Sunday, December 26, 2010

How to Modify Ford F1 shock mounts

1932 Fords originally came with lever action shocks but I wanted to use modern tube type shocks which Ford started using on pickup trucks in the 40's. So, I got a pair of Ford F1 pickup front shock mounts and had to adapt them to the '32 frame. Vern Tardel & Mike Bishop covered this in their book on how to build a traditional Ford hot rod and the basic idea is the same for a '32. The stock F1 shock mounts are not a direct bolt on swap because the distance between the mounting holes is different from the distance of the frame mounting holes on a '32 frame or on a Model A frame.

The first thing I had to do to the frame was enlarge the 2 holes in the side of the frame where the original rivets held the cross member onto the frame to 7/16th and that also is the size of the bolts needed to bolt the shock mounts to the frame.

I had the mounts media blasted so they were easier to work with & weld on. I started to cut the first mount with a cutting disc on an angle grinder just below the first mounting hole and I cut off that entire piece of metal. As you can see, you will have 2 pieces once you are finished cutting. You can also use a hacksaw for this if you wanted to but do not use a torch!

Next, I bolted the assembly to the frame to see exactly where the shock mount would be when it was tightened against the frame. I did need to grind away at the small piece I cut off in order to make it fit more snuggly against the other piece of the mount and it makes it more symmetrical if it follows the edges of the frame.

Placing it this way told me where to tack weld the assembly in place for a more precise fit.
Once I tacked it up, I unbolted it all and put the shock mount in a vice and filled in the metal all around making sure I had good penetration and lots of build up because you will end up grinding away a good majority of the metal in order to blend the metal from the shock mount and the weld together. Then, I smoothed out the rough spots some more with a 120 grit sanding disc on the angle grinder.

You could also go over the entire piece, making sure to grind off all the flashing left over from the forging process. You could also polish them and have them plated if you wanted to go that far!

These shock mounts will probably need to be cut down some more because I want to use short shocks on this car, but you could leave them exactly the way they are depending on where you put the lower shock mounts and the size of the shocks.