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Projects Building My First Roadster in San Francisco

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by J.Ukrop, Sep 7, 2020.

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  1. Rustygt
    Joined: May 18, 2014
    Posts: 204

    Rustygt
    Member
    from Emeryville

    Al Engle of the Jokers has a v8 60 Arden on an engine stand plus a bunch of other great mills
     
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  2. J.Ukrop
    Joined: Nov 10, 2008
    Posts: 1,801

    J.Ukrop
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    Thank you! I couldn't help but think of those days too as I was standing there in the fog. I can't wait to see your reversed version of the shot!

    I'm going to get into it a little more in a second here with my show recap post, but I feel like the luckiest hot rodder at the beach having all of you on my team. That's what it's all about. IMG_0027.CR2.jpg
    Do you think this guy knew what he was getting himself into?

    Thank you! It's getting there!

    None of this would have been possible without you guys. We're all having fun here—and you guys are helping me learn. Man, I'm still laughing about your lathe story hahahaha
     
  3. J.Ukrop
    Joined: Nov 10, 2008
    Posts: 1,801

    J.Ukrop
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    Saturday night I could barely sleep I was so nervous/excited about the show. I set a bunch of alarms and made sure that I had everything buttoned up and ready to go. Gas? Check. Tools? Check. Snack? Check. Even though my alarm was set for seven, I was up at 6:45, ready to make things happen. By quarter-past, I was in the driveway.

    On my way out, I ran into my neighbor who was just getting back from surfing. We chatted for a minute and she snapped this picture. IMG_4387.jpg
    With that, I jumped in, warmed up the engine and hit the road. Up the hill I went, four banger humming as I moved West on Fulton. I kept my head on a swivel, taking note of my surroundings. The trees. The park. The cars. The road. Everything looked different. The air was crisp and the golden sunlight felt good. As I picked up speed, I had the biggest smile on my face. So much, in fact, that I may or may not have shed a tear of joy.
    IMG_4392.jpg
    Off in the distance, I spotted a massive fog bank, which is typical for this time of year. "No sense in stopping now!" I said as I worked through the gears. With the engine roaring and the cockpit rattling, I felt like the Red Baron as I shot through the clouds. While in the thick of things, I was very thankful that I set up my brake light (albeit the temporary one) the night before. Blanketed in cool, gray fog, I rolled onto the Great Highway.

    Pulling into the show was surreal to say the least. Judging by people's reactions, they were pretty surprised to see me driving up in an early style Model A hot rod. I worked hard to keep my cool. Luckily I spotted my friend Mauricio who just so happened to be at the show with his early-'60s Econoline. After making a half-lap of the lot, I pulled up next to him. So good to see a familiar face!
    IMG_4412.jpg
    Throughout the morning, I loved talking with people about my project, and their projects too. At one point, these two little guys were looking at the car and really seemed to like it. I asked them if they'd like to drive it, and they said they would. Both of them got a kick out of it—and their dad did too! IMG_4416.jpg
    I'll never forget when people would let me sit in their hot rods when I was a kid. Memorable stuff for sure.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2021
  4. J.Ukrop
    Joined: Nov 10, 2008
    Posts: 1,801

    J.Ukrop
    SUPER MODERATOR
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    From there, I was able to walk around the show and take it all in. Here are a few highlights.
    IMG_4438.JPG

    IMG_4395.JPG

    IMG_4394.JPG

    IMG_4402.JPG

    IMG_4407.JPG
    Stay tuned for Ocean Beach Part II tomorrow!
     
  5. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 6,717

    Budget36
    Member

    I’m sure I’m not the only one who felt like they were riding shotgun to the show!

    Great recap:)
     
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  6. Nobey
    Joined: May 28, 2011
    Posts: 1,204

    Nobey
    Member

    Very poetic Joey, and your hand through the windshield really cracked me up. Thanks for the ride....
     
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  7. Tim
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 12,682

    Tim
    Member
    from KCMO

    Good shit dude! Really gets me riled up to get my A on the road. Hope this makes it to the hamb drags/ Midwest sometime.
     
  8. guthriesmith
    Joined: Aug 17, 2006
    Posts: 5,351

    guthriesmith
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    1. H.A.M.B. Chapel

    Thanks for taking us along Joey! And, I also had to crack up when I saw the pic with your hand through the windshield. Not sure if that was intentional to show there wasn’t one...but it worked to help tell the story of the drive. :D
     
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  9. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 19,762

    Ryan
    ADMINISTRATOR
    Staff Member

    Get a haircut hippy!
     
  10. Tim
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 12,682

    Tim
    Member
    from KCMO

    He’s building a 1940’s period correct car in 1974 hahaha
     
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  11. Rustygt
    Joined: May 18, 2014
    Posts: 204

    Rustygt
    Member
    from Emeryville

    Great first person story I was right with you could feel the chill from the intrusion into the fog. Enjoy your energy for the sport great job on your heap. That 55 black gasser still has my tach pinned !!
     
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  12. winduptoy
    Joined: Feb 19, 2013
    Posts: 2,400

    winduptoy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Good stuff there. I'm glad to see some more doors getting some love too.
    I ALWAYS ask the youngsters if they want to sit in the car! There is also a discussion about respecting the other car owners and asking before touching.
    Thanks for taking us along, smiles and look forward to more and more
    By the way, since you are a youngster...do you want to drive my car?
     
  13. kevinrevin
    Joined: Jul 1, 2018
    Posts: 112

    kevinrevin
    Member
    from East Texas

    I love you letting the kids in your car. You may have planted the seeds to the next generation of hot rodders with that.
     
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  14. Hotrodder28
    Joined: Apr 27, 2019
    Posts: 12

    Hotrodder28

    Nice ride!
     
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  15. RodStRace
    Joined: Dec 7, 2007
    Posts: 2,610

    RodStRace
    Member

    Love your friend's Econo, it appears to be OG Pacific Gas & Electric green.
     
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  16. Six Ball
    Joined: Oct 8, 2007
    Posts: 4,125

    Six Ball
    Member
    from Nevada

    I miss the fog and the smell the ocean. The '48 ? woody and the '51 four door reming me of my '51 woody that died on the return from Santa Barbara. Come to think of it surfing somehow killed several of my cars. :(
     
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  17. J.Ukrop
    Joined: Nov 10, 2008
    Posts: 1,801

    J.Ukrop
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    As promised, we have Part II of the car show story.

    An hour or so in, I decided to parallel park the car by the curb so that I could try to get some different photos. Definitely nerve-wracking to try to fire it up and drive across the lot with so many people around. How do you operate this thing again?! Nonetheless, I made it over and parked in the new spot. Tony, the event organizer, snapped these dynamic shots.

    175981669_4556914797657131_1785185625829014042_n.jpg

    175563860_4556912837657327_7459657784129765039_n.jpg

    175868562_4556913054323972_3622932399975330063_n.jpg

    After I parked, I enjoyed talking with more people. As I was chatting, I kicked the rear tire (as one does when they're looking at a car). Much to my horror, it wobbled. Upon further inspection, both did. Oh no! Of all the tools I brought with me, the crank/lug wrench wasn't one of them. Damn. I tried hard not to panic. Within a minute my jacket was off, the tools were out and I was on the ground trying to figure out was going on.

    Part of me wanted to not even include this part in this story, but transparency is key and this is a learning experience, after all. It wasn't the lug nuts that were loose—it was the castle nuts on the axle. The cotter pins kept everything in place, but boy did I feel stupid for not checking them. I have a fresh set of cast iron rear drums from Randy Gross coming next week, so I planned to tackle everything at once. Nonetheless, I tightened the nuts, borrowed a fresh cotter pin off another piece of the car and the problem was solved for now. Not surprisingly, it tracks way straighter and rattles less now.

    This oversight may have chewed up the bearings or even the axle. The car still rolls well and goes down the road nicely. I'll find out in the next week or two when I pull it apart. I was proud how thorough I was with my pre-ride checklist, but I guess this is just part of being new.

    Even though the whole repair was somewhat stressful, I felt good that I was able to diagnose the problem and fix it on the spot. As I laid on the ground with tools around me, a bystander asked me if I needed help or if it was just part of the display! I got a good laugh out of that.

    After that project was finished, my pal Yama and his girlfriend Lyndsie swung by the show to check out the car. As you may remember, Yama joined me on my trip to buy the body and frame last summer and has been a big help with the fabrication on this thing. He was so excited to see it out in his neck of the woods. I got to take both him and Lyndsie for rides and they loved it!

    IMG_4461.jpg

    IMG_4437-1.jpg
     
  18. J.Ukrop
    Joined: Nov 10, 2008
    Posts: 1,801

    J.Ukrop
    SUPER MODERATOR
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    After we said our goodbyes, I made my way east towards home. As I approached the halfway point, I figured I would make a right turn and enjoy the park. Driving down those old two-lane roads with their eucalyptus trees and greenery all around made me feel like I was really in another place and time. I was going to snap a picture, but I was too busy enjoying the world around me.

    I did, however, stop to say hi to the Golden Gate Park Bison. I figured they may get a kick out of seeing my roadster. IMG_4446.jpg
    "Hi!"

    Soon thereafter, I was back home. And boy did I feel good.
     
  19. J.Ukrop
    Joined: Nov 10, 2008
    Posts: 1,801

    J.Ukrop
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    Overall, the car ran well and performed great. Of all the comments, I was surprised that the most common one was "I wouldn't change a thing." I was expecting people to ask when it'll be finished, when will you lower it, etc. etc. But they didn't. They appreciated it for what it is. That was pretty special.

    But, because we're hot rodders, we're always changing things. I noticed at the end of the drive, the car was leaking more oil than usual. I discovered there were two contributing factors. 1) I had the oil breather on too tight, which wasn't allowing it to vent and 2) there was just a hole in the bottom of the bellhousing. I looked at it, confused. Shouldn't that be plugged? I asked myself. IMG_4484.jpg
    Well, I'm lucky enough to have both the power of the internet and a second engine under the workbench. I noticed that on the Gopher Motor there's a cotter pin in that hole. Online, I read that that was stock.
    IMG_4485.jpg
    With that, I installed a pin and the leaking has been greatly reduced. I was very worried that it was the rear main, but it looks like that's not the case at this point.

    To test my mods, I took the car out for a drive to the hardware store yesterday and all was well. IMG_4486.jpg
    And you thought a Prius was an economy car?

    In other news, my brakes are on their way and my new windshield is getting cut as we speak. Tonight, I'm hoping to get the lower stanchion figured out so I can have a sturdy windshield. I'm also ordering the finger pulls so that it has something to rest on while angled back.

    One day at a time!
     
  20. J.Ukrop
    Joined: Nov 10, 2008
    Posts: 1,801

    J.Ukrop
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    Thank you guys. It was a memorable day for sure. I was just making sure that these photos couldn't be used for a Windex commercial!

    Thanks! I can't wait to see yours on the road. Oh man, once we finish the next phase, I'm driving this car across the country.

    Street-is-Neat-Hat-Patch-6462-scaled.jpg

    Hahaha I regularly read Street Rod Quarterly with Jake's trip in the NieKamp roadster. Retro resurgence!
     
  21. burl
    Joined: Nov 28, 2007
    Posts: 743

    burl
    Member
    from Minnesota

    Pretty sure all of the bangers leak out of that hole unless they have a sbc seal conversion on the rear main. Mine had cotter pins as well not sure what it was meant to do . Tapped it for a 1/8 npt plug now it just stays in till i remember to drain.
     
  22. J.Ukrop
    Joined: Nov 10, 2008
    Posts: 1,801

    J.Ukrop
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    Thank you—I was glad that I wore my wool jacket and that I could have all of you guys riding along. That '55 was the nicest car at the show. I wouldn't have thought it, but I love the wheel color.

    Thank you! I loved telling people about the quail and my friend in Zuzax, New Mexico, who sent it to me. And you know the answer to that question. Sign me up!

    I hope so. They were already hooked on Lego, so they're on the right path for sure.

    Thank you! It's coming along piece by piece.

    Great eye. I'm pretty sure that's exactly what it is. Best of all, it's his daily. He's a member of NorCal Vans and drives it everywhere—often times with vintage motorcycles or Schwinns in tow!

    It was a very San Francisco day: warm and sunny in the Richmond but cool and misty down by the beach. Damn, I'm sorry it didn't make it. I've been wanting to try surfing for quite some time though!
     
  23. Craig Owens
    Joined: Jun 28, 2006
    Posts: 439

    Craig Owens
    Member

    That cotter key was placed in the hole on purpose. Ford knew the rear main seal would leak so they provided the hole as a drain so that the accumulated oil wouldn't oil the clutch; however, most roads in the day were dirt so the dirt would combine with the oil to clog the hole. The cotter key would rattle around keeping the hole clear. Sort of like that leather strap thing you had on the axles of your bicycle back in the 50's that kept the axle shined up and free of dirt and oil. But wait, there's more. Knowing that the rear main seal would leak oil, Ford place the drain hole so that oil that dripped would lubricate the ball and socket joint on the front radius rods right below the clutch housing.
     
  24. winduptoy
    Joined: Feb 19, 2013
    Posts: 2,400

    winduptoy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Yes, the old Ford has to mark it's territory!
    Good catch and recovery on the spindle nuts being loose. I bet everything is OK and that doesn't happen again to you. I always say....'it's the depth of experience' and the only way you obtain that, is to experience it. Unfortunately for me it was a parent telling me 'don't put your face over the burn barrel to look at it'
    'you put your face over the burn barrel, didn't you'?
    'No I didn't'
    'Yes, you did....you are missing eyebrows and eyelashes'....
    If you take a cross country trip, let me know. I'll meet up with you and travel along for sure....
     
  25. Brian Lundgren
    Joined: Jul 16, 2016
    Posts: 29

    Brian Lundgren
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Loving the photos from the first few outings Joey, I just got my coupe on the road and every trip to the hardware store or gas station feels like an adventure and a victory! The pre-drive checklist never seems to be long enough, but that's all part of getting to know the ol' girl. Keep up the good work, your skill as a writer really makes this thread a pleasure to read and effortlessly captures the"aesthetic" of period hot rodding that so many guys empty their wallets trying to create.
     
  26. burl
    Joined: Nov 28, 2007
    Posts: 743

    burl
    Member
    from Minnesota

    figured there was some reason thanks for the explanation
     
  27. Tribalmonkey
    Joined: Feb 17, 2019
    Posts: 704

    Tribalmonkey
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    The first time I heard the cotter pin story I thought “Ha! good one... “ but now that I’ve had my coupe for a few months I think more like “yeah, that makes sense.”


    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
     
  28. Tim
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 12,682

    Tim
    Member
    from KCMO

    Great trip story! Those rear axle nuts take something like 250lbs to snug down might be worth looking into before the new brake job :)
     
  29. The later V-8 rear ends require 220 lb/ft on the axle nuts. Don't know if the Model A rear ends need that much torque; but letting the hubs work loose on any of the tapered axles can cause problems down the road, ie a broken axle. When you do pull it apart check the condition of everything; lap the hubs to the axles and make sure everything is tight... then check those axle nuts occasionally. Lots of info on the Ford Barn about this kind of stuff.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2021
  30. tdog
    Joined: Nov 15, 2009
    Posts: 360

    tdog
    Member
    from Omaha, NE

    Great Day ! Great story . Thanks for sharing .
     
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