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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. Outback
    Joined: Mar 4, 2005
    Posts: 1,463

    Outback
    Member
    from NE Vic

    Great progress & a cool lil vid. It's exciting seeing your ole A develop from all the way down here!
     
  2. This is the very essence of what old cars should be about.

    Well done @J.Ukrop
     
  3. Six Ball
    Joined: Oct 8, 2007
    Posts: 4,842

    Six Ball
    Member
    from Nevada

    Letting the car be a part of your life rather than making it become your life is a cool trick. Driving it for everyday things and for special events that are not totally car related related is just a part of it.
     
  4. Outback
    Joined: Mar 4, 2005
    Posts: 1,463

    Outback
    Member
    from NE Vic

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

    J.Ukrop
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    All the credit goes to Andrew—a long time H.A.M.B.er who tends to fly under the radar. I've always been a Death Cab For Cutie fan, and the Postal Service bring it to a whole new level!

    What would a road trip story be without a little drama?

    Thank you! We've come a long way since Page 1, haven't we?

    Thank you! Nothing beats driving old cars like, well, cars!

    I read this when you posted it and I keep on going back to it. This is so true. Very well said.

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

    J.Ukrop
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    Sidebar 0.00: Bad News

    I love this car and I love this thread. Maybe that's why I've been putting off posting this. They always said bad news comes in threes, but tonight's comes in a pair. It's been a long day, and it's time to break it to you. Here we go.

    After the camping trip, Andrew and I made our way back up to Petaluma. Our objective as as clear as can be: get that flathead fired up. After meeting with David, we decided that I should go pick up parts while the two of them got everything into position. My shopping list included thick washers for the custom lakes headers and a pair of crab rotors from the local NAPA.
    IMG_9429.jpg
    At Maselli's, I made a beeline towards the hardware cabinet. At first, I thought about stacking two thick washers to make up for the thin flange. Then, as I studied the drawers, I asked if they had any sort of spacers. Within minutes, I found the perfect six washers. With a little bit of finessing with the POWER-KRAFT drill, they worked well with the stainless hardware. Andrew handled the installation like the pro he is. IMG_9433.jpg
    As he worked on the headers, I focused my attention to the cloth-wrapped wiring. Just like on the last version of the car, I stressed every connection to make sure the wires all looked—and functioned—as they should. Oh, and we made sure to have a little bit of fun along the way.
    IMG_9430.jpg
    AWOOOOOGAH!
    IMG_9434.jpg
    Large Adel(e) clip up top was a di Falco idea. Don't worry, the zip-ties are only temporary.
     
  7. J.Ukrop
    Joined: Nov 10, 2008
    Posts: 2,314

    J.Ukrop
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    IMG_9432.jpg
    With that, the engine was ready. Carb on. Fuel tank ready. Exhaust in place and all systems go. David hit the starter button as Andrew and I looked on.

    Err. Err.
    Nothing. Not even a pop.
    Err. Err.
    Again, nothing. We all looked on, confused. What could it be? The starter wasn't turning over the motor. Right then and there, we knew it. The engine was stuck.

    David didn't panic, no neither did we. We pulled the starter to bench test it. It was strong, thrashing on the workbench like a large-mouth bass. I put it back on the motor. We tried again. Nothing. Nothing at all.

    That's when it really hit me. This engine is seized. Completely locked up. My mind began to race. "How did this happen? What did I do wrong?" David suggested that maybe it was just stuck for sitting and that pouring ATF down the cylinders would help free it up. So that's what we tried.

    As Andrew and I left the shop that day, I felt terrible. I've made so many mistakes on this build, but this could have possibly been the biggest one to date. I bought this as a "running motor," and that couldn't have been further from the truth. Everyone told me not to beat myself up over it, but I still am.

    ***
    Not hearing that motor run that day broke my heart. I wanted it to happen for me, for David and for Andrew. I apologized to them for leading them astray, but neither would listen to any of it. "You know what, Joey," David said. "This all brought us closer together." Even though I wasn't so sure then, I now know that he couldn't have been more right.
     
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  8. J.Ukrop
    Joined: Nov 10, 2008
    Posts: 2,314

    J.Ukrop
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    The following week, David and I went to a memorial for one of our friends who passed away. IMG_9594.jpg
    David thrashed all week to fix the rearend on his car, and it felt so good to have it on the road on a beautiful fall morning in Petaluma.
    IMG_9598.jpg
    There were a ton of incredible vintage bikes in attendance. I was especially happy to introduce David to my friend Max who built this perfect swingarm Knucklehead. The bike is on the cover of issue 97 of DicE Magazine. DaveMarquezsTheSpeedballSpic6-vi.jpg
    The "Oakland Orange" paint has always reminded me of Dave Marquez' roadster, which featured eye-searing paint acquired from the local Air Force base.
    DaveMarquezsTheSpeedballSpic8-vi.jpg
     
  9. J.Ukrop
    Joined: Nov 10, 2008
    Posts: 2,314

    J.Ukrop
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    IMG_9615.jpg
    No shortage of vintage tin in attendance.
    IMG_9616-1.jpg
    Readbeard's roadster looking great with a full hood and steelies.
     
  10. J.Ukrop
    Joined: Nov 10, 2008
    Posts: 2,314

    J.Ukrop
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    IMG_9621.jpg
    After, we pulled the heads. The passenger side put up a hard fight, but we managed to break it free.
    IMG_9622.jpg
    As you can see, we used a wide variety of tools.
    IMG_9625.jpg
    Including ones we made ourselves.
    IMG_9624.jpg
    But in the end, no matter how much ATF we used, or how much we hit them with a hammer and wood block or breaker bar on the crank nut, nothing would budge.
    IMG_9626.jpg
    I pulled the other head, for posterity's sake. Same story.
    IMG_9627.jpg So it goes.

    But the story isn't all bad. I called the seller, and he said I could still return the engine for a full refund. I plan to do that soon. In the meantime, I've been searching far and wide for a replacement. I have a line on a few, and I'm looking forward to seeing what I can come up with.
     
  11. J.Ukrop
    Joined: Nov 10, 2008
    Posts: 2,314

    J.Ukrop
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    As I let my A-V8 thoughts simmer, I continued to enjoy Version 1.5 post-camping trip.
    IMG_9517.jpg
    My girlfriend Gen and I hit the town on a crisp San Francisco night, cruising to the Sunset for dinner.
    IMG_9665.jpg
    And taking whatever opportunities we can to put miles on this thing!
    IMG_9680.jpg
    On Sunday morning, I woke up early(ish) to hang out with Yama and friends at the Hunter's Point Motorcycle Swap Meet. I've always wanted to take my roadster there. The whole thing was a total blast. The car looked especially at home amongst the old industrial buildings.
    IMG_9675.jpg
    Yes, I did make an offer on this Harley Hummer-powered mini-bike. Thank goodness it was declined.
     
  12. J.Ukrop
    Joined: Nov 10, 2008
    Posts: 2,314

    J.Ukrop
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    Here's Part II. of the story I didn't want to tell.

    As I was driving home, I started hearing a noise when I shifted into third. It was clunking noise, and I immediately knew it wasn't good. I pulled over, looked under the rear, and realized that some of the hardware on the differential had worked itself loose. I did what I could to tighten it on the side of the road and limped the car home.

    I sat on it for a day, considering my options. I then drained the trans oil, drained the diff oil and greased the zerk beneath the trans inspection cover. After adding new oil, I took it out for a test drive. Everything was exactly the same. I sent some footage to David, and we bounced ideas back and forth. At first, we thought it was the clutch, considering that I thought the noise was only happening with the clutch in. Then, when I rolled down Fulton in neutral with the clutch not pushed in, I still heard the noise worse than ever. The verdict was in: the rearend is toast.

    I jacked up the rear—again—and spun the driver's side wheel. Grinding. Same with passenger side. Talk about a sad moment. Version 1.0/1.5 and I have been so far together, and it hurts to see something like this happen in the final chapter.

    It'd be easy to say, "Well, that's that. We had our fun," and just pull the body to put it on Version 2.0. If I were more rational, I'd do that. But I have this email sitting in my inbox, and I'm determined to have my roadster in SoCal next month.
    Screen Shot 2022-11-23 at 12.34.42 AM.png
     
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  13. J.Ukrop
    Joined: Nov 10, 2008
    Posts: 2,314

    J.Ukrop
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    By page 93 of this thread, you guys know me by now. As soon as I discovered the rearend was broken, I started looking hard for a replacement. Believe it or not, I may have a line on one that I can pick up this weekend. I plan to pull the driveline apart and sub in a mystery rear to race at T.R.O.G. in 15 days. I ordered new shackles, gaskets and a spring spreader. Yama let me know that he's in for an all nigher—or five—to make this work.

    It's a big hill to climb, but I know we can push to make it happen. Disassembly starts Sunday.

    That's the full update. I'll let you know how things progress.

    Thanks again for following along.
     
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  14. J.Ukrop
    Joined: Nov 10, 2008
    Posts: 2,314

    J.Ukrop
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    IMG_9467.jpg
    Actually, two more things. My roommate Benj gave me this Zink photo of cruising the San Francisco streets. Such a good time.
    315082862_2689098131223496_5804297722556574722_n-1.jpg
    This shot from D&B motors is exactly the era I'm going for with 2.0. The Deuce roadster in the foreground is right on the money.
     
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  15. Before you give up on the V8 check the flywheel bolts to make sure their the correct length. Longer ones would bind the crank.
     
  16. If you can find a rear end I have zero doubt you will be at TROG. Sorry to hear about the flattie but glad the seller is making it right. Keep pushing man!

    p.s. your girlfriend is a cutie!
     
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  17. BigJoeArt
    Joined: Dec 12, 2011
    Posts: 144

    BigJoeArt
    Member

    GO MAN GO!

    if there's one thing I like about you more than anything its the drive to never say die.

    you guys will make it to TROG, I'm sure of it.

    If I wasn't half the country away thrashing on my own roadster, I'd be right there to help.

    take lots of photos, but more importantly, make lots of memories.

    now get out there and tear it up!

    "hot rodding's other Joey":D
     
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  18. Tim
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 14,459

    Tim
    Member
    from KCMO

    Not much left to say other than “GO MAN! GO!”
     
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  19. guthriesmith
    Joined: Aug 17, 2006
    Posts: 7,416

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

    Could have said... “Get ‘Er Done!” :D
     
  20. corncobcoupe
    Joined: May 26, 2001
    Posts: 6,278

    corncobcoupe
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    Gotta Love a good looking woman who picked you Kid, not based on the car you drive. :)
    Then again maybe she did with a free spirited adventurous side.

    Mercedes, Porsches and BMW's got nothin' on a rusty old Model A roadster.
    You better keep her Joey.
    Did I say she was good looking ? ;)
     
  21. Ebbsspeed
    Joined: Nov 11, 2005
    Posts: 5,920

    Ebbsspeed
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    TROG? If not now, when?
     
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  22. Six Ball
    Joined: Oct 8, 2007
    Posts: 4,842

    Six Ball
    Member
    from Nevada

    Come on man, it's just a rear end swap! I did a bunch of those by my self (I had no friends then either) on Sunday when I had the Olds in my '38. :eek: Bummer on the v8. It is amazing how many engines that ran when pulled don't when bought. :rolleyes:
    I love the radio antenna on that roadster and see at least one more in that picture. I had one on my Cushman. o_O
     
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  23. There is nothing jumping out at me about that engine being seized by the pistons, I would second the option to check for fly wheel bolt interference or a sticky valve. There are not many places on a flathead to check for a mechanical hangup so definitely don't tear it too far down yet. I would also get a peek at the timing gear set to make sure all is good under there because of the multiple starter hits you guys performed. If it has a fiber gear throw on an aluminum one.
     
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  24. Six Ball
    Joined: Oct 8, 2007
    Posts: 4,842

    Six Ball
    Member
    from Nevada

    Focus on TROG the Petaluma Princess will sort herself out. Meanwhile keep it soaking clear up to the bottom of the throttle plates with 50/50 ATF/paint thinner.
    Not to rub salt in your wounds but didn't you see if it turned over when you bought it? You are way too trusting. Yeah, I'm rubbing salt in your wounds. :p Did it have the flywheel on when you got it?
     
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  25. A Boner
    Joined: Dec 25, 2004
    Posts: 6,825

    A Boner
    Member

    1B81B875-A3E1-466A-B635-E49ED5ADCC5A.png I understand the “Montgomery books thing” and copying exactly how it was done…but the headlights aren’t mounted high for style…just for the “prick cops” back then!
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2022
  26. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 9,960

    Budget36
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    The pics of the FH, look like either a ring over the piston, or too land peeled off. Regardless it has to come apart.
     
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  27. J.Ukrop
    Joined: Nov 10, 2008
    Posts: 2,314

    J.Ukrop
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    66BD826A-3239-421C-987B-9C22BF6AA595.jpeg
    I have a whole lot of responding to do, but I’d like to take a second to say Happy Thanksgiving. I’m thankful for each and every one of you for helping make this project a reality. I hope you have a relaxing long weekend with those you care about most.

    Things are looking positive on the ‘banger front, the flathead front and everywhere else. I’m optimistic.

    My friend Erik shared the first images from his feature shoot, and I figured there’s no better time to post one on here.
     
  28. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 24,097

    Stogy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Speedy, that's Joey's Roadster in the top pic, mine has the ever reliable Nyloc Nut and since I'm replying I searched up the history and they came about in 1964...so a near period correct choice for my ride...Joey is back in period so yes a cotter pin would surely be in the equation...with an ole nail as a sub in a pinch...:D

    Quoted below...
    Abbott Interfast began producing Nylon Insert Locknuts, also known as nyloc nuts, in 1964 as the first licensee under US Patent No. 2,450,694 for Elastic Stop Nut Corporation of America. Since that time, we have produced millions of locknuts for all types of industries and applications.

    https://www.aicfast.com/nylon-insert-locknuts/

    0_20220513_041230.jpg

    :rolleyes:...as being somewhat knowledgeable in such things...it would have been nice for 'So-Cal' to ad a tad more thread so it would protrude a couple threads to fully engage the loc...but so far so good, I believe I have partial engagement... the washer was pretty thin too and is dishing...


     
  29. Outback
    Joined: Mar 4, 2005
    Posts: 1,463

    Outback
    Member
    from NE Vic

    Interesting history, I had a time on my not peroid correct enough 1942 BSA 500cc single, where I had incorrectly used a ny-loc nut to hold the rear brake stay rod which in addition held the muffler. It would seem the heat from the muffler caused the integrity of the locking ability of the 'ny-loc' to be compromised which in-turn resulted in the bolt holding both items to fall off, brakes jammimg & a rather uncomfortable rapid halting of the procession. As it happened this was a night time return home without a headlight. But that is a story for another time!!
    One moral of the story is the proper use of the correct peroid correct hardware would have resulted in a less seat puckering experience!
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2022 at 11:39 PM
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  30. 41 GMC K-18
    Joined: Jun 27, 2019
    Posts: 2,607

    41 GMC K-18
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    The mini bike is cool, but the PF Flyers " NOS " vintage high top sneakers, are retro stylish, to a very high degree!
    Hot Rod accoutrements, such as those, define a true appreciation of that time period!
     
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