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Assembly thread, 1942 Lincoln Zephyr Club Coupe

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Thanks again for this thread, it has been a huge treat. I know it takes a good bit of extra time to document the work and report it here. I'm sure I speak for others that we think it is valuable time spent. :)

Oh.. and where do you get the clear carpet protector and how long does it last in your cabinet vs. the official glass protectors?

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I get the film at Sherwin-Williams, but it's probably available at the big box stores. It's 24" wide and it lasts a long time. I'm still on the original piece of tempered glass I started with 10 years ago.

The time I put into documenting the project serves to help me plan and the feedback I get saves more time than I spend documenting it.

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The engine needs to have plated head nuts to be authentic. Post-war they used chrome acorn nuts, but pre-war they used Cadmium-plated nuts and washers. The huge nut and bolt warehouse behind my building didn't have anything the right height so I'm blasting and plating 88 original nuts and washers.

I guess my next phase will be making templates for door panels and a trunk lining. Until I get the exhaust I'm pretty much stalled in the engine area.

I still have to bleed the brakes. The missing brake spring is holding that up.

The car came with a full set of stainless trim, professionally polished. These mounts were all identical, but for some reason they were numbered with installation instructions. Huh?


The wide strip above the pushbutton latch simply snaps over the 4 strips. The trim above the window uses spring clips that aren't made anymore. I think I can salvage enough from the stack of moldings and off the parts car..


A trip to the local hardware store netted the perfect size pipe for the new door handles. The chain link can easily be pulled through the center and the soft PVC jacketed rubber tube will be easy to sew to.


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Trim work is so time consuming, but very rewarding to install. There is also trim the comes off the tail light and trim that runs front to rear at the bottom of the car.


The head nuts and washers were time consuming, too, but worth the effort. That's what a flatty is supposed to look like.





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One step closer. Wait for it.


I pulled the plugs, oiled the cylinders and spun it to see if I had oil pressure, just to make sure before starting it.

I finished up the other head nut replacement and torqued the head, intake and exhaust manifolds. Once the head was down tight and there was no chance of leakage at water passages it was time to fill it up. As I expected I had a couple of dribbles at a couple of hoses clamps, but they all went away with a little tightening.

I now have cooling, electrical, oil pressure, and a working temperature gauge. I know I have spark, I could hear little zaps as the plug wires arced against the head. Tomorrow I'll put fuel in it and test the gauge and mechanical and electric fuel pumps.

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Well, I guess I need to rid myself of my RED on RED Corvette, being the arty guy I am, and having won best of show at a very large GM show, and also I didn't know I'm from the wrong side of the tracks. Mother never told me hehe.

Like LIFE really is, there is/are always exceptions to the rule.

IMO a red matching your RED car would be very RICH/STRIKING and contempoary.

I love your build,

Dale in Indy

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I started it this morning. The starter made funny noises, but the car started right up and then went nearly silent. The lifters must have filled overnight as there is just now the normal valve train noises for a flathead. There seems to be no vibration transferred to the body at all. An absolute unknown that is now known. What a relief! It should be even quieter with the fenders on and hood closed.


I have a new Facebook friend that's in the lock business in Buffalo. He's offered to look at my lock problem. The local locksmith quoted hours of work that just didn't seem to be there. I want to put it back the way it was supposed to be. From what I recall the round key fit the glovebox and the trunk. That was so you could give an attendant or service center a means to move your car around, but deny them access to your possessions by you keeping that key. The door keys would fit the ignition. Currently I need 4 keys for 5 locks. I'm looking for new bezels with doors, or new cylinders I can swap bezels off of. Everything works, but the keys are all the same shape. They're just stamped denoting what they fit.


Now I'm down to mechanical details. I'm diligently checking for leaks while torquing bolts and installing cotter pins. These pictures are helpful to me as they make areas in need of touch-up more apparent. Can there be anything more archaic than a transverse front spring and a solid axle? That's chuckwagon technology. Henry Ford needed to be dragged, kicking and screaming into the 20th century. You can see in this picture how the two technologies were melded. The leaf spring assembly attaches to a sub-frame that has a huge rubber mount at each end, front and rear. This effectively isolates the harshness of the ancient technology. It was old-tech, but refined to the best it could be.


I've started taking stock of the interior bits. I have two of everything, but what came out of the '47 just needs to be disposed of. What a sad car. I'm pretty sure the trunk liner and door panels are within my sewing skill set, but the seats and armrests will need to be done by a pro. This car is too nice to be messed up with ugly upholstery.


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Wow, great thread for me. I am in the midst of restoring a 1941 Zephyr Club Coupe. It really is a beautiful body style, and they are very few restored examples around.

I am especially interested in the exhaust system problems. I have an exhaust pipe on the shelf, ready to install in the next couple of months, that came from a well known antique car supplier. Would you share with me by private message where you got the one that was too short?

Beautiful job on a beautiful car!


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When I installed the new pipes before getting it running I could that the length of the pipe isn't so much the problem as the bend about two feet away from the end is over bent slightly which should move the end of the pipe considerably when moved into the proper position.

I'll be making that adjustment shortly.

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In my haste to get it running I forgot to drill burp holes in the thermostats. During the high speed revs, meant to get oil splashed everwhere, the water pressure was so great that it pushed one of the thermostats out of position. Many thermostats come with a smaller hole to allow air to rise up into the radiator. Some modern cars have "burp" ports at the highest part of the cooling system. This will allow for some thermostat by-pass without dislodging the thermostat itself. I supposed they could go at the other end of the hose, too. I went with a larger hole to minimize back-pressure.


I spent the rest of the day installing the tires and building the seat assembly. Once the tires were installed I started it and ran it through the gears. I was so excited to see the tires spinning I forgot to see if the speedometer was working. These are the glides that allow for about 5 inches of movement in the front seat. In some previous life the '42 had a very short driver. Forensically, the witness-marks show only wear in the closest seating setting and show it raised up to the highest level seating in the front.


On the '47 someone made a very bad choice. They wanted to move the seat back without any engineering. The bolt is simply closing up the original hole which is on top of a substantial bracket that's mounted to the frame with big rivets and welded to the floor pan. Had this car been rear-ended the seat would have ripped out of the floor.


The constituent parts of the seat tracks. They were all originally zinc plated. About 95% remained. The pieces were too big for me to replate so a matt aluminum paint was used over self-etching primer.


The seat tracks are ready to reassemble to the seat frame.


Fully assembled and ready to install.


The bottom cushion is removable which allows access for seat height and angle adjustment and allows for the removal of either or both of the transmission tunnel covers without removing the seat.


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I believe I have resolved the issue of the fuel pump control. There is a camp that thinks there should be a relay attached to an oil pressure switch that would cut off the fuel in case of an engine stall or an accident where the engine stops. That's a valid approach. There's another camp that thinks fuel pumps shouldn't be controlled by the ignition switch. This, also, is a very valid concern as the ignition switch is pretty light-duty on most vehicles and can burn up, leaving you stranded, or worse. I think the right way, for me, is to control the pump with a momentary-contact pushbutton switch, kinda like a deadman switch. Since the car has a functioning mechanical fuel pump the electric pump would only be used for a short burst to fill the carb's bowl after winter storage and to overcome vapor lock. I found that when we drove the '33 Continental Flyer across Michigan it vapor-locked twice. A quick flip of the switch overcame the vapor lock and we never missed a beat.

The tunnel cover is held down with heavy-duty star washers to keep it from moving as it would likely creek in the metal to metal contact. The slippery tape will come in handy for this application. The tunnel cover is in two parts so that you can get it out with the seat frame in the car. I installed the .012 tape so that it won't be seen from above or below.


With the seat frame finished it was time to bolt it down. It's probably ovekill, but I used Grade 8 nuts and bolts to hold the seat down.

The seat back shells needed to be stripped of their fabric so they can be cleaned up for reupholstery. The seat base assembly is temporarily installed. It'll have to come out again for the rubber matting, but needs to be secure for test driving.


Remarkably, the interior has no vermin damage so common in old cars. This must have come from a sunny state as the fabric looks new where it was covered.


Dropped in the seat. I like the tan cloth with the maroon paint.


Blasted the adhesive and paint off the shells.


They'll never see the light of day, but a coat of Rustoleum seemed right.


I've been wracking my brain and my search button to figure this one out. The oil fill tube sits atop a housing that the fuel pump attaches to. It's an assembly with a steel tube press fit into a cast zinc or aluminum base. The one on the car has a neck that that takes a cap similar to a radiator cap, but that's not what the parts book says it should have. It also has a hole in the side of the filler tube that the other one doesn't have. The type with the side pipe sucks in fresh air and dirt while a filter fits in the larger tube.

I searched Google pictures and apparently I want the one that is currently detached. That came off the '47. Amongst the batch of pictures was a link to Wiki that showed a drawing of the Lincoln V-12 with that very same side tube, confusing the issue even more.

It turns out that that small tube is an air intake for an early version of crankcase ventilation. A tube attached to the air cleaner that has its opening right in the throat of the air cleaner, just above the carb. The negative air pressure keeps crankcse pressure down and eliminates the need for a draft tube, which can really mess up the underside of a car.


Can't figure out why the overdrive won't work. Only got it up to 50 mph again.

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While the grill parts are NOS they have been kicking around parts shelves for 70+ years so they were a little too much patina for my tastes.


The last mud pan went on. It shields the brake, clutch, shift and overdrive linkages and electrical components. The area in the center of the picture is what is protected by the third mud guard. These often fall off, are taken off because they rattled, of simply rusted away. Without it the car becomes a mechanics nightmare. They went to all that trouble, but did nothing at all to protect the headlight dimmer switch.


These mud guards are available in fiberglass and originals are made of Unobtainium. This one was covered with a layer of undercoating inside and out and didn't have a speck of rust on it.


I found a period radiator cap that's in new condition. E-bay can be wonderful for parts. This is a 5 pound cap that has the perfect amount of patina.


The new, and proper, oil filler stack and fuel pump stand are installed. I've cured all the fuel and oil leaks. The floor was dry when I left.

I'm going to have Dave change the jets in the carb. I could never get our Porsche to run right. I got in touch with someone that raced vintage VWs. He listened, he fiddled, he opened one of twenty-five pill bottles and shook out a couple of jets. Installed them and it ran like a top. He explained that today's fuels explode better, so you need less of it in the fuel/air mixture. The jets were one size smaller. This may have an application for all our old cars. Anyone experiment with this?


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I have found that the opposite is true regarding jetting; most old engines with stock jetting tend to be pretty close (because they jetted them rich from the factory) or a touch lean due to the 10% ethanol content. I think the best way to determine jetting is to use a wideband O2 sensor clipped to the tailpipe. I even used mine on my '53 with a 6 volt electrical system by carrying a 12 volt battery on the passenger floor with the connections clipped to it. I found that the '53 is just a touch lean with its stock jetting. My wideband has been a great tool, but one thing I have determined is that they definitely run better when they are a little richer than you'd set them up for fuel economy, and the fuel economy doesn't seem to suffer either. If I had CD ignition boxes or HEI modules on mine, they may fire a leaner mixture OK (15.5-16:1), but with points/Pertronix, they don't tend to like it. In fact, my Corvair really prefers a cruising AFR of 14:1, and my experiences are generally backed up by the Corvair community, which seems to jet the carbs a little richer for cooling purposes and driveability.

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Barry, would it be Kosher to coat the bottom of the dimmer switch with some silicone? I think most cars of that era had exposed switches. Corvairs set up to run a bit rich makes sense for an air-cooled engine to help keep cylinder head temps down, and can't hurt with our conventional water-cooled ones either. Let us know how your jetting turns out.


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It's a simple swap. I'll let you know what we find. Anyone in the Detroit area have an exhaust analyzer I could borrow?

You may want to wait until you can drive the car at various speeds. The carb will be operating on the idle/transition circuits at low speeds, and the main jets don't really come into play until the car is traveling at a reasonable speed, usually cruising down the road at 40 MPH or even more. If the car isn't under load, you more than likely won't be able to recreate actual cruise conditions. If that carb hasn't been modified, I'd imagine it's close enough for now.

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Will do.

The Benson Ford Research Center has the production records for the Lincoln Zephyrs and Lincoln Continentals.

This document clearly confirms my contention that this is the least equipped Lincoln, ever. It also confirms my thought about it originally having black wall tires.

The car was built in early November 1941 which was a transition period between the 2-speed rear axle and the overdrive transmission. I could be mistaken, but I though the overdrive was standard for 1942.

Unfortunately, it gives no indication of where it was shipped other than the name Bayshore Motors, which could be a dealer or a distributor.


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I finished up installing the exhaust system. All systems are go. I could use a windshield and side glass, but everything works. This car is so barren of features that it's easy to make everything work.

The right side of this pipe was up about a 1/2-inch above the floor. I heated the stainless pipe cherry-red and applied some mass to the ends of the pipe.


Everything fits perfectly. I'll be drilling some weep holes. With the kind of use this car will see a lot of condensate can collect in the muffler.

The front tires look a mile away.


I made a conscious decision to not do the polishing of the brightwork myself. Dave spent 25 hours in making the stainless grill sections as good as new, or at least as good as possible for parts that have kicked around the parts shelves for 70 years.

The process has been expensive, but worth it, to me. Dave has a small booth with glass bead. The OEM frames under the stainless had rusted. Dave used cheap duct tape as a resist and blasted all of the exposed steel framework. That was followed by a coat of self-etching primer. The tape was removed and the tedious process of sanding out scratches and bringing the surface to a reflective shine began. It was quickly discovered that you can plainly see the underside of each slat above, so that had to be finished, too.

Once polished, the polished stainless is covered with masking tape and the steel repaired and reprimed. All of the exposed steel surfaces are painted satin black, per the Authenticity Manual. I have an hour and a half unwrapping just one grill section. I can see where 25 hours of Dave's time went.


The 70 year-old starter solenoid is bad. They make an exact replacement for this one, but the parts book calls out for a different part.Here's a convenient feature we don't see anymore. As long ast the key is on giving power to the coil you can start the car by pushing down on the top button. The car starts immediately if you use the button, but turns over slowly when using the starter button inside the car. The starter button seems to be functioning correctly.


I was able to salvage the air dam off the '47. It funnels air that comes through the grill through the radiator instead of over it. This part was so rusted that I had it powder-coated three time to get rid of the pits. This will get installed permanently after the grill goes in.


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Barry, I am familiar with Packards that use the tapered axle. The torque is more like 175 -200 ft. lbs for these cars. I would think 100 ft. lbs would not be tight enough. Maybe others who have had more experience can chime in and offer something. It is important that the brake drum goes on the axle taper with no lubricant. Maybe some lubricant on the threads and the washer would give you better clamping. Let's see what other say.


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People kept telling me that the '42 bumper is different from later bumpers. That turns out to not be the case. I salvaged the bumper off the '47. It has seen better days, but is only slightly bent. Someone wrapped a chain around the centerpiece and pulled on something hard enough to tweak the bumper.


By removing the accoutrements and adding the '42 over-riders I now have a '42 bumper with 6 extra holes in the top of it that I can easily weld in. I'll straighten it the best I can before I give it to a chrome shop.


The horns have been nicely painted, but unrestored. I think I'll just see if they work first. New wires and solid connections should work.


What a nightmare installing these parts. I don't know how you would be able to put one of these back together after front end damage. The tolerances are incredibly small. There were a few swear words thrown around when installing the grill pieces.


The hood will go on when I have 3 people available. The horns attach to the hood.

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