Wednesday, February 29, 2012


I have been drivin' the 34' and playing title tag with the challenged at the DMV. Bureaucrats can make you tired.

The first step in replacing the A' subrails is to remove the floor and existing subrails to make way for the 32' curved frame rails. One also needs to trim the lower front cowl mounts to allow for the curve in the front section of the frame. Basically, this is measure 10 times and cut twice. I also cut the small amount of rust out of the wheel wells as this will be trimmed to match the frame. It was interesting to note that the rear 1/2 of the lower body is crimped to the subrail over a fabric strip. Now I understand the body rust on most of these cars. This poor unsealed over lap holds moisture and is wet whenever it rains.

I started the lower subrail with a 12ga 4x1 sheared and broken angle and then using my old Hossfeld bender I match arched the angle material to the frame and bolted in place. This will become the base of the new subrails.

This base extends 8" forward under the original subframe and welds to both sides of the shaped subrail. Everthing adjacent to the cuts has been sandblasted for cleanliness to allow good welding.

You need to hold the body correctly while the cutting is going on since it does want to lose its shape with out the integral support.

After building the cart for the body,
and watching as I cut out the rear floor
and subframes, I found that if you leave the major portions of the wheelwells intact and support the body at the front and at the rear, the body is actually in tension and all stays straight.

Somehow in the past 52 years, I have forgotten just how much work is involved in this. Are we having fun yet??