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Projects 1952 Muntz Jet Build, from a beginner

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 52Muntz, Jan 14, 2017.

  1. Special Ed
    Joined: Nov 1, 2007
    Posts: 6,008

    Special Ed
    Member

    What serial number is it Leon? I'll look it up in our registry, and give you any known history of it ..
    Additionally, we are putting together a Muntz Mania event next summer, if you're interested.
     
    loudbang likes this.
  2. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 7,748

    Atwater Mike
    Member

    Thanks to Special Ed and his ongoing interest and prowess, you newer owners have officially (or un-officially) become unwitting 'MUNTZTERS'!
    Just came to me. I liked it.

    Muntzes have the same thrill for me as the Allards did...One might look under an Allard's hood and find most anything: I've seen Hemispherical Chryslers, flatheads, Cads, Oldses, and even a 302 GMC six!
    Now, THESE were 'Hybrids'. The originals. Not electrics that shared ohms with aluminum four bangers fueled by rice.
     
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  3. leon bee
    Joined: Mar 15, 2017
    Posts: 99

    leon bee
    Member
    from Arkansas!

    Special Ed: I can't remember the number and the car is up in Kansas where I used to live. I talk to my pal pretty often, will get the number and let you know. We'd be real curious about any info. Just now getting to the point, (retired) where I'm working on some of this stuff.
     
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  4. vetteson
    Joined: Oct 7, 2010
    Posts: 86

    vetteson
    Member

    My recently purchased M-163 won't be done for a few years anyway, but a Muntz Mania sounds cool. I'm still looking for some parts that did not come with the car; hood hinges, a few seat cushions. I am in the process of raiding an '51 Ford wagon carcass, so far have removed vents and vent doors, radiator support, head light bucket assemblies. Going back for the door latches and striker plates.
     
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  5. Special Ed
    Joined: Nov 1, 2007
    Posts: 6,008

    Special Ed
    Member

    The window stuff is '51 Ford Victoria convertible, if my memory serves ...
    The hood hinges are Kurtis/Muntz specific. Cast aluminum (which makes some sense because the cowl is also cast, and the hinges attach to the underside of the cowl), shaped much like a boomerang, with a flat mounting surface to bolt the hood. Really pretty darned crude. If you don't have any, you'll have to fabricate 'em.
     
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  6. leon bee
    Joined: Mar 15, 2017
    Posts: 99

    leon bee
    Member
    from Arkansas!

    Those hinges were either broken or missing on ours as well. Don't remember which, they weren't much problem to make.
     
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  7. leon bee
    Joined: Mar 15, 2017
    Posts: 99

    leon bee
    Member
    from Arkansas!

    I got a message in to my friend to get the number of ours.
     
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  8. vetteson
    Joined: Oct 7, 2010
    Posts: 86

    vetteson
    Member

    Thanks Special Ed and leon bee. I'm interested in any info on the hinges. Also, do either of you know if Muntz used '49-51 Ford rear quarter inside panels?
     
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  9. Special Ed
    Joined: Nov 1, 2007
    Posts: 6,008

    Special Ed
    Member

    The rear quarter inside panels are not Ford. The trunk floor, wheel-wells, and inside quarter panels are all simply fabricated 18 gauge sheet metal, shaped in a very rudimentary fashion.
    [​IMG]
     
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  10. vetteson
    Joined: Oct 7, 2010
    Posts: 86

    vetteson
    Member

    Thanks Spec. Ed. I guess I have a lot of work to do...... I have a Ford body parts catalog from the early fifties and the '46-'51 convertible quarter window regulators are the same, but the '51 Victoria hardtop regulators are different.
     
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  11. MuntzManMike
    Joined: Jul 13, 2017
    Posts: 3

    MuntzManMike
    Member

    You can find a lot of those Ford parts for your Muntz at shoebox-central.com.
     
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  12. MuntzManMike
    Joined: Jul 13, 2017
    Posts: 3

    MuntzManMike
    Member

    Some stuff you just need to fabricate yourself. We just made a set of floor pans from 16 gauge flat stock. I made the templates on the cardboard that came with it, then out of steel and bent the ends to match lip and come up under the pedals. I'll post pictures soon.
     
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  13. loudbang
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 9,199

    loudbang
    Member

  14. vetteson
    Joined: Oct 7, 2010
    Posts: 86

    vetteson
    Member

    P8180150.JPG P8180151.JPG P8180152.JPG P8180153.JPG P8180154.JPG P8180155.JPG P8180156.JPG P8180157.JPG P8180158.JPG P8180159.JPG P8180160.JPG P8180161.JPG P8180162.JPG P8180163.JPG I have posted some pictures of some of the stuff that came with the Muntz that are mysterious to me. Some of the brackets look "home made," maybe to add equipment or other parts.
     
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  15. Mr T body
    Joined: Nov 2, 2005
    Posts: 1,297

    Mr T body
    Alliance Vendor
    from SoCal

    You need one of these.....
    [​IMG]
     
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  16. Special Ed
    Joined: Nov 1, 2007
    Posts: 6,008

    Special Ed
    Member

    Here's a little motivation for you ... :cool:

    The next Muntz Mania event will be held in Grants Pass Oregon on June 20 through June 24 2018.
    Additional information to follow. ;)
     
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  17. 52Muntz
    Joined: Jan 13, 2017
    Posts: 27

    52Muntz
    Member
    from PNW

    I’ve been busy traveling some for work lately and haven’t been too active on here. I figured I’d put down a couple posts of the latest on my Muntz. Not a ton of work going on but life sometimes gets in the way. While this car will ultimately be a hot rod, a lot of what I am doing would not be considered traditional hot rodding. To respect the spirit of this site, if it seems like these posts are truncated or lacking details it’s just me censoring some of the newer stuff out. :)

    The Ford 9” rear end is in but not without some issues. To solve my previously mentioned bracket alignment issues I found a company online selling lower control arms that had swivel rod ends on each end of the tie rod. That allowed for the minor orientation adjustment I needed to get the rear end brackets aligned without having to modify any of the brackets themselves. That was great because I was worried about moving any brackets on the axel housing and subsequent warping that could occur from welding. The brackets on the other end were welded right to the frame and modifying them did not look to be an easy or pretty solution. For the upper control arms, I ended up not needing to do anything at all. Once the lower arms were in, and the rear end was jacked up to a ride height level, the clevis for the upper arms and lug on the rear housing aligned perfectly. Beginners tip – make sure all suspension geometry is checked at ride height. :)[​IMG][​IMG]

    For what seemed to be the first time ever on this project, the stars (or in this case brackets) aligned and I had to take a moment and have a celebratory drink.

    Not everything ended up being perfect however. Once the upper and lower control arms were located and installed I discovered that the lower shock bracket didn’t line up with the upper bracket. The shock attaches with simply a single-pin join with a lug and clevis on both the upper and lower attachments. Because of the bracket mis-alignment between the upper and lower the lug and clevis weren’t in alignment. The upper bracket looked too difficult to modify easily so the lower bracket was going to have to conform. It ended up being nothing too difficult, I cut the clevis off the lower adapter bracket that attached to the axel housing, re-aligned the clevis, and welded it in the orientation I was looking for. A shot of black paint and no one is the wiser.
     
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  18. 52Muntz
    Joined: Jan 13, 2017
    Posts: 27

    52Muntz
    Member
    from PNW

    Just spamming the thread with some pictures.

    Went down to Monterey this year and the Concours de Lemons had a few Muntz Jets. The green one is owned by the Peterson Museum. It was one of the few hemi powered Muntz Jets. The blue one is owned by the gentleman who puts on the de Lemons. I talked to him briefly and he mentioned he’s looking to restore it.

    There was also a yellow Kurtis in the actual Concours Show.
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  19. 52Muntz
    Joined: Jan 13, 2017
    Posts: 27

    52Muntz
    Member
    from PNW

    When I had got the Muntz it was apparent that it had spent some time outside in the rain. Most of the surfaces just had some surface rust but there were a few that had rusted through. One of those areas was the floor pan on the drivers side - under where the drivers seat would sit.

    One of the issues I have always had since getting this car is trying to figure out what parts are original and what parts were modified at some point in the past. In some cases original Muntz fabrication was a bit rough. The floor pan is no different. On my car it is a flat piece of steel, of approximately 16 gauge, with no bead rolls or stringers or anything else added to stabilize and stiffen it. Consequently it “oil cans” when you step on it - deflects a bit under weight then pops back when the weight is removed. I’m not sure if this is how the original car was or not, something tells me it is, but I’m going to stick with it for simplicity nonetheless. If later on it gets too annoying I don’t think it’ll be too hard to weld some stringers (like L or Z shaped steel) under the car to stiffen the floor and prevent the deflection.

    But for now there was a hole in the floor that needed to be patched. Welding is fairly new to me and this seemed like a good project to hone my skills on my wire welder. I figured it’s a moderate gauge with easy access and a floor panel seems like a fairly benign piece of structure to work on. If I screwed it up too much it’d be easy to cut out and try again. Plus it all gets covered with carpet in the end.

    My process for doing the floor patch was fairly simple, but whether it is the standard process I do not know. I cut out all of the floor that was rusted through, plus a bit of excess all around. Made sure to get all the cancer. Then I measured the existing floor with calipers to know what gauge steel sheet to use. I put that new steel sheet over the hole I had cut and from underneath I traced the opening onto the new sheet. From there it was a matter of cutting it out (I just used my angle grinder with an abrasive blade) and clamped the sheet in place with some clamps made for doing butt welds. Some finessing with the grinder was needed to get the gaps just right all around the perimeter for the welder. After that I tacked it all around, removed the clamps, and got to practicing my welding. After it cooled I took a light from underneath and checked for any small holes and filled those in. I then ground it flat and took a wire wheel to it. I was pretty happy with the end result. Next up is I’m going to wire wheel it all and cover it all in POR-15 to keep any remaining surface rust at bay. One more small project completed. [​IMG]
     
  20. arkiehotrods
    Joined: Mar 9, 2006
    Posts: 5,160

    arkiehotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    52Muntz, you're an excellent writer. This is a fun thread!
    I saw that no one had mentioned it, and I don't know if you know it, but Lincoln used GM's Hydra-Matic in their cars 1949-1954, so that Hydra-Matic mated to the Lincoln flathead would have been how it came out of the donor Lincoln.
     
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  21. 52Muntz
    Joined: Jan 13, 2017
    Posts: 27

    52Muntz
    Member
    from PNW

    Thanks! While, I’ll admit, I mainly write it for myself, I’m glad others might enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it.

    I obviously knew the Muntz came with the hydra-magic but I did not know that all the Lincoln cars of the time did. Thanks for sharing that!
     
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  22. 52Muntz
    Joined: Jan 13, 2017
    Posts: 27

    52Muntz
    Member
    from PNW

    Ed - where is this picture from? Do you have it in higher resolution? I’d love to get a hi res copy of it to put on my wall.
     
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  23. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 22,821

    The37Kid
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Nice project, good to learn some history on a car you don't see that often. Bob
     
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  24. Special Ed
    Joined: Nov 1, 2007
    Posts: 6,008

    Special Ed
    Member

    Send me your address, and I'll get some copies made for you and mail 'em up to you. ;)
    You're doing a GREAT job on your Muntz, so far. Keep it up!

    Regarding those photos you took at Monterey ... that green Jet was donated to the Peterson by a gentleman named Peter Condos, who restored it. Condos was the welding foreman for the Muntz Car Company in Glendale California, and when the company moved to Evanston Illinois in 1951, Earl asked him to come along. I have a couple of great stories about Peter and that particular car that I'll share with you, if you're ever interested.
    That yellow Kurtis Sport was Frank Kurtis' son, Arlen's high school ride during the early fifties, and has a few cool stories attached to it, too. Dean Lowe (here on the HAMB) was instrumental in locating it after it had "disappeared" for many decades ... :)
     
  25. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 7,231

    belair
    Member
    1. H.A.M.B. Chapel

    A great, well-written thread. Love the build, your approach to the car, and the support from the other Muntz guys. Will be keeping up with this one. I like that yellow one, Special Ed. bright colors look good on those cars.
     
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  26. 52Muntz
    Joined: Jan 13, 2017
    Posts: 27

    52Muntz
    Member
    from PNW

    The saga of wheels

    I once read that when beginning a car project a person should start with selecting the desired wheels and tires, as it will make the majority of later design decisions fall in place. The more I work on the Muntz, the more I understand how this rings true. The wheels and tires impact every component from the pavement to the steering wheel. Going to run larger than stock brakes? Better know if they’ll clear the inner wheel dimensions. Need to make sure the car has an ideal cruising rpm on the highway? Better know what diameter of the tire is going to be so you can select the ideal rear differential gear combined with the right transmission gearing. Want decent ride and handling? Choosing the right suspension is key but dialing in that suspension and making sure it’ll fit ultimately all ties back to the wheels and tires.

    For the Muntz, I didn’t have the luxury of starting with wheels and building from there. For this particular project, wheel size in the rear will be determined by how much clearance I have, primarily in the back where the fenders are (partially or fully – depending on configuration) skirted. To say that I am a bit envious of the open wheel roadsters, in this regard, would be an understatement. To get an idea of the constraints of rear wheels I’m working with, there are only 9 inches and some change of distance between the outside of the rear frame rail and the inside of the fender. More modern cars can get away with widening the fenders, but the Muntz is flat sided and to do that would ruin the look of this particular car. There’s a Joe Bailon modified Muntz out there where the rear skirting was cut out to make more room, but I’m not looking to do that either. Another alternative I have seen people do to get a bit more wheel room is to move the frame inward. This, as far as I’m concerned, is not an option at this point. Moving the frame inwards would mean changing suspension geometry and moving attachment points, also likely shortening the axle housing which would therefore lead to replacing the axles – all items that have already been purchased and installed not to mention the months or years of work that would entail at my current rate. No. I’m a bit stuck between a rock and a hard place, or in this case a frame and a fender, but I’m just going to need to make it work with what I have.

    For the front, the constraint on wheel size will be the brakes. The brakes for the Muntz are already purchased, built, and installed so instead of getting brakes that fit a wheel I need a wheel that’ll fit the brakes. This turned into the first hurdle. Beginners tip: brake manufacturers clearly specify clearance dimensions for wheels, but most wheel manufacturers do not specify the inner dimensions of their wheels; therefore when the dimensions will be close (say using a 15” wheel with a brake system that says it will fit most 15” wheels) it is easier to buy brakes that fit a specific wheel, but more difficult to find wheels that fit specific brakes.

    I got out the tape measure, did a bunch of searching online, and decided that a 15x7 wheel seemed to make sense. I searched the list of Craig and, not finding what I was looking for, I took a blind leap of faith and purchased one rather inexpensive 15x7 wheel with a 4.25” backspace off of Amazon simply as a means to get an idea of where I was at. With that one wheel I was able to attach it to all 4 corners and used my jack to lift the suspension and wheel up to what a ride height would likely be. There was still the unknown of how it would fit after tires were mounted as they will be slightly wider than the wheel. It was very close, but with just the wheel everything seemed to clear. It was about this time that a relatively cheap set of unknown pedigree 15x7 wheels with baby moons, and tires already mounted, became available locally online. I jumped on them.
    [​IMG]
     
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  27. vetteson
    Joined: Oct 7, 2010
    Posts: 86

    vetteson
    Member

    Wow, a lot of work done. Nicely presented restoration. It's important to document fully any restoration as it becomes a chapter in the modern "how-to" for these cars for which there was no actual shop manual (that I am aware of). I've been mostly hunting for parts for my '51 and trying to figure out what to use. A friend allowed me to raid a '51 Lincoln Cosmo he had laying around out back of his shop, covered with wild raspberry, poison ivy, and something else green that probably would cause pain. Kindly, he dragged it out into the open. I got the steering post/collar, floor seal, and wheel (all in pretty good shape), hood opener, bracket, and latch, and some side trim, which looks very similar to the trim I see on Muntz's. Regarding wheel clearance, this is a problem when using modern wheels and axles on 50's cars. I went through several sets of 15X7 wheels on my '55 Stude before I had a pair with a 4.25" back space specially made to get enough clearance. Also important to know, standing clearance is not the final gauge because when you start driving these old cars the extra weight plus the body moving about on a live axle will affect the clearance. You want to cure this issue before painting because a rubbing tire will lift the paint
     
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  28. 40two
    Joined: Feb 19, 2012
    Posts: 1,457

    40two
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Happy birthday, 52Muntz!
    i really enjoy reading your thread, hope all works fine to you!

    Carsten
     
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  29. dan c
    Joined: Jan 30, 2012
    Posts: 1,146

    dan c
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    great thread! i've heard of 'em with cadillac, hemi and flathead power; never with that lincoln...
     
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  30. Choptop
    Joined: Jun 19, 2001
    Posts: 3,280

    Choptop
    Member

    I gots me one.... the blue one in the photos above.
     
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