Archive for the ‘Ford Roadsters’ Category

Hot Rod!

Posted: April 4, 2017 in Ford Roadsters, Uncategorized
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I finished up the headlight stands today and got the lovely splash aprons mounted below the hood.  Even though the hood is raw steel, the body is flat black and the splash aprons are purple, you can see the beautiful sweeping line of the hood, splash apron, headlight and tire make that flows down and back to the rear wheel.  The bottom of the body doesn’t lay flat on the frame like a ’32, but drops down  below the frame, to follow the hood line.  It’s beautiful, and it’s why I built a ’34 rather than a ’32, or the ’27 I was originally going to build.  I love it.17634448_10213207746090861_6471970211750891650_n17757432_10213205080984235_1940985273489453503_n17757509_10213207745850855_5432272209028145714_n17757562_10213207746570873_2864557533850458756_n

17342997_10213039500804834_3213163995760765948_nWow.  I am so happy right now.  Body is on permanently.  Engine in temporarily, I’ll pull it out to finish and paint the firewall.  Had a moment of “OH NO!”, when setting the engine, as I’d raised the center (flattened) the front crossmember an inch to lower the front, which lead to some initial interference between the crank pulley and the spring U-bolts.  I had room to shove the engine back 1/4″, which let the pulley drop down behind the U-bolts, I’ll have to fill the existing engine mount holes and cut new ones in the frame pads, but there’s plenty of room for that.

Almost done enough to set behind the wheel and make Hot-Rod noises!

Hot Rod!

Posted: March 9, 2017 in Ford Roadsters, Hot Rod, Uncategorized
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The 34 chassis is painted and assembly started.  I’m taking the front spindles to my pal Jake’s shop Saturday to install new kingpin bushings, then the brakes can can be detailed in the front end completed.    There’s some touch up paintwork to do on the top of the frame, but I planned on that, it’s hard to paint upside down.

After that, brake lines and rear shocks, and the body goes back on for good.  The two four barrel intake will go on the 283, now Massey Feguson Red, and a new distributor to replace the GEI, and then it goes in between the frame rails.  Then, I can set in it and make hot rod noises!

This ’34 is testing my skill set.  Today I went to ALRO steel and got a piece of 20 ga. stainless to make the dash panel.  I got a piece WAY bigger than I needed, thinking it’d come in handy to make something, sometime.  I stopped at my buddy’s house on the way home and borrowed his bead roller.  Great plan.

The first thing that happened was that I laid the panel out, and then rolled the bead on the mark for the outer edge, thus making it 1/4″ too big, and it hung below the dash.  Damn.  So, I laid out another, cut it, and while rolling the bead (the 20 ga. stainless really taxes the bead roller), I wandered off the line and ruined it.  So, I cut out number three, no problems, got the machine finish on, cut the holes for the gauges with a brown blade in the cut-off wheel.  All the gauges dropped in save one on the far right, so I began to carefully open up the hole with the cut-off wheel.  Not carefully enough though, I slipped and ended up with a big divet (look over the ammeter)imageuploadedbyh-a-m-b-1485298479-997388that the bezel doesn’t cover.

So, I’ll cut out panel number four, use up the last of the piece of stainless, and spend another day doing it all over again.  If I had the right tools for the job, it’d save me aggravation, but I’ll be more careful with the next one.

On the plus side, I did manage to make the package tray/seat back brace without any wrong cuts or trips back to Menards for more pine.  The seat looks great in the car, the support makes the body much more solid, so I have managed to move ahead.

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Lots of work don the ’34 this week.  The firewall notch to clear the 283’s distributor is glassed in.  I used a chunk of a heavy cardboard shipping tube as the core and glassed in both sides.

While I had resin mixed up I reinforced the sills in back of the doors.  The body is braced with white oak, but it looked like just one layer of mat over this piece, and it was cracked and delamininating.  So, I ground away all the “loose” stuff, drilled some holes in the oak for resin to penetrate, laid up three layers of mat, it looks more substantial.  All went well.

The rear axle, a ’55 Chevy with 3.70 gears, is all cleaned and ready for paint.  The frame is also ready for paint, as are all the rest of the chassis components.   The front end has a new Posies “Super Glide” spring, this one is a reversed eye, reduced arch, and is 1/2″ shorter than the one that came with the car.  It turned out to be  a Speedway spring, a sort of Posies “knock-off”, which made the car set much too high in front.  I have a flattened ’40 rear crossmember and a mono-leaf, which gave the car a “taildragger” stance.  I flattened the front crossmember almost an inch, which along with the new spring should drop the front 3″ from where it was.  I may take a leaf out of the front spring as well, but will drive it a little and let it settle before I do anything.

I made a pan hard bar for the front, using some threaded tubing from Speedway and two heim joints with studs.  Because the frame is upside down, I ended up mounting it backwards, that is, the fixed end on the passenger side, and it’s supposed to be on the drivers side.  So, I cut the little mount tab off and made a new one for the correct, left, side.  In addition I bought some shock mount brackets that mount below the radius rod/perch bolt, and 4 5/8″ heim joints to make shock links for the Houdaille front shocks.  I need to get some 5/8″ LH all thread rod to complete these.

It feels good to make progress.   Next up, I’m going to get the 283 cleaned up, painted, get the dual quad intake on, and then paint the frame and chassis components.  Spring is only 6 weeks away!



In last weeks episode, you’ll remember the ’34 was up on wheels, hood and grill shell aligned, body mounts made, steering box in, and the 283 fired for the first time.  Now, it’s all apart, separated into big automotive chunks, getting all the previously tacked together, mocked up chassis welded up.   

The next time it goes together the chassis will be painted and complete, the 283 will be detailed and wearing two fours, not the single Holley it has now, and the body will be wearing a coat of shiney —— paint.  

It’ll be a busy winter at Cool McCool’s Garage!

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There are a myriad of thankless, frustrating chores to do when building a car, that go un-notced and unappreciated by most, but I think I’m through with the most aggravating of them.  The steering box, which eluded my efforts yesterday to place on the frame and not have it occupy the same spot as the exhaust header and engine mount, I figured out today.  It was tempting to start ordering new parts, but I went out this morning with a new outlook and got it mounted under the engine mount, below and just forward of the exhaust dump, and where the drag link and tie rod are parallel, as they should be.

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I ordered the lovely finned aluminum backing plates with Lincoln self adjusting and self actuating internals from Wilson Welding (thanks Bronson Battle Creek for the bonus that paid for that!), they’ll look killer with the Buick brake drums I already have.  There are some needed trinket parts on the way too from Mac’s Garage,  and I have to bend the steering arms down for clearance due to the dropped axle, but that’s the extent, as far as I can see, of the fabrication/modification I have yet to do before I blow it completely apart.

I’ve decided on color for the body and interior, so the next phase is final welding and finishing of the chassis, then prep it and the body for paint.  The top bows are mounted, lowered into the body 2″ to match the chopped windshield, the weathered Haartz canvas will be trimmed at the bottom edge to meed the body at the belt line the way it should.  The door gaps have been (roughly) fitted, the hood and radiator gaps fitted, and I think I can duplicate the shimming, twisting, tweaking and twisting that got them as close as they are.  The engine and trans are out, I hope to have a couple buddies come over Thursday (my 62nd birthday!) and lift the body off the frame so work on the frame can commence.

Having a ’34 highboy roadster has been a dream of mine for almost 40 years, hopefully by next spring a car very similar to the one gracing the cover of this issue of “Rodders Journal” will roll out of my garage. It’s a long road, but I’m getting there…

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