The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by J.Ukrop, Sep 7, 2020.
Al Engle of the Jokers has a v8 60 Arden on an engine stand plus a bunch of other great mills
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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!
I'll never forget when people would let me sit in their hot rods when I was a kid. Memorable stuff for sure.
From there, I was able to walk around the show and take it all in. Here are a few highlights.
Stay tuned for Ocean Beach Part II tomorrow!
I’m sure I’m not the only one who felt like they were riding shotgun to the show!
Very poetic Joey, and your hand through the windshield really cracked me up. Thanks for the ride....
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.
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.
Get a haircut hippy!
He’s building a 1940’s period correct car in 1974 hahaha
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 !!
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?
I love you letting the kids in your car. You may have planted the seeds to the next generation of hot rodders with that.
Love your friend's Econo, it appears to be OG Pacific Gas & Electric green.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Soon thereafter, I was back home. And boy did I feel good.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Hahaha I regularly read Street Rod Quarterly with Jake's trip in the NieKamp roadster. Retro resurgence!
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.
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!
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.
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....
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.
figured there was some reason thanks for the explanation
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.”
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Great trip story! Those rear axle nuts take something like 250lbs to snug down might be worth looking into before the new brake job
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.
Great Day ! Great story . Thanks for sharing .
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