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Projects At 69 my first A coupe project!

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by vtwhead, Jan 6, 2015.

  1. went out to the shop. Just too cold to get anything done. 24 degrees inside today. -15 yesterday and 6 this morning with lots of wind. Just too hard to heat the old place up with the wind like that. Took a pic of the firewall cut that I made. Don't know how others do it but I figured I would cut it out with a 4 inch cut off disc. Left a small hump behind so that I can set the new panel against it then I can weld it from behind. Suppose to get back to regular winter weather on Sunday so I may get back out there next week.

    here is the panel I cut and fitted. Now have to build the distributor pocket and attach the brackets for the radiator supports.
    chop job likes this.
  2. Raiman1959
    Joined: May 2, 2014
    Posts: 1,428


    That is so the car build!
  3. TagMan
    Joined: Dec 12, 2002
    Posts: 5,932


    I love to see this !

    I'm 68 and FINALLY building the '36 3w I've wanted to do since I was about 13 years old. Ya just gotta keep pushing........................
  4. von Dyck
    Joined: Apr 12, 2007
    Posts: 678

    von Dyck

    Just so you are aware: the 4-deuce Edelbrock on my 324 had a small pin hole in the #3 intake runner. Filled it with J-B Weld before polishing the rough casting and is still running 10 years later.
    And you likely already know this: the Olds firing order is unique 1-8-7-3-6-5-4-2

    old geezer pushin 71
  5. norms30a
    Joined: Jul 17, 2008
    Posts: 540


    Looks good, I'll follow along.
  6. thanks Raiman!

    I here that for sure. I keep pushing myself each day, perhaps I am afraid to stop! LOL

    Hmm, maybe I had better check that intake for pin holes. I have had it running and didn't see any problems but worth looking for sure. I remembered the firing order thing but admit I had forgot about the dist. rotating CCW on the Olds. Funny the things you forget over the years.

    Great to have so many following! Thanks.
  7. silversink
    Joined: May 3, 2008
    Posts: 912


    your doing great. I'm almost 70 and just getting started building a 60's era hotrod( my first A ever). I found a 29 barn sitter that was parked in 1972. I hope I have enough get up and go to get it done so I can have some fun in it before I have to park it forever. I'm subscribing to this one for encouragement and motivation to keep plugging away until finished.
  8. looks like I have a lot of company....guess I am not the only one that has gotten a "second wind"so to speak. Besides, projects keep us active and young!.....just don't spend too much time in front of the mirror. LOL
    Be sure to start a build post on that 29. We would love to see it and see what you have in store for it.
  9. 48FordFanatic
    Joined: Feb 26, 2011
    Posts: 1,336

    from Maine

    Your story sure brings back memories. I just turned 65 myself. My first car was a nice 1940 Ford Coupe that I bought at age 16 for $100. It was a complete , running car with a Olds Rocket 324, LaSalle transmission and an Olds rear end. I bought in Massachusetts and a friend ( who had a license ) and I towed it the 270 miles home to Maine on a tow bar we made. Keep going man.
  10. wheeldog57
    Joined: Dec 6, 2013
    Posts: 1,546


    your build is inspiring, glad to see `the sickness` does not fade away. good luck on your 30- its a neat looking ride
  11. I learned to drive on a 40 2 door sedan that my uncle bought for me from a farmer for $40. It was never registered but rather a field car of sorts that we drove around the truck farm next door and down the abandoned RR tracks. We could really fly on that packed down cinder bed! When I got my license I got my Olds and the 40 was buried in a big hole when they were excavating next door! It is still there to this day, somewhere.
    Bet you wished you had that 40 coupe today!

    Thanks Wheeldog! I do not believe that there is a cure for the "sickness". It just gets in your blood and remains for life.
  12. CubeInch
    Joined: Aug 31, 2008
    Posts: 10


    Cool old coup'... It's never to late to dig into rods.
    Keep up the good work, oldtimer!! ;)
    (I've passed my 50:s now so I'm good for that remark)
  13. Thanks for the comments CubeInch!
    (you will always be just a kid to me though, LOL)
  14. speedshifter
    Joined: Mar 3, 2008
    Posts: 127


  15. speedshifter
    Joined: Mar 3, 2008
    Posts: 127


    Hi Walt. Thanks for sharing your quick auto biography. You have led a very interesting life and are obviously busy life. Life is great, isn't it? I was born in 1940 and was adopted out of an orphanage as an infant by two great parents here in Spencer, IA. Always facinated by mechanical things. I bought a 1942 Harley 45 when I was 14, a Matchless 500 when I was 16, and a '49 Olds convertable at 18. (a cool car for a school kid). Incidently, all of these toys were purchased with money I earned mowing lawns, pumping, etc.. I really received a lesson on mechan
  16. speedshifter
    Joined: Mar 3, 2008
    Posts: 127


  17. oldsman41
    Joined: Jun 25, 2010
    Posts: 1,134


    67 now and I still love building these old cars. keep up the good work.
  18. Uhh no comparison to a fat Fendered car... Model A Fords have no rules, no fenders, making them the simplest car to build next to a T bucket!

    9/16", 1/2", flat screw driver and a Hammer were the only tools necessary to maintain it for it's normal lifespan.

    Model A after life tools are expanded to include torches (cutting/welding) grinders and a new vocabulary known as "turrets syndrome "!

    But since you've worked on fat fenders you should be a master of the Torrets!
  19. Guess that it might be time to update this build thread! Sorry for the delay but life gets in the way at times as I am certain many can attest to. I will condense this a bit to save space.
    After much aggravation with the frame it seemed easier to cut the X out and fab a new one as well as removing the rear cross member. That being said I had a friend bend me up some channel and got after the new cross member. Along the way the original plan for the Lasalle tranny got replaced with a 37 Buick tranny that I put a 57 Olds gut into. Very happy with the way that turned out. Parts are easier to come by for this set up as compared to the lasalle. Built a tranny support for that that bolts into the new crossmember.
    Got rid of the old trailing arms as they were not long enough to go up to the center of the tranny rear yoke. they were also attached to the sides of the frame (an application that I do not agree with) Replaced them with units that I traded for with my mentor , Bruce.
    Picked up a used A rear spring to play with and set the A crossmember in place. Had an idea that I would play with adding some 800 lb bags to the rear suspension to see if I could get a softer ride that may save my aging chronic back problem from becoming an issue when driving. Fabbed up some brackets and added those. Will reduce the numbers of leaves to compensate for having the bags. We will see how that goes. Worse case I will cut them out and go with the std. spring. Have to experiment now and then I suppose.

    Added some additional supports to the trailing arms to handle the torque of the Olds and installed some plates to make them a bit more rigid. Whipped out a pan hard bar and then back onto the design of the brakes.
  20. Try as I may I just could not get the under floor pedals to come out like I wanted. Got to be a real pia so I decided to go with the firewall mounted early GM master cyl. That being said I designed and fabbed up a hoop for under the dash that would support the cowl steering box as well as an anchor for the brake and clutch system. Built a set of arms for the brake and clutch. Stole some pieces from a brake set up for a 64 Belair I had and surprisingly it came out real sturdy and seems like it will work out well. Bolted the MC on and decided to run the lines back into the interior and down the back of the firewall and into the frame area. Looks cleaner to me, IMHO.
    Then I had a 50 Ford dash hanging around so I got inspired somehow to fit that into the A. That took a bit longer than expected of course but in the end I think it came out OK. I am going to hide a GM fuse panel in the glove box along with anything else I can to keep the dash clean. Set up a Mopar box for the cowl steering and built a column out of Exhaust tubing and will top that with a 37 wheel. Then I needed to start tying out he floor pans and filling in the hole in the firewall. Back up to Bruces to use the bead roller and the shrinker/stretcher. On the way I picked up a 2nd seat from a '02 Chrysler T/C. Amazed how it fits so well in the A. I even was able to keep the hidden cup holders underneath the seat which can be a real benefit in a small coupe!


    chop job, thewildturkey46 and Stogy like this.
  21. Here is the shot inside the glove box

    And a pic of the dash with the banjo wheel in place

    And that T/C seat:

    The MC with the hidden lines
    Jet96, Stogy and 54reno like this.
  22. Had to cut out the previous rear sub rails as they did not fit to my way of thinking. then fabbed up my own and proceeded to install them.
    the old:
    the new:

    and mounted in the car:
    54reno and Stogy like this.
  23. edcodesign
    Joined: Mar 30, 2007
    Posts: 3,635


    Cool, nice start, good luck !
  24. Ordered a 20 gal tank and built a frame work out of 1x1 to support that in the rear. Then continued on making floor pans. Still working in this area, but got side tracked with fitting 50 Ford trunk hinges to the trunk lid.

    Took a breather from the trunk and worked on the steering. Made a pitman arm up and attached it to the sector shaft. Built a drag link and attached the steering arm to the front backing plate. Decided to cover the pitman hole in the cowl with a slick cast unit from another member that casts these(fourspd2quad). Sweet deal for sure.

    Work continues but at a slow pace. Been on vacation in FL basking in the sun with my bride and on our return I am sequestered in the sugar house making maple syrup for the next month, then back on to the projects. Stay tuned.....
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2017
    55zephyr and Stogy like this.
  25. Oh and a little footnote, time has a way of running by it seems. Hard for me to remember that I started this thread back when I turned 69. Just turned 71, better pick up the pace if I ever want to enjoy this ride....LOL
    wackdaddy, Stogy and Denns1989 like this.
  26. 1lucky1
    Joined: Apr 19, 2009
    Posts: 1,125

    from Morgan NJ

    Good Morning,Great work,Will be watching,Lucky
  27. hfh
    Joined: Oct 22, 2012
    Posts: 223

    from Western MA

    Hi, Thanks for posting pictures of your project. It looks very nice. I am considering changing the steering on my roadster to cowl steering. I'm wondering where you got your steering box. New or ? Thanks.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2017
  28. YJ4000
    Joined: Feb 5, 2009
    Posts: 271


    Nice job on the brake and steering setup.

  29. That box is a Mopar unit that was used in early 70 cars. All aluminum and easy to work on. you can get rebuilds from Rock Auto or other parts houses. I got this one from a race car that was retired.
    There are a couple of build threads in the archives showing what is all involved to do a Mopar box.
  30. Thanks for the kind words fellas. I will keep posting soon. I have the full Buick brake set up to post yet so I will be back on that in a bit.

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