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Old 08-28-2012, 10:46 PM   #1
Malcolm
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Default **One Month, 5k Mile "Malcolm" Roadster Report**

This thread is meant to answer some of the questions that I've been asked (numerous times) about my Roadster. Whether it's via PM, on a build or road trip thread, on Facebook, via email, or in person, many of the same questions have come up.

(Edit: here is the most recent build thread: http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/s...d.php?t=567286 )

The past month has been a bit of a whirlwind and I'm still working on catching up with things....

Quick timeline:
July 22nd - we got it running
July 27th-29th - drove down to KKOA Salina, KS
August 4th - day long road trip to the Sioux City, IA area (where I'm from originally)
August 9th-14th - Bonneville Speed Week trip
August 17th-19th - drove down to HAMB Drags, Joplin, MO

I've also been driving it (almost) daily around the Omaha area. It's been a blast!


I'll start off with the tires. Probably the number one question.
The first 1000 or so miles I had Firestone 5.50 and 7.50 bias plies on the car (from Coker). The front wheels are 16x4 Ford, rears are 16x4.5 Ford. All have been trued/straightened.

They rode and drove like bias plies do - rather rough and they 'chased' the grooves in the roads. The fronts would start a bit of a 'bounce' over 70mph. Not horrible or unsafe feeling, but noticeable.

I decided to switch to the Excelsior Radials right before the Bonneville trip.
Ordered them from Coker and had them mounted the evening before leaving. Same sizes as before; 5.50x16 and 7.50x16. Fronts balanced great. The rears, not so great. One of the rears was noticeably out-of-round. You could feel that side of the car moving up and down even at 25-30 mph (the bias plies did not do that). After returning home from Bonneville and the HAMB Drags, I called Coker and they sent a replacement - no problem. They are covering shipping and I will have the new one mounted tomorrow.

Besides the out-of-round problem with one rear, they made a HUGE difference in the ride and drive quality. I don't feel every bump, like the bias plies. I have the front toe-in set to 1/8" and it still wanders a little. After looking at MANY other early Ford straight axle front ends, it looks like my axle has too much camber - tops of the tires appear to be out too far.
I need to measure the degree of camber, look up what it should be, and go from there. I have the caster set at 7-8 degrees.

Took a quick video just to document the visibly out-of-round brand new $300 tire.




(please be patient - adding more posts/info after this)



Malcolm
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Last edited by Malcolm; 01-03-2013 at 03:57 PM. Reason: Fixed YouTube Link
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Old 08-28-2012, 10:53 PM   #2
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Default Re: *One Month, 5k Mile "Malcolm" Roadster Report*

Headlights - many questions about who makes them and how well they work.
They are made by Kirk Brown - http://www.crafty-b.net/
Cast aluminum, machined to the shape of a small-scale E&J headlight. They have a 55-watt halogen bulb and work great (no high/low beam, just single). Plenty of light at night. Much better than headlights on the other old cars I've driven.

Some guys have commented on how they think the headlights don't look good on the car and they're too small. That's ok, you don't have to like them.
Just because it's not something you've seen before doesn't mean it's a bad thing.
When the car and headlights are painted, it'll make more sense.

I'll also share some photos taken by Craig from http://www.myrideisme.com/
He just did this blog post with some GREAT photos:
http://www.myrideisme.com/Blog/2200-...dster-hot-rod/

Headlights show up in this one:
Myself and my Uncle John that rode along on the Bonneville trip
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Last edited by Malcolm; 08-28-2012 at 11:23 PM.
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Old 08-28-2012, 11:03 PM   #3
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Default Re: *One Month, 5k Mile "Malcolm" Roadster Report*

Windshield Frame - Hallock style by Steve Sellers.
It appears as though he has closed up shop again, so I'm not sure if there are still more frames available, or if they will be in the future.

It was an early casting that needed a little work (and still does) to fit the cowl nicely. I made patterns and had the glass cut here in Omaha.

Being rather low profile and at an angle, the wind hits me mid-forehead and I'm only 5'-7". That doesn't surprise me, though. Good sunglasses and a ball cap help alot. For me, it's worth dealing with the wind, to have the look.

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Old 08-28-2012, 11:14 PM   #4
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Default Re: *One Month, 5k Mile "Malcolm" Roadster Report*

Rear suspension - Posies (heavy) quarter-elliptical springs installed as the lower 'links' of a triangulated 4-link. Posies sells both a 'heavy' and 'light' -duty version of these springs. The 'heavy' ones used on a car this light (not sure of exact weight) result in a stiff ride. I'm planning on removing one or two leaves from the packs to try to improve the ride. With two of us, luggage, tools, etc. in the car, it did ride pretty good. The car corners rather flat and solid. Besides the rough ride, I'm happy with the results of this unusual rear suspension.

Also, they are adjustable - here's a good photo to show the arrangement

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Old 08-28-2012, 11:16 PM   #5
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Default Re: *One Month, 5k Mile "Malcolm" Roadster Report*

Bad ass car. I looked it over at the HAMB Drags.
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Old 08-28-2012, 11:19 PM   #6
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Default Re: *One Month, 5k Mile "Malcolm" Roadster Report*











These two pics are worth every minute you worked on the roadster! Unbelievable!!
Congrats dude!!!!!!
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Old 08-28-2012, 11:32 PM   #7
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Default Re: *One Month, 5k Mile "Malcolm" Roadster Report*

Engine, trans, clutch, rear axle, gears

Stock 302 and T5 out of an '86 Mustang. I got lucky and this used engine seems like it should last for a while. Has used a little oil, but two quarts in 5k miles isn't much at all. Running a Weiand Stealth intake and Edelbrock #1405 600cfm carb. Shorty headers. Duraspark distributor wired to a GM HEI ignition module. It runs great!
The T5 makes a little noise and will need rebuilt at some point.

I used a RAM hydraulic throwout bearing. I know many people have had problems with them. While figuring it out / installing I did alot of reading and research. I measured three or four times and shimmed it accordingly. Had to bleed it a couple times, and after that it has worked great!

Rear axle is out of a '57 Ford Ranchero. Had the center-section rebuilt and added new 4.11 gears from Summit. Many question using the 4.11 ratio, but with 31" tall tires and .68 overdrive, it turns 2000rpm at 70mph.

Last pass at the HAMB Drags. Thanks to "Nick79" for the use of his GoPro camera and uploading the video.

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Old 08-28-2012, 11:38 PM   #8
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Default Re: *One Month, 5k Mile "Malcolm" Roadster Report*

I think that answers most of the common questions, but I know more will come to mind.
If you have any, please post them here, and I'll answer to the best of my ability.

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Old 08-29-2012, 02:09 AM   #9
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Default Re: **One Month, 5k Mile "Malcolm" Roadster Report**

Yep my favorite A roadster currently
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Old 08-29-2012, 02:27 AM   #10
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Default Re: **One Month, 5k Mile "Malcolm" Roadster Report**

Really a very neat little roadster. Glad to see you are driving the wheels off of it. Makes all those lonely nights in the garage worth it, doesn't it ?

Don
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Old 08-29-2012, 03:13 AM   #11
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Default Re: **One Month, 5k Mile "Malcolm" Roadster Report**

Nice roadster, I like the headlights
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Old 08-29-2012, 05:24 AM   #12
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Default Re: **One Month, 5k Mile "Malcolm" Roadster Report**

Nick-it's neat as all get out. Love your smile when you are behind the wheel.
Later,
Dick
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Old 08-29-2012, 05:45 AM   #13
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Default Re: **One Month, 5k Mile "Malcolm" Roadster Report**

Rad roadster !

What was your ET ?
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Old 08-29-2012, 06:49 AM   #14
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Default Re: **One Month, 5k Mile "Malcolm" Roadster Report**

How can a tire company sell a tire like that. There must be NO Quality checks at all
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:29 AM   #15
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Default Re: **One Month, 5k Mile "Malcolm" Roadster Report**

I love it, wish it were mine
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:40 AM   #16
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Default Re: **One Month, 5k Mile "Malcolm" Roadster Report**

the little car came out awesome buddy.
whats the plans for the paint?
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:47 AM   #17
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Default Re: **One Month, 5k Mile "Malcolm" Roadster Report**

Very cool. Looked it over in Joplin.
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:55 AM   #18
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Killer car man, nice write up . so no tire dribble on the excl? Kev had some at 70. Also on the firestones


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Old 08-29-2012, 08:09 AM   #19
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Default Re: **One Month, 5k Mile "Malcolm" Roadster Report**

Very nice ride............keep it going
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Old 08-29-2012, 08:10 AM   #20
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Default Re: **One Month, 5k Mile "Malcolm" Roadster Report**

Thanks for the info bubba...
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Old 08-29-2012, 08:19 AM   #21
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Default Re: **One Month, 5k Mile "Malcolm" Roadster Report**

Very nice ride, diggin it.
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Old 08-29-2012, 08:53 AM   #22
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Default Re: **One Month, 5k Mile "Malcolm" Roadster Report**

Nick, as I told you in Salina........nice car, I like it,....... glad to see it on the highway, as you know I believe they should be driven!! I am debating on the Excelisors for mine, I have new Firestones but am concerned on the handling, guess I will jusy try them and see. Dale
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Old 08-29-2012, 09:03 AM   #23
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Default Re: **One Month, 5k Mile "Malcolm" Roadster Report**

One of my favorites! Great to learn more about it.
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Old 08-29-2012, 09:38 AM   #24
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Default Re: **One Month, 5k Mile "Malcolm" Roadster Report**

Lucky Bastard!
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Old 08-29-2012, 11:23 AM   #25
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Default Re: **One Month, 5k Mile "Malcolm" Roadster Report**

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don's Hot Rods View Post
Really a very neat little roadster. Glad to see you are driving the wheels off of it. Makes all those lonely nights in the garage worth it, doesn't it ?

Don
Thanks alot, Don! You are 100% correct - all of that time in the garage has finally paid off. Still a ways to go, but at least I can drive it!


Quote:
Originally Posted by LabRat View Post
What was your ET ?
My best run was 14.35 @ 97.8 mph.
I think the video pass was 14.66 @ 97.8 mph - tire spin off the line.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ryno View Post
the little car came out awesome buddy.
whats the plans for the paint?
That's another common question I didn't cover!...
It will probably end up '40 Ford Washington Blue, although I've also considered that light greenish-tan color that they also used on '40 Fords. I can never remember the name!


Quote:
Originally Posted by JRussell View Post
Killer car man, nice write up . so no tire dribble on the excl? Kev had some at 70 Also on the firestones
The front Excelsior 5.50x16s seem great, no 'bouncing' or 'dribble' over 70 mph. Once I get that new back tire mounted I'll report back.
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Old 08-29-2012, 11:35 AM   #26
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Default Re: **One Month, 5k Mile "Malcolm" Roadster Report**

looks great to me, the build quality looks amazing also.
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Old 08-29-2012, 12:07 PM   #27
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Default Re: **One Month, 5k Mile "Malcolm" Roadster Report**

Awesome car, thanks for the info!
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Old 08-29-2012, 12:30 PM   #28
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Default Re: **One Month, 5k Mile "Malcolm" Roadster Report**

Thanks for the follow-up info Nick. I wanted to ask you about the Hallock at Mokan, but just forgot...I was just so impressed with the car, the trip, and your overall attitude about the whole deal.
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Old 08-29-2012, 12:51 PM   #29
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Default Re: **One Month, 5k Mile "Malcolm" Roadster Report**

Thanks for the latest Nick,,Hope I can see it and you at the Roundup next April...
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Old 08-29-2012, 01:08 PM   #30
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Default Re: **One Month, 5k Mile "Malcolm" Roadster Report**

Awesome report! Saw the car and you at the HAMB Drags, I think it is so cool that you drive it!
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Old 08-29-2012, 01:15 PM   #31
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Great to see you having good shakedown runs with the roadster. It was good to meet you and Uncle John at Bonneville. Watching with envy lol. Phil


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Old 08-29-2012, 01:43 PM   #32
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Default Re: **One Month, 5k Mile "Malcolm" Roadster Report**

Nick, my man, you are a hot rod legend in the making.....
These are cars, not vehicles to just take to cruise-ins and other lame crap where everyone leans on their cars and just talks about driving them.
You make us hot rodding veterans proud....
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Old 08-29-2012, 01:47 PM   #33
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Default Re: **One Month, 5k Mile "Malcolm" Roadster Report**

Great to see you on the salt Nick!
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Old 08-29-2012, 03:18 PM   #34
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Default Re: **One Month, 5k Mile "Malcolm" Roadster Report**

I also switched from Firestone to Excelsiors....
I have to agree with Malcom...the difference is HUGE!!!!!!!!
I tried ALOT to balance the front Firestone tires.
But there is no comparisson

5.00 and 7.50 on a `32 Roadster

They just don`t look as cool....
I guess you can`t have it all.....
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Old 08-29-2012, 03:26 PM   #35
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Default Re: **One Month, 5k Mile "Malcolm" Roadster Report**

I really really like your car - it looks awesome - stance is perfect.
Do you have any plans for a hood when you paint it?
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Old 08-29-2012, 04:52 PM   #36
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Default Re: **One Month, 5k Mile "Malcolm" Roadster Report**

Awesome!
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Old 08-30-2012, 06:12 AM   #37
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Default Re: **One Month, 5k Mile "Malcolm" Roadster Report**

Thanx for the reply , thats stout !
Bit of stylin an you will see 13.0 easy ...
Happy for you , could'nt happen to a nicer guy ...
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Old 08-30-2012, 08:41 AM   #38
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Default Re: **One Month, 5k Mile "Malcolm" Roadster Report**

Nick,

Great reporting on your trip...nothing like a trip to the salt in your hot rod. The car turned out great and your feedback on how the construction turned out is useful to all of us. I can just see the big grin on your face all the way out, and back.

Charlie
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Old 08-31-2012, 12:37 AM   #39
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Wink Re: **One Month, 5k Mile "Malcolm" Roadster Report**

Quote:
Originally Posted by 6t5frlane View Post
How can a tire company sell a tire like that. There must be NO Quality checks at all
How can they sell a tire like that? Cuz most of us dumb-ass car guys are willing to pay whatever it takes to look-the-part, even when we know that good quality modern radials work WAY better! Sorry, bias ply fans, but there is a good reason for using radial tires, even if they aren't as "period" looking.
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Old 08-31-2012, 09:35 AM   #40
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Default Re: **One Month, 5k Mile "Malcolm" Roadster Report**

Quote:
Originally Posted by sophisto79 View Post
Great to see you having good shakedown runs with the roadster. It was good to meet you and Uncle John at Bonneville. Watching with envy lol. Phil
It was great to meet you, too!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazooma1 View Post
Nick, my man, you are a hot rod legend in the making.....
These are cars, not vehicles to just take to cruise-ins and other lame crap where everyone leans on their cars and just talks about driving them.
You make us hot rodding veterans proud....
Thanks alot, Doug -- means alot coming from you!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tman View Post
Great to see you on the salt Nick!
Great to see you, too, Trent -- wish we would've had more time to talk!


Quote:
Originally Posted by dad-bud View Post
I really really like your car - it looks awesome - stance is perfect.
Do you have any plans for a hood when you paint it?
Yep, I'm planning on a full hood. The sides won't be too hard to make and I'll either try to make the top or see if I can get a one-piece top from Rootleib (sp?).

Now that it's all together and running, I should mock the stock hood up to see how it looks. (The stock '28/'29 hood is 4" too short)


Quote:
Originally Posted by LabRat View Post
Thanx for the reply , thats stout !
Bit of stylin an you will see 13.0 easy ...
Happy for you , could'nt happen to a nicer guy ...
First step is a posi and that should hopefully get the car into the 13s.
Thanks to Tim McMaster (mctim64), I now have a Ford Trac Loc to swap in this winter!
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Old 08-31-2012, 09:40 AM   #41
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Default Re: **One Month, 5k Mile "Malcolm" Roadster Report**

Quote:
Originally Posted by 6t5frlane View Post
How can a tire company sell a tire like that. There must be NO Quality checks at all
Quote:
Originally Posted by fatkoop View Post
How can they sell a tire like that? Cuz most of us dumb-ass car guys are willing to pay whatever it takes to look-the-part, even when we know that good quality modern radials work WAY better! Sorry, bias ply fans, but there is a good reason for using radial tires, even if they aren't as "period" looking.
The tire that I had a problem with is an Excelsior Radial. Like I said, Coker stood behind their product and sent me a new one. I'll hopefully have time this afternoon to have the new tire mounted....
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Old 08-31-2012, 11:18 AM   #42
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Default Re: **One Month, 5k Mile "Malcolm" Roadster Report**

Glad you are getting some seat time, it really makes the build worth it.

Don't do like I did with my pickup and end up with 45k 10yr later still trying to find a good time to blow it apart for body work and paint.
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Old 09-19-2012, 04:03 PM   #43
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Thanks for posting this.....even though I'm about a month late seeing it. Did the tires chase the road on the way to the salt? Also, do the "grab" pretty good when you have to stop suddenly?

Chris


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Old 09-19-2012, 05:05 PM   #44
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Default Re: **One Month, 5k Mile "Malcolm" Roadster Report**

I really liked reading your road test / build update. Good idea. Nice ride, too!

RE the tire problem, I've only ordered one set from Coker. They had the rims I wanted so I had the wheels painted, mounted and balanced there. I think doing it that way drastically reduces the chances of any wheel or tire problems before I get them. I've had NO problems with them (radials) and they rarely need air.

I'm not in the tire business, but I know that every mfg has problems now and then that can't be detected in mfg, or that might have been caused during shipping (perhaps multiple times) or storage before being purchased and mounted. I've had two "bad" tires in my life, both bought from respectable, name brand stores and replacing them right after purchase was not a problem. Just a little hassle. It happens. Gary
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Old 09-19-2012, 09:43 PM   #45
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Default Re: **One Month, 5k Mile "Malcolm" Roadster Report**

How is the funky fork have you had any issues with that? Do you have any good pics of the finished set-up?

Roadster looks awesome.
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Old 09-19-2012, 10:17 PM   #46
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Default Re: **One Month, 5k Mile "Malcolm" Roadster Report**

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Originally Posted by flt-blk View Post
Glad you are getting some seat time, it really makes the build worth it.

Don't do like I did with my pickup and end up with 45k 10yr later still trying to find a good time to blow it apart for body work and paint.
I couldn't imagine if Tyler ever painted that truck!

Don't buy a hood from Rootlieb... just pull out the "Roach Rod " thread from SamIam and build your own.
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Old 09-20-2012, 09:21 AM   #47
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Default Re: **One Month, 5k Mile "Malcolm" Roadster Report**

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Originally Posted by sodbuster View Post
Thanks for posting this.....even though I'm about a month late seeing it. Did the tires chase the road on the way to the salt? Also, do the "grab" pretty good when you have to stop suddenly?

Chris
The tires did seem to 'chase' the road some (not nearly as bad as the bias plies), but I adjusted the toe-in to 1/8" (I still need to try 3/16") and it helped. The more I drive it, the more it seems like any amount of cross-wind is what pushes the car around alot. Nice, calm day = straight, effortless driving. Even passing a semi truck, with the wind pushing off the front/side of it, is a bitch.

Sudden stops aren't a problem at all. The tires grab just fine. They also provide pretty good traction when taking off quickly from a stop >> as in hammering on the car. It accelerates well


Quote:
Originally Posted by sodas38 View Post
How is the funky fork have you had any issues with that? Do you have any good pics of the finished set-up?
I ended up not using the 'funky fork'. Also don't have a panhard bar installed. So far, it drives good and doesn't seem like I need one.


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Originally Posted by wingnutz View Post
Don't buy a hood from Rootlieb... just pull out the "Roach Rod " thread from SamIam and build your own.
Good call. Thanks for the Roach Rod reference. I did some searching and found the R&C article:

http://www.rodandcustommagazine.com/...d/viewall.html
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Old 09-22-2012, 10:49 AM   #48
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Default Re: **One Month, 5k Mile "Malcolm" Roadster Report**

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Good call. Thanks for the Roach Rod reference. I did some searching and found the R&C article:

http://www.rodandcustommagazine.com/...d/viewall.html
Cool article... I thought there was a HAMB thread on the build?
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Old 09-24-2012, 09:58 AM   #49
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Default Re: **One Month, 5k Mile "Malcolm" Roadster Report**

Thanks, with the 'speed rating' on your rear tires.......I was sorta' wondering how they handled........not that I haven't driven over the speed limit on the way to the salt.........Looks like I will be saving some Christmas coin or asking Santa' for some tires this year........and saving money with my 'Alliance discount' of course.

Chris
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Old 09-28-2012, 07:36 AM   #50
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Default Re: **One Month, 5k Mile "Malcolm" Roadster Report**

Great Car! Thanks for the report. It was good to see you at Bonneville. Happy Motoring!
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Old 09-28-2012, 08:21 AM   #51
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Default Re: **One Month, 5k Mile "Malcolm" Roadster Report**

Good to see you and the roadster on the salt. There have been a few chilly mornings here already...better get a hoodie for Nick!!
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Old 09-28-2012, 09:03 AM   #52
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Default Re: **One Month, 5k Mile "Malcolm" Roadster Report**

I agree with flt blk. Having fun with the car once its built. It's hard to blow em apart again and take away the fun. Hoping to do that with mine this winter. Great job!
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Old 09-28-2012, 09:25 AM   #53
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Default Re: **One Month, 5k Mile "Malcolm" Roadster Report**

Oh yeah, thats my brother from a different mother. I had the pleasure of a nice ride in the rod at the K.K.O.A. and it is smooth city. Congrats Nick on a real month of provin it rocks. ~sololobo~
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:56 PM   #54
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Default Re: **One Month, 5k Mile "Malcolm" Roadster Report**

Nice build, great looking roadster. Keep driving the hell out of it. Let us know how it rides after you soften up the rear.
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:03 PM   #55
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Default Re: **One Month, 5k Mile "Malcolm" Roadster Report**

Looks great Nick.....
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Old 10-27-2012, 10:28 PM   #56
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Default Re: **One Month, 5k Mile "Malcolm" Roadster Report**

Ya done good Nick!

Dennis
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Old 11-24-2012, 12:31 PM   #57
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Default Re: **One Month, 5k Mile "Malcolm" Roadster Report**

I remember someone stating that you were going to hate the Flowmaster hushpower mufflers in the positions you had them... any changes or pro/cons to them?
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Old 11-24-2012, 04:49 PM   #58
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Default Re: **One Month, 5k Mile "Malcolm" Roadster Report**

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I remember someone stating that you were going to hate the Flowmaster hushpower mufflers in the positions you had them... any changes or pro/cons to them?
That was Tman. I have no complaints about the hushpower sound/locations at all. They have a nice sound that isn't overbearing or too loud and don't have the typical Flowmaster sound (like the classic 40 series). Going down the road at 2000 rpm there isn't any drone and it's actually fairly quiet. The wind noise cancels out most exhaust noise.
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Old 12-27-2012, 01:37 PM   #59
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Default Re: **One Month, 5k Mile "Malcolm" Roadster Report**

First step is a posi and that should hopefully get the car into the 13s.
Thanks to Tim McMaster (mctim64), I now have a Ford Trac Loc to swap in this winter![/QUOTE]


Do you have any wheel hop with quarter elliptic set up? Do you think you will when you add the posi? We are building a 28 sport coupe on deuce rails (The frame is from Gray at blackboard) with a roller 302, 5sp. The engine will be mostly stock to begin with but we may upgrade to a 347 in the future.

What did you do for an oil filter? I'f I missed that in the build thread I'm sorry.

Luke
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Old 12-27-2012, 02:41 PM   #60
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Default Re: **One Month, 5k Mile "Malcolm" Roadster Report**

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Do you have any wheel hop with quarter elliptic set up? Do you think you will when you add the posi? We are building a 28 sport coupe on deuce rails (The frame is from Gray at blackboard) with a roller 302, 5sp. The engine will be mostly stock to begin with but we may upgrade to a 347 in the future.

What did you do for an oil filter? I'f I missed that in the build thread I'm sorry.

Luke
Luke,

Sounds like you'll have a very similar chassis and drivetrain!
Since the oil filter interfered with the Vega steering box, I found a 90 degree adapter. Bought a used one on Ebay, but here's a link to a new one from Summit:
http://www.summitracing.com/parts/fm...view/make/ford

Because of the new filter location, I had to run an electric fuel pump. Not the end of the world, but I'd rather run a mechanical pump.

If you look closely, you can see it in this photo


I haven't had any wheel hop at all with the quarter-elliptic setup. When I drag raced it at the HAMB Drags, it felt very solid and smooth, so I don't anticipate and wheel hop issues when I switch to the Ford Trac-Loc.
I'll admit, though, the tires I'm running don't get very good traction. At some point, I'd like to bolt on a set of cheater slicks and see how the car acts with some traction.
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