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Projects 1927 Roadster on 1931 chassis

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by DesmoDog, Sep 13, 2016.

  1. dwollam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2012
    Posts: 1,090


    Hey that's a nice car T&A Flathead! Your headers are really interesting. I like 'em.

    DesmoDog: I have done two '27 T roadster pickups fenderless on A chassis, stock A running gear. I actually raised the front of the bodies about an inch and a quarter at the front of the cowl and tapered to nothing towards the rear. Helped in a couple ways, one of which made the top of the cowl line up with a '28-'29 radiator shell and hood top. Then I straightened out the sharp bend in the pedals a little to raise them up to a comfortable position and the steering column lined up better in the T dash.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2016
  2. dwollam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2012
    Posts: 1,090


    Hey DesmoDog. Why not make a simple wood pickup box the same length as a stock turtle deck. Sub-frames are the same. That way it looks completed and you get used to the length and it gets you on the road sooner. Heck, varnish the wood and maybe it stays permanent! Or switch them out depending on your mood for the day!

  3. dwollam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2012
    Posts: 1,090


    My first one didn't have the rear sub-frame so I used 2x4 wood. Made them a little longer than the stock steel sub-frame. Cheap and easy. I used stock T head light/fender braces w/ the brace cut off for headlight mounts. Even bolted to factory bolt holes in the Model A frame! Here are a few pics of both rigs, but neither were finished when pics were taken. Second car had stock rear sub-frame. Also on 1st one I moved 1 running board support on each side and ran Model TT big truck short running boards. It made it WAY easier for this old guy to get in and out!

    26-30 001.jpg 26-30 006.jpg 26-30 007.jpg 26-30 010.jpg Roadster Pickup 004.jpg
    bct, kiwijeff, slv63 and 1 other person like this.
  4. dwollam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2012
    Posts: 1,090


    Actually I have done three '27 T Roadster pickups on A frames! I forgot about the last one. It was one I bought to finish and resell. Body was moved back and a very short bed, more like a T Bucket. One of the best things I did on it was shorten the windshield 4 1/4" and make it a single piece of glass. I cut 4" off the bottom of the top frame and just butted it up to the bottom frame, then had them cut the glass to fit. Then once I got that back, I shortened the posts to match and to hold the two frame sections together. Worked perfect. Used a late model Plymouth mini van center seat, fit perfect. Removed the head rests, thought they looked out of place.
  5. When I got my RPU the body had been lifted up to match the radiator shell and you only notice the gap if you are down low and a little ways back. Now I have pulled it down for finish work I will attach a filler piece on top of the chassis. Also, on a 30-31 A frame the radiator mount pads on the cross member are lower than on a 28-29. JW
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2016
  6. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 3,980

    from SW Wyoming

    Desmo dog, you are correct, Kent and Nancy did a lot of paintwork, in addition to BMW/Ducati sales.
  7. Joe Tx
    Joined: Jan 25, 2008
    Posts: 252

    Joe Tx

  8. I've thought about making a pickup box, probably a bit longer than a turtledeck. It's a definite possibility... in fact it's looking more likely lately. I think the money I had set aside for a turtledeck may be spent on something else in the near future. We'll see, more news as it develops.

    I'm planning on chopping the grill, not lifting the body. I won't have to deal with that for a while though.

    In other news, I took a closer look at those headlights today and found an embossment. Well part of one anyway.


    The other light's markings are even fainter than this one. I tried cleaning it up but still couldn't read the first word so I entered "Corporal Brown Lamp Division" into Google and eventually figured out the lights I have were built by Corcoran Brown in Cincinnati. Searching on that uncovered a clear version of the embossment which confirmed it.

    That didn't help all that much though, the majority of the info I found on them was about headlights from the brass era. It's a start, I'll keep poking around to find out more.
    tomkelly88 and Jet96 like this.
  9. More on the headlight saga. I've only seen one other mention of this style light, so apparently they weren't very common. I took mine apart to see what I was dealing with and I'm pretty happy with them.

    This is where the wires enter the shell. I'm guessing the conduit had some sort of fitting that locked in like a lightbulb? These are both a little banged up so I'm thinking of just removing them. On bikes this would be a simple rubber grommet, but how does new conduit attach to the shell?

    The inside view of the where the wires come in. I'm also thinking about drilling out the mounting bolt and running the wires through that. Then I'd simply cover/plug these holes.

    The parking/indicator lens. I took the hood off it and was pleasantly surprised at the condition of the rubber base. The glass is in great shape too, just a little dirt and overspray to clean up. And I need to get a couple amber bulbs so I can use them as turn signals.

    Not so lucky on the other one. This is the condition I expected for the rubber parts. Where the heck does a guy find replacements? headlight_0469.JPG

    The light sockets. Are these available anywhere? These are servicable but if new ones are out there...

    The good rubber base. It had markings but they're unreadable now.

    Maybe I can clean this part up and use it as a pattern for a mold to make new ones? Or I could draw it up and have a buddy print out a pattern. It's soft rubber, it's not like it has to be incredibly accurate. headlight_0481.JPG

    Todays random thought; reproduction '32 grill shells really aren't that expensive. Maybe I WILL try to chop one down for this thing. Oh yeah, another thing. There is a slight indication of a price that had been written on these in the past. It's mostly gone now, but if you hold the shell in teh right just right, if I'm reading this right, somebody paid $5 for the pair at some point.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2016
    26 T Ford RPU likes this.
  10. dwollam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2012
    Posts: 1,090


    $5 for the pair huh? Reminds me of a Fulton sun visor I got along with a bunch of old Dodge Brothers parts last year. After giving it a good scrubbing there was written in pencil, $5.00 ! I think I got $250 or $275 out of it at the last swap meet. All that stuff was on the 3rd floor of a barn on property the lady and her husband had purchased 27-28 years earlier and had never moved any of it. Most of the stuff was several inches deep in bat crap!
  11. 97
    Joined: May 18, 2005
    Posts: 1,594


    Don't discount the banger, you will easily keep up with traffic in a lightened car, no fenders and a slight hop up . Along with a raised gear ratio...either a quick change or a high diff and big wheels/tires.

    Go for a drive in Crazydaddios T roadster pickup on modified A frame . It's banger powered . CDO makes the part you need to use a T5 gearbox behind a banger and retain the torquetube.
    <iframe width="845" height="600" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    Look up Crazydaddios other postings for his chassis and build pictures.
    I think you would enjoy reading the monthly banger meet ..latest one here

    You will find a link to all previous Banger meets on page 1 and a whole lot of more banger stuff in the other link pages.
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2016
    26 T Ford RPU likes this.
  12. 97
    Joined: May 18, 2005
    Posts: 1,594


    gas pumper likes this.
  13. Here's a post I was hoping I wouldn't have to make, and a picture I was hoping to never have to use.

    I've already mentioned I came back to cars after years of screwing around with bikes. One reason for the change was I wanted something where I could take one of my golden retrievers along with me when I went out for an afternoon jaunt. Desmo (in my avatar) is 16. Let's be serious, he's never going to see the car running. No, what I intended was for his little sister Sophia to hang out with me. She's six years younger than him. She's never been alone a day in her life and I knew I'd feel guilty leaving her at home on those beautiful summer days.

    So I bought a car project. Take a couple years to get it running, then enjoy it with her. Cool plan.

    PLOT TWIST! About two weeks after I bought the car, Sophia was diagnosed with cancer. Yeah... you see, Desmo is something of a rockstar being a 16 year old retriever. Average life is 10 - 12 years for them. Desmo is 16. Sophia is six years younger. Average life span is 10 -12 years. Do the math. I never had. Sophia dying soon after Desmo? It never even occurred to me that could happen***. Screw the vets, what do they know? Desmo was (mis)diagnosed with cancer years ago for cripe sakes!

    When I was tearing the car down I got past my denial long enough to realize I should at least try to take a picture of her in it. Just in case.


    There's Sophia wondering what in the heck I bought this rattle trap for, she wants to ride in a real car! Yeah, I know the picture sucks. All of them that I took that night do. My heart wasn't in it, and she wasn't feeling well, but if it didn't happen then it maybe wasn't going to happen. (I had planned on taking better pics during later mock ups)

    As you've likely already figured out, the reason I'm posting it now is because reality didn't match my fantasy of how this would work out. Sophia had to be put down this afternoon. I'll spare you the details, suffice it to say it was a rough night and the afternoon was no cakewalk either. The only good part is I have no doubt we made the right choices.

    Dog guys will get it. Others might not. I'm ok with that.

    That's it for this week. Sorry if it's off topic or sappy or whatever, I really don't give a shit. I already miss my dog and one reason I wanted to build this car is gone. All is not lost, I'll be back at it soon enough. It's a bump in the road I hadn't planned on, and I think I'm going to take some time off from the hot rod infatuation for a day or three.

    ***EDIT: Desmo is still with us by the way. Up until yesterday I never seriously thought Sophia would die BEFORE him.
  14. So sorry to hear all this, I have dogs (mates) and I was hoping for the same things with them and my T but one died of cancer last July at age 10 and now the T is down for a rebuild/finish work my main Dog is just turning 15, she may not make it either. On the slightly brighter side we have new dogs as well now so it will be them that get to do it. Im sad for those that I wanted to ride but that's the sad side of life. All the best for you and Desmo, you may just make it. JW
  15. rgdavid
    Joined: Feb 3, 2014
    Posts: 347


    Sorry ,
    In a way its still her car, you had an idea for it for her and you,
    So it will allways be hers and yours.
    Dont let it go,
  16. When I was taking the pics of Sophia in the car, "Spirit of Sophia" popped into my head. I'm not real big on naming vehicles but that keeps coming to me when I go work on this thing... I'm not going to be putting any names on it but I'm guessing I'll always think of it as that.

    Today I pulled apart one of the F1 steering boxes. It's the one with the cut up box but smooth operation. Turns out is has a few issues but I'm not sure they'll matter. I was thinking about using a column shifter and an earlier wheel so I'll probably be replacing a lot of the internals anyway?

    Here's the box. It's missing the outer column housing and the flange has been hacked but it moves smoothly.

    After a little clean up I discovered some damage. Everything else on this looks good.

    Same story on the worm gear. It all looks great, except for where it doesn't. This mess covers about 1/3 of the bearing surface.

    I have another box to pull apart too, but with how dry it is I'm not expecting the internals to look very good.
    26 T Ford RPU likes this.
  17. I have the same box in my T. Mine was stuffed so I sent it off to get rebuilt and the only part saved was the housing, so I have a new box that will steer like new, that im looking forward to. Could be worth the expense having yours done and I like the name but you need to put it somewhere on the car even if only you know its there. JW
    KiwiGlen likes this.
  18. I could consider this project creep, but I'm going to mark it up as a return to the original plan. Before I had actually bought anything I had every intent to go with a V8. Once I bought the car, I decided to stick with the banger and use as much Model A stuff as possible.

    Well, an 8BA showed up today along with a later transmission so I guess I'm going V8 after all!

    A couple thoughts...
    Flatheads seem bigger when you're trying to wrestle them under the bench than they do when they're in a car.
    It's too flippin cold outside to be screwing with large chunks of iron.

    What that leads to is I've done little more than a quick scan of the engine and transmission. I basically rolled the dice and gave the man my money, but he was kind enough to deliver everything so I had that going for me. (Thanks again, Mike!) The transmission is in my shop warming up so I can get more info on that soon. The V8 is under my bench in the garage, likely hibernating until spring when I'll have to figure out how in the hell I'm going to get it down to my shop. Dang these things are heavy.

    Engine is very complete, with bellhousing and clutch still attached. Second pic shows I got a carb and a fan (with another generator) with it too. That makes three carbs for me now, but I don't plan on building it to the point it'll need that many.

    IMG_2633 copy.jpg

    There's a transmission in that pile somewhere. I'm still not entirely sure I don't want a column shifter? But this will help with mock up if nothing else.
    IMG_2631 copy.jpg

    Now I get to move all my banger books/info onto the shelf and get out my flathead books again!
    gas pumper likes this.
  19. All looks and sounds promising. JW
  20. I checked out some things on Vanpelt's site and can't figure out what this is.

    The case is stamped 78-7006 T, which according to their info means it was introduced in the late '40s. It's also got the full length rib on the bottom.

    IMG_0530.JPG IMG_0533.JPG

    I checked this number on their list though, and assuming that is a one eight vs an eye eight (which I can't find listed) it would be a 1938 case.

    Probably doesn't matter but I'm curious. I'm also wondering if this was rebuilt and then never used? Shafts turn very smoothly and it's way too clean to have been used or just cleaned up and painted. Interesting...

    EDIT: Ah... I should have read further down the serial number page. It shows that the "1" character was changed in 1938 to resemble an uppercase "i". So the serial number indicates it's from 1938, and now that I am finding more info on shifting towers and things it looks like that makes sense?
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2017
  21. greaser
    Joined: Apr 30, 2006
    Posts: 840


    Good for you! Flatheads can get expensive quickly, but with some smart trading and buying, you can build a good runner reasonably priced. Don't start tearing it down until you check it out thoroughly, and only fix what you have to.
    That "78" case is the one to have, it's the stronger case with the rib on the bottom.
  22. Third DodgeBrother
    Joined: Apr 18, 2009
    Posts: 187

    Third DodgeBrother

    I'm building from the front half, I should say the front two quarters of a '27 touring. I envy your pristine subframe. Mine is mostly a memory. I'd appreciate any subframe shots you could post when you get to body work. Thanks.
  23. I'm not sure when I'll get to the body. Here are the only two shots I have right now that show any of the subframe and haven't already been posted. If you need any specific detail shots let me know and I'll see what I can do. It's on a dolly so I can roll it around... though it's in my basement ==> surrounded by massive amounts of "I'll just set this here for now..." ==> casters are largely ceremonial.

    IMG_0147l.jpg IMG_0148l.jpg
  24. And I'm back. Between a vacation, a cold, and getting a couple username related OT vehicles into shape for the upcoming season I had to take more time off from this than I expected, but last weekend I got back to it again.

    Not much progress to report, most of that has to do with getting parts. The addition of the flathead has led to some changes in the master plan. First would be the cross member. I had thought I'd use a '32 style set up as covered in Tardel's book, but the more I found out about it, the less I liked that idea. I don't plan on removing the transmission all that often, but it just seems wrong to have to remove the engine to do it. Plus, the cost was pretty significant. Not only to get a cross member, but then to mount the transmission to it.

    I ended up going with an F1 style cross member from Industrial Engineering instead. It showed up last week and I got around to slipping it into the frame yesterday. I made a couple small tweaks to it to make it easier to install/remove as I'm pretty sure it'll be in and out of the frame numerous times.


    After I ordered that I started thinking about how to mount the wishbone which led to considering hairpins - I like that they offer a little adjustment for caster plus many of the cars I like used them. I ended up ordering a set from RJays. With the Alliance Member discount it seemed like a no brainer. This morning I ordered the engine/transmission mount pads from Chassis Engineering so if I can ever get the flathead moved from my garage to the basement, I should be ready to start figuring out how all this stuff will fit together.

    Hopefully I will have more frequent updates on progress in the coming weeks/months/years!
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2017
  25. It's been a while, turns out the problem child OT vehicle is still pushing my buttons... but I'm managing a little progress here and there.

    The holes in the crossmember were too small for the Chassis Engineering mounts, so I got out the holesaw and some clamps. The board is marked/drilled to held the center of the holes where they needed to be. The center hole is just to make sure the holesaw was the right size for the mounts. IMG_0637.JPG

    Tah dah! Every thing fits. I was a little worried that the bases for the mounts would hit the crossmember but all is good. IMG_0646.JPG

    There were two welds on the crossmember that bothered me, at the corners of the plate the mounts sit on. Probably would have worked out fine but I brought the crossmember to work with me and had them touched up. IMG_0679.JPG

    More better

    I also got my front spring assembeled/painted, awaiting the front axle now. Okie Joe called and it sounds like it will be sent out next week, there were a couple parts he needed before everything could be buttoned up.

    I got to work on the rear spring too. The lower leaf has been shortened to work with the new reverse eye main leaf, and all the corners have been rounded a bit. The bottoms have just been coated with graphite paint. IMG_0828.JPG

    And I got the hairpins from Rjay's.

    I also pulled the bellhousing/clutch/flywheel off the flathead in my garage. One of these days I'll have to wrestle it into the basement so I can start figuring out where all this stuff goes.
    tomkelly88, brEad, OFT and 1 other person like this.
  26. Good to see good progress. :cool: JW
  27. Mini update today. Made a little more progress on the rear spring but while doing misc BS I decided to stop pussy footing around. I've been going back and forth on if/when to step the frame. Finally figured out it's better sooner than later so I laid out the cut lines and with "...the first cut is the deepest" running through my head I fired up the cut off wheel and made the first cut.


    I did the other side too and flipped the frame for the bottom but didn't have time today to finish it up.

    Yeah, I know, it's a freakin cut. Whoopie. But it's all I got for now and it's one less thing I have to keep going over in my head! It will be stepped and it will be stepped before I start mocking everything else up.
    brEad and tomkelly88 like this.
  28. I got my axle from Okie Joe's last week. The ends are bent!!!!

    He modded the links on the spindles too. There's supposed to be a mark on the driver's side of the axle bit I'll be damned if I can find it. Looks like I'll be measuring some angles before I set it up.

    I want to finish up the step on the frame before I start playing with the axle though, that was the plan for the holiday weekend. Finish welding up the frame step! I ran out of oxygen last weekend and was pretty low on acetylene, so on the way home from work on Friday I stopped by the weld shop I usually use and... they were out of acetylene! Holiday traffic, it was too late to get to the next shop I could use. Hmmm. I considered finally taking the step up to a larger tank, but in the end decided I'd take that hypothetical money and put it toward the tig welder I'm never going to buy...

    This morning I hooked everything up and started welding, figuring I'd go until I ran out. I got the lower side of the frame pretty much done and with the frame upside down started figuring out how to mount the springs. (Yes, I will also be putting plates on the outside of the frame once I get more acetylene.)

    This was orignally a pick up so the rear spring had 10 leaves. I've removed 5 of those so there is a big space between the mounts and the leaves. For now I'm using wood to take up the slack - don't have a cow man, this is temporary! I want to see how everything sits before I make a permanent spacer. If the rear end sits too low I can add portions of leaves to raise it up.

    One of the leaves was broken when I pulled the front spring apart. I was going to just leave it out but decided to cut the ends off it and put that under the main leaf to bring it back to stock "stack height" or whatever it's called. I still have to paint it and add it to the stack.

    I also got some bolt on radius rod mounts from RJays to mount the hairpins when the time comes. I'm thinking I might use button head bolts on those, and fill in the heads once mounted. Once the frame gets painted they'll look like rivets. That's the thought anyway.

    So to sum it up, I'm kinda bummed I won't be able to finish up the step this weekend but I should be able to make progress in other areas so all is good.

    Forgot to mention - the dropped axle moves the top of the king pin boss up about 3.25". The frame step raises the top of the frame rail (and the crossmember) about 2.25" in case anyone is wondering.
    Last edited: May 27, 2017
    brEad, bct and cactus1 like this.
  29. Looking good!

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