Posts Tagged ‘travel’






Summer is here and we’re enjoying the fruits of the hard work of winter!  The season is short , so we’re packing all the adventures and excitement we can into the season. 

The Spartan is all we hoped, it’s comfortable and practical.  Kim looked beautiful in the period dress our friend Cheryl gave her, perfect for the trailer.  

We’ll be getting ready for a trip east to Pennsylvania in a few weeks, and a short trip to Gun Lake for the 4th, and many more fun times after that!


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!

Baby steps, baby steps…

Posted: April 1, 2017 in Hot Rod
Tags: , , ,

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It’s been almost two weeks since  I’ve had a chance to work on the ’34, but I had a couple hours to squeeze in today.  I put the radiator and grill shell on, mocked the hood up and got the panels aligned pretty well.  Had to drill new holes in the radiator mount pads on the frame, pushing the radiator back about half an inch at the bottom, but things line up pretty well.

Now, I can pull the radiator back off, and have the lower hose outlet moved to the passenger side (it’s a brand new Walker radiator that cam with the project, but it’s not set up for a Chevy engine), paint the firewall, and prep the body for paint.  The weather should improve pretty quickly and cooperate with my plan to get the car  painted by the end of April.  I hope…

I got started on the headlight stands, which I’m making from a pair of F100 shock mounts, but was interrupted by my parents furnace quitting and going up their place to try to restart that.  I’m using some ’37 Chevy commercial lights, which are pretty similar to ’36 Ford passenger car lights, with slightly less curved lenses.  They should look pretty good when I get them done.  Just different enough to be noticed, but not so different as to look out of place.

Stay tuned, lots of fun stuff coming up!

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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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14992032_10211784729436334_2160630791604988979_nI’ve been working on the ’34, spending the past three days getting the hood and grill shell aligned.  I’m calling it a success, I believe I’ve gotten the fit as close as it can be, given the vagaries of ancient, inaccurate stampings, vaguely close reproduction parts, and my limited patience for this type of fussy work.   I have to say, getting the car assembled, even in this “mock-up” phase for alignment and placement of minor stuff like brake pedal and steering column and steering box makes me pretty happy, and fired up about the project.

The hood and grill shell initially fit so poorly I didn’t think I’d ever be able to get them even close, but the end result is better than I expected.  The hood is a reproduction from Rootlieb, the grill shell is an old reproduction from some unknown maker, probably Argentinian, where up through the ’60’s and ’70’s, old Fords were kept going, and crude replacement parts were available.  I ended up having to make some slits in the top of the grill shell and pulling the sides in with a winch strap, the resulting fit is surprisingly good.

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The car also setting up on wheels for the first time in years, although I found some of the stuff I got with it, namely the beautiful Buick aluminum brake drums, may not be useable due to wear, but we’ll see.  I’m a little concerned too about the stance, the rear is lower than I planned (perhaps I flattened that ’40 rear crossmember too much) and the front looks too high, despite the dropped axle and reversed eye spring.  Not helping the goofy stance are the 14″ wheels and tires on the rear and 16’s up front, I’m going to have to get the right size rollers to see where I really am before I get much further.

Next up, I have to make mounts for the (original) top bows, and finish up the notch in the firewall for the Chevy 283’s distributor.  There’s a little more glass work to do on the body, one of the doors has a corner nubbed off, and the splash aprons need to have a little added to the bottom to fit the hood the way I want (see the above photo).  All in all, it’s not much, I want to get those chores done before it gets cold.  Then, it all comes apart for final welding of the frame and chassis components, then prep for paint, wiring, fuel and brake lines.

Tempting to leave the body in the black epoxy primer over the original purple paint, squirt the same stuff on the chassis and hood and call it done, but I have other plans, which I’m not going to reveal until it’s done.

Stay tuned!

Our fall vacation in Northern Michigan has been found to have been totally rigged!  From start to finish, from Tahquamenon Falls to wineries and restaurants around Traverse  City, it was nothing but sleeping in, great fall colors, great food, great wine, and great friends.  We slept in, ate bacon and eggs, drank champagne with smoked whitefish pate and apple pie with dinner.  Not one whit given for responsibilities of work, the election, or bills to pay.

And it was good.

So far, we can’t complain.