Posts Tagged ‘highboy’

17861698_10213285226827831_7196399856735939171_nThe first, and I mean the FIRST guy who asks if this is “…one of those kit-cars…” is going to get one of these bronze windshield posts shoved right up his arse.  Up until yesterday, I had the posts and windshield frame just loosely bolted on, and no hinge bushings in the posts, and it looked reasonably OK.

Until I tightened things down a little.

Then everything was all kinds of off.  The left had post stood up several degrees more vertical than the passenger side, and didn’t lay right against the cowl.  The windshield bound in the  pivots with the bushings in, and the pivot stud would barely go through its hole in the (apparently twisted) left side post.

It was awful.

I ended up spending the afternoon getting these reproduction posts to fit the cowl of the who-knows-how-old, unknown maker fiberglass body, and accept the original, but chopped two inches, windshield frame.  Some (OK, a LOT) of “finessing” with a 4″ angle grinder on the bottom of the post flange, a little work with a hole saw to allow the mounting bolt some wiggle room, some time clamped in the vise with some precision re-shaping with a big Crescent wrench, and “Ding-Ding-Ding”, we have a winner.

That was after I made new brackets on the cowl brace to move the steering column two inches to the left and down a half an inch because the wheel was in the wrong place, and the brake pedal hit it.

This car has been a series of challenges to make things fit properly.  I started with the doors.  Broken hinges.  Poorly mounted latch hardware.  Nowhere near enough bracing.  Turnbuckles to twist the doors into submission.  Shimming the body on the frame for gaps.  Remounting and aligning the rumble lid hinges.  Filling and finessing the fit of the rumble lid to the body and tulip panel.  Making cowl to frame mounts (a vital part of old Ford body alignment that this car never had).  Getting the Rootlieb hood to fit the Argentine reproduction grill shell, and then getting the hood to fit the cowl AND the grill shell at the same time.  The splash aprons, which are still going to need a bunch of Mar-Glas and ‘glass mat and resin to fit  properly.

And that’s just the body.  I built the frame too, not having ever dealt with a buggy sprung Ford chassis before.

It’s been humbling, but fun, and great therapy.  I’m actually a little sorry to have it close to paint and being done.  Except for doing the interior, and a new top, and trimming the trunk, and  the exhaust, and…



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!