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Projects '26 Model T build.

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by xrw urabus, Mar 10, 2011.

  1. xrw urabus
    Joined: May 26, 2010
    Posts: 49

    xrw urabus
    Member
    from ohio

    Hello all.
    I signed up and been reading posts for months, it is about time I post something to this message board.
    My friend Bruce and I bought a 1926 Model T a few months ago and are planning to build a custom/hot rod/speedster? We are both big fans of MrModleT's car. Our goal is somthing like Clayton's car with a chopped top. This is my first time working on a Model T and Bruce's first restoration.

    Here is a picture of the car from the "for sale" ad.
    [​IMG]

    The car was $1900 and 6 hours away from home. That seemed like a reasonable price and distance to pick up a car.
    We stripped the car to load it in the trailer (too small to hold the car with the body on the frame).
    [​IMG]

    We put the body in the back of the pickup and headed home.
    [​IMG]

    At home after my wife saw what we had bought and calmed down, we unloaded.
    [​IMG]

    The motor was seized up and our first project was to assess the damage. We used kroil and was able to get very little movement from the crank. After stripping off the oil pan and checking for broken parts we decided to try an old trick I found here on the HAMB. We stuffed the cylinders with rags, filled them to the top with kerosene and let it burn.
    [​IMG]

    It seems to me a fun day is when I can play with and old car and controlled fire at the same time:). Much to our amazement it worked! the crank moved almost a full turn. Then we found our next problem...the #1 cylinder wall had a ring of rust that was causing the problem (all the rest were clean).
    Just last weekend we built a homemade engine stand from the Model T forums and removed the motor. It is getting stripped down for machine work.
    Now that everyone is caught up with our project. We are open to suggestions on engine mods and lowering. We are going to use the 4 banger and hopefully a few small performance parts. Then we will need guidance on how to chop the top. I am sure that information is out here somewhere. Enjoy the pics.
    Jim
     
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  2. ThirdGen
    Joined: Nov 29, 2008
    Posts: 452

    ThirdGen
    Member
    from Wales, ME

    ^^^That is awesome!
    I love hearing about the old tricks that were used back when, and how great the simplicity of everything was to be able to do this. Great stuff.
     
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  3. 29Coupe
    Joined: Jan 5, 2005
    Posts: 522

    29Coupe
    Member

    Very cool!
     
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  4. 94hoghead
    Joined: Jun 1, 2007
    Posts: 1,290

    94hoghead
    Member

    Look to be in great shape...
     
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  5. rustydusty
    Joined: Apr 19, 2010
    Posts: 672

    rustydusty
    Member

    Wow! Nice find. Looks to be mostly complete and solid, and should make an awesome early rod!
     
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  6. xrw urabus
    Joined: May 26, 2010
    Posts: 49

    xrw urabus
    Member
    from ohio

    We were able to hone the rust rings from setting for 20 years with no head out of every cylinder but #1... The more we honed the bigger it got :mad:.

    [​IMG]
    So now we have the engine out of the car, what is a builder to do??


    We're going to Tear it down and have the cylinders bored out. But how big do you really want to go? Max is 60 right? so do we go for the full 60 or just go 20 or 30 over? (the bores are measuring stock right now).

    The plan is to replace the pistons with Aluminum ones, and get some new valves. Any bonus to using Stainless valves?

    Thanks,
    Bruce
     
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  7. xrw urabus
    Joined: May 26, 2010
    Posts: 49

    xrw urabus
    Member
    from ohio

    We have sent the block out to the machine shop to assess the need to be bored out. We should hear back from them today.

    While at Harbor Freight I saw their 6 ton press in the clearance bin. It was missing the blocks to position and aid in pressing items. I bought it for $40. It was something I wanted to try anyway, so it seemed like a good puchase.
    [​IMG]

    So, this weekend Bruce and I put the press to work. First we flipped the spring perches. Very little heat and the press made quick work of this task.
    [​IMG]

    Next we decided to reverse arch the front spring so the eye was on top and not underneath. Again, the press made quick work of the task. We copied\marked the existing arch on the floor in chalk. Next we marked 2" increments on the leaf spring starting from the center out to each end and applied pressure to each point. Moving from each mark to its counterpart on the other side of center and using small amounts of pressure the spring eventually was flat and then ended in a reversed arch. We would lay the spring out on the floor to check our progress with our chalk mark on the floor. The entire process took a little over an hour and worked perfectly.
    [​IMG]

    I replaced all the bolts and will be painting it soon so it can be replaced on the car.

    Bruce is making our shackles to finish the flipped spring perch modification and we should be reassembling it this weekend. Hopefully we will be rebuilding the front hubs this weekend also. One of Bruce's friends is making us a set of wheel adaptors to allow us to use Model A wire wheels on our Model T wood wheel hubs. Within the next week we should be ordering our new pistons/valves and getting the cam reground. So, we should have a big jump in progress soon. Maybe we can tackle the rear axle flip and rebuild in the next few weeks.

    Jim
     
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  8. 42 chevy
    Joined: Nov 1, 2006
    Posts: 623

    42 chevy
    Member

    Very cool story and nice car. Your question on boring, in my opinion just enough to clean up the cylinders and be a size you can get pistons for. I would not bore .060 over unless required so it can be bored in the future if damaged.
     
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  9. Crazybillybob
    Joined: Nov 8, 2010
    Posts: 307

    Crazybillybob
    Member
    from Ohio

    I've got the The Hard part of the Standard length Shackles done. Now I just need to round the end on the Grinder. These are the same length as Stock shackles, just drilled to fit the grade 8 bolt. We're thinking about lengthening the shackles to lower the front a bit more. The First thought was another inch. But may go with adding 2" or 3". I think it will take getting the front end back on the car before we'll know for sure.

    [​IMG]

    Bruce
     
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  10. Don't chop it! It'l ruin the look. :cool:

    I hope Clayton knows he has started a revolution in hot rodding. :cool:
     
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  11. RGG
    Joined: Sep 4, 2010
    Posts: 166

    RGG
    Member

    Looks like a great project! It's your car so do as you wish, but I think they look great without a chop!

    Looking forward to more posts.

    RGG
     
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  12. You have a nice project there, and all your ideas will look good when completed. Personally I like the looks of an uncut tall T, but whatever you do it's going to be great
     
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  13. MrModelT
    Joined: Nov 11, 2008
    Posts: 2,620

    MrModelT
    Member

    I have to admit, I like the "Un-chopped" idea as an un-chopped, full fendered and lowered T coupe "gowjob" was one of my alternate designs for my car originally before I bought the roadster.

    It is of course your car and your unique vision, so I know it turn out awesome no matter which direction you choose to take it. I can't WAIT to see more updates, been following this religiously :D

    A "Hot Rod Revolution"? Wow.....that really means a lot to me. If I have started something, I am honored and proud to have done so.

    "Average kid from Portland builds Model T from spare parts as first Hot Rod, starts Revolution" ...wow :D :cool:
     
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  14. Crazybillybob
    Joined: Nov 8, 2010
    Posts: 307

    Crazybillybob
    Member
    from Ohio

    Here's what the motor looked like before we sent it out.

    [​IMG]

    That Magneto Setup is getting removed. Some of the coils are shorted and we're not going with the Stock ignition so we'll save several pounds in engine weight.

    [​IMG]

    Here's a closeup of the Transmission. The drums look good only a little scoring from the rivets on the low speed drum.

    [​IMG]

    The Starter ring, has some issues and will need to be replaced.

    [​IMG]

    The big upside is that the Babbit Main bearings look in good Shape.

    I'm looking forward to getting this back and running, but we have alot of other things to work on while the engine is gone!
     
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  15. MrModelT
    Joined: Nov 11, 2008
    Posts: 2,620

    MrModelT
    Member

    Good work guys! Eliminating the mag coil pack and pulling all of the magnets off of the flywheel will GREATLY lighten up the bottom end to the tune of about 65-75 pounds. This, coupled with aluminum pistons, will go real easy on the babbits and increase your max RPMs to about 2,100 to 2,300...instead of the stock 1,800.

    Now..just add a 6:1 "Z" head, a .280 or 3/4 race cam, downdraft carburetor, 12v distributor, an Aux O.D. and "Rocky-Mountain" brakes and your looking at a 45-55 HP T that will cruise at 60-65 all day :D
     
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  16. Removing the magnets will lighten the load by about 16 lbs, not 65-75.

    Many guys that remove the magnets on full bodied cars regret it. The guys with light cars like it because you don't need the extra mass on the flywheel to keep the car buzzing along.
    One of the guys in our club ran the Montana 500 last year in his roadster pick up. The cars that compete have to use all stock t parts except for pistons and cam, everything else stock t, fenders, rear gears and so on. He almost got DQ'ed because he ran a heated rear spring. Even the president of the Montana 500 was disqualified after the race for cheating as he was running an illegal carb. Anyway, our member's engine and trans was balanced, and a great deal of time was spent on the fit of the babbitt and he was clocked in the race at 68 miles an hour. It's not what you bolt to the spindly T, it's how you assemble it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2011
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  17. Crazybillybob
    Joined: Nov 8, 2010
    Posts: 307

    Crazybillybob
    Member
    from Ohio

    Thanks for the advise guys. At the start we may end up putting the cash in the ignition system instead of a new head. But the stock head needs cleaned up and flattened. So taking an extra 1/8 inch off of it is in the plan. @Flyin-t is there good directions out there on balanceing the drive line? We made sure to mark the crank and transmission iput shaft so that they go back together the same way they came off. The goal is to replace the things that are missing or broken ( wore out is broken to me!) And tune the rest.
    Advise is always welcome!

    Bruce
     
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  18. Balancing the engine is the same as any engine, the t trans...I'm about to learn myself. He swears it's the key to the strong running car, so I'm excited to see how it's done.
    I recently picked up another t eng/trans and am back building another car too.
    By the way, when you remove the magnets from the flywheel, you have to replace them with something. Several of the t suppliers sell their version of slingers to bolt in. You'll need them too, it's what oils your engine.
     
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  19. No Clue...
    Joined: Mar 1, 2010
    Posts: 106

    No Clue...
    Member
    from Lusk, WY

    I always like the OHV conversion useing the late 20s Chev head and pushrods. ;)
     
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  20. BSARoadRocket
    Joined: Jan 24, 2008
    Posts: 10

    BSARoadRocket
    Member

    Don't don't don't chop it...too nice of a car and you will regret it. If you really want to be different all you have to do is drive a stock merc with door handles to a car show ad the same goes for building a tall T and keeping the body stock. I get sick of seeing tall Ts that are so radically chopped and channeled that the driver just about has to lay down on their back to drive it. Too many guys are butchering good old Fords these days for the sake of their ego trip. If you still gotta chop it...I understand, I'm not immune from the desire to chop a car. Just do your self a favor and do all of the work required to make it roadworthy, drive it, enjoy it and if you still want to chop it you can still do it. In the end it's more fun to drive a car you can see out of. I just see to many ambitious projects where the car gets chopped, often poorly and the owner runs out of steam and nothing else gets done and it ends up for sale after he ruined the top...remember everybody wants to chop a top a different way. I have a 26 tudor back burner project and the plan is a completely stock body, no fenders or hood and a '32 frame with moon discs and white walls. I wish my '26 was half as nice as yours..envy!!! The tall goofy aspect of a T is what makes it a cool car.
     
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  21. Huh? Don't you have a chopped merc?

    I vote to go for it. Chop that tall T. It's always better to start with a good body than a rotted out hulk like I'm using now.The nicer the better, makes the job much easier. Chop away.

    Here's Joe Mac's old T built deep in the last century. My buddy owns it now, he was a friend of Joes for 50 years or so. Nice mild, conservative chop.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2011
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  22. novatattoo
    Joined: Oct 6, 2005
    Posts: 2,018

    novatattoo
    Member
    from Canton,OH

    Atta boy Jimmy! and Bruce! I'll be watching.

    Later, Bill
    aka Willy :D
     
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  23. Tall Tom
    Joined: Aug 19, 2005
    Posts: 380

    Tall Tom
    Member
    from Austin MN

    Nice looking car and a great price.
    The Thrust Washer in the rearend needs to be replace; if it breaks you will have no breaks.
    Some of the guys in my club fit their cars with hydralic brakes.
     
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  24. Shawn F.
    Joined: Mar 14, 2005
    Posts: 590

    Shawn F.
    Member

    Awesome find! I wish I could find something in that price range and that good of shape around here for sale. I will definitely be keeping up with this thread and your progress. Seems like this will turn out to be a rad build. Have you decided if you will chop or not?
     
  25. Crazybillybob
    Joined: Nov 8, 2010
    Posts: 307

    Crazybillybob
    Member
    from Ohio

    With the Axle, and the Engine/Transmission pulled Tin Lizzy is looking like it was a rough Saturday night with too many Trees in the way.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    But that should be fixed up this weekend. As we'll be slipping the Axle back into place with the lowered spring.

    I know everyone has an opinion on the styling of the Car so we put up a Poll for you all to help us decide on what to do to the '26 Model T!
    http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=576350
    Hop over and let us know what you think.... Who knows we may even listen :D
     
  26. xrw urabus
    Joined: May 26, 2010
    Posts: 49

    xrw urabus
    Member
    from ohio

    We were able to do a little more work on Lizzy this weekend. We flipped the spring perches and installed the shackels with extensions that Bruce made for us.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Below is a picture of the car after we mocked up the front end without the wishbone. Hopefully you can see the rake on it (look at the radiator in relation to the cowl and roof).
    [​IMG]

    Our next work on the front end will be to check/replace bearings and bushings. We have a set of wire wheels from a Model A that need cleaned up before we use them. Bruce was nice enough to buy a blast cabinet for this task, so we should be starting on this soon. One of Bruce's friends is making us a set of adaptors from Model T wood wheels to the Model A wires. Then we will be able to paint and get some tires. I am working on a plan to incorporate a shock that will help strengthen the spring perch/extended shackle and mount to the frame next to the corner of the radiator. All of that will keep us busy for a while.
    [​IMG]

    The motor is still at the machine shop and it will be at least 2-3 more weeks :(.

    While cruzing ebay I purchased a box of 14 hubcaps and various radaitor cap parts. Look what I got in that box for $45 with shipping!
    [​IMG]

    Very little cleaning and it is COOL! Now I need to know if we can make it work.

    That is all for now,
    Jim
     
  27. That radiator cap is very cool.

    You need to find someone with a spinner for the moto meter to reconsolidate the fluid in it. Someone in our T club made one so maybe a club near you would have the same.
    Hell who knows, stick the thermostat it in some boiling water and maybe the thing will work as is.
     
  28. SOHC427
    Joined: Apr 5, 2009
    Posts: 867

    SOHC427
    Member

    Great project you have going. I am with the guys on not chopping the Coupe. The tall roof gives a lot of style. IMO,
    Eric
     
  29. xrw urabus
    Joined: May 26, 2010
    Posts: 49

    xrw urabus
    Member
    from ohio

    ^^flyin-T
    ----- Do you mean to spin the thing so fast that everything settles back into the lower bulb? Centrifuge type thing?

    ^SOHC427
    ----- Just to let everyone know we have decided NO CHOPPING will be done.
     
  30. Awesome, Cant wait to watch this one come together!
     

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