How to Build a Custom Transmission & Driveshaft Tunnel – Ford Model A – Eastwood

How to Build a Custom Transmission & Driveshaft Tunnel – Ford Model A – Eastwood


the last step of this project we showed
you how we made the floor pans for my model way back here the next step is going to be building
the drive shaft and transmission tunnel for the car which a lot of people can
find challenging to make now if we were back in the early days of hot rodding we
might use a wheelbarrow or a 55-gallon drum and just fit in place but that’s
just not going to match the quality of work we’ve already done on this car now in this video I’m going to show you
how to make a simple but Queen transmission tunnel for the car using
only a handful of tools so let’s get started yeah yeah we started by bending up some one inch
strips to give us half inch by half inch flanges using the shrinker stretcher to
form it to match the center opening and the floors we will use this as our guide throughout
the video for making the trans tunnel to give us room while building the
transmission tunnel i removed the shifter assembly and taped up the hole
in the transmission so nothing can get inside I started by making a wire pattern which
is going to serve as a guide for our paper pattern here you can see where
we’ve made the first few layers of the wire frame and the rest of the frame is
the same process once i got the wire frame built it was time to transfer on
the paper so that we could then transferred to sheet metal i left about three inches extra around
my cut line so i could have extra material to work with once I had the paper template complete I could then transfer to the sheet metal
with the template on my sheet metal I cut it out with the electric shears
after we cut the panel out we drew on tracking lines that would
serve as a guide when we’re rolling it in the English wheel so now that we have it over over to the
wheel here you may notice that i have the rubber
band on the upper wheel here what this is for is the rubber band
deadens the amount of stretch that the English wheel puts in both directions so
it will be almost no stretch front to back and only side to side over the
wheel which is what we want we want this panel to be front and back pretty darn
straight but we want a conical shape out of it so
a way that you do is you put you put the wheel so that’s actually fairly loose so we’re going to put it in here and you
put it in diagonal like with our lines normally you would run it the panel’s front the back straight like
that but we want a conical sheet so we’re going to actually turn it like
this so that it’s running with the lines through the center as you can see i have
the paddle pretty on loose in here it’s not really stretching any metal what
we’re going to be doing is using the English wheel like an anvil we’re going to be forming it over the
bottom wheel slowly as we roll it through so you’re not actually doing any real
stretch at this point we’re just kind of forming the metal around the bottom
wheel so now I got this tighten up a little
bit i’m going to roll a few passes and put some pressure down you can kind of
see how I’m doing it and we’ll check back in and this show you what we do
next let’s get rolling here yeah yeah yeah alright so we’re old both sides just a
couple of times through and man you can see already we got a nice nice shape
going here this is already starting to take the form that we want we just got
to tighten it up a little bit now because i only rolled diagonally up to
basically my centerline this center area here especially up in this area it’s it’s pretty flat so it kind of
comes up and then it flattens out because we didn’t touch it hardly so i’m
going to do is I’m going to run the wheel with the rubber band again just straight up and down and i’m going
to focus in this area here a little bit just so i can just bring this area up
and i’m going to put a little tension on the wheel so it’s doing some stretching
and we’re going to stretch up this Center just a little bit so has a nice flow to it and then we
could we can go back in the wheel rolling at the angle like this just to
get my ends to to pull down more and we’ll check it on our on our wire form
and in the car and see where we’re at and we should be able to get this thing
pretty close pretty quickly so we’ll go back to the wheel yeah all right so we got the trans tunnel
here fit in place it’s still a little large I’ve been
slowly trimming it down till I get a closer to the the size we want but I
don’t want to trim too much at once and we end up with it being too short but
you can see we got the shape is pretty close to what it needs to be at this
point we just need I need to start just turning these edges more 90 degrees
straight down to meet up and then we have to pull out a little bit over on
the sides here to make it match the floor profile but we’re going to use
these flanges we made earlier as our guide so that should keep us in line so
the panel will flow how it needs to at the bottom so I’m going to keep working
on this a little bit takes a little bit of time to get this fit and quite right
but it’s worth the effort and will show you when we’re ready to start well these
flanges back together once i got the trans tunnel trim down correctly i click
it and the flanges together into the car and then use described to mark the trim
line on the transmission tunnel so i could but welded to the flanges to
create one solid piece I now cut directly on my trim line with
the aviation snips to remove the excess material i’m using our stitch weld magnets to
keep the flanges oriented correctly in place and then added a few tack welds to
permanently hold the flange in place close up an uneven gap on your weld seam
for your dolly behind the joint and user Hammer – Hammer on dolly fairly hard so
that you stretch the metal that everything comes together for gaps the
spanning larger area you may need to sneak up on the joint by tack welding on
either side as you hammer and Dolly at the close up the gap yeah yeah with the seam welded I can stand any
proud welds and hammer and Dolly any weld warpage out of the panel now that I
have my trans tunnel finished I can start working on the drive shaft
all right now that we’ve got the transmission tunnel portion of this
project pretty much finished ready to move on to the second half the drive
shaft tunnel and I took some measurements just to give us an idea of
the length that we need for the tunnel and a rough cut apart here with the
electric sheer so it’s easier to work in the English wheel I’ve also drawn out a line strip here in
the center that gets wider at the end that’s basically going to be our
tracking area where we’re going to keep the English wheel inside that line for
the most part so let me take this over the English
wheel and we can show you what we’re doing to make this piece formed pretty
quickly all right now we have our part in the
English wheel here and the key portion of this English wheel process is we have
this rubber band on the top here just like we did with the transmission tunnel
again this part here keeps the paddle from
forming front-to-back and side-to-side it’s only going to for the most part for
MIT side the side of the rubber band installed we’re going to focus on the
center area just to give us that nice rounded shape of a peak in the center so
I’m going to tighten this up to moderate pressure here pretty good already there and I’ll move
back here so this piece here is probably about at the max of what you can do with
one person you’ll see as we first start rolling this i’m going to need to kind
of walk with the piece to balance the other side you have a helper that would be great you just have to
work in unison as you roll the peace once i get a few passes through this the
panel is going to gain a ton of strength and it’s going to support itself and i
can just roll it a lot quicker but for the beginning here it’s gonna be a little bit tedious but
we should go to get through it yeah alright so there’s one trick you can do
here to help kind of speed up the process a little bit and just help panel
curve within reason is you can basically put
some would say body english into it where you’re going to be squeezing on
the sides of the panel like this trying to help it form around that wheel now
since this is such a big piece i can only reach out to about here so I’ll
kind of do this half here and then I was spinning around do the same thing and
that will help it really form over that bottom wheel a lot quicker otherwise you’re going to be here for
quite some time going back and forth the sliding the wheel do it naturally but we
can speed it up just a little bit by doing this yeah all right we got the piece out of the
wheel and I got it all wiped down now you can see the shape that we have
put into the panel here on we’ve established this peak or radius in the
center that we’re going to work upon further from here so I’ve got to pretty
much the max that we can bend this piece in the English wheel with the lower
radius wheels that we offer you can see I even have a couple little tracking
marks that I can sand out or I can hammer and Dolly out of the later . but
we’re going to keep keep moving from here so there’s a couple different ways
that you can establish or bend this the rest of the way that we need what we really need we need these what I
would call a wing so to speak we need is to be brought down vertical
i’m pretty happy with the area in the center here that’s been we just got to bring these two ends down
there’s a few ways you can do this you can use a big piece of pipe you could use an old welding bottle you
can use a friend to help you bend it another way you can do it is if you put
on the edge of the table like this with your weight on it you can cut a bounce on the piece like
that and you’ll help slowly kind of bend it over a little at a time however you do it doesn’t really matter
the end goal is to get these two wings worn a vertical orientation so you can
fit in the car so let me work this a little bit more and then I’ll show you
where we’re at once they’re in the car all right now that we got the tunnel
rounded out using a little bit of a body English I test fit the piece in here and i’m
really liking the shape comes around real nice has a nice peak to it in the
center I think we can work with that so from
here we just got to do a bunch of trimming the way I built this floor i
have some cross bars in here so that the relief cut for those but i’m going to
slowly trim this piece so it sinks down and it touches our front transmission
tunnel so we can get a nice seam there – well
the two of those together so I want to work on that a little bit well it all together and we’ll show you
where we’re at the end here using the aviation snips and a pair of pliers I rough cut the pieces out of the tunnel
that’s it over the crossbars and then use the versatile than break to put the
floor flanges on either side with my cuts and Ben’s finished I quicker the
drive shaft tunnel in place playing the front edge over the transmission tunnel
and then describe the transmission tunnel where the paddle met so I had a tight butt weld scene I used
our electric shears to rough cut the part out and the aviation snips to get a
precise cut on my line once that was cut I can go ahead and
tack the tunnels in place while they’re in the car this is to ensure that both tunnels stay
and correct orientation once they were tacked together I pulled
both tunnels out of the car and started welding them together using the take 200
again now that I had both pieces connected I
could hammer and Dolly on the weld seam to reverse any work image ok all right now that we have the drive
shaft and transmission tunnel all welded together and fit back into the car I’m really happy with how everything
turned out it fits really well and job looks professional now the next step of this project is
going to be to move on to the trunk floor we have to build and raised trunk floor
to go over our seed rear of the frame to follow along for all our tech videos and
everything that’s East would make sure you subscribe to our YouTube channel and
follow us on Facebook and Instagram thanks for watching yeah yeah

13 thoughts on “How to Build a Custom Transmission & Driveshaft Tunnel – Ford Model A – Eastwood

  1. Matt I love these kind of fab videos keep them coming. When you are doing these videos can you please tell us what gauge steel you are working with.

  2. Hey Matt,I bet you're going to enjoy that pipe anvil we made,can you do a video using the pipe anvil making a trans tunnel

  3. does eastwood make or sell sliprollers because your transmission tunnel and driveshaft tunnel both could have been made a lot easier and faster with a sliproller and im sure they could be used for a lot of other projects too

  4. Matt Great Hands On practical video. Any chance of a compilation full length video on the project. Your workmanship is excellent. Colin from the Land of Kangaroos

  5. I would like for you to say what gauge material you use on your metal projects. Thanks. I enjoy your work and the vids!

  6. Great job…I would liked to have seen how you would cut open the transmission tunnel to properly fit in the top of transmission box and shift lever.

  7. Did you weld the trans and driveshaft tunnel seam continuously or do you jump around and let it cool some? I like the idea of tig'ing them instead of having a big ole mig mess to clean up after. How much shaping is there to do after the weld? I've had to use a dent puller heat source to eliminate the oil can on front pans after moving too fast with the mig. Good videos. Fairly detailed with the process

  8. Nice work! I don't have an english wheel and I don't think it's necessary to have one. I would have laid that sheet metal over a piece of channel iron and then rounded it by hammering it into the channel with a piece of pipe.

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