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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. Billy_Bottle_Caps
    Joined: Oct 16, 2007
    Posts: 231

    Billy_Bottle_Caps
    Member

    Thanks for the update!
     
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  2. ClarkH
    Joined: Jul 21, 2010
    Posts: 734

    ClarkH
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Well here I am after one of my typical too-long breaks. Between working for a living, working on the car, and a bevy of spring swap meets, free time has been pretty scarce.

    Speaking of swap meets, my brother and I had our best Portland ever. I sold off a lot of big stuff, which made me happy. But then my brother went off and bought new big stuff, in the form of’49 Hudson (he’d been looking for a family cruiser, and this thing is pretty sweet). So he was happy, too!
    Hudson.JPG

    But through it all, the speedster has been coming along. I got the modified steering box, column and wheel installed, so that was good. I’m digging the new wheel; still fiddling with the horn button.
    Wheel-installed.JPG

    But I did run into a problem with the new pedals. Turned out the brake actuator I had welded onto the pedal was interfering with the stock clutch arm. I kind of figured this might happen. It was oh-so-close and maybe OK with just a little grinding, but it's brakes, so I didn't want to risk it.

    The solution: Clings rod and arm, which has a 90-degree angle vs. the stock arm’s 45-degree angle. Here’s what I’m talking about (Cling's top, stock bottom):
    ClutchArms.JPG
    Of course, doing this meant pulling the diff and master cylinder so we could remove the transmission. Thank goodness once again for the help of my Hudson-owning brother.
    Pulled apart.JPG
    NewArmInstalled.JPG

    Everything clears now. And yes, those are my new tires in the background of that first image. More on that and other subjects, to come.

    Clearance.JPG
     
  3. lostmind
    Joined: Aug 21, 2011
    Posts: 1,973

    lostmind
    Member

    Thanks for the update. Nice work as always.
    Your brother made a good choice, I had 13 Hudsons , the best of the bunch were the 48/49.
    They got it right the first time. Best 49 road car out there. He'll want to cruise all day and night.
     
  4. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 13,836

    Squablow
    Member

    Looks good, a clean solution, can never be too safe with brakes.
     
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  5. Late to the Party
    Joined: Nov 16, 2015
    Posts: 869

    Late to the Party
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Clark -- Looks like you're making good progress. Your brother made a good score on the Hudson! :)
     
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  6. ClarkH
    Joined: Jul 21, 2010
    Posts: 734

    ClarkH
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Thanks guys! Yeah, he's really happy with it. Great paint and interior, runs smooth. Has clutch and wheel bearing issues, but he owns a commercial shop and will get that taken care of quickly. I'll try to get him to start a thread.
     
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  7. ClarkH
    Joined: Jul 21, 2010
    Posts: 734

    ClarkH
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Funny you should say that, because it feeds right into my next post.

    I put a new single reservoir in this thing a few years back when we redid the brakes. That choice has been nagging at me ever since. I know, I know, people got by just fine for decades on single reservoirs. But the fact is, in my driving life I’ve actually two single-system failure episodes. So I think about it.

    To be fair, both of those episodes were on crappy $100 high school cars, and the failing was probably more the result of my crappy maintenance than it was the technology. And both times I got the car stopped safely (picture a Ford Country Sedan jouncing across a grass field).

    But since I had the m/c out anyway, I decided to go ahead and upgrade to a dual reservoir unit. Mainly so I would stop thinking about it.

    Now admittedly, this is really basic stuff, but sometimes even basic stuff is interesting

    First step was to modify my homemade m/c mount (had to cut a slot to fit the ear of the m/c).
    drillingmcbracket.JPG
    mcbracketwithslot.JPG

    Then installed an adaptor from Chassis Engineering (you can see how the ear fits the slot).
    adaptor installed.JPG

    Then uninstalled the adaptor when I discovered the holes didn't align. (See bolt on left. And yes, should have test fit before installing…) A round file to the m/c took care of the problem.
    misaligned.JPG

    And now it’s in, along with a proportioning valve.
    mcinstalled.JPG

    Yes, it's a bunch of anachronistic modern stuff sitting under the floor. But like I said, now I can stop thinking about it. Emphasis on stop. :D
     

    Attached Files:

  8. Uncle Bob
    Joined: Oct 20, 2007
    Posts: 1,088

    Uncle Bob
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Salado, Tx
    1. Northwest HAMBers

    I presume your brother knows the Hudson clutch is a different cat. Cork buttons for friction material and runs in an oil bath. If it's chattering, sometimes a flush and fresh lube fill can solve it, but not often.
     
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  9. ClarkH
    Joined: Jul 21, 2010
    Posts: 734

    ClarkH
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Yeah, it’s a wet clutch. Definitely a different animal.


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
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  10. lostmind
    Joined: Aug 21, 2011
    Posts: 1,973

    lostmind
    Member

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  11. ClarkH
    Joined: Jul 21, 2010
    Posts: 734

    ClarkH
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    This is the story of how the Car Universe threw me a bone.

    Background: I have been searching for years for a gas cap I can use on this car. The inlet is a two-inch hole with some kind of weird thread pitch I can’t identify. I’ve talked with Mercury-guru Jarvis and others, and nobody seems to know. Net result, I have a swap meet box full of male-threaded gas and radiator caps I’ve bought over years in a failed effort to find a match.

    So recently I was heading home from a visit up north with my dad, and stopped by one of my favorite junk shops. The guy always has a lot of tools, and I needed a 1.5” open-end wrench for my spring spreader (which he had for $10—Snap-On, no less).

    While I’m poking around the place, I find this:
    threaded-plug.JPG

    The threads looked to be too coarse, but at only $4 (he knocked a buck off :D), I was willing to risk anther addition to the swap meet box. Got it home, walked into the shop, and I’ll be darned if it didn’t thread right in:
    plug-installed.JPG

    I took the thing to Tacoma Screw Products and they identified the threads as 2-14 National Special, which I gather hasn’t been used in decades. Old Jarvis was delighted to have this bit of data for the next update of his Mercury Parts Book.

    merc-parts-book.JPG

    Then just yesterday, Jarvis let me sort through his various boxes and cabinets looking for something cool I could braise to the top of the thing. Lo and behold, I found this dog bone radiator cap with matching threads. No need for braising, it just spins onto the exposed threads.
    dog-bone.JPG

    Now I’ll admit, some might find this dog-bone-as-gas-cap to be a little odd. But I think it’s kind of a cool solution. And even if you don’t like it, you have to admit it’s better than nothing, which is what I had previously.

    I also only regard it as short term. Long term, I have a better solution in mind, in the form of this very cool flip-cap I got from a fellow Hamber at the Early Bird Swap Meet in Puyallup.
    flip-cap.JPG

    I really dig the flip cap, and now that I know the thread pitch, I figure I can have a sleeve made that will adapt it cleanly to the car. However, with so much going on right now, that’s a winter project for the future. For now, I’m just happy to be running with something cooler and more practical than a rubber bung.
     
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  12. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 13,836

    Squablow
    Member

    It was meant to be. I don't think the dog bone looks out of place at all, although the flip top piece is nice as well.
     
  13. Loose Ctrl
    Joined: Dec 21, 2014
    Posts: 43

    Loose Ctrl
    Member
    from Upstate,SC

    I like the dog bone rad cap. The flip flop is a nice way to go as well.
     
  14. AmishMike
    Joined: Mar 27, 2014
    Posts: 371

    AmishMike
    Member

    watch out when close off gas tank do not want to pump gas out & create vacuum & have air pressure crush gas tank. Been there, done that. Keep it vented but do not pollute the air with gas fumes.
     
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  15. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 12,945

    Stogy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Are you saying to run a vent into a Charcoal Canister/Filter Mike or are you referring to gas fumes venting into the cabin?
     
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  16. AmishMike
    Joined: Mar 27, 2014
    Posts: 371

    AmishMike
    Member

    factory vented to air until feds said pollution & needed charcoal canister. I would just vent to air for equal air pressure in tank. If sealed as u take out fuel air pressure in tank drops & outside air can crush. Caps used to be vented. Just warning about type cap u use.
     
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  17. ClarkH
    Joined: Jul 21, 2010
    Posts: 734

    ClarkH
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Thanks everyone, appreciate the concern. The tank is vented, with a rollover valve. The vent line is routed up above the level of the fuel inlet, and then down to thru-hull in the floor. (Learned the importance of both reading fuel threads on this forum, so you're right to call this out.)

    Somewhat related, I just added a marine 3-way valve to the system, which allows me to shut off or drain the tank. Handy to have.

    IMG_1555.JPG
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2019
  18. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 3,617

    s55mercury66
    Member
    from SW Wyoming

    Here is another "like" for the dog bone cap. Looks period perfect from here.
     
  19. ClarkH
    Joined: Jul 21, 2010
    Posts: 734

    ClarkH
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Hey everyone, I really appreciate the postive feedback on that dogbone. I guess my "eye" for this is still working.

    Now here is a very cool development. Ever since I got the speedster running and out into the public eye, one glaring omission has really stood out:
    shell-no-badge.JPG

    No radiator badge! Whenever people inspect the car, they try to sneak a peek at the badge—seeing none, they’re stuck asking, “so, uh, what is it?” In some ways this is a fun conversation starter, but still--without a badge, the car lacks identity.

    I’ve been noodling on this problem for long time. Finding an original badge is hopeless, obviously. I got some badge suggestions from the Hamb last summer, which I appreciate. Of course, a Ford oval is the easy and obvious choice, but I felt something unique was called for. Question is, what?

    This is where @Saxman comes into the picture. Saxman runs Liberty Speed Company, producing custom-etched shift knobs, and other cool accessories including the legendary Hamb shift knob. I was fortunate to get one of that limited edition (#78), so I’m familiar with his work. Very high quality.

    Saxman was happy to take the project on. We had several exchanges about size, shape and the overall design, and I could tell he was really focused on what I wanted as we worked through a couple of iterations. Ultimately, he combined the original Mercury logo, my thoughts, and his artistic vision into this rendering:
    Mecury_Body_Wings_01b_LoRezFINAL.jpg

    Which he then transformed into THIS:
    CustomMercBadge-Final.jpg
    Is that cool or what?!?! This is a glam shot he took, and I hope it makes its way on the Liberty Speed Company website.

    I have the badge in hand now, ready to install for summer:
    shell-w-badge.JPG

    So now I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Saxman. I could not be happier with this. The car really needed something, and the scale and look of this badge are perfect.

    To paraphrase the Big Lebowski, “It really tied the car together.” :D
     
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  20. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 12,945

    Stogy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Fantastic collaboration and outcome have you considered shine or a partial polish? I am not a big shiny guy myself but driven shiny I don't mind at all.

    What is it made out of...it looks brassy.

    Great work @Saxman...;)

    @ClarkH your thought process has been absolutely spot on throughout the adventure with this Ole Crusty...if it was human you'd be getting lotsa good loving...that said it's delivering that in smiles per mile...;)
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2019
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  21. ClarkH
    Joined: Jul 21, 2010
    Posts: 734

    ClarkH
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Thanks @Stogy. Well, I was going to save it as a surprise, but... my wife took one look, loved it, and insisted I go the extra mile. That's why I don't have a picture of it installed yet--it's at the plater as we speak. I opted for dull nickel--shiny, but not too shiny.

    Also, once installed, I might remove the wings from the moto meter. Or not. We'll see what they look like together.
     
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  22. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 12,945

    Stogy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    This Speedster is an inspired form of vintage street/race oppulance...that Nose is an area of Statement...so being subtly in your face is warranted...they had some wild stuff on radiator caps that's for sure...I'd love to see mist profile going over that set of wings at speed...I'm sure it would have a dramatic pattern...
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2019
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  23. Peanut 1959
    Joined: Oct 11, 2008
    Posts: 1,556

    Peanut 1959
    Member

    I love the little details this build is getting. The dog bone and the new radiator badge are just perfect, imho!
     
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  24. Late to the Party
    Joined: Nov 16, 2015
    Posts: 869

    Late to the Party
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

  25. Wow! Thanks for the kind words @ClarkH. I am proud and excited to be part of this cool build and I’m looking forward to seeing what the badge looks like nickel plated. I definitely want to include pics on my website. In fact, it’s got me thinking about doing a special little feature about it, with your permission, of course.


    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
     
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  26. 31Apickup
    Joined: Nov 8, 2005
    Posts: 1,821

    31Apickup
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

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  27. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 13,836

    Squablow
    Member

    I love it! The rendering and the metal piece are clearly the same design, but they look so much different, judging by the rendering only I would have said I don't like it, but it really looks right in the metal. Takes a skilled eye to know what it's going to look like when it's made, and I would have been dead wrong. Well done Saxman.
     
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  28. brasscarguy
    Joined: Jun 12, 2010
    Posts: 169

    brasscarguy
    Member
    from seattle

    It was good to have you drop by my humble digs out on the woods. Since you stopped by, a lot has happened in the restoration shop. It's now finished everything in it's place and I'm ready to restart working on my 1928 sprint car.

    So here's an invite all lathes and milling machines are now wired and running. So if you need to use any of my equipment your welcome anytime. Like Motel 6 I'll leave the light on for you.

    just sayin'
    brasscarguy
     
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  29. plym_46
    Joined: Sep 8, 2005
    Posts: 3,781

    plym_46
    Member
    from central NY

    If it's puking coolant after a run, don't refill it. As long as you have an inch or so over the cooling tubes in the rad you should be good to go. Next time just shut it down. Check the level after it cools off. Take a half gallon with you and run it again, if it doesn't run warmer that it did, you should be good to go.
     
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  30. ClarkH
    Joined: Jul 21, 2010
    Posts: 734

    ClarkH
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Got the radiator shell badge back from the plater. Dull nickel. Looks really good.
    plated-badge.jpg

    Meanwhile, since I had to remove the hood and shell anyway to access the radiator badge, it was finally time to install those hood panels I painted last summer.

    Even though I’d already made my brackets, each panel had to be individually fitted, which was time consuming. Affixing the first panel took the better part of 3 hours to sort out.
    one-panel.JPG

    Second one about an hour and a half.
    two-panels.JPG

    By the time I was done with all 10 panels I had it down to 45 minutes per, followed by more time adding the little bullet doodads.

    all-panels.JPG

    Now back to the badge. When Saxman made the badge he brazed a threaded post on the back. The distance between the badge and radiator is 5/16”. Allowing for a bracket, nut and lock washer, it’s pretty tight (had to grind the nut to half its original size). The post is plenty solid, but being a belt-and-suspenders guy, I also used a couple drops of 3M emblem adhesive to get it on there good and secure.

    emblem-adhesive-applied.JPG

    Everything’s back together now.
    reassembled.JPG

    I’d like to roll it outside for a wash and better pics, but as you can see she’s not exactly in a rolling state at the moment. Lots of brake and steering fiddles still in process.

    Soon though!
     

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