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Projects 31 AA as a real truck?

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Langan, Jul 18, 2017.

  1. Langan
    Joined: Oct 22, 2004
    Posts: 436

    Langan
    Member

    I think we all do this once. I fell into a 29 bodied 31 AA its preety nice. So driving it at almost 40mph and planning way ahead for stopping is not much fun.
    They say one and a half ton I want to make it more usable. I have everything to do a engine swap. So if I do a one ton dually rear and find a way to go big disks on front to run truck rims keep the stoke big axle can frame handle it?
    I will box frame.
    Also any leads on other builds like this?
     
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  2. chev34ute
    Joined: Nov 13, 2011
    Posts: 134

    chev34ute
    Member
    from batlow

    This sounds like it will be a very interesting thread. I have a soft spot for the AA and BB trucks. I am hoping to buy a 34 BB Ford with a 131 inch wheel base and do something similar to what you are describing. It will look stock on the outside but most likely run a Big Block Ford and F350 diff or the like ! I was racking my brains about how to adapt late model rotors to the original disc wheels until I saw this pickup at the Street Rod Nationals at Easter. Take note of the original Kelsey Hays rims P1010002.JPG
     

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    Last edited: Jul 19, 2017
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  3. chev34ute
    Joined: Nov 13, 2011
    Posts: 134

    chev34ute
    Member
    from batlow

    Here is an image of one of one of my three wheels compared with ones on the pickup. P1017589.JPG
     

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    Last edited: Jul 19, 2017
  4. chev34ute
    Joined: Nov 13, 2011
    Posts: 134

    chev34ute
    Member
    from batlow

    The pick version's center section of the hub hole looks to have been filled with one from a late model. This appear to have been grafted into the cavity. P1010002.JPG
     
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  5. chev34ute
    Joined: Nov 13, 2011
    Posts: 134

    chev34ute
    Member
    from batlow

    This is certainly an option if your local motor department will allow such a modification for street use.
     
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  6. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 13,157

    gimpyshotrods
    Member

    In the States? In California? It's unlikely to be noticed. In California, nobody checks.
     
  7. chev34ute
    Joined: Nov 13, 2011
    Posts: 134

    chev34ute
    Member
    from batlow

    You are lucky to live in a state where you can build what you please and drive it when ever you want. In my rotten state you are only permitted to drive your rod on club registration which means only during sanctioned events or for maintenance purposes. Its also illegal to run them without fenders, open wheeled rods must use motorcycle type guards. I also forgot to mention licence plates which must be attached at the front at all times.
     
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  8. Langan
    Joined: Oct 22, 2004
    Posts: 436

    Langan
    Member

    I here just getting someone to mount tires on split rims is hard.
    I think the newer Ford dullies are 18" wheels?

    What are your thoughts on if frame is strong enough? I see most people are just using 9" ford with adapters and it just looks like a truck. I want to use it as a thuck.
    Dont want to use a newer truck frame always looks funny to me
     
  9. sloppy jalopies
    Joined: Jun 29, 2015
    Posts: 1,070

    sloppy jalopies
    Member

    Maine is a [2] plate state, that is what the state police told me, he said I don't have to mount the STREET ROD plate on front, but I must have it in the car.....
    he says guys with similar cars in distant towns were using one S R plate each...
    so my front plate is in the trunk... don't forget to attach the year stickers...
     
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  10. My '29 AA project features the Rockwell 5.14 rear axle, duallie wheels, brakes, front spindles, etc. off of a '60 F-350 tow truck that I gutted back in the '70s. I fabricated lower arms to act as links with the cantilever rear springs as the upper arms, and used a Pete & Jakes 4-bar front with a mustang steering box up front. I've got a 351W block and an AOD to bring down the rpms at cruising speed. The wheels aren't widow makers, but regular rims with 17.5-by-8.00 radials. It has that "look" without the danger and still mounts modern-era tires. It has a dual master cylinder from a /70s era Chevy one-ton (hat tip to Hivolt 5.0 and his circle), and will have a home-fabricated express bed that will be 7' 3" long and 13" tall instead of the stake bed it came with. The F-350's massive drum brakes should be quite adequate, but you might look into Ford truck discs for the front if you are dead set on that upgrade.
     

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  11. I've mulled doing an AA hauler. I don't think boxing an AA frame is necessarily a MUST depending on what you're putting in it and using it for; they are deep and thick. I was going to convert to later spindles and run 16" steelies though, which would make the brakes a matter of a bolt on kit.

    For the rear, if I was wanting a dually, I'd find a later rear end that's already set up dually and make it work with the AA suspension.
     
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  12. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 38,561

    porknbeaner
    Member

    Don't know what you plan for an engine transmission combo but the AA frame is way stouter than a stock Model A frame. It is actually desirable for building a hot rod because of that. Unless you go nutz with it you should not need to box it.
     
  13. Barn Find
    Joined: Feb 2, 2013
    Posts: 2,257

    Barn Find
    Member
    from Missouri

    Dodge Power Wagon has the same lug pattern as AA truck. I'm not sure if that bit of trivia will help, but here's what else I know. This outfit sells disc brake conversions for Power Wagons: http://www.uglytruckling.com/pw_disc_brakes.html Dodge spindles are plentiful, you might be able to bolt Dodge spindles on your axle/backing plate and run the bid Dodge hub with these disc brakes.

    Vintage Power Wagons offers new 17" drop center wheels with 8" rims and 8.5" backspacing for $375 each. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxzO_Oy1EMLIT3RhVDdzajZVQTQ/view

    Your AA rear end is going to limit speed due to gearing. Maybe you could put Power Wagon spindles on a late model rear end and run something like described above. You can get 19.5" wheels for a common 8-lug truck, but I haven't seen any that looked like the old Budd wheels with big hand holes. The modern 16" Budd wheels are close to the look you want, but is that close enough?

    You could seek out some late model medium duty truck that has acceptable looking wheels and proper brakes and gears, etc. Note my Oshkosh parts truck has different 19.5" wheels front and back. These axles would be too wide for a Model A, I think.

    [​IMG]
     
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  14. This is so true. And about the frame, I also think you will be ok without boxing, the only thing I did see in this thread that may not work out as planed is the motor. Someone was talking about installing a big block motor and it looking stock on the outside, can you get a big block under the hood? width wise and length wise.
     
  15. My measurements indicated that big blocks hang out over the frame (which, you're right, doesn't need to be boxed, but its convenient to if you want flexibility in motor mounts). I even considered 351C, but you can't close a stock hood on those heads and headers. As for rear ends, lots of E-350, F-350 and Dodge 1-tons had Dana 60s with duallies, but they do have that wide hip look from the rear. Hanging a rear under that frame with the stock cantilever springs is easy. Just weld some ears on top of the axle.
     

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  16. Hombre
    Joined: Aug 22, 2008
    Posts: 279

    Hombre
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I am going to disagree with these folks who say you "May" not need to box the frame. I don't really see this as an option, but a must do thing. I mean if you think about it the frame under your AA truck is 88 year old steel, it has been subjected to use and abuse for a number of years before it was retired. I have found that trucks from that era were actually used as trucks and did there fair share of doing stuff. Add to that the 88 years of rain, snow, salt and some rust and no telling what else, yea it needs to be boxed. no matter what your plans are for this build, it is going to cost from a few thousand dollars to maybe a lot more than that. You sure want to start with a good foundation, if the frame is not up to the task well we don't want to think about what comes next.

    Boxing the frame is no big deal and actually one of the less expensive parts of any build. Good luck!!
     
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  17. Langan
    Joined: Oct 22, 2004
    Posts: 436

    Langan
    Member

    Yes I will box the frame I agree it the easy. Even though its a ton and a half never intended for 80+mph. The rear end is easy maybe Dodge? And maybe even use the idea of the stock springs just turn over bottom leaf and remove every other leaf. The front axle with split bones seams not up to task? People say its same as HD 32 axle?
     

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  18. Barn Find
    Joined: Feb 2, 2013
    Posts: 2,257

    Barn Find
    Member
    from Missouri

    I believe Model A frames were meant to be flexible. Maybe it's appropriate to change the design since you are changing the way you use it. For instance, you want to drive faster speeds on better roads than they had in the 30s. But making the side rails more rigid might create more stress at the crossmember joints. The front crossmember is already the weak point.
     
  19. Langan
    Joined: Oct 22, 2004
    Posts: 436

    Langan
    Member

    Good point about flex
     
  20. Weld those crossmembers to the frame, especially the front. As for that front axle, later 31 might be the same as a 32 heavy, but 28-30 will most likely be the same as a car/pickup axle, so measure, measure, measure. Hombre's note about not going cheap on investment in the frame rings true. It's the foundation for your project, so spend there first. A lot of us, me included, changed to four-bar front suspensions or beefy hairpins rather than wishing that an 80-year-old wishbone would be still up to the task.
     
  21. 60rftc
    Joined: Dec 28, 2005
    Posts: 51

    60rftc
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from LBC

    IMG_0964.JPG IMG_4265.JPG I just picked this up and can't wait to get started.
     
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  22. Langan
    Joined: Oct 22, 2004
    Posts: 436

    Langan
    Member

    Wow! That looks great.
     
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  23. Langan
    Joined: Oct 22, 2004
    Posts: 436

    Langan
    Member

    Do you guys think a 32 grill shell will destroy the look? I want to add AC to the plan
     

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  24. Barn Find
    Joined: Feb 2, 2013
    Posts: 2,257

    Barn Find
    Member
    from Missouri

    Those are both beautiful trucks. A '32 Shell is not needed. I to would take work to make it fit the '29 hood.
     
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  25. LAROKE
    Joined: Sep 5, 2007
    Posts: 1,007

    LAROKE
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    My favorite from the Model A Museum in South Florida

    [​IMG]
     
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  26. Langan
    Joined: Oct 22, 2004
    Posts: 436

    Langan
    Member

    Want to hide the condenser behind grill so thought 32 grill best for that? Dont want to go remote and fan.
    Still planning build. Need to finish this first
     

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  27. Langan
    Joined: Oct 22, 2004
    Posts: 436

    Langan
    Member

    Realy glad the truck followed me home but did not need another project. Crazy and happy
     

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  28. Anyone else out there have a solution to putting the A/C condenser in front of the radiator on Model As? That's a problem that's concerned me for a long time.
     
  29. raven
    Joined: Aug 19, 2002
    Posts: 3,715

    raven
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I used a piece of sheet metal that had holes in it for a grille insert with the radiator behind it. No one has ever indicated that it wasn't stock.
    r
     
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  30. Hombre
    Joined: Aug 22, 2008
    Posts: 279

    Hombre
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Langan, That is a cool, old AA that's for sure, be a shame not to build that one. You gotta love those old semaphores wonder if that was an option from the factory or maybe 1920's or 30's after market?

    There is really no problem with a 1932 grill shell on a Model A, been done a million times and always looks good to me. It would answer your problem with the condenser. I say go with that.
     

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