Register now to get rid of these ads!

Projects 1940 American Bantam Woody Convertible Build

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by rg171352, Sep 27, 2014.

  1. chessterd5
    Joined: May 26, 2013
    Posts: 649

    chessterd5
    Member
    from u.s.a.

    this is a neat little car. carry on.
     
    rg171352 likes this.
  2. rg171352
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 498

    rg171352
    Member
    from New York

    Thank you Chessterd5!

    Progress has been slow in the last few weeks. I picked up a few parts and pieces (for this project and another one on the back burner). I've started working on mocking up the shape for a dash insert using bass wood. Updates with photos to follow. I also really need to order up those Johnny Joints....
     
  3. rg171352
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 498

    rg171352
    Member
    from New York

    Work has been extremely busy lately and I haven't ordered the Johnny Joints or the steel to support the shocks. So, I'm back to the dash board.

    Last spring, I was trying to modify a stainless steel insert which I bought, but wasn't having much luck. I considered having a waterjet guy make a new insert for me from stainless, with the ultimate goal being to engine turn it.

    I have a really nice piece of brass in my shop which I bought before I even started any of the work on this car. I've been trying to figure out where to incorporate it, and I believe the dash surround may be just the place. I went to the local hobby shop and bought a piece of bass wood which was the same thickness as the brass, but unfortunately not as wide as the insert needs to be. So, I trimmed the bass wood and used rubber cement to attach it to heavy paper.

    With the wood laminated to the paper, I took a piece of paper which I had traced out an approximate shape I wanted to work with onto the wood. I located where the holes go and hoped to approximate the size necessary to start. Lining it up with the dash, I made careful cuts and tried to follow the same general shape I had previously sketched out. However, I decided to leave a little extra material on the boarder so I can trim it carefully to massage it into just the right shape. If you're wondering why one side is coming into shape and not the other, it's because I want to make sure it is symmetric. Once I finish the passenger side, I will trace it and try to exactly imitate it.

    Once the shape is close, I'm going to get some clear film and begin drawing up a few designs which I have been considering over the past few weeks. I'm considering acid etching the piece if the design I settle on calls for it.

    I don't know about you, but I think I like the broader shoulders of the wooden piece more than the notched shoulders of the more correct insert. Your thoughts?
    One step at a time!
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 15, 2016
  4. rg171352
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 498

    rg171352
    Member
    from New York

    A month or so later, symmetry has been accomplished (or so I hope). What are your thoughts on the shape of the wooden insert?

    My plan is to firm up the design for the insert before I transfer it to brass and cut out the final piece. Although, now that better weather is on the horizon, the dash insert may get pushed off again for next winter, especially since the parts for the shocks have come in.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 4, 2016
  5. Peanut 1959
    Joined: Oct 11, 2008
    Posts: 2,107

    Peanut 1959
    Member

    I actually prefer the shape of the stock insert. Have you considered replicating it using the brass?
     
  6. rg171352
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 498

    rg171352
    Member
    from New York

    Peanut

    Thank you very much for your thoughts. I have thought about replicating the stock style insert, however I'd see if a different shape would be an improvement. If I were to go with the original shape, it would likely be engine turned. If I stick with this slightly larger insert, I may try something with acid etching.
     
  7. rg171352
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 498

    rg171352
    Member
    from New York

    Since November, I haven't really gotten to do much of anything on my project, except buy a few parts and try to figure out the dash insert. Back in November, after having a rush of progress, I attempted to mount my radiator and the front friction shock assembly. After a lot of grunting and attempts to finagle everything into place, I realized that the front horn that supports the radiator, shock assembly, bumpers, horn, and front fenders was different from every other one I had seen.

    Until doing some research, I thought that the radiator mounted on the front tab of the support bracket, to only realize that no other car has this tab and the support was also never drilled for a horn. The piece I have, most likely came from a 1939 Bantam, however that doesn't explain why it is so different from other pieces I've seen. Unfortunately, I was afraid that by modifying the part to fit correctly, I would eventually throw the alignment off of everything that attaches to it.

    This week, I finally found my head above water and used my extra time to get some work done on this car. I measured everything and realized that both sets of holes on the support needed to be elongated. A good Dremel bit and a grinder made fairly quick work of it. Last night, I test fit everything onto the piece, and the elongation was just enough. Now I can continue.

    Also, as a point of interest, until I make a few more feet of room in my garage, I can't leave the bumpers mocked up on the frame as there just isn't enough room in the work shop.

    After staring at some photos, I realized I was trying to mount my front shock set up incorrectly. Doing this late at night was a bad idea. I probably disassembled and reassembled the friction shock set up at least 5 times before getting it right. Once it was right, I stripped all of my day's progress down and left only the support bracket and shock attached to give me plenty of room to work.

    I had a plan to use both the friction shock set up and the 40 style hydraulic shock set up. Tonight, I realized that the shock mount holes in this axle are tapered. In order to accommodate my idea, I will have to open the holes up a bit. This is a project for another day.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 17, 2016
  8. 39 Ford
    Joined: Jan 22, 2006
    Posts: 1,558

    39 Ford
    Member

    From past experience quit fooling with details and get the main work done. You can do that stuff later, after you have a rolling car
     
    rg171352 likes this.
  9. rg171352
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 498

    rg171352
    Member
    from New York

    39 Ford It's very true, it's far too easy to get lost in little details which don't amount to too much in the grand scheme of the project.
     
  10. rg171352
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 498

    rg171352
    Member
    from New York

    Sometimes, beyond getting lost in little details, it is easy to get lost in unnecessary complication. After finally getting the Johnny Joint pressed (mostly) together, I began seeking a solution to allow for the mounting of the front friction shocks and hydraulic shocks onto the front axle.

    As you already know, the first breakthrough on making hydraulic shocks a reality was the finding of the Johnny Joints. I then believed I figured out how to mount the shocks to the frame itself. Then, I even found a pair of NOS Monroe hydraulic shock bodies to use. My plans called for simply altering the arms on the Monroe shocks to match the original bantam units and then matching the length on the original bushed links. However, I realized yesterday this job isn't that simple.

    Mounting and properly spacing all of the components proved simple to mock up with a 5.5" bolt and a bunch of washers as spacers. I will need to have the mounting holes on the axle bored out to accommodate a larger diameter bolt and create a straight bore rather than a tapered one. However, I can wait on getting the axle bored until I start rebuilding the frame and its components.

    With everything in place, I turned my attention to the NOS Monroe shocks and the originals I have. I then realized that all of my originals have arms and links of differing lengths as well as differing angular sweeps. Before I cut anything, or seek to go any further, I need to determine the exact positioning of the shock body and the maximum amount of travel the axle can encounter in order to determine where the shock arms need to be located and what the most appropriate length will be.

    After talking with my Dad and Greg, the best method to determine the maximum axle travel to be encountered is to get the chassis on the ground. Load the chassis sufficiently to determine the resting position of the suspension and then load the axle by jacking up one side to see far it rises with relation to the shock components and then jack it from the other side to determine how far it falls with regard to the same relation. As both shock mounts on the axle are slightly different, I will likely repeat this for the other side of the car.

    What I assumed would be a simple copying of original components will not be that at all. I'll finalize the mounting set up for the front shocks and leave the modification of the shocks until the chassis can support itself properly on the floor.
     

    Attached Files:

    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  11. rg171352
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 498

    rg171352
    Member
    from New York

    All hasn't been silent on this end. The rear axle and suspension is out of the chassis. I'm hoping to begin sand blasting those parts and priming them this weekend. I know it probably isn't a good idea to blast the rear from the multitude of things I have read. However, I am planning to blast the bulk of the rear while masking and avoiding sensitive areas. For anything close to a seal or bearing, I will use a wire wheel on a grinder. From a quick inspection, I need to entirely reseal the rear and fix the end of one of the axles.

    Also, I am working on new brake cables for the car to ensure it can stop and have found a shop which may be able to help me in making front shock mounts. I should find out more about that shop's capabilities on Wednesday. Another thing I'm looking into is the possibility of including a full flow oil filtering system in the engine when I go through it.

    More to come!
     
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  12. rg171352
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 498

    rg171352
    Member
    from New York

    Brake cable progress! A machine shop is working on the ends and they will be going with the drawings to a company who is going to make a first set for me to see how they fit. Hopefully this will be further in motion next week.

    No exciting photos to post on this. However, I have some engine photos which will go up in the next day or so.
     
  13. rg171352
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 498

    rg171352
    Member
    from New York

    Here is the blue Brennan IMP. I finally took the marine transmission off and swapped the T-84 onto it. After swapping the exhaust manifold also, it was time to hoist it into the Bantam frame. This engine is basically a stock Bantam 3 main bearing engine, however it has a few modifications.
    1) Aluminum cylinder (These were standard Bantam issue before they were all recalled. They are supposedly high compression, but they didn't serve well due to either corrosion or something of that sort.)
    2) Water cooled exhaust (That won't work here)
    3) Water Pump (The standard Bantam was a Thermosyphon system. You were able to get a thermostat as an accessory or as part of the accessory Bantam heater kit, but the water pump was marine specific.)
    4) Brennan IMP tag riveted onto the cylinder block
    5) Extra capacity oil pan (It appears to be cast iron.)
    6) A gasket between the starter and the crank case.
    7) The engine was painted blue, with black accessories, and red accents.

    I have mocked up the engine with a cut off cowl, radiator, and inner fenders with all appropriate brackets in place. The water pump pulley interferes with the bracket that supports the main fender support bracket in the front end and partially with the radiator outlet. In short, I'll have to modify too many things in this configuration to run the water pump. However, I have figured out a fairly simple solution which I'll post next. Before I start fabricating anything, I will go through the pump to make sure it is in excellent shape. It would be foolish to go through this work to have a bum pump.
     

    Attached Files:

  14. Loose Ctrl
    Joined: Dec 21, 2014
    Posts: 48

    Loose Ctrl
    Member
    from Upstate,SC

    The engine looks to be in pretty good condition.How rare are those engines,and whats the specs?I'm looking for something odd to power a one off T project.
     
    rg171352 likes this.
  15. rg171352
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 498

    rg171352
    Member
    from New York

    Loose Ctrl. This engine is supposed to be in great condition, just needing some cleanup and what not. These engines are notoriously tender and only put out about 25hp as the three main and less for the earlier cars. There aren't too many of these left today. I love the idea of an odd powertrain in the T, but you may want to steer clear of a bantam engine. The Austin engine which came before the bantam was only rated at 7 taxable hp in England. I like your idea of a supercharged engine. One of the flathead graham supercharged engines would be cool in your T wood project!
     
  16. Loose Ctrl
    Joined: Dec 21, 2014
    Posts: 48

    Loose Ctrl
    Member
    from Upstate,SC


    Yikes! I didn't realize those engines were so fragile,or fraile.I've been looking into the Kasier Frazer super charged flat head 6.I haven't found one yet,but I have found a couple neglected Continental flathead 6 from Jeeps and other AMC vehicles.I'm still in the planning phase for now.
     
  17. rg171352
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 498

    rg171352
    Member
    from New York

    That would be very cool! A well built Bantam can last and be driven. I know my speedometer has nearly 100k miles on it. However, quite a few owners over the years have sought alternative power plants to go faster and potentially more reliably.
     
    Loose Ctrl likes this.
  18. rg171352
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 498

    rg171352
    Member
    from New York

    It seems as though I will need to make new brackets to support the water pump in a position where it wont interfere with any original Bantam parts and will hopefully function properly. Here are a few photos of my intended placement. It will put the drain plug in a less than desirable place, but with antifreeze, a drain may not be entirely necessary. Before I begin work on the brackets, I am going to open the make sure the pump is in good shape.
     

    Attached Files:

  19. rg171352
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 498

    rg171352
    Member
    from New York

    Perhaps you remember my battle with the stubborn clevis pin a while back. That clevis pin was the bane of my existence for quite some time and led me to do some fairly regrettable things in trying to remove it. I learned that clevis pins made 70 years ago are much harder than drill bits of today. In trying to drill it and beat it out, I bent the lower portion of the brake lever in ways which Bantam never intended. These pieces are likely forged, but I am not too certain. I had hoped to remove the bent piece and install better quality levers which I have, however I was never able to get them off of the brake bar.

    Months after my struggles, I forgot about how deformed the levers had become and connected the brake cables to see how everything worked. The creative bending caused the cable to be pulled at a very awkward angle with respect to the cable sheath which is mounted about two inches away. Oddly, not only did the one damaged side have issues, but the presumably original lever was actually pulling the cable at an even less desirable angle. My hope is to replace every bushing in the brake system to ensure that there is no slop and that every thing pulls properly. I'd rather my pedal pressure go directly to the brake drums rather than be lost someplace to inefficiency.

    Before applying copious amounts of heat to the lever, I took a straight edge, a square, and a magnet to identify the center line for where I wanted the lever to pull. Once I measured and remeasured, I began heating the piece up with a propane torch. After several minutes passed, it was hot enough to begin easing into the desired shape. I was careful in moving it and hopeful it would not snap. Thankfully, it relented fairly easily when heated enough. First I pulled it in line, and then needed to reheat it to angle the end appropriately. Once I was happy with how my efforts worked out on the side I had damaged, I moved onto the other side. Happily, I didn't break either lever and everything looks good! The cable clamps are slightly adjustable as they can turn around their rivets, I can adjust everything a little better once the new cables are in.

    The next step is to develop a new and tight set of cables, fix the parking brake, and then turn my attention to the brakes at each wheel. Once I'm sure all of that is correct, I can start disassembling the front end and rebuilding it. It'll take some time, but thank you for following!
     

    Attached Files:

  20. rg171352
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 498

    rg171352
    Member
    from New York

    Last summer, I posted about a friend who worked at the local auto parts store who had recently passed away. In the past months, I have had the privilege of working with a lot of great people at locally owned and operated smaller businesses. These are generally people who make a life out of serving people like us. Don't forget to patronize your local machine shops, metal works, parts stores, and the like. Even if the piece you want is a few pennies cheaper elsewhere those extra pennies help to keep the doors of our most capable and caring business open. Although there is a part you may be able to make, it may be worth it to bring it to a local shop who can get it done faster and help keep their door open for when the real tough project comes through. Not only do you help your local businesses, you help our hobby. These people are often very interested in your projects, they just don't know it yet.

    Sorry to get on a soap box, but I am realizing how lucky I am to have many different shops and suppliers so close to my project that are all so willing to help. Without these shops, there are a lot of features of this project which would just remain notes on paper. So, in commemoration of Small Business Month, go support the locals who support our hobby!

    Also, did you know that Small Business Month was established in 1963? That must mean it's HAMB friendly....
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2016
  21. Why not run the original thermo-siphon system? If you have a good radiator and the water passages in the block and head are clear, that system works fine. It worked on 15,000,000 Model T's. ;)
     
  22. rg171352
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 498

    rg171352
    Member
    from New York

    I've thought about retaining the Thermo-syphon system, but I like the concept of being able to better regulate the temperature of the engine. It's fairly difficult to find anything discussing the merits between the two standard liquid cooled systems. The most interesting things I found with relation to the two systems are that thermosyphon causes a large temperature gradient between the bottom of the block and the top of the head. The nature of the thermosyphon supposedly keeps the gradient constant throughout operation of the engine. Using a waterpump without a thermostat would cause the engine to not warm up properly and then suffer from poor heat exchange. According to one mid 1920's technical article, this lead to early wear on engines as the cooler cylinder walls would end up causing the fuel to condense on the cylinder walls removing all of the oil.

    A lot of people people with good running T's with clear radiators and blocks believe that a waterpump is best used as decoration. However, some people seem to believe that combining a waterpump and thermostat with a good set up does nothing but improve its performance and reliability.

    It's a tough decision, but I'm thinking the waterpump could be a nice feature to have on the Bantam. I need to find a new pulley and make a bracket, otherwise it should be fairly straight forward now.
     
  23. rg171352
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 498

    rg171352
    Member
    from New York

    Besides trying to find some pieces for the project, I haven't really done too much on the Sportsman. However, there has been some progress.

    Brakes:

    The new cables are finally in. Together with the toggle ends, the brake cable project is almost done. I am waiting to hear back on having adjusters made. I test fit everything and am very happy with the new cables I have. Once I get the brakes all set up and rebuilt, it will be interesting to see what sort of adjustment I need and how smoothly they operate.

    Reinforcing bands are on the horizon as well. I found a supplier that can burn a .5" thick ring to fit over the drum. My only issue has been determining the exact size inner diameter I need so I can get a proper shrink fit on the assembly. I should pick up my Shigley's to see what what to do. I'm sure there's something in there....

    Water Pump:

    I'm still not entirely sold on what to do here. I began disassembling the pump to see how much wear there is as well as what may need to be rebushed or repacked. The pump gears look nice. I'm still not sold on a particular mounting method. Beyond holding the pump with my hands and looking at it, I'd really like to mock up a bracket, however I don't really have any materials presently to do so with. I want to run the pump, now it's just a matter of how to do so.

    Front Shocks:

    As you may have seen above, I've started dissembling the chassis so I can restore the components that need to be gone through so I can get this project moving along. The front end has been more vexing than the rear as it is where things actually need to be modified and fabricated to ensure the proper functioning of the suspension. The original shock mounts I had were very rough and did not really provide for a way to mount them unless I wanted to remove the factory rivets connecting the frame rails to the cast piece that supports the front axle and springs. Those rivets are on there so well that I didn't want to fool with them. So, I thought about resurfacing the factory pieces I had and coming up with a new method of mounting them.

    The original shock mounts were pitted enough that I wasn't interested in trying to clean them up to find a good mounting surface. Instead, I found a shop with an enormous press brake and asked them to make a pair for me, including a revised shape. As you'll see below, I had them lengthened so that I could use an original engine mounting bolt hole to attach the front of the mount to the frame and to include another bolt further back. The plan was to clearance these mounts to they completely avoid the rivet heads and are then clamped at the front and the rear with large bolts. To prevent any crushing of the frame rail, I will be including a spacer filling the cavity between the frame rail and the shock mount.

    I didn't have a correct pair of front shocks and was lucky to find an NOS pair of Monroes with the same body and articulation. However, they were welded to a plate and had longer arms than the Bantam pieces. Most likely, these shocks were from a Willys. No further comment on that.

    Once I freed the shocks from their welds, I test fitted one onto the shock plate. You can see what sort of modification will need to be done. The rusty shock is an original Bantam unit for reference, it gives you an idea of what I need to do to make everything work. Now, I have to make sure the arm is mounted in the right spot for the motion the shock needs to react to.

    More to come.
     

    Attached Files:

  24. rg171352
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 498

    rg171352
    Member
    from New York

    Here are the rest of the photos which wouldn't upload earlier.
     

    Attached Files:

  25. rg171352
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 498

    rg171352
    Member
    from New York

    As you saw above, the new shocks perfectly except for their arms. I know I have to modify the arms, but I don't want to bastardize them. So, the less cutting and grinding I have to do, the better. I know about how long these arms need to be, and how they need to be bent. The thing I don't know, is if the current arm on the NOS shock is positioned on the shaft in the same place as that on the original unit. I want to make sure that the new shock can swing properly along with the front axle's travel.

    I have two thoughts on how to do this.

    First: Determine how far the axle travels up and down. My first attempt at this required repositioning the jack stands and removing one from the passenger side of the axle. I let it drop all the way to see how much travel there was. Then, I jacked it up to see how far it would move until the chassis started moving also. With both of these tests, the axle only moved a few inches in totality. I leaned on the frame and realized that there wasn't enough weight on the axle or the chassis to determine the total maximum travel this should encounter. So, determining the center point for where the arm should be mounted isn't possible until I load the chassis and attach a hub, wheel, and tire.

    Second: I have an original driver's side shock which still moves. It has no resistance at all, so it may not be moving properly. However, this thought didn't occur to me until after I compared its motion with the NOS pieces. Taking a piece of graph paper, I marked the maximum swing of the arm in each direction for each shock. None of the lines made sense, which lead me to believe my test may not have been entirely accurate. However, you can see how the original shock has about half of the amount of travel as the NOS piece. I may need to rebuild the original just to see how far it is supposed to travel in order to re do this test. When I do this one again, I may come up with something better than graph paper backed with cardboard to ensure my measurements are slightly more accurate.

    In the meantime, there will be no cutting. Until I know exactly how I should be positioning this arm, I'm not taking a chance of causing myself more work than necessary. At least I can work on coming up with the links to span between the shock arm and the bushing and finishing mounting the shock mounts.

    Just a few more steps and it's time to pull this chassis fully apart for the rebuild.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 12, 2016
  26. rg171352
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 498

    rg171352
    Member
    from New York

    Some updates:

    The brake cable project is finished. I have four brand new brake cables that are gorgeous. They were made to factory specifications and fit beautifully.

    The Monroe shock which I planned to rebuild to determine the sweep of the arm is rusted solid. It may be rebuildable, but it will take a lot of work just to remove the piston. After being discouraged for a week, I realized that the cam attached to the arm is the key to the information I need. If I can see how the cam mounts relative to the swing arm, I can modify this shock with way less guess work. Now, if I can find the time I'll work on comparing the two units.

    The water pump has been freed from its broken pulley and fit with a nice replacement. The outer diameter of the pulley isn't too much different from the original, so everything should function properly. Also, the pump actually works, so that's another bright spot. I've decided that making up a new fancy bracket for the water pump is foolish. I'm going to elongate the holes on the original bracket to clear the radiator outlet. I may have an issue with one of the fender support brackets, however that's a bracket which is much easier to modify.

    Along with getting the pump figured out, I picked up an inline thermostat. I will need to do a bit of work to get adapt it into the cooling system, but it should work out nicely. After reading some different posts, I will need to make sure there is a sufficient bypass to ensure that the pump doesn't suffer from a lack of flow from its exit side. I have to figure this out, but am not all that worried. While I may be adding extra headaches along the line, the addition of this water pump is nothing that cannot be undone.

    With so many of these things finally sorted out, I finally pulled the body back onto the frame. I will be figuring out what metal will remain as part of it and what must be trimmed. Then, I am planning to straighten the body and weld bracing in. Once the body is braced properly, I will pull the frame out from under it to begin restoring the frame and drive line.

    If all goes well, maybe I can hear this thing run by Thanksgiving.
     

    Attached Files:

    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  27. BuiltFerComfort
    Joined: Jan 24, 2007
    Posts: 1,620

    BuiltFerComfort
    Member

    I like this car. Offbeat and cute.

    Still keeping the stock motor?

    My dad rebuilt som Chevy knee-action shocks one time, but the car was several hours away. So he used spare angle iron with holes in it, and bolted it to the utility trailer, and had me and my sister jump up and down on it to see that it worked. Point being, you might be able to test the shocks off the car somehow.
     
    rg171352 likes this.
  28. rg171352
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 498

    rg171352
    Member
    from New York

    Thank you! I'm planning on running a bantam engine with sure mild work. We'll see how that part of the project goes.

    I think you're right, figuring out the shocks off of the car is a definite option and likely the way I'll go. With the weight of the car on the frame I may also have a way to test the system out.
     
  29. rg171352
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 498

    rg171352
    Member
    from New York

    The past few weeks have been extremely hectic, but I feel like I say that a lot. I should probably appreciate the calm between hectic periods a bit more. A couple of weeks ago I had the chance to go to the American Austin Bantam Club's annual meet in Monroe, MI. Over 30 cars showed up this year and it was fantastic. I picked up a few bits I needed at the early morning flea market and got to meet with some great people who I've previously only had the privilege of speaking to over the phone. With a club this friendly, it's nice finally putting faces to the voices that I hear so often. Only getting to spend a night in Monroe cut down a bit on the possible fun, but work isn't going to just do itself.

    My standard camera isn't working too well, but I'll try to post a few photos here later on.

    As for progress here, I haven't done much at all since hoisting the body back onto the frame. I'll most likely pull it off again to get it media blasted so I can better see which parts need to be cut off and how to best to it. The quarters and wheel houses will need to be removed, but with all of the previous body work this thing has had, it is fairly hard to see where the spot welds are that hold it all together.

    While I'm debating whether or not to media blast it, I've had the chance to take apart my NOS Monroe shocks. They each had their original fluid and original cork gaskets. I was surprised that the screws basically came out on their own. I didn't need heat, a huge screwdriver with an adjustable, or even an impact screwdriver. It's amazing when you have the chance to work with new parts. Probably, I should soak this in as much as possible now as it's unlikely to happen again in this project.

    With the covers off, I was able to compare the shaft relationship to the cam inside and found they are mounted in the same location. The angular relationship appears to be exactly the same. This is fantastic as it will make adjustment of the arm length only an adjustment and not a re-engineering of the part. From what I am seeing, I will need to cut the arms, truncating each arm after the bend and switch them from side to side. All of this is easier said then done. I'm hoping that the heat from cutting the arms and reattaching them won't do any damage to the seals, but it probably will. At least I am dealing with new parts, so seal replacement should be easier than on a seized old one.

    Interestingly, every screw on the shocks had a cap that was off set from the shaft. I wonder if they got a good deal on factory defective fasteners. Also, the piston in one shock appears to have some cracking. I'm really hoping that it wont require any sort of repair. The pistons are impossible to get, as are any of these shock parts (except for the seals).

    Another thing which has me curious is the length of the connecting link between the shock lever and the bushing connected to the axle. For patterns, I have a pair of original links. One link is about an inch longer than another. I have heard of a person restoring a 40 who has the same issue. Before I make the links, I'll need to do some research to see if other people have two different length links. The internals of the new shocks are identical so I don't see the different length working as an offset for the shock's sweep. Perhaps the asymmetry was desirable to avoid some sort of harmonic or allow for an improvement to the handling of the vehicle. However, more likely than not, these parts have been swapped around so much with time that they should actually both be the same length.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 10, 2016
  30. rg171352
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 498

    rg171352
    Member
    from New York

    I have been at a bit of an impasse. It's been a while since I have done anything substantive on this project. A lot of thinking has taken place, but not too much doing. I removed the old Austin sound deadening (wooden board screwed to the floor boards) and now have the body sitting on the frame. A friend in the club sent me photos of the underside of his very original 40 Bantam coupe. Those photos will be posted a little later.

    Since I first learned of a supportive structure essentially surrounds the door frame, I had been under the impression that it was intended to keep the rear of the body from sagging. This thought mostly came from the fact that the coupe donor body is bent such that the rear sags and neither door meets the b pillar when closed. I'll share some photos of the supports later on, when I find them again, but I will say that an additional brace goes from the front body mount to the A-pillar support. That front body mount has a very thick piece of steel spanning from it, completely along the rocker terminating just before the wheel house. This piece of steel also has a few tabs which support the floor structure. At the wheel house, a thick piece of steel runs along its perimeter on the inside of the body, between the B-pillar and the wheel house. I realized, I was wrong. Standing on the frame, with one foot on each rail, I realized that the steel structure incorporated into the body is meant to keep the body from buckling under the weight of the body and the occupants so that the door frames maintain their shape. The chassis is wholly supportive of the body in the other direction.

    As I have mentioned before, this body has issues. The rear half of the body is sagging, the floor itself is twisted a bit in relation to the transmission tunnel, one front body mount is bent (they just attach to a piece of sheet metal that lines the inside of the cowl), and of course there is some rot in structural areas. With most of the chassis squared away, I've wanted to take it apart and begin restoring it while leaving the body for a future endeavor. Actually, I've picked up a Bantam roadster body to serve as a temporary body so I can enjoy this car until the Sportsman body is finished. I really would hate to spoil this project by rushing.

    I've seen a number of photos of other make woodies being restored where the body is essentially a cowl and floor pan sitting atop a frame. Since this isn't a unibody car, extensive bracing may not be entirely necessary if a frame is under the body. However I work on it, the frame would serve as a spine for the weak body. I've been trying to think of where to brace the body, but for what I'm trying to do, it seems unnecessary at this moment. Perhaps the only time I would need bracing would be when removing the body from the frame for any reason.

    So, here's my plan:

    I am going to keep this body together as it is for now and finish setting up the front shocks. While doing that, I will start stripping the frame to just that so I can have some more room to work around the body. Although I have a few frames which I could swap under the body to serve as a brace, I am considering waiting until the last possible moment to remove this frame from under the body. After all, there are a lot of other pieces which must be rebuilt and perfected before being bolted into the frame. While on this frame, I will straighten out the body's numerous issues and strip it of unnecessary parts. More could be said, but I don't really want to get too far ahead of myself.

    What are your thoughts?
     

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!

Archive

Copyright © 1995-2021 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.