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Projects 1927 Chevrolet Speedster Build

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Haase, Oct 13, 2020 at 3:01 PM.

  1. Haase
    Joined: Jan 28, 2018
    Posts: 7

    Haase
    Member

    Hey everyone. My name is Brian and I am in the beginning stages of building a 1920’s-1930’s era speedster from a 1927 (actually 1926) Chevrolet sedan chassis that I obtained from a friend. I am an active member in the Vintage Chevrolet Club of America with my unrestored ‘26 Superior touring and I regularly tour with a ‘27 AA Capitol coupe. I have been wanting to build a period ‘special’ for a few years now and I thought that The H.A.M.B would be a great place to share my progress.

    The chassis originally had a sedan body and was purchased in the 1970’s as a parts car. Nothing was ever done with it and it sat in a yard in Kansas City, MO until it was pulled out in late September 2020. Before it was parked, it had been in an accident and the front axle was bent. Luckily, the seller had a replacement in his shed.

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    After getting home, I quickly stripped the chassis bare and indexed the numerous parts that came with the car. The chassis is pretty decent considering that it’s lived most of its life outside sitting in the dirt. The rails are straight, the frame is square, but I do have rot in the front crossmember. I dropped the frame off at a sandblaster earlier today and I hope to have it back and in primer by tomorrow evening.

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    I want to use a Chevy four cylinder with a ‘28 head to power the car and hopefully keep the factory 3-speed transmission. I know that the rear axles in these cars are less than ideal and are prone to breaking. Does anyone have any suggestions on a suitable replacement axle that can handle more abuse? Maybe a 1930-1931 or ‘32 Chevrolet axle? I would like to keep the mechanical brakes if I can. Any advice about this is would be incredibly helpful and appreciated, this axle needs a complete rebuild and I would rather spend time and money on something that will work better.

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    Thank you for taking a look. Any advice, criticism or questions are welcome. I’ll post an update after I get the chassis back from the blaster.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2020 at 4:58 PM
  2. grumpy gaby 2
    Joined: Aug 10, 2019
    Posts: 88

    grumpy gaby 2
    Member

    Brian It's nice to see someone else build a chevy speedster! They are a lot of fun! I see that you are getting a good start. I see what you mean about the front cross member. One thing though, you have a late 1926 "V" frame, not a 1927. On the 27, the crank goes above the crossmember, the 26 goes through the crossmember like you have. You will find that the engine and transmission set at a different elevation in the frame. I have 25, 26, 27, and 28 frames and they are a little different, but I have to check each time. Another way of telling the difference is the 26 has the brake rod swing arm on the back side of the crossmember, 27 on front, The 27 car steering colunm has the key lock on it, 26 not. Then the early 26 does not have the sturups for the the transmission support, late has sturups like the 27 and 28.
    I know a lot of people have downed the rear axle on these, but I have run the same one for years with no problems. I will have to tell you about running the rear brakes only....... With that engine you can get going a lot faster than you can stop! Check out the 1928 Chevy engine string on this site. Lots of good reading. Good Luck and Have Fun!
     
  3. Haase
    Joined: Jan 28, 2018
    Posts: 7

    Haase
    Member

    Thank you for confirming what I already had suspicions about. There were too many things that said this was a '26 and not a 27. It's titled as a '27, so maybe it was a late sale or someone messed up during a title change.

    The info on the front cross member is helpful. Happen to have a spare laying around?

    I'm still up in the air about the axle. I'd like to be able to keep it, but not if I have to take it apart frequently to fix it.
     
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  4. grumpy gaby 2
    Joined: Aug 10, 2019
    Posts: 88

    grumpy gaby 2
    Member

    I will check on the crossmember. There were a lot of confusion on when/what was built. My avitar has the original 27 rear end in it. Just put new bearings in where needed and reset it up. We ran 200 mile indurance runs, highway, back roads, logging roads. Over 1000 miles on it without troubles. I must say though, my average on most parts is it takes three to find ( or put together) a good one.
     
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  5. tractorguy
    Joined: Jan 5, 2008
    Posts: 654

    tractorguy
    Member

    OK......I am jealous already !!! I have all the makings of a 1928 Chev speedster/racer in the corner of my shed gathering dust now for several years......and here you are already getting the frame sandblasted ! Us old/slow guys just don't have a chance. I will be watching and cheering........and maybe stealing ideas for "someday". Have fun.
     
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  6. grumpy gaby 2
    Joined: Aug 10, 2019
    Posts: 88

    grumpy gaby 2
    Member

    Tractorguy, maybe this is what us old/slow guys need to get us up and get the kinks out!!! Things are also starting again over on the 28 chevy engine thread!
     
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  7. tractorguy
    Joined: Jan 5, 2008
    Posts: 654

    tractorguy
    Member

    YES......I just noticed that too !! ........gets "my motor running" just looking at the pictures !
     
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  8. Glad to see another Chevy build. Will be watching your progress! Hopefully @Six Ball will see this.
    Tom
     
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  9. Haase
    Joined: Jan 28, 2018
    Posts: 7

    Haase
    Member

    Wow! It's great to see so much enthusiasm here for my Chevy project. I'll have an update to share tomorrow.
     
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  10. junkman8888
    Joined: Jan 28, 2009
    Posts: 477

    junkman8888
    Member

    I admire your desire to make it period correct but if you want to keep it cheap and get it done in a hurry find someone "late-modelling" an AD pickup and grab the discarded running gear. Best of luck with your project.
     
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  11. grumpy gaby 2
    Joined: Aug 10, 2019
    Posts: 88

    grumpy gaby 2
    Member

    Brian I just remembered that I had looked for a front crossmember for Six-Ball last year, and did not have one that wasn't on a good frame. Sorry, us Old Farts don't always have good memories!
     
  12. Six Ball
    Joined: Oct 8, 2007
    Posts: 3,437

    Six Ball
    Member
    from Nevada

    OK, I'm here. :eek: Thanks for the Heads UP Tom. I'll be following this because watching other guys build cars is what I do best.
    Brian this is looking good already. I may have a cross member. My frame didn't have one and a fellow HAMBER sent me one and another one came from somewhere. My frame is a '25 and had a smaller stamped piece and a cast piece originally but they were removed when I got the frame. The extra one I have is rusty and has pitting but not close the rusted through.
    Here are a couple of threads that may interest you.
    https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/1928-chevy-4cyl-motor.463465/
    https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/termites-and-bowties-early-chevy-group.323303/
    100_1539.jpg
     
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  13. Haase
    Joined: Jan 28, 2018
    Posts: 7

    Haase
    Member

    That looks to be very similar to what is on my chassis. Is that something that you would willing to sell?

    [​IMG]

    The frame came back from the blaster yesterday and after a couple hours of wire wheeling and sanding with 100 grit, I laid down a few coats of epoxy primer. Luckily a buddy of mine hooked me up with professional products and a spray gun and I'm really happy with how it turned out.

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    I really need to get the rear axle apart now and then I can start fixing the issues with the frame and get it rolling again.
     
  14. grumpy gaby 2
    Joined: Aug 10, 2019
    Posts: 88

    grumpy gaby 2
    Member

    Brian You are doing great! If you don't know, automatic trans. fluid for penitrating oil and a little time to soak does wonders on those rear ends. (Six Ball, Tractorguy, and anyother OLD Chevy Fart, this guy is SMOKING us! It's time to get up, hobble out to the shop and get it cleaned out before the bad weather hits!) GO Brian GO! (and suck some of us along with you)
     
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  15. vtx1800
    Joined: Oct 4, 2009
    Posts: 1,058

    vtx1800
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I like the blocks you fabricated to hold the frame up, a great idea
     
  16. Six Ball
    Joined: Oct 8, 2007
    Posts: 3,437

    Six Ball
    Member
    from Nevada

    Brian, I'll trade it to you for a large can of your energy! :D Seriously, it was given to me and you can have it if you want it, just pay the shipping. I'm using the black one in the photo. The rivet holes on my frame don't match either of the cross members and each of them are different but they will fit with new holes or can be welded in. These locate the radiator and front engine mounts and should be OK up to '28 when the extended the frame in anticipation of using the new 6 cylinder that didn't make it until '29. I have no idea how many different front cross members were made between '25 and '28 or when the frame was changed. I think trucks may have been different.
    My frame has been sitting 3/4 blasted most of the summer. should have just paid someone. I tend to fiddle with stuff. :rolleyes:
    GG2, I'll try to make the muster! :eek:
     
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  17. plym_46
    Joined: Sep 8, 2005
    Posts: 3,986

    plym_46
    Member
    from central NY

    Atf with acetone 50/50 is a great cleaner penetrant.
     
  18. Haase
    Joined: Jan 28, 2018
    Posts: 7

    Haase
    Member

    That's incredibly nice of you! Thank you! Do you have PayPal, Venmo, ect? DM your info and I'll send you some cash for shipping.

    I paid a local metal finisher business $300 to blast the frame. I considered wiring wheeling it myself, but for $300, I'll pay somebody else to do a better job. Ha
     
  19. 282doorUK
    Joined: Mar 6, 2015
    Posts: 62

    282doorUK

    A Chevy speedster build, suits me fine, I'll be following this!

    About your rear end, the axles are a weak point, both failed (twisted the splines off) at the same time in my stock '28 sedan, in stop start traffic at around 3mph! They looked fine when I put new bearings on them a while before, the only thing that could have caused them to fail was driving dirt roads and hitting a couple of pot holes.
    New ones being unavailable at the time I made my own from decent steel.

    I have standard axles in my avatar build, which is some 800 pounds lighter that the sedan, with a front weight bias, which means wheel spin takes the strain off them, they have survived a few hours thrashing around rough fields so far, fingers crossed!

    Look closely at the splines for stress riser nicks and wear caused by the diff gear splines having very sharp corners. Filing any sharp edges off will help there.

    I wanted to keep the 6 lug Chevy disc wheels, and band brakes, or else I would have most likely gone the 3 springer route to get a period stronger rear end, which might still happen if the original axles let go.

    Also, should you feel the need, shortening the Chevy drive shaft and torque tube ain't nearly as easy as doing the same to a Ford one.

    Not sure if any of that helps, good luck and have fun!
     
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  20. Six Ball
    Joined: Oct 8, 2007
    Posts: 3,437

    Six Ball
    Member
    from Nevada

    I sent a Private Message about the cross member. I don't want to hold this build up too! :(
     
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  21. Haase
    Joined: Jan 28, 2018
    Posts: 7

    Haase
    Member

    My grandfather broke his driveshaft doing the same thing. Just pulled away while in traffic and BAM!


    I saw that. I just replied to you.
     
  22. Six Ball
    Joined: Oct 8, 2007
    Posts: 3,437

    Six Ball
    Member
    from Nevada

    The weakness in these old Chevys is the metal,.They made their axles, gears, and cranks out of the same stuff they made their fenders out of. :eek: Bob Ruffi said trying to make power out of the Chevy 4 was like trying to make power out of a tissue box. But he did it well and set a record that NO ONE touched for years, not even him. o_O Spurgin and Giovanine kicked ass at the dry lakes with their '25 Chevy 4 cylinder roadster but the later version had Frodicated running gear. :rolleyes: Henry was a metallurgist. The three springer builds probably came from this. We don't consider any of this stuff as strong today but it's all they had to work with.
    Brian, I'd like to know more about your '26 touring.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2020 at 11:56 AM
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  23. 282doorUK
    Joined: Mar 6, 2015
    Posts: 62

    282doorUK

    So would I, you show your '26 and I'll show my '28 ;)
     
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  24. Six Ball
    Joined: Oct 8, 2007
    Posts: 3,437

    Six Ball
    Member
    from Nevada

    I'll show my old girlfriend! Had to let her go she liked "Street Rods" :(
    s-l1600.jpg

    But on a good note I found the cross member and got some boxes at the PO. I also found this old aquarium to de-rust them in with citric acid. So it'll be rust free when you get it.
    201016_0001.jpg 201016_0003.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

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  25. grumpy gaby 2
    Joined: Aug 10, 2019
    Posts: 88

    grumpy gaby 2
    Member

    Six Ball With a girlfriend like that, no wonder you had to see the doctor!!!!
     
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  26. topher5150
    Joined: Feb 10, 2017
    Posts: 2,025

    topher5150
    Member

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  27. Haase
    Joined: Jan 28, 2018
    Posts: 7

    Haase
    Member

    You're the man! Thank you!

    A couple of you asked to see my '26 Touring, so here you go:

    It was found in a barn in 1956, buried in a basement garage in 1980, moved to a warehouse in downtown Kansas City, MO in 1986 and I brought it home in 2017. It's never been messed with, has the original paint and it still runs and drives! Here are a few pictures.

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    You can see a lot more about my touring on the VCCA forum here: https://vccachat.org/ubbthreads.php...1926-chevrolet-superior-series-k-touring.html
     
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  28. grumpy gaby 2
    Joined: Aug 10, 2019
    Posts: 88

    grumpy gaby 2
    Member

    Brian That is a very rare find! I hope that the VCCA has started a file on original cars! (With very detailed photos.)
     
  29. Six Ball
    Joined: Oct 8, 2007
    Posts: 3,437

    Six Ball
    Member
    from Nevada

    That is beautiful! I really like old cars that are what they have become over the years through their use. They are only stock once and all the high dollar restoration in the world won't make them stock again or regain their history and character. Ones that have aged gracefully are a treasure. Needed repairs to keep them on the road are fine. Barn find hot rods are almost as cool.

    The aquarium had a couple of small leaks that I though I had pretty much fixed. I went out this morning to an almost empty tank. I'll work on it today. Even in the less than 24 hour soak rust was going away and the water was changing color. I hope another few days is OK with you.
     
  30. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 27,327

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Too bad you aren't close by because you could have this axle for hauling it off. It came with my frame for my vintage race car build . [​IMG]
     
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