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COVID-19 Projects for the Ford and in the Shop!

Updated: Apr 21, 2021

"Projects for the Ford and in the Shop!"


While many of us grapple with a loss of time at work and our lives coming to a screeching halt (yep, our governor here in Ohio has given an executive order to "stay-at-home" for two weeks!), I would imagine that the gearheads like me are taking advantage. Now mind you, there are still some things that I can work on remotely even though I am not in the office, and of course mama has some projects we are working to accomplish, but in these two weeks I am finding that I can take advantage of daylight and weather.

First up would be some messy sandblasting. I was able to blast an intake manifold and 5 original, steel wheels - the plan is to paint these wheels the body color of the 1955 Ford Fairlane and mount wide whites for summer driving. With the announcement of the stimulus package being approved in congress I reckon I am going to need all of that cash to purchase those tires!!! While I do not have any more photos to post of the wheels, they have already received Rustoleum primer and gloss black on the DRUM SIDE. I will paint the front of each rim with direct-to-metal high build primer. Rustoleum is much cheaper than the paint products I use for body work, and no one will see the reverse side of the rims anyway. I followed this same process for the rims that are currently on the car.

The intake manifold was just a test run to see how abrasive the sand would be to the mounting surfaces. I have always media blasted with glass beads when it comes to engine parts and other parts that have critical tolerances. Glass is much less abrasive than sand or Black Diamond coal slag. I ended up blasting most of the surfaces of the intake in the cabinet.

I did remove the old heat cross-over tube that is designed to feed the original choke housing on a 1956 manifold. This intake manifold was only used in 1956 and was the last year that Ford mounted a Holley 4000 for single four barrel engines. You can see the hole for the tube here:

After the intake is painted today, it will receive a new tube and be completely prepared to mount on a Y Block engine. I sell many of these of intakes from year to year through eBay and my website. If you are interested, please e-mail me soon at They go fast. I do have a 55 version to restore (choke mounts to the intake, not to the carb), a 57 version for the modern mounting of a carb, and of course I am also working on my 2x4 manifold (just ordered those two heat tubes today).

On to the next project - the gas cap. Last year I ran across a couple of original gas caps for the 55/56 Ford sedans. They were in bad shape as the metal was a little rusty, the seal deteriorated, etc. The pictures that follow give the process involved. First the caps were blasted in the cabinet.

Next, I removed the old gasket/seal material.

After removing all of the debris and ensuring a clean surface, I broke out a heat gun to warm the metal so that the Rust Prevention Magic would bond well. I know that I have mentioned this product in other posts, but again I highly recommend using RPM when desiring to maintain a bare metal finish.

Later, I picked up a small sheet of the rubber gasket maker from my local home improvement store in order to make another gasket that would in essence seal up against the lip of the fuel tank filler neck. A washer and a roll of electrical tape sufficed to give me approximate diameters and the seals fit extremely well.

Things went so well that I decided to make a quick video of the gas caps...

Along with these projects, I am knocking out such things as cleaning engine parts for the 312 build. (Yes, that is oven cleaner from Dollar Tree - amazing how good it is to clean the gunk, crud, and oil from engine parts!)

I have several sets of rocker arm rebuilds going on at the same time. Most of these are the 1.43 variety, but I do have one set of 1.54's I am building up as well. Each of these assemblies receives new shafts, a thorough cleaning of all parts, an assessment of tolerances and fitment, and a slight resurfacing of the rocker arm tips. These assemblies are also available for sale if you are interested.

What are you doing during these days of "stay-at-home" orders? In my area, the general public seems to live in fear. Many are afraid of catching the Coronavirus. People walk around in gloves, masks, and stay armed with disinfectant. No doubt from the statistics quoted in the news, there are certain demographics in our society which are more at risk for loss of life. I do check on my elderly relatives quite often these days, and I pray for their safety.

What about you? What would happen should you lose your life over COVID-19? I am happy to tell you there is no need to fear the after-life, there is no need to fear that which will take place once your body is in the grave. Would you take the time to read a special page here on the website entitled, "Remember" and let me know your thoughts? As much as I enjoy passing on the knowledge of Y Block Fords to the next generation, there is no greater work I have nor effort I must make than to give the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Keeping the FaYth,

The Hot Rod Reverend

aka Daniel Jessup


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