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Projects **One Month, 5k Mile "Malcolm" Roadster Report**

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Malcolm, Aug 28, 2012.

  1. Malcolm
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2006
    Posts:
    6,498
    Location:
    Nebraska

    Malcolm
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    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/showthread.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.

    <iframe width="640" height="480" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/46v8YH3Lf7M?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


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



    Malcolm
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2013
  2. Malcolm
    Joined:
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    Location:
    Nebraska

    Malcolm
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    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-miles-in-a-roadster-hot-rod/

    Headlights show up in this one:
    Myself and my Uncle John that rode along on the Bonneville trip
    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2012
  3. Malcolm
    Joined:
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    Nebraska

    Malcolm
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    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.

    [​IMG]
  4. Malcolm
    Joined:
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    Nebraska

    Malcolm
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    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

    [​IMG]
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  5. Fat ASS Whitewalls
    Joined:
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    1,500
    Location:
    Sedalia MO. (Formerly Fremont CA.)

    Fat ASS Whitewalls Member

    Bad ass car. I looked it over at the HAMB Drags.
  6. THR1LL3R
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2007
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    Location:
    St. Louis

    THR1LL3R
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    1. The St. Louis MO Crew

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]







    These two pics are worth every minute you worked on the roadster! Unbelievable!!
    Congrats dude!!!!!!
  7. Malcolm
    Joined:
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    Nebraska

    Malcolm
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    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.

    <iframe width="640" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/49LyVS4eLuY?feature=player_embedded" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  8. Malcolm
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    Malcolm
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    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.

    [​IMG]
  9. sko_ford
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    fargo nd

    sko_ford
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    Yep my favorite A roadster currently
  10. Don's Hot Rods
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    florida

    Don's Hot Rods Member

    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 ? :D

    Don
  11. ratman
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    New Zealand

    ratman
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    Nice roadster, I like the headlights
  12. Road Kill PU
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    117 West Jewell Republic, MO 65738

    Road Kill PU
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    Nick-it's neat as all get out. Love your smile when you are behind the wheel.
    Later,
    Dick
  13. LabRat
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    Location:
    Perth,Western Australia

    LabRat Member

    Rad roadster !

    What was your ET ?
  14. 6t5frlane
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    New York

    6t5frlane Member

    How can a tire company sell a tire like that. There must be NO Quality checks at all
  15. brady1929
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    Mesa, Az

    brady1929 Member

    I love it, wish it were mine
  16. ryno
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    carl junction mo.

    ryno Member

    the little car came out awesome buddy.
    whats the plans for the paint?
  17. CAL
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    Neosho Mo.

    CAL
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    Very cool. Looked it over in Joplin.
  18. JRussell
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    Location:
    Suck City,Iowa

    JRussell Member

    Killer car man, nice write up . so no tire dribble on the excl? Kev had some at 70. Also on the firestones


    Posted from the TJJ App for iPhone & iPad
  19. ThrottleJockey
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    ThrottleJockey
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    Very nice ride............keep it going
  20. 3wLarry
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    Owasso, Ok

    3wLarry Member

    Thanks for the info bubba...
  21. jhutch713
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    Port Wentworth, GA

    jhutch713 Member

    Very nice ride, diggin it.
  22. thewildturkey46
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    Location:
    Rice, MN

    thewildturkey46 Member

    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
  23. flatheadpete
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    Location:
    Burton, MI Out of Flint!

    flatheadpete Member

    One of my favorites! Great to learn more about it.
  24. McKee
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    Fantasticland

    McKee Member

    Lucky Bastard!
  25. Malcolm
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    Malcolm
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    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!


    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.


    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!


    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.
  26. corpsewheelie
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    Location:
    san jose, ca

    corpsewheelie Member

    looks great to me, the build quality looks amazing also.
  27. 1950heavymetal
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    Minn-ee-soda

    1950heavymetal
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    Awesome car, thanks for the info!
  28. earl schieb
    Joined:
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    2,931
    Location:
    MID-TN across from the cows

    earl schieb Member

    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. :cool:
  29. wbrw32
    Joined:
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    Location:
    jefferson,tx

    wbrw32 Member

    Thanks for the latest Nick,,Hope I can see it and you at the Roundup next April...
  30. oldguard
    Joined:
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    Waterloo Community, North Edmond , Oklahoma.

    oldguard
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    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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