After giving Jimmy White the month off, I decided to hit him real hard once we were able to get things rolling again with the sedan project. When asked what I wanted to focus on for this issue, my response was simple: as much as possible! And that’s exactly what we got accomplished. (Had it not been for the fact I ordered the wrong steering arms, in all likelihood, we’d of gotten even further along!)
Up until this point, White had mocked up the Flathead’s engine mounts and installed a tubular dropout tranny crossmember (sourced from Carl Fjastad at the Deuce Frame Co.). When it comes to fashioning chassis bracketry, White’s nothing less than an artisan, as he puts emphasis on both form and function on everything from his curvaceous, templated rear spring hangers to his one-off pedestal motor mounts. At first, I wasn’t sure about the tack-welded skeleton platforms he whipped up to support the H&H mill via traditional biscuit-style mounts—but once he boxed them in and smoothed them out, I was quite impressed, to say the least. Who’d of thunk such minor impact items could turn out to be such a focal point of the chassis?! Suffice it to say, mail-order motor mounts 101 the following pictorial is not.
Two of the major areas still to be tackled were the pedal assembly and steering, the both of which we’ll save for next month once we’ve got all the correct parts in hand.
While we were busy tackling all of the above, Speedway managed to deliver the missing items (that I had neglected to gather previously), which forced us to put the steering on hold. Now that we’ve got a pair of heavy-drop steering arms (to allow routing the tie rod below the wishbones and avoid any framerail clearance issues that the standard drop arms posed) and Pitman for our Borgeson Vega box, we’re good to go for next month.
1. In the past, creating engine mounts was never really a big deal for me—mainly because they were typically based upon a pre-fabricated (kit) design and simply integrated accordingly. With the Tudor, that won’t be the case, as one of Jimmy White’s specialties is custom motor mounts.
2. CCHR’s rickety old cherry picker worked wonders once it was equipped with a Mac’s Custom Tie-Downs Pivot Plate. White fabbed up a temporary “stand” of sorts to support the engine without the use of the hoist while we positioned the transmission perched atop a floor jack.
3. With the body mounted in a preliminary fashion (formal mounts are still to come) and the front crossmember/suspension in place, setting up the engine and trans mounts was simply a matter of placing said components in their respective locations based off factory specs as they applied to our not-so-factory configuration (later ’49-53 Flathead, Tremec TKO-500, Wilcap adapter kit).
4-5 Once the H&H mill and five-speed gearbox were properly placed, White tacked the three-piece skeletons of his custom motor mounts in place.
6 For the tranny crossmember, we called up Carl Fjastad Jr. for one of his tubular drop-out mount kits.
7. When initially designing the motor mount frames, White took everything into consideration—including the presence of the inner fender panels (shown is a repop from Steve’s Auto Restorations, which will be used on the sedan).
8-9 Satisfied with the placement, shape, and so on of the skeletal mount, White proceeded with boxing in the outer side. A cardboard template was used to create the filler piece.
10-11. The filler was added so that the bottom portion overlapped onto the top of the framerail and angled in as it joins the top plate, which is perpendicular to the framerail.
12-13 As you probably noticed, the side pieces of the pedestals didn’t quite jive with the curvature of the top plate—they do now.
14. With the base structure of the mounts satisfactory, White prepped all the joints for the forthcoming welding session.
15. While I can attest to the fact that there is a MIG welder at the shop, I can’t say that I’ve ever seen it used—White insists on TIG welding everything, and who am I to argue with that?!
16. More grinding and smoothing followed, none of which compromised any of the weld joints’ integrity.
17. And when all was said and done, this is what made it all worth the wait and anticipation. Indeed, not your average motor mount by any means.
18. Kind of having second thoughts about running those hood sides and inner fender panels now …