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Projects '31 Model A Coupe Build: "Spooky"

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by brianf31, Aug 15, 2017.

  1. Found your thread yesterday. Just finished reading it from the beginning. Great story - pretty cool that the car has so much personal history. I'm subscribed for the ride.
     
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  2. brianf31
    Joined: Aug 11, 2003
    Posts: 519

    brianf31
    Member

    Every Model A builder needs a rusty cowl for mock-up work.

    Rusty Cowl Mock Up.jpg
    Slow progress lately. I ordered an F1 pedal assembly and a different Hurst shifter handle from a HAMBer. After I get the pedals and clutch linkage worked out, I have a bit more suspension tuning to do. then it's on to fuel and brake lines before I strip the frame for hard welding.
     
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  3. sloppy jalopies
    Joined: Jun 29, 2015
    Posts: 3,264

    sloppy jalopies
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    gee, I been using the rusty cowls... how wuz I ta know ?
     
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  4. brianf31
    Joined: Aug 11, 2003
    Posts: 519

    brianf31
    Member

    I bought a different shifter handle from HAMBer a4278V. I'll have to do a little fab work for the lower portion but I think this should work to replace the welded Mustang piece.
    diff shifter handle.jpg
     
  5. brianf31
    Joined: Aug 11, 2003
    Posts: 519

    brianf31
    Member

    I put the body back on for the first time since assembling the new frame and suspension. I think this stance will work OK. Now on to pedals and steering column.
    side.jpg
    front.jpg
     
  6. brianf31
    Joined: Aug 11, 2003
    Posts: 519

    brianf31
    Member

    I'm nearly finished hard welding the frame. Since my rails are butt welded sections of 2X4, I added doubler plates at the joints. That ought to hold up to a little torque.
    [​IMG]

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
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  7. brianf31
    Joined: Aug 11, 2003
    Posts: 519

    brianf31
    Member

    Deer season got in the way so it's been slow going. I managed to run brake and fuel lines with Nicopp.
    20171202_091643.jpg

    I loaded the 9" center section with a Detroit Truetrac and 3.89:1 gears. Engine rpm at cruise speed will be:

    Engine RPM = (336 X Cruise Speed X Final Trans Ratio X Rear End Ratio)/Tire Diameter
    (336 X 60 mph X 1.00 X 3.89)/28" = 2800 rpm
    Bad for fuel economy , good for acceleration!
    20171203_185044.jpg

    gear pattern.jpg
     
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  8. brianf31
    Joined: Aug 11, 2003
    Posts: 519

    brianf31
    Member

    The '68 Mustang Toploader rebuild is under way. I have nearly two weeks off for Christmas so I hope to get a lot accomplished. 20171208_175104.jpg


    20171216_203023.jpg
     
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  9. brianf31
    Joined: Aug 11, 2003
    Posts: 519

    brianf31
    Member

    It was nice to take a break from fab work by doing mechanical work. I finished assembling the toploader and 9". Then it was on to assembling the block for deck height measurement. Before I take the block back to the machine shop, I think I'll keep it around so I can start building headers. 20171221_175858.jpg

    20171221_175921.jpg


    20171222_191857.jpg

    20171223_160427.jpg
     
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  10. JUNK ROD
    Joined: Jan 26, 2012
    Posts: 365

    JUNK ROD
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Cool story and a nice build! Your kids are lucky to learn with their father!


    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
     
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  11. brianf31
    Joined: Aug 11, 2003
    Posts: 519

    brianf31
    Member

    I had an old pair of headers in the rafter, so I relieved them of their flanges. The primary stubs all swept the wrong way, of course, so I cut and grinded them out. I could have bought a new set of bare flanges for $60, but that would have been way too practical.
    The header flange opening is oval so I needed to make a hardwood swedge to form the transition. I used a piece of an old busted maul handle to make the swedge.
    Hardwood Swedge.jpg

    I cut 2" long stubs and pinched them in a vice to get the shape started. I greased up the swedge, tap-started the stubs and pressed them onto the wood. A few taps on the bench with a big socket knocked the swedge out.
    Press.jpg

    formed.jpg

    The fit was pretty close. I had to re-pinch the sides before tack-welding into the flange. The upper and lower edges had to be persuaded a bit with a BFH and a 1 1/2" pipe laid in at an angle.

    stub in flange.jpg

    After tacking in the stubs, I mocked up the first tube (since it is lowest and closest to steering parts) on the chassis. Then it was off to the welding table where I wasted tubing and time to figure out the angles.
    first tube.jpg

    bench tack.jpg
    All tacked up and ready for welding. Now to order some more J-bends.

    installed front qtr.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

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  12. Header looks good!
     
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  13. Great build.

    Tell us more about the headers:
    What diameter are the primaries? Collector?
    Will you finish weld them with mig or tig?
    Will you weld a little cone in the collector between the primaries?

    Thanks!:)
     
  14. brianf31
    Joined: Aug 11, 2003
    Posts: 519

    brianf31
    Member

    Headers are 1 3/4 primaries and I think collectors are 3". I usually weld a sheet metal diamond where the ends of the tubes all come together.
    I plan to run a block-off plate on the ends of the header. I'll weld in an angled 2.5" reducer to run to mufflers under the car.
    Sadly, I don't have a TIG so I will MIG weld. The trick there is to turn down the heat on the back side of a bend; the weld blows out the thin metal. Then it's on to the tedious task of grinding.
     
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  15. sloppy jalopies
    Joined: Jun 29, 2015
    Posts: 3,264

    sloppy jalopies
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

  16. brianf31
    Joined: Aug 11, 2003
    Posts: 519

    brianf31
    Member

    Headers are mostly finished. That was a lot of work. With my luck, the welds will crack right after stat-up. top view.jpg
     
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  17. brianf31
    Joined: Aug 11, 2003
    Posts: 519

    brianf31
    Member

    I had to bend the '48 F1 pedals to clear the steering column. Steering column is tilt aftermarket for now but I'll eventually replace with something more period correct.. I had to shorten it considerably to work with the Mustang steering.
    The modified Hurst shifter barely clears the Dodge Caravan seat, but it clears.
    mock up.jpg

    It's going to be a tight fit. Good thing I'm under 6'. My kid ain't so lucky.
    I was propping the steering wheel here; I'll have sufficient leg clearance once it's properly installed and tilted.
    seated.jpg
     
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  18. Kenny P
    Joined: Dec 31, 2008
    Posts: 448

    Kenny P
    Member

    Cool story! Neat car!
    Looking forward to seeing the video of the boys face when he first fires it up!
     
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  19. Gammz
    Joined: May 10, 2015
    Posts: 741

    Gammz
    Member
    from Lincoln Ne

    Subscribed!!!! My son and I built a 64 Ranchero. I’m obsessed with getting an A and getting something going. Great job so far. Keep plugging away.


    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
     
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  20. Nice work! Looks a bit tight in the seat.....welcome to Model A's!
     
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  21. Awsome Stance!!!!
     
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  22. brianf31
    Joined: Aug 11, 2003
    Posts: 519

    brianf31
    Member

    Cut out.jpg

    Slow progress lately, mostly because I hate body work. The bottom 4" of the body were rusted away and replaced with Maytag sheet metal in the past.
    After cutting all of that out, I traced the A and B pillar curvature onto cardboard. I extended the curve for the missing portion to something that look right. I taped the cardboard patterns to the door and used them to develop door bottom structure from manila folders.
    Patterns.jpg

    After transferring the shape to sheet metal, I cut with the Beverly shear, formed the bends with a ball peen hammer and vise and rolled the flange side in an Eastwood shrinker/stretcher. After MIG welding, it cleaned up OK.
    Flat.jpg

    Welded.jpg

    the lower door skins were flat as pancakes. I rolled them to shape over a small propane bottle before sliding them on. The Eastwood clamps did a good job of aligning, but the Howell's inner door bottom shape was off. That created a bit of a dip when I pinched the patch panel edges. It will need a little filler.
    patched door.jpg
     
  23. brianf31
    Joined: Aug 11, 2003
    Posts: 519

    brianf31
    Member

    Slow going here lately. Work and what not is getting in the way.

    A major challenge I have is mounting the channeled body. I had no subrail assembly to use as a guide when I built the frame, so the frame came out a bit wide.

    I solved the channel job in an unorthodox manner. I added body mounting tabs to the lower edge of the frame rail, right under the A and B pillars. I'll have mounts near the firewall, as well.

    I fabbed 16 gauge L sections 2.5" X 3.5". The short leg sits on the rail and the long leg is welded to the A and B pillars. I bought a pair of original subrails from a HAMBer and cut them down for use as door sills. I suppose it looks better than bent sheet metal or angle iron!

    20180415_203949.jpg I
     
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  24. looks good...keep at it:)
     
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  25. Headers came out nice!
     
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  26. bubba55
    Joined: Feb 27, 2011
    Posts: 303

    bubba55
    Member

    One nice heirloom there sir and a wonderful story to boot - excellent fab skills 2! - you people amaze me with yer skills - NICE
     
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  27. brianf31
    Joined: Aug 11, 2003
    Posts: 519

    brianf31
    Member

    Nearing completion on patch panels. I'll tackle the firewall next. I had an old rusty, cut-up '31 cowl behind the house. I'll have to sandblast the firewall, weld it back up and then cut it for engine recess. patch panels.jpg
    IMG_152444265610F.jpg
     
  28. brianf31
    Joined: Aug 11, 2003
    Posts: 519

    brianf31
    Member

    The bottom end of the firewall was partly rusted and partly torched out some time ago.. I used a 1" pipe to bend some 16 gauge and then pie-cut it to form the radiused lowered corners.
    The ol' Harbor Freight bead roller was used to jog a flange. After tack welding the center of the firewall back in, I made a template and then cut out the firewall for recess.
    It's getting there. lower edge fab.jpg

    template.jpg

    cut firewall.jpg
     
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  29. Progress, a little bit at a time! I try to do something each day however insignificant just to keep at it. You are doing a great job. Good save on that firewall:)
     
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  30. brianf31
    Joined: Aug 11, 2003
    Posts: 519

    brianf31
    Member

    20180427_160120.jpg

    I picked up a new TIG after I got mostly done with patch panels! Maybe I'll know how to use it by the time I finish this thing.
     
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