Next up was the driveline. I planned to see where
the radiator would mount, and then start welding some engine and transmission
mounts. As work commenced I decided to work some with the frame first.


When I mounted the radiator-and-grille package to the frame for the first time, it was way too high because of the channeled body.
To lower the radiator a new lowered crossmember had to be fabricated.
(September 2005)

The new crossmember in all its glory.

When designing the new crossmember, it became obvious that the front axle would hit the now five inches lowered crossmember in a serious bump. For this reason the crossmember was moved a couple of inches rearward, and a small "shelf" for the radiator welded to it.

How can one work among all that crap..?

The lower radiator hose interfered with the crossmember, so a little cutting and welding had to be done.
The radiator now resides in front of the crossmember. Here the cut out in the crossmember is seen from the rear after some grinding.

With the radiator and grille shell mounted on the new lowered crossmember everything lines up much better.

The missing radiator locating rod bracket was fabricated and mounted to the firewall.

A trial fit with the hood also suggests that the height of the grille is about right.
The bracket in the pic above, will be redesigned to also hold the rear hood hinge.

When the frame was measured, the front horn arches was found to be almost an inch different in height.
There was no signs of abuse, so maybe the frame rails differed that much at the factory...
The left (higher) horn was cut up, "de-arched" and shortened to match the left one.
(October 2005)

After grinding and a little primer, it looks nearly as it always has.
Funny how it is: The more work you put into a certain part, the easier it looks...

Boxing plates were welded to the frame. Everything was measured and checked for squareness. Of course it wasn't square, and needed a bit of persuation before welding in the X-member.
Essex frames are known to be sturdy, but after welding in the boxing plates and the X-member, the difference is enormous, as the frame now feels completely rigid.

Go on to part eight

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