The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Nick Agius, Mar 4, 2018.
Thanks mate! Much appreciated
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It’s all part of it I guess. I kinda knew the odds weren’t stacked that great in my favour but still stoked to be on this journey with the car. Good times!
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Thanks Wardy, good times man! Your chassis is looking amazing. Hopefully catch up again one day soon
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Thanks for taking us along on your trips, getting the gremlins out is apart of Hotrodding . The roadster looks awesome and great to see you keep her going..
lovely roadster mate!
Thank You, I enjoy writing all this.
Itll be a nice feeling when its all said and done. Im lucky ive got good friends to help me along the way.
Last week we dropped the 59a block off at the machine shop for bore, hone and what we thought was one sleeve. Thing took a turn south when the Guys phoned and let us know it was going to need 2 sleeves, Plus there were a few helicoils in where the head studs why I had purchased a 99a block from Good friend BiG TiDdAys not to long ago which had been nicely 'Seasoned', And was ceased pretty badly, Still there was a possibility it was going to be better than the 59a and had the added bonus of previously being ported, And factory relieved.
A mid week conversation With John had us thinking that we should probably tear into it and see what we were working with. Which was fine by me because as nice as an 59a is the one i have inst the greatest, I feel like putting the effort into the 99 is just that little bit nicer.
So monday morning seen some rain and i tore up to johns to get stuck into this motor with him, With only one real goal, get what was left of this motor torn apart.
We tried a few different methods but in the end a near metre long punch and a sledge hammer was what free'd most of them off,You can see in the photo above the skirt broke off the pistons as they became free.
End caps came off pretty nice, They cleaned up well and will be salvageable i think.. The pistons and rods on the other hand....
Most came free with a decent knock but there were a few that we couldnt gain access to because where the crank was stuck, Out came the Oxy.
John with the honours, I dont think he trusted me with this job...Ha!
Crank came out alright, This may still be usable. it looked like someone had cleaned the crank journals once before though, as the flatheaded screws had been replaced with hex head ones.
So the blocks been at the engine shop for a week now so hopefully ill hear something over the next few days. Fingers crossed this one is useable!
Things are slowing down a bit over here .Still no word on the motor. And businesses are slowly being shut down by the coronavius, But i did however manage to get some timber roof bowes made up and John and I got a start on that this week.
Probably a year or so ago my friend Titties was walking through a swap when he stumbled across this set of roof bowes, He was nice enough to buy them. And pass them on to me for my roadster. I beleive he thought they might have been for a studebaker?
anyway they were a good enough base to start with, and they were old chrome..
we started by clamping them up, and trying to see where they needed to sit.
we ended up cutting about 4" straight off the bottom, Slowly & in increments but this is where we ended up
we cut the timbers down bit by bit and got them to sit where we thought was a good height. I didnt take any photos but we'd had the blankets on and off a couple of times trying to work profiles out. I think were pretty close, maybe we need to come down a little more but next time ill grab a heap of masking tape and take that up, and then we will be able to get a definitive profile happening.
John here holding the front bowe,
We may still need to do some height adjustments as it certainly looks tall from this angle. But were making headway none the less.
we did get a start at making some front mounts.
Still need to weld a nut on to lock the bolts in place but we can do that next time. A little progress none the less
Just came across your thread! I’m going to enjoy starting from the beginning!
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Man, watching you tear into the flathead brought back some memories of me and Steve trashing on my first one, and also the next 12 to get the good core for the big banger I had built. Hope you guys are staying safe and out of harms way up there mate -Rhys
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Its feeling like a similar route trying to find a decent block!
Were good, everyones keeping a low profile. Hope all is well for you guys down south also.
Its been a minute,
Coronavirus has dropped everyone's hours back at work here, Which has been good because its given me some time to do some renovations on a new house we'd just bought. Things spiraled outta control a little but were moving forward none the less.
The roadster being at Johns place 1.5 hrs from mine basically meant that until things had begun settling down with COVID-19 the roadster was basically on the back burner.
I had a burst of motivation recently helping a friend lower the front of his standard model a roadster and decided maybe i would try find a motor that was a runner use it till John and i were able to rebuild my 99a and be able to sell it on to him once i was done, So i put the feelers out on Facebook and received a message from an old timer stating he had a motor, So a few phone calls later id bought the motor from the other side of the country off one blurry photo and the fact that he said would run it in a homemade stand he made and would take it to local car shows and fire it up for people.
A week or so later after organising freight it arrived at work and i was pretty stoked with what i saw..
The motor is an 81T, Which i didn't know a lot about, But after some research i believe these came out in Ford & Mercury trucks, It has keystone water passages, raised intake deck, big truck sump plug & removable section to remove the flywheel without having to take off the sump.
I took it home that night & begun stripping it down to paint the same colour as my previous motor, Which matches the dash that's still in the car
I painted the motor in the back of my ute under limited light but it turned out good enough. I wasn't going overboard on trying to make this motor pretty as theoretically its only temporary.
I hit it with the pressure washer and rattle canned it right there. It stayed in my ute for a week or so before i could get up to Johns place to work on it.
John was sceptical on the motor seeing it first time..
We lifted it off the rear of my ute & begun removing the water pumps, The bolts inside the pumps themselves were well rusted & snapped the head off one trying to remove it. Some heat and a set of vice grips and we had it out. I also touched up all the spots id missed painting it in my ute
I decided that it was probably a good idea to pull the sump off and inspect, Im glad i did. There was about 60 yrs of carbon And oil sludge build up in the bottom. I gave it a light scrub, got all the bits of grit out and called it quits. After all, i wasn't going overboard on this motor. You Cant see it in this photo but the motor has the removable sump section to get the clutch and flywheel out without removing the sump completely.
It has a 10" clutch,
I gave it a lite scuff and threw it back in, Everything looked really nice.
I then made the grave discovery that to run my offset generator bracket i was going to need to remove one of the heads & 3 head studs, What a mission, The head was basically ceased onto the block. we pried on it for hours before we could get it off, I may or may not have had to smash it to get it off, Upon removal everything looked pretty standard, No lip on the bore or scoring, I was pretty happy. John was beginning to come around on the idea of this motor to, It might be a little ripper he says..
John removed two of the head studs with precision, But the last one didn't budge and broke instantly. Out come the tools.
Hours of drilling, Grinding, tapping and picking bits of bolt out of the original thread later we had it. The tick with removing snapped bolts is most certainly patience. I think if i ever did that again id have to leave it for a week before even looking at it, Otherwise it'd be screwed up before i knew it.
Came up pretty damn good i reckon.
We left the head off and decided best thing we could do to finish the day would be to drop the motor back into the car.
I went home that night, And would head back first thing the next morning. I got up there for 6am start Tuesday morning and got straight into re installing all the bolt on parts i could whilst John was getting ready for the day. Intake manifold and carbs, Mechanical fuel pump, Header pipes, exhaust & starter back on. It was time to try find another head to replace the one id broke off thinking i was working in a junkyard ( Says John)
Its funny cause i was a tiny bit bummed id ruined the head that came on the motor trying to remove it, Id nver heard anything about an 81t before, But the more i looked into it, The more i liked the idea of it..
John goes to the stash and whips out a stack of heads, Some 21 stud, Or pilot. The best looking one kinda got pushed to the side the night before we had a proper look over it this time and it turned out to be the exact head we needed, Not that any of that really matters but its such a sweet little motor i felt bad about smashing the head up. So finding the exact same one made me feel a little better, I wire wheeled it, repainted and put it back on the car.
The idea behind this swap was to use everything on the previous motor that we that either been through or knew had been good. and transfer it onto this motor, I drove the car to Johns when we tore the first 59a down so it shouldn't be an issue.
About this time, Rowan the trimmer had shown up with my seat he had been working on.. We were in the midst of building the roof frame for the car before the current Pandemic so was a god chance to see how i was going to fit with the seat cut down.
The bottom of the seat frame had to be dropped a little to get me in so thats the gap you can see. But we will sort that with a long cushion style of thing that sits between. Overall the seat is super comfortable and I'm stoked with the result.
We fucked around for a few more hours getting oil pressure gauges and last minute stuff tied up before trying to fire the new motor for the first time.
We got it running, But spark issues would see the car cut out after running for a few minutes. Ive got something going on with my distributor or coil so that's on next weeks list of things to sort,
All in all though, For two days work we got alot done and it was nice hanging out with John,The Car and updating this little blog once again.
Thanks for reading.
WOW, I don't how I missed this thread before but I just sat here and read all ten pages and what a story.
Thanks for sharing the build and the adventures and misadventures.
Good to see your heading back to driving the car. Looking good.
Good to hear Nick.
Between you and the crazy bloke in Castlemaine the two of you are keeping me motivated on my coupe.
The new house looks cool too.
Love the 40's "Theme" you got going on. Maybe you could post a pictures on my thread. Another Pre-War '29 Model A very close to yours just chimed in.(Jadz928)
Im glad you enjoyed it, Its a nice timeline
That ratrodder is crazy.....
Im glad i can be of some help, Cant wait to see your coupe all said and done,
Hope you and the Family are good Wardy
Its been the better part of 5 months since I've posted any updates here, And a lot has happened.
I ended up getting the engine back in and car on the road, And it was good for probably 4 weeks.
Till one morning i got a little exuberant leaving a friends shop and dumped the clutch a little harder than i should have... The results were unsurprisingly obvious
To be fair there was nothing really wrong with the 37 transmission that was in it previous to me blowing 1st gear. Luckily Id bought a later 48 transmission from a friend a few months earlier and set it aside for the day when i was going to need it. It is an open drive transmission, So the main shaft needed to be replaced. I tore that box down and took it to see my friend John. Who knows these things like the back of his hand.
At the same time I begun getting the old gearbox and engine tore back out. (I am getting pretty good at removal/re-fit ) Not before one last drive in the rain with no fenders, windscreen or 1st gear.
Ive missed alot of photos throughout this process but you get the point..
I also figured whilst it was all part, This would be a good time to have the flywheel machined and tidy a few things up on the motor.
John and i put the transmission back together in a day and it was ready to go back in the car that afternoon.
I got the motor back in and was just about ready to go, I was ust waiting on some bits back from chrome.
The windscreen posts came up surprisingly good. I had chopped these myself and I'm by no means good at any sort of fabrication work. Some people actually call me the drill bit snapper.
Fast forward a few months the car had been back on the road and things were going just fine. Covid had hit here but despite this a bunch of friends were still able to get to gether down at the lake for a few nights of partying & BBQ!
Josh's bitchin 32 roadster ( The rock spider) & mine on the way out to the lake
Getting setup next to Paulee's 32
some good bbq!
Good times had by all! thanks again for the Barons for having me along! It was fathers day so we made a quick stop on the way home to see John's fathers grave. Was a cool moment
Back to reality and I scored some fenders locally one off a friend and one from a local parts dealer ( Thanks Bojangles)
Got them home, cut them up and put them on the car, With the T spring and my frame having a small step I didn't really like the way the car sat.
So I lifted the rear up a little by adding a few leaf's.
I was much happier with how the car sat.
Few weeks back i had scored a few bits for a one day project that seems to be happening sooner than I need it be, I had another set of rims there, So I built a new set of wheels for the car. Wether the whitewalls will stay ultimately time will tell. This was also a good time to have the fenders prepped and painted!
I also bought a 56' 265 Chevy locally and have been working on that, Originally this was to replace the somewhat tired flathead I have just recently installed.. I'm now not so sure I want to do the swap. Again, This could be used for the other project.
I got it tore apart with the help from John. A few of the pistons were stuck but beside that it was pretty good. It was very tired, But this was the first time the motor had been apart so was still on the original bore.
I scored some nice speed parts for it and put it under the bench where it will stay for now, And will continue rebuilding the 99a I have at the engine shop.
550 x16 up front & 750 x16 in the rear. Still awaiting fenders back from paint.
I threw my flipper caps back on and really like the look of it, But something about it all kept throwing me, I had gone a bigger tyre in the front so that could be it. However i lowered the front a little more and was happier with it, I've also ordered a new set of 500-525 tyres,
The smaller mercury caps make a difference.
Fenders back from paint and on the car, In between all the predominately unnecessary chopping and changing on the car I've also been working on the house in the background. Built in 1950, Its slowly becoming a little piece of paradise for my Lady and I.
Thanks for reading
Life is good, cheers. I like the flipper caps better too.
Roadster looks awesome and thanks for sharing the build
Hi Nick, thank you so much for sharing your story and all the photos. I love the way you put your car together. I would like to know on your recessed plate if you folded and stretched the metal that was there or if you added a metal strip to make the recess. On my own car I am getting ready to repaint and am wondering if you used base coat-clear coat or something else. Thank you again, HFH.
Glad you enjoyed it!
A friend of mine made a buck that he used when recessing the license plate on his 48 ford, When it came time to do mine, he lent me the buck. You can see the process further back in the thread
I'm not 100% sure what the process on what the paint was. But I believe it was just a standard 2 pac, The car hasn't been wet sanded or buffed wither.
Before I saw the pics, I thought nix the whitewalls.....but they actually look good too! An either or choice for sure.
this is a great read
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