The engine is nicely done, but it is wise to test fit as you go, as some of the holes will need to be reamed out a bit in order to receive the pins on the parts they locate. The assembled engine locks into the chassis in a very positive manner- two holes in the oil pan receive two molded pins, one on the front crossmember, the other molded to the top of the tie rod. A rectangular tab on the bellhousing fits into a similarly-shaped slot on the trans crossmember, and the front engine mounts sit on two flat pads on the frame rails.
Slide the wheels into the tires from behind, so as not to mar the printed white sidewalls as the ‘paddles’ molded to the wheels will scrape against the tire bead as they are pushed home. Also, it would be wise to chase out the mounting bosses on the wheels to clear out any plating residue, eliminating any chance of the bosses splitting when the plastic pins (front spindles) or metal rear axle is inserted into them.
The frames in all the kits seem to have a slight warp, but fitting it to its mounting holes in the floor pan and clamping it in place as the glue sets solves that problem.
The decals set very well with no need for setting solution, but be very careful when positioning them- once in place, they hunker down good and fast, and don’t like to be moved once off the backer and onto a painted or foiled surface.
The way the completed chassis/interior assembly slots into the body is quite satisfying- the two assemblies fit so securely you won’t need glue. I will recommend sanding off the mold lines on the sides of the radiator (a must anyway), but go a bit further and sand a little bit more material off the sides, and possibly the inside of the core support as well, the radiator is a TIGHT fit into the core support.
Don’t forget to foil the window trim molded to the clear parts!
The windshield almost snaps into place- the rear window unit can be a bit fiddly. Best course of action seems to be removing the mounting posts for it molded to the headliner, and then splitting the rear glass unit into its three components- backlight and rear quarter glass. The rear window seems easiest to install by slipping the bottom edge home, then gently working your way up, pushing the window until it seats into place.
The majority of the chrome parts fit well, but the front bumper tends to want to lean back if left unsecured while the glue sets, which will give the bumper a sad-face look when you look at the car from straight ahead. Tape the center of the bumper down as the glue sets, being mindful that the bumper is horizontal in front, and along both sides. Also, keep in mind you will likely need to open up the mounting holes for the side mirrors and wipers a bit to ensure they settle into place properly.
We’ve all seen the kits with bad flash- not much can be done about that now, though Dave Metzner has said the manufacturing facility has been made aware of the problem, and told not to let it happen again.
All the kits out now have bad air cleaner decals. A request with an SASE to Moebius will get you as many corrected sheets as you need.
The cut lines for the rear fender skirts are too far forward. This will be fixed on later reissues of the kit. In the meantime, filling the existing vertical cut lines and moving the front one roughly 5mm rearward and the rear line about 3mm rearward is the best fix.
Watch out on the part number callouts for the side mirrors and wing vent glass- the part numbers are flip flopped side to side.
The instruction sheet is mostly pretty good, but some subassembly diagrams only show one side, leaving a bit of guesswork regarding parts location on the side not shown. There is a very helpful color guide, but no color callouts in the actual assembly sequence.
In short- if you wish to lower rear of the car, be prepared for a lot of grinding. You will probably need to raise the transmission tunnel so the driveshaft will fit into the snout on the differential- you might also need to extend the tunnel all the way back to gain clearance for the differential snout. You will also need to modify or omit the upper piece of the rear crossmember which traps the driveshaft and exhaust system.
Lowering blocks can be made from simple slices of rectangular styrene strip, but depending on how low you go, you might want to look into de-arching or otherwise modifying/replacing the leaf springs and shocks, so as to gain ground clearance and not violate the ‘scrub line’.
Like most early IFS cars, bring the nose of the Hudson down too far and the front crossmember will be dangerously close to the ground- a thinner crossmember, mounted higher up in the frame, or a GM or Mustang II front clip will need to be adapted if you want the car to really hug the pavement.
The engine bay will accept pretty much anything short of a Cummins turbo diesel, but for most V8 swaps at the very least you will need to remove the mounting pins for the stock engine, and more than likely move the transmission crossmember rearward. To avoid possible interference with the V8’s left valve cover when installing the chassis into the body, you may need to trim the battery tray back a little bit depending on what V8 you use and how it is positioned in the chassis. Keep in mind- Hudsons were available with GM Hydramatic transmissions- so early GM overheads were common swap fodder for them, though again, pretty much anything is fair game.
Edited by Chuck Most, 24 January 2012 - 12:34 AM.