I got the new 2-blade repro fan. Ironically, it had the same problem as the old fan I had originally planned to use: it would not go far enough down on the tapered water pump shaft for the nut to fully screw on. So I put the nut in my lathe and made it a bit shorter. I also had to take my angle grinder and grind down the front of the water pump casting so that the fan pulley would not rub on it. But after all that was done, the fan worked fine.
Since I had the radiator off the car, I repaired the top mounting bracket, where a piece of it had cracked off. I had to weld on a bit of metal about a half inch on a side and grind it down to match the rest of the bracket. Then I re-installed the radiator and put the newly-painted shell on over it, and now the front of the car looks quite handsome.
I packed up and put away my painting tent- I won’t be doing any more painting until next spring. The next step is to work on getting the new repro fender I bought to fit properly. It will need some metal work in a few places to get it to line up properly with the car.
I painted the radiator shell, and now it’s ready to be installed. It was sort of a pain: I had to mix primer and two different colors, just a half ounce of each, which is as much work as mixing a quart.
I also visited Hershey this year. I picked up a new repro right fender, and a very good original right fender. Hopefully I will make some progress on them over the next several months, and get them painted by next summer.
I decided to replace the radiator fan before installing the radiator shell. I haven’t touched the fan since I got the car, and it is non-original and rusty. It also has four blades, which makes it impossible to remove the fan or water pump without first removing the radiator. At Hershey I got a nice old two-bladed replacement-style fan (the kind that has a single stamping for both blades, riveted to a hub). I bead-blasted and painted it, took off the radiator, and removed the old fan. But for some reason the new fan’s mounting hole was a bit too small, and the fan would not fit properly on the water pump shaft. So on Monday I’ll order one of the aluminum reproduction two-bladed fans, which are supposed to be original-looking and trouble-free.
I got very little done over the summer, since our kitchen was being remodeled, and the garage was full of building materials and contractors’ tools.
But I am in the middle of fixing up the stainless steel radiator shell. It had several fairly deep scratches and a few small dents, and I had to bump out and file the dents, and sand out the scratches with fairly coarse sandpaper. Then I had to go over the entire thing with fine and extra fine wet-or-dry sandpaper, and buff it twice, with emery and then stainless compound. I ended up doing the sanding and buffing about three times, since after the first polishing I could see lots of scratches from the coarser sandpaper that were hidden, but not actually removed, by the finer grades. Stainless steel is a very tough metal that takes a lot of work to sand and polish, and the radiator shell is pretty big.
Once it was polished up all nice, I carefully masked off the painted plain steel inset panel at the top, and bead-blasted the remains of the old paint, without damaging any of the polished stainless steel. I did the masking with heavy duct tape, since bead-blasting does not penetrate it. In the next few days I will prime and paint that panel with the body color, and also paint the lower panel black.
I also fixed up the oval stainless steel “Ford” emblem that goes on the top of the radiator shell. I sanded and buffed it, sprayed it with black paint, and wiped off the paint, leaving paint only in the recessed lettering. After it dried, it looked quite handsome.