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Projects 1940 American Bantam Woody Convertible Build

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

  1. BuiltFerComfort
    Joined: Jan 24, 2007
    Posts: 1,620

    BuiltFerComfort
    Member

    Exciting action shots, the H.A.M.B. comes through again!

    It’s painful but it has to be done - maybe add some rattlecan primer as you go to stop surface rust.
     
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  2. goldmountain
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 2,433

    goldmountain

     
  3. goldmountain
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 2,433

    goldmountain

    I'm using the 1 litre three cylinder, not the 1.3l four because I want to place it behind the front crossmember which is similar to yours. As far as brakes, I'm going way off the reservation on this one. How about IFS with coilovers from a Kawasaki Mojave ATV? It comes with itty-bitty disc brakes. Bought wheel adaptors from Motorsport Tech in Sparks,Nevada. My inspiration here came from an article in Hot Rod Deluxe on Jim Lattin's Bonneville Bantam. He used a narrowed Bell tube axle and I thought that full size Ford spindles, brakes, etc. were just too heavy duty and remembered how Tom Medley used go-kart discs on his 1960's R&C project Volksrod with Anglia spindles. Then I spotted the ATV. The driveshaft tunnel has to be raised up a notch. F0rd 11" drum brakes should be adequate for the rear. I believe the '32 roadster woodie that RayStRace sent a picture of is owned by Don Audel from Spokane. My frame is very similar to yours with the exception of quarter elleptic springs in the back. Plans are to make a front crossmember that will bolt in to the original cast crossmember to the old spring perch holes with some bracing in behind to the frame rails. Front tires are 125r-15's which are the same size as found on Citroen 2CV. I am amazed at how many Bantams you have bought for parts. I have just the one Austin. My desire is to have a really small car that you can stuff 4 people into to really show how small the car is. For this, a large engine with a recessed firewall won't do.
     
  4. rg171352
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 493

    rg171352
    Member
    from New York

    Goldmountain, Your project sounds very innovative. Please share it more as you make progress. I'm eager to see it come together! It sounds like it should be a delightfully packaged car.
     
  5. rg171352
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 493

    rg171352
    Member
    from New York

    As for progress here, there hasn't been all that much. I have been fighting with myself deciding what to do about the king pins and frame to body welting. I picked up some new welting and I just don't really like the product in comparison with the original used by Bantam; so the search continues. Regarding king pins, I have a few thoughts rattling around in my head, but I'm not sure which avenue I will end up taking.

    My T-84 donor has also been sent to Jerry Kurtz, of Studebaker notoriety, with the hopes that he can devise a way to adapt it to an overdrive unit. According to an AABC club newsletter from the 1970's; a man in Tennessee sourced an OD which was a direct swap for the original T-84. Unfortunately, that man wasn't a member of the club and likely passed away decades ago. On the bright side, his car was equipped with a three main bearing Bantam engine and he found the OD to be a welcomed addition to his car. So, there is something to get excited about.

    For the Judson, I am planning to ask George Folchi to rebuild the MG Sprite unit. He suggested that I consider using pump housing meant for a Renault Dauphine. Once the body is solidly mounted, I will reinstall the engine mounts and will get a mockup unit between the rails to explore the best packaging for the Judson. That will likely cause me to hold off on removing the cowl sheet metal for a little bit. However, I still need to brace the body prior to that.

    Speaking of bracing the car, I took a series of photos and dimensions from my nice Hollywood to get an idea of how everything is supposed to be spaced. Sadly, perhaps, my old "smart" phone has completely died. I had backed up some photos fairly recently, but I'm pretty sure all of my recent progress photos including those of the Hollywood dimensions are gone. I guess it didn't matter too much as my Hollywood produced some odd measurements, leading me to believe the rear clip may have a bit of a twist in it.

    More to come!
     
  6. rg171352
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 493

    rg171352
    Member
    from New York

    I've been a little light on progress lately. I finally got the new body to frame webbing and this material looks to be dimensionally identical to the originally installed stuff. While it doesn't look or feel like tar paper, I'm okay with that. This webbing came from Mac's and they unfortunately don't specify any of the material properties, it looks like it should hold up. Hopefully it doesn't retain moisture. I also have a variety of rubber mounts and cupped washers. So, with a little bit of hardware purchasing, hole drilling, and some lifting, I can finally begin mounting my body to the frame.

    In other news, I've been working on getting my gauges together for the car. While I had shown you some photos of a speedometer with a trip odometer and a gauge cluster with four gauges, I have put those projects on the back burner. In the mean time, I have built a really nice set of 1940 style gauges. In the future, I may consider begin taking the steps to restore/build new gauges for this car, but there are a few other places where my energy will be better spent at the moment.

    Here is a teaser of the speedometer. More photos to come!
     

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  7. rg171352
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 493

    rg171352
    Member
    from New York

    Okay, so I haven't shared any other photos of the gauges yet, but I will. I actually realized that despite the nice gauges I ended up with, I used gauge faces from two different cars, which had faded differently. So, I'm planning to switch the face of the current speedometer with one which came from the same car as the triple gauge. Although I wish I remembered that I had a pair of nice faces which had equal sun exposure, I am eager to use improve the pair of gauges for the car.

    On a more exciting note, at least to me, I have finalized the body mounts and have the body mostly bolted down to the chassis. If you go to page 6 of this thread, you can see photos of original mounts on a very original 1940 coupe and a weathered 1940 frame. It seems that quite a few restored cars have not been treated to the proper mounts, so finding the resources to assemble all of the mounts was a bit of a chore. If I recall correctly, I documented most of my hunt for mount parts a while ago. So, as you know it took a while to find all of the pieces to appropriately mimic the originals, and then to confirm that no more accurate pieces were available. The body is now mostly bolted down and onto the frame with the exception of the two central floor mounts and the driver's side rocker mount. To get those three in place, I will need to drill some holes in the current floors and temporarily repair the rotted rocker.

    Overall, I'm very happy with the way these mounts have come out, but one thing strikes me as odd. The Authenticity Manual states that there are two pieces of tar paper between the frame rails and floor pan. I have a sample of the original material used on a 1938 Bantam, and it was a soft pliable sort of tar/asphalt impregnated cloth/paper. Looking closely at it, you could tell it had spent the last 70 years pinched between a body and a frame. While I am fairly certain that the description in the manual means that there were two pieces of this insulation, with one on each rail, I'm not too sure how it is supposed to work on a car with 1940 style mounts. 'What is the problem?' you may be thinking. The problem is that after buying a nice webbing material which is identical to the dimension of the sample I had, it doesn't come in contact with the floors.

    It appears that my body has about a quarter of an inch between the frame and the floors. The factory added two additional central floor mounts in 1940 which may have been added with knowledge that the body wasn't actually sitting directly on the frame. Below, there is a pair of photos of the underside of an originalish 1940 Hollywood where you can see the cupped washers and bushing under the rear wooden support panel. I've also included a photo of the underside of an original American Austin for comparison. While I'm fairly confident that I'm heading in the right direction, I want to be certain. This also makes me wonder if 1940 models had a different front sheet metal support bracket with holes mounted about 1/4" higher to ensure alignment with the rest of the raised body.

    It's amazing how many questions you can come up when your project begins as an incomplete basket case. It's also amazing how much you can learn in trying to find the correct and the best solutions to these questions.
     

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    Last edited: Dec 25, 2017
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  8. Peanut 1959
    Joined: Oct 11, 2008
    Posts: 1,964

    Peanut 1959
    Member

    Looking good! I know it's still rough, but it's good to see the shape of things to come.
     
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  9. rg171352
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 493

    rg171352
    Member
    from New York

    Thank you Peanut! It feels like progress, which is encouraging.

    Here are a few photos of my gauges. I built the best I could from the parts gauges I have been buying. Interestingly, I tried to find the best companion face for the triple gauge by matching the few I had with my speedometer. Later this week, I will hopefully redo the speedometer with the face that will perfectly match the triple gauge as I mentioned in the above post.
     

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  10. rg171352
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 493

    rg171352
    Member
    from New York

    Here we go! I cracked open the triple gauge's long time friend and after cleaning the face, realized it was noticeably scratched. So, slightly mismatched cream colored faces are perfect for me. Here is the pair which will likely be going into the Sportsman.

    I began roughing out gauge clamps to make sure these gauges won't fall out when I hit a bump. Judging from photos of a nicely restored 38 pickup, a single wide clamp supported by the ignition switch should retain both gauges. The photo appeared to show a small slit in the center which would allow for each gauge to be supported somewhat independently. I need to fiddle with the center piece and clean it up, but it's nice having two years of thought actually become something tangible.

    Speaking of tangible things, I finally took a cut off wheel to the body. On the driver's side, one of the body mounts was rotted off and the area appeared to have been cobbled together at some point. Cutting off as little as possible, I removed anything that would interfere with the angle iron which I am planning to use to ensure that the car is properly supported at each body mount.

    I am planning to drill a series of holes in the angle iron and clean the rocker to bare metal so I can plug weld the pieces together. I have never fired up the welder I have here, so to say I'm apprehensive would be an understatement. Thankfully these welds don't need to look good, they just need to be strong.

    More to come! Have a Happy New Year!
     

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    Last edited: Dec 27, 2017
  11. rg171352
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 493

    rg171352
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    from New York

    As you can see, a few posts up, I put together a nice set of original 1940 gauges. They are correct for a 1940 from the pearlescent silver faces to the convex lenses. Don't get me wrong, I am very happy with those gauges and think they will look great in the a; however I have been thinking about doing something special for the gauges in this car. Actually, I have been giving this thought since before I considered including a supercharger and overdrive into this car. For more info on my earlier thoughts, see post #85.

    As I have probably mentioned, Bantam seems to have offered at least two varieties of quad cluster gauges in Bantam civilian show cars, with one style going on to be used in the BRC's. These instrument clusters included a temperature gauge and a slightly different arrangement of the smaller gauges. Besides the difficulty of swapping a Hupmobile's temperature gauge and oil pressure gauge from left to right, this is a fairly simple gauge to build as it is basically a copy of an original.

    Earlier, I had been considering using a 1935 Hupmobile speedometer mechanism which includes a trip odometer, yet I was trying to figure out where on the dash I would want to include a tachometer if I went that route. I have gone back and forth on whether a tach would even be necessary or appropriate in the car, but I think I have made my decision after a fellow hamber said the other day, a hot rod should have a tachometer.

    I have generally considered one of two options. The first being an auxiliary tach mounted on the dash to either the left or right of the main gauges which would need possibly need to be balanced out with a clock on the opposite side. The second being a speedometer with a printed face with additional information correlating the anticipated engine RPM's with the vehicle speed, similar to a Smiths Chronometric speedometer (photo below). While the Smiths gauge looks great, in my opinion, there is just too much going on to make the face graphics look simple or elegant.

    After looking for something else, I came across a third option, the inclusion of a tachometer in the same housing as the speedometer (photo below). I really don't want to have too many gauges on my dashboard as it would make the small dash look even smaller and may give the car a more cluttered feeling, so this may be the best option. Although I would like a clock in the car, I have been planning on using a Phinney Walker rear view mirror clock, just to keep it off of the dash.

    I took a few minutes this morning to generate a draft speedometer face including both a tachometer and a trip odometer. The face is a bit more cluttered, but I think I like it. If you're wondering why I have the tachometer sweeping from right to left, it is to prevent any possible interference. While I don't want the large needle to ever go beyond 80, I'd hate for something to malfunction and cause the two needles to meet.

    What do you think? Is the simpler face better? Is the tachometer unnecessary?

    If I go down this avenue, my plan will be to use a mechanical tachometer, likely driven from the crank as some flathead Ford units were, so long as I have adequate room. If not, I may see what other rotating parts I may be able to drive it from. (See: https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum...athead-ford-v8-and-nos-sw-1940s-tach.1023481/ https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum...ng-up-a-mechanical-tach-on-a-flathead.707169/). However, that is something to think about later.
     

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    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
  12. rg171352
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 493

    rg171352
    Member
    from New York

    If you look at earlier photos in this thread where the engine is mounted to the chassis and is surrounded by sheet metal and a radiator, you'll notice that the firewall is actually only attached to about 6 inches of metal. That assembly was removed from a Bantam coupe which was getting hot rodded in 2016. After talking with the Judson expert, I realized that I never actually mounted a three main bearing engine properly to the chassis with the full body installed.

    You may be wondering why it may be so important to test fit the engine with the actual body attached. The primary answer goes back to something I had mentioned earlier regarding 1940 Bantam firewalls. Unlike all other cars, they were recessed about 3/4" to 1" in comparison with all other Austins and Bantams. I have heard about people installing their engines after finishing a beautiful paint job to find there is a bit of interference between the block and firewall. If you were curious, the answer is that there is definitely an interference problem. The firewall actually rests against the block and the gas tank would rub against the head. In the photos below, the block is actually a late 1939 two main unit which has a shorter deck height than a three main block. While I don't remember the difference in height, I am sure that the 1940 unit wouldn't fit more comfortably.

    I had initially assumed that these issues were caused by the engine being mounted back farther on the frame, closer to the cowl. Having a few crank cases on a shelf let me compare a two main with this engine. Although I didn't take any photos (I could have used an extra set of hands) I noticed that the earlier two main engines actually mount about 1/2" further back. After scratching my head for a few minutes, I realized that I had to bend a bit of the driver's side floor in order to mount the engine as it was hitting the transmission.

    Peering under the car, it finally came to me. The transmission is mounted a good deal higher in 3 MB equipped cars compared with 2 MB units. If you look in the 5th to last photo, you can see me holding a two main bearing radius rod support / transmission mount in place. That mount would have accommodated rubber discs between the mount and the transmission flange, but that is all. The three main set up seems as though it elevates the engine by at least 1/2" in the rear and possibly a bit more in the front. I will need to get some better photos of the white Hollywood to see what I may need to do.

    Test fitting the engine will serve a few purposes:
    1) I can determine whether I really will need to modify the cowl by shortening it to recess the firewall.
    2) I can fit the metal forming the engine compartment so I can see how feasible it will be to install the Judson and can determine the best place to do so.
    3) I can determine how a mechanical tach take off can be attached to the front end of the engine. I may need to consider driving it from the rear of the generator, however the later Brennan which will get the blower will likely be driving the water pump from the rear of the generator. I'm considering mounting it at the crank or the front of the cam.

    One last thought, which came to me, is that some of the interference between the block and firewall may be owed in part to the flexing of the cowl forward. While I can't align the cowl relative to the engine, it may give me something to watch while I am straightening the body.
     

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    Last edited: Jan 16, 2018
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  13. BuiltFerComfort
    Joined: Jan 24, 2007
    Posts: 1,620

    BuiltFerComfort
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    This is looking good, I think just some dimpling of the firewall to fit the head would be needed.

    Why do you want a mechanical tach vs electric one? And how do you get the dial to sweep backwards like you have shown?

    Would the guts from a tractor tach work?
     
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  14. rg171352
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 493

    rg171352
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    from New York

    Thanks! I'm hoping that once I straighten the cowl, that it will need less modification.

    I thought a mechanical tach may be more period correct and a bit more interesting to build. For the reverse sweep, it seems that some marine tachs are oriented that way. I picked up a Stewart Warner piece which was built for Detroit Diesels, which I'm hoping to use in making the above cluster a reality.

    A tractor tach could work, I'm honestly very open, so long as it can be converted. I'll get some photos of the Detroit unit on here so you can see what I'm thinking about modifying.
     
  15. BuiltFerComfort
    Joined: Jan 24, 2007
    Posts: 1,620

    BuiltFerComfort
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    Make sure the tach drive doesn’t interfere with other things at front of motor - fan, hoses, frame, etc. Electric drive seems easier but yes Mech is more period-correct.
     
  16. rg171352
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 493

    rg171352
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    from New York

    I finally got up the nerve to try my 110v welder. With the one rotted rocker, I couldn't completely mount the body onto the frame. The weld job isn't the best, but by some miracle everything seems to be held together well. While I'll add some better words in a future edit, I wanted to share some photos of the body completely mounted and the rocker temporarily patched.

    More to come!
     

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  17. rg171352
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 493

    rg171352
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    from New York

    It's hard to believe that over a month has passed and I have posted no progress on the Bantam. Then again, there hasn't been much progress to post.

    All there is to talk about:
    1. I managed to find a set of rear coupe fenders which someone had previously begun widening. These will be very helpful in creating the inner fender wells for this car.
    2. I mounted the grille shell and inner fenders loosely to get an idea of how to package the supercharger properly.
    3. I've been doing a lot of thinking about superchargers and believe I finally figured out how to package it after stumbling onto a photo of a very late Brennan IMP I have. I'll post some photos of the set up that may inspire the best way to fit everything under the tiny hood. I'll have to do some mocking up of everything, but for now, I can stop thinking about it.
    4. I am testing out a fabricator for the bumper brackets. I sent out some simpler Roadster brackets to copy before taking the plunge on the more complex Hollywood style rears and 4 bar fronts.
    5. I found a photo of a Hollywood with accessory running boards. It gives me some options as to what I want to do along the side of the car. I'm curious if they kept the under body rocker trim. If not, it could be nice to have another option as those trim pieces can be tricky to find.
    6. Some other important bits have arrived for the project.
    Now I just need a bit of time to get it all going again.
     
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  18. rg171352
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 493

    rg171352
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    from New York

    Okay, so more than three months have passed and a whole lot of nothing has actually happened on this project, at least with regard to physical progress. Some new and exciting parts have made their way into the shop. Hopefully there will be some tangible progress on the car soon. The welder is ready to go, I have a head full of inspiration, and three months of built up motivation. Let's see where this goes!
     
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  19. rg171352
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 493

    rg171352
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    from New York

    My sights are primarily set on the body of the Sportsman at this point. Before I can start building the wood body, I need to get the basic steel body structure into the ideal condition for the conversion. One of the most important tasks in this process will be replacing the original weak rockers with a stronger sub-frame assembly.

    For some of the other heavy pieces of steel I have needed, I have left the creation of the parts in the hands and discretion of a local iron works. However, when I went to them with the rusted original pieces (photographed in early posts) I learned that the curved portion that runs up the b-pillar would be best reproduced through the casting process and that starting with a paper template of the desired rocker assembly would be the best first step.

    With that advice in mind I am planning to have a pair of new b-pillar supports recast at some point and have started making the necessary bits to build templates for the rocker panel / sub-frame assembly. While these photos aren't that trilling, I needed to emulate the dimension of 1"x 2" steel tubing. My second attempt is slightly twisted, but is accurate enough for my purposes. More updates to follow.
     

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    Last edited: Jul 4, 2018
  20. rg171352
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 493

    rg171352
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    from New York

    I have some heavy paper, thin plywood, a sample piece of 2"x1"x.125" rectangular tubing. I was going to go for the 3/8" wall tubing, but the original thickness of the rockers with reinforcing cast steel was .25". I should be good with this cross-sectional size and it will allow for larger cast iron inserts for the A and B pillar reinforcements. Photos to come.
     
  21. Peanut 1959
    Joined: Oct 11, 2008
    Posts: 1,964

    Peanut 1959
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    Why not just fabricate new structure from a combination of square and rectangular tubing? It is a common practice when rodding wood-framed early cars. I can't imagine that casting new pieces would be cheaper or easier. But, if the shape is too complex, can you post a couple of pics to remind us what it looks like?
     
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  22. rg171352
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 493

    rg171352
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    from New York

    Hi Peanut,

    I had brought the piece to a local steel works which is usually very helpful. I figured that if anyone could do it, it would be them. Unfortunately, they said that casting would be the best avenue. Interestingly, it's the same method Bantam used.

    I took my 1940 Hollywood out for a drive last weekend. Actually, one of my first longer drives in it since getting it. The tires are a bit square, so there it constantly seems as though I'm driving on a rough road. On the driver side, there is relatively no motion between the B pillar and door. On the passenger side, the gap deformed with every judder of the car and the door popped open a few times. While an adjustment of the door latch catch should help, the movement of the B pillar is what I really want to avoid in the finished sportsman. Somehow, I need to keep the door frame rigid.

    Attached is a photo showing the original Bantam unit next to the sheet metal it was welded inside of and a template which I am planning to use for constructing the pair of patterns.

    I could probably reuse the old piece in this build, but I'm not sure if merely weldong this onto the rectangular tube will be strong enough or if modifying the bottom of the cast piece to fit within the rectangular tube would more beneficial. Part of me thinks that reusing the original parts would be marginally acceptable, but faster. The rest of me wants to reinvent the wheel, partially for the sake of doing it, but mostly to strengthen a car which will be losing most of its sheet metal support structure.
     

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  23. rg171352
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 493

    rg171352
    Member
    from New York

    Hi Peanut,

    I had brought the piece to a local steel works which is usually very helpful. I figured that if anyone could do it, it would be them. Unfortunately, they said that casting would be the best avenue. Interestingly, it's the same method Bantam used.

    I took my 1940 Hollywood out for a drive last weekend. Actually, one of my first longer drives in it since getting it. The tires are a bit square, so there it constantly seems as though I'm driving on a rough road. On the driver side, there is relatively no motion between the B pillar and door. On the passenger side, the gap deformed with every judder of the car and the door popped open a few times. While an adjustment of the door latch catch should help, the movement of the B pillar is what I really want to avoid in the finished sportsman. Somehow, I need to keep the door frame rigid.

    Attached is a photo showing the original Bantam unit next to the sheet metal it was welded inside of and a template which I am planning to use for constructing the pair of patterns.

    I could probably reuse the old piece in this build, but I'm not sure if merely weldong this onto the rectangular tube will be strong enough or if modifying the bottom of the cast piece to fit within the rectangular tube would more beneficial. Part of me thinks that reusing the original parts would be marginally acceptable, but faster. The rest of me wants to reinvent the wheel, partially for the sake of doing it, but mostly to strengthen a car which will be losing most of its sheet metal support structure.
     
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  24. rg171352
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 493

    rg171352
    Member
    from New York

    I was going to hold off on posting photos and information regarding my recent efforts in the event that it doesn't work out. However, that line of reasoning is foolish. A large point of this thread is to get your opinions and feedback along the way. Another point is to show you everything I am doing along the way, even it if is a mistake; this way other people may learn from my errors.

    In any event, I have been devoting all of my time on the project on designing the door frame superstructure so that I can hopefully get to working on rebuilding the body. I can't start replacing the floors or building anything else until this part of the body has been taken care of. Since I don't want to take apart the body until I have braced it and worked on the cowl; I have been working almost exclusively from pieces pulled from the rusty donor convertible body which was introduced in an earlier post.

    After the local steel place said they were unable to work on these pieces and suggested finding a foundry, that's what I did. I am planning to utilize cast A and B pillar units which weld into the body and into a tubular rocker panel. I am planning to use cast iron and have been basing my patterns on approximately 1% material shrinkage.

    I have decided that the rocker panel is going to be replaced with 2x1x1/8" rectangular tubing which will fit around the cast A and B pillar units. This will replace the stamped c-channel with cast c-channel insert which was approximately 2.25 x 1 1/16 x 1/4" in total with .25" of height being attributable to a bump at the front edge of the channel. I would have liked to use 2.25 tubing it's not a standard size and the next size up (2.5"x 1.5") may be a bit too large. However, the existing rocker does have a 1/4" extension on the bottom edge in the area where it mounts to the chassis. For now, I am considering 2 x 1 x 3/16" tubing, but the local supply company does not carry it. My indecisiveness on the wall thickness and tubing size will be put to rest when I am up to adapting the A and B pillar patters to the tubing. While I like the idea of the extra wall thickness, I am not fond of removing material from the cast iron portion of the A and B pillar castings which will fit inside of the tubing. I partially also like the idea of the 2.5 x 1.5" tubing, but it would extend below the bottom of the cowl and would also be higher than the current position of the floor pan. I could mount the floor pan flush with the raised rocker, but that will cause other issues.

    The photos here are primarily of my work on patterns of the A pillar casting pattern. As you may be able to see from the photos, the original unit aligned with the cast C-channel style piece which was fitted inside of the rocker panel, then flared outward to follow the bottom edge of the cowl, where the bottom of it tapered up again following the bottom edge of the cowl, until it met the front body mount.

    The piece I devised in my mind will be a bit clunky, but it will hopefully offer improved rigidity for the body. The cast piece will taper to follow the bottom edge of the cowl, it will extend into the upright C-channel which forms the trailing edge of the cowl, it will have an upright support which will meet the vertical edge of the front body mount, it will extend under the dead pedal portion of the floor to provided a bit of added rigidity, and it will include an approximately 2"x 1" (or whatever nests within the tubing I choose) extension on the trailing edge to fit inside of the steel tubing.

    In the next post, I'll show you the B-pillar patterns I have been working on. In the mean time, what do you think? Is clunkly good? Should I go for the thinner walled small tubing or the thicker walled larger tubing? Feel free to chime in.
     

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    Last edited: Aug 16, 2018
  25. BuiltFerComfort
    Joined: Jan 24, 2007
    Posts: 1,620

    BuiltFerComfort
    Member

    Strong is good but you don’t want one piece to be much more rigid than another, because then it just transfers the stress elsewhere and other things tend to break. (That was the problem they had with the original Sopwith Camel biplane in 1917-1918.). A car should flex roughy the same amount when bent in various ways, as driving in a city might do.

    Second thought is to try to build those new pieces out of 3x4 (roughly) steel 1/8 thick, cut and bend into shape and weld together. Seems much more forgiving and adjustable - you can take it somewhere for final welding if you want.

    If you do decide to get it cast, make sure they use decent steel for the pour, so you can weld in the future if needed.

    Maybe try mocking up framerails at this point, probably made from metal wall studs, and then trying to transfer that to thick steel. I find patterns that I can mess with easily kelp my thinking.
     
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  26. rg171352
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 493

    rg171352
    Member
    from New York

    BuiltFerComfort - You make some good points. Also, the Sopwith Camel biplane lead to quite an enjoyable read.

    I haven't gotten to do anything further on these patterns as work took a turn for the busier and my local steel supply house couldn't get the rectangular tubing I wanted. I decided to go a little bigger on the rockers and ordered some 2.5" x 1.5" tubing. This will allow the cast pieces inside of the tube to be bigger and will also provide for a bit of extra support along the door frame.

    After the last post I had a chance to put some more miles on the white Hollywood and realized that either from riding on square tires or over bumps; the door jams seem to love to flex. There is only so much adjustment in the latch pieces, so I really want the added strength and also want to include the rubber bumpers to cushion the door (as well as push it firmly against the latch) which Bantam eliminated from the Hollywood and Riviera.

    We'll see what happens in a couple of weeks, but right now I can't stop staring at the tube with the rectangular tubing in it waiting to become rocker panels.
     
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  27. rg171352
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 493

    rg171352
    Member
    from New York

    I thought I had posted since September, however, I guess not. This post is more of an update than actual description of progress. A few bumps in the road have slowed the project to a near standstill.

    To decide how to best design the door frame structure, I played around with the donor body, the spare sheet metal I already had, and the wood patterns I had made. The more I moved the pieces around, the more I realized the room for error in making the patterns. As I'm planning to cast a flange onto them which will slide into the rectangular tube, there is very little room for error. Attempting to use cardboard patterns to determine the relationship between the existing rocker and the b-pillar I began to realize that the twisted body would be an awful guide to build a new body from.

    I happen to have a beautiful door from a 1940 Riviera. I realized that given the instant circumstances, I may be best off designing the body around the door as it should best capture the relationships I need to maintain. The only problem here is that I didn't have a sheet metal B-pillar cover on hand and needed to wait to strip one from the donor Riviera body. That was a time consuming process. At the end, the piece I removed was very rough and may not even be a very accurate example of what it once was. In hind sight, it may have been a decent idea to try to fabricate a pair of new B-pillar pieces. There is still time for that, but I'm not sure if I will.

    Without a decent work surface to align everything, I picked up some wood to build a table which would fit over my saw horses and which I could use to brace the door properly. Now, I just need a bit of time to start stabilizing the door and establish the appropriate relationships all the way around.

    With regard to the mechanical aspects of the car the overdrive unit is in very capable hands currently working on building a Bantam compatible unit. I'm eager to see how that goes.

    Beyond that, I've created a few reproduction parts for these cars that will hopefully help others out. I'll post more on that later.

    Happy Holidays!
     
    kidcampbell71 and brEad like this.
  28. pwschuh
    Joined: Oct 27, 2008
    Posts: 2,330

    pwschuh
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Beyond impressed with this build. Congrats on what you've accomplished so far.
     
    rg171352 likes this.
  29. s.e.charles
    Joined: Apr 25, 2018
    Posts: 34

    s.e.charles

    any updates?

    thanks
     
    rg171352 likes this.
  30. rg171352
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 493

    rg171352
    Member
    from New York

    It's really hard to believe that over a year has gone by since my last post on this build. It's equally hard to believe how much time has elapsed since my last truly productive work on the Sportsman. Around the time I stopped posting my, non-car, life certainly took quite a few unexpected but exciting turns. Since this isn't really a personal blog, I'll leave those details out but I will say that the Sportsman finally has a new garage and I have ample working space to continue the build.

    Body:
    No tangible progress, merely plans for how to finalize the wood patterns for the inner support structure of the rocker panels. This is the element that has this bit of progress at a standstill.

    Chassis:
    I have sourced enough parts to build a complete original style shock absorber set, so I'm not sure if I will go for an authentic set or one utilizing the Johnny Joints I wrote about earlier. I am also working on new replacement parts for some of the chassis/suspension consumables.

    Interior:
    I have some new plans for the gauges. I am trying to see if my plan for the speedometer is feasible. If so, it could be something neat.

    Drive line:
    No progress on the engine. The transmission is still with the rebuilder and he believes he may have it together by the spring. Once I have the transmission back, I can use it to figure out how the floors need to be built to accommodate the overdrive.

    Surprise update:
    I realized I have enough bits that I could potentially make a second one of these cars. So, when there may be a 4 place convertible in the future if I can get the cast iron bits cast properly.

    More updates to come, but the project is still alive!
     

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