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’34 Ford Coupe: Details Part III

by Dave on May 30, 2011

Gary and I continue to work on Bill Evan’s ’34 coupe. If you’ve been following its progress, you know the car has been under construction for a number of years, and that several famously talented craftsmen have laid hands upon it. While the past workmanship is awesome, one of the design elements we inherited was not: a trunk-mounted air conditioning system.

Mounting the Vintage Air A/C-Heater on top of the gas tank in a sealed trunk presented a variety of problems, not the least of which was the need for fresh air circulation these units require. But we had an additional problem: we also needed someplace accessible to mount the car’s complex electrical system. The solution was to move the A/C unit up into the dash area, and move the electrical to a new bulkhead panel in the trunk.

With a little work, the A/C dropped in behind the aluminum dash Gary has fabricated. He modified an area under the dash to accommodate the heater hardware…

… then louvered a panel to provide fresh air to the system.

Gary also fabricated new hard lines on both sides of the firewall. That one floppy, braided hose will also soon be replaced.
The solenoid-operated gas cap came from an Audi TT. Its slightly contoured bezel perfectly fit the curve of the coupe.

But its installation was not so simple. I fabbed up a stainless mount and Gary modified the coupe’s steel structure and glassed in a mount to which the bezel could be bolted.

I’ve also been working on the wiring. This isn’t your basic hot rod with headlights and a horn. The creature comforts in Bill’s coupe rival most modern cars: power windows, power door solenoids, power trunk release, power gas cap, retractable license plate mount, CD, AM/FM, XM radio, GPS with traffic alerts, a ten function remote control, plus a full audio-video system that syncs to Bill’s iPhone and iPad.

I began by fabbing up a dummy bulkhead and laying out the components. At this point it’s a snake farm:

The components came from multiple manufacturers so there was a bit of system integration involved in making them cooperate with each other. Using Adobe Illustrator, I’m drawing up color-coded diagrams that will be put into a binder we’ll give Bill when the car is completed.

I fabbed up an aluminum bulkhead…

…and transferred the layout. Then I drilled and nut-serted the panel…

…and moved the components and wiring onto it. Count up those relays! I’m up to twenty and have a number of circuits left to noodle out. Check back for updates.


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