1952 FORD F1 PICKUP CAR RESTORATION PROJECT
1952 Ford Truck Restoration Project — Part 5
We re-addressed the engine/transmission assembly; the one delayed by various problems that you read about in Part III. This time out we decided to fix an incorrectly-located hole in the front of the block that holds one of the water pump fasteners.
To do so we removed the water pump and used the gasket to locate the exact location for the new hole. It turned out that the correct, original hole was still there but it was nothing more than a depression in the casting (probably the result of a sheared-off bolt that rusted away.) Next to that was a crudely-threaded hole that someone had used to screw in a small-diameter bolt.
This elongated hole is what was supposed to hold the water pump to the block.
We cleaned everything out and decided to fill all the area with weld. Once that was done we ground off the excess, being careful not to cut deeper than the flat plane on the front of the block. We then drilled a series of ever-larger holes after marking the center, using the gasket as the template.
We plugged the hole with weld.
This took some time, but eventually we had the hole large enough to tap new threads. Doing so was a bit of work and one tap wore out (broke, actually) in the process, but the result was a properly-tapped, perfectly located hole to mount the water pump.
Are We Sure That Oil Line Won't Leak?
Returning to the flywheel/clutch/transmission assembly, we mounted the flywheel using new, longer bolts (the ones we had were too short) we had obtained a few days earlier. These bolts, when torqued, proved to be just a bit too long, as they scraped against the rear oil seal. We had to remove them and grind off about 1/16th inch.
While looking at the bolt clearance we noticed the oil line at the back of the engine scraped against the flywheel. This was unacceptable, so we had to remove the flywheel part to re-route the oil line. Also, the line seemed a little to "rickety" when touched and that bothered us.
Why bother to do this? Although some things seem to be more trouble than they are worth, the oil system modification needs to be done. One of the two major flaws with Ford flathead engines was the fact that the oil filter [optional] only cleaned about 10% of the oil, the theory being that eventually all the oil would eventually be filtered. It wasn't, as it turned out, and the rest simply degraded with time and use.
We removed the oil line and its fittings and "shortened" the fitting that was forcing it too close to the flywheel. The shortening process involved grinding off some of the threads and using a few other modifications to decrease the outward distance of the oil line's 90-degree angle. It worked...
Next we installed the clutch pressure plate and disc. Fortunately, we noticed that one of the holes for the pressure plate bolts contained the sheared-off remains of a former fastener. A little work with a drill and EZ-out cleaned up the problem and we were ready to install the flywheel — for the last time, we were sure.
The flywheel went back on with no problem, as did the clutch disc and pressure plate. Next came the transmission, but first we had to install the throwout bearing and its associated hardware.
The old Ford's clutch mechanism utilizes a large steel rod that runs transverse to the bellhousing and is set in bronze bushings. It is pinned to a cast-iron actuating fork that, in turn, pushes on the back of the throwout bearing assembly when the rod is rotated. The fork can only be pinned to the rod when it is in place, at which time it is nearly impossible to line up the hole in the rod. After some trial-and-error we were able to drive the roll pin into the rod and get everything ready for assembly.
We aligned the clutch disc to the pressure plate by feel. When everything lined up, we tightened up the bolts on the pressure plate which held everything in place.
Finally, we were ready to put the transmission onto the engine. Sometimes this operation can be difficult because the mainshaft splines don't engage the clutch disc splines easily or the two assemblies (engine and transmission/bellhousing) don't stay parallel as they are brought together. In this case, however, everything went together easily with very little "noodling," so we put in the bellhousing bolts and tightened everything up.
We added a coating of lithium grease to the shaft where it fits into the pilot bearing, where the spline engages the clutch disc, and where the throwout bearing travels.
The instructions that came with the transmission adapter required that a tab be added to the adaptor for the throw-out bearing return spring. Our tab was a washer drilled to accept the spring and bolted to the adapter. You can see the rod where the actuating fork is attached at bottom right.
Back Into The Chassis
After a coat of red engine paint, the engine/transmission slipped easily back into the frame mounting areas, thanks to our previous careful measurements and fabrication of the rear mount. We tightened the bolts and nuts on the mounts and turned our attention to the engine in preparation to a test-run.
So far the engine was still a "short block," meaning the heads, intake and distributor weren't installed. That's where we will start in next month's update. Our plans are to assemble the engine and get it running.