Sealing the Front Cowl / Fuel Tank on 1928 – 29 Model A Ford
It’s been some time since I have updated this website and thought I better get back at it. This past summer and fall have been busy and not in the shop. This is what happens, life gets in the way of building a hot rod especially when you have so many other things to do. Being involved with so many things is most likely why there so many unfinished hot rods sitting in garages. I am still determined to get the build completed even though there are set backs in building time. During the spring I made great progress on the 1929 Ford hot rod. Early in the summer my oldest daughter wanted to buy a farm for her counseling/therapy business. Making the real estate deal, banks and mortgages, lawyers, and etc… was a stressful and time consuming. Then of course the flat roof at the top of our old Victorian house decided to become a giant leaky mess. Not being able to find any roofers to redo the roof this was something I took on. So, I ended learning how to install a double membrane roofing system. Early in September we had a severe storm that blew down many trees on our property even taking down a 16,000 volt power line directly in front of the house. To add into the mix, I decided to take a professional development or sabbatical leave from the College till September 2014. During this leave I am learning how to use on-line and e-learning software. Much of the day is spent working on the computer learning and using the Adobe e-Learning programs throughout the week. Now as the heating season is upon us, I also decided that my shop needed to be properly insulated. R40 walls and R60 ceiling will reduce the heating bill in the shop. It looks like things a starting to level out now so the game plan will be to have the 1929 Ford roadster on the road in the summer of 2014. Who said building a hot rod was easy?
During the productive times in the shop working on the hot rod this spring I felt it was time to seal the front cowl, fuel tank, and fire wall on the 29 roadster. When I originally purchased the body, it had a plastic type of welt / seal having a 1/8” bead on the side panels and fuel tank. This is a common product on all 1928 – 29 Model A Fords. On the 1930 – 31 Fords the front cowl and firewall are different but also use this type of welting. I tossed the welting when I removed the firewall to fill all unused holes in the firewall. Not caring much for the look of the welt, I felt a seal that you could not see on these seems would look nicer on my hot rod. Since it was time to align the windshield and dash parts this job needed to be completed first. I always intended to use a foam sealing strip with an adhesive backing available a most hardware stores. So, for $13 I purchased a 3/16” x ¾” x 17’ ( 4.8mm x 19mm x 5.2m) heavy duty foam tape weather stripping. This was exactly enough to seal the fire wall, fuel tank, and side cowl panels. This type of peel and stick product works great. Care needs to be taken in placement of each seal for good placement as you are sticking it down and not to stretch he product.
Once all of the seals were in position, the cowl side panels, fuel tank, and fire wall were all re-installed. Not liking the look of the exposed ¼” bolt heads on the firewall, I decided to add an interesting touch to the hot rod. Using a coupling nut and a regular nut, I was able to mount in the chuck of the metal lathe ¼” x ¾” bolts quickly and grind and sand the bolt heads into a rivet shape. This only took a couple of minutes to do for each bolt.
I used a metal scribe and awl to make hole of the foam seal prior to installing the bolts. All of these riveted shape bolts tightened up nicely when I installed them on the hot rods firewall. Not being able to tighten these newly shaped bolts was a bit of a concern of mine without the hex shape on the bolt head. As it turned out I did not have any problems at all tightening these bolts. Once everything was tightened down making sure at the same time the windshield posts and windshield lined up at the same time, the excess foam was cut away using a very sharp craft knife or scalpel. This method of sealing the firewall, fuel tank, and cowl can be used on any 1928 – 31 Ford cars if you are not interested in the stock or vintage look. The modified bolt heads with the rivet shape can also be easily done on a drill press if you do not have a metal lathe.
Below is a short slide show of what I did to complete this job. Just click on an image to make it larger and then click on the arrows at the bottom left or right of the image to advance to the next image. To close the viewer, just click anywhere on the image.
Tags: 1928-29 Ford cowl, 1928-29 Ford firewall, 1928-29 Ford fuel tank, 1928-31 Ford cowl seal, diy rivets, homemade rivets, model a cowl, model a ford firewall, model a fuel tank, sealing a model a ford cowl, sealing a model a ford fuel tank
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on Thursday, February 27th, 2014 at 3:43 pm and is filed under 1928-29 Model A Ford Cowl.
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