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Projects 1927 Roadster on 1931 chassis

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

  1. DesmoDog
    Joined: Sep 16, 2002
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    Yeah, finishing the step. About that... I got more acetylene on the way home from work last night. Then did a little welding. Got to the point it would be no problem to finish it up this weekend. Saturday I'm going to "Sins of Steel" so no work until Sunday.

    About all that's left is to weld some plates on the frame. I went down and cut them out after work tonight. Then found a little more time so what the heck, I'll put at least one of them on tonight. Set up the torch, finished up welding one area I had left before the plate could go on, then shut everything down to get the plate set up.

    Went to relight the torch and HOLY CRAP the acetylene was running wide open. WTF? Shut it off at the torch. Looked at the regulator and the gauge was pegged. Shut it off at the tank. Checked the adjustment and it wasn't screwed in too far? Played around with it to find even with the regulator dialed all the way out, pressure would climb and I'd get flow at the torch if I opened the tank. Well THAT can't be good. Plus pegging the gauge made the new zero right around 7psi...

    Alrighty then. I won't be finishing the step this weekend either. Time for new regulators, which I'll probably order online since it's a pain to get to a welding shop when you have a day job.

    Oh well. I've been thinking about getting new ones for a while now anyway, these are probably 40 years old. I got them when I inherited my dad's welding rig. I replaced the torch with a Meeco Midget a bunch of years ago, and with the smaller torch got some smaller, lightweight lines. And of course the tanks have been replaced a few times, and now the regulators, but in my head it's still my dad's set up! I'm still using his cart after all. And the lighter thingamajig! Should probablyget new flints for that though, the way things are going that will be my next set back.
     
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  2. DesmoDog
    Joined: Sep 16, 2002
    Posts: 223

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    Since I can't weld anything I started working on figuring the front supension out. I soon discovered the spring perches I got from Speedway don't use the same size bushings as the stock parts. Speedway sells the correct bushings of course but instead of doing that I decided to use some modified rear bushings instead. They were too long and the diameter was a little too big, but after some time spent grinding them down to the right length and honing the perches to a slightly larger ID I was good to go. Added the spacer to the front spring, pieced together one of the hairpins, and here we are.

    I don't have fasteners to bolt the mounts to the frame so I thought it was a good place to stop for the day.
    IMG_2826.JPG
     
  3. DesmoDog
    Joined: Sep 16, 2002
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    I tried to set up the hairpins last night. First I figured out what the minimum insertion of the clevis and tie rod end should be (@1.5 times diameter). The remaining threads gave me the adjustment range of the parts. I put them in the middle of that range, so they could screw in just as much as they could screw out while still having minimum insertion. That means about .3” of thread showing on the clevis and about .5” on the tie rod. FWIW the tie rod still has about .3” of threads showing when it’s screwed all the way in so the .5” may sound like more than it should be.

    Then I measured the front axle. Honestly I’m pleasantly surprised by how square everything is. Next I measured the caster of the axle as it sat. I’ve forgotten the exact number but it was around 9 degrees, which made sense since I’ve read the front crossmember is set up with something like 8 degrees of caster built in.

    So far so good. Then I installed the hairpins on the axle. With everything set up at it’s midpoint on the hairpin, the hairpin angles down towards the ground. It needs to angle UP slightly to mount to the frame. The picture in the previous post shows what I'm talking about, though obviously the mount is hanging upside down in that shot. As it sits (no weight on the front end) there is roughly 7-8” from the top of the frame to the top of the mount for the hairpin. I can pull the mount up into place, but the caster angle drops to around zero.

    I get that the engine will lower the front end and change things but not THAT much?

    I thought the batwings might be upside down, but they aren’t. The hairpins don’t have an obvious top/bottom, the tube lengths are within about an 1/8” of each other. I’m not aware of the perch bosses on the axle being at an angle, so aside from the camber settings having to match the appropriate spindle, there is no dedicated driver’s side? (I still haven’t found any marking as made by Joe so I may have it wrong).

    My plan is to leave locating the hairpin mounts until I have an engine sitting in the frame, but this seems like something isn’t right and I’m scratching my head over what it might be… I thought I’d post it up and see if I’m missing something obvious. Or maybe I’m just overthinking it and need to wait until the engine is in before I can expect things to “fit”?
     
  4. cactus1
    Joined: Apr 10, 2006
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    You could use a ratchet strap to pull the frame down to the axle. I think around 3" of squish is what I estimated when I was building my truck.
     
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  5. Texas36
    Joined: Oct 20, 2012
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    I second that. Its the method I used and turned out to be very accurate


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  6. DesmoDog
    Joined: Sep 16, 2002
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    Hmm... I hadn't thought of that. Sounds doable. It didn't move all that much when I stepped on the front of the frame but a flathead has a few pounds on me.

    Thanks for the idea
     
  7. DesmoDog
    Joined: Sep 16, 2002
    Posts: 223

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    I ratcheted down the front and it didn't change things by more than a degree or so. Then I flipped the axle around and no difference. It seems no matter what I do, with the hairpins set for maximum caster I can only get a little over 1 degree out of it with the frame level and front unweighted. Put a degree or two of rake in the frame and you're looking at zero caster.

    I keep thinking the batwings are messed up but I'm not sure why. They are set up for a 2.25" bosses so I would think they're the "right ones". They'd have to both be misbuilt the same way to get the same measurements side to side. I dunno. Time to contact the guy who made them I guess, see if he has any ideas.
     
  8. cactus1
    Joined: Apr 10, 2006
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    Why can't you just screw the top clevis in more than the bottom? I'm pretty sure that's what I did?
     
  9. Can you please post a pic of the set up? JW
     
  10. DesmoDog
    Joined: Sep 16, 2002
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    I did that already. That's what I meant by hairpins set for max camber.

    Sorry for the crappy pics, they wer taking with a cell phone on my way out the door for work. The angle of the axle is distorted here (It doesn't really lean forward) but the set up is shown.

    IMG_2828.JPG IMG_2832.JPG
     
  11. cactus1
    Joined: Apr 10, 2006
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  12. Check the thread depth on the top and then you may need to shorten it to allow more adjustment. JW
     
  13. 64 DODGE 440
    Joined: Sep 2, 2006
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    64 DODGE 440
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    from so cal

    Adjust the lower clevis out until you get the caster you want and then cut the upper tube on the hairpin to allow the proper adjustment. You may need to tap the upper tube deeper but it will work. The only other option is to extend the rear mount plate down to get the angle you want or modify the batwings.
     
  14. DesmoDog
    Joined: Sep 16, 2002
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    Cutting the top tube probably is my best solution... so tonight when I got home from work I unclamped the mounts and disconnected the top tubes, set the axle to 10 degrees caster, and then pulled the mounts up into position. This is really how I should have been doing it all along, I was moving the axle around forcing everything into position.

    When I had everything in place I measured the overlap on the top tube, and it looks like if I set it up so there is still the full range of adjustment top and bottom, I'll need to cut about 1.25" off. I'm guessing that means I'll have to thread it a bit further, which means I'll need to drill it a bit deeper too.

    IMG_0923.JPG

    In other news, I got my new regulators today. No welding yet though, the connector on the acetylene regulator is different, so I need either an adaptor or a new inlet pipe/fitting to fit the tank I use. So what will the next delay be before I can finish the damn step in the frame?!?!?! I suppose I could use the fitting off the old regulator but I'd really like to have a new inlet that doesn't need any adapters.
     
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  15. DesmoDog
    Joined: Sep 16, 2002
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    I woke up early this morning and headed over to Ann Arbor Welding Supply. Walked in to see wall of adapters and fittings and such. Figured out what I needed just as a salesguy came over and asked if I was finding things. Told him what I wanted to do. He knew the part number of the adapter from memory. I like that place. They're the only game in town on Saturday mornings but still.

    So long story short I FINALLY GOT THE FREAKING STEP DONE on the frame. Welded the plates on today. Sweet... The welds aren't a work of art but they should be solid. I need to learn to let them be when I'm done, the two times I tried to go back and make a couple areas look better all I did was mes them up more...
    IMG_0940.JPG


    Then I started screwing with the front end again. I wanted to see what sort of issues I'll be looking at trying to get the steering to work. The good news is, I think I'm sitting pretty good. I'll have to bend the steering arms down a touch, but nothing too extensive.
    IMG_0946.JPG

    I saw a thread here about using a VW part to mount the steering box on top of the frame. I liked the adjustability that offered and it's looking like it'll work for me just fine. I'm not sure how the stock location would work with these hairpins. The pitman arm is probably a bit high in this shot but this is the general idea. I have a couple F1 steering boxes to work with, I would have set one of them on here to get an idea of how close I am, but, um, well.. I can't exactly remember where I put them. I really need to clean things up around here.
    IMG_0951.JPG

    Two things I'm wondering about:
    1) Since I didn't get the axle stretched when it was dropped, the tie rod is too long. I'm assuming I can cut it to length and clean it up, then run a die down it to add more threads?

    2) The drag link now mounts on top of the spindle, which puts the pitman arm attachment on the wrong side. I'm sure I've read on here how guys deal with that but I've forgotten. Time to do a search I guess.
     
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  16. I have an F-1 steering box on mine and here is how mine was mounted, could be done many ways but this was done many years ago so that's how its staying.
    And yes to the tie rod.JW
    [​IMG]
     
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  17. DesmoDog
    Joined: Sep 16, 2002
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    Is there any reason I can't cut the same shape hole on the other side, then weld a plate over the original hole???


    PS. Found my steering boxes. They were on the shelf in a box marked "F1 Steering Boxes". Hmm...
     
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  18. I cant picture what you mean about welding a plate over an original hole. JW
     
  19. DesmoDog
    Joined: Sep 16, 2002
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    "Plate" probably wasn't the best choice of words. Nothing fancy, basically just covering the original hole to keep grease in, dirt out, and add back some structure that may be lost by putting another big hole in it.
     
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  20. DesmoDog
    Joined: Sep 16, 2002
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    Speaking of steering boxes... I found the thread that talked about using a mount from a '50s VW bus to put an F1 steering box on top of the frame. The place they mentioned to get the part went out of business a few years back though, and none of the usual suspects from my VW days listed the part. Late that night I posted a call out to the local aircooled VW crowd and in the morning I had an email containing a link to exactly what I needed. It was on a site I had checked the day before, but the ad was put up the following morning. Long story not much shorter, it's on it's way! One part found.

    Then I found an ad here for a shift lever that should fit my sans lever 1938 transmission. And it was local. Score! Picked it up this morning, one more part found.

    When I got home from picking that up, I decided today was the day. The flathead needs to get moved from my garage to my walkout basement/shop. That entails going downhill, then across the hill, then back up it. I was NOT looking forward to doing this since I wasn't exactly sure how I was going to make it work.

    I decided to start simple and use what I had on hand. A two wheeled dolly that I've abused greatly over the years. It seemed the only way to get it to remotely fit was to put the dolly over the intake area of the engine and strap everything down. So I started pulling parts off the engine. Here's what it looked like under the intake manifold.

    IMG_0953.JPG

    I didn't realize Ford cast these blocks out of lava...
    IMG_0957.JPG

    Yikes. In other news there were no thermostats under the housings, and there is definitely rust in there.

    So... you know those times when you're going down a path with something, and you're thinking "there is no way this is going to work..."? This is one of those times/plans. I figure worst case I'd get it onto the hill, everything would go south, and I'd end up dragging it through the yard with a come-along. So what, today's the day, it's getting moved one way or another.

    IMG_0962.JPG


    The first 90% of the move went much better than I expected. Zero issues. Ok, there were a couple times the engine almost took over and shoved me down the hill instead of me guiding IT down, but you have to expect that. The last 10%? The back up the hill part? I used to be much stronger... it took several steps. Stopping to rest and bitch about gravity. Finding a lever and some wheel chocks. Contemplating hiring a Bobcat, that sort of thing. But in the end I finally got it to the threshold. And couldn't get the wheels of the dolly over said theshold, so I dumped it onto it's already much flattend pan. Done! When I go back down there, Mr. Engine Hoist can take car of the heavy lifting from now on. And my plan of bulding the engine in my basement over the winter, then making a dolly specifically to move it back up the hill? Screw that. This engine will be built in the summer, in my garage, where it will stay until the car is rebuilt in the garage. Once that block leaves the basement for cleaning machining and whatnot, it's not coming back down.

    IMG_0964.JPG

    Earlier this week I put the main leaf back on the rear axle. The plan is to put the other leaves on it, reinstall it in the chassis, then drop the engine/trans in place and see how everything fits. My goal was to have the front and rear suspension in place, the engine sitting in position on the crossmember and engine mounts, and the body back on by the 4th of July. Now that the engine is in the shop, I don't see any reason I won't make it. I also got the tap, drill, die, and die holder to mod the tie rod and hairpins, so maybe I'll make some headway on that stuff too.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2017
  21. Good bit of progress and I bet the tires on the trolley nearly cried enough with that load !! JW
     
  22. MJW
    Joined: Jun 29, 2006
    Posts: 274

    MJW
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    Could you post or pm me the link to the VW part. Thanks.

    Sent from my Nexus 6P using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  23. DesmoDog
    Joined: Sep 16, 2002
    Posts: 223

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    I had to add some air before I took off, and there was definitely some creaking going on, but it made it ok.

    I spent a lot of time downstairs this father's day weekend, I think he'd approve. He'd probably encourage me to up my plans on the engine though. Sorry dad, no Mercury crank or 3/4 cam... for now anyway...

    I put the rear spring back together with the help of a couple clamps and a really long center bolt. I replaced the long one with a shorter one before putting it in the frame though. I'll need the long one again when I put it back together for the final version.

    To make up for the missing leaf under the clips I made a spacer to go around the bolt. Pay no attention to the material, it's all I had sitting around in the correct size.
    IMG_0968.JPG

    I test fit the pedals too, I'm not sure how the clutch linkage is supposed to work but I guess I'll figure that out when the time comes. And that shouldn't be too far off, I think I'm ready to bolt the transmission to the engine and figure out how this is all going to fit together!

    IMG_0978.JPG IMG_0980.JPG
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2017
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  24. DesmoDog
    Joined: Sep 16, 2002
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  25. MJW
    Joined: Jun 29, 2006
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    MJW
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    1. PA. NJ. local HAMBERS group

  26. That's really starting to look like a Hot Rod...........COOL !! JW
     
  27. DesmoDog
    Joined: Sep 16, 2002
    Posts: 223

    DesmoDog
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    Tonight felt like a one step up, two steps back sort of thing. I bolted the transmission to the engine and dropped it all in place to see what I'm dealing with. I learned a lot.

    First of all, I'm missing part of the transmission mount. I'm not even sure what it's called, it's the two piece clamp thing that goes over the shell on the end of the torque tube and holds the tube to the transmission. I have a Model A part, and I have the inner shell from the '38 transmission, but the two don't play well together. Add it to the parts list...

    The questions come up when I look at how it all fits. First the general fit from just dropping it in place.
    IMG_0994.JPG

    Woo Hoo! It's a V8! Well, not so fast. Before I get into it, this is with a stock Model A rear axle/driveshaft/torque tube. I wanted to try it first before I got into a different axle and driveshaft mods, etc. I have no big plans for the flathead so wasn't THAT concerned about the stock axle.

    That white line on the top of the frame marks where the front of the cowl sat when I had the body in position. It is just about even with the junction between the bellhousing and the block, which seems like it's in the right neighborhood anyway. So the stock driveshaft seems to be about right as far as length goes?


    IMG_0988.JPG

    So that's the new crossmember. A few issues... First of all, the lower flange is hitting the stock crossmember, but it still needs to move back a touch more as shown by the bolts not sitting straight. I could cut the flange off, or... it looks like the stock crossmember could be moved back about an inch before the frame starts to flare out. This may not be such a bad idea because...


    IMG_1005.JPG

    The transmission sits pretty high so the torque tube has very little clearance. And this is with the torque tube in about it's lowest position. Once more weight is put on the rear end, it will move higher, and the engine isn't sitting level yet. The front end still has to come down which if anything will pivot up the back a bit. So it looks like the stock crossmember will need to be modified in any case.


    IMG_0992.JPG

    The rearmost flange of the pulley is resting on the (untrimmed) stock front cross member. I knew I'd have to trim it to get clearance for belt changes but I was hoping it would squeak by for mock up. I haven't decided yet if I'm going to build the engine up using earlir parts to gain some space here, but I wouldn't gain THAT much. Also, the waterpumps on there now are for a Mercury which is why the mounts look like they're so high off the frame still.

    I think my next move will be to put the body on before I do any mods to make the engine fit better. I think it's in about the right spot but want to do a reality check before I start cutting and pasting things together. I also need to look at some other build threads again to see what others have done. I'm guessing there are details there I missed the first time or two through but would make more sense now.

    I didn't spend much time messing with it or take any pictures, but I'm also wondering if there will be room to mount the F1 steering box above the frame. The "V" gets wider the higher you go, will the box tuck in there with any of the stock headers available? One more thing to check out. And one more reason to investigate cowl steering. ;-)


    IMG_1014.JPG

    Another thing I've noticed, it looks like the front spring might be too long? This is with most of the weight of the engine on it, the other side is about the same. I'm new at this but I expected it to not be as far into it's travel at rest. The spring is stock other than missing the third shortest leaf and having a new reversed eye main leaf.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2017
  28. lodaddyo
    Joined: May 5, 2002
    Posts: 917

    lodaddyo
    Member

    Looking good! Are you gas welding everything on the frame? Just wondering. You dont see that too often anymore. The part you are after is called a u joint clamshell. You need one to match the transmission. The v8 ones are different from the model a ones. On the center crossmember, i just removed mine. With the new transmission crossmember it will be plenty strong enough. Im using an 8ba in my build, i modified a 12v generator to mount my fan too. Using a single belt. Check my build thread, i have some pics in there. I did have to move my radiator a little forward. But i didnt have to cut into the firewall
     
  29. DesmoDog
    Joined: Sep 16, 2002
    Posts: 223

    DesmoDog
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    I thought about removing the factory crossmember, but the stock frame is so flimsy I thought it couldn't hurt to leave it in. However I forgot to mention another issue that would be solved by removing it; I don't think there's enough room for a master cylinder on the back of the new crossmember with the stock one there.

    I realized the Model T body doesn't even have a lower part of the firewall, so I'm not all that worried about fit there. And, I coud swear I read/figured out the Model T cowl was a little shorter than a Model A? I dunno. That's why I want to put the body on before getting to married to an engine position.

    Speaking of Model T's not having a full firewall, I was kinda thinking about putting a Model A fire wall on it? Just brainstorming on that one but seemed like a solution to the missing lower firewall. Assuming Model A's have a full firewall... I really need to read more before i start spouting off about this stuff.

    Yes, any welding I do at home will be gas welding. Only reason for that is, it's all I have here. I've been threatening to buy a TIG for years but never go through with it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2017
  30. You might consider getting a radiator installed and starting there for where everything will line up. The best advice I was given about doing modified mix match vehicles was to start at the front and work back.
     

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