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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. ClarkH
    Joined: Jul 21, 2010
    Posts: 735

    ClarkH
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    :):):)Thanks guys—and this appreciation extends to everyone who has responded. I can’t fully express how gratifying and motivating this positive feedback is to me. It’s a good thing this is an open car, because after all this I’m not sure I could fit my big swollen head into a closed one!

    Your pics are great, Paul—I like the low perspective in your first shot, and it’s nice to have the engine and dash detail featured. Next time, introduce yourself!

    So you know, I felt honored to be included in your Greenwood report. For those who haven’t seen it, here’s a link to Paul’s thread: https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/greenwood-2018.1113129/
     
  2. ClarkH
    Joined: Jul 21, 2010
    Posts: 735

    ClarkH
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    So I guess this counts as an update: A couple days ago I found myself a cast-iron mascot in a local junk shop:
    cast-iron-speedster.jpg
    How could I resist? I mean, even the color is right. A little reminder for my office desk.
     
  3. woodbutcher
    Joined: Apr 25, 2012
    Posts: 3,114

    woodbutcher
    Member

    :D Guess that you could say that`s the"Long and the short"of this great story.
    Good luck.Have fun.Be safe.
    Leo
     
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  4. ClarkH
    Joined: Jul 21, 2010
    Posts: 735

    ClarkH
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I owe you guys a report; I’ve been meaning to fill in the blanks on how I got from ready to install the Winfield head to actually driving under my own power to the Greenwood Car Show. This is a tale of three shortcuts, and how they more or less bit me in the ass.

    So, when I last left off (before the show), the busted stud issue had been resolved and I was preparing to install the Winfield head. My brother joined me, and together we installed the head. Great, we think, she’s ready to fire up. Fill it with gas, fill it with coolant…and now watch as coolant dribbles out from between the head and block. Argh!

    The source of the problem? I am a dumbass who took a shortcut: When we went to install it, I could see that the surface of that head was not perfect, but figured the silicone gasket would seal it. Wrong!

    So the head had to come out again and make a trip to the machine shop for surfacing. In the meantime, we would bleed the brakes, which had lost fluid when the MC came out for the trans swap and I took the opportunity to install new front lines.

    We rebuilt the brakes a year ago, so bleeding should have been a snap. But after going through two bottles of fluid, it was clear we had a problem. Investigation revealed a leaking wheel cylinder. Then a second leaking wheel cylinder. Then a third. Then a fourth. Argh!

    The source of the problem? I am a dumbass who took a shortcut: rather than buy new ’48-style cylinders (only thing available), I had rebuilt the ’39-style cylinders that came with the chassis. They had a little—just a little—pitting, but I figured the hone would take care of it. Wrong!

    OK, enough with shortcuts! I bought and installed four new cylinders, bled the system and got a nice firm pedal. (Saved the old cylinders—maybe I’ll have them sleeved one day.) Then got the head back from the machine shop, installed it, no leaks.

    At last, we’re ready to fire it up. Or so we thought. Turn on power, turn the key, push the starter…nothing. What the…? Battery is fully charged, a test shows power to the starter. ACME Auto Electric had tested that starter for me last year, but we pulled it anyway and it bench tested fine.

    So now we’re considering weird causes. We’d installed a lightened flywheel—did this change the starter dynamic somehow? Seemed unlikely. But wait—we’d also installed the trans adaptor. Took a light and peered through the starter hole. The adaptor has an indentation to accommodate the starter drive—and sure enough, we see fresh scrapes on the aluminum. The starter drive was hanging up on the adaptor.

    This was no time for finesse. Out came the die grinder:
    die-grinder-adaptor.jpg

    Success! The starter turned, the car fired up, I was off to the show two days later.

    I guess technically using the die grinder counts as a shortcut. So the way I look at it, I was one for three on shortcuts. That’s a piss poor success rate.

    Damn shortcuts. Once again, my experience serves as a warning.
    shipwreck.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2018
  5. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 12,977

    Stogy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Pinched yourself lately @ClarkH...o_O...yes you are human...You done a Fantastic build here and as frustrating as the Burps and Farts were you met them head on...that stuff certainly could provoke new swear words.

    Really enjoying your travels and journey with this Speedster/ Hotrod. By sharing these events it will possibly save someone else heartache...a true benefit of The Hamb. Thank you.

    I know what's coming soon too...side hood vents...;)
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2018
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  6. ClarkH
    Joined: Jul 21, 2010
    Posts: 735

    ClarkH
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    You're right, Stogy! Fact is, I'm delighted with things overall. In spite of setbacks, I've had a lot of successes, luck and serendipity throughout this project. But that doesn't mean the setbacks aren't annoying in the moment. I figure showing that makes for better reading, since we've all been there.

    In addition to being right, you are also psychic. I did my final sand of the panels only two days ago. Just a final clean/degrease left, and then wait for a good weather window for paint.
    sandedpanels.jpg
    I had some single-stage aerosolized. Figured it was simpler than dealing with my gun and compressor for a small job.
    paint.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2018
  7. ROADSTER1927
    Joined: Feb 14, 2009
    Posts: 2,546

    ROADSTER1927
    Member

    Thanks for the update, those ups and downs are always there. ( whether we admit it or not )Have a great weekend, Gary:)
     
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  8. ClarkH
    Joined: Jul 21, 2010
    Posts: 735

    ClarkH
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    This one's for Stogy, who called it last weekend:
    painted-panels.jpg
     
  9. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 12,977

    Stogy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Can' t wait to see them on there...;)...they look just great.

    So are those cable operated?

    Are they all linked by a rod to open the same amount or individual whatever you see fit?

    So have you been out and about with it?
     
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  10. ClarkH
    Joined: Jul 21, 2010
    Posts: 735

    ClarkH
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I think the panels were all connected to a rod or some kind of mechanism at one time. But I don't have those componets. All I have is the springs and clips that came with the car in a Mason jar. They're useless without the rest of the mechanism--they don't positively affix the panels to the hood.
    panel-clips.jpg
    I'm going with a simple solution. I made a set of brakets out of stainless, and I'll use these to positively affix each panel to the hood in the same partially open postion. I'll bend-and-fit one at a time. Means drilling a small hole in the hood for each, but they'll be hidden.
    panel-newclips.jpg
    I also drilled a small hole in each of the forward tabs for safety wire. So they'll each have three connection points (two tabs front, bracket rear). The holes were also handy for hanging the panels while I painted them.

    I'm fine with having the panels in a fixed postion. I doubt I would have ever used an adjustment feature anyway. No different than louvers in that regard.
     
  11. ClarkH
    Joined: Jul 21, 2010
    Posts: 735

    ClarkH
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    I've fired it up several times but haven't been out. I've been dealing with minor issues that cropped up on the "test drive" to the show. One was the water pump, which spent the day dribbling coolant all over the pavement. I replaced it with a newer sealed-bearing leakless type. wa-pump.jpg

    And then there was the carburetor. We rebuilt it last winter using a proper Stromberg kit. Afterward the thing didn't leak - huge win for a 97, from what I understand - but on the drive it was stumbling badly. Looking down the throat it looked like the accellerator pump was just dribbling fuel instead of spraying it.

    These things are a mystery to me. My brother and I took it apart last week and the accelerator pump seemed looser than you'd expect in the housing, even though it was a new one out of the kit. What to do?

    This is another of those small serendipitous victories. Two years ago my wife and I stopped at a shop on the Olympic Pennisula, where I found this:
    strombergbox.jpg
    I just bought it for the look--I mean, how could I pass up a Stromberg advertising piece? Looks great in my office. But it was also full of random parts--some new, some used, a mishmash. I checked, and sure enough there were several accellerator pumps in it, one of which seemed to be slighly larger. We put it in, and it works great! Go figure.

    We also reinstalled the Mallory dual-point. This is the unit we removed during roadside diagnostic on the way to the show, but it turned out the problems was elsewhere. Thank goodness, because this thing is just too cool to not use.
    Mallory.jpg
     
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  12. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 12,977

    Stogy
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    Great stuff Clark. It all makes for one awesome package...and your getting over the hurdles...that's good too.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2018
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  13. Benny's Ford
    Joined: Dec 26, 2016
    Posts: 36

    Benny's Ford
    Member

    Love that car, so cool and unique.
     
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  14. woodbutcher
    Joined: Apr 25, 2012
    Posts: 3,114

    woodbutcher
    Member

    :D Just gets better everytime I open this thread.Thanks Clark for a great thread.
    Good luck.Have fun.Be safe.
    Leo
     
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  15. ClarkH
    Joined: Jul 21, 2010
    Posts: 735

    ClarkH
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  16. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 3,710

    Blues4U
    Member
    from So Cal

    Awesome!
     
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  17. Loose Ctrl
    Joined: Dec 21, 2014
    Posts: 43

    Loose Ctrl
    Member
    from Upstate,SC

    Like it!
     
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  18. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 12,977

    Stogy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    That's one of the big reasons for doing what we do...driving it. The tuning out of reality for that vintage fix...smooth and scenic helps...glad you are getting some quality time with it...you worked real hard for it...and still a fair bit of good cruising weather ahead...more pics...more pics...;)
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2018
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  19. loudbang
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 22,140

    loudbang
    Member

    Sure runs quiet :)
     
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  20. ClarkH
    Joined: Jul 21, 2010
    Posts: 735

    ClarkH
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Been having a blast with the thing. I did a series of 5-to-10 mile test drives, all in close proximity to my trailer just in case a rescue was called for. After each run I nut-and-bolted the whole thing to see if anything'd come loose. So far no surprises, and she hasn't skipped a beat. (Knock on wood.) Made my peace with a few paint chips--that's the price you pay to drive them.

    Only issue so far is I lose around a third of a gallon of coolant on every run. It's coming out the overflow. Nevertheless, it runs fine and does not seem overly hot (I don't yet have a functional temp gauge--long story.) It might be that I'm overfilling the radiator--I've had a couple guys tell me this can happen if you top it up too far. On the other hand, perhaps it's running hot--my fan is 6 inches behind the radiator and no shroud. But this was all country road driving with minimal stops. Wouldn't think that would be an issue. Any thoughts?

    That's the Porter muffler and relatively low speed. I'm very happy with it. She's got a nice rumble when you get on it. The video was shot on Semiahmoo Spit, speed limit 25 mph. Essentially the corner of the country--you're looking at White Rock, British Columbia on the other side. In this car's heyday there would have been rum runners plying those waters.
     
  21. flatford39
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 2,289

    flatford39
    Member

    How did your fan end up so far from the radiator??? It's very easy to overfill an A engine and it's also very common to let them find their own coolant level. I suspect you are topping it off which you don't need to do.

    I just measured the fan to radiator on my 30 victoria and it is 1" off the radiator.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2018
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  22. ClarkH
    Joined: Jul 21, 2010
    Posts: 735

    ClarkH
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Thanks, this is encouraging! I was hoping "finding its own coolant level" might be the answer. To your question, I moved the radiator forward 5 inches and down 3 to accommodate the extra long and low hood/cowl comination.
     
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  23. Too bad the old fella' that stashed the remains couldn't see it now. What a treat to be bombing around the joint again ! Greatness.

    What if anything are windscreen plans ? I see the center cowl holes .... and me forgets what you determined those were for .... I guess I could go back and reread .... ah heck .... why the hell not ? !!!

    Take care, and happy motoring.
     
  24. flatford39
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 2,289

    flatford39
    Member

    OK now I understand. You really need to get a temperature gauge on it to monitor it properly but I would think a fan shroud is in your future. From the looks of your work and fabricating skills exhibited in this thread you probably won't have any issue making one.
     
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  25. ClarkH
    Joined: Jul 21, 2010
    Posts: 735

    ClarkH
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Funny you should ask, because once again I've started mulling over windshield options again, and I was preparing to throw it out here for discussion.

    To refresh everyone's memory, the car orginally came with a homemade DuVall style windsheild, as seen here:

    Speedster_mockup2.jpg
    It had been gas welded and chromed, but the chrome was shot and at some point somebody drilled it to add big ugly stainless retainers. I thought it was kind of odd, and dismissed it. For a time I debated theose little fold-down Aeroscreens like you see on Bugattis--on the plus side, easy to add. On the negative side, I'm told they don't shield the wind very well, AND you can't affix a top to them.

    Then I discovered that the curvature of the base of '27 Chev roadster posts is a perfect fit for my cowl.
    Post-fit.jpg
    That seemed to settle it. Would still mean a lot of work becasue the posts need to be chopped and bent to vertical, and then a custom frame will need to be fabricated. Nevertheless, I figured this was the way to go.

    But then last month some lucky dude pulls a cool old speedster from out of the kudzu in North Carolina, and I'll be danged ifthe windshield isn't a dead ringer for the one mine came with. Check it out:
    Ford-Speed-Car-1.jpg
    Ford-V-8-Speedster-2.jpg

    Well, I dont' need to tell you, that thing's cool as all get out! So now I'm rethinking my original windshield. Maybe it's more "period" than I gave it credit for. I'll dig it out of the shed later and post a picture. Be interesting to hear what people think.

    Ha! I thought you were kidding until the "like" alerts started flowing. Good on ya!!! I love this old car, glad you appreciate it too!
     
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  26. I also lost coolant out the overflow until I went with a smaller crank pulley. That slowed the pump and problem solved.
     
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  27. ClarkH
    Joined: Jul 21, 2010
    Posts: 735

    ClarkH
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    That is an interesting piece of information. Thanks. I may try that after seeing what a shroud accomplishes.
     
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  28. Hell yeah .... hope I got 'em all. Click, click, click !!!
     
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  29. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 13,840

    Squablow
    Member

    Even if it has to get reworked, I would like to see the old windshield reused. Someone put a ton of time into that and it seems as much a part of the car's history as anything else. The top part could be removed and the sides shortened for a curved, open edged glass top area if desired, that could be photoshopped.

    I personally think those little half-moon glass shields are tacky and unattractive.
     
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  30. GuyW
    Joined: Feb 23, 2007
    Posts: 499

    GuyW
    Member

    Ooops, I see you've done the wax trick.

    Lang's Old Car Parts sells the Fat Man steering wheel device, new repro, for $300. Others do too, but I find Lang's is lower priced...
     
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