Posts Tagged ‘roadster’

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…

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

17264607_10213002107110015_4801641248479683366_nThanks to my good friend Jake Moomey, who helped me with the new kingpin bushings, the ’34 chassis is now a roller!  I put the Ford 5 on 5 1/2 to Chev 5 on 4 3/4 wheel adaptors on the Buick drums, and bolted the 14″ Astro’s on for rollers, and resisted the temptation to set the engine in and drop the body on.  I DO have to put the engine in to run fuel lines, and I’m going to try my hand at building my own exhaust system, but it has to come back out before the body goes on to stay.

 

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!

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…

imageuploadedbyh-a-m-b-1486431886-702963Answer:  You don’t.  You let it in, and let it drain right out.

My buddy Jeff Miller (Millers Garage) is building a ’34 Cabriolet with a rumble seat, and sent me photos of his trunk/rumble floor when I posed the question to him.  There’s a little “dam” on the trunk floor, and drain holes behind that in the floor.  Water runs down the rumble lid, into the trunk, and just drains out the holes.

Easy.

I had some oak 2×2, lots of resin and mat, and made the dam out of oak and encapsulated it with fiberglass.  There was a hole in the floor for the previous frames Model A crossmember which I glassed up, the dam is over that.  It does double duty as a stop for the rumble lid.

It’s not pretty yet, but a little skim coat and some bed liner will make it look OK.

In other news, I got a couple of screen door turnbuckles, and put on in the drivers door, which had a persistent bow.  It stuck out at the bottom about half an inch from the door jamb.  The turnbuckle mounts at the rear, top close the the hinge and at the bottom front to a piece of plywood inside the (untracked) door skin.  A couple turns of the turnbuckle drew the lower corner in perfectly.  I’ll put one in the passenger door tomorrow.

I also discovered,  to my surprise, that the “B” pillar or rear door post is steel, as is the back inside framing of the doors, where the hinges mount.  The front door post/cowl has no reinforcement at all, it’s just an “L” lip of glass with no framing, either wood or steel, behind it.  I’m going to glass a strip of oak behind that tomorrow, which should help brace the cowl.  It has a lot of “flex” right now, owing I’m sure to the fact that there’s no bracing in the body there at all.

 

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16388063_10212627671429357_2457363262295700225_nThe excitement of panel fitting and gapping 40 year old fiberglass!  What fun!

The deck/rumble seat lid and tulip panel now fit!  Even though I knew they didn’t, in satin black, all the panels looked reasonably close in alignment, when in fact, they weren’t.  I’ve spent about 20 hours getting just the rumble lid to fit right, which involved moving both hinges, and half a gallon of filler on the tulip panel.   The lid and tulip panel (between the lid and the back edge of the cockpit) weren’t even close to having the same “arch”, and since it’s ‘glass and doesn’t bend, the answer was filler and blocking.

And more filler, and more blocking…

It’s good now, there’s a uniform gap, the lid doesn’t scuff on the body like it did, and I made a rain gutter and the little “dam” that an original car would have on the trunk floor.  On cars with rumble seats, the rain gutter disappears where the lid rolls back into the trunk when opened, and any rain or wash water just pours into the trunk.  There’s a lip on the floor, and drain holes behind it.  Pretty simple, but this car lacked that important detail.

The passenger side door had once made a hasty exit from the body when it was accidentally unlatched at speed, both rear corners were scuffed off, and both hinges had been broken,, and subsequently repaired.  The top one was slightly bent, the strap that bolts to the body, and I thought I could just clamp it in the vise and spring it back.

Wrong.

It turned out to be cast iron, not steel, and it broke.  So, being cheap, and having brazing rod, I brazed it back together.  Now the door fits much better,  where it was out about 1/8″ too far before at the door post.  Nice gap there too,  before it was tight at the bottom and 5/16″ away at the top.

Now, endless work DA’ing all that stupid flat black and one coat of the original purple off the body, and I’ll be ready for some high build primer and color.  That should get me warm enough weather to paint and start assembling.