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Awesome as always! I really like the way you think things through.
 
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Discussion Starter #1,423

I started making clearance between the cover and the tower brace. Using a large heavy bumping hammer, like a oversized fender hammer, to invert the ridge downwards. This hammer is also referred to as a 'Donkey's Dick", for obvious reasons.


I'm using a small beater bag hooked over a T stake. Refining was done with the Fairmount wide dome dressing hammer. FAIRMOUNT® Wide Dome Dressing Hammer Wood Handle


Clearance is a lot better than it looks in this picture.


I thought I would match the pressings for the extra two mounting holes. I wanted to see how far I could get. Can see it is pulling the flange in so needs more stretching still, but worried it would get too thin.


I cut and added some material in the end. In the factory pressing dies, the material would have been pulled from the top downwards. So I went with my original plan to cut some slots at the start.


Quickly formed it over one of my old blacksmith stakes using the rounded hammer in the background I bought from Peter Tommasini. Can see that it needs about 6mm-1/4" strip added.


A bit more dressing work and it will be done.


With the extra bolt hole pressings it looks more like the 426 HEMI covers from the 60's rather than the 50's ones with the script. I wonder if the hole spacing also matches on the later ones?


I could have also done with the later covers corner clearance as well for my steering shaft boot. It was also cut to clear the top of the rear coil pack as can't lift high enough on this side due to the AC lines above it. I want the covers easy to fit and remove without disconnecting anything.


The factory half covers also have no end on them. I folded the edge over to remove the sharp edge. I have also welded on the tabs that hold the top of the cover on with the fuel rail screws.


The end of the mounting studs need their thread chased as the nut that is on there is fused to it. The studs are also captive so can't just take them out without removing the whole covers, coils and spark plugs! So I cut the handles off an old die wrench and welded it to a pipe socket. This way I could have different length pipes depending on what clearance I needed.


The thread is 6mm with a 1mm pitch. I just ran the die on the three bottom ones that I was using to mount the covers on.


You cannot see once mounted the end cutouts even when looking directly from above. One side done and onto, hopefully, the easier side.
 

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Discussion Starter #1,424

Checking clearance to the oil filler neck on the other side. Looks like just bending the flange out of the way should do it.


Plenty of clearance to the tower brace on this side and will just have to bend the dipstock tube out a bit.


I tried just pressing the stock hole pressings without flattening it first, and it didn't work as the sides were too vertical. So I carefully hammered them flat first before using the dimple die.


Looks more fitting dimple died as ties in with the other parts I have done in the engine bay.


On this side I have to move the centre pressing as well. This is because that pressing is 12mm-1/2" off centre, which worked perfectly on the other side, but on this side it is in the wrong direction. I wont be cutting a vertical slot on that one as the extra material is already there, just in the wrong place.


Can see how I have moved the extra material along like a wave to where I want it.


All three now done and a lot quicker than the first try.


This side the only cutouts were for the oil filler neck and to clear the very back of the valve cover. The covers are slightly shorter than the Gen 3 Hemi, but having them sitting level at the front gives much needed room at the firewall end for the harness to run.


You have to admit that it looks a lot tidier on the left.


Both sides covered makes the engine look more 'muscular'.


Eye level shot.


I also put nuts and bolts into the unused original mounting holes. I have some stainless dome, or acorn nuts on the way for all the cover bolts.


Oil filler looks like it was made for these covers.


Tower brace back on again.


I do have this early 1900's Overland running board pressing that I could put over the three dimple died holes? Willys bought Overland in 1908 and it became Willys-Overland in 1912. From 1912 to 1918 it was the second biggest car producing company in the USA, only second to Ford! Overland script or leave the dimple die holes?


Quality control inspector doing her job.
 

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Checking clearance to the oil filler neck on the other side. Looks like just bending the flange out of the way should do it.


Plenty of clearance to the tower brace on this side and will just have to bend the dipstock tube out a bit.


I tried just pressing the stock hole pressings without flattening it first, and it didn't work as the sides were too vertical. So I carefully hammered them flat first before using the dimple die.


Looks more fitting dimple died as ties in with the other parts I have done in the engine bay.


On this side I have to move the centre pressing as well. This is because that pressing is 12mm-1/2" off centre, which worked perfectly on the other side, but on this side it is in the wrong direction. I wont be cutting a vertical slot on that one as the extra material is already there, just in the wrong place.


Can see how I have moved the extra material along like a wave to where I want it.


All three now done and a lot quicker than the first try.


This side the only cutouts were for the oil filler neck and to clear the very back of the valve cover. The covers are slightly shorter than the Gen 3 Hemi, but having them sitting level at the front gives much needed room at the firewall end for the harness to run.


You have to admit that it looks a lot tidier on the left.


Both sides covered makes the engine look more 'muscular'.


Eye level shot.


I also put nuts and bolts into the unused original mounting holes. I have some stainless dome, or acorn nuts on the way for all the cover bolts.


Oil filler looks like it was made for these covers.


Tower brace back on again.


I do have this early 1900's Overland running board pressing that I could put over the three dimple died holes? Willys bought Overland in 1908 and it became Willys-Overland in 1912. From 1912 to 1918 it was the second biggest car producing company in the USA, only second to Ford! Overland script or leave the dimple die holes?


Quality control inspector doing her job.
 

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Discussion Starter #1,431

I got a lot of comments about what I was going to do with the original spark plug holes in the covers, even after I turned them into dimple dies. I had originally planned to run the wire covers that came with them.


But they didn't fit on the other side under the brace or the brake booster. Also I don't like how tall they are anyway when looking end on.


Thought about it and decided I could, with some work, overcome the main problem with the brace. I carefully, with heat and a press, reduced the arc of the brace back leg so it came out wider. Then welded it back on its mounting plate further back. It also meant I didn't need that clearance scallop anymore, so popped it back out for a much cleaner look.


To solve the too tall look when viewed end on, and fix the clearance problems still left, I thought I would shorten their height. I started by cutting off the flanges.


Then tipped a new flange higher up. I had to use a smaller lower die just to fit the covers over to start the bend.


I cut the angled end off where the wires normally exit and folded a 90* bend instead. Still leaving the end open so any heat that builds up can escape. There won't be much as the cover sits up about 50mm-2" along the intake side.


I treated the parts with some phosphoric acid which I will go into a bit more soon.


Now it looks just as good end on and solves all my clearance issues.


I had already cut off the original threaded standoffs, so welded on some stainless nuts instead. Went up a size so I could use these stainless countersunk screws I had which fitted nice and flush.


Does look more finished now.
 

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At first I was wondering if the holes needed to be filled to look finished.
I agree, it has a much more finished look now. I love it.
 

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Discussion Starter #1,434

While I had the grille out, I stripped the rest of the front clip apart as well so I could come up with a better way of preserving the bare metal. The lanolin I have been using was good enough for storage, but not if I want to run for a few months on the road.


Doing some research I saw that many were using phosphoric acid to de-rust, clean and preserve bare steel. I'm using Ranex Rustbuster by Bondall which I picked up at Bunnings. This also is phosphoric acid based.


This is what it looks like after first spraying it on and keeping a thin coat wet for 20 minutes before wiping it off with a dry cloth.


I had some consistency problems and got a chalky appearance in places. It does take some technique to keep a thin even coat. Leaving it too thick left it feeling like sandpaper. Re-wetting it with more acid and using steel wool and then wiping with a cloth got rid of any build-up, especially if there was a run and it dried, it would be black and sticky. Some just apply it using a cloth soaked with the acid and have good results. It shows all the weld lines up too. Not sure why the weld has reacted differently to the acid etch?


I actually tried some lanolin over it and it looked far more even after applying it.


This was my test piece and shows how it cleans and turns the rust black as it turns it into iron phosphate. Using steel wool while wet really helps clean it even more so.


This is my outside workbench I have topped with ceramic tiles. Discoloured over the years with grinding dust that has rusted onto the surface. It would not clean off with scrubbing, but where some of the acid has spilt, you can see the clean grey tiles underneath again. I cleaned the whole bench with it after this as it was listed as one of its uses. Bondall Ranex Rustbuster


To give an extra protection layer, and make the finish after acid treatment better, I am using Ankor Wax which is very popular with the patina crowd. I bought it directly from the importers. Bus n Bug - Specialist VW Trimmers


I tried a different way of applying it to normal. I wanted to use a foam brush but was out of them. So used a normal paintbrush but then made the coat even by running over it with a dry foam roller. Just kept working it until it was clear and even. The left side is just after applying it and the right side after running the roller over it straight away to remove the brush marks. I'm leaving it like this and left it to dry for 3-4 days. Normally they recommend buffing it to get a satin or even a gloss finish from it. Water will bead on it and can be removed before painting just using kerosene. Re-apply when the water stops beading, just like a polish. In storage, up to 2 years before needing to reapply.
 

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You might want to investgate a product called Picklex 20. It isn't cheap but is very effective and reqiures less work. I love watching this build and the extreme attention to detail you exhibit. Keep up the great work.
 

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Discussion Starter #1,437
It was recommended to me to use from people 50 years in the automotive and plane panel shaping industries, so has promise for sure. I wont be going out and choosing driving in the rain anyway, but you can't always predict the weather!
 

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Discussion Starter #1,438

My plan has always been these old HEMI covers painted black and painting the intake manifold a aluminium colour for contrast. So I have arrowed all the bits moulded on the stock intake, plus some on the other side you can't see, that I want to remove.


I started just with a cutoff wheel in the Dremel.


The switched to a grinding stone.


Even a tiny sanding disc.


Then the hand sanding going up through the grades. Starting at 180, and you can see the third runner from the left is up to 600.


Even used some 1200. Further than needs to go for painting, but not sure when that will be yet.


Even used some cutting compound by hand and then some headlight restorer. Just cleans it all up a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter #1,439
I'm putting up now what I did a month and a half ago before all the panel treatment and coil covers were done. Just waited until I could complete the write up once the mesh came in. Due to COVID-19, things that used to take 2 days, now take 2 weeks. Things that were 2 weeks, now take 2 months. Let alone anything from China that used to take 2 months!


Let the cutting begin! As I was not happy with the length of the slots, I am shortening them 50mm-2" back to the stock length. I am leaving the rest of the grille longer as need that to fit my radiator size.


Gives you an idea how the sectioning is going to work. I cut along the splice lines of the original extension that I had done.


I would have preferred to section the bead along with the grille slots, but the grille mounting bracket on the back gets in the way of doing it. So cut a slot up the middle of the bead, flattened it, and then rounded the end again with a sectioned piece of pipe.


Filler piece tacked in ready for welding.


As usual I checked to make sure each part of the grille was flat after welding. Can just see it drip down a fraction at the ends of this grille bar.


Made up a dolly from some bar stock and hammered down onto the table to stretch it out.


Now nice and flat again. All of them were checked of coarse.


From the factory, one side of each grille bar is longer than the other making it flat across the back to compensate for the grille angle. As I planned to fit some mesh behind the grille, I need to take care of the fact that the factory didn't press the last bar at each end this way as well. The reason is they needed the material on the opposite side of the slot to mount the radiator cowling. Rather than just adding a thin strip, it is better to add a wide piece, fully weld it, then cut it back to the right width. This controls the welding distortion far better.


The distance above and below the slots is close to the same now, 5mm-3/16" more on the bottom. Not the look I intend to keep though.


I can now adjust the height of the gravel tray until I like the proportions.


Think it is looking closer to the 48 grille above it rather than the 58 grille it started out as, which is what I wanted. Remember it is 2" taller and 9" wider overall with 2 extra slots added to make it the same number as the 48 grille.


A shot showing the various Jeep grille proportions through the years. Think I am closer now with the modifications but wont know until I have the Willys back together again.
 

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Discussion Starter #1,440

I'd been thinking of ways to attach the mesh while keeping it taut. Was not sure if just using tabs welded to the back of grille bars would keep the top and bottom tightly in place. So looking at doing it this way.


The mesh I ended up using was branded SAAS and sold through Autobarn and others. SAAS Body Kit Mesh Black 1200 X 280MM
I prefer this style of tin snips when you need to cut further into a sheet. These are made by WISS and they work like a throatless shear.


I thought it would look more professional if I curved the mesh to follow the back of the bars without gaps.


The mesh was not wide enough for my grille with the extra two slots. I had also ordered one that was, but it had a bit bigger diamond pattern that was less obvious. This one also has a twist so you must flip one side to keep it looking the same when run vertically. Viewed this way gives the most 'screening'.


To make the bends I put some tape down along the edge of the bench to save marking it. Then holding the ruler down, just bent it down using my hands. For the bigger radius curve, I bent it over some pipe.


I made sure the join was behind one of the grille bars. The pieces nest really well and could be held in place with the biggest rivet I could fit through the mesh holes.


I couldn't attach it directly below the grille slots as it would show through the front of the grille. By having it fold at the top and bottom, the fasteners will be less obvious.


I drilled and tapped some 3mm-1/8" aluminium sheet with the holes matching the ones in the mesh. Stainless steel button head screws then screw into these putting tension on the mesh. Worked so well that no additional fixing behind the grille bars was needed.


I ended up flipping the mesh so that the twist in it matched the angle of the grille so there was little obstruction when viewed head on. Also, the airflow now has a straight path. When viewed in front of the radiator it makes a bigger difference and makes it look less vacant. Will make more sense once I get shots of it all back together.
 
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