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Projects 1932 Ford Roadster Build- "The Template Roadster"

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by x77matt, Jan 4, 2018.

  1. x77matt
    Joined: Mar 2, 2004
    Posts: 480

    x77matt
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    The Template Roadster

    I’ve recently had the chance to purchase a 32 roadster project from a great friend and mentor that I have known for over 25 years. He is 73, and this is the only 32 roadster project he has ever let go, so I feel humbled, and grateful for the opportunity to build this car! With that, I feel a responsibility to do this right and build a traditional roadster worthy of his stamp of approval (and mine!). I’ve left his name out of this thread to protect his privacy.

    Years ago, I started calling this car “the template roadster” because as he says- it is the collection of the best roadster body parts he has horded since 1965. Through the years he has assembled several other roadsters, and this body was what he used for reference to make templates and measurements in order to piece together other projects for himself and others. As you will see- the body is not cherry by any means, but there was enough original bits to where someone could see how the original body framing and other brackets, etc. should be located. I’m trying to keep this car with as much original Henry metal as possible. So far the only repro metal on the car is the rear floor pan, parts of the rear tail panel, and windshield stanchions. Of course the patch panels are new steel.

    This will be a straight forward traditional build with some minor modern upgrades- 59A flatty (leaning towards SCoT blower), 1936 rear axle bells with a halibrand quickchange, Jeep T5 (one of the few modern upgrades), Old Chrome front end bits, juice brakes, F100 Steering, 17” Bell 4 spoke wheel, Stewart Warner gauges, 16” steel wheels with 46 Merc caps…. You get the idea! I’ve collected most of the major parts already over the past several years. I’ve got a beautiful 32 frame with K-member to serve as the foundation.

    This is my first build thread so bear with me as I figure this out. I’ve been working on it for most of a year now, so I thought it would be a good time to start a thread. This first part will go fast as I catch up to real time.....
    IMG_1265.JPG IMG_1266.JPG IMG_1272.JPG IMG_1278.JPG IMG_1275.JPG IMG_1282.JPG IMG_1289.JPG
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2018
  2. spurgeonforge
    Joined: Oct 18, 2013
    Posts: 384

    spurgeonforge
    Member

    Congrats! I couldn’t get the photos to load.
     
  3. brady1929
    Joined: Sep 30, 2006
    Posts: 7,644

    brady1929
    Member
    from Mesa, Az

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  4. kidcampbell71
    Joined: Sep 17, 2012
    Posts: 3,489

    kidcampbell71
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    1. 60s Show Rods

    Well I can't see shit, but you're the man ..... so I like it. It's awesome, probably. Either way, more then I gots ! Hoooo-rah !

    Wait. I'm from Texas. Yeeeeee-HA !!!!!
     
    winduptoy, tom owens and x77matt like this.
  5. x77matt
    Joined: Mar 2, 2004
    Posts: 480

    x77matt
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    The Body

    Like I said, the body needed work, but was a fantastic foundation to start from. It needed rear quarter lowers, wheel well lowers and parts of the rear of the quarter patched up. I was able to save most of the original wheel wells. Also, the body framing was in decent shape, so I only had to patch in one small piece of the passenger side, and the rear half of the driver side (it was just too far gone). I learned how to hammer weld using oxy/acetylene torches, but now I'm using my cheap-o Miller Econotig.

    The wheel wells were interesting as they had a bead that ran through them that followed the shape of the subrails. Brookville body’s do not have this, and from my research, not all roadsters had it either, but I could clearly see the bead in my wheel well so I duplicated it when I patched it up.
    IMG_1368.JPG IMG_1369.JPG IMG_1373.JPG IMG_1374.JPG IMG_1517.JPG

    The rear corners were in decent shape and only took a little patching. I also finished welding in the cowl vent, and lower cowl patches. For now I am roughing in the body, then I will decide how far I’m going to take it as far as metal finish and shiny or flat paint. I’m still deciding that one…
    IMG_1656.JPG

    The doors were in great shape- the driver side needs no patches, and I’lll just soak it in some rust killer to get into the bottom of the door. Both doors had never been messed with and still had the factory tar paper sound deadener in them! On the passenger side, I had to cut out a couple inches of the bottom and rebuild the door bottom. No one makes good quality door bottom patch for a roadster, so I bought a 5W door lower and used that as material to fab up a door bottom.
    IMG_1810.JPG IMG_1812.JPG 20170916_195906.jpg 20170916_195915.jpg 20170916_204033.jpg 20170916_204038.jpg 20170916_204241.jpg

    I bought roadster door skin patch panels from ebay, but they went straight to the trash, as they not only didn’t have the correct width, but they were simply flat steel with a broken edge, not convex like a factory door skin. So I am making my own patch from an old roof panel that has some shape to it (more on that later).

    The decklid was a real nice original piece but it didn’t fit in the hole well, so I had to apply a ratchet strap and heat to re-shape it to better match the quarter panels.
    20171028_144013.jpg 20171028_144024.jpg 20171105_135653.jpg 20171105_135701.jpg 20171105_135713.jpg

    The cowl vent was just tacked in place, so I re-fit it, centered it up and welded it in. I still need to do some more detail shrinking and metal finish, but its roughed in for now...
    IMG_1660.JPG IMG_1666.JPG IMG_1663.JPG IMG_1659.JPG IMG_1665.JPG IMG_1664.JPG IMG_1661.JPG IMG_1662.JPG
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2018
  6. x77matt
    Joined: Mar 2, 2004
    Posts: 480

    x77matt
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    hopefully they work now- I was messing with the gallery so maybe they were temporarily off line...

    so I hope I'm doing it right!
     
    bct likes this.
  7. x77matt
    Joined: Mar 2, 2004
    Posts: 480

    x77matt
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Body Bracing

    I copied my friend’s body bracing strategy as he has built several roadsters like this and it adds a ton of structure to the body and door shut quality. I made it so that it could be broken down and removed if needed later on. So far its all tacked in place and it provides a really good foundation for the car. For the material, I used some 1” square tube as well as some ½ x 1” rectangle tube. Also used some laser cut brackets I found on eBay that worked good for the tube ends...

    IMG_1668.JPG IMG_1706.JPG 20171028_144036.jpg 20171028_144102.jpg 20171028_144108.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2018
  8. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 9,847

    DDDenny
    Member
    from oregon

  9. x77matt
    Joined: Mar 2, 2004
    Posts: 480

    x77matt
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I'm positive I got it this time:eek::eek:!! I had the media folder set to "owner only" for viewing. Changed it to "everyone".......
     
  10. x77matt
    Joined: Mar 2, 2004
    Posts: 480

    x77matt
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    for the headlight bar, I did a shameless copy of the rolling bones cars. Years ago, Keith was cool enough to email me some photos of how he made the bar on his 3W coupe, and I went a similar route..... I've got a set of Guide 682-C lights to run on it.

    20171105_183915.jpg 20171105_183922.jpg 20171105_183940.jpg 20171105_193346.jpg 20171105_193352.jpg 20171105_194654.jpg 20171110_125542.jpg 20171110_125552.jpg 20171110_125559.jpg 20171110_130915.jpg 20171110_130934.jpg 20171110_130943.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2018
  11. qzjrd5
    Joined: Nov 23, 2004
    Posts: 1,210

    qzjrd5
    Member
    from Troy, MI

    Awesome job Matt! Great detail! Thanks for taking the time to document it.
     
  12. x77matt
    Joined: Mar 2, 2004
    Posts: 480

    x77matt
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Thanks Mike! I'm expecting yours soon as well!
     
  13. Outback
    Joined: Mar 4, 2005
    Posts: 1,059

    Outback
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from NE Vic

    Well done with getting the roadster & looking forward the the progress!
     
  14. x77matt
    Joined: Mar 2, 2004
    Posts: 480

    x77matt
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Thanks Outback
     
  15. Pics are working!!! thanks. Very interesting and fun to follow.
     
  16. waxhead
    Joined: May 11, 2013
    Posts: 1,043

    waxhead
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from West Oz

    Yep, pictures working for me. Subscribed
     
  17. bct
    Joined: Apr 4, 2005
    Posts: 2,750

    bct
    Member

    Thanks for posting. I'll be watching.
     
  18. x77matt
    Joined: Mar 2, 2004
    Posts: 480

    x77matt
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Floor

    I scored a $40 never used floor last summer at a swap meet that the guy told me was “a 32 ford pickup floor”…. Great score- those pickup floors sure work nice in a roadster/5W! I wanted a factory style look, so I cleaned up the edges, trimmed it to fit, and then used Model A floor rivets and a waffle style bucking bar to complete the task. I pre-drilled holes, and my buddy came over to hold the die as I bucked the rivets. I used an old round dolly and a drill bit to put a half-round in the die in order to hold the rivet head and it worked nicely. Once the body is all roughed in I'll blast it and get it into epoxy. For now you will see a bit of surface rust hanging around....

    20170722_140045.jpg 20171015_123439.jpg 20171015_123448.jpg 20171015_123452.jpg 20171015_123524.jpg 20171015_141636.jpg 20171015_153110.jpg 20171015_153114.jpg
     
  19. x77matt
    Joined: Mar 2, 2004
    Posts: 480

    x77matt
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Steering system


    I have 2 Schroeder boxes in stock, and started to go down a path of using one. I got as far as mocking it up and then talked myself out of it. For this car, I want to go more straightforward and elegant (if that makes any sense). I’ll save the more aggressive looking cowl steering setup for my 5W that has a radical chop and nailhead.

    After I got re-aligned to the F100 play, I ordered an F100 flange from NealinCa, and got to work. I used a cutoff wheel and die grinder to liberate the old flange, ground it smooth on the trusty disc grinder and tack welded the new flange in place using a mockup column and 2” dropped factory column mount. I did the final welding with 308 Stainless rod and my TIG welder. Afterwards, I cleaned it up, installed a new sector shaft sleeve and rebuilt the box with a gasket kit. It is smooth as butter. I used a 57-60 style sector arm that has a ball joint style end on the arm and re-bent it to fit the chassis. I sucked it up as close to the bottom of the frame as I could, so it wouldn’t be the lowest point under the car. Its still a bit large and the hold is bigger than I expected, so I may use my other ball style 1956 Arm and weld on a new tie rod bung. Still haven’t decided…..

    20171125_121557.jpg FB_IMG_1511285062280.jpg

    Scratch the Schroeder , on to the F100....
     
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  20. x77matt
    Joined: Mar 2, 2004
    Posts: 480

    x77matt
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    20171203_184749.jpg 20171227_214453.jpg 20171221_231416.jpg 20171221_231423.jpg 20171203_131015.jpg 20171203_134528.jpg 20171203_141142.jpg 20171203_180223.jpg 20171203_184713.jpg 20171203_184719.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2018
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  21. x77matt
    Joined: Mar 2, 2004
    Posts: 480

    x77matt
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Column drop

    Pretty straight forward- carefully dis-assemble (be extra careful of the switch pin on the back side), and remove upper flange. I used some square tube with one side cut off, filled in the corner with my MIG welder for more grinding depth capability, welded it on the drop, and then used the disc grinder to radius the face to match the original column drop. I then installed it on a mockup column, and put it back in the car to get the final angle correct and then back apart for final weld. I used a new brass/ Chrome switch knob from Ebay, new on/off decal, and then carefully reassembled after some gloss black rustoleum.

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  22. x77matt
    Joined: Mar 2, 2004
    Posts: 480

    x77matt
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Steering Column

    For the column, I ordered some 1.50” round stainless (later will be polished), and used an old ford truck mast jacket to donate the upper flange. I am using a 1956 F100 box, which as it turns out has a steering shaft which is the same length as a stock 32- so that turned out nicely. I just bought a Grant steering wheel adapter to go from the F100 spline to the 3 hole design on my 17” 4 spoke wheel. This wheel is actually a repro for my coupe, and I am hoping to buy a friends original Bell 17” wheel for this project. I purchased an upper roller bearing kit online, but ended up having to modify it heavily to get it to press in to my column without ruining the bearing. I killed the first bearing due to too much compression/ interference into the column, so I ordered a new B1616 bearing, took more material off the bearing shell and then installed into the homemade mast jacket. Now it works nicely and turns smoothly...

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  23. x77matt
    Joined: Mar 2, 2004
    Posts: 480

    x77matt
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Steer arm

    I used an old Hoop style arm that I had laying around, and bent it to fit. I had to cut out and replace the tie rod bung as it was all goobered up, and then also added an 11 gauge sheet metal gusset to the center. I’ll probably add some holes to it later for visual purposes. Don’t make fun of my welds, as I’m still working on timing and pedal pulsing to get a “stack of dimes” look. I usually grind my welds, and thought this would be a good part to practice on, but I will have to grind this smooth and try again perhaps with more consistent “dabs” of the rod….

    20171229_173254.jpg 20171229_173345.jpg 20171229_173351.jpg 20171229_215339.jpg 20171229_215348.jpg 20171229_220948.jpg 20171229_221444.jpg 20171229_223357.jpg
     
  24. x77matt
    Joined: Mar 2, 2004
    Posts: 480

    x77matt
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    More pics from the sector arm tweek......


    20171229_173259.jpg 20171229_173412.jpg 20171229_173429.jpg
     
  25. x77matt
    Joined: Mar 2, 2004
    Posts: 480

    x77matt
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Wishbone!

    So, I scored a super cool set of split old chrome 32 wishbones at GNRS a couple years back from @circlejerk83 but I want to run an unsplit setup... I also scored a cool old chrome dropped axle which turned out to be model A, but it was awesome, so I had my buddy Joe, who is a badass with machine tools to take a 1/4 inch off the boss so I could use it with the 2" opening on the 32 bones....

    I mocked everything up to the correct length for a 32 and then used a solid 1940 Ford driveshaft chunk to serve as the inner support. I spent the entire day Tig welding up the gap. Root pass solid bar to bones and to the ball cradle, then several more triple rod passes of ER80s-6, then a final couple passes with silicon bronze rod to fill any small gaps. I cut some slots in the bones to get an extra solid pass of weld from the bone to the solid bar underneath. Final wipe of plastic filler and some semi gloss black to simulate the look of an original 32 headlight bar.
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  26. CTaulbert
    Joined: Apr 8, 2007
    Posts: 1,006

    CTaulbert
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Detroit

    Looks great Matt!
     
  27. x77matt
    Joined: Mar 2, 2004
    Posts: 480

    x77matt
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Rear quarters cont...

    The patch panels needed some pre work with a shrinker to curve them to fit. I did the passenger side twice, as I wasn’t happy with the first panel I welded in. it just didn’t look right, so I ordered a new set online with a better reveal shape and re-replaced. Then proceeded on to the driver side. I will need to work the lower bead a bit to get it to flow better into the rocker.


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  28. x77matt
    Joined: Mar 2, 2004
    Posts: 480

    x77matt
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Thanks Cory- I took your advice and re- loaded the photos so they show larger. Much improved now
     
    CTaulbert likes this.
  29. x77matt
    Joined: Mar 2, 2004
    Posts: 480

    x77matt
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    For the rear hood latch, I fabbed up a simple bracket, and made some carriage bolts look like rivets. I wasn't happy with it flat, so I cut it, stepped it and re-welded it to look like it was stamped... still needs more detail, but you get the idea....
    20171203_184713.jpg 20171123_105011.jpg 20171118_191206.jpg 20171118_191724.jpg
     
    Nailhead A-V8, 32SEDAN, brEad and 7 others like this.

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