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MONTAC Enterprises
ATTN: MTB Madness
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Azle, TX 76020



Ford 2.3L Torque Plate Box
AKA: What to do when you are waiting on parts!


It's August 19, 2004, as I write this page.  I am at a "work stoppage" on my engine and suspension awaiting delivery of key parts.  So, it occurred to me that this might be a good time for me to replace the shipping container for my torque plate.  The nailed plywood and 1" x 2" pine box has simply self-destructed.  I've had several people just recently ask about renting the plate, but haven't been able to ship it without a box.  So, today seemed like "the day" for a good "quick" project.  I started out to build a simple raw box, but typical to my nature, I got kind of carried away...


Click for larger version...Do you agree? 

What started out as a raw box constructed from scrap 3/4" MDF, turned into the "box from hell" at left.  Click the image to see a larger version.

First, I decided to custom fit the carcass to the torque plate such that it would just fit into it with Neoprene spacers all the way around.  I reduced the height to eliminate possible shifting in transit.  MDF doesn't like nails, so I pre-drilled for #8 x 1-1/2" screws and glued/screwed the carcass.  Then, I needed a way to secure the top.  I didn't have a piano hinge and locking latch on hand; so, I pre-drilled the top and bottom together for #8-32 stainless steel machine screws and stainless steel washers.  Then, I went back and counter-bored the carcass holes for metal inserts to accommodate the machine screws... all for durability's sake of course.

I got to thinking that the box with the torque plate inside was going to weigh a good bit and getting it off a flat surface was going to be a challenge; so, I added full width legs (which I routered flush as I did the top/bottom to frame, and then put a 1/2" round over to the bottom edge).

It was looking pretty good, but then I got to thinking that MDF doesn't do too well in contact with moisture, and I DO want this box to last.  So, I filled the screw counter-bores with wood putty topped with glazing putty and sanded it "smooth".  To keep the moisture damage in check, I added 4 coats of primer, sanded it "smooth" again, and topped it off with a can of Dupli-Color Bed Liner Coating that I had left over from a speaker project.

Finally, it occurred to me that the UPS folks are likely to be pretty hard on the box, shoving it around "hither and yon"; and MDF doesn't like impacts on edge and corner, so I dug through the hardware bin and found a couple of sets of left-over, brass, corner guards.  They're brass, not silver, and really are intended for decorative use, but they will offer substantial protection.

In any event...  I finally finished it at about 2000hrs today, so the torque plate is now available for shipment again. 


Hopefully, I will get some of my shipments in tomorrow.  I don't think I can take another "quick' project this week!


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Revised: March 03, 2006 .