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32 Nash 1063 convertible sedan


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Here is the first post of several, on trying to rebuild the original deluxe ''drop down panel'' style rear trunk by using the black standard donor trunk that only had a opening top.


Above pic shows that many decades ago, a prior owner pop-riveted some thin galvanized folded-up metal band completely around the lower rotted edge of the Nash trunk.    Yellow arrow shows that I already had cut off some of that banding to see if the part under the lower hinge was good to use.  It was, and they sandblasted the trunk after, so I can tell the trunk is supposed to be the navy blue like the main body color is. 



I used a grinder to see where the trunk manufacturer might have made any seams.  They spliced the lower hinged panel in an odd place, seen by the brass line below:



I had to make my donor cuts further back. and close to the hinge, due to rot on the Nash trunk sides. It took forever to find equal places to measure from on both trunks to make sure both trunks were cut correctly. Not easy, as I am still worn out from the Jeep project, and trying to triple check everything I do now in very humid weather.


above pic shows that I cut way forward on where I eventually would do the final splice, which I had not yet figured out.  I might have cut there as I also needed to save the reinforcement pieces that get spotwelded all the way to the top on the deluxe drop lid trunk style.  I removed those with a drill and blasted both sides before welding the braces to the black trunk sides.



Here I am trying my hardest to get proper precise scribed lines to hopefully not screw up.  I took way too long but I can't trust myself on some hot tired days.  I had to make angled cuts only because there was a small rotted spot that I could eliminate with these cuts.





Next 2 pics shows the Nash donor piece clamped to the 3 sides of the black trunk.




I did not take pics of getting the dozens of broken seized pieces of the lower hinge halves. Lucky that the long hinge pin was broken at every joint 'tab' which allowed me room/access to free up each 1" piece, and remove them.


Here are 2 pics showing the donor hinge panel on the open, and closed position before welding:




Last 2 pics of this post taken today while working on the decorative aluminum strips to show the trunk opened up and closed  Those strips will take a bigger pic post (soon), as well as showing the folding linkage I had to make to hold up the right side of the top lid, which I did not have.




IT FITS 😱...thank goodness...  Hope all you had a good Forth of July.  Remember, "Yesterday is History, Tomorrow is a Mystery, and Today is the only thing that matters.  That's why it's called the Present."   (meaning a gift)...speaking of which, I don't normally drink, but I celebrated finishing today with a 4 pack of wine coolers. ...and therefore it took longer to do this post 😵







Edited by F&J (see edit history)
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Last post for a while until I finish the trunk job This is the post on the trim strips for trunk.  When I first found that I actually had a donor trunk that I bought decades ago, I always assumed the pitted chromed strips were far beyond repair, but could never come up with a way to make new ones. Also, the Nash trunk was missing all of the strips except one straight one on the back drop lid.




Above pic shows that I did a test on one with coarse and fine files first, then 5 grades of sandpaper, followed by using a pedestal buffer.  I was finding many dings and dents when filing, so I had to find a way to push them out from the thin aluminum.  Below, I had just 2 steel trim clips from the Nash lid, shaped like a T bolt, that I used as a dolly.  The black trunk has aluminum T bolts that won't hold up as a dolly. I slid the strip onto that T bolt to help get dings out before finish filing.  LOTS of very fussy work.




Since I had metal-finished half of one top curved strip as a successful  test, I went on to decide how to shorten the black trunk's straight upright strips to fit the Nash drop panel.  Here below, is where I made a very bad decision. The middle one is the original shorter strip that I assumed was good.  Well, it wasn't, as I found out too late.


Above pic, I knew I had to have enough material left over to make the 2 very short strips under the back hinge.  I  planned on using the sole surviving straight piece from the Nash lid to make the 2 short ones.  I already knew the Nash strips were never chromed, but failed to look closely at it's condition, or realize that the unplated one is far thinner, and after scuffing it with a wire brush, it had rot holes. Below pic:




When I first decided to cut the longer black trunk strips, I was trying to save work by cutting off the tops were there is a notch to fit under each latch.  That notch is far easier to make that trying to make the proper flattened lower end.  If I had known better, I should have cut the small 2-5/16" pieces from the bottom of the long ones, and find a way to flatten the ends on the remaining upper piece.


Here below is an attempt to make a hammerform to flatten the ends. It helped get the basic shape but I still had to do a lot of hand pushing to get a good crease line.





After the panic when I tried finding enough of the Nash strip to make two shortest ones, I barely had enough, but came out OK.  If I hadn't made the mistake of cutting the wrong ends of the longest strips, the leftover pieces would have been long enough.  But since the scraps now had the old notches, they were too short if I cut off the notched tips.  




As if that mistake didn't affect my outlook on the car project, I also messed up much worse when doing a touch up buff on the straight long drop lid moulding.  I just caught the top of the strip on the wheel, and it flew and hit a sharp metal thing. Geez, I was going to take a break after that "quick pass".  It was really bent up, and I really wanted to give up on this car with constant mistakes.  ........ but rather than taking that much needed coffee break, I just had to see if I could save it.  It came out mint, but took close to an hour.


I think I need to rest a few days, or work on something less fussy. I think I'm not going back to the original plywood trunk floor.  I prefer to use welded in 18ga that I have in stock.


I keep forgetting to say that in late summer 2017, I did order and install the new 3:80 rear end gears.  So glad I did not go 3:50 as these old cars with 4:50 to 4:80 ratios made the companies gear UP first and reverse gears to get enough speed.  If I went 3:50, I now can tell I'd have to ride the clutch a lot, in first or reverse.  On flat ground, the Nash will get rolling without touching the gas, it moves fine at idle with the 3:80.

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Nice work on the trunk Frank. Honestly, I couldn't figure out exactly what you were doing with the trunk until I saw the last two pics in the post (one with the trunk opened up, and the other with the trunk closed).........then it all clicked. I've never seen a trunk that the front opened like that, pretty cool!

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46 minutes ago, r1lark said:

Nice work on the trunk Frank. Honestly, I couldn't figure out exactly what you were doing with the trunk until I saw the last two pics in the post (one with the trunk opened up, and the other with the trunk closed).........then it all clicked. I've never seen a trunk that the front opened like that, pretty cool!

Paul, that one with the rear drop panel was only on the ones with no rear spare tire like this 32 small 8cyl with the same body shell as my 6.  To save time, I could have just restored the black trunk, but I'd regret that.




And I forgot to add the pics of the top lid's prop linkage that I had to make, when making this morning's new post:



Above pic shows the one I made, by making a mirror image one, copied from the only one I had between both trunks. The yellow arrow shows a drilled hole that was added to bolt the lid secure, perhaps when it was flat towed from Carlisle back in the 1980's.  I'll weld it up.. 


I did not stop to take pics of how I made it because I got on a good roll and did not want to get distracted.  It went well because I had a piece of same width and thickness metal salvaged from old park benches I had worked on.


Too tired to work yet this morning, but sat outside thinking on my growing lack of motivation.  I have just decided that I will only do bodywork prep on only the parts that are in white on that car above.  They will all be the Navy Blue, and if I can somehow get that stuff in color, then I might have the desire to tackle the rest of it like fenders, aprons, etc... those will be the darker Midnight Blue exactly like when it was built.  I just can't face prepping the entire car right now, it just seems like a lost cause when overtired like I am..


Edited by F&J (see edit history)
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That was a very impressive job Frank. I can also appreciate your lack of motivation. I find that when I've completed a difficult job I don't even want to think about the next one, even though I will have to eventually. It's hard to be creative all the time and a restoration like you've undertaken calls for a tremendous amount of creativity. I don't think people who have never made something (as opposed to just buying things) appreciate how wearing it can be but it's clear that you haven't lost your touch.




Joe P

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First pics are 1932 sales folders showing the huge amount of styles offered for the 1932 second series that came out in late Spring of 1932.  This point in time was the highest pinnacle for the Nash Company, as they went "all in" in the worst year so far in the Great Depression to attract sales in a dying market.   Only GM and Nash showed a profit in 32 out of the dozens of surviving Auto Makers.   



1933 turned out to be far worse for US auto sales, but  it turned around in 34 for most companies.  I can't find my framed 1933 Nash full line up poster, but they offered far fewer models, and that yearly downsizing kept going for Nash since then.


Here is a 1932 folder of the smallest 2nd series. Big Six also known as 1060 models.



I will try to do another post today of what I have been working on for a few days,  the last severe stumbling block that is preventing me from removing the body for final bodywork and paint. It's the rust damaged sill covers that fit below each door. 




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A few weeks ago I decided to try making the missing garnish moulding to maybe give me ideas on how to make new sill covers, or make patch panels to repair them.   I've looked at those covers since back when I made all new steel sills, but never could find an idea.  These are very complicated in design, and are compound curved in many directions and must fit into a recessed shelf that runs all along the tops of the running board aprons.


In 32 many car designers wanted to get away from the boxy looks of straight lines, even at the lower edge of bodies. Sills on many cars like the 32 Ford, had these covers drooped down and hiding the top of the flat chassis,  The backs of the overhanging sill covers on 32 Ford barely clear the frame rails, like credit card clearance, so every part you repair on them needs to be precise.



To make things more complicated on the Nash covers, the floor and plywood sills was swaybacked/ curved downwards when you open the door to look.  So the top nailing flange was curved downwards along it's entire width to fit to top of the sill, but the bottom nail flange was straight to fit the flat bottom of the wood sill.


Even with modern metal shaping tools like the huge Pullmax and custom dies, there is no logical way to make new ones in one piece.  The cross section changes from front to back, and also a slight dogleg bend towards the rear, on the under hanging "return" back up to the nail flange. You'd need to make it in long separate pieces then hammer weld them along 3-1/2 foot lengths.  There is NO room inside to use a dolly for hammering any welds even the lower heat of TIG.


Years ago I even tried electrolysis to derust the inside of the worst one with a long steel anode inside.  That did not do much to the deeply pitted metal and those pits being full of rock hard rust scale.  Blasting would not be able to reach every place because one or both nail flanges were in the way.  That's why I never found a solution.


Well, rethinking more clearly, I knew the top swaybacked nail flange would not work with my flat steel frame sills...so I cut them OFF!  Now I was able to get a clear shot with the blaster, and get it perfectly clean.



Cleaned up:



Can you figure out what I might do next?  LOL.   Sometimes we simply must do something that others see as a hack job. (but the know it all crowd couldn't make a new sill cover EITHER).  Let's say you have a super rare engine block that's badly cracked, and even though you didn't want to settle for a welded up block, you cannot find one and cannot have somebody make one, ....so you make compromises, or QUIT.



On the worst one I had to use screen due to the huge holes.  I had to use heater hose to hold it in place, then fill from the front to get the screen locked in place. then I could fill from the back to completely fill every void to prevent rust.


The best one for the passenger side did not need screen, I used masking tape over the outside and went with filler on back side.  Two thin coats applied with my finger allowed it not to be too thick.



Here they are. The  one on the left is passenger side with just the filler on inside, ready for a thin outer coat.  The really badly distorted driver side on the right shows that it ended up with more filler showing than the other one will have.   That's life, get over it   :)



Test fit of driver side, the worst one, to see if it follows to door edge.  It only had the first coat of filling done here, because I needed to know if it fit, in case I needed to tweak the bends.  There is no way I could get it to stay for this pic.  You can see the rear lower edge needs to go into that running board apron "notch" a bit deeper...it's kind of rotated out, in this view.



Today I will bend and shape the new upper flange plates to replace what I had cut off.  It will take a 90 degree bend on the brake, then the shrinker is needed to follow the outward curve of the door and body, yet sit flat on my new steel sill framing.   These will be spotwelded to the cover so it won't affect the filler.


Then the body can finally come off very soon, then feel like I'm getting somewhere.




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What’s funny is the contrast between Nash and Oldsmobile with 32’ model offerings. Olds only had six models. The 2dr sedan, 4 dr, 4dr Patrician, business coupe (trunk), sport coupe (rumble seat), and the sole convertible offering, the convertible roadster. There were deluxe and standard offerings but only those 6 models offered in 6 or 8 cylinders. Sales in 32’ were so bad that many later year production F32 6 cylinder cars ended up with the 8 cylinder indented firewall bodies. There was probably Aton of parts left unsold. The unique, and now quite rare, fender mounted parking lamps showed up on the 34’ Marmom which make you believe the company who supplied Olds with the lights in 32’ most likely had a ton of units that Olds didn’t take so they looked for another buyer, finding Marmon in 34’.

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Despite the hotter and most humid day so far, I just had to see if I can pull off the last tough fab job in the car,... the sill cover mods and getting correct gaps. First thing is to bend the new upper flange for a flat sill, to replace the original nailing flange I cut off that fit the swaybacked wood sill.



Bending 18ga at 42" wide on a box and pan brake needs muscle I don't now have,  I should have gone with 20ga, but the local steel fab shop is closed today.  Original is 19ga, typical on older cars.


Now I need to use the shrinker to make it curved, to follow the door curve and R/B splash apron curve.   I first tried two spots 2" apart in center as a test to see how tough it might be, because I had to go with 1.5" width at center to reach the metal sills I installed years ago.  That 1.5" width is like the limit for this type of stretcher if using 18ga.  I was shocked that it did nothing! 



So I decided to stand all of my weight on the handle, and to take the first bite out at the edge, then go in a bit deeper for a total of 4 bites at each chalk mark.  I've always been thin, but lost even more weight due to the last 3 years, so I had to balance one foot on it, and bounce 3 times per bite.  In this weather, it kicked my butt good, as I had to squat down every time to move the metal in deeper 4 times per chalk mark. But it was finally going better...


Above pic shows the new piece above the yellow line, and the Nash sill cover below that line.  The yellow line is placed over that black gap void that I need to close up precisely.


Above pic: Looking down at the new piece from directly above it, and I hope you can see that the once big black gap void, is now very close. I ended up fussing hard to get it perfect. I have to, because it is the only way I can possibly get the outer sill cover to stay exactly where it must be, for tack welding the cover to the A and B pillar with the damn door open to do it. 


This drove me nuts, as I'd close the door, then fit the sill cover perfect for nice lower door gap, then try to hold it while opening the huge door, to then grab the mig and tack it. I gave up after cutting the tacks back off after 4 to 5 times, and each trial took forever to refit.


What I ended up doing, was to close the door, then fit the sill cover perfectly, trying to make sure that the hidden inner tacking flange felt like it was up tight on the bottom of the metal sill framing.  I had to keep it rotated to feel it hit that hidden sill bottom, yet not too much to ruin the door gap.   Then I  tack welded the sill cover ends right to the raised bead on cowl bottom, and to the bead on the quarter panel.  That worked good. Those exposed tacks can be easily trimmed off with a die grinder thin cut off disc later.


Above, first tacks, front gap good, back of door gap too wide, cut that rear tack and try again.  I did get it parallel finally, so now I need to final prep the new flange piece to accept a flush lap spot weld seam.  I use a air flanging tool that make a shallow step to have the edge of the Nash sill cover to fit in:



Below is the lap being set up as test fit:


Above, very tough to see, but the very tip of yellow arrow lands on the edge of the new panel, and sitting great in that flanged step like it should.


I will try to explain clearly... I said that the bottom nailing flange on the Nash sill cover is totally hidden, impossible to get to with body on, to be able to tack weld it to the new metal framing.  But, to get perfect gaps, and keep them perfect, and then lifting the body off, I must find a way to make sure it won't move under there, while I weld the new top flange on.


I came up with an idea back when I cut the old flanges off to be able to sandblast....  I had to go through every step I've shown, but not weld the new flange on yet.  If the flange piece is still off, I knew I could fit the Tweco mig tip which is thinner than Miller tips, to be able to do a few tacks on that hidden lower flange "from the inside".  Those tacks will hold it all perfectly until I remove the body, then I can do proper welds from the undersides, but still have unchanged gap on the door.


Above pic pointing to the inside of the lower flange of the Nash cover, now perfectly tight against the bottom of the steel framework sills.  Tack along there just a few spots, and then I can weld on the new flange piece on top.  I will brush paint it all inside before I weld the top piece on.  


ok, last precise tweaking of the Nash cover with a great tool my Dad had, I am tapping down one spot to make the bottom door gap dead perfect. 


It was a 6" area, with a raised spot, but barely off by 1/32"   You simply have to shoot for perfection when gapping a car.  "Close enough", is something to avoid thinking, as you will regret it later, more so depending on colors.  Black hides minor gap issues, Light colors show even the slightest of issues.



This took a good part of the day, but it worked, and the extra time is a good trade off.



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Getting a bit closer to be able to remove the body for final bodywork and painting, as today I cut out the biggest area of rot that this car ever had, but not really big at all.


This pic below shows I already cut it out, and I am rough fitting the new 18ga piece. The yellow arrow points to the first thing I had to make, a bending profile gauge to take with me when using the brake or a 1890s amazing multi purpose wood workers vise that can grip weird shapes.    Also below, the panel is still not curved to follow the side curve of body and running board apron.  Also, I left the patch lower bead longer at the back, and will modify that after the patch is tack welded in place.  You can't drive yourself nuts trying to make it all at once.


The profile gauge was copied from passenger side which is still good.  It took a long time to get it shaped correctly but it would be harder to make the new panel without it.


Patch welded up, and I did finish the end cap on the lower bead....and the piece laying on the tire is a mickey mouse patch that the car flipper tacked on to hide the hole.  It was super thin galvanized ductwork metal.  You can also see the notch/stepped upper part of the R/B apron in this view below.  They did that to let the outer edge of body droop down lower than the top of frame because all designers were trying to make 1932 cars look lower and more swoopy appearing.



Pics of paint colors which never come out like seen in person. The darkest blue can look black in person on small areas like the upper bead, but the same dark blue on the top of fender that I already removed,  looks pretty close to the medium blue.  It will look great if I can finish this. 


photo above taken without flash to try to get the dark blue color showing better, but then the pic gets blurry without flash....and now this makes the medium blue look lighter than real life.  The other pic is closer on the medium blue.  As I said years back, the brake drums still had the medium blue and the wire wheels were the dark blue.....fancy schmansy, eh?


In awful heat/humid late day yesterday, I took all of the last boxes and parts out of the car so I can install 18 ga floor panels.  That will be a fast easy job as it's about 4 x 5 feet max.


My son showed up later and he will help late in the weekend to lift it with the Oliver OC3 dozer bucket loader, while I guide the body up & back, past the steering column with just it's wheel removed.  I've had to take steering boxes out WAY too many times.  LOL


And no, I am not repainting the frame, it was done maybe in the 60s and just power-washing will be fine.


I keep forgetting, the top will be black even though I'd bet it was the tan.... "natural" canvas I think it's called?  Black for the biggest reason is FREE. Next paragraph below.  Other reason is it should make the top look smaller, and not stick out like a sore thumb?


I was hired on a rush job a couple years back, for a Mortgage foreclosure clean out company that wanted all the cars and metal removed while they handled the house contents.  My friend got the job of removing cars, trailers, tractors, metal stuff, and he had several workers there and several of his trucks.  But I was hired to back my shorter car trailer in on a wicked busy road, then make a near impossible tight hard turn to back up perfectly straight to a car with a locked column, cut tire on the front and had wheel locks, etc.  And had to be done fast. I did it and went fast. 


Parked my load along the road, and the main crew started giving me everything under the sun from the shop. Two huge rolls of black canvass looking stuff, one is waterproof one not.  LOTS of "yards" of both, and I can barely lift the rolls.  I think the waterproof one is Sunbrella for awnings, boat roofs, etc..  No lie, I've lost my fear of sewing with my 80 year old singer walking foot machine.  I did the 1946 Jeep seats with no patterns, made the curves without bunching up, and look nicer than the mail order ones fit.


Also was given a table saw with add on router table, a Sears free standing wood band saw, and tons of tools and supplies.





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Before pulling the body off for paint, I have to fab the new steel floors.  I can't skin the floors until I finalize the perfect locations of the 2 original front seat mounting points, as well as make access door for the master cylinder, etc.


This is a really busy, confusing pic below,... I'm trying to explain why this part of the job is taking far longer than I hoped for.  Color coded to help follow along:  Warning, this is far more "wordy" for most readers, but it might help somebody avoid mistakes in the future.


Above, if you had followed since I started this thread, you know that this car was too far gone to restore.  I had nearly none of the original wood, so I went with steel framing like the factory started to do on the original all-steel cowl framing to support the very long, heavy doors.


When I first built the thick walled main floor sills and cross ties to help get the body panels and doors to fit together, I used new square tubing marked with blue X's.   I needed that one structural cross tie as far forward as possible, but leaving room for the transmission and free-wheeling unit.


I started 50 years ago with 1929/1930 Mopar Roadsters that had ladder frames which allow far too much body flex on open bodies.  I wanted this car rock solid, and it will be super strong.  The 32 second series Nash went to a massive X frame you can see here.  They used plywood body sills, so the X frame made up for that very flexible plywood.


Back when I got further along, I had to put in two thin wall cross ties (marked with yellow X's) to give a spot to C clamp the drivers front seat in.  They were only tack welded as it is tough to know the perfect spot for the final seat locations on an unbuilt car.  What I did not realize then, was that the two original folding seats do not share the same floor mounting bolt patterns (marked with yellow circles)  The driver seat has sliding adjusters, the typical 2 door sedan passenger seats rarely have tracks like this one also lacks.


Because I've been yard driving the car more that I had back then, I realized that the driver seat was too far forward.  During this week, I made the passenger seat mounting first, by deciding to just leave the 2 seat cross ties as is, but add open bottom channel steel extensions which are the light gray metal above.   I screwed up. >  I had the passenger seat all mounted, then went for the driver seat location.... 


I used to be 6 feet tall when younger and my son is at least 6-2, so when I built the 32 Ford, I planned for that and that seat adjuster bolt hole mounting is in the perfect spot for "both of us".  I kept moving the driver seat back and forth until I had the right spot for both of us when figuring in the travel of the adjuster in the Ford.


But when I bolted down the Nash driver seat to the final welded nuts under drilled holes, then I could see that the passenger seat was too far back compared to where I drive with the driver seat adjusted forward,...it would just look wrong.  The odd thing is that when Nash built the non-sliding passenger seat, they did devise a way to move it 1" forward or 1" back by having 3 sets of holes where it's steel floor brackets are bolted to the plywood seat bottom base.  So, I moved the passenger seat to those forward-most positions, but it still looked too far back.


The yellow arrow points to the first barrel nut that I had to use, as that wider seat bolt pattern left no room to use another piece of that gray channel that I had room for on the driver side.  Now I had to weld another barrel nut further forward.  Everything is rock solid now when you fold both seats up (to get in the rear seat area) and let the seats slam back down.


Here are the floor skins set in for final fitting yesterday, and got lucky to have my son stop by to meet a buyer for a tractor he stored here... I had him sit in it, and with the seat slid back, he said "perfect".  :)



BUT, something is very odd about the angle of the original plywood toe board angle!   When I spent tons of time sitting in the driver seat to find the right spot for me, when I pushed the clutch down to the floor, I had to hyper-rotate my ankle to get the clutch all the way.  The back of my lower leg ached??  Old age I wondered?...Well, my son had the same exact feeling in his leg, but he said it's just the last inch or so, and that most cars won't need the pedal "to the floor" to shift...  I will use an antique woodworkers angle measuring tool today to compare the toe board angle on the 32 Ford.  If I have to, I will alter the Nash toe board angle.


Lastly, as if you hadn't had to read too much already... The Nash used just one metal floor piece shown with red X in first pic.  I'm glad it survived, as they must have needed steel to have such big holes for the shifter and left hand E-brake handle slot. The white #1 and 2,  ... #2 is the oiler flip cap for TOB, and the #1 is a bigger hole for clearance of the starter housing on the original plywood toe board.  <Odd to see that, but I'd bet Nash was also fighting that poor toe board angle?



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Yesterday morning, I finished welding the floor in.  My main goal before Autumn is getting the main body off and in paint.  I have to keep focused in doing only work to the body shell that cannot be done safely after the shell is in paint.  Meaning any welding or grinding.


The doors need more things welded due to the wood being replaced with steel framing. So I started with the driver side door,  I made the missing top garnish moulding a few weeks ago, but there is no longer a place to screw it to.  I went with a strong but simple idea of 4 short pieces if 1/2" square tubing I had.  I needed a machine thread on the top of each one for the chromed flathead garnish screws, and I used square nuts that fit into them snugly.  I recessed those nuts down a bit, so that the underside of the countersunk dimples on the garnish would not bottom out before the garnish is tightened down to be able touch the square tubing.  I cut a slot in the tubing to weld to the sides of the nut.


Shown below are the red colored garnish support tubing stands that are welded to the white colored horizontal square tubing that supports the door guts. The upholstery panels also now will supported at the tops of doors by fitting against these stands.



Above pic, if you look closely, you can see that these long doors needed TWO inside door handles, so that rear seat passengers can open the door.  The window winder handle is in the middle.  I was very fortunate in getting these nice original correct handles from a guy my age who joined the HAMB site just to offer his leftover pieces from his 20 year build of a 32 Nash 1060 4dr sedan street rod.  (Previously, I once purchased a pile of broken handles from ebay, as then I would at least have casting patterns).  He also had a full set of gauges and speedo, most of mine were missing but his all have one bullet hole in each one.  At least I have something to work with.  Then I got lucky as he had a spare inside door release control for my passenger door that was missing.  It just needs a longer flat control link.  PS, small world as that guy lives in Oregon, but in Oct 2018 he called to arrange a visit at my place to see the Nash...get this...his girlfriend was from here, has family a mile away from me,  and she was going to some Connecticut medical school reunion.   


Here is the garnish tightened up, running true and solidly mounted.  I had to dig through many boxes to find the short vertical garnish that is shown taped to the upper door post with white duct tape to make sure the horizontal garnish mates to it properly.



One mind game that helps when working on an obscure car that is so tough to find parts for, is to be grateful for what is not missing, rather than being depressed on what is missing. If I have just one of something, but need the other side, at least I can copy it.


The ebay seller years ago that I got the broken handles from was sorting and grouping parts left behind by her father who was restoring 32 Nash first series cars.  She knew nothing about cars but said she tried to offer box lots to speed up getting rid of the bulk.  So, I had to watch her auctions over a month, and I bought what I could if the box lot gave me what I needed.  One part I was thrilled to see, was the original service tag in nice condition. It's held to the removable A pillar metal cover with very tiny rivets which I'll make from brads. Mine was missing. The holes line up so it is correct.




Back to being grateful; Years ago I heard that the original first Connecticut owner of this car who flat towed it back from Carlisle in the 1980's, still had a milk crate full of small parts.  I was missing all the window regulators, door latches & dovetail wedges, door controls, etc etc...  One part I had trouble figuring out what it was for is shown by the yellow arrow below.  It's more intricate than is shown in this view but I have both! It caps off the top of the door post and the vertical garnish which was also in that crate. I also have both of these short garnish too.




Pretty hot weather but shop stays ok with doors closed.  I felt like I got a lot closer to pulling the body off, so I will start on the passenger door and sill cover today.  It's supposed to be even hotter, but I'm getting my drive back, ....I think.... I hope...



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Thanks, I just came in for a needed coffee..  Putting steel in these Nash doors was made Sooo much easier because they used a 100% steel cowl and A pillar hinge post, then carried that heavy 1/8" steel to the entire front edge of the door to support the "once very heavy, extra long doors".    So, once I took care of any bent hinges and got the cowl to door gap perfect, the framing of the door went good as I had something very stable to weld to up front.


I am still on that door this morning, I forgot to add a tab to hold the bottom of the rearmost vertical window track guide as well as weld some tabs on the perimeter to have places for those spring wire door panel clips. 


When I spotted these things I had missed late yesterday (maybe heat-overtired), I was thinking that I'm glad that I've worked with so many dilapidated prewars, and being through all of this each time.      Those seemingly minor things are what a first timer would likely not think to do, or even know of the need,  until final assembly when it's all in paint (before realizing what you didn't think of..) 


Just before my break now,  I could not help but notice that the door looks SO complete now with garnish and chrome glass frame at the door top, compared to a sort of empty shell a few days ago... this helped me see that there is some hope of seeing the car finished.  (and all the loose parts boxes are not as full). 


Geez, I even wish I could make a door panel and sew it up today to see what the door will look like, but I have to focus on my goal of paint first

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Frank, I like the steel framing but is it possible it will add too much weight to the body? I wonder what the difference is in weight between the solid wood and the steel tubing. It will certainly be solid - probably a lot more solid than it was originally.

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1 hour ago, JV Puleo said:

Frank, I like the steel framing but is it possible it will add too much weight to the body? I wonder what the difference is in weight between the solid wood and the steel tubing. It will certainly be solid - probably a lot more solid than it was originally.

They normally are lighter,  the first one I ever did in the very late 1970s was this 1930 Desoto K roadster.  This car was made from leftover body pieces from DeS, and the rear body was actually 29 Ply which is the exact same part.  This body was framed totally with very thin wall 1.5" square tubing.  The body was a lot lighter than the other K roadster I still had with original wood.


The "3 cars pictures" was around 1980 at the annual (Rockville, CT est. 1959) Ty~Rods Auto Club picnic, and my roadster and the 348 powered T-bucket were Ty~Rods club cars, and the 32 Ford was the late Bob Juliano who founded the Juliano's Interior Products supply place.  The last pic was at some regional Street Rods Nationals in Massachusetts around that time.   I actually could afford full rechrome back then...$900 for all of it not counting the wheels...some place in Vermont so I took it all there in person.  No, that's not my ex sitting there, wrong hair color.   


That car made me despise roadsters, I tried using it for commuting but even in summer, it was too cold in the early AM, too windy, noise buffeting, etc.  I went to conv coupes/roll up windows after that one.


Back to your question:

The Nash might be the same weight or only slightly more/less, because when I wanted to get started framing the main sills one day, the local steel fabrication place only stocked very heavy wall 1.5" square.  I went with it as I ''just had to get started THAT day :) '' .... without ordering, and if I special ordered there, you must then take/pay for full 20 foot lengths. The rest of the framing is all very thin wall tubing, and far lighter than the wood components.


  I know I was definitely thinking of added weight that day, even as it was only used on the main sills, but now I'm glad I did.  I will be able to pull the body with the dozer bucket loader with doors still on, and not worry about tweaking the subframing no matter where I lift from.  I know it's insanely strong, because when I was just doing that sill cover, I tried prying up the rear of the body (just needing 1/16") by only removing two body/frame bolts, and it would not even flex until I took all of the bolts out on that side of body!   I will take pics of the lifting.


BTW, 1.5" seems to be the normal sill thickness on this age, at least the ones I've done so far, have been.



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A very wordy post on how to repair stripped window regulator teeth on a car that no repros or used ones are available:


Both door window regulators had badly stripped gears.  Dang, I fixed the driver side many years ago but did not take pics or post it...so it did not get off to a good start.   Back then, I went to the NOS parts warehouse in Palmer Mass to show my regulator so Mr.Pease might have a gear on some other NOS regulator.  I also was missing both coiled window assist springs on that side.


Above pic, He went through his selection of NOS and showed me a different type of twin gear/twin arm regulator that had both exact  springs I needed, but the 2 big gears were larger diameter, and the middle gear was slightly smaller than my big gear, BUT >>> they had the correct tooth profile.  I figured I'd cut out a donor section, rebend the curve, and be done.  This pic shows that I already robbed both springs, and in the lower left, you can see I cut a section of teeth out years ago.


That's where I made a big judgement error, because the middle gear from this NOS reg was also cut by me for a section, and it was in a parts box.  For some dang reason, I was convinced that I must have tried the smaller gear section first, but then went with the section from the larger one. 


Ok, so after fighting hard in hot weather for maybe 2-3 hours of tack welding/repositioning the section, over and over, It simply would not mesh in every spot??  Finally I tried a recurved section of the smaller gear and it went perfect!  Check the tooth fit in the new section below, perfect.


Above pic, arrow points to a very small hidden gear that is attached to the window crank handle.  You can follow the gear train to see how much gear reduction that was needed to lift those heavy, wide, steel framed door glasses. The 2 big gears both have a lift arm attached, to lift the glass frame.  You can see the new section welded but not ground down yet, but tooth fit is great. Also on left, the first section that would not mesh in all locations, and the smaller donor gear.


Now getting even more wordy if you want to know about cutting NEW gear teeth like I once looked into.  A machinist selects a cutter to put onto a horizontal milling machine.  What I did find out years back on the first Nash regulator repair, is that the cutter does not cut the tooth shape, it is sized to cut the notch between each tooth.  As I have a horizontal miller, I researched for days on this stuff.  You first determine the tooth pitch which is kind of the size of said tooth.......


But, there are something like 7 to 11? different cutters for any tooth profile/pitch you have!   Think about that groove between each tooth as the gear diameter changes from small to big,, or think of a flat toothed bar like rack and pinion on a free standing drill press table lift.  That tooth groove shape gradually changes for all of the above.  There is a chart to show how machinists select the correct cutter online.  That chart gives the maximum range in gear diameters for each different cutter.  It got too complicated by trying to then find that precise cutter on ebay, so that's why I could not cut an entire new gear. 


OK, so why did one wrong diameter donor slice work perfectly, yet the other wrong diameter slice would not?  It's due to what the chart is about.  My first wrong section was beyond the maximum diameter to have the same correct grooves between teeth, but the smaller donor gear WAS in the "Min/Max specs" for having the same groove that I needed.  This stuff we just did not learn in shop class.


I will do a second post soon to explain what goes wrong on regulators, why a certain gear gets stripped but not it's mating gear, and what to look for to make sure it won't fail again.

Edited by F&J (see edit history)
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One way to make new gears would be using a water jet cutter.  You could make a computer generated pattern and have it cut very inexpensively.  I just had this done on some smaller parts and it worked great.  Since these gears are flat steel, this approach would be ideal.

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Late yesterday, I finished fabricating all of the right door brackets to hold the regulator and door controls, and an adjustable stop to prevent the back of the door glass from going up too far.  Tedious fussy work to have the door glass fit properly to the convertible top which is entirely home-engineered/fabricated.  I had nothing to go by when building the entire top framing.


Very late in the day, despite brutal hot weather, I wanted to try to come up with something to hold a rubber seal against the vertical rear window edge. All I could see in pics of 32 small 8 convs that share the same body, is that the seal retainer was painted steel. Shown in both cars below as the lighter body color vertical piece behind the door glass chrome frame rear edge:



Looking for your opinions....  Does it seem odd or distracting that the lighter body color goes up vertically on that rear glass edge as well as going up the windshield post?  That has always stuck out like a sore thumb to me.  (both of these cars have other paint layout details that are not original, so I have no idea how the beltlines were originally separated)


Also does the darker color part of the horizontal door beltline seem a bit narrow because there is too much of the lighter color above it?



Check out the beltline color separations on these two eight cyl 32 conv coupes.  Both are painted differently, and the maroon one might be original paint.  The gray car door beltline under the glass, does it look too heavy?  then look closely at the maroon beltline with some maroon above the beltline, does that separation look more authentic/less distracting?




The reason I am asking about paint separations, is I that I'll need to know at some point soon. 




I finished the day by trying a short piece of 1/2" square tubing with a slit cut into it, to hold a Model A rubber weather stripping I had here. It fills the 5/8" vertical gap behind my door glass to the folding top framing.   The colors are disgusting below, but it's all I had in spray cans to help me visualize a change in how I may plan to separate the colors on the belts. 



What I have done differently compared to the first two convertible sedan pictures, is to only use the lighter body color on just the smaller area of the belt.  This will eliminate having the lighter color going up vertically at windshield posts and at rear of glass.  Also, it makes the darker part of the beltline larger, but not too large like the gray convertible coupe?







We cannot always use sales brochure artist illustrations as being correct, but the one below from 32 second series 6 cyl like mine, sure looks like they only used the lighter color like I have tried.      (BTW, my top will be black as I already have free material)



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2 hours ago, John_Mereness said:

I thought you may like a few more pictures - the car belonged to friends at other end of same neighborhood (he had two interestingly enough):

You have no idea how important those interior pictures are to me,  I have searched for years to find out if there was any wood-graining, and needed to know the placement if the rear armrests (that I only have one steel inner backbone of, but easy job to make the other).  I don't see a rear ashtray and one small one came in my crate of parts. 


I knew I read someplace that this owner had 2. I wondered if the other one was the one from the Bools estate?  That car was owned by you I am pretty sure, but was it a 32 or 33?  I know Bools was originally wood wheel when first discovered in NYC boroughs, and I think it was you who said you traded your wood wheels from the Bools car for a friends wires?  If your friend with this gray one that had another, and if it was not the Bools one, can you tell me anything about it?  I try to keep track of such things.




2 hours ago, John_Mereness said:

And, yes, I agree with AJ, keep the vertical moldings in dark without the extra bling. 


59 minutes ago, JV Puleo said:

Frank, a third endorsement for keeping the vertical molding dark...

Well guys, when I went in the shop today after first posting about both vertical strips of color..... DUH...the heat or old age?....if I only paint the uppermost panel of the beltline area in lighter color, yes it eliminates the rear vertical strip from the lighter color, but dang, there will still be a very thin vertical strip of lighter paint on backside of the W/S posts.  You can almost see it in the Sales brochure drawing.  I'm going for it anyways.





39 minutes ago, alsancle said:

Did any manufacturer make a bad looking car in 32?

Not that I know of.  I've said it before...the sales were at their worst since them '29 crash and I know all makers simply had to go bigtime in trying to find the few buyers left. 


I also know why I've been a lifelong fan of 32 styling... When I was a young kid around 1962, I walked to see a friend who lived on a dirt road, I was so lucky I went that day, as the oldest boy who had a driver license and was always dragging home free old cars like A's from farms....


.....He had just flat towed home, a free  Black dual sidemounted 32 Chevy sedan cut off as a flatbed pickup.  I got to sit in the back seat of his mothers 56 Ford country squire wagon to tow it up and down that road many times to get it running.  All of the black paint, chrome bumpers, wire hubcaps and hood doors... and stainless were all still so shiny,  and I was hooked on the style it still had.  I was just staring at the nose following the Ford wagon...in awe..

39 minutes ago, alsancle said:

The styling on the 32 Nash is really great

These hot days, w/ late day fatigue, when I wonder if I can somehow keep going, and if I'll ever see it done at my age....I always stop to sit in front, to stare at that nose.  Works every time, just like back in 1962.  :)


Edited by F&J
adding pic (see edit history)
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19 hours ago, F&J said:


I knew I read someplace that this owner had 2. I wondered if the other one was the one from the Bools estate?  That car was owned by you I am pretty sure, but was it a 32 or 33?  I know Bools was originally wood wheel when first discovered in NYC boroughs, and I think it was you who said you traded your wood wheels from the Bools car for a friends wires?  If your friend with this gray one that had another, and if it was not the Bools one, can you tell me anything about it?  I try to keep track of such things.


Bill Bools I believe had owned both cars - this one in grey that I do not recall ever seeing or walked by it and one that was a dark army green like color that was pretty much original, though Bill had done a bunch of upgrade projects on it and then the next owner did upgrade projects as well.  Both cars were then bought by Jack Bertoli and Jack  is still around - Jack had a cancer issue a perhaps three years back and had to change around his focus in cars - aka why the Nash found a new home.   And, yes Jack had both wire and wood wheels for I believe each car (he liked the wood, but realized many people perhaps would want the wire). 

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May I make a suggestion - on Jack's car the luggage trunk was painted a darker green color than the light grey body and personally, I believe that shortens the look of the car - whatever color the main portion of your body is probably worth serious consideration for paint choice for the trunk  so to add some more length to car verses in my opinion "choppiness."

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1 hour ago, John_Mereness said:

May I make a suggestion - on Jack's car the luggage trunk was painted a darker green color than the light grey body and personally, I believe that shortens the look of the car - whatever color the main portion of your body is probably worth serious consideration for paint choice for the trunk  so to add some more length to car verses in my opinion "choppiness."


You are dead on.  There is no need to chop the car by 20% by painting it a different color.

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54 minutes ago, John_Mereness said:

May I make a suggestion - on Jack's car the luggage trunk was painted a darker green color than the light grey body and personally, I believe that shortens the look of the car - whatever color the main portion of your body is probably worth serious consideration for paint choice for the trunk  so to add some more length to car verses in my opinion "choppiness."


8 minutes ago, alsancle said:


You are dead on.  There is no need to chop the car by 20% by painting it a different color.


You and AJ are correct in that thought, because the factory did it your way for likely the same reason. 


Jacks gray car is painted on a non-factory scheme at the rear areas.  The trunk is supposed to be main body color, like I saw on paint remnants on my trunk recently.


Also, there is a barely visible sheetmetal "3/4 length" platform for the trunk which is supposed to be the darker fender color.  Then the rear apron is supposed to be the darker color as well.  I found traces of darker color on these two items on my car recently. 


One thing I'm not sure of at all, is where Jack used both colors on the rear apron where there are 2 scallop shaped recesses. There are no paint remnants on my scallops to tell for sure.



One other thing I learned recently by paint remnants on mine:  The lowest body reveal under door, lower cowl edge, and lower rear quarter is supposed to be the main body color.  Jacks is the darker color, and I believe the white car is also. I will do mine in lighter color, and if it makes the body look taller, that extra  body color height might make the body also look shorter?  It will be easy to repaint later if it looks bad.



One thing I spotted on Jacks sales web page link is that it says all new body wood in 2013, but both doors now have the lower rear corner sticking out a bit.  I think what has happened, is that these bodies use two door wedge dovetail assemblies per side, and both are mounted below the latch.  These have a fair amount of spring tension on the actual tapered wedges which over time, these are pushing out on the wood door framing, warping it. 

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20 minutes ago, F&J said:

One thing I spotted on Jacks sales web page link is that it says all new body wood in 2013, but both doors now have the lower rear corner sticking out a bit.  I think what has happened, is that these bodies use two door wedge dovetail assemblies per side, and both are mounted below the latch.  These have a fair amount of spring tension on the actual tapered wedges which over time, these are pushing out on the wood door framing, warping it. 

Helps to have door panels be removable and have a turnbuckle in doors (my upholster puts snaps on the door frame and then uses mylar and puts the snap head into that - then upholsters - great for when you need to get back into the door) - the force of dovetails and upholstery is pretty strong and does not take long for corners to do just as you described.  You may have an advantage using all steel for your reconstruction. 

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I see the white car has different bumpers and the license plate/tail light is on the right side instead of the left. I assume the license plate and tail light should be mounted on the left. Also, was the right tail light and option or standard? I thought at first this photo could be taken from a negative and reversed but the gas cap and tail pipe are on the correct side.

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6 hours ago, chistech said:

I see the white car has different bumpers and the license plate/tail light is on the right side instead of the left. I assume the license plate and tail light should be mounted on the left. Also, was the right tail light and option or standard? I thought at first this photo could be taken from a negative and reversed but the gas cap and tail pipe are on the correct side.

You have a good eye, you'd make a good show field Judge....


The gray car has the wrong rear bumper which is bowed outwards for a rear mounted spare tire. Also the trunk is for rear mounted spare as it lacks the drop-down rear panel.


The white one was originally from Argentina and is still right hand drive, and as which as you likely know, a single tail light would then be on the right side.


Detailed options lists are seemingly tough to find:  However, I am positive that 60 series Six like mine, as well as the smallest Eight 70 series like those two in my last post, came standard with one taillight.   It seems from sales literature, that all 80 and 90 series came with twin taillights and those are a more modern design / fancier type.


All series came standard with metal tire covers, weather side or rear mounted.  Wood or Wire wheels were buyers choice as standard equipment, at no cost.   External horns were optional and it's odd that neither of those two 70s have them, yet my entry level 60 had them since new. 


 .... From years of searching this very odd body style, it seems like perhaps 50% of all surviving ones are or were from South America!  ...and it surprises me that I've never found any in Europe, being that the style looks very European.  I assume WW2 or other reasons, there are none there now?


^^  Above pic is from late 70s or 80s when this one was just brought back to the USA from South America.  It's a car that was not offered in any original 1933 sales literature I have, or have seen.  It is a 1933 Big Six model number 1123.  I saw the picture of the body ID tag and it's a 100% genuine 1933 2dr conv sedan Big Six car. 1933 small series lost the hood doors, now using cheaper louvers.  Sadly the car was street rodded back then, sidemounts were filled in, parking and headlights gone... (The 33 small eight with this body was still offered in sales literature, though.)







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  • 2 weeks later...

First day back working due to the east coast storm damage.  I lost power Tue afternoon till Fri morning, then 2 more days to get DSL/Internet/landline back.  ...and I'm on a very major main road which normally get priority ....and during a nasty heatwave. Then this led to drinking water shortages, and instant gas shortages from generator usages, etc. Total lack of State DOT or Town DOT assistance..... so, many roads were blocked with trees for days as they did absolutely NOTHING!   My son actually cut out some roads to his place after nothing was done by day 2.    One house later burned to the ground when fire trucks could not get through. But we need to wear masks and social distance "for safety"...


ok..Today. despite the newest heat wave, I decided to try to fix a bent up stainless piece for the grille...Decades ago, the first restorer bashed the trim back out with crude tools, making it harder to fix.





.  Above, the arrows are 3 cracks that I eventually silver soldered after first roughing-in the basic shapes.


Below is a quickly made curved tool from plain 1/4'' steel that I used as a backing tool to help reshape the metal around the oval center hole.  It went a lot better after making this. I clamped the tool in the portable vice which also allowed me to reshape the overhanging edges, by using a variety of hammer shapes working against that stable tool.



above pic also shows that I have already done a lot of pick-and-file work while I was also constantly reshaping all the details.  Nothing looked hopeful at first, but I'd take a break and come back to try again.  Not fun in the heat, but by working outside, I can see better and daylight reflections help with knowing what needs more work.


below; I skipped a few grades of sandpaper grits due to heat frustration, so I do have some scratches left after test-buffing the lower part of the strip. 




It's just been way too hot to try to do bodywork and sandblasting, so I have not asked my son to help getting the body removed. Besides we are both a bit beat up by the storm effects and he lost power longer than I did.    I took the hood and radiator shell off a week ago, as those need to be prepped for painting on the same day that the body shell gets painted...so I'm just doing other things for now, like this repair above.

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On 8/12/2020 at 12:24 PM, JV Puleo said:

Frank, I think you are a sheet metal genius. I'm not sure I would even have attemped to fix that much less succeed.


Agreed, that's an amazing job!  I'm really excited to see the progress on the car lately, thanks for keeping us up to date.

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On ‎8‎/‎16‎/‎2020 at 8:44 AM, Luv2Wrench said:

I'm really excited to see the progress on the car lately,

Progress? ...Well, yesterday was the day that I was regretting....taking the car even more APART.  I knew it would be depressing to see the body off, and the chassis taking up the spare bay.  What I mean is that it feels like I'm going backwards, and the car should be going back together...


My son told me a few days earlier that he was finally going to get a two day weekend in case I needed anything.  So Friday I drove the Nash into the spare bay to get the body ready to remove on Saturday.  The National Weather Service said severe T-storms  likely after 1PM, so I got the car outside and lined up the bucket crawler and set up the lifting straps early.



I then knew I should not try the lift alone as there still were too many obstacles like steering shaft, pedals and shifter.  So I called him and he was at work!  They had a big fire there of the recent storm damage tree foliage/braches that were chopped up intp huge mulch piles. Then that lit up due to spontaneous combustion.  He runs a new D6 Cat dozer at work and they had him working around the clock to push the piles apart for the FD to keep fighting it.


I got lucky when less than 2 minutes later, a local guy who rents spaces here, called to see if I was home. He wanted to pick one of his vehicles up and then offered to help me before the storms (that never came!).  He just is not as good with hand signals or what to be looking for when doing this stuff like my son is.  I had short-chained the body in hopes that I could sneak the bucket under the 7 foot work bay door to set the body on stands.  I should have known better, as the bucket hit the top of the drivers door, but it's barely just a few tiny dings.





Late in the day I used a floor jack and lots of wood blocks to get the body up on stands.  Well, at least now with only the body there in the work bay, it looks like a much smaller project to focus on. 





.....But when I go into the spare bay and see the chassis, it looks like a growing, never ending huge journey..  :(...heaps of once organized parts, piled up everywhere.......


however, this is the first time in 12+ years that both running boards are not piled with useless crap.



As you can see, the overbuilt 1932 new Second Series massive X frame will be rock solid for an open body car,.... and it was blasted/painted way back in the 60s or so. It has no rot repairs or even any pits, so all of that is helpful at this point.




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