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Projects 1927 model T revamp

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by torqueshop, Mar 2, 2017.

  1. torqueshop
    Joined: Mar 1, 2017
    Posts: 20

    torqueshop

    alright i wanted to go ahead and start this thread to catalog my rebuild on my all steel 1927 model t. ive been building bikes my whole life and have recently made the transition into hot rods. this is a good solid car but the builder cut some corners. the wiring is a mess. there is nothing up front to stabilize side to side movement of the axle the throttle pedal is pushed way up towards the fire wall and over the tranny hump, the gas tank while cool is a polished pony keg with a cork for a gas cap. the headlights and tail lights thanks to the shotty wiring, the seat is just kind of thrown in there. whoever built the car had the right idea they just didnt execute like this car deserved. basically i would like to take this car from a rat rod to a hot rod

    a list of things i would like to accomplish in this rebuild are as folows:

    1. change the front suspension set up get it tucked under the frame or atleast back farther so its not sticking way out in front (any one know what my options for that would be with my frame style?)

    2. the grill and ugly hood ornament need to go im thinking more of a 32? style

    3. different steering wheel

    4. id like to try my hand at making some bomber seat

    5. safer gas tank

    6. different air cleaner

    7. id like to put a nice paint job on it as well and get rid of all the red

    the last pic is kind of what im trying to make my end result be
    first thing i would like to do is the front suspension i just have no idea what the nest route would be or if its even possible to change it for something closer to the suspension in my example pic with out a ton of fab work.


    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG] example of my build goals
     
    kiwijeff, dwollam and T-roaster like this.
  2. torqueshop
    Joined: Mar 1, 2017
    Posts: 20

    torqueshop

  3. Ric Dean
    Joined: Dec 20, 2007
    Posts: 477

    Ric Dean
    Member
    from Central NY

    … I think your coming at this build in a way that will greatly improve the proportions for a Hot Rot 27 T Bucket. Just to start with: in the Flathead powered T photo you submitted that car has the body sitting on top of a Deuce Frame not only does that increase eye appeal but gives you room to work with on Pedals (as you noted) etc. Unless your only a 5’ tall driver there is not enough room in a channeled T Bucket + you sit way too high in em. Your idea for the Grille shell is a good one, just mount it in front of the suicide frt end like they did.
    Good luck, Ric

    27 on 32 Frame 600p .jpg
     
    dwollam and dana barlow like this.
  4. Great starting point, but I agree with you ...the original builder(s) fell short on execution.

    If it were mine, I would want a dropped Model A style front crossmember mounted back under the radiator with a spring-over front axle. That would pull the whole front suspension back to where your "build-to" photo is. Hairpins at least up front would help, too! I also agree with Ric...the channeled body doesn't help with the room or the proportions (too low to be as long as it is).

    Take your time and think things through. You're used to building bikes, mock a piece up, step back, and ask yourself if it looks "right".

    Lots of great builders here! You'll soon be on your way to a stellar hot rod!
     
    Squablow and dana barlow like this.

  5. Oh, and get a pair of those adapters that allow you to use GenI SBC valve covers!!
     
    dana barlow likes this.
  6. To me, '32 shells look too big for a T unless they're cut way down. A '28-9 shell looks better proportionally. Your "build goals" pic is a vast improvement. :)
     
    patmanta likes this.
  7. torqueshop
    Joined: Mar 1, 2017
    Posts: 20

    torqueshop

    Thanks for the feed back. Does anyone know the proper term for the front suspension/axle style on my example photo. is that the model a style mentioned above. Also is there a good hot rod version of jp cycles to buy parts that everyone uses
    I agree the valve convers need converted
    I'll look into different era grill shells. I really like the 34 shells but I don't think it would go well with this particular build
     
  8. By the photo, I can't tell if your "build-to" pic has a spring-over or a spring-behind setup. Stock Model A is a spring-over design.

    A late T or early A shell would be the best, at least in my book....unless you like Track-T noses!

    As for JP-esque catalogs, check Speedway Motors, Chassis Engineering (the street rod one), Posies and SoCal Speed Shop.
     
    Late to the Party likes this.
  9. The JP cycle people in the car circle is Speedway. To pull the Axle back a good bit without a ton of work look into the 35 - 48 spring in front style. You can use the same steering set up and even the 4 bar if you want. There are pre fab mounts for that. That system would mean you only need to shorten and re thread all of what you already have. You also will not need as heavy a drop in the I Beam axle to keep the car sitting as it is. Here is how that could look. It looks like you can even use the existing front spring mount as is.
    P1010242.JPG
     
  10. torqueshop
    Joined: Mar 1, 2017
    Posts: 20

    torqueshop

    I'm gonna check out speed way. Now that you mention it I'm pretty the previous owner said this was a chassis engineeri g frame.

    Would it be possible to use my existing tube axle and just move and back and add a panhard bard
     
  11. Short answer to that is Yes. Cut the front tube crossmember off and move it back behind the Grill. Question,, why do you think you need a front panhard bar?
    The Wizzard
     
  12. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 26,436

    Jalopy Joker
    Member

    plenty of challenges and fun ahead
     
  13. torqueshop
    Joined: Mar 1, 2017
    Posts: 20

    torqueshop

    doesn't seem like there is anything stopping side to side movement it gets pretty sketchy going over 50 MPh. Which I expected but everything could be made better. I want this to be something I can actually drive and enjoy
     
  14. patmanta
    Joined: May 10, 2011
    Posts: 3,686

    patmanta
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Woburn, MA
    1. MASSACHUSETTS HAMB

    I do not see a Panhard Bar out back. I see parallel or near parallel 4 bar and coil springs. There's your wobble; all you have is vertical control, no lateral control. I would not be surprised to see distortion or stress cracking in those bars if it has many miles on it.

    Adding a Panhard Bar is going to be the quickest and easiest fix I'd say.
    I would focus on this first.

    I would leave the front end alone for now. It's a T, so the T-Bucket style front end is not out of place. If you want it to be spring-over, you're going to need a new dropped axle, perch pins, and a set of batwings. Your 4-bar will need to be shortened or replaced with a set of bones or hairpins. This is FAR less invasive than changing the front crossmember, which seems to have shocks or a sway bar built in on yours and will pull the front end back in 2 or 3"
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2017
  15. torqueshop
    Joined: Mar 1, 2017
    Posts: 20

    torqueshop

    So front and rear panhard bars? I was thinking that my self. Do they make a bolt on panhard bar for my style front axle
     
  16. patmanta
    Joined: May 10, 2011
    Posts: 3,686

    patmanta
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Woburn, MA
    1. MASSACHUSETTS HAMB

    Worry about your rear end first. That's where I suspect the most danger wobble. Your front spring looks like it's pre-loaded to me, so you may not need that.

    I edited my last reply, which you may not have seen, but IMO you should replace the axle with a forged, dropped unit and spring-over perches up front after you fix the rear. But keep in mind, if this is the way you want to go, you may end up lifting the front end up, so be prepared to either jack the rear end up, raise the front perch, or change your tires.
     
  17. Front panhard rod is not real common on a buggy spring when built right. If your spring shackles are at the angle or more horozontal under load than what you see in the photo I posted you won't see enough change in how it handles to warrant the work. If you really think it's in the front end check your Caster.
    For your car and what I see under it I would opt for a simple Track locator It's a simple bolt on piece, no welding needed and as narrow as your frame rails are you'll get a better ride result.
    The Wizzard
     
    patmanta likes this.
  18. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 14,932

    Squablow
    Member

    I have a '26 as well and I have the same pic saved in my inspiration folder as you do.

    I think Brett4Christ is right on in his suggestions. A Model A front crossmember with a spring-over style front axle gets the front end lined up under the grille shell. (Edit, Patmanta also has good advice here too) That's what my '26 has, mine is on an A frame but no reason you couldn't set your frame up the same way.

    And I'm firmly in the camp that likes a full height '32 grille on a 26-27 T. It's a lot easier to pull off on a non-channeled car though. You might consider re-mounting your body on top of the frame instead of channeled over it. You'd have to redo your floor, but it would give you more space for pedals which is apparently already an issue, and help in the looks department if you want to get closer to the look of your example car. I like your plans for the car.

    03-31-15 003.jpg
    I can see if I can get a better front end pic to show how the axle is located, this is an old pic with half the body missing.
     
  19. AV8 Dave
    Joined: Jan 3, 2003
    Posts: 680

    AV8 Dave
    Member

    I'll second all that 'patmanta" said! With regard to the panhard addition, there is a good recent thread titled ( I believe) "panhard bar question" which details this very well with some good photographic examples of properly done ones. Just use the "Search" (magnifying glass) feature to find it. Lots of good advice here and lots of knowledgeable guys to give it! Have a turtledeck myself I hope to get to one day! Good luck! Regards, Dave.
     
  20. Here is something I'll throw out. You say your new to Hot Rodding and been into bikes for the most part. I'm going to assume here that what your used to driving is newer vehicles. Them and motorcycles have a totally different feel than what you've just stepped into. Motorcycles just plain go where you point them. You feel everything on the road but for the most part very little responce to the road surface. New cars with rack steering and radial tires are very forgiving to the road. Buggy spring and bias tires, no way. They are going to follow, hunt and pull depending on what they roll over or on. You need to let them do that and just relax. You can make them very user friendly but never will they drive like a Honda car or new GM truck. Let them wander, just don't let them cross the lines. Maybe your T isn't as bad as you think and it's just a change in Venu. I fixed one new owners complaint by simply using a Grease Gun on all the Zerts. The king pins and tie rod ends had never had grease applied to them.
    Personally I think you can work with what you have and make yourself happy without spending a lot of $$$. Your going to find each one of us have our own idea of what you should do and they will all differ a good bit. I try the KISS route first long before I dive into my wallet.
    The Wizzard
     
  21. torqueshop
    Joined: Mar 1, 2017
    Posts: 20

    torqueshop

    as far as front panhard bar goes im taking that info from the previous owner saying thats what it needed it sounded off to me but i took it as ignorance on my part. a rear panhard bar would make more sense to me ill start there.

    would this be what is being referred to as the model a front cross member and spring over, if so is that a bolt on and go or am i cutting my cross member out and moving it

    http://www.chassisengineeringinc.com/fk-2831-forged-i-beam-axle-front-end-kit-for-1928-1931-ford/
     
  22. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 14,932

    Squablow
    Member

    That's the spring and axle for it, but you would be cutting the front of your frame off and welding in a different crossmember in order to get it under the grille.

    You might consider finding the first 18 inches or so of a Model A frame and adding it to your frame. It would take a fair amount of cutting, but then you'd also have front frame horns which would be nice.

    Pist-n-broke makes another good point. If you've never driven a car like this, especially with bias ply tires, it's going to feel weird. If a more experienced rodder in your area could take your car for a ride, that would be a huge starting point for deciding on frame modifications.
     
  23. Question; I was just looking at the large photo you posted of the rear axle housing. It's hard to see but on the driver side inboard and just above the 4 bar mount bolt. It looks like a bar going diagonal to axle housing. Is that correct? if so is there a matching one on the other side?
     
  24. That's the one!! You can do a kit, or you can piece together what you need from swap meets and classifieds. Quicker with a kit, but the thrill of the hunt is always good...AND you can chat with others on their experiences and suggestions!
     
  25. chopndrop
    Joined: Feb 8, 2005
    Posts: 711

    chopndrop
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    That is a spring over axle setup, like what a model a has. You could mount that to your existing spring perch, get some batwings for your axle and shorten the existing 4 bar. This will bring you axle back a few inches, but won't put the axle under the grill as your last photo. It may also lift the front end a little. The next step would be cut off the existing front crossmember and weld in a new one, model a style or otherwise. This would shorten it up some more. Still need to shorten 4 bar and get batwings. You will need to figure out front shocks with that way since looks like your existing ones are at the very front of the frame now.
     
  26. patmanta
    Joined: May 10, 2011
    Posts: 3,686

    patmanta
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Woburn, MA
    1. MASSACHUSETTS HAMB

    TBH, if you're new to hot rodding, I don't think you should be considering cutting the front of your perfectly good T bucket frame off and cobbling in a new crossmember just to get another 2" inboard. That says "future abandoned project for sale" to me. Your spring is behind your axle currently, which puts your front end out about 8" from the front crossmember from the looks of it. A spring-over front end will pull it in to about 3-4" and make a noticeable difference. It will look totally different there and the amount of re-engineering will be reduced.
     
    Late to the Party and Squablow like this.
  27. torqueshop
    Joined: Mar 1, 2017
    Posts: 20

    torqueshop

    im going to take the advice on doing the rear panhard bar first. it makes alot of sense. whenever the car got squirly on me i didnt feel it in the steering wheel at all

    when i got this car i was prepared for it to be a completely different driving experience and it was but it feels pretty solid to me it jumps around a bit at speed when you hit bumps which scares passengers but ive definitely driven worse. i think i made the mistake a relying on the previous owners advice a little too much im guessing he had one to many close calls with it and scared him away from it. hell he wouldnt even sell it to me until i promised to trailer it home.

    so for now rear panhard bar. any one have a preference of panhard bars or know of the best option for my aplication

    now that that is settled the next thing i need to tackle is this peddle placement, now that i know the channeled body is what robbing me of my much need space what can i do short of raising the body on top of the frame rails and redoing my floor. i was considering moving the brake pedal to the left of the steering shaft and moving the throttle down to where the brake pedal use to be this would require that i used both feet to drive the thing which wouldnt bother me much but im not sure the the hambs reaction to that would be. the other idea i had was to see how much clearance i had with my trans tunnel and maybe dishing it out to make more room for my foot.

    the other obstacle i run into is the shifter when its in drive it pressed right up against my knee i thought an easy fix for that would be to heat up the stem and put another double bend at the bottom to push the shifter to the left. but i do not know anything about this shifter, the knob has a safety push button that u have to press in order to shift out of park i wasnt sure if this is cable operated that would be damaged in the heating and bending process

    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  28. Good catch PnB!! I went back and you're right. It looks like there are triangulated bars running from the frame (inboard of the frame 4-link brackets) to the pumpkin of the third member. That would eliminate the need for a panhard on the rear....
     
  29. torqueshop
    Joined: Mar 1, 2017
    Posts: 20

    torqueshop

    good eye i just crawled under the car and looked for myself there are two triangulated bars going from either side of the frame to the axle

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
    brett4christ likes this.
  30. ^^^ So you can scratch the need for a panhard bar!! Just check the condition of all the welds to make sure there are no stress cracks or major binding in the heim joints!
     

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