Over 40,000 miles or so, the 32 had developed a little clunkle (“clunk” + “rattle”) that was driving me batty. The severity of the rattle was not dependant on the size of the bump, or how fast I was driving, or any other variables that I could vary. I could make it happen by jumping on the front passenger side frame rail, but not the driver side frame rail.
I tried to check the most obvious culprits first;
- Are any exhaust brackets broken?
- Are the emergency brake cables thwapping on the floor?
- Is something clunking around under the seat? I have a power outlet built in to the front of the seat, and a while ago I noticed that the wires were not secured to anything and would click on the floor sometimes.
- Is the heater/ A/C unit secure? Are all the vents secure in the dash?
- Does the noise happen whether the windows are up or down? Sometimes the glass can clunk side-to-side when it’s down, if the whiskers don’t hold the glass as tight as the upper channel. Also, check the power window motor – maybe it’s come loose?
Moving to the outside, I checked every bolt I could see. Sometimes a click can be caused by a bolt that’s binding and just releasing at a certain point, or the threads are sort of riding at the edge of a hole. I checked the radiator support rod brackets against the firewall, I checked the air cleaner, I checked the headlights… I checked all those things again. Ready for the spoiler? When I was grinding the boxing plate welds where the engine mounts meet the frame, I must have sneezed at one point and taken off more than necessary. There was a tiny spot where the vibrations of the engine travelling through the mounts to the frame had worked a stress crack, and going over a little bump or jumping on the frame rail would cause the boxing plate to flex just enough to create a little click… kind of like a mason jar lid.
I was able to go over the spot with the tig, and now I’m no longer canning! It’s nice to be able to focus on something other than that little clunkle.
What are some noises that you’ve discovered in your hot rod?
Dear Welder Series…
Attached are pictures of my plan for the Welder Series rear sway bar kit that I am installing on my ’32 Ford project. At this time it is tacked in place and I think it will work as I hope. I still need to tweak the positioning. I ran the bar through the square tube crossmember and the arms ended up directly over the rear axle. Also you can see the Welder Series exhaust hangers near the transmission tail housing and one behind the pipe passing over the rear axle. These are the parts that I recently ordered from you.
Dear Welder Series…
I’ve just been reading your ’32 Build blog regarding modification to the Pete & Jake headlight stands (article 21). Nice work.
This year I acquired a nice ’32 highboy that has those same stands with little hot rod lights (the one with the turn signal in the top edge of the bezel).
I’d like to install ’32 passenger or 33-34 commercial lights with internal turn signal. I’d prefer to not cut and weld as in your article, but I recognize that is probably the correct way to approach the project.
My question; is there a realistic way to modify the swivel/bolt/slot arrangement on the bottom of the light bucket, to use the headlight stands without modification – and still be able to drive at night?
One additional piece, the chassis and stands are powder coated.
Thanks for taking the time to consider my question.
Thanks for the compliment, Phil.
Here are 2 suggestions for mounting the headlights:
Form a “tongue” to take the stock headlight bolt. Wrap the tongue forward to the shock mount. Weld a bolt (probably a flat head allen bolt) to the shock mount end of the tongue to go through the P&J mount.
Have a talented tin-whacker rework the headlight bucket so the mounting bolt will be at the correct angle. If you use the ’32 lights, the reworked area could be polished to not show. The ’33 commercial lights might be easier.
I’ve cc’d this to DW. He might have some other ideas.
Dear Welder Series…
I really appreciated your “tongue” suggestion and set it as my fallback if I could not get the lights attached properly to the existing headlight stands.
The installation is complete, here is what I did. I selected the ’34 commercial lights that Bob Drake offers with a stainless bucket in addition to the stainless bezel. I found that the headlight stands were tipped slightly forward, a good thing.
I disassembled the lights and moved the plate that holds the mounting bolt so the leading edge (somewhat reshaped) would be very close to the edge of the bucket. I drilled new holes in the plate and remounted it. This has the effect of rotating the top of the bucket forward.
Now, without modification to the bolt or the swivel the face of the bucket can be adjusted beyond vertical a few degrees. I think this will work out (I’ve not driven it at night yet) and I like the look. The first photo above is with one old light and one new light, the other photo is the job completed.
Thanks to all for your encouragement.
Happy New Year,
Setting up axle centerline on the '32. This is one of the most important measurements to take - it will look "wrong" if the tire isn't centered in the wheel well. I also assemble some front suspension components.
Wrapping up the trip with a few Canadian pictures.
Last leg of the trip through Indiana and on to Ontario Canada.
Paul & Dorothy visit Parr Automotive in Oklahoma, as well as a few other hot rod shops in the area.
One hour and 16 miles through the worst road the '32 has ever seen... made it through without a hitch!
Visiting some shops in Lake Havasu City, found the London Bridge...
A link to another blog post about the Street Rodder Magazine road tour, this time coming from Hot Rods & Custom Stuff's Randy Clark and Chick Koszis. Lots of pictures!
Hoover Dam, Kingman AZ, Dambar.