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karasmer 09-06-2016 08:56 PM

1940 convertible restoration started

4 Attachment(s)
Well I'm pretty excited, I was just talking to someone the other day about my dream car, a 40 vert, and guess what within a couple days I own one, the exterior is really nice however the floor pans are really bad. The car came with an extra front floor but it seems some bolt holes are missing, what I did discover was factory made dimples where holes should be (how convenient) see in the photo just below the two holes, now I have to do some research on best way to replace the pan and what kind of spacers belong between the frame and pan all the while keeping the doors aligned, any good books on 40 restorations or other sites anybody can recommend? Thanks

supereal 09-07-2016 04:49 PM

Re: 1940 convertible restoration started

You will have to raise the body off the frame to put a new floor pan in place. To do this, the body must be securely brace by welding braces across the body. Convertibles present special problems without a steel top to connect the front and back portions. Otherwise, the doors will not fit, and the top won't open and close properly. Unless you are experienced in body work, or plan to have a pro do the work, it is likely you won't finish the project. Even if the body work is good, you will have to form and replace shims at all body to frame points. Convertibles are among the most difficult restorations to tackle for many reasons. Parts are rare and expensive if you can find them, as I learned years ago.

karasmer 09-07-2016 10:12 PM

Re: 1940 convertible restoration started

I have the top irons and a whole bunch of chrome plated hardware pieces that look to go with the top assembly, the floor replacement doesn't look much different than putting together a Model A roadster and I have done that a few times, I also have all the exterior trim and garnish moldings in really nice shape, the only thing that looks wrong is the dash looks to have a standard speedometer which I don't mind as I like the looks of them over the deluxe style, also missing interior cranks and handles (trying to find out what they are supposed to look like) Many questions to follow but it sure would be nice to find a good restoration manual that covers 40 verts.

restoman 09-07-2016 11:41 PM

Re: 1940 convertible restoration started

You have been given very good information on the floor replacement. One old trick also is to in addition to cross bracing the body, tack weld the tops of the doors at the proper gap at the top of the quarter panels. This helps keep the body in good alignment. You will find a wealth of information on all 40's in the 40 Book available through the Early Ford V8 Club. They also have a question column putting you in touch with experts in each year. I have noticed that the big Bob Drake catalog has a good picture of where the floor rubber spacers and strips go and you will also find good pictures of parts like the door handles and window cranks. Dennis Carpenter has them also as well as many good Ford suppliers. Good luck with your project......Flatheads Forever !! PHIL

flatmotor40 09-08-2016 04:53 AM

Re: 1940 convertible restoration started

Even if you tack doors on when you put top material on you can still close door gaps after it has been painted.The guy that puts the top on he can pull it so tight it will close gaps.Had mine just right and when he pulled top he closed the gap some on one side.I did my floor on a rotisserie with bracing all all over.Got my floor from Bradley.

my2nd40 09-08-2016 09:11 AM

Re: 1940 convertible restoration started

You probably have a floor pan out of a sedan. Hard to find books or manuals with the pictures or illustrations you are going to want. Your best bet for information is right here on this forum. Several very knowledgeable guys that can help you with pictures and information. Good luck and congratulations on the 40, my favorite car too!

TJ 09-08-2016 09:24 AM

Re: 1940 convertible restoration started

Get yourself the Bob Drake '40 ford parts catalog. That will help you a lot with identifying parts. Also get a catalog from Dennis Carpenter. They have a lot of repo sheetmetal like floor pans, etc. for '40 fords.

STEVE O 09-08-2016 10:17 AM

Re: 1940 convertible restoration started

Just finished using a sedan floor in a 40 conv. Those dimples are correct!

Milt/Las Vegas 09-08-2016 10:18 AM

Re: 1940 convertible restoration started

I had a jig made for my 40 conv project that bolts front to back and side to side with holes in the middle so it can be lifted off the frame with an engine hoist.I worked really well.It will go to the purchaser of another 40 conv project that I have for sale.

Ken/Alabama 09-08-2016 01:13 PM

Re: 1940 convertible restoration started

The floor pan will work but keep in mind that the convertible has a fairly heavy sub-rail that runs under the floor pan on each side that starts under the cowl and goes all the way back to the rear wheel well. The sedans and coupes don't have them. I'll see if I can dig up some photos from when I did mine some 25 yrs ago.

Sixseven 09-08-2016 02:34 PM

Re: 1940 convertible restoration started

Congrats on the project. From my vantage point here in Atlanta it is a solid #1 car! I also want a 40 convertible. Just looked at a blue one here in Atlanta this morning. Can you do us a favor and document your work? I love reading about other peoples efforts.

karasmer 09-09-2016 12:22 AM

Re: 1940 convertible restoration started

1 Attachment(s)
Well I got the scrap floor section out (front section anyway) somewhat brutal seperating the tin from the post brackets, I pulled the doors off so I can slip the replacement floor in but have to verify that the bottom of the cowl pillars are supposed to have two holes, it almost looks like a piece was welded to it or should there be only one hole, may need to do some beefing up there also?

STEVE O 09-09-2016 05:34 AM

Re: 1940 convertible restoration started

They are correct.

karasmer 09-09-2016 07:42 PM

Re: 1940 convertible restoration started

Is there anything other than the rubber pads that go between the frame and the floor, bout ready to slide the floor in, I know on Model A's there is welting and wood body blocks.

Ken/Alabama 09-09-2016 09:01 PM

Re: 1940 convertible restoration started

The convertible doesn't have the same rubber pads as the coupes and sedans. Too much give in them. The convertibles had a rubber coated steel shim. The body is mounted more rigid to the frame than the closed cars.

karasmer 09-09-2016 09:22 PM

Re: 1940 convertible restoration started

Good to know, any idea how thick they were at the post locations?

supereal 09-09-2016 09:48 PM

Re: 1940 convertible restoration started

The best way to align the convertible body on the frame is to make hardwood blocks for each position. Don't bother with mounting kits, as they are usually worthless for the job. Convertibles have extra frame bracing to compensate for the lack of roof support. Each block changes the other positions, so aligning the body requires lots of time and patience. Most, if not all, convertible bodies were produced by vendors, making replacement parts very difficult to locate.

Ken/Alabama 09-10-2016 06:42 PM

Re: 1940 convertible restoration started

Bolt it rigid to the frame then go from there.

Kube 09-10-2016 07:55 PM

Re: 1940 convertible restoration started


Originally Posted by Ken/Alabama (Post 1352499)
Bolt it rigid to the frame then go from there.

I am currently doing a high end restoration of a 40 convertible. This will be my sixth? Ken is absolutely correct in his advice to bolt the body directly to the frame when installing floors, aligning doors, etc.

Do NOT do anything more than a few tack welds "here and there" until you have the doors fitting properly, the trunk lid fitting properly and last but certainly not least, the top bows fitting properly. You also need to check carefully the "width" of the body at the "B" pillar.
Yep, a certain pain in the butt to do correctly. However, if you don't the car will never be "right" and when you attempt to align the sheet metal later in you will long live to regret any impatience at the prep level.

Veeder 09-10-2016 08:14 PM

Re: 1940 convertible restoration started

Great project!!!

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