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Old 09-01-2021, 08:01 PM   #1
40-A Twins
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Default 28-29 repro radiator shell

I bought a 28/29 repro radiator shell about 20 years ago and could never get the hood adjusted to get a consistent gap side to side. I believe it had a "Made in Taiwan" sticker on it when purchased. I am in the middle of shimming the body now to improve the alignment and finally pinpointed just what was wrong with this shell. Looking straight on from the side, the hood can be lined up parallel with the shell on the vertical sides, but at the start of the upper corner radius, the step down is angled forward and meets the back of the radiator neck opening tangentially (if viewed looking straight down at the neck). This creates additional gap that tapers from 1/4" at the neck to 0 at the corner. Comparing this to the original shell on the other car, there is a full 1/4" + between the radiator neck and the step down.
My question : Are the repro shells sold now a closer match an original ?
I really don't want to start another rant about foreign made repro parts. Whoever ponies up the money to have a stamping die machined is free to choose where to have parts manufactured, only I do wish they would spend a little more time checking their product before selling it to us unsuspecting restorers.
BTW, I bought a US made repro door for this car, and even after multiple modifications it still has issues.
Kevin
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 28-29 REPO SHELL.jpg (33.3 KB, 111 views)
File Type: jpg REPO SHELL 2.jpg (22.5 KB, 107 views)
File Type: jpg ORIGINAL 28-29 SHELL.jpg (27.8 KB, 103 views)
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Old 09-01-2021, 08:57 PM   #2
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Default Re: 28-29 repro radiator shell

i think i must have the same aftermarket shell as you.
but i have managed to cheat it some to make the gaps a bit better.
the rad cap thing is a bit annoying tho.
my car is not fancy so i just accept it. they are far from perfect, but they are shiny.

i moved the bottom ahead and the top back.
if you can move the rad down that may help. maybe it has shims lifting the rad up?
or maybe the body end of the pivot mount can go up a bit.
other than that your only choice may be to get the original shell replated.

sorry not much help answering your question.

ou
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File Type: jpg thumbnail_IMG_0023.jpg (31.5 KB, 53 views)
File Type: jpg thumbnail_IMG_0022.jpg (27.3 KB, 53 views)

Last edited by old ugly; 09-01-2021 at 09:15 PM.
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Old 09-01-2021, 09:04 PM   #3
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Default Re: 28-29 repro radiator shell

The repro shells now are better. I have one I bought a year and a half ago on my car from Berts (the nickel plated version). I called them up and asked about the fit, and he said that they fit fine and the problems arise with the 30-31 shells.
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Old 09-01-2021, 09:54 PM   #4
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Default Re: 28-29 repro radiator shell

I haven’t looked lately, but I have always wondered why the repro 28-29 radiator shells and headlight buckets weren’t offered as nickel plated. Nickel is part of the chroming process, as I understand it. If they offered nickel headlight buckets I’d replace the chrome repros on my coupe.
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Old 09-02-2021, 11:19 AM   #5
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Default Re: 28-29 repro radiator shell

I also, bought a new radiator shell, as I was rebuilding my Ď28 Sport Coupe. When I finally got to the point of using it, I had to redrill the brackets on the radiator and use smaller bolts to line it up. I should have had the old original rechromed. As usual, CRAPPY foreign parts.
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Old 09-02-2021, 02:32 PM   #6
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Default Re: 28-29 repro radiator shell

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Crappy they are ! Bought mine from sacramentoford. Had to move the radiator forward, cut the neck, cut the lower sides, make slots instead of screw holes etc. JUNK !
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Old 09-02-2021, 06:12 PM   #7
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Default Re: 28-29 repro radiator shell

Keep in mind that just because the shell doesn't fit the radiator well doesn't mean that the shell is at fault. Older aftermarket radiators are quite bad and any others can also have bent brackets and poor repairs.
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Old 09-02-2021, 06:51 PM   #8
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Default Re: 28-29 repro radiator shell

Why do some folks use aftermarket repro junk when you can still find decent original parts for about the same money and little effort to restore ? I could see if some parts were so rare it was worth the time to tweak, cut, weld, re-plate and repeat trying to get everything to align...…. but really why bother and then complain they don't fit?
JMHO.
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Old 09-02-2021, 07:11 PM   #9
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Default Re: 28-29 repro radiator shell

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Originally Posted by chrs1961815 View Post
The repro shells now are better. I have one I bought a year and a half ago on my car from Berts (the nickel plated version). I called them up and asked about the fit, and he said that they fit fine and the problems arise with the 30-31 shells.
Nickel..hhhhhmmmmmm I have a March 28 car. I did not know you could buy one in nickel. Mine is (nickel) not bad at all, but it is 93 years old. Perhaps I should think about calling Berts.
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Old 09-02-2021, 08:06 PM   #10
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Default Re: 28-29 repro radiator shell

Let us know what Bert’s says. I can’t find a nickel shell on their web site.
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Old 09-02-2021, 08:52 PM   #11
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Default Re: 28-29 repro radiator shell

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Nickel..hhhhhmmmmmm I have a March 28 car. I did not know you could buy one in nickel. Mine is (nickel) not bad at all, but it is 93 years old. Perhaps I should think about calling Berts.
If you still have your original shell, get it replated. It is specific to early 28 - the lacing loops through the shell as opposed to rivets. I'll take it if you don't want it!!
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Old 09-02-2021, 08:54 PM   #12
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Default Re: 28-29 repro radiator shell

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Let us know what Bertís says. I canít find a nickel shell on their web site.
Here you go:
https://modelastore.com/index.php?ro...&category_id=0
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Old 09-02-2021, 10:58 PM   #13
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Default Re: 28-29 repro radiator shell

Ummm, those who are saying to use original ... have you attempted to restore one? How did it come out? How good was it to start with? How much did the plating cost?

The repro chrome plating, I think, is just a flash chrome over the steel.
Proper plating is copper, ground back many times to get rid of pitting, and plated again and again, and having the right gear to do the inside lip. Then nickel (price of nickel is going up, we mine it here) and a very thin coat of chrome (even more expensive, from Russia I think).
And that is after all your super fine panel beating. It has to be a perfect mirror surface so the reflections don't look wonky.

Last time this was discussed, I tried to get a rise from Brent as to how much time and effort it takes to restore one. I think his answer was "how long is a piece of string".
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Old 09-02-2021, 11:05 PM   #14
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Default Re: 28-29 repro radiator shell

After adding about .280" in shims at the cowl, the hood sides are now parallel with the cowl on both sides, with a bulge over the shell on right side. Radiator needs to shift left to get equal gaps at the cowl but the lower strap is hard up against the frame boss. More shimming is needed to raise the radiator up so it can move left, and the body will need to be shimmed up the same amount.
I measured the shell to cowl distance at the bottom of the hood sides, and this car measures 28 3/8", the other car measures 28 5/8". Is 28 1/2" the ideal distance ?
I have not noticed any bent brackets on the radiator yet, but will compare measurements on both sides.
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File Type: jpg hood gaps.jpg (46.0 KB, 20 views)
File Type: jpg hood bulge.jpg (41.4 KB, 17 views)
File Type: jpg lower radiator pad.jpg (62.3 KB, 20 views)
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Old 09-03-2021, 03:37 AM   #15
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Default Re: 28-29 repro radiator shell

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Ummm, those who are saying to use original ... have you attempted to restore one? How did it come out? How good was it to start with? How much did the plating cost?

The repro chrome plating, I think, is just a flash chrome over the steel.
Proper plating is copper, ground back many times to get rid of pitting, and plated again and again, and having the right gear to do the inside lip. Then nickel (price of nickel is going up, we mine it here) and a very thin coat of chrome (even more expensive, from Russia I think).
And that is after all your super fine panel beating. It has to be a perfect mirror surface so the reflections don't look wonky.

Last time this was discussed, I tried to get a rise from Brent as to how much time and effort it takes to restore one. I think his answer was "how long is a piece of string".
I'll indulge you - I have had a lot of experience when it comes to plating and I know the process well. Though I have not had a shell replated, I know what it takes and how it is all done.

The shell is tough - it requires many hours of work to get one back to factory condition depending on how bad it is to begin with. This biggest problem is dents as you have to knock them out enough to smooth it out with copper but not too much as to dent it from the other side. It can also be tricky to get dollies in some of these tight places in the shell, which is where the dents always seem to be.

It is one of those things that costs a fair amount of money but done right will look good and FIT GOOD. I would save myself the trouble if I could get a good one restored. I have several shops I have used and know that do this kind of excellent work.

28-29 cars all had nickel shells save for the town car that came in 29 I believe. 30-31 cars were stainless which is a different conversation all together.
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Old 09-03-2021, 08:12 AM   #16
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Default Re: 28-29 repro radiator shell

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Originally Posted by chrs1961815 View Post
....The shell is tough - it requires many hours of work to get one back to factory condition depending on how bad it is to begin with ...

It is one of those things that costs a fair amount of money but done right will look good and FIT GOOD. I would save myself the trouble if I could get a good one restored. I have several shops I have used and know that do this kind of excellent work ....
So what do they cost?
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Old 09-03-2021, 05:47 PM   #17
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Default Re: 28-29 repro radiator shell

I got a nice NOS Ď29 nickel shell from Berts for $600, about ten years ago. I think that was the last NOS shell on the planet.
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Old 09-03-2021, 05:51 PM   #18
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Default Re: 28-29 repro radiator shell

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I got a nice NOS Ď29 nickel shell from Berts for $600, about ten years ago. I think that was the last NOS shell on the planet.
Time to buy a lottery ticket. You sure got lucky!
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Old 09-04-2021, 07:58 PM   #19
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Default Re: 28-29 repro radiator shell

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I got a nice NOS Ď29 nickel shell from Berts for $600, about ten years ago. I think that was the last NOS shell on the planet.
Just goes to show whatís still floating around out there. 10 years isnít that long ago!
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Old 09-04-2021, 08:18 PM   #20
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Default Re: 28-29 repro radiator shell

Doing a plating job on a 28/29 shell, and I'm talking a quality show job will set you back over $500 now, not to mention the work involved to work the shell and get it ready for plating. I might add that I can spot repro shells and headlights a mile away.
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