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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. 97
    Joined: May 18, 2005
    Posts: 1,809

    97
    Member

    Yeah, if you paid for top quality, and the freight to get it here, then added 60% for the exchange rate plus import tax at 15% on the total you wouldn't be so cavalier :D about not letting it get in the way!

    but yes a good (even used) aluminum gear will probably last another 40 years . All good with the rest of the stock parts. I did wonder how far it was all going when Joey was advised to buy top shelf for a more or less stock engine.
     
  2. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 6,393

    Budget36
    Member

    I can’t see the fiber gear wearing the crank gear. Someone mentioned it, but I guess if some grit was running through it maybe so, but I’d bet the fiber gear would take the majority of the wear it caused.
    I wonder if Henry did it like that, and then on his V8’s thinking it would be more cost effective to just change a cam gear if needed.?
     
    Stogy, chryslerfan55 and Six Ball like this.
  3. Congratulations On the photo on the cover!
    Most guys spend a lot of time painting, cleaning, waxing, etc,
    and never get a shot like that!
    And you get one without even trying, first time build!
    You are "living the dream!!"
     
  4. Six Ball
    Joined: Oct 8, 2007
    Posts: 3,964

    Six Ball
    Member
    from Nevada

    Sometimes we here forget our Hot Rod Privilege . I apologize to all
    other rodders around the world for taking advantage of living in the place it all began and not building anything of note. I pray that the parts I'm in possession of have not limited the builds of the less fortunate. :( :D
     
  5. J.Ukrop
    Joined: Nov 10, 2008
    Posts: 1,752

    J.Ukrop
    SUPER MODERATOR
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    Thank you! I am trying and feel particularly lucky to be learning every step of the way. No cleaning products were used in the making of this hot rod ;)
     
  6. J.Ukrop
    Joined: Nov 10, 2008
    Posts: 1,752

    J.Ukrop
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    Hey everyone, so update on the gears. I have a new, made in the U.S.A. aluminum gear heading my way along with all the correct gaskets, etc. After careful consideration, I decided that the juice isn't worth the squeeze to run the set from McEachern. For now, they're going on the shelf for a future 'banger build. You guys hit the nail on the head when you said I shouldn't lose the summer over this.

    Thank you all again for all your guidance and expertise. Slowly but surely, we're making progress!
     
  7. J.Ukrop
    Joined: Nov 10, 2008
    Posts: 1,752

    J.Ukrop
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    Staff Member

    Aaand we're back with a very full update. I'm still waiting on my oil pan gasket kit, but there's still plenty to talk about.
    0B147F13-CE95-4952-BA78-563299A6DAD6.jpg
    On May 12, I turned 28. Way back when I started this thread, I mentioned that I wanted to spend my 27th year finding and subsequently building a Model A roadster. I'm excited to say that I did that, even though I have a lifetime's worth of work that still needs to be done. On a personal level, I'm really glad that I threw caution to the wind and went for it. I knew the project was going to be challenging and fun, but I never could have imagined that I would meet so many neat, knowledgable folks along the way (you guys). As I'm sure you know, we're just getting rolling.

    Soon after I arrived at Ocean Beach last month, JP.wtf shot this timeless photo of me and the car on medium format film. That was a special day, and I'm grateful that he captured that moment.
     
  8. J.Ukrop
    Joined: Nov 10, 2008
    Posts: 1,752

    J.Ukrop
    SUPER MODERATOR
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    On Wednesday, I also received a pair of priceless gifts for the car. As luck would have it, they're both shift knobs. The first one came from my parents and Lucky Burton. Lucky is a talented craftsman and one of the nicest guys in the business; I got to know him while writing the feature on his Model A competition coupe for TRJ #83.
    IMG_6732.jpg Here I am trying out Lucky's land speed machine.
    IMG_5055.jpg
    For my roadster, I can use all the luck I can get! The shifter has a great feel to it.

    ***

    Later that day, I received a package from David di Falco. He hinted that he was sending something my way, but I had absolutely no idea what it was. The envelope was small and heavy. I tore it open. Inside, I found a skull shift knob that he painted to match the copper accents on my car!
    IMG_5062.jpg
    When I called to thank him, he informed me that this piece has a wild back story. Back when he was 12 years old in the early-'70s, he formed the skull out of clay and had his sister fire it in the kiln at her high school in South San Francisco. Initially, it was meant to be an incense holder. IMG_5066.jpg
    He held onto it all those years. Decades later, he worked with Hudson Joe Buffardi to have a limited number cast in aluminum. He then threaded it for an early Ford shifter and treated it to a custom paint job. I'm honored to have such a treasure in my possession. Reminds me of the "Kookie Kar" in all the right ways.
     
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  9. J.Ukrop
    Joined: Nov 10, 2008
    Posts: 1,752

    J.Ukrop
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    Since we're focusing on the interior, I was finally able to locate an original horn button and put it into play. Even though it's not hooked up, it feels good to finally have that void filled. Here's where the pieces are from.

    Steering wheel/column: Hayward, California
    Headlight switch: Morgan Hill, California
    Headlight button: Pleasant Hill, Missouri

    IMG_5089.jpg
    Next, my newest gear showed up along with the correct Torco gear lube.
    IMG_5092.jpg
     
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  10. Dedsoto
    Joined: Jan 7, 2014
    Posts: 117

    Dedsoto
    Member
    from Australia
    1. Aussie HAMBers

    No divot in the gear for the timing pin? Or is that the backside of the gear?
     
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  11. J.Ukrop
    Joined: Nov 10, 2008
    Posts: 1,752

    J.Ukrop
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    That's the back side. I was just highlighting its country of origin. It does indeed have a divot.
     
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  12. J.Ukrop
    Joined: Nov 10, 2008
    Posts: 1,752

    J.Ukrop
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    After an eventful week, I spent Saturday morning doing chores around the house. As I stood in the garage preparing to box up some magazines, I heard the distinct rumble of a V8. I looked behind me and my jaw dropped. "Whaaat?!" I said. "A Deuce five-window on my street?" Lo and behold, it was fellow H.A.M.B.er @Jaime Florence, who had made his way over from the Sunset.
    IMG_5093.jpg
    I had to run back upstairs to get my phone. It's hard to explain how exciting it was to have a second hot rod on the cul de sac. IMG_5102.jpg
    I learned that the all-steel '32 is the latest addition to Jaime's stable; he plans to drop in a fully rebuilt 331 Hemi in the not-so-distant future. IMG_5097.jpg
    With slicks, mags and a healthy chop, this five-window definitely has a serious '60s look. Jaime has a long history of road racing, so he plans to drive this car hard. Despite the San Francisco spring drizzle, we drove down to Ocean Beach, following a similar path to the one I took in my roadster last month. Once we hit the Great Highway, we made a right and cruised by the world-famous Cliff House (which is rumored to be returning under new ownership!)
    IMG_5100.jpg After making our way through the Outer Richmond, Jaime asked if I'd like to take a turn behind the wheel. "Really?!" I asked. Moments later, I was ripping around my old neighborhood in a bona fide '32 Ford hot rod. Pinch me.

    With its stout smallblock, the little blue coupe had no problem spinning those piecrust slicks. By the time we made it back to the terrace, I was grinning from ear to ear. Thank you again, Jaime. I can't wait to see how the project progresses!
     
  13. panhead_pete
    Joined: Feb 22, 2006
    Posts: 2,689

    panhead_pete
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Hey Joey love this thread, thanks for keeping at it! Im looking at buying a banger powered A coupe with mechanical brakes, never owned one that way before, hows that working out for you? Any more thoughts of going to hydraulic? Thanks!
     
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  14. J.Ukrop
    Joined: Nov 10, 2008
    Posts: 1,752

    J.Ukrop
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    This morning I cut through the fog and rode my bike to the Ocean Beach car show. I was very impressed with the traditional hot rods in attendance, some of which I've seen and others that are new to me. IMG_5116.jpg
    I've always liked this cabriolet, better known as "Camera Car #2." IMG_5127.jpg
    Bonus points for the creative fender patch. Possibly a future Jalopy Journal feature car? We'll see...
    IMG_5119.jpg
    I dream of having an interior this nice one day. Note the old chrome upper dash rail and garnish moldings.
    IMG_5122.jpg
    More good looking vintage tin. The five-window in the foreground belongs to Brandon aka LokiRoadster.
    IMG_5134.jpg
    Of all the cars I haven't seen before, this was my favorite. It belongs to master craftsman and land speed racer John Buddenbaum. I had a great time meeting John and learning about not only the A, but also his record-setting 50cc streamliner motorcycle and his slew of interesting projects. On the cabriolet, note the aluminum rolled rear pan, Bugatti exhaust and vintage racing tires.
    IMG_5137.jpg
    Power comes from a hopped up 'banger running a 7:1 Lyon Speed Head, Stromberg carb and plenty of tricks for touring. John bought the car in Arizona and drove it back to the Bay Area. I can't wait to get a photo of my car next to it for comparison sake. IMG_5135.jpg
     
  15. J.Ukrop
    Joined: Nov 10, 2008
    Posts: 1,752

    J.Ukrop
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    After lunch, I decided to cruise on over to an estate sale at an old upholstery shop off of Ocean Avenue. I wasn't looking for anything in particular, but I ended up scoring a few odds and ends that may be used on the car. I also appreciated this swoopy sports car on the bulletin board. I don't know for sure, but it looks like it may be made out of early-'30s Chevy parts?
    IMG_5155.jpg
    When I got home, I dove right back into the project. While scraping the old oil pan gasket, I came across something, well, bad.
    IMG_5159-1.jpg
    Looks like the babbitt on the bottom of rear main is cracked. There is no babbitt material in the pan or in the oil, so it's hard to determine when this occurred. I'd like to think it was years ago, but part of me wonders if it happened while I was trying to remove the woodruff key. When I first saw it, my heart sank. Rebuilding this engine just isn't feasible from a money/space/scope of project standpoint. I can always swap for the Gopher Motor, but my gut tells me I should just run it like this for as long as possible. I've seen online that many people have ran way worse setups (mostly Model T's). It appears as if the rest of the babbitts are complete.

    Seeing this took the wind out of my sails. I'll be honest, I was really sad. You know those moments where you're laying on the garage floor wondering what the hell you're doing? Yeah, it was one of those. Anyways, after a few minutes of that, I jumped back up and rolled the car out in the driveway.

    With a loose plan in mind, I started painting the decklid. I used whatever materials I could find in an effort to match the body. I can't give away too many secrets, but that may or may not have included house paint, spray paint, mystery chemicals, dirt, dust, fire, a leaf and a little bit of water. I still have to darken it a little, but I'm happy with how it's coming together.

    IMG_5161.jpg
     
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  16. J.Ukrop
    Joined: Nov 10, 2008
    Posts: 1,752

    J.Ukrop
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    Thank you for coming along for the ride! Prior to me taking the engine apart, the brakes seem to work very well with the woven shoes and the Flathead Ted floaters. Once I get the cast-iron drums on the rear and everything evened out, I think they'll be even better. I'm not going to lie—the brakes have been one of the most expensive parts of this whole project. If I weren't in such a hilly city, I don't think I'd be as concerned. Once I go V8, it's getting juice brakes.
     
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  17. catdad49
    Joined: Sep 25, 2005
    Posts: 4,857

    catdad49
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Love the paint ‘work’! And the purple door/windows, it really sticks out. Enjoy.
     
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  18. panhead_pete
    Joined: Feb 22, 2006
    Posts: 2,689

    panhead_pete
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Thanks Joey
     
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  19. panheadguy
    Joined: Jan 8, 2005
    Posts: 1,026

    panheadguy
    Member
    from S.E. WI

    Cool shift knobs. I have a bunch as well but the problem is only one stalk to put them on!
     
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  20. 97
    Joined: May 18, 2005
    Posts: 1,809

    97
    Member

    I think that's your front thrust surface on the rear main, if I am seeing the picture correctly. I's not bad compared to a lot I have seen. You can remove the cap and just get new babbit poured in the cap and then use a bearing scraper to fit it back to the crank. It's a bit of work with the motor in the car, but possible. I remember seeing some of the gurus on Fordbarn discussing this exact scenario sometime in the past. I will see if I can find it . Maybe I bookmarked and indexed the thread.
     
  21. 97
    Joined: May 18, 2005
    Posts: 1,809

    97
    Member

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  22. 31Apickup
    Joined: Nov 8, 2005
    Posts: 2,658

    31Apickup
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    The car in the photo is a 1932 Stutz


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
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  23. Tim
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 12,449

    Tim
    Member
    from KCMO

    Very cool visit! And yeah you’re not dead in the water yet you got this :)
     
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  24. 97
    Joined: May 18, 2005
    Posts: 1,809

    97
    Member

    Hey if you like that "Chevy" Sports car you should check out Bad Chad on You tube, he has vision and could see a Bugatti in a 34 Chevy 4 door sedan. Now he is building it , 17 or 18 days in . It isn't a replica as such just a resemblance, and it's not the first Bugatti he has built you will see the other one he is building from nothing in the background.

    First post was 17 days ago, so 17 one hour You tube posts ( I speed watch them, by scrolling along the time line)
    So from episode 1 a stripped out and floppy 34 body cut into pieces



    to this in episode 17
    upload_2021-5-18_2-24-8.png
     
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  25. 97
    Joined: May 18, 2005
    Posts: 1,809

    97
    Member

    Hell no, I would just drive it but if it bothers you Joey, take the cap off and inspect it, dust off the flakes if there are any and replace it , torque it up and drive it.. Model As were designed to be repaired this way. Hell I have a tool (made in the 30s I suspect) for grinding a Model A crank in the car. Never been used , still in it's box.
    I flipped the picture and lightened the thing up so I could get a better look, I reckon there is nothing wrong with it.
    joeys rear main bearing better look.jpg
     
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  26. Six Ball
    Joined: Oct 8, 2007
    Posts: 3,964

    Six Ball
    Member
    from Nevada

    It seems that every time you look into your running engine you find a problem. My advise it quit looking. :eek: Good up date, lots of good advise on the bearing. Pick the one that suits your needs.

    In the picture of the Cliff House right around the turn on the right is a parking lot. I used to back my '38 coupe into one of the spaces that gave me a straight shot to the street so I could roll out to start it. Too much compression for the starter unless it had time to completely cool. Hard to get a date once the word gets out that she may have to push the car to start it.:rolleyes:
     
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  27. @J.Ukrop I second @Six Ball's advice. Sometimes the best thing you can do is stop digging. Project creep is a real thing.
    I bought a running Olds 324 for a project 8 or so years back. Saw the motor running before I paid. Ran well, revved up, no smoke, good oil pressure, etc. Periodically fired it up over the years and kept some MMO in the cylinders. Went off to get a rebuild last February. My builder tore it down and said it was the dirtiest motor he's dealt with in 30 years as a full time engine builder. Go figure.
     
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  28. 97
    Joined: May 18, 2005
    Posts: 1,809

    97
    Member

    Right there is the beginning of that "Cacklefest in the cul de sac" car show we discussed. Invite a few of the older cars that turned up at the Ocean car show and break out the barbeque etc. Chuck out some of those neighbour's modern cars and you have yourself a breakfast event , last Sunday of the month at Joey's !!!
    I will be there later in the year! :D
    :cool::rolleyes:
     
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  29. Great idea 97 !! those were all my buddies in the Ocean Beach pics, I didnt make it but would for sure if there was an after party !
     
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  30. J.Ukrop
    Joined: Nov 10, 2008
    Posts: 1,752

    J.Ukrop
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    Hey everyone, I’ll continue the conversation tomorrow, but I just wanted to post a couple of photos from today. After many an hour of planning, searching, measuring, building and testing, the taillight project is complete! I had to roll the roadster out in the driveway to soak it all in before I closed up shop for the night.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     

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