Archive for the ‘Roadsters’ Category

Faithful readers will recall our last episode, when our plucky hero (that would me) was left in a pickle.  Carburetor linkage that didn’t fit, brake hoses the wrong size, a driveshaft tunnel in the frame that wouldn’t clear the shaft and similarly flat floor.  

Did we mention the owner of the driveline local shop hurt his back and couldn’t make the driveshaft?

Well, the Cavalry arrived (in the form of the UPS truck)!  Steering shaft support bearing and bracket made and mounted!  Throttle linkage fabricated, looks and works beautifully!  Driveshaft tunnel in the frame modified and new floor tunnel in progress (thanks to another chunk of cardboard shipping tube and a yard of fiberglass mat my friend Steve [Mutant Brothers] gave me),and new brake hoses from the local NAPA store! 



And yet, he persevered.

img_2201I got the instructions for the ’34 Roadster the other day, so I jumped right in on it!  Sadly, I repeated what I used to with model cars, and the full size equivalent of getting glue on the windshield, and am now mopping up the mess.

I had ordered some 5/8″ LH jamb nuts for the front shock links from Speedway Motors, and some rear shock mount steps.  The order came today, and all excited to hook my Houdaille front shocks, I made the connector link (5/8″ LH all thread) and opened the pack of jamb nuts.  They wouldn’t screw on, and it was obvious when I looked, they were RH jamb nuts.  On top of that, I only ordered one shock stud, thinking they came in pairs, so a couple of errors on that order.  I need to get some steering shaft and a couple of U-joints anyway, so it can be steered, so I’ll be calling tonight to set things righ

Meanwhile, the trans tunnel  I made out of cardboard is ‘glassed, it looks and fits fine.  I succumbed to peer pressure and swapped the single 4 bbl. intake and Holley carb for the ancient Offy 2-4 intake and the pair of Edelbrock 500 carbs I bought for it.  I ordered a small diameter electronic distributor, wires and coil which should be here tomorrow, so that’ll be ready to fire up.

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Posted: February 28, 2017 in Hot Rod, Roadsters, The purple nurple., Uncategorized
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No, it’s not finished yet, my wife bought me the issue of “Street Rodder” the car was featured in back in ’83!  It’s great to have it, and see the car as it was originally built.



I do have the frame in primer, and would like to have it and the suspension bits in color soon and assembled.  Not purple though…

A friend on FB suggested that a full width stainless dash might “flow” better than the small center panel, and lots of people, including my wife, thought the two side panels were just too “busy”.  So, back to ALRO steel I went and  had them shear me a 2’x4′ piece of mirror polished stainless (I got extra, in the likely event I screwed up along the way) and I got busy.

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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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’34 Roadster updates

Posted: January 4, 2017 in Hot Rod, Roadsters, transportation
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img_0955The holiday season is over, and it’s time to update the blog.  Progress on the roadster has been steady, if slow, but there is progress.

I’ve gotten the frame DONE, unless you count priming and paint.  I thought I was done yesterday, but my friend Matt Lesky posted some photos of a ’32 chassis he just finished up, and that inspired me to make a couple changes on the ’34, even if it’s not on a level equal to what “Ionia Hot Rod Shop” does.  This extra detail isimg_0961 gussets were the “X” member joins the perimeter rails.  I’d thought it need a little extra, but wasn’t sure what to do until I saw Matt’s work.  So, that’s now done.

I also ordered a bunch of trinket parts from Speedway to mount the Houdialle shocks I saved from the Diamond T truck, and a new front spring.  Faithful readers will remember the mock up shot, which clearly shows the front WAY high, considering a reversed eye spring and dropped axle.  I selected, after much anguish, a Posies reversed eye, reduced arch spring.  Initially I was going to use a mono-leaf, but was concerned about the reliability of a single leaf, made probably in China, and opted for a US made piece.  I also sectioned, or flattened, the front crossmember 3/4″, so I should be quite a bit lower than it was, and planned “rubber rake” should take care of the rest.

img_0952I bought a quart of acrylic enamel in the color I decided on (you’ll have to wait to see what that is!),  and as soon as I can get a day when I can heat the shop to near 60, I’ll paint the chassis parts, brackets, radius rods, axle, and rear end, the frame, and get the chassis assembled.

It’s exciting!

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Yesterday, on a Facebook page devoted to traditional custom cars (we know it’s traditional because they spell it with. “K”), someone posted some photos of several vintage Cadillac customs. Following suit, I posted one of our long gone ’56 convert, a car that really initiated me into the world of “customs”. The car gave me confidence in my abilities and sense of style, I was and still am, proud of it.

Several people then “shared” the photo to their pages, which is flattering. Since I’m a bit of an attention seeker, of course I followed links their pages to see them, and read comments.

Predictably, some of the comments were less than complimentary. “I don’t like the tires”, to “Painted chrome sucks”, and so forth.  Of course my feeling were a little hurt, and I thought, “Really?”  It was the 80’s, and the car was sort of cutting edge at the time.

Several witty and cutting replies came to mind, from “…and the horse you rode in on.”,  to “Let’s see YOUR car”, to some even less refined. I paused for a second before hitting “Return”, which is NOT my usual habit. I must be getting more mature.

This pause made me wonder Why it is that people feel free to express every negative feeling they have in this way? It’s not just the cloak of anonimity of the web, I’ve heard it all in person at car shows and events as well. People seem to think if it’s out in public, their myopic viewpoint needs to be heard, especially in the example of a custom car, by the owner/builder. My wife always cringes when I let these dopes have it car shows, saying it brings me down to their level.

I guess she’s right. From now on, this kind of unconstructive criticism I’ll let slide. It doesn’t matter, I do things for me, not someone else.

And besides, they couldn’t do it anyway…