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Projects A Speedster Comes Out of the Weeds—Build Thread

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by ClarkH, Dec 25, 2015.

  1. Loose Ctrl
    Joined: Dec 21, 2014
    Posts: 43

    Loose Ctrl
    Member
    from Upstate,SC

    Those aprons would make good forward tapered running boards. :p
     
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  2. Clark: I was going to suggest you sand/swirl/burnish the vent doors but then I thought : ENGINE TURN!!!!! and spray some clear on them. It isn't hard to do. Tim
     
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  3. ClarkH
    Joined: Jul 21, 2010
    Posts: 733

    ClarkH
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Great suggestions on the hood panels, guys. Lots to think about. The panels are currently at the plater having the old chrome removed and getting a cadmium plate (corrosion barrier). After that, I'll take a close look at what I'm left with. If the pitting is bad, I'm thinking my best bet will be filler and/or build primer followed by paint. But if they come out relatively smooth, other options are possible.
     
  4. ClarkH
    Joined: Jul 21, 2010
    Posts: 733

    ClarkH
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Meanwhile, I’ve decided to go ahead and install the ’39 transmission I got from Hitchhiker. Zephyr gears and syncrhos! Came with this nice old Ansen adaptor.
    IMG_0686.jpg
    I also got a lightened flywheel from the Incredible Hitchhiker Parts Pile (tm). The flywheel and a new pressure plate are now out for surfacing and balancing.

    The unit came with a bracket for the stock brake and clutch pedals, seen here freshly emerged from molasses.
    pedal-bracket.JPG
    But there’s a problem, I think. The mount points for the bracket don’t look sufficiently rigid to me. I took a look at a modern Cling’s kit, and their pedal bracket also has a secondary extension that connects to the forward two bolts on the upper trans cover. Looks much more stable. It kind of goes where my hand is in this picture:
    area-to-bridge.jpg
    Looks to me like it would be relatively simple to fabricate an extension from bracket to top of trans, so that’s next on the list after I finish grinding my welds on the splash aprons. Also need to make a bracket for the emergency brake lever, but that’s just a piece of angle iron.

    By the way, I’m pretty sure that nice chrome shifter is not going to fit under my dash:
    chrome shifter.jpg
    It would be a shame to mess up the finish bending it, although I’ll do it if necessary. But first, I have options:
    shifers.jpg
    On the left, a swan shifter I got from Chris years ago. On the right, a funky thing sourced from the IHPP (tm). I’m sure one of these can be made to work, maybe with a little rosebud coaxing.

    More to come...
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2017
  5. Loose Ctrl
    Joined: Dec 21, 2014
    Posts: 43

    Loose Ctrl
    Member
    from Upstate,SC

    The panels and aprons should be pink, because wife. :D
     
  6. ClarkH
    Joined: Jul 21, 2010
    Posts: 733

    ClarkH
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Ha! Trust me, pink ain't her thing. She's got good instincts, with this car and just about everything. Hell, she married me! :D
     
  7. That Ansen adapter is the cat's pjs!
     
  8. ClarkH
    Joined: Jul 21, 2010
    Posts: 733

    ClarkH
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Merry Christmas, everyone! In honor of the day, I’m re-posting the "Christmas Card" Stogy gave me last year.
    ClarksMC_garage2016.jpg
    I love it. My speedster in the foreground and name on the marquee. Takes me back, although Gulf is not on the list of stations I worked at. I did, however, work at Texaco, Shell, Chevron, Arco and Mobile.

    Here's a rough old pump that now resides in my garage; got it at the Monroe Swap Meet last fall:
    Gas-Pump.jpg
    It’s a someday restoration project, but I’ll probably dress it up in the meantime. If anybody has a correct period Texaco pump plate they want to let go, it’s on my wish list. :)
     
  9. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 12,933

    Stogy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Merry Christmas Clark...those old photos...many are almost surreal in their beauty...that was one of them...then throw in a bit more dreaming and voila...even cooler...thank you for the compliments and a wish for you and your family to have a great day...and your taking us on a wonderful journey in Hamb land...;)
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2017
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  10. ClarkH
    Joined: Jul 21, 2010
    Posts: 733

    ClarkH
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Some final progress to report for 2017. Nothing earth-shattering, but I'm keeping the ball moving.
    First off, I successfully braced the pedal mount for the trans adaptor. Made a simple template:
    Template.jpg

    Cut it out in 3/16:
    CutMaterial.jpg

    Bent and ground into shape:
    Fitting.jpg

    Done! Should be plenty strong now.
    Finished.jpg
     
  11. Loose Ctrl
    Joined: Dec 21, 2014
    Posts: 43

    Loose Ctrl
    Member
    from Upstate,SC

    If you hadn't mentioned it, I would have thought it a period correct part.
     
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  12. ROADSTER1927
    Joined: Feb 14, 2009
    Posts: 2,544

    ROADSTER1927
    Member

    Looking Great!
     
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  13. ClarkH
    Joined: Jul 21, 2010
    Posts: 733

    ClarkH
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Thanks for the comments, guys. Also went after the splash aprons. Hammered and dollied them into shape and patched the hole in the driver’s side panel.
    Aprons.jpg

    Incidentally, I hate mig-welding .22 gauge. Even going slow with lots of tacks and backing the area with a thick plate of copper, I’m still either blowing holes or warping the shit out of everything. And just when you think you’ve got it and let your concentration wander, the grinder cuts through everything. So one patch turned into two. Fortunately, I was able to stretch the welds back out with hammer and dolly to where everything looks OK. Not perfect, but good enough.

    Inspired, I decided to go ahead and fabricate forward extensions to cover the rest of the frame. Started by hammering a 1/4-inch wire edge. (Great videos on this on YouTube, and that homemade dolly in the picture is key).
    wire-edge1.jpg
    wire-edge2.jpg
    wire-edge3.jpg
    One amusing note—that tinner’s hammer in the third picture is something I made in my 7th grade metal shop class. Makes me smile to still find use for it.

    Next, I carefully lined everything up using “that most accurate of measuring devices, the human eye,” and bent it over a piece of pipe.
    rolling.jpg

    Cut, bent and hammered the joint where it attaches to the apron.
    edge-work.jpg

    And there they are!

    done.jpg
    mocked up 2.jpg

    Still a lot of tweaking and trimming to do, but I need a test fit to get that right. And that means unbolting the body. A project for early 2018!
     

    Attached Files:

  14. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 12,933

    Stogy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Great stuff and Happy New Year Clark...
     
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  15. Clark: That work you are doing now is the most fun and rewarding of anything I do. Makes it even better after you learn a few handy tips and have accumulated some tools to go with it. Fun thread!!!
     
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  16. Thanks for the idea on the wire dolly. I will use that . Keep up the good work !
    Happy Naw Year , Blue .
     
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  17. cshades
    Joined: Sep 2, 2011
    Posts: 437

    cshades
    Member
    from wi

    That hammer is great, I made one in 9th grade metal shop. it floated around the house without a handle until about 3yuears ago and I finally had a fiberglass handle glued on it. I use it a bit but it always makes me smile when I open the drawer and see it in there.
     
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  18. Nailhead A-V8
    Joined: Jun 11, 2012
    Posts: 824

    Nailhead A-V8
    Member

    I had seen your avatar many times and was always a bit curious.... with the chrome strip running down the center and the white paint it looked like an old '40's hood with the badge removed so I just assumed it was a '50's homemade speedster then I stumbled onto your thread....I read it all in one session. Amazing job and nice save! Since I now have a pretty good idea of your vision my thoughts are probably moot but I will throw them out there anyway lol...one of the cool things about the old chevy frame is the way they swoop up where the axles sit allowing for a much lower suspension. If done with transverse springs they can go ultra low but the old racers used to move the parallels outside the frame rails...but that doesn't matter since she's on the flat ford rails now. Another thing is the width of the rear of the frame which is why the '50's builder built panels to cover the area between the body and fenders the final result is reminiscent of a boattail Auburn.... in my vision I see it with similar panels reinstalled and the rear fenders rounded and coming to a taper like late '30's early '40's cars but smaller though like maybe '38 Bantam or '38-'45 Austin front fenders and....... wait for it...I'd like to see those HD fenders on the front! With the V windsheild and the head/taillights you've chosen, black rims, knock off centers etc. I think it would follow a little closer to the original '50's dream...but sitting up high like that my other vote is none
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
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  19. ClarkH
    Joined: Jul 21, 2010
    Posts: 733

    ClarkH
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Thanks, man. This is a lot of thread to read in one session, so good on you. I like your thinking with regard to the lower chevy frame--and the original builder would have loved it. Still, I'm good my choice of Model A--it fit my budget and skill level. The aprons will help with the look, I think. And the car will remain fenderless for the forseeable future--looks good that way and I've got other priorities.

    Funny you mention the windshield, which happens to be one of those other priorities. The homemade v-windshield frame it came with is shot--I hauled it out again recently just to make sure. But I think I've finally found a solution. I'll do a post on it soon.
     
  20. Nailhead A-V8
    Joined: Jun 11, 2012
    Posts: 824

    Nailhead A-V8
    Member

    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018
  21. Model A Fan
    Joined: May 20, 2010
    Posts: 179

    Model A Fan
    Member

    Well, I finally read through the entire thread. Needless to say, it ended differently than I expected! I have seen your avatar off and on for the past long while and have always disliked the funky and ugly looking rear end (no offense intended). I ABSOLUTELY love how the finished product turned out. I love speedsters and yours is one of the best I've seen. It is encouraging to see someone who doesn't have a million $1000 tools in his shop be able to tackle the job of restoring the body, and do it in such a great manner. I honestly believed it was almost too far gone.

    Keep up the great work, I hope to maybe see it in person one day. I am making an exit from the Model A scene, but will be back as I have a numbers matching frame and engine to tinker with. Also, one day I have to find a home for the 21 stud engine I have in my garage...

    Thank you for taking the time to post photos and explain what you are doing and why. To someone with limited experience (like me!), it helps me to see how something is done when you don't have a professional shop and its tools available.
     
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  22. ClarkH
    Joined: Jul 21, 2010
    Posts: 733

    ClarkH
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Hey man, been meaning to respond to this. I really appreciate your comments. I think I started out pretty much as you did--a lot of desire but limited knowledge/experience. For me it's been a long process of noodling and sorting things out. The Hamb has been a huge help. Everything I did has combined thoughts on what would be cool AND what my limited fabrication skills can achieve. I guess that's hotrodding at its essence.

    I'm sorry to hear you gave up that roadster project, but I remember you had trouble getting traction. The thing about projects is, it needs to be the right car AND the right time. I took a break from cars between my late 20s to early 40s. The right time will come for you, too.

    (Funny thing, I almost contacted you about some fenders you had for sale a while back. I go through Bellingham every few months. )
     
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  23. ClarkH
    Joined: Jul 21, 2010
    Posts: 733

    ClarkH
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I’m taking a break from unbolting the transmission to post updates on other scattered tasks I’m taking on this winter.
    Steering wheel
    The old A wheel is coming out and being replaced by a Neville fatman. Cool thing about the Neville is that it slides up out of the way instead of flipping sideways, where it's still in the way. Got this one at a real good price because the center was buggered up.
    Fatman-closed.jpg
    fatman-center.jpg
    My original thinking was to have the center filled and a new tapered keyway drilled. Then a simpler solution occurred to me: ream out the hole and insert the center from an old Ford wheel. Simple, cheap, and you won’t see it under the horn button anyway. So that project is queued up.
    wheel+new-center.jpg
     
  24. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 25,778

    The37Kid
    Member

    Nice Fat Man wheel, it looks like the one used on Cadillac in the mid to late teens. I like the hub plan, maybe the A wheel hub should go out to be machined as small as it can go and bore out the aluminum spider to match. Bolts of a woodruff key to keep things from turning and you are good to go. Bob
     
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  25. ClarkH
    Joined: Jul 21, 2010
    Posts: 733

    ClarkH
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Windshield
    I’ve been noodling on the windshield for years. The homemade V-windshield the car came with is trash. As for finding originals, forget about it. Mercury-expert Jarvis tried tracking down some repop castings that are rumored to exist on my behalf, but no luck. He also offered to lend me an original set if I wanted to make copies.

    But truth be told, I don't think the originals fit the look I’m going for anyway. Too vertical and stubby. Also, they were noted for cracking. From what I’ve seen, a lot of speedster guys throw up their hands and use those little folding Brookland Aeroscreens. They technically do the job, with one major failing: They absolutely do not shield you from the wind.

    Over the years I’ve test-fit a number of possible stanchion solutions, including early Willys, late Model T and ‘32. The closest I came was a pair of nice chromed brass boat stanchions from the early ‘50s. Looked decent with a nice rake, but required cutting large holes into the cowl and fabricating braces underneath.

    Then a set of really nice early Chevy stanchions popped up from a guy who’s currently pounding out a T roadster. For some stupid reason I’d always assumed these would be similar to T stanchions, but looking at the pictures, I figured they were worth a shot. Success! Turns out that when rocked back in a nice rake, the curvature of the base is a darn-near perfect fit.
    Post-fit.jpg
    Post-on-cowl1.jpg
    I’ll need to bend the stanchions a hair to get them vertical, but they need to be shortened anyway so no big deal. I also have to create a narrow frame—for this, I picked ups some old crappy T frames from the Incredible Hitchhiker Parts Pile. Between this and the Chev frame that came with the stanchions, I think I can piece something together.

    Next step is to measure placement, then grit my teeth and drill into that nicely painted cowl.
     
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  26. TAPE TAPE then more TAPE
     
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  27. ClarkH
    Joined: Jul 21, 2010
    Posts: 733

    ClarkH
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Right on, Bob! Lot's of tape to plot it out and protect the paint. If you look close at the picture where I'm holding the stanchion, you can see I even put blue tape on the bottom of the stanchion to help prevent scratching just while taking this picture.
     
  28. ClarkH
    Joined: Jul 21, 2010
    Posts: 733

    ClarkH
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Rear bumper
    I’ve put a lot of work into that tail section and want to do something to prevent minor dings, at the very least. These cars didn’t have rear bumpers, and the sole protection was the spare hanging off the tail. This was fine when running skinny lightweight buffalo wires, but a fat 16-inch rim and tire is too much weight to have bouncing around on a tail section that extends 2 feet from the frame.

    I'm experimenting with fabricating a hoop-style bumper out of 5/8 bar, same as the material used on my homemade front spreader. My thinking is to mount it to either side of the frame, and add a center support piece running from the cross-member (i.e. at the high center of the spring) down under the trunk and joining the hoop at the rear. Yeah, kinda weird, but best I can come up with.

    I started with the template I’d made for the trunk floor, which I’d thankfully saved, and plumb bobbed around the tail section to get it positioned right. Then expanded the radius 3 inches.
    making-pattern.jpg

    Transferred this to a form and screwed it to my workbench.



    tracing-pattern.jpg
    form.jpg
    Next step, try to bend 5/8 rod around the form, doing my darndest not to catch the workbench on fire. As you can imagine, this was hopeless by hand when cold, so I used Oxy/Acc and rosebud tip to heat the bar one section at a time. Encountered some problems, ran out of Oxy, and put a couple awkward kinks in it. Here’s mockup of where I am now:
    roughed-in.jpg

    Full disclosure: I am prepared to have this fail. Won't be my first or last waste of time if it does. The hoop extends 2.5 feet from its side mounts and may not be sufficiently stable, even with a center support. Also, heating and bending in a series of passes is not giving me a perfect compound curve—I’m sure some guys could manage it, but I suck (the pic shows the “good” side; the other is embarrasing and I’m going to mess with it some more).

    I consider this an exercise in proving the concept: if it works, I’ll run it in paint for a while and maybe talk to a fabricator about copying it at a quality worthy of plating. Or maybe try my hand with a pipe and a tubing bender. But in the meantime, at least this will provide a little protection back there, and also give me better options for positioning the license plate.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2018
  29. Find a real farrier that will get the job done. Tell him yours is a Clydesdale or Belgian Perchron that takes a really really big shoe. ha ha ha Won't take him 20 minutes
     
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  30. ROADSTER1927
    Joined: Feb 14, 2009
    Posts: 2,544

    ROADSTER1927
    Member

    :)Clark I would suggest a sort of midget race car type bumper.:rolleyes:
     

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