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Projects 1915 T Speedster build....

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by rdomeck, Sep 26, 2013.

  1. rdomeck
    Joined: Apr 26, 2011
    Posts: 83

    rdomeck
    Member

    Thought I would start a build thread. I started this car when I was 14 years old. That was well over 20 years ago.

    I started it in my Dad's garage using the frame from one of my grandfathers cars. I am using the radiator, hood, lights, and hood former from the last car that my grandfather drove and unfortunately was killed in.

    I have started to make more progress on the car. I have located a set of disc wheels like I have always wanted. I had hired out someone doing the design work for the body, but that fell through.

    I did the machine work on the engine about 6 or 7 years ago and it has made a few pops before I broke the head off the distributor and had to remake it.

    My plan is to get the wheels painted so I can mount the tires and get this thing rolling on rubber. Move to making the engine run and all the mechanicals work as they should and then move on to remaking the body.

    As far as the body goes. I have never been really happy with the body that I made 12 years ago or so. When I had twins I decided that I still wanted a speedster, but I would make a rumble seat for them...

    So that's currently were I am with this project. I set a goal every winter for the last 20 years that I will have it going by spring. Hopefully I can make that happen this year.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. powerwagonmaniac1
    Joined: Mar 17, 2005
    Posts: 329

    powerwagonmaniac1
    Member
    from Aloha, OR

    Can you post some picture of your speedster. I love T speedsters.... let me know if you need any help or advice.

    [​IMG]
    The Becker Special our 1917 T speedster at 60 just before we broke the crankshaft.


    My buddy Clayton (MrModelt on the HAMB here) and I built mine for my dad just before he passed away two years ago. Dad never saw it but I like to think he would have loved to drive it with me to Bonneville or some other event.

    Broke the crank in it last year going to Bonneville for speed week so now in process of putting in the new engine hopefully have it on the road here in the next few weeks again.
     
    Spoggie likes this.
  3. I love speedsters too. I built this '15 in 1984. Used a '27 block, A crank and rods with Egge pistons, Winfield cam and one of Jim Culbert's aluminum RAJO copy overheads. With the Ruxtel and an overdrive, it would scare the crap out of you!


    [​IMG]
     
    Martin Harris likes this.
  4. rdomeck
    Joined: Apr 26, 2011
    Posts: 83

    rdomeck
    Member

    I think I have the pictures figured out? I took these pictures when I dug the car out of my garage. The car is now at my shop now and I have been trying to work on 10 minutes a night before I leave.
     

    Attached Files:

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  5. Cool! Personally, I like what you've done with the body.
     
  6. rdomeck
    Joined: Apr 26, 2011
    Posts: 83

    rdomeck
    Member

    I like the shape a design of the body.... I built it in my basement a long time ago and made it without very many tools. Just a jig saw, hand sheet metal shears, and a wood hammer.

    My abilities have grown a bunch since then as well as my tool box and with the addition of my twins that are now 5 I want to be able to have them ride with me safely. That's kinda were I am coming from with a full body rumble seated speedster.

    And I have always loved the shape of the body on the "Model T speed Secret's" book. Not the Mercury bodied photo, but the drawing at the top and bottom.
     
  7. rdomeck
    Joined: Apr 26, 2011
    Posts: 83

    rdomeck
    Member

    Some more progress tonight. Blocked my wheels again and ready for the third coat of primer then on to paint. The rims needed a little work. One of the rim locks was broken when I received it. Made the missing piece and welded up some holes. Got two of the rims blocked.

    I also machine my hubs to have a very small step in them so that the disc wheels will center on the hubs and not the bolts. I didn't want to take off very much...Just enough to seat the wheel.

    Also attached a picture of the manifold that I made. I still need to make a much better coil mount.

    I hope I can keep up this progress....
     

    Attached Files:

  8. bgaro
    Joined: Sep 3, 2010
    Posts: 1,189

    bgaro
    Member

    oh,i like it. interesting manifold set up, should keep things cooler away from the header. i'll be watching. go man go
     
  9. Binger
    Joined: Apr 28, 2008
    Posts: 1,635

    Binger
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from wyoming

    Subscribed..

    What distributor are you running on that T engine?
     
  10. rdomeck
    Joined: Apr 26, 2011
    Posts: 83

    rdomeck
    Member

    Binger, I reworked an Atwater Kent distributor to run a Bosh unit on top from an old VW. Just a little bit of lathe time and everything slides together.

    With any luck I will have my wheels (and rims) painted with tires on the by friday night. May be able to get them mounted on the car on sunday. I do have to move the car in my shop to another area and hopefully I can snap pictures with the new wheels and tires from a distance.

    I'm also starting in on restoring my Dad's 21 Depot Hack....And rebuilding the engine in my 46 chevy 2-ton. Gonna be a busy winter.
     
  11. jfreakofkorn
    Joined: Apr 13, 2010
    Posts: 2,640

    jfreakofkorn
    Member

    i ll be enjoying this thread ..... =)
     
  12. Binger
    Joined: Apr 28, 2008
    Posts: 1,635

    Binger
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from wyoming


    Sounds like you will be busy! I am curious about the distributor because a friend called me the other day about getting his t running and it is set up for a bosh unit and I have no experience with one. If I have any questions I may send you a PM. I am looking forward to seeing this build move along!
     
  13. rdomeck
    Joined: Apr 26, 2011
    Posts: 83

    rdomeck
    Member

    Got the wheels final sanded tonight. The rims in the final coat of primer. Holes drilled for mounting the wheels to the T hubs. Should be able to sand the rims tomorrow night and get paint on everything.

    Gotta keep up the progress or this thing will take me another 20+ years....
     
  14. rdomeck
    Joined: Apr 26, 2011
    Posts: 83

    rdomeck
    Member

    Got the wheels, rims and hubs painted. Tires mounted. Tires balanced (one of them took 8 ounces of weight.) Went in to the shop today to work on a customers project and didn't have everything I needed so I worked some more on the T.

    Got....

    -The wheels, rims, and hubs on and the car on the ground.
    -Steering column mounted and rods hooked up for throttle and spark.
    -Steering hooked up. I turn the steering wheel and the front wheels turn...
    -fuel pump installed with regulator
    -plug wires on
    -Wired it up to start and run

    I found that the distributor that I made has a little bit to much play in it. It is aluminum on aluminum and I think I machined a little to large of gap to make sure the aluminum didn't gall up. I will need to make a bronze bushing for it.

    Also figured out that I need to tilt my SU carb. Didn't think about those things running at an angle when I made my manifold. With the float level set correctly it was dumping fuel in the engine whenever the fuel pump was on. Lowered the float level, but I know the only way I will be happy is to angle the carb so the float sit's level and I can run the proper fuel level in the bowl.

    However it is trying to run. When it fires I think the distributor has enough play to take away the gap for the points. I am hopeful that I can make it move across the shop this month under it's own power.

    I'll post some pictures soon.
     
  15. rdomeck
    Joined: Apr 26, 2011
    Posts: 83

    rdomeck
    Member

    Got some more done tonight. Moved my inverted steering box. I wasn't very happy with it and I was having issues with getting the rod for the spark to clear the water pipe.

    Also pulled the distributor apart and it doesn't have much play in it. Only about .004 clearance from OD to ID. I'll put it back together and check out a few more things.

    I did have to heat the clutch pedal and move it out a little. Was hoping not to move them, but I was able to get the steering column low enough to warrant moving the pedals around some.

    I have a parts list put together as well....
     

    Attached Files:

    brEad likes this.
  16. rdomeck
    Joined: Apr 26, 2011
    Posts: 83

    rdomeck
    Member

    A few more photo's.....
     

    Attached Files:

    brEad likes this.
  17. h.i.
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 409

    h.i.
    Member
    from denver

    Nice work! Looks like great progress for something that was sitting so long. Keep it up. Once you have momentum it's easier to keep going!
     
  18. rdomeck
    Joined: Apr 26, 2011
    Posts: 83

    rdomeck
    Member

    Had a little time tonight so I focused on my radius rods. I had the lower portion done, but the upper portion was not notch or fitted.

    Got them notched and tach welded. Pulled them off and tig welded them.

    One more thing off the list.
     

    Attached Files:

    brEad likes this.
  19. rdomeck
    Joined: Apr 26, 2011
    Posts: 83

    rdomeck
    Member

    Got the front radius bolted back on. Everything lines up. Will need to modify the tie rod just a little bit to clear, but very close.

    Distributor has a new machined shaft inside of it and is bolted back on. Wired up and ready to try again.

    Parts order placed and waiting on some starter parts to show up along with the rest of the mechanical stuff to finish up the chassis.

    Getting closer......
     
  20. Subscribed. I'm liking what you're doing here and looking forward to following along. Though I'm wondering what the story is with your grandfather being killed in a Model T. I understand if that is too personal or painful to share. Hopefully he was doing what he loved.

    Okay, one more personal question...you said you started this when you were 14. Most 14 year olds wouldn't be interested in building a Model T Speedster. Not to get too far away from the build but what's your story? There's something interesting here, I think.
     
  21. rdomeck
    Joined: Apr 26, 2011
    Posts: 83

    rdomeck
    Member

    No worries, if it were to personal I wouldn't have put it out there... My grandfather was a tool and die maker for Ford all of his civilian career. He was a machinist in the military during WWII.

    He was always into Model T's and VW's. He built a couple of cars that I remember while growing up. One of them was a 1924 boat tail speedster with a Fronty and that care is still in the family. The other T that I remember was a 15 touring car. It had a set of original Ford Model T disc wheels. Had hydraulic brakes on all four wheels and a couple of transmission's. He built the care to be safe and do tours with.

    After retirement he took it on its first long tour. My two cousins were with him. He was rear ended on the interstate. He was traveling approx. 70 miles an hour when the pick up truck hit him from behind. He was wearing a seat belt, luckily my two cousins were not. The car flipped over throwing the two of them out. He was trapped under the car.

    This happened the day before I started 6th or 7th grade. It was a year or two before the family decided what to do with the car. We got together and split up the parts. It was then that I decided I would build a speedster from the front end parts. I family friend had been holding on to the frame that came out from under my grandfathers car that he replaced during the restoration. Funny that I remember riding in the car before the restoration and after.

    So I guess I have been behind this radiator and frame before, but I was very young.

    Hopefully I will see some parts friday and can put in a good weekend of work!
     
    brEad likes this.
  22. Thanks for sharing that story. I look forward to following this build.
     
  23. rdomeck
    Joined: Apr 26, 2011
    Posts: 83

    rdomeck
    Member

    So I pulled the plugs after a few cranks tonight and they were all wet. I went ahead and pulled the manifold off so I could cut the carb flange and tilt it so the float bowl would sit level....

    Got all that done and reinstalled. Crank over with a few puffs. I then pulled the plugs to take a look and they are all wet again.

    Guess I'm pulling the carb apart to take a look at what I may or may have not done 6 to 8 years ago when I put it together. Float level looks good, so something is letting way to much fuel in.

    Got a few little things taken care of as well. Trying hard to drive this thing across the shop before I start on the body and I REALLY want to start on the body!
     
  24. fmascioli2@gmail.com
    Joined: Feb 23, 2008
    Posts: 54

    fmascioli2@gmail.com
    Member
    from CT

    I'm really liking everything about this thread.....the car, the history, the owner.
    Keep it coming.
     
  25. rdomeck
    Joined: Apr 26, 2011
    Posts: 83

    rdomeck
    Member

    Well, Carb off, apart, together and still the same problem. Putting the running aside right now as that I think will be an easy problem to solve in the spring. Plus I really wanted to start on the body.

    I started with a piece of peg board. Fit it to the chassis and made sure it was centered. I am using peg board because I can move the body lines around very easy. I am using some metal round rod to play around with the shape that I like. One of my challenges is that I want the body to be wide enough to have a rumble seat.

    Spent about 45 minutes playing with the shape. I think I'm already pretty happy with it. I was hoping to have the body a full 48" wide, but it looked a little pregnant to me so I narrowed it down to 41". Seems like it flows a lot better and the back doesn't look as fat!

    Once I get this shape close I will cut the peg board and then start with one vertical in the center. Then start with a dash and work my way back.

    Hopefully can put a few hours in on it tomorrow...
     

    Attached Files:

  26. lizbeth
    Joined: Sep 20, 2012
    Posts: 183

    lizbeth
    Member
    from Panama IA

    Great pics of your build , Thanks Beth
     
  27. 94hoghead
    Joined: Jun 1, 2007
    Posts: 1,290

    94hoghead
    Member

    Lookin good......
     
  28. Kume
    Joined: Jan 23, 2010
    Posts: 857

    Kume
    Member

    Very exciting build!
    two questions.
    How many inches drop have you got on that front spring mount bracket &
    Those chev disc wheels weigh an awful lot - are they worth it for the look - wouldn't you be better to go with wires or repro aluminum discs?
    Kume
     
  29. rdomeck
    Joined: Apr 26, 2011
    Posts: 83

    rdomeck
    Member

    I have a 7" or 8" drop I can't remember of the top of my head. I do know that I have 5" clearance on the oil pan and I measured one of my other cars, but I can't remember what it was....Maybe 13"?

    Funny you should mention this about the disc wheels. I have thought a lot about the weight of them. I have been meaning to weigh each one and post up the results. I bet they don't weigh a pound more than a wood wheel... I will post up results when I return from vacation.

    Either way, yes I think it is worth it for the look. The repro aluminum disc look nice, but they are not what someone would have used back in the day when they built a speedster.
     
  30. Kume
    Joined: Jan 23, 2010
    Posts: 857

    Kume
    Member

    Quite right - it is great to use period parts , I just know having had a 1928 chev with disc wheels that they felt rather heavy with split rim and hardware. They do look the part.
     

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