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1955 Ford Part 17: Fenders, Radiator Overflow Tank, Trunk

Updated: Dec 27, 2019

(Note: You are reading the progress from a project that began in August of 2014. This information in this post was originally dated from December of 2016 to January of 2017.)

Fenders, Radiator Overflow Tank, and Trunk

Round 2 with the Devilbiss FLG670 tonight in the "paint booth" to shoot the white on both of the fenders.

Things went pretty well. The Wimbledon White paint looks good - can't wait to peel back the tape and see the Red/White tutone combination on those fenders. I fiddled with the gun a bit more and dialed back the psi from the 23 I shot last time (lost of overspray but good coverage, etc) to just about 15 psi at the air inlet. PLENTY of pressure and volume to lay it out nicely and much less overspray this time in the booth. On the first coat on one of the fenders I thought I saw a small spot where the surface was contaminated, but on the second and third coat it disappeared. Not sure what that was. I went over the surfaces pretty good with Eastwood's Pre like I always methodically do... an hour later there were no signs of problems when I took the photos. The most rewarding part of all this is kind of reflected in this photo (sorry, my camera lighting was pretty dim but you can see the shine of course).

This is the same fender that had the ugly antenna hole that someone had cobbled up. A number of posts back I had to weld in some metal in that area and make sure it was all "seamless" in that particular area. Glad it turned out nice... no sign of the original damage! The FLG 670 is a gun I am getting use to and enjoy spraying with it, but boy it takes a little bit to clean it up well after a spraying session.

(a few days later...) The AC/Alternator Bracket setup from Vintage Air finally arrived. The plates used are near bullet proof and the hardware looks pretty complete. I have since painted the brackets and hardware with Black Engine Paint. More on that install later - the AC kit just arrived and I am looking at mock-up, routing, etc.

A radiator catch can also came in while I was away so I got that installed this weekend. Pretty easy to do. The kit came with pop rivets to attach the brackets to sheet metal up front, but I decided drill 1/4" holes in the radiator support and attach the brackets with bolts - the holes were tapped 1/4 - 20. Kind of think that will be much better than pop rivets and of course removable as well.

The catch can is made of aluminum, has a decent cap on it, and obviously it has the tubes inside - one for intake/one for exit. Looks nice in the engine compartment. Keeping the brackets on the radiator support will also allow room for relays if I need them on the sheet metal panel to the left in the photo. I also removed the rear bumper brackets so I could access the body at the rear for sanding. Since they were off and handy I went ahead and blasted the brackets and coated them with Rustoleum.


I also decided it was time to remove the trunk so we could get that painted since the fenders turned out so well. I did make adjustments to ensure that the gaps were right on. After that I decided to drill a 1/4" hole in the middle of the plate that bolts to the trunk.

I used those 1/4" pin clips (easily purchased at most hardware stores). Since the circlips are somewhat spring loaded, the pin will stay in its boss. As you would surmise, this was my idea to make re-installation much easier to keep my gaps. It may not be 100% spot on when I go back to install it after paint, but it will be very, very close. At any rate I don't think I will have an issue with an paint scratches. The trunk was turned upside down so the lip could be cleaned really well and primed. I did tape off the holes so that no sand and could get in the cavities.

The lower lip has some corrosion, but not enough to warrant a trunk skin. You can see in the photos below how I cleaned things up and put down some primer surfacer where needed.

I was hoping to have more time to get things done but life calls and the work beckons - greater things to take care of at this time of year. Recently though I did have the chance to get a couple of things done (albeit late or night or early in the morning).First up would be the trunk lock mechanism and chrome. It all needs to be replaced but I thought I would like see if I could not remove the keyed cylinder. The key has to be inserted and turned just so - that small pin at the back in the middle of the threads can then be pushed down and the cylinder slid out of its boss.

Since I was able to do that I thought I would fit the old lock cylinder into a reproduction trunk lock assembly, yeh right, it wouldn't go. Looks like the interior of the repro lock assembly is chrome too where as the original sleeve was not chromed at all. I also removed the bezels for the windshield wiper pivots. They will have to be replaced as well - and those cheap paper gaskets too...

Of course, I mark everything I remove.

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