1957 Chevy Restoration "The Godfather" Part 6

1957 Chevy Restoration  "The Godfather" Part 6 - Trunk

         Jumping around again, this time to the trunk. NHRA Rulebook states that when battery is relocated in trunk in lieu of rear firewall, battery may be located in a sealed .024-inch-steel, .032-inch-aluminum, or NHRA-accepted poly box and must be vented outside of body. It also states that relocated battery must be fastened to frame or frame structure with a minimum of two 3/8-inch-diameter bolts.

         The only way to mount to the frame meant that the box had to mount sideways and hang halfway over the tire well. Not a good look. So I had to remove tire well by drilling out the welds (pic 1). Then I used a pry bar with a little persuasion using a hammer, popped each weld as I went down along the seam.
(Pic 2).

         I removed the tire well and removed the drill burrs on all the holes (pic 3). Cut out a replacement panel from a heavy gauge metal panel I had from another project.  I used a Milwaukee M18 18 Gauge Double Cut Shears. They cut thru the metal like butter. (pic 4)

         (pic 5) Shows the holes drilled thru the trunk pan and frame. The mounting threaded rods are attached to the frame as required by NHRA.  By this point I guess you figured out that “The Godfather” would get some “Track” time. You betcha! When I first built the car it’s best time was 11:94 when the record was 11:90. All I want now is a time slip of 11:90 or better. That was with a 265 sbc punched out to 272ci. and 5:86 gears. Now it has a 383-stroker and 4:10 gears… I think I’ll make it.

         Here’s a close up of the threaded rods (pic 6). I fitted the replacement panel in and welded it in place.

         Now on to one of the most difficult parts of this job. Did you know that the trunk spatter paint that was so available in your local Parts stores in the 60’s has all about disappeared? I did find some called Dupli-Color Trunk Paint. It turned out to be total crap. As you can see (pics 7 & 8) this is what 3 cans covered – or NOT covered… Look at the round one-inch streaks and poor coverage. It would have taken over 12 more cans to get the result I was after. Off to the local Auto Paint supplier – same results as the local parts store – it’s not a product in high demand anymore so nothing in stock. I had to search online to find what I needed. I finally came across Zolatone 20, Gray Stone, paint and ordered a qt. When it arrived I read the instructions, disclaimers and warnings. Apparently, if I used  - in my case sprayed the product - I would die. It had sooo many toxic chemicals in it... I ended up borrowing an air breathing apparatus to get the job done.

        One step I forgot to mention was that before I applied the toxic waste trunk paint I coated the trunk floor pan with spray bed liner. It covered up a host of imperfections that I didn’t want to take the time to sand away. All I can say is that I was totally happy with the finish it produced and would do it again in a heartbeat. It hid EVERYTHING and with the trunk spatter paint on top of the spray bed liner I ended up with a great looking trunk! (pic 9)

        Now back to the Battery box where this all started. The rods are in place and the bottom battery pan installed (pic
10). Sidewalls in place and emergency cut off switch mounted to box (pic 11). Safety switch on/off rod attached to switch and exits thru body for easy access (pic 12). Here is the finished Battery Box installed to NHRA specs (pic 13).  Now it’s time for Murphy’s Law - Typically stated as: Anything that can go wrong will go wrong. Knowing that I got to thinking “I wonder if NHRA has a rule for how the safety switch on/off rod works? Push in or out for switch to be OFF? NHRA
Rule 8.4 “If the switch is the “push/pull” type “push” must be the action for shutting off the electrical system, “pull” to turn it on.” Well you guessed it I had it exactly backwards. All fixed now (pic 14). I used a Taylor Battery box and on/off switch from Summit.




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