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felixr 02-18-2007 02:39 PM

Help removing fenders/rusty bolts
I am pretty much discouraged at this point. Two bone contusions, a puncture that broke through my nitrile gloves literally pushing nitrile powder and glove particle into my skin and a nasty strawberry on my forearm and i have gotten exactly one of the 963 bolts off of my valve covers. I tried removing the fenders and griill to get to my engine in my 50 f-1 but cant get a single bolt to come off. if it comes close it stops at the very end because it is stuck there (the nut.)

i'm at a loss. i don't know what to do next short of cutting every bolt off with a cutting wheel that i'll have to go back to harbor freight for (not necessarily a bad thing i guess lol.)

i tried soaking them with a petroleum based product (sea foam was all i had handy and will be going out today to buy wd40 or liquid wrench or maybe both) but that didn't do much more than get the stuck bolts to unscrew just enough to lead me on and then get stuck.

the truck is covered in surface rust pretty much. i feel almost like selling it and buying one that someone has already done the whole body sandblasting deal on lol

would sandblasting help my situation or do i still have to get everything apart to get it sandblasted?

i got my lmc catalog in yesterday and you'd think it was exciting. well it was but today it was depressing lol. i am SOOOOOOOO far away from that beautiful truck on the front cover.

i need your help guys! do i cut away at them? if i do, what do i do about the ones i wont be able to get to?

will liquid wrench or wd40 REALLY dissolve 50 years of rust to where i can easily remove these stubborn screws and bolts?

should i go buy a propane torch to help? i will need to learn how to use it properly, i saw someone once (on tv) torching the ujoints(?) on the driveshaft in order to loosen them enough to remove easily and i always thought there are parts you dont do it on so you can avoid catching it on fire. well it did catch on fire cause it had grease but it was a controlled fire and he kept going. i dont imagine there is any gas i'll have to worry about blowing up on a truck that probably sat for the last 30 years.

ANYway, sorry for the long windedness(not a word i dont think)

so yeah, a torch? a cutting wheel? what? HELP!! PLEASE!!!

thanks guys!

oh by the way, i did actually manage to take the intake plenum(?) off. i can see down into the engine. it looks like hell. there is this thick tar like stuff in there that is blacker than night. and its deep lol and it looks like its caked on

just lots of old oil? any ideas? man it will sure be interesting to clean this engine out.

speaking of which, anyone know if by removing the outer pulleys (that look like the brackets are also the motormounts) i will make the engine fall? looks like it to me but this is my first time working on this engine.

thanks a million in advance for all the help guys!

jimhackney 02-18-2007 03:32 PM

Cut'em off, you'll want to replace them anyway!!!!

jimhackney 02-18-2007 03:34 PM

The engine rests on motor mounts between the lower side of the engine and the frame. As long as you don't mess with them, the engine won't fall out. There's also a rear mount probably on the transmission that holds the rear up.

jimhackney 02-18-2007 03:38 PM

Get on Amazon and buy yourself a good book about restoring old trucks. One example of a good one is "How to Restore Your Ford Pickup" by Tom Brownell

ALBUQ F-1 02-18-2007 03:44 PM

First off, is this a flathead V8? I don't see where you've said, but it makes a HUGE difference!

If it is, those aren't valve covers, they are cylinder heads, and unless you use an impact wrench, you're real likely to break a bunch of them off inside the block.

Those parts with the pulleys are the water pumps, and yessiree Bob, if you take them both off, the engine will be laying down on the front axle!!!

You need a manual!!!

jimhackney 02-18-2007 03:58 PM

I stand corrected, I made the dummy assumption that all engines were mounted via conventional motor mounts. Sorry for the confusion

bobj49f2 02-18-2007 04:23 PM

The first I would suggest is removing the entire front clip as one unit. There are only six main bolts holding the entire front clip to the trucks. One each at the back top by the firewall, one each on the back bottom near the firewall and then two holding the bottom of the radiator to the frame cross over. There are also a couple, three bolts holding the bottom of the fenders to the running boards. Once you have the front clip off flip it over and work on it that way, it's a lot easier get to all of the remaining bolts.

This is how I did it when I swapped bodies on my panel:

I would recomment using an angle grinder with a cutting disc, heavy gloves and good face and ear protection. You can also use a torch but if you're not familiar using one you can cause a lot more damage to the thin sheetmetal than it's worth. You'll need more than just a propane torch, you'll need a combination Oxy-Acedelene or Oxy-propane torch set up. Make sure you have all debrise away and a couple of good fire extinguishers close by.

Good luck,


jimhackney 02-18-2007 05:34 PM

Bob, now I'm impressed, what is the medium, program, method, software that you used for this sequence of pic's. Have never seen anything like it. WOW

jimhackney 02-18-2007 05:36 PM

And oh by the way, one good looking panel

WALFORD'S 56 02-18-2007 05:42 PM

Bob--wow is right -that is the coolest I have ever seen--I don't get out much!!!I am just now learning to post a picture and when I saw the video picture you put on --I had the whole gang over to watch you build the panel!!!!You are coooolll!!!!Bill

Randy Jack 02-18-2007 06:23 PM

Hey, Felix!

I hear ya, Buddy! Ease up on the body damage.

A very good way to remove rusty bolts is to tighten them until they break. Definately use an impact wrench. It helps to have a buddy hold the other side with a breaker bar. You can do that on the truck or after you remove the whole clip like Bob said.

Works like a charm. You'll have the whole thing apart in an hour. :-D

52merc 02-18-2007 07:51 PM

I feel you pain on the fender bolts - I cut/broke every single one of them on my '52. Most the nuts & bolts weren't even recognizable anymore they were so rusted.

About the gunk in the engine. I assume you have a flathead V8? If so thes were notorious for building up sludge in the lifter valley (and about everywhere else). When I drained the oil from mine there must have been a layer about 1/2" thick on top of the drain plug. Unless you are planning a complete rebuild of the engine, be really careful about disturbing that stuff. Bits that break free can plug up oil passages etc and cause real problems.

felixr 02-18-2007 08:02 PM

thanks a kajillion for all the help guys!

i really appreciate it. bob you're a lifesaver! thanks for telling me where the bolt are lol
i was just going for the bigger ones. who knows how much time you just saved me.

ALBUQ, you are so right man! i DO need the manual! i know there is the manual that would have come with these and then there is the shop manual right? thats the one i need?

ALLDATA wouldn't help would it? we have it at work but i doubt it goes to 1950 lol

i bought a harbor freight compressor and a wrench that i had to wack 3 times on the concrete floor to get it to move. (got what i paid for i guess)

i also got an impact wrench from there. the one for tires . . that -is- what its called isnt it?

i put both to work and they did the opposite. the bolts were too stuck for both the air wrench and the impact wrench!

i truly hope its just the bolts. i mean, i didnt get too crappy of a compressor. its a 100 psi 21 gallon 5hp compressor. that should be enough right?

the wrench tries but just cant move them. the impact wrench also tries but slows down ridiculously (effort wise) and is basically a joke when it comes to trying the bolts. i think i'll have better luck with the regular wrench when the bolts are a little less rusty.

i probably -will- just cut the bolts off though.

it -is- a flathead v8 by the way. i imagine i can't cut THOSE bolts off . . . or wouldnt want to anyway lol

what else? where can i get the manual for this truck? do i have to surch on epay or does someone readily sell it somewhere? thanks again guys! im glad i can always count on all of you.

felixr 02-18-2007 08:27 PM

speaking of that crud/sludge. . . whenever i DO get the front clip off, how can i clean the engine? i mean, i don't think seafoam is gonna cut it lol. im gonna have to like power wash the engine to get as much of that stuff out or soak it in like some sort of acid or degreaser? i dont know . . .

ALBUQ F-1 02-18-2007 09:03 PM

If the engine is that bad in the valley, and you intend to keep this engine, just pull it out and disassemble it. Get it tanked (maybe more than once!!) so you can assess it's condition. It may not need anything, you never know, it doesn't need to have really tight clearances and polished valves to be a good running, great sounding engine. But if it's got crap in the oil system, you'll destroy it by running it.

There are people selling repro's of the factory manual for '48-52 trucks, opn eBay and elesewhere. They are generally $30 plus shipping. The pictures aren't as crisp as a real original manual but good enough. One of the "hot rod your flathead" books is a good supplement, since the factory manual is written for Ford mechanics who had worked on flatheads since '32 and assumes you already know certain things.

Anytime you have to remove head bolts that have sat for a while, and aren't budging with the impact wrench, first tighten them a little, with a breaker bar. Just maybe 30 degrees of movement (less than a flat on the head of the bolt), then try to loosen, repeat as needed. As soon as you get some movement, hit it again with the impact.

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