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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. J.Ukrop
    Joined: Nov 10, 2008
    Posts: 2,314

    J.Ukrop
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    Thanks guys for sticking with me!

    Thanks, Tim! Whenever I build something, I stress the little things big time. My brother and I are both avid model builders (him more so than me these days, unfortunately), and we're always going to extra mile to add details that add the smallest pieces to the story. We agreed that in a lot of ways these projects are like big model kits. Big or small, the little things matter.

    Maybe I told you this already, but back when I was building my Triumph I made a custom parking pass to put on the left front fork. Kind of like the old Missouri motorcycle registration stickers. I stitched together pieces of old postcards and added a slew of my own design elements. _K3A7651.jpg
    The Arrow Head Motel was a historic motor court in Columbia, Missouri. It sparked my interest in neon signage and was the subject of my first published longform newspaper feature.

    Anyways, the shock stickers have a similar feel to this.

    I should do a sidebar on it one of these days!

    That is some good trivia! I'll get the full scoop from David next time I'm up at the shop.

    Thank you for the encouragement, Brian. It's fun to flip back and forth between your thread and mine. I've been loving your progress as of late. Let's keep this going!

    Thank you so much. I'm having so much fun and learning every step of the way. What's cool is that I can definitely feel myself becoming more comfortable in the shop, with the tools and with the car itself. I can assemble and disassemble it at the drop of a hat, which I know will be very helpful in the coming years.

    I appreciate that! I feel like we're really gaining momentum.

    Nothing beats the ol' plumbob!

    Feels good to be able to move forward. I've always loved the glow of neon. I'll try to shoot some more next time I'm up there late (hopefully soon).

    Thank you! That is a completely fair question, and it's one I had myself. Two things. 1) I jumped around between holes, never filling a full hole at once. This allowed for some cooling. 2) Post-weld I measured everything when I drilled for the F-1 shock mounts. Using my Mocshocks as a rigid guide, the holes landed in the same spot on either side, meaning that everything is in check. I hope it stays that way!
     
  2. J.Ukrop
    Joined: Nov 10, 2008
    Posts: 2,314

    J.Ukrop
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    I really need to swing in there for a beer one of these days.

    So it's funny that you bring this up. I had never thought about that ad, but I was most certainly subliminally influenced by it. Even though I know it's more contemporary, I was kind of thinking about the Koni coil-overs on the front of the Panella Anglia. No idea why.

    The wild part? Remember when you posted this cover?
    E451381E-B2AB-4393-8F4A-EBDC57613D85.jpg
    This was right when the stickers showed up. Check out the front shock. Crazyyyy
     
    Stogy, 41 GMC K-18, Outback and 2 others like this.
  3. Tim
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 14,459

    Tim
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    from KCMO

    Hah! That’s awesome.
     
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  4. Six Ball
    Joined: Oct 8, 2007
    Posts: 4,842

    Six Ball
    Member
    from Nevada

    When my youngest son was 6-7 we were pulling weeds in the yard nee the shop. He pulled up a string with a rusty pointed weight. He asked what it was and I told him a plumb bob. He said. " Sounds like a Walton. Good night Plumb Bob!" and tossed it in the trash pile. Sorry I never see or hear one mentioned without thinking of that day. :D
     
  5. J.Ukrop
    Joined: Nov 10, 2008
    Posts: 2,314

    J.Ukrop
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    Sometimes things just come together!

    Hahahah we used to watch the Waltons all the time when I was a kid. I can totally see where he was coming from!
     
  6. J.Ukrop
    Joined: Nov 10, 2008
    Posts: 2,314

    J.Ukrop
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    We're rolling into a jam-packed week, but I figured I'd post a progress photo from over the weekend. IMG_8528.jpg
    I can't stop thinking about it. Full update happening soon.
     
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  7. Tim
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 14,459

    Tim
    Member
    from KCMO

    I can just see this from a clip of my
    Three sons, or maybe happy days in the drive way in front of a white painted single car garage tucked next to the house/ back yard.
     
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  8. Six Ball
    Joined: Oct 8, 2007
    Posts: 4,842

    Six Ball
    Member
    from Nevada

    Or the perfect '36 Wally took home and parted out in the driveway much to the dismay of June & Ward.
     
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  9. Dick Stevens
    Joined: Aug 7, 2012
    Posts: 3,443

    Dick Stevens
    Member

    I was thinking more of Bud in Father Knows Best.
     
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  10. Outback
    Joined: Mar 4, 2005
    Posts: 1,463

    Outback
    Member
    from NE Vic

    It looks great, you must be so excited!
     
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  11. Looks like you may make RPM to race next year. :)
     
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  12. Lookin' Good!
     
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  13. sshep
    Joined: Oct 13, 2018
    Posts: 197

    sshep
    Member

    Looking good, keep up the nice work!
     
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  14. J.Ukrop
    Joined: Nov 10, 2008
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    J.Ukrop
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    Hahah that's how you know it's of the era! I'll have to take some black and white pictures of it again.
     
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  15. J.Ukrop
    Joined: Nov 10, 2008
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    J.Ukrop
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    Thank you! I keep on going back to the pictures and smiling. David sent me this shot from the shop this morning. My reply? "The gang's all here!" IMG_0141.jpg

    That's the plan, Tim. Hopefully I'll have a lot of the kinks worked out by then.

    Thank you!

    Thanks! Just taking things one step at a time.
     
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  16. J.Ukrop
    Joined: Nov 10, 2008
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    J.Ukrop
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    I just finished writing a feature article for print that I'm extremely excited about, so I figure I better strike while the iron is hot. Let's dive into a roadster update.

    Last Saturday, I had two distinct projects in mind. First, I planned to re-install the radiator, grille and headlight bar. Second, I would focus my attention to the pedals.
    IMG_8496.jpg
    Just like on Version 1.5, I wanted to make rubber gaskets for the headlight bar. I cut pieces of reddish rubber to shape at home and drilled holes. When I showed them to David, he suggested that I hit them with his hole punch. Note the wood block backing. "You have a tool for every job," I said.

    When I put the headlight bar into place, I could immediately sense something wasn't right. "What changed?" I asked myself. The answer? Nothing. The more I looked, the more I realized the headlights were way too far forward. I hadn't picked up on that last time.

    Undeterred, I reconfigured everything and drilled two more holes in the frame.

    This puts the headlight bar in line with the shocks and tucks it closer to the grille. Coincidentally, the base of the bar is in a nearly identical position on Version 1.5 and 2.0.
    IMG_0122.jpg
    Once everything was in position, I couldn't help but grab an old step stool and jump behind the wheel. David handed me a banjo wheel and I was off to the races. This was the first time in a long time I've sat in the car. Talk about an exciting moment.
    IMG_8501.jpg
    Getting a feel for things.
    IMG_8502.jpg
    Imagining pedal and steering column placement—and dreaming of watching this wheel roll as I drive down the road.
    IMG_8500.jpg
    A friendly reminder from @Lucky Burton. I love that it says that my lucky day is Saturday.
     
  17. J.Ukrop
    Joined: Nov 10, 2008
    Posts: 2,314

    J.Ukrop
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    Sidebar 10.15: Leveling Up

    Right before lunch, I started cleaning up tools. As I did, I kept on looking at the chassis sitting in front of the shop. There was no doubt about it: things are really coming together. I felt confident in the work David and I had done thus far, and everything looked good to the eye. Yet, for whatever reason, I felt the need to test it one more time. I walked into the shop and grabbed a bubble level. I set it on the headlight bar and took a deep breath.

    It was almost perfectly level.

    Back when David was building bicycle frames, Bruce Gordon told prospective employees that if they couldn't see a 90 degree angle, they should just pack up their things and go home. From day one, David saw the right angle. He went on to work with Bruce for more than a decade.

    When I saw that level, I felt a sense of relief—and I thought about David and that story. I thought about all the pieces that had to work in concert to make that happen. Wheels, tires, spindles, front axle, shackles, spring, U-bolts, headlight bar, frame and more. These are all things we had our hands on to get this far.

    As we sat down at our card table for lunch, I told David about our success. "That's what happens when you do things the right way," he said. "Now take off that level. It's blocking our view."
    IMG_8504.jpg
     
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  18. J.Ukrop
    Joined: Nov 10, 2008
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    J.Ukrop
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    Next, I started working on the pedals. After consulting Vern's book, we decided that the '39 pedals would be the way to go. David gave me a few pointers on the disassembly process.
    IMG_8498.jpg
    Off with the old master cylinder.
    IMG_8507.jpg
    Then I ground down the head of the pin and drove it out with a punch. Much to my surprise, it slid out easily.
    IMG_8508.jpg
    Then I soaked the pedal assembly and drove out the main shaft with a brass drift.
    IMG_8509.jpg
    Once I had all the pieces on the faux wood paneled table, I was able to inspect them.
    IMG_8511.jpg
    A new shaft and bushings are on their way.
    IMG_8513.jpg
    I then made a template for the plate that will be added to the K-member. I'll be cutting this out of 10 gauge next time I'm at the shop, and David is going to show me the best way to get everything mounted.
     
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  19. J.Ukrop
    Joined: Nov 10, 2008
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    As the day wound down, I rolled the chassis out towards the middle of the lot for a mini photo shoot. The lighting was good, and it's never been more complete.
    E856EE9E-DE18-41AB-9EDE-CF9BA79F6110.jpg
    For me, this was huge. You guys know how much time and effort we have in this chassis. You've been here every step of the way. I know we're far from finished, but it felt really good to take a step back and see it on all four wheels outside of the shop.
    4A3021F7-D408-49D7-B864-11390F4D9F9D.jpg
    Oh, this reminds me that I still need to clean up those headlight stand pads!
    IMG_8532.jpg
    So there you have it. I left the shop feeling great. I'm excited to jump back in next time I'm there and keep trucking on the pedals.
    IMG_0126.jpg
    That's all for tonight!
     
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  20. BigJoeArt
    Joined: Dec 12, 2011
    Posts: 144

    BigJoeArt
    Member

    Good stuff man! headlight placement on point.

    I actually just had a buddy bring over a headlight bar last night to mock up mine.
     
  21. Tim
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 14,459

    Tim
    Member
    from KCMO

    Fantastic update. I remember the first time I sat the 46 on four wheels and tires and it really did feel like “wow! I’m almost done!”

    all the work going into a hot rod chassis to make it hold drive train, steer and roll. No one but someone who’s done it knows how many times you’ve stared at it sideways making sure that cross bar lines up with the shocks and the fronts of the headlights hit the perfect spot of the ark of the front tires.

    It would almost seem the more simple a chassis the more staring and tweaking that’s been done.

    now all that’s left is the rest!

    I’ve been reading my build thread on my A trying to remember where I left off a year ago and knowing My chassis isn’t far from where yours is has really put some excitement back into the day dreaming.
     
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  22. Tim
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 14,459

    Tim
    Member
    from KCMO

    D8778638-CC2F-42B0-BF8F-EC027AE315D7.jpeg I can see this in the back of rod and custom
    magazine advertised as “new Ukrop foot warmer for those foggy nor call roadster mornings!” With a simple line drawing and a po box to send funds to
     
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  23. Excellent progress Joey!! You never realize what a triumph it is to get to the point you are with the build. Most would look at it and wonder where the rest of the car is. Until you have pieced one together you don't have the appreciation for just how much work it took to get to this point.

    Well done and loving how every piece is falling into place. Well thought out and executed!!

    Brian
     
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  24. Malcolm
    Joined: Feb 9, 2006
    Posts: 7,902

    Malcolm
    Member
    from Nebraska

    Exciting progress, Joey!
     
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  25. Excellent! What kind of clearance does the tie rod have to the frame? It looks like they might might lean in and kiss each other from what I can see in the picture with your boot.
     
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  26. Six Ball
    Joined: Oct 8, 2007
    Posts: 4,842

    Six Ball
    Member
    from Nevada

    Tim said, "now all that’s left is the rest!" How profound! A simple statement to be used in any situation especially in hot rod building. Even when the builder thinks it if finished. Easily up there with "And this too shall pass." Down right Biblical!
     
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  27. Tim
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 14,459

    Tim
    Member
    from KCMO

    Hey if Jesus left Chicago and he’s bound for New Orleans, and zztop knew about it ya gotta assume he’s rolling in style and knows how this all works ;)
     
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  28. J.Ukrop
    Joined: Nov 10, 2008
    Posts: 2,314

    J.Ukrop
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    Hahaha I can imagine the line drawings in the ad right now.

    Thank you! You're totally right about the asking where the rest of the car is. It reminds of me of one of my favorite quotes, "It's simple to make something difficult, and it's difficult to make something simple."

    Thank you, Nick!

    Nick, you make a good point. By jumping up and down on the front frame horns, I was able to get them to touch a little bit. David and I plan to un-drop the tie rod ends a little bit and then narrow the tie rod some more. I think the Speedway ends are forged, but they kind of look cast to me? If that's the case, we'll have to find another solution.

    What a great way to put it!
     
  29. J.Ukrop
    Joined: Nov 10, 2008
    Posts: 2,314

    J.Ukrop
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    On Friday, I made the trip down to LA for Pat Ganahl's Celebration of Life. The whole thing was incredible. So many familiar faces from hot rodding's history books. Pat's son, Bill, and wife, Anna, shared some powerful words about him. He really was a huge inspiration for hot rodders worldwide.
    IMG_8746.jpg
    I usually have a lot to say about hot rod happenings, but I feel like this isn't the time. I may share more later, or I may not.
     
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  30. Marty Strode
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 7,154

    Marty Strode
    Member

    Joey, it was good to see you there, you are right, quite a night !
     
    Six Ball, Outback, Stogy and 3 others like this.

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