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Projects 30/31 AV8 Grill Height?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by AeroCraftsman, Dec 17, 2012.

  1. AeroCraftsman
    Joined: Jul 29, 2004
    Posts: 326

    AeroCraftsman
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    So here's the question. Keep the stock '32 radiator/grill shell height, or lower it a little bit?
    It was my understanding that 30/31 model A's had the same height cowl as '32's, unlike 28/29's that were a couple of inches shorter.
    Anyway, I mocked up a hood out of some cardboard and the line looks good to me, but I'm getting some push-back from guy's who's opinions' I respect. (Bird)
    Looking for other input or images.
    Sorry for the lousy phone pic.
     

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  2. Malpass
    Joined: Sep 18, 2005
    Posts: 492

    Malpass
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    Even with the cowl with a '32 grille


    Posted from the TJJ App for iPhone & iPad
     
  3. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,911

    need louvers ?
    Member

    Ya just flat gotta! The deuce frame has just a touch of "kick" in the front that the Model "A" frame doesn't. That means that while the firewall heights are similar between the two, the radiator mounts on a deuce frame are actually abount an inch and a half higher in relation to the fire wall that the original frame's. Make any sense? Trust me, if you don't, it'll be a mistake visable from outer space!
     
  4. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,911

    need louvers ?
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    I didn't even look at the picture very closely before writing the above, 'cause it's just what you have to do to make these cars look right. Just looking at where you are right now, yep, I'm right! Just an inch or so...
     
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  5. The last 30 model A on Deuce rails I remember asking the guy did he shorten the radiator,,he said no and the look was good,,looked right.

    BTW,,He had a '32 commercial grill shell also. HRP
     
  6. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 27,185

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    I'd think you would want the line of the bottom of the hood to be parallel with the straight line on the bottom of the style line. From my viepoint it appears to run up hill slightly.
     
  7. AeroCraftsman
    Joined: Jul 29, 2004
    Posts: 326

    AeroCraftsman
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    Part of my struggle is not wanting to screw with a brand new and expensive radiator. It looks like I might be able to lower the whole thing by about an inch if I modifed the front crossmember to drop the radiator into the area formerly used for the crank.
    If I did that, I wouldn't have to modify the radiator or the shell. Anyone else every tried that approach. Seems like a lot of work for just and inch.....
     
  8. Beau
    Joined: Jul 2, 2009
    Posts: 1,883

    Beau
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    Mine is loosely together, but I used the belt line as a guide. My tub is a tad low in the back right now.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 27,185

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    I don't think it needs near that much and it may not need anything as the change in angles of the lines between the hood bottom and the line on the style line might be an optical illusion because of the camera angle.

    There Beau showed what was on my mind. This is one of the things I've been thinking about for my 31Vic even though I am planning on running fenders and the stock frame.

    I like it and it has that look to it that is going to make guys wonder if it was built in the early 50's and restored or is a new build.
     
  10. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,911

    need louvers ?
    Member

    Ya, but that inch means everything in a profile view. I even took an inch out of the grill shell on my '29's stock grill shell for the roadster pickup highboy and it's on an "A" frame. It really cleans up the lines on a fenderless early Ford, but becomes in my opinion critical on any Model "A" on '32 rails. I walk about LARS every year and I see cars that are dead on perfect in everyway EXCEPT that they missed the hood/cowl/grill deal by an inch. It sticks out like sore thumb from across the show. Granted it's more prevelant on '29 on '32 rails, but just as critical on '30-'31s if not more so, 'cause you just don't see as many. If "Bird" is Lynn Bird, better listen!
     
  11. AeroCraftsman
    Joined: Jul 29, 2004
    Posts: 326

    AeroCraftsman
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    Beau, is your grill at stock '32 height?

    Mr48chev, I ran some tape along the style line to the grill and it's pretty close. I agree that the lower edge of the hood needs to be parallel to the style line, but the grill height is more about the hood slope I think.
     
  12. HotRodMicky
    Joined: Oct 14, 2001
    Posts: 1,763

    HotRodMicky
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    You need the radiator to be 1inch shorter than stock with 30/31 on deuce rails
     
  13. Beau
    Joined: Jul 2, 2009
    Posts: 1,883

    Beau
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    Technically, yes. But I have a frame sweep, and a Model A frame, not '32.

    I miss read the post. Sounds like the others are saying the '32 rails kick up 1" higher that the Model A. So you have to take an 1" out of the bottom of the radiator shell. The hood looks like it's pointing uphill. A couple degrees in angle makes all the difference. I have seen people cut into the front cross member to lower the radiator too.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2012
  14. Dago 88
    Joined: Mar 4, 2006
    Posts: 1,879

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    Yes, I had the same problem. I had a $900 radiator built, it was quite simple to lower it 1" into the front cross member. I would have been happier with another inch though.
    Cheers Charlie.
     

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  15. dsiddons
    Joined: Mar 6, 2006
    Posts: 1,414

    dsiddons
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    from Indiana

    Are you gonna run a full hood?


    Posted from the TJJ App for iPhone & iPad
     
  16. 2Hep
    Joined: Mar 3, 2005
    Posts: 511

    2Hep
    Member

    I had ordered a new radiator for my AV8, mounted it, and everything looked like it was going uphill in the front. Then I sold it for less then what I paid for it, and reordered another one, that was an 1" shorter. Looks like it came from the factory now.
     
  17. rodtek
    Joined: Mar 19, 2008
    Posts: 26

    rodtek
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    from austin Tx

    I did a 2 inch, Walker has them in stock (32 with a 2"chop )
     

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  18. SUHRsc
    Joined: Sep 27, 2005
    Posts: 5,078

    SUHRsc
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    this is all just my opinion,

    the bottom edge of the hood should be a compromize between the flat of the frame and the sweep at the front...
    so it actually runs up hill...but looks right
    if you make it the same as the frame it will look like it runs downhill too much... so you go between the 2 angles...

    for the hood top... put a thin vertical stick on the back of the radiator without the grill shell on... roll the car outside where you can get a good clear straight side view of it... and run a piece of tape from the cowl to the stick.... mark off 1/4" incraments... and move it up and down till you thin the line looks right....

    also do this for the lower edge to get it perfect...

    I realize this is a 28 roadster... but.... its the same concept with any body...

    you can see in the photo the line for the top of the door and the swoop of the frame
    see how the lower edge of the hood runs upward from the door top... but downward compared to the frame sweep....
    the top is a lot easier on a 28/9 because the cowl is smooth at the front so you can take a yard stick and hold it tight on the cowl and just see where it goes...
    [​IMG]
    good luck!!
    Zach
     
  19. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,911

    need louvers ?
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    Zach just hit on something super important above... ROLL THE CAR OUTSIDE! It sounds so simple, but most guys don't do it over the build of their cars. Roll it out to where you can step back a good 20 or 30 feet and grab a chair and just spend some time looking at it for a bit. Drink a beer, or even better a gin and tonic as you do so you stay in the chair and concentrate. You'd be amazed at what you can see as far as stance and proportion when you do.

    Sorry to be so passionate about this, but you're so close to having something amazing I'd hate to see you blow it with one common mistake.
     
    ratamahata likes this.
  20. pasadenahotrod
    Joined: Feb 13, 2007
    Posts: 11,776

    pasadenahotrod
    Member
    from Texas

    Any eyeballing of "stance" or "proportion" at any distance less than 20-40 feet is not going to be accurate in determining the visual you want to achieve. As the Louver man above states, this is not something to be done in haste. It may require a lawn chair and a sixpack or a six-course meal before you can truly absorb what you have done and if it does or does not accomplaish your goals.
    Some car builders take advantage of visual "tricks" to make a tall car shorter or a long car shorter. Look around... you'll see what I mean.
    Photos just don't do it for this purpose unless they're taken on tripods at 20-50 feet at eye level etc.
    Don't forget the car has a front rear and quarter views to check as well.
     
  21. MATACONCEPTS
    Joined: Aug 7, 2009
    Posts: 2,069

    MATACONCEPTS
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    I used a stock 28/29 rad with a 32 grille. The front of the cowl did dip about 3/4 of an inch on the body.
     
  22. MATACONCEPTS
    Joined: Aug 7, 2009
    Posts: 2,069

    MATACONCEPTS
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    pix
     

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  23. MATACONCEPTS
    Joined: Aug 7, 2009
    Posts: 2,069

    MATACONCEPTS
    BANNED

    You know some stock Model A crossmembers have a noticable dip at the radiator mounts. About a 1/4 inch & it noticable with the hood on.

    This replacement frame on my coupe didn't dip on the crossmemeber, so I cut and flipped about a 3"x3" Sq. rad mount on each side to lower the radiator.
     
  24. AeroCraftsman
    Joined: Jul 29, 2004
    Posts: 326

    AeroCraftsman
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    Really appreciate the feedback so far.
    I got down and measured the available space under the radiator. All I can gain there is about 1/2". That would put the bottom of the radiator in contact with the top of the U-bolts.
    Looks like the best bet may be to get the radiator shortened. Once I get it out of there, I'll play with the grill shell height to determine exactly how much to remove. My engine bay is about 1 1/2" longer than stock, so I might have to go a little lower than an inch to get the line right.
     
  25. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,911

    need louvers ?
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    Absolutely. That is part of the reason I dropped my grill shell on my truck, because I stretched the hood 1 3/4" and suddenly stuff just went pear shaped on me. It's a super fine balance, but it's easy to see when it's "right". Even easier to see when it's wrong...
     
  26. AeroCraftsman
    Joined: Jul 29, 2004
    Posts: 326

    AeroCraftsman
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    So whata you think? I got the lower edge of my mock-up hood lined up with the body line which helps a bunch.
     

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  27. Beau
    Joined: Jul 2, 2009
    Posts: 1,883

    Beau
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    That looks much better!
     
  28. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,911

    need louvers ?
    Member

    MUCH, MUCH, better! I don't know if you can do it, and it's kinda splittin' hairs, but if you can find another 3/8" to 1/2" down the whole world will achieve harmonic convergance and even the aliens from outer most space will praise your name forever... If ya can't, don't sweat it, it looks great now!
     
  29. Jim Bouchard
    Joined: Mar 2, 2011
    Posts: 590

    Jim Bouchard
    Member

    LISTEN TO FRANK BIRD! He is the MAN on this eye ball thing!

    need louvers knows what hes talking about too!
     
  30. AeroCraftsman
    Joined: Jul 29, 2004
    Posts: 326

    AeroCraftsman
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    Spent a little more time on this thing. I had the shell as low as it would go with the radiator installed, so I removed the radiator to get the bottom edge of the shell right on the crossmember.
    I also spend a little more time talking to Frank who was finally able to articulate what my eyeball was supposed to be looking for.
    The lower edge of the hood is fine. It follows the body line. The problem was that the top of the hood line was not parallel to lower line. I put some straight edges along the top of the hood and it was just over 1/2" out of whack.
    Anyway, with the radiator out of the way, the shell dropped down just enough to get the top of the hood sloping slightly more that the lower edge.
    That little bit of difference makes all the difference in the world. I'm still shocked at how dramatic the difference is. The car went from looking nosy, to looking graceful.
    I'll play around with lowering it a little more to see if it improves it more.
     

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