spring holding the entire front of the truck up, this made me glad I decided to rebuild everything in the front end.
6.jpg
1939 Ford V8 Spring Pin
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A sad pair of pins with their bushings. I believe these parts may be original to the truck, or at least early replacements. The rubber that is left in the bushing has cloth wound into it, which I haven't seen done in a very long time. The pins wore through the rubber, through the steel outer sleeve and into the axle housing. Fortunately it is still quite sound and a simple bushings replacement will suffice.
7.jpg
1939 Ford V8 Spring Pins and Bushings
7.jpg (20.36 KiB) Viewed 10212 times
Wear in the right hand king pin, and either a deep groove or a crack forming. Again, I'm very glad to be doing this job right about now...
8.jpg
1939 Ford V8 King Pin
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The accompanying bushing, cracked in three places...
9.jpg
1939 Ford V8 King Pin Bushing
9.jpg (25.37 KiB) Viewed 10207 times
Another original part, the inner hub seal. Neat! And it's a really well built item. Looks like I can replace the rubber bit itself to retain the original housing.
10.jpg
1939 Ford V8 Hub Seal
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And inside there's another surprise, original bearings! I wouldn't doubt that these have been in service since 1939 if they weren't in such perfect shape. The races look brand new. Maybe someone had some new old stock bearings back in the 50's or 60's? Since the truck has been sitting for 30 years in a garage, anything is possible.
11.jpg
1939 Ford V8 Hub Bearing
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That's it for tonight, tomorrow I may have to work on M.G.s. :hammer:

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Re: The Great 1939 Ford V8 Project

Post by gorms68 » Tue Feb 23, 2010 7:49 am

The wear on those parts is amazing! Makes you wonder what the rest of the truck is like. Are you able to find the replacement parts localy or do you have to order them?
Chris Gorman

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