My 1939 Ford Standard Coupe - The Tear Down

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After much careful study and procrastinating, I've begun the process of removing the center section of the frame. This is a four-sided boxlike structure that had twenty factory rivets holding it into place.

I had hopes of removing it intact so that I could save it for someone who may need the original part. However, the only way to do that would have been to also remove at least one whole x-member side to allow it, and I wasn't going to remove any more rivets than I had to. The center section is nicely boxed into the x-member rails, and cannot move forward or backward due to the curved shape at the center.

I began to grind down the rivet heads where I could reach them. Then I drilled them as much as possible before hammering each rivet out with a drift and heavy hammer.

The first and second photos show the bottom or underneath side of the frame. You can see the ball mount where the radius rod ("wishbone") mount attaches.

There were rivets everywhere....... six on the top side, six on the bottom, and four on each side. The two on each side next to the cross-braces were quite awkward to reach. A Dremel™ tool was handy for reaching those. 

The transmission mount is just forward of the center section. When I finally removed all 20 rivets I realized that the center would not move forward and out unless I removed the transmission mount too.

So, eight more rivets to grind/drill/hammer out! Then, I had to take a cut-off wheel and cut the center section in two. That's four and front/rear. I hated to do it, but it was the only way to get it out. The tranny mount came out intact however.

My nice clean frame is all spattered with cutting oil and metal shavings. 

After much grinding, drilling, and mighty swinging of the big hammer, the center section and transmission mount are gone.

I've cleaned up the holes a bit. The new center section parts will be bolted into place. Once I'm satisfied that I have my location and fit correct, I'll weld them into place to insure the integrity of the frame.

I've left the anti-chatter rods in place since they will reattach to the 59A engine that will go into the car.

Here's the transmission mount after I removed it. With my plans to use a Borg-Warner T-5 transmission, I doubt that this piece will be used in the application. It's in perfect shape.

Page 16 of the Tear Down

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