Posts Tagged ‘transportation’

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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Busy couple of weeks here, getting the winters dust off the Spartan, rebuilding the Diamond T’s brakes, and incidental aggravating things like a new battery in the wagon and a shorted fuel management module in the lawn mower.  


So, the work is done, we’re waiting for the weekend with our Tin Can Tourists friends!

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…

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!

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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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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