Posts Tagged ‘’34 roadster’

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Forgive the dust on the car, look past the clutter, do what I do and just let this soak in.  It’s been a little over a year with this ’34, it’s gone from a pile of mis-matched reproduction and ancient, cast off parts to a roller, that’s wiring and upholstery away from being a car.  It looks exactly as I imagined when I started, which sort of amazes me every time I look at it.

And I go out to the garage and just look at it a LOT.

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I won’t re-hash the build step by step, that’s already done here.  Suffice to say that I’ve learned a lot, gotten frustrated, done a lot of steps over, and put a lot of other stuff on the back burner to get this car to this point.  It’s a 40 year long fantasy fulfilled, that of having a ’34 Roadster.

I must say, I’m rather proud of myself.

I’m at the point now where I can imagine Kim and taking an evening cruise in the summer,  color touring on a crisp autumn afternoon, and a cross country trip with the rumble seat loaded with luggage.  Vague fantasy just a couple years ago, now just a few months of tinkering away.  Not that we couldn’t do all these things with the ’48 Pontiac convertible we’d had for 40 years that got sold to finance this, we did, and could have kept on doing those things with that car, but fate intervened and the “next project” beckoned.

imageOur friends Brandon and Liz from the vintage trailer group we belong to had tried (rather relentlessly) to convince us to part with the ’51 Pontiac wagon, but we weren’t ready to let it go.  They even came over to the house to try to convince us to sell it to them, but seeing the convertible in the garage, unused for three years, asked if we’d part with it.  We hadn’t considered selling it, and when we considered the pros and cons of keeping it, and doing the things I thought it would take to make me happy with the car, versus parting with it, having some extra garage space, and the chance to move on, it seemed like the right thing to do.

Brandon has done all things that I wanted to do to the car, it’s rewarding to see it used and enjoyed, as opposed to it gathering dust under a car cover.  I had “built” the car several times, there had been 4 different engines under the hood, several paint jobs, 3 interiors, and I wasn’t enthused about starting over with it again.

Sort of a “been there, done that” kind of thing.

IMG_7188.JPGSo, we’ve moved on.  I’m still using the T’bird as a work bench, storage shelf, and coffee table, and the Riviera hasn’t been touched for almost 2 years.  That’s OK.  Retirement is just around the corner4, and I’ll need some things to do.  The “heavy lifting” and big expenses are all done on both of them, it’s down to body work, paint and interior for both, the things I really like to do, so I think I’m set for activities to keep me busy, and have a pretty interesting collection of cars. when they’re completed.

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So, this is where I am.  I’ve been invited to show the roadster at the Detroit “Auto-Rama” at Cobo hall in February, I should be able to get the interior and have the car wired for that.  It’s flattering to be asked, and would make a good debut, so that is a reasonable and realistic goal.

Now, I just have to stop going out to the shop, sitting in a lawn chair by the T’bird and staring at ’34.  Time’s a wasting!

 

 

 

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21151264_10214775325199359_3743655163660864024_nBuilding a car, or any project, is an overwhelming task if looked at in the whole, but it’s really just the completion of a multitude of little tasks.  When the last task is done, the car is done.  Like eating an elephant, it’s one bite at a time.

This past weeks tasks started with cleaning the shop, throwing away a Herby Curby full of trash and scraps, and taking care of tools.  With that chore done, I set to making spreader bars for the front and rear of the chassis.  The rear was simple, a straight chunk of heavy wall DOM tubing and two oval shaped brackets, but the front was a little more complicated.  Getting the angles cut to give the “V” shape to clear the grill, and drop an appropriate amount was a challenge, but I’m happy with the result.

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The plumbing for the car is DONE:  Brake lines, fuel lines, and radiator hoses.  I found preformed hoses and cut them down for both the upper and lower outlets at the local auto parts store.  The transmission cooler lines had me stumped, I tried one entire afternoon to make them from rigid 5/16″ line, finally after ruining one, and ending up with some clumsy looking ones I found that the radiator fittings were 1/8″ pipe, and I still couldn’t hook them up.  I went back and got some some soft copper line I could bend by hand, some rubber trans cooler lines, two brass hose bibs the right size, and got the job done in about 20  minutes.  It looks good too, not like it was made by a blind monkey.

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img_2829The seat riser got rebuilt, a clearance bump in the trunk (rumble seat) floor for the differential was made, and I added a couple layers of ‘glass mat and resin to the buggered up corners of the hood apron/splash shields.  The hood and grill shell fit is reasonably close, (REALLY good by ’34 Ford standards!), and I’ve got the ignition wiring done enough to fire it up.  My goal this week is to get the body prepped for paint and in high build primer, and the hood and little parts in color.  It’s tantalizingly close to being a real car!

…and some days the bear bites you.

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Yesterday I was planning fitting the brake lines and measuring for the driveshaft.  I got the front brake hoses (’40 Ford) out of their packages, and discovered they don’t fit the wheel cylinders in the Wilson Welding backing plates.  The fittings are too big.  So, scratch that, now I need adaptors, or correct size hoses.

Moving under the car, with trouble light and tape measure in  hand, I set out to measure for the driveshaft.  It was immediately apparent that the driveshaft wouldn’t clear the flat top of the X member at the rear, nor the flat floor.  I had plenty of room with before the body was mounted, but that and the engine settle the suspension enough cause  interference.  So, out came the cut off wheel and the torch, a little floor removed, a little bit off the back of the X member box, and we’re good to go there.

After adding a bit to the back of the cardboard and fiberglass trans tunnel/floor hump I made the the other day.  Good thing I’ve got the rest of the cardboard shipping tube laying around…

Then I moved on to the steering shaft.  I’d bought a double U joint to connect the Vega box to the ’59 T’bird column, and short piece of double D solid shaft to correct for the slight mis-alignment.  Great plan, but, I hadn’t noticed that the column has it’s own flex coupler hidden at the lower end, this gave me 3 U joints, not two, and the shaft flops and binds, so now I need a support bushing to hold the shaft solid between the box and column.

Thinking I’d make a solid fuel line from the pump to the fitting for the carbs, and thinking I could use one of the hose bibs I took off one of the E-carbs, I found that the new fuel line has 3/8″ NPT threads, and I don’t have THAT fitting, so no fuel line connected either.

No problem, add that to the order from Speedway, and I got the box of progressive linkage for the dual quads out of the box from Edelbrock.  Piece of cake right?

Wrong, Edelbrock makes this to fit THIER manifolds, which place the carbs tight together, this old Offy intake has them an inch further apart, making the Edelbrock linkage, nice stainless and brass bits, too short.  So, now I need to get some 3/8″ rod and make new links for that too.

So now, with the car setting on jack stands, a new hole in the floor, and nothing accomplished, I’m waiting for parts.

Again…