Sunday, January 23, 2011

How to replace '32 Ford front frame horns

My '32 frame came with front frame horns that were "clipped" or cut off. Whoever owned it before me cut off the first 4 or 5 inches of the horns which is where the front spreader bar bolts on. Now, I could have left the frame horns as is but I wanted to use a front spreader bar because it adds rigidity to the frame and you can mount your license plate off of it like it was done at the Ford factory.

In order to do this I needed to find some genuine or "gennie" frame horns. I did buy some Brookville horns but they did not match the contour of an original '32 Ford frame correctly.
I finally found a pair from a fellow HAMBer and went to work.
The way I did this was to bolt the new frame horns directly next to the frame horns on the frame using factory holes in the top of the frame that bolted the front splash apron to the frame I believe.

Then, I marked with a marker where I wanted to cut the frame horns off by lining up the cut on the horns as best I could. I used a cut off wheel on an angle grinder because I knew that would give me the straightest cuts which is really important because the contour of the frame has to line up perfectly and the distances to the front of the frame had to be equal.

Once the horns were cut, I clamped them onto the frame and checked over and over again to make sure the frame had the right contour and length. I did have to grind down the metal on the horns slightly to get them to fit better and I did that until I was happy with the way it looked.

Then I tack welded them in place with my MIG welder and again I checked to see how they looked. When I was satisfied, I finished welding them on. Then I ground down the welds with a large grinding disc on the angle grinder in order to get inside the rails then and sanded the welds them using a 120 grit sanding disc and then I sanded down the rails with 60 grit on a palm sander. I did have to take out the front crossmember to do this. Then I hand sanded the rails with 120 grit sandpaper to make sure I got all the rough spots.

Now I can add a front spreader bar with a license plate or a car club plaque!!