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History 32 grills on 28/29 roadsters

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by jalopydownunder, Feb 22, 2015.

  1. jalopydownunder
    Joined: Jan 15, 2011
    Posts: 2

    jalopydownunder
    Member
    from Australia

    Looking through the Forum threads on this, just wondering if anyone has any good tips/ pics of a mod like this?
     

    Attached Files:

  2. I have not done this but there are quite a few that have . I ordered the "How to build a traditional Ford hot rod"
    Written by Mike Bishop and Vern Tardel . I believe its covered in there.
     
  3. At the top of the screen there is a magnifying glass click on it and type in 32 grill in model a. then search. it will take you quite a while to read it all.
     
  4. Maybe it's me but I prefer the original grill shell on the 28/29 Fords when they are still attached to the frame they were born with,especially when going for the early stripped down hot rod look.

    Now add a '32 frame and that's when the Deuce shell looks best. HRP
     
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  5. onekoolkat1950
    Joined: Mar 23, 2008
    Posts: 1,864

    onekoolkat1950
    Member

    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1424620579.962875.jpg i did it on mine. Made the hood because the a hood lines were poor with the 32 shell.
     
  6. rusty rocket
    Joined: Oct 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,480

    rusty rocket
    Member

    I like deuce shells on 30-31 but like the original on 28-29. Just my two cents.
     
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  7. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 12,194

    DDDenny
    Member
    from oregon

    NOW YOU'RE TALK'N!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  8. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 12,194

    DDDenny
    Member
    from oregon

    SEE ABOVE
     
  9. Since nobody has answered your question directly, I'll make an attempt - but more information is needed to ensure accuracy. Specifics on frame/cross member type (or build date) would be extremely helpful.

    For the sake of brevity, I'll assume you are using a stock frame with a stock cross member. The top tank of a stock '32 radiator stands approx 26 1/2" above the top of the A frame rail (measured on my May 1930 chassis with '32 Model B radiator). The top tank of a 28-9 radiator stands approx 24 1/4" above the top of the frame rail (again measured on my 1930 frame with a stock 28-9 radiator). Radiator widths are different as well, with the 28-9 being wider than the 30-31 and 32.

    Depending on what cross member you have (radiator mounting pads are 5/32" higher on March 1929 and newer cross members), you'll have to shorten the 32 radiator/grille shell to match the height of the 28-29 radiator/shell by at least 2 1/4"; give or take a half inch. You may also need to elongate the radiator mounting holes on the cross member to fit the narrower '32 radiator.

    Your best bet would be to figure out at what height the grille looks best, then have a 32 radiator re-cored to match.

    In other words, stock 28-9 radiator is too wide for the 32 grille. A 32 radiator/grille is too tall for the A body. Best bet would be to shorten a '32 radiator and either cut the sides of the grille shell to sink down over the cross member or section the '32 shell to fit.

    Hope that helps.
     
  10. onekoolkat1950
    Joined: Mar 23, 2008
    Posts: 1,864

    onekoolkat1950
    Member

    My car above had an aftermarket 28 rad with the stock height 32 shell. I did however cut 2" of the sides of the shell to lower it on the stock model A crossmember .
     
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  11. clem
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,427

    clem
    Member

  12. clem
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,427

    clem
    Member

    Look at pete eastwood thread currently running on here.
     
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  14. clem
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,427

    clem
    Member

    I know, but it's too cool not to share!
     
  15. Bib Overalls
    Joined: Aug 3, 2001
    Posts: 4,064

    Bib Overalls
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Walker makes a 32 radiator that is chopped 2" for this application.

    You can use a chopped 32 grille shell and insert, which some people like, or a full height grille shell trimmed to fit lower.
     
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  16. The '32 grille on a Model A (or even T) is one of the most traditional swaps out there. From my research, the deuce grille started appearing on hot rods/soup jobs in the mid-1930's as evidenced in these 1935 shots;
    Slayton Muroc 1935.jpg
    slayton.jpg

    Granted, the car in question is a 30-31...from what I can tell, 28's and 29's received the deuce grille treatment as early as 1937-8

    Karl Orr's 'high tech' full-fendered '29 roadster circa 1937;
    Karl Orr 1937.jpg

    And George Sakai's '29 (left) shown here at Muroc - 1938;
    George Sakai.jpg
     
  17. That "Coast Garage" roadster almost looks like they fit the Deuce shell *over* the stock radiator shell...look at the factory hole where the headlight conduit goes through.....surely there isn't room under there though, not with as nice a fit as they got...
     
  18. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,912

    need louvers ?
    Member

    G White hit all pretty much above, but one thing. When you do this, get the car outside where you can step back 40' or so! That and a roll of cheap masking tape....

    See, people do this all the time. They order the Walker radiator, they order a Rootlieb hood, and they bang it all together... Done.

    Yup, but more often than not, done poorly. And, no other thing you will do can more negatively effect the overall appearance of your car than mounting the grill shell and radiator.

    Take you grill shell. Cut 2" off of each side to drop it. Roll the car out side, set the radiator shell where your cuts are, grab your tape and plot out a "hood" of it, then step back and look.... Is your tape hood running uphill? Cut another half inch off the grill shell, and repeat. Is the "hood" running flat out from the cowl? Take a bit more off, step back, look for a bit, think about and maybe trim some more. When the hood's downward slope matches the cowl's, STOP! Measure everything, and have your radiator re-cored to EXACTLY the dimensions you recorded when stuff fit.

    Honestly, the ONLY way this works is if you can step back that 30-50 feet and look... Lots of looking, and thinking. Sound tedious, and it is, but it is the only way it'll be perfect!
     
  19. missysdad1
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,732

    missysdad1
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Chip's (need louvers ?) plan is especially relevant when a '28 - '29 body has been mounted on '32 rails in the current fashion of slightly channeling the cowl to get the body to fit over the slight kickup of the '32 rails in the front.

    This technique makes it necessary to cut even more out of the shell than if the body was mounted on '32 rails using the "shim" method that was popular up until recently.

    You can measure and plan, but the only way to really get it "perfect" is with tape and yer eyeballs at a distance. As Chip says, it sounds tedious but it's the only way to get it truly right.
     
  20. I agree completely, Chip! I took a slightly different approach to get a 'ballpark'; jacked up the body and used spray painted butcher paper to simulate a hood top. This will get me close enough to make the initial cut; but standing back, studying, and examining from all angles will get it fine-tuned to perfection (or so I hope).

    mockup12.jpg
    13134202483_2fca22d085_c.jpg
     
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  21. woodhawg
    Joined: Apr 11, 2009
    Posts: 1,010

    woodhawg
    Member
    1. S.F.C.C.

    motor.jpg
    I am building a 28 with a 32 Grille. Mine has a SBF that is longer than SBC so we moved the radiator ahead of the crossmember and made new mounting tabs to hold the radiator. Cut out about 2" of shell mounting positions to let the hood follow a smooth downward slope to front of car. Not exactly what you are doing but sometimes we need to think out of the box. My radiator is a new one that is shorter than stock 28. Frame horn.jpg
     
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  22. Gary Addcox
    Joined: Aug 28, 2009
    Posts: 2,186

    Gary Addcox
    Member

    Totally in agreement with you, HRP.
     
  23. missysdad1
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,732

    missysdad1
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    There is a downside to doing this, which I'm sure you've already considered. Even if the "slope" is right, the proportions of the car will be out of whack by the amount you've moved the radiator forward. This may not be real obvious...until you put a hood on it.

    Just ask me how I know. The person who originally built my coupster stretched the frame by an inch or so ahead of the firewall to give the motor some extra room. Didn't show at all until a hood was added. Then you couldn't not see it.

    I haven't figured out how to deal with it yet. I've taken the hood and fenders back off, but it still bugs the snot outa' me. I'll probably end up shortening the frame back to stock at some point in the future...
     
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  24. hotrodmano
    Joined: May 3, 2011
    Posts: 324

    hotrodmano
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Norway

    Heres my 29 Tudor with 32 grille. I have no idea how it looks with a hood though.
    [​IMG]
     
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  25. woodhawg
    Joined: Apr 11, 2009
    Posts: 1,010

    woodhawg
    Member
    1. S.F.C.C.

    We are making just a top hood from scratch to fill hole. Have seen this done and unless you look close it should not be noticeable. I have no fenders or hood sides.
     
  26. Jason147
    Joined: Nov 5, 2014
    Posts: 138

    Jason147

    1929 with 32 grill on 32 pinched rails

    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1426007502.392458.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1426007534.928664.jpg
     
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  27. model a walker rad, home made hood, modified 32 shell at the bottom.
     

    Attached Files:

    bct likes this.
  28. Don't "shorten" the grille shell as suggested above, and don't go movin' the crossmember around or moving the radiator forward. As Missy's Dad states, once you start messing with Henry's proportions 28/29's get funny looking fast. I mounted my body onshims, so I dropped my grille shell two inches. Don't just notch the sides, use a hole saw to make a smooth corner, do it cleanly, then just drop the shell down till the height is right with your cowl. THEN go get your radiator.

    1928 RPU_4.jpg

    I also moved my front spreader forward in the frame horns.
     
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  29. Deuce Daddy Don
    Joined: Apr 27, 2008
    Posts: 4,845

    Deuce Daddy Don
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    We did my sons '29 this way. 2008_1214Father Son roadsters.JPG
     
  30. fiftyv8
    Joined: Mar 11, 2007
    Posts: 4,747

    fiftyv8
    Member
    from CO & WA

    Is there an exact measurement that can confirm the correct radiator height from top of frame to top of radiator tank?
    It seems there are many radiators offered for this purpose but are only 22 1/2" high, from my general estimate this height would be way too low and while that means the radiator would fit into the grille shell it may look wrong, but worst problem I see is that the support rods would not be level and kind of dive down.
    My best guess is that installing a 32 grill shell onto a hiboy/fendered model A frame requires a 32 radiator that is chopped to approx. 25" in height from top of frame to top of tank.
    In saying this I am referring to a grille shell that is smooth and does not use the original filler stuff for real or for looks.
    So far I have not found a 32 radiator advertised that satisfies me that it will fit, as dimensions are too short in height or not offered and hence to purchase a brass/copper radiator is not a cheap exercise and one wonders if the risk of getting such a costly item home and finding it will not serve the purpose is worth it...

    Maybe, somebody can correct me if I am wrong but in my case, I want to use a smooth 32 grille shell on a 29 model A, my assumptions are that I need;
    • a stock height 32 grille shell that will need to be cut down.
    • a chopped 32 radiator rather than using a model radiator for best fit to shell.
    • chopped 32 radiator height is approx 25" from top of frame to top of top tank.
    • swap will not work using a model A radiator.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2016

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