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Old 05-21-2019, 11:14 AM   #1
Emmit51
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Default My Summer Project

Hey Folks. I'm new here but I've been reading the posts for about a month and they have been very helpful.



I'm gearing up for my summer project, which is to get my 1951 Custom Fordor up and running again. This is the first car I ever owned - purchased from the original owner in 1984. So Cal car all it's life. It was my daily driver in the late 80s and I racked up about 20k miles on top of the indicated 84k.



The car then sat for about 8 years while I was away at school, but I got it going again in the late 90s and was able to drive it on weekends every now and then for a number of years.



Ran into a problem with sludge in the gas tank that fouled the fuel pump and carburetor about a decade ago. Kids also came along about that time, and while I was able to clean and rebuild the carb, the car has been sitting ever since.



I'm finally getting around to getting my baby up and going again. Now, I've found the water pumps, which were weeping 10 years ago, are completely shot. Over the summer I'm planning on replacing the water pumps (any suggestions? I've been searching around and saw that the Drake pumps are good), flushing the cooling system and putting on new hoses, and also cleaning out the gas tank and fuel lines. I put in a new battery yesterday and was glad to see the engine cranked without any issues.



This will be a s l o w project, as I have a busy work and travel schedule, but I look forward to any comments or suggestions. I'm sure I'll have a bunch of questions that come up along the way.


Once the car is running, I'm going to eventually get going on the interior as well. It's pretty ratty, but it is original!
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File Type: jpg 51 interior.jpg (64.5 KB, 110 views)
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Old 05-21-2019, 11:42 AM   #2
RalphM
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Default Re: My Summer Project

Welcome to the Ford Barn!
Beautiful 51! Great you could hang on to it for all that time. Yes Drake pumps are well built, also you could have your originals rebuilt by Skip Haney.
Is that the original paint?
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Old 05-21-2019, 12:14 PM   #3
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Default Re: My Summer Project

Thanks, It was repainted by the original owner just before I bought it in 84. I think it is the original color as it matches well with the door sills that were not repainted.
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Old 05-21-2019, 12:15 PM   #4
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Default Re: My Summer Project

Boy, from the front, that looks almost exactly like mine, only I have a club coupe. Even the visor looks the same. Do you know if it came with the car originally? Mine was a dealer installed option (it is listed on the original invoice.

One thing I would suggest is to replace the front motor mounts while you are replacing the water pumps. I thought I had clutch problems a few years ago, and had the flywheel resurfaced and installed a new disc and pressure plate. It helped, but never completely solved the problem. A few years later I replaced the front motor mounts (my water pumps were good) and it completely solved my clutch problems. While you're under there, I would suggest replacing the rear (transmission mount as well. It's not that hard to do and it's not expensive. I would also suggest trying to get the mounts at NAPA (if you have one near). They might have to special order them, but they should be able to get them, and the quality may be a bit better than you might get from the "specialty" places. I've also found "Rock Auto" to be good. They have a lot of stuff (choices) and may be able to let you chose between foreign made or domestic.

Last edited by tubman; 05-21-2019 at 02:41 PM.
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Old 05-21-2019, 12:49 PM   #5
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Default Re: My Summer Project

Thanks Tubman, was planning on replacing the motor mounts while I had the water pumps out, will look into the tranny mount as well.



The visor looks to be original, cant say more than that. I have the original pink, but no invoice. Hard to see in the pic, but there are also window vent shades on all doors, which were there when I bought the car. The (working) spotlights were my addition, done way back when I was a kid... I'll post better pics when I can. The car is wedged in the garage and not moving at the moment.
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Old 05-21-2019, 12:52 PM   #6
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Welcome to the Barn Emmit!
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Old 05-21-2019, 01:00 PM   #7
40cpe
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Default Re: My Summer Project

That is a beautiful car. It is rare to see original chrome so nice.
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Old 05-21-2019, 01:22 PM   #8
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Welcome to the barn nice looking car
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Old 05-21-2019, 01:43 PM   #9
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Default Re: My Summer Project

thanks guys
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Old 05-21-2019, 04:31 PM   #10
alanwoodieman
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Default Re: My Summer Project

I would flush the engine prior to replacing water pumps, even if they are leaking. Use white vinegar, works really good and it cheap and bio-friendly. I have a friend with a 51 4 door also and it is a nice riding car.
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Old 05-21-2019, 04:51 PM   #11
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Default Re: My Summer Project

Great project and love the car!!
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Old 05-21-2019, 05:40 PM   #12
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Default Re: My Summer Project

Quote:
Originally Posted by alanwoodieman View Post
I would flush the engine prior to replacing water pumps, even if they are leaking. Use white vinegar, works really good and it cheap and bio-friendly. I have a friend with a 51 4 door also and it is a nice riding car.
For a quick flush, I was thinking of essentially pouring water from top to bottom through the radiator, and also into the thermostat ports down through the engine, after removing the thermostats and with the water pumps and hoses also off.

Could certainly do this with vinegar, or were you suggesting to run the car all hooked up with vinegar instead of coolant?
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Old 05-21-2019, 06:01 PM   #13
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Default Re: My Summer Project

I think it works better if you can run it and get it warm, kinda like cleaning out your coffee pot with vinegar. Just be sure to flush out good with water afterwards, or neutralize it with a base.
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Old 05-21-2019, 06:19 PM   #14
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Default Re: My Summer Project

Great story Emmit, Fordbarn has been a huge help to us all through the years. Glad to see it will help get another project rolling.

As others have stated get those original H2O pumps rebuilt by Skip. What has been helpful to me with my various projects are pictures.

I have a Nikon koolpics and take photos of location and condition before I take things apart. I also have a log with that picture # and size of any bolts/nuts ect that were or should have been attached.

This applies to the older vehicles, but make damn sure a replacement part is available or reproduced before getting into all those "liitle projects" that are hidden in that summer project

Last edited by 39portlander; 05-21-2019 at 06:24 PM.
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Old 05-21-2019, 07:11 PM   #15
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Default Re: My Summer Project

Quote:
Originally Posted by RalphM View Post
I think it works better if you can run it and get it warm, kinda like cleaning out your coffee pot with vinegar. Just be sure to flush out good with water afterwards, or neutralize it with a base.
Makes sense. Iíll just need to get my fuel supply issues sorted out first to get the engine running
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Old 05-21-2019, 07:20 PM   #16
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Default Re: My Summer Project

I just bought pumps from our man Mac VP, don't know how they could be any better. I'd go ahead and get the fuel tank out on the ground, takes some effort to get it clean enough to use. Look up under the dash for bare copper wiring waiting to cause problems.

And buy that green book if you don't have it yet.

New echlin ignition parts from NAPA have been pretty good. They also can get all the brake parts and belts and hoses, etc., but Rock Auto is a lot cheaper if they have it.

And study the Shoebox Central website for a good indication of all the reproduction parts available. (Quality of anybody's repro parts is a separate issue.)
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Old 05-21-2019, 07:22 PM   #17
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Default Re: My Summer Project

And we should add that the Van Pelt website is a treasure trove of information.
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Old 05-21-2019, 07:42 PM   #18
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Default Re: My Summer Project

Trying to clean out an old gas tank can be pricey depending on how you do it. Most likely it's also rusty inside.(the inside top can get real rusty) . New tanks are fairly reasonable and if it was me I would buy a new tank and save yourself some time and money. Also check the flow of you radiator. A car that has sat that long may need the radiator rodded out due to crud stuck in the tubes.
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Old 05-21-2019, 08:04 PM   #19
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Default Re: My Summer Project

I’ll be dropping the gas tank for sure. Then, see how it looks. May need to go for a new one, but I’d like to keep the stock gauge sending unit if i can. Have refurbished it in the past and was working well. I think a new tank will require a new sender, or at least an adapter...
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Old 05-22-2019, 08:58 AM   #20
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Default Re: My Summer Project

Emmit, agree that you should keep your original sender because many reproduction ones have been problematic. I got a new tank from Dennis Carpenter for my '39 and it solved once and for all my original tank problems....and, the peace of mind was more than worth the price I paid. At the time, I think DC had a free shipping offer, but it's been a while.



Welcome to the Barn!!!
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Old 05-22-2019, 09:02 AM   #21
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Default Re: My Summer Project

New fuel tank sending units for your car are really hard to find. Don't throw it away. Lots of info. in the SEARCH function.
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Old 05-22-2019, 09:24 AM   #22
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Default Re: My Summer Project

Thanks guys. Nothing gets thrown away! I have a box of things I've taken out of the car when replacing them. The car came without a radio, but I found an original one for the car back in the 80s that my dad and I got going (He used to be a TV repairman when those existed, and even had most of the tubes we needed on hand). I still have the original cover plates that covered up the holes for the radio on the dash... Never know what might come in handy later on.
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Old 09-10-2019, 09:39 AM   #23
Emmit51
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Default Re: My Summer Project

Hey Folks, my project has been slowly moving along. I have new water pumps installed, as well as motor mounts and new hoses and thermostats. Now have moved on to the fuel system.


Pulled the fuel tank sending unit and it was heavily rusted, as many expected it would be. Managed to clean it up and it looks to be serviceable. Gas left in the tank is varnish.


Couple questions:


Anybody know if there is something I can use to coat the metal of the sending unit to prevent rusting/corrosion? Or, will a clean tank and fresh fuel solve most of that problem?


Also, been looking at getting a new gas tank, but all the ones I could find do not accept the original sending unit (which I want to keep). Anyone know if there is an adapter plate or other workaround for this? If not, I think I'll try cleaning and sealing the old tank with something like PQR15
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Old 09-10-2019, 12:20 PM   #24
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There is an adapter plate. I saw one not long ago, but can't remember who was offering it.
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Old 09-10-2019, 12:30 PM   #25
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Default Re: My Summer Project

thanks. I just found one that allows you to put an aftermarket 5 bolt sender on an old 6 bolt tank, but that's the opposite of what I want to do. Seeing the difference in size of hole required for old and new sender, it does seem like I'd have to cut a bigger hole in a new tank to fit my stock sender. Not sure I want to go that route, may focus on cleaning my tank instead.
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Old 09-10-2019, 12:45 PM   #26
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I couldn't remember which way it went. I kinda wanted a new tank for my 50, but for your same reasons I spent hours cleaning my old one.
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