There’s a stage in every project car when a bunch of tasks pile up, and even when they’re completed they don’t provide any obvious progress. It’s one of the hardest phases for any at-home garage mechanic. Luckily, Davin is an expert when it comes to staying motivated and keeping things rolling. The 1937 Ford race car is in that phase right now, but there’s nothing to fear.

The most difficult part of this phase is there’s a lot of work that’s relatively invisible. A couple of examples on the Ford are the roof panel getting straightened out and patched in a couple of places, along with the trunk lid. All this sheetmetal work is a little easier since the race car is going to continue living on the track—not a showroom floor. Davin is rarely a “good enough is good enough” type of guy, but for the ’37 he’s leaning that way about aesthetics. Function over form here.

The trunk lid was hollowed out to save weight and thus is extremely flimsy. There was a brace pop-riveted in place along the back edge, but the look of those rivets was a bit too wrong for Davin. To hide the reinforcement, he instead drilled out the rivets and welded it all together. To keep the weld from falling out the backside of the open hole, he used a small chunk of copper. The weld won’t stick to copper, so it makes for the perfect support in situations like this.

The car may look the same after a week of work, but we promise there are big things on the horizon. Hang in while some of the grubby work gets done, and be sure to subscribe to the Hagerty YouTube channel to never miss an update.

Thanks to our sponsor RockAuto.com,  an auto parts retailer founded in 1999 by automotive engineers with two goals: Liberate information hidden behind the auto parts store counter (by listing all available parts, not just what one store stocks or one counter-person knows), and make auto parts affordable so vehicles of all ages can be kept reliable and fun to drive. Visit www.RockAuto.com to order auto parts online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and have those parts conveniently delivered to your door. Need help finding parts or placing an order? Visit our Help pages for further assistance!

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There has been no shortage of heavy metal projects on Redline Rebuild’s 1937 Ford race car, and today is no different. All the fabrication tools and tricks come out as Davin fabricates the steering pieces needed to keep this project on track—literally.

The two most important systems of a car are often the two that get talked about last: brakes and steering. It doesn’t matter how much horsepower you’ve got if you can’t direct and reign in those ponies when the need arises. The brakes are all but sorted out on the ’37, but the steering has a long way to go.

First steps are to figure out the steering wheel location. Since Davin has the seat roughly set, he can decide on where the wheel will sit in the space of the drivers compartment. Then he just has to fabricate the pieces to connect the wheel to the steering box. Sounds easy, right? Well, it kind of is.

The first connection is a ratio box that doubles the input that the drivers puts into the wheel. This means Davin can use the factory-type steering box without having to turn the wheel three turns to get lock-to-lock. Next is to build the shaft that connects the ratio box to the steering box. For that, it’s best to have the engine in place, but the 440 is still torn down and awaiting the Redline Rebuild treatment, so a foam stand-in will have to do.

For things to work properly, Davin decides to move the steering box out just a bit. Of course, it’s never just that simple. Some cutting, grinding, and welding later and the box is held in place exactly where he wants it. Add the appropriate joints to the connecting shaft and the ’37 is one step closer to the track. Progress is progress, even if there is a lot more to go. Of course, in order to see all that work that is yet to be done, be sure to subscribe to the Hagerty YouTube channel to never miss an update.

Thanks to our sponsor RockAuto.com. RockAuto.com is an auto parts retailer founded in 1999 by automotive engineers with two goals: Liberate information hidden behind the auto parts store counter (by listing all available parts, not just what one store stocks or one counter-person knows), and make auto parts affordable so vehicles of all ages can be kept reliable and fun to drive. Visit https://www.RockAuto.com to order auto parts online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and have them conveniently delivered to your door. Need help finding parts or placing an order? Visit our Help pages for further assistance.

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Sometimes things pop up and make you pump the brakes on a project. For Davin, it’s literal brakes that are giving him pause. A lot of pieces on the 1937 Ford race car are unconventional compared to a street car, but that hasn’t tripped him up to this point. Now the shoe is on the other … backing plate?

The brakes of a car designed for only taking left are designed and implemented radically differently than anything you’d find on a mass-produced car. Typically, for a race car like this, brakes are set up in a such a way that applying them will cause the car to pull left and thus can be used to help get around the track faster. One could use hydraulic valves and limiters to achieve this, or in the case of the ’37 here, the previous mechanic removed friction material from the shoes to proportion the braking force.

Davin knows he will want to tune the brakes, but for now the primary focus is to make them functional. That is why the first task was disassembly and cleaning. Of course, be sure to snap a photo of the assembly before taking things apart. Even if you don’t need it during assembly, it could be handy in the future. Digital photography is basically free these days, so snap all the photos you can.

Assembly was when the problem appeared. With everything back together, there were some small fitment issues that just bugged at Davin. The 12 x 2-inch brake shoes are odd-sized and none of the options he could get his hands on fit to his liking. So, he sent the original shoes out to be re-lined. Fresh friction material made those old pieces as good as new and they fit perfectly. The assembled backing plates were then put on the shelf with the finished drums and hubs.

The brakes might be coming together a bit more slowly than ideal, but that is not going halt progress on this race car—or any of the other projects Davin and the team have running in the Redline Garage. If you never want to miss an oil-soaked minute, be sure to subscribe to the Hagerty YouTube channel and watch for new episodes every week.

Thanks to our sponsor RockAuto.com. RockAuto.com is an auto parts retailer founded in 1999 by automotive engineers with two goals: Liberate information hidden behind the auto parts store counter (by listing all available parts, not just what one store stocks or one counter-person knows), and make auto parts affordable so vehicles of all ages can be kept reliable and fun to drive. Visit https://www.RockAuto.com to order auto parts online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and have them conveniently delivered to your door. Need help finding parts or placing an order? Visit our Help pages for further assistance!

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The projects that Davin works on change pretty regularly—and often quite quickly. However, nothing changes quite as quickly as this week’s project, the Frankland quick-change rear end for the ’37 Ford race car. It’s all cleaned up and ready for assembly, but where does that washer go?

There are a couple tricks to keeping all the various parts and pieces of your project in a tidy order, but sometimes the world conspires against you and those information-packed pieces of paper go missing when the times comes for reassembly. Such was the case for Davin and the rear axle for the ’37 Ford. The Frankland Quick Change unit is fairly simple on the surface, but it still needs to go together correctly in order to work properly and last like it should. Luckily, Davin has a pretty good memory.

The first step is pressing bearings and races into place. Heat is Davin’s best friend when it comes to this step. The bearings go in the toaster oven to heat up, and thus expand ever so slightly, which allows them to just slide into place and cool to a perfect press fit. No hammers needed. Commenters have been telling him about using the opposite technique for the races, so Davin put the shop freezer to work. Unfortunately, the shrinkage was not enough to make the bearing race fall into place, so a little pressure from the press was in order.

From there it is all about setup and preload. The roller bearings in a differential like this Frankland need to be set correctly to ensure a good long life. The trick is to tighten the pinion nut a bit, then use a torque wrench to measure the rotational drag. It is a bit of a touch, but this spec can be found for most rebuildable rear axles. That was also the “proper” spot for the one washer’s location, which Davin had forgotten. The witness marks on the washer aligned with how it would be assembled there, so there it goes.

The final assembly of the axles and hubs is going to wait until after the heavy unit is final installed in the car. To see that and the remaining steps required to get the Ford back to the starting line, be sure to subscribe to the Hagerty YouTube channel for weekly Redline Updates.

Thank you to our sponsor, RockAuto.com. RockAuto.com is an auto parts retailer founded in 1999 by automotive engineers with two goals: Liberate information hidden behind the auto parts store counter (by listing all available parts, not just what one store stocks or one counter person knows), and make auto parts affordable so vehicles of all ages can be kept reliable and fun to drive. Visit RockAuto.com to order auto parts online, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and have them conveniently delivered to your door. Need help finding parts or placing an order? Visit our Help pages for further assistance.

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Snowball’s Ford dirt track racer is still in process, and this week Davin is tackling the wheel hubs. It’s not an overly complicated process, although a bit repetitive. New studs and bearings need to be pressed in and the brake drums need to be cut. With a little help from Randy at the Hagerty Learning Garage, things should go smoothly and these Cerakoted hubs should be ready to get installed back on our race car.

There are certain staples in the Redline Rebuild garage, and dad jokes rank right up at the top of that short list. So, in that tradition, Davin and crew eschew “Hump Day” and labeled last Wednesday “Hub Day.” The whole week seems to revolve around Wednesday sometimes, and we harnessed that energy to make great progress on our 1937 Ford race car. It’s now one step closer to rolling again.

The hubs on this racer are aftermarket pieces from Franklin. This means that the hubs have aluminum brake drums that bolt up to them, while the cast aluminum hubs are merely bearing holders that keep the whole operation concentric. Of course, aluminum brake drums would not last long in a race environment, so there are steel liners pressed in. Before we can shift our focus to those liners, we have to first address the wheel stud that holds the two pieces together.

When the car came to Davin, the front axle had different sized studs then the rear. While functionally acceptable, it makes service a bit of a pain in the butt. For a little additional strength Davin elects to upgrade to 5/8″ studs which means enlarging the holes in the hubs and drums ever so slightly. For the task, he uses the Bridgeport since it has a nice large table and allows for slightly lower drilling rpm. Once the holes are sized properly it is over to the press to shove the studs into their final place.

With the hubs and drums together, it is time to have the CeraKote finish turned off the braking surface. Doing this also ensures the braking surface is centered to the spindle centerline for maximum brake shoe contact. Turning brake drums is less common these days because production of rotors has become relatively affordable and thus, for many applications, it is easier to replace than to resurface brake parts. Luckily the Hagerty Learning Garage has a brake lathe in its small machine shop, and Randy is happy to chuck up the drums for Davin and get them ready for mounting.

All that is going to have to wait though. There is still more suspension work to be finalized before the assembly of either axle. If you want to see this racer come together and hit the track, be sure to subscribe to the Hagerty YouTube channel and tune in each Monday for more updates.

Thanks to our sponsor RockAuto.com.

RockAuto.com is an auto parts retailer founded in 1999 by automotive engineers with two goals: Liberate information hidden behind the auto parts store counter (by listing all available parts, not just what one store stocks or one counter-person knows), and make auto parts affordable so vehicles of all ages can be kept reliable and fun to drive. Visit RockAuto.com to order auto parts online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and have them conveniently delivered to your door. Need help finding parts or placing an order? Visit our Help pages for further assistance!

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Though the chassis of the ’37 Ford race car is making progress, the Chrysler 440 V-8 that belongs between its frame rails has been languishing in a corner … until now. Davin tore the powerplant down a while ago and now the 440 is finally getting its day in the sun—or, at least, its day in the machine shop.

Before the massive hunk of iron can get dropped off for final cleaning and machining prep, Davin attends to the little things that separate the best engines from the rest. Any engine builder can chase marginal gains in horsepower; that’s not Davin’s goal. Rather, he’s cleaning up the casting flash to improve oil drain-back and to prevent any large chunks from breaking off and getting pumped through the bearings with the oil. The process takes a bit of time, but peace of mind rarely comes free.

The engine is then declared ready to go and hooked into the back of the ’46 Ford pickup for the short drive over to Thirlby’s machine shop. Typically this would be its final stop, but for this Chrysler, Thirlby is only the initial destination. The cleaning will take place here; final assembly and dyno testing will occur at Apex Tuning. However, first the block needs to be preserved a bit to ensure that all the work done to clean it up is not wasted.

The first step is to oil down the block. Thanks to modern aerosols, this is an easy step and keeps the block from becoming a rusty mess after a few days of sitting in a plastic bag in the corner of the shop. If you’re also at this step with your own engine project, don’t be shy: This oil should be seen as an investment. Right before the block is machined, Davin will wash it all down and then the chips can fly to make way for new, oversized pistons. That’s for a later episode, though, so be sure to subscribe to the Hagerty YouTube channel to catch the episode as soon as it goes live.

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Any automotive project is a giant puzzle in some way, shape, or form. The 1937 Ford race car Davin is getting back into usable shape is an expert-level puzzle, but luckily there are some hints as to how the pieces were intended to go back together—but is that the correct way?

The Ford is hardly a Ford anymore, more of a hodgepodge of parts from multiple years and multiple manufacturers. The front suspension is probably the best example of that. Davin talks through all the parts on the table and what it amounts to is a lot of backyard engineering done by the original builder. The straight axle is never going to drive like a modern independent front suspension, but with a few thoughtful changes and making sure there is minimal binding, it will work better than most might think.

One of the first things to change is the jackscrews for the front leaf springs. That’s right, two leaf springs for a single solid axle. The short springs are transverse and have jackscrews that are used to adjust the attitude of the chassis. The problem Davin sees with the current setup is that these jackscrews are so far outboard that the effective spring rate is nearly infinite. With the engine and transmission in place, he could jump on the front end and there was next to no deflection from the suspension. That’s a setup for understeering into the wall.

So Davin adds four additional jackscrew locations so he will have some additional tuning capability and hopefully will be able to make those small leaf springs work for the chassis rather than against it. Of course, those are not the only pieces working against the system.

The steering arm seems to be bent or otherwise angled in a way that binds things up before any weight is placed on the suspension. The shocks are also hitting their respective brackets so some clearance and redesign will likely be needed. A whole host of bushings will need to be turned on the lathe to tighten things up appropriately. As a whole though, this mock-up is a success and lays a perfect baseline for the improvements and changes Davin has brewing. You have to tune in to a future episode of Redline update to see just what all those changes are, so be sure to subscribe to the Hagerty YouTube channel to never miss an upload.

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Like many of us, Davin often finds that progress on his many project cars gets delayed. This week, he’s hung up with the ’37 Ford dirt-track racer—and, for once, that’s a good thing, because it’s time to build the Ford’s rear suspension.

Davin customized the leaf springs a few episodes back and now they are mocked up in the car. There is a second part to the suspension puzzle, though: The shocks, which keep the springs from bouncing wildly and thus help with chassis stability and traction. Two very important things in a race car.

Davin could simply bolt on the shocks between the axle and chassis and let “good enough” suffice, but we all know he isn’t that kind of guy. Instead, he takes the time to locate the shocks at the proper angle and distance, trusting that the additional time will pay off in the final build. For dirt-track cars like this one, the suspension is intentionally uneven in an effort to keep all the wheels in contact with the ground. The driver’s rear tire needs to droop while the passenger rear needs more compression, and the shock location and setup need to reflect that attitude. Davin makes the process look easy by fabricating a couple quick mounts that allow him to get all the components located easily.

After realizing he lacks the raw material to fabricate the final bits of the Ford’s shock mounts, Davin takes the delay as an opportunity to grab some parts for the Honda Mini Trail and head to the body shop. The frame is completely sandblasted, but that doesn’t that mean the Honda’s ready for paint.

The crew at Traverse Body and Paint make quick work of removing the one small dent in the pressed sheetmetal, and then add a quick glaze-coat of filler to smooth out any sanding marks or small imperfections. So many people hear “filler” and pucker up, imagining giant chunks of Bondo falling out of quarter panels, but that’s not what is going on here. In fact, the glaze-coat that Dave puts on this Honda is sprayed on and, once dry, mostly sanded off. Its sole purpose is to smooth out sanding marks and other minuscule imperfections. The final coats of color will be done by the experts at Trail Buddy in the coming weeks.

Stay updated on these two projects and many more to come by subscribing to the Hagerty YouTube channel. We promise there are some projects on the horizon you won’t want to miss.

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There’s a lot going on in the Redline Rebuild garage—so much, in fact, that Davin needs to change locations for a bit and borrow some fabrication tools at the Hagerty Learning Center.

The 1937 Ford Coupe race car needs a metal box for its fuel cell, so Davin explains that he needs to use a shear, brake, and roll machine to build one. “Usually you buy a kit that has the bladder and the box, but since we already have a bladder … I’m going to bend up a box.”

Davin explains that it “should be pretty easy,” and he certainly makes it look that way. He builds the box in several pieces, then spot-welds it together, leaving a 1.25-inch lip on top to which he can attach the lid.

The top is a little tricky, since it requires a 6-inch hole in the center where the fuel cap sits (plus holes for the inlet and vent hoses). After taking measurements, Davin secures a board in the center of the sheetmetal, drills a hole in the board 6 inches from that center point, inserts a plasma torch into the hole, and rotates the board in a circle until the hole is cut. After smoothing the edges and punching holes along the lip, the lid is ready to be attached with bolts.

The box is a success, but after moving back to the Redline Rebuild garage, Davin doesn’t like how the cell sits inside the car. It isn’t level, and the back of the tank “is more rearward than I’d like, so I’m going to cut the braces and slide it forward 3 inches, then level it.” When that is done, Davin fabricates a brace, so the fuel cell won’t bounce around when the car is racing on the track.

Up next: leaf springs and shocks. They don’t come together as easily as Davin had hoped, so he makes plans for more cutting and fabricating. Since he’s reached the end of his day, however, that’ll have to wait until next time.

To stay up-to-date on all the projects the team is working on, be sure to subscribe to the Hagerty YouTube channel and never miss a new video.

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That Cadillac 365 V-8 was a big priority for Davin, but now it’s assembled and broken in. Of course, there is no time for sitting around and twiddling thumbs in the Redline Rebuild garage. Too many projects are waiting, and one that has been languishing for a good while is the 1937 Ford Coupe. Today, Davin is fabricating the transmission mount for this Ford build and sharing some tips for those interested in tackling a similar project.

The task is simple, at first glance: Install a bar that bridges the frame rails and supports the tailshaft housing of the transmission. Easy enough, right? Well, sort of.

“This is a race car, so simplicity is king. I want to design something that makes service easy and that also has a side benefit of being the easiest to build,” says Davin. “If you threw service out the window, it would be even easier.”

The raw materials to create the final part are mundane—some simple square tubing and angle iron. Davin starts the process by laying out the design with the transmission bolted to the engine and hanging from a strap to determine the proper location. From there, he needs just a couple cuts and a little time with a welder for the mount to come into shape. If you don’t have the confidence or experience Davin does, the best way to tackle a design like this is to sketch the part on paper or mock it up with cardboard so that you can make any necessary adjustments before you grab the welding hood.

This crossmember is now burned into place, which means the Chrysler 440 V-8 is actually ready to pull. That Mopar mill is on the Redline Rebuild docket, but the Honda Mini Trail is nearer the top of the priority list. To keep up to date on all the projects the team is making progress on, be sure to subscribe to the Hagerty YouTube channel to never miss a new video.

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