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Projects building a low budget bellybutton 40 ford coupe

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by zibo, Oct 8, 2012.

    Joined: Aug 9, 2006
    Posts: 1,411


    Want to see the 40's on the road soon. Hurry up man.
  2. Jedidiah
    Joined: Oct 8, 2008
    Posts: 177

    from Ft Worth

    What a cool car you are building! Looking forward to updates. Thanks for posting.
  3. no55mad
    Joined: Dec 15, 2006
    Posts: 1,837

    from nipomo, ca

    This electronic distributor conversion is interesting. Do you need to run a capacitor like the GM HEI's have? Are solid core spark plug wires a no no for the HEI module? How did you figure out which wire from the pick up module in the distributor goes to what terminal on the HEI module?

  4. zibo
    Joined: Mar 17, 2002
    Posts: 2,346

    from dago ca

    Thanks guys for continuing to check in!
    After getting beat up driving the RPU 200 miles to Ventura this weekend,
    we'll be stoked to have a chill freeway cruiser for the hauls.

    I just studied online.
    Tons of info so search "duraspark with HEI" on hamb or google.

    Nothing too exciting going on,
    but still chipping away.
    Hopefully driveshaft is done this week sometime.
    In the meantime fixing all the "was pulled out of a running car" type stuff
    that you get from craigslist deals!
    Resurrected the oily brake and acetone...
    at least the brakes were complete.
    now ready for a couple rear brake lines.
    Slowly but surely trying to not get distracted!
    There's a local show a couple miles away this saturday.
    Gonna use it as a lite deadline we'll see!
  5. no55mad
    Joined: Dec 15, 2006
    Posts: 1,837

    from nipomo, ca

    Thanks ZIBO. I did see that diagram twords the beginning of this post. I'm trying to convert a flathead Procomp dist that was designed to be used with an MSD 6a type box. I'm hoping the pickup in the distributor is a magnetic type, like the duraspark. It has 2 wires coming off the distributor pickup, not sure which of these 2 wires goes the G and W terminal on the HEI module.
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2013
  6. zibo
    Joined: Mar 17, 2002
    Posts: 2,346

    from dago ca

    No problem wish I could be more help.
    Never looked into modifying one for a flathead,
    the sbf's are the opposite rotation.
    I think sbc's can be machined down for an 8ba style.
    My goal was to have stuff replaceable at any parts store,
    instead of those LED mallory's or the pertronix.
    Not to say they'll fail it's just the easy to fix idea.
    I've already got a 6-volt hot rod that I push our luck with!

    I'll take a look at the duraspark and see if there are some obvious wire connections.
    You'd think there'd be a positive and ground side.
  7. no55mad
    Joined: Dec 15, 2006
    Posts: 1,837

    from nipomo, ca

    Googled several sources and came up with this: The solid black wire from the Procomp goes to the HEI module G terminal and the black Procomp wire with the stripe goes to the HEI module W terminal.
    This is a 2 bolt distributor for the 59ab. These distributors are not that common in the aftermarket so if the Procomp can be upgraded with the HEI module and maybe even the HEI distributor magnetic pickup module, it may function reliably.
  8. Edsel58a
    Joined: Jan 17, 2008
    Posts: 751


    I know I am coming in late, but did you swap the oil pump drive? The later 302's have a longer distributor and shorter shaft. The distributor you installed only slides over the drive maybe 1/8" and could strip. I found this out the hard way.
    If you did not replace, all is not lost. Cut a piece off the bottom of the electronic distributor, bevel both, align with an allen wrench and tig together. Use a belt sander to smooth out and you are good to go.
  9. zibo
    Joined: Mar 17, 2002
    Posts: 2,346

    from dago ca

    Hey Edsel that was a huge worry for a month or two.
    I measured it out and there was about 1/4" of overlap,
    definitely shorter than the newer electronic as that has that extension.
    That is a great fix,
    I've got two of these distributors so I'll do one up like that.
  10. Canus
    Joined: Apr 16, 2011
    Posts: 102


    Best damn thread I've seen yet. I've learned a great deal from this thread. Finally someone who builds what he needs using his own skills and what is on hand or can be scrounged up for cheap rather than ordering everything from some fancy aftermarket company. You sir are a TRUE hotrodder and I bow in reverence to you. Keep up the good work.

    p.s. Low budget doesn't mean you can't afford it, just means you can build what you need rather than buying it.
  11. I have to concur; although they call it by another name today (Build On A Budget), Zibo is
    really building his coupe as it was done "back in the day". Home built with the parts on
    hand....and massaged slightly when called for......

    I tip my hat!
  12. Six Ball
    Joined: Oct 8, 2007
    Posts: 3,158

    Six Ball
    from Nevada

    I'm in total agreement. This is the most "Traditional" build I have seen on this site. Many confuse traditional with period correct which is merely underlining a date on a calendar and sticking your head in the sand. None of our old hot rodding heros were concerned with dates. Don't get me wrong I love the old style stuff as well as anyone. But here is a car being built look right and be a lot safer for the family to use.
  13. zibo
    Joined: Mar 17, 2002
    Posts: 2,346

    from dago ca

    Hey canus/six/36 - you guys are awesome.
    I've got friends that go the bolt-on or mail order route,
    and it's ridiculous usually the pieces are cheesy and/or need hours to fit right.
    It only justifies grinding metal and using the junk lying around the yard!
    Really cool that there's people out there that can appreciate this build,
    and hopefully can learn from both the wins and mistakes I've done.
    Like any other builder,
    it is always a learning process.
    This one I learned what can be done in a home garage with simple tools!
    Yesterday completed a huge milestone.
    Most new part money was spent on the brake system.
    The disc kit, residual valves, combination block, lines, cylinders etc.
    I found the cheapest deals at the parts store and ebay.
    Looking back the junkyard would have been a good place for some stuff,
    but what the heck these are the brakes.
    Tons of info online for the spaghetti diagram.
    The only real issue I found was the different nut sizes used.
    Half the lines were re-flared so it was easier to use adapter nuts rather than brass adapters.
    I had scrounged up a mityvac vacuum bleeder kit,
    and man this made it so much easier.
    One of my kids helped do the traditional pump bleeding,
    and it was barely necessary.
    The only leak was between a hose and a brass splitter.
    No amount of cranking would seal it up.
    It felt like it was on the verge of ripping the threads.
    I've used this LOCTITE 567 for some marine hydraulic piping,
    it's rated to 10K psi.
    This stuff sealed the leak with only a dab on the threads.
    Next time I'll coat every threaded joint,
    as it works as a lubricant not an adhesive.
    So cool to have pedal pressure after throwing scrap wood under the wheels for so long.
    There was a little issue with the brake kit.
    A series of bearing adapters are used,
    and the castellated nut was about 1/16" too tall.
    I checked and rechecked the seating,
    and the only fix I could come up with was filing down the groove.
    Not sure if this is common,
    maybe the new nut is a little taller?
    Ok there was a page where I tried the electronic ignition trick.
    It was a little frustrating and I ended up temporarily using a points ignition.
    Well with the dual exhaust,
    it was obvious that there was a miss in the passenger side cylinders.
    I ended up finding a cracked spark plug,
    but more importantly saw the huge 060 spark plug gap needed for electronic ignition.
    After regapping to 037,
    the engine ran so smooth and way cleaner.
    I'll still try to do the HEI/Duraspark trick,
    but for now I just want to make sure the rest of the mods work.

    Hopefully picking up the driveshaft today!

  14. ffr1222k
    Joined: Nov 5, 2009
    Posts: 1,093


    I really enjoy your updates. You are building both cars with a focus on budget. It shows what you can do with imagination.

    I look forward to your updates!
  15. wingman9
    Joined: Dec 30, 2009
    Posts: 804

    from left coast

    The shop where I hang out has a booklet similar to an Owner's Manual that has a place to list all the parts you used. PM me your address and I'll send you one. Great build.
  16. neilswheels
    Joined: Aug 26, 2006
    Posts: 724

    from England

    Just checked back in, I really enjoy your builds Zibo, its all there, warts and all, love it.
  17. b-bob
    Joined: Nov 4, 2008
    Posts: 1,097


    I've been reading this thread from the beginning, because I was afraid you were going to chop it. Was glad you practised on the rusty one instead.
    This all reminds me of myself when I was about twenty and had a 48 coupe and did everything I could myself because there were no kits and had no money anyway.
    I really like your attitude towards your build and you have the smarts to figure it all out yourself, you must have learned all this sometime in your past.
    Looking forward to seeing both your coupes finished.
  18. zibo
    Joined: Mar 17, 2002
    Posts: 2,346

    from dago ca

    PM sent Wingman!

    Hey b-bob it's funny as I get older you'd expect me to pull out the credit card more,
    instead I went the opposite way and like you said have been utilizing the years of experience.
    I spread myself a bit thin having 2 projects so I'll admit it's been slow going at times,
    but every day I consider myself lucky.

    Hey Neil and ffr1222k,
    Building a car is basically a compilation of a bunch of small projects,
    and if anyone can learn what not to do or how to make a nicer outcome from my mistakes,
    than showing the warts is just as important.
    I've seen more projects lose steam and stall cause some guys aren't prepared for the unexpected,
    or they set there sites too high and don't realize it's just an old car!

    Finally picked up the driveshaft on Friday,
    and yes it fit!
    Over the weekend buttoned up a bunch of loose ends.
    And for the first time almost a year and a half,
    drove the 40 around the block!
    Thankfully we didn't get stuck!
    I haven't gone farther than a 2 block circle around the neighborhood,
    but the transmission shifts fine,
    the disc brakes work great,
    and the steering is so smooth.
    Next up is a shifter as reaching down to shift is a hassle,
    and a trip to the AAA/DMV!

  19. Congrats on getting it drivable again! Like you said, many projects stall and the cars end up sitting forever in a garage or somewhere. I love your perserverence, and your build thread.
  20. Six Ball
    Joined: Oct 8, 2007
    Posts: 3,158

    Six Ball
    from Nevada

    Good job! All that work that very few will ever know was done. The stance is great. Just little stuff left to do. Unless............?
  21. patman
    Joined: Apr 30, 2007
    Posts: 546


    Congrats! Next stop after AAA/DMV is the grocery store or some other equally mundane DD task...done in style!
  22. zibo
    Joined: Mar 17, 2002
    Posts: 2,346

    from dago ca

    Dropping off my 2nd grader to school will be perfect!
    My goal is to get it registered so I can park it out on the street,
    than peck away at all the unfinished stuff.
    I'm a simple guy!
    It is funny what goes into making any hot rod or custom goes unnoticed.
    Heck if it wasn't for the pictures I've forgotten most of it already!
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2013
  23. Tim
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 10,759

    from Raytown Mo

    Got caught up on the blog this morning after being on the road for a minute and cheered out loud reading that you'd gotten in driving! Congrats man! I was buzzing big time after my first short drive :D

    Posted using My Dick Tracy watch and the full custom HAMB app
  24. b-bob
    Joined: Nov 4, 2008
    Posts: 1,097


    Right on Zibo! Is it safe to leave out on the street?
  25. CoolHand
    Joined: Aug 31, 2007
    Posts: 1,917

    Alliance Vendor

    Go man, go!

    You have got to be one of the most hard core "DIY with almost no tools" guys on this board, and I say that with the utmost respect.

    I DIY everything too, but I've got a lot of nice tools backstopping me, which kind of makes me a bit spoiled.

    I'm constantly amazed at what fellows like yourself can do with a grinder, a welder, a couple of files, and a shitload of motivation.

    Love both your 40 builds.

    Can't wait to see the fab work on the rusty one finished and this one driving.
  26. n847
    Joined: Apr 22, 2010
    Posts: 2,694


    Awesome to see it running! I love that feeling going for the first ride...looking great!
  27. 28-31
    Joined: Jun 16, 2011
    Posts: 72


    Well done -- wish I could scrounge up parts as good as you do!
  28. birdman1
    Joined: Dec 6, 2012
    Posts: 793

    from USA

    I put an Explorer 8.8 in my 1939 Deluxe Coupe. I also used the explorer leaf springs. Made my own mounts and shackles. I boxed the frame. My coupe needed floors, quarter panels, rear pan,etc. Losts of work to fix, but I am finally building my very own Ford Coupe!! Been waiting almost 60 years to do it.
  29. zibo
    Joined: Mar 17, 2002
    Posts: 2,346

    from dago ca

    Hey CoolHand,
    It may seem funny to you but I feel like I almost have too many tools!
    For 5 years I subbed a shop nearby,
    and the only tool that I miss is the sheetmetal shear,
    and the only capability I miss is being able to be really loud at all hours!
    My projects don't need english wheels or anything super fancy...yet.
    You guys with lifts are truly lucky,
    As I get older crawling around on the ground is definitely slows me down!

    Thanks everyone for checking in!


    Ok guys I finally registered and insured the coupe.
    And one of the first things we did...
    Pick up my 6 year old from school!
    It's funny as this was the car I drove the wife to the hospital in.
    Another car Dad took this shot.

    Got home no problem, no leaks or anything.
    That night I used it to go to Home Depot.
    Guess what happens.
    You know it's friday the 13th and I'm already a bit on the tired side.
    I'm driving into the lot,
    I roll into the parking spot.
    Of course I've got no tools or flashlight.
    Smart on the second legal drive!
    It was obviously an electrical thing.
    Fuses looked good and no wires were dangling,
    so I tested for power by+/- jumper cables,
    the old fashioned spark test.
    My mind wandered,
    and I began thinking of ripping out the wiring system and redoing it when I got home.
    One more check of the fuses,
    and I took the main fuse out and exchanged it with the fan fuse.
    These are the old glass fuses,
    and for some reason the inside wasn't burnt out there was just an invisible break.
    Needless to say but I hooked up with some old friends and drank alot of beer that night!

    The car drives ok,
    but there are a couple issues.
    Front alignment was only roughed in so a recheck is definitely needed.
    Retighten a bunch of stuff to get rid of rattles.
    Rear shocks would be nice.
    The worst part is the steering.
    It is so so smooth compared to the original box,
    but the ratio is definitely too high.
    It takes a bunch of turns to barely turn it.
    I'll have to dig up a longer pitman arm and see if that helps.

    Anyway thanks again guys for checking in.
    Gonna work on the shifter and air cleaner this weekend,
    better seatbelts and a toolbox too.
    Another thing b-bob said was parking it on the street.
    If I can get the front bumper back on with the license plate,
    I'll feel more comfortable only to not get a random ticket.
    For now it's a great town car!

  30. ffr1222k
    Joined: Nov 5, 2009
    Posts: 1,093


    Congratulations Zibo.

    The picture with your kid is priceless. That is what memeories are made of.

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