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Projects Cookie cutter '32 roadster build

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Anderson, Jan 19, 2018.

  1. Anderson
    Joined: Jan 27, 2003
    Posts: 6,407

    Anderson
    Member

    Hey there. Haven't been around in a while...kinda cleaned house the last time I was. Sorry about that. Been lurking the last couple years, mostly just being nosy but it's time to contribute. I sold the T a while back to a guy in Japan and proceeded to build this other car...it isn't the most exciting thing ever but it's pretty fun. Tried to keep it '60's era specific with old parts, original or aftermarket. Hope you enjoy the thread, I'll keep it simple. Thanks for looking.

    The T was a great car and a lot of fun, but not something I wanted to drive for more than an hour at a time. The wind in my eyes and the sunburn on my neck was getting old and I wanted a car comfortable enough to drive as far as I wanted. I sat too high in the T and couldn't put a top on it. It was small and cramped. Something like a '32 coupe would fit that bill much better. My patience isn't what it used to be so waiting years upon years to build something and collecting parts as I go wasn't going to cut it. So I sold the T to get a jump start on the next build. Part of selling the T included delivering it to SoCal for transport. The timing of everything worked out perfectly in that I got the T to Dallas and loaded it on Bass' trailer with his roadster and we took off for the LA roadster show. We dropped the T off at H&H first thing, then hit the bank for some cash to blow at the swap meet. There I bought a radiator, a couple dashboards, a firewall, original front spreader bar, and a couple misc parts. Bass was kind enough to sell me the set of 15" x 6" Americans he had been holding onto for quite a while. The parts stash was significant before I even had the car yet. This project was found very close to home but in need of a lot of work. Actually I had it lined up to buy before the T was gone. The body was in ok shape, but needed all lower patch panels, wheel wells, and a full sub floor. It did come with most of the new parts I'd need though and I felt up to the challenge. The body also had a filled roof done by Bobby Walden himself in a class he taught locally.
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    On our way out to the roadster show we stopped at the mayor of Wellington, Tx's place for a quick visit. Bob had come across a bunch of '32 parts including a few shells. I started out with the goal of having only real '32 parts on this car so I had to have one and he let me take my pick. The shell I chose wasn't in perfect shape but that insert was cherry!
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    It was also around this time I decided on a Pontiac engine. My dad has always been in to Pontiacs...I grew up riding in the back seat of a '67 GTO, one of two he owned around the same time. He sold that GTO to fund his '57 Chevy build which got a 455. He's currently building a '63 LeMans A/FX car. A soon-to-be-co-worker-again had a 389 that was an old hot rod engine for sale, so I grabbed it. Another guy had an M20 and that was that.
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    The frame that came with the car was an original. Someone had boxed the rails and started on some rudimentary crossmember stuff. It might have been easier to start from scratch, but I really wanted the original rails under this car. I collected a model A front crossmember, a Chassis Engineering center section and bought a Pete & Jakes ladder bar setup. I brought everything up to the shop and got it on the frame table and built the chassis. The 9" housing had been hanging around the shop for a while so I used it. I later upgraded the end to big bearing. Whatever frame horns that were on this frame were wrong, so I replaced them with reproductions front and rear. The front axle was a stretch-dropped '33/4 that had been filled (I later swapped this axle out). The hairpins are old aftermarket ones that were on a dragster chassis at one point. Eventually I also flattened the rear crossmember. Posies super-slide springs front and rear.
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    I am lucky to know a lot of talented guys in Texas who make some great parts. Bob Wilson is one of them, and in addition to his brake setups he makes some hubs for using Buick drums with early Ford brakes and they worked out perfectly. At this point I'd gotten some tires, BF Goodrich 5.90 front and 8.20 rear.
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    I mocked up the engine and trans and made some engine mounts. With the driveline in and some axles in the rear end, I had a roller finally. The chassis sat dormant at the shop for a while and I had lost some motivation for the project. I brought the chassis home and put the body on it. There it sat for a few months.
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    Last edited: Jan 19, 2018
  2. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,726

    tfeverfred
    Member

    Cool build!
     
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  3. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 10,134

    DDDenny
    Member
    from oregon

    Very nice.
    Glad your back!
     
    chryslerfan55 and Anderson like this.
  4. Anderson
    Joined: Jan 27, 2003
    Posts: 6,407

    Anderson
    Member

    Thought I might work on it more having it at the house but instead it just sat. I tried to sell it a couple times as a whole project, then just the body but didn't have much luck. I hadn't checked in here in a couple months but when I did there was a PM from Gassa-Garage offering a trade for a roadster body. He had come into one with all the options I'd want like stock hinges, beads around the hinges, cowl vent, top tabs, etc. For me it meant a bolt on body ready to go and for him it meant a real '32. My desire to have a car on the road and lack of desire to fix the 5w body won. We agreed to split the shipping and made the deal. So I guess I abandoned the everything-original-32 idea, but other than the body it still holds true.
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    A couple weeks before the trade (but knowing it was happening), I picked up an original roadster dash from BenD at the Roundup swap. It wasn't perfect but after some work it looked pretty good. I swapped in all the stuff I had put in the 5w dash. I also quickly picked up the pieces for a windshield and chopped the frame the usual 2" to match the posts. The hood is on loan aka I'll pay a friend for it soon!
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    A few more parts...typical aluminum headlight stands, King Bee headlights, '39 tail lights, front shocks, etc.
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    It didn't take long to realize nothing would get done with it at home after all so I took it back to the shop. There I welded bungs into the chassis and got the body mounted. For steering, I picked up a very nice F100 box and had Neal Jennings machine it for one of his '32 flanges. I fit it all in the car a little farther back from the stock location to help with header clearance. I used an aftermarket Corvette column and ended up with an original 'vette steering wheel as well.
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    And again, good to know guys like Brian Bass who built these front brakes for me that are just right with the Buick drums.
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    The firewall was a pretty cool old hot rod piece but not the nicest quality and needed some more work to fit in this car just right. I was able to salvage most of the original dimples and beads that were smashed in, welded up, or buried in bondo. The lower section was replaced with part of another original firewall. The pedal assembly is (was) an NOS Ansen setup using dual '40 masters. I meant to but forgot to add bracing to the firewall for the pedals as there is a noticeable amount of flex when the pedals are operated...that will come eventually.
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    The floors were pretty simple, just plywood with a small hump for transmission clearance. The shifter is a Hurst Comp Plus with a high mount. Lokar parking brake handle (and cables). Seat is early '90's Dodge caravan though it is just temporary.
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    The headers came from Hedman and were intended for a Firebird I believe. The passenger side fit perfect, but the drivers side needed a lot of reworking to fit between the engine mount, framerail, steering box, and clear the starter. The collectors were also extended some and a flat flange added for more of a '60's look. The rest of the exhaust is 2.25" with cheap glass packs and mandrel bends all the way out the back of the car.
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    Worth mentioning here too, I had flattened the stock rear crossmember.
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    The last thing to figure out was the clutch. An early '60's GM truck slave cylinder worked well with the '40 Ford master. It was a tight fit to the bellhousing an steering box but there was just enough room. Took a couple tries on the bracket to get just right but it works very well.
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    Last edited: Jan 19, 2018
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  5. Looks nice. So back to wind in your eyes and a sunburnt neck I guess??;)
     
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  6. big duece
    Joined: Jul 28, 2008
    Posts: 4,975

    big duece
    Member
    from kansas

    Fantastic! Love the Americans and the Vette wheel with the self canceling column.
     
    loudbang and Anderson like this.
  7. Anderson
    Joined: Jan 27, 2003
    Posts: 6,407

    Anderson
    Member

    I seem to get more done when there is a deadline looming. I was trying very hard to make Pistons & Paint in Denton last November. By this point of the build I had decided the car would be trailered to DFW but would be there none the less. With the major fabrication and fitting done it was blown apart for "paint." The frame was cleaned up and rusty or bare metal spots cleaned and rattle canned. The paint on the outside of the rails is original '32 and I wanted to keep it there until the whole car is painted nicely. The body was brought home to be primed/sealed.
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    The 389 that was going to go in the car didn't work out. Water had gotten in it and rusted a few of the cylinders enough to need boring. It also had some high compression closed chamber heads on it that weren't ideal for my purposes. Needing something quick and easy to replace it I picked up a running '68 350 to drop in. I couldn't just do that though and a bunch of "might as wells" lead to a ring and bearing rebuild with a mild cam and springs. It's far from high powered but it'll do for now.
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    Into the car it went and assembly and wiring continued.
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    With two days to go and help from co workers Chris, Kail, and Mike, we fired it up and broke the cam in. Success and relief! That night my wife came down to help out and keep me fed. We bled the brakes and clutch. It was raining outside but that wouldn't get in the way of the first drive. It was cold and wet and the top speed might have been 10mph but it counted.
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    The next day at lunch Chris hopped in the car with me and we drove down the road to the hardware store. On the way back disaster struck when we hit a gnarly pothole. I hadn't tightened the radiator down quite enough, the fan blades needed to have been trimmed just a little more, an the motor mounts had a little more flex in them than expected. The fan sliced through the lower water neck on the radiator. I had the radiator out and to the repair shop in 15 minutes. The next day it was ready so I picked it up and got it back on the car (and bolted down tight!) and shortened the fan blades. This was also the day I needed to leave for Denton. But with no miles on the car and as it turned out, a ton of bugs left to address I decided to abandon the trip. I took the car back home to sort things out at a less stressful pace.
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    Most of the rest of the problems have been sorted out. A couple wiring snafus, squeaks and rattles, brakes, all addressed. A bunch of family members got rides at Thanksgiving and I drove it to work one day. My wife and I took it down the road for a small car show and some pizza. But I was never confident in how it handled. That cool dropped and filled front axle had a lot of negative camber, and my draglink angle was contributing to a little bump steer. The steering wheel was too high and the seat was at an odd angle, not comfortable. Front axle was swapped for a borrowed dropped '32, the shock mounts were moved to under the axle and the upper steering arm on the spindle was straightened out, severely decreasing the draglink angle. I raised the front of the seat 1" and lowered the column 1" at the drop. Then another gremlin popped up that I believe to be an ignition issue which (along with the frigid weather) has kept the car grounded. Parts are here now and I hope to have that sorted this weekend too.
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    In the down time I decided to fill the grill shell. The bull nose/radiator cap stuff was all reproduction and upon further inspection, found that the shell had been damaged in the past and repaired in the center. So no harm/no foul on cutting up an OG shell. Tomorrow I'll get it back running and finally see if the axle and other adjustments fixed the issue. The plan is to continue driving, work out whatever other bugs I find, then blow it apart for paint next fall/winter. Of course I've said that before...it might never end up painted or I might sell it in a month. We'll see!
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    I know I've left a lot out but it's a pretty basic car. Any questions, fire away!
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2018
  8. Anderson
    Joined: Jan 27, 2003
    Posts: 6,407

    Anderson
    Member

    Yup! Haha. I rationalized it by being able to sit lower in the car so my face is behind instead of above the windshield, and the ability to put a top on it, which I have in the works too.
     
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  9. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 10,134

    DDDenny
    Member
    from oregon

    Very tasty!
     
    Anderson likes this.
  10. brady1929
    Joined: Sep 30, 2006
    Posts: 7,666

    brady1929
    Member
    from Mesa, Az

    Cool roadster
     
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  11. waxhead
    Joined: May 11, 2013
    Posts: 1,043

    waxhead
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from West Oz

    Looking good.
     
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  12. qzjrd5
    Joined: Nov 23, 2004
    Posts: 1,210

    qzjrd5
    Member
    from Troy, MI

    I love it! You nailed that early/mid sixties look. Enjoy the car for a while now!
     
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  13. flamedabone
    Joined: Aug 3, 2001
    Posts: 4,249

    flamedabone
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Love the car, LOVE the little Pontiac engine.

    -Abone.
     
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  14. Anderson
    Joined: Jan 27, 2003
    Posts: 6,407

    Anderson
    Member

    Thank you sir! I am also planning to build another engine for it from the ground up, maybe starting with that 389 block. This will set on top of it.

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  15. ERIC,right???car looks great
     
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  16. x77matt
    Joined: Mar 2, 2004
    Posts: 493

    x77matt
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I like this a lot! Really straight forward car and good choices on the components...

    Matt
     
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  17. Anderson
    Joined: Jan 27, 2003
    Posts: 6,407

    Anderson
    Member

    That’s me! Thanks Bob
     
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  18. jalopykid
    Joined: Nov 13, 2006
    Posts: 1,177

    jalopykid
    Member
    from Bozeman,MT

    Man that peaked shell looks perfect on there. Really dig your roadster.


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  19. mcsfabrication
    Joined: Nov 26, 2006
    Posts: 710

    mcsfabrication
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Nice car, good job. Can you give out a better identification of the clutch slave cylinder? How much travel does it have?
    I know you said early 60's GM truck. Can you narrow it down? Thanks!
     
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  20. Anderson
    Joined: Jan 27, 2003
    Posts: 6,407

    Anderson
    Member

    Roughly ‘60-‘62 c10. I chose it because it was the same bore as the ‘40 master cylinder and I figured it would do the job. All I can say about the travel is it moves enough. I never measured but it worked so that’s all I was worried about. The adjustable pushrod with a hiem joint I had to make. Sorry to not be more helpful!
     
  21. mcsfabrication
    Joined: Nov 26, 2006
    Posts: 710

    mcsfabrication
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Thanks very much!
     
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  22. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 10,134

    DDDenny
    Member
    from oregon

    I recall @56sedandelivery offering a master and slave new in boxes cheap.
    If you are needing these PM him.

    From the Ansen scattershield thread:

    IF you're interested, I have the ^^^^^ slave cylinder AND the dual chamber clutch/brake master cylinder, both new in original boxes, and I have NO use for them. Shipping, and a small "donation", and they're yours, or anyone's who's interested. There you go. I am Butch/56sedandelivery.

     
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  23. flamedabone
    Joined: Aug 3, 2001
    Posts: 4,249

    flamedabone
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I have a blown 389 in my Model A. They work really well, you will love it.

    [​IMG]

    -Abone.
     
  24. Cyclone Kevin
    Joined: Apr 15, 2002
    Posts: 3,737

    Cyclone Kevin
    Alliance Vendor

    Bravo!!!!!!
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    Did one myself, really like it and your build.
    Mines not a Tin Indian, but a Poncho is a GREAT choice for a performance build!. B3D16C9A-A51D-41AD-A355-041951732FE3.png
    Changed mine around over the past several years. Drive it every day. ;).
     
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  25. mcsfabrication
    Joined: Nov 26, 2006
    Posts: 710

    mcsfabrication
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    DDDanny, Thanks, sent him a message.
     
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  26. Throttledwife
    Joined: Sep 25, 2013
    Posts: 8

    Throttledwife
    Member

    Loving that sixties look..great build
     
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  27. Runnin shine
    Joined: Apr 12, 2013
    Posts: 2,694

    Runnin shine
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    It being a 60s build and all what’s the shiny paint color plans?
    Wyatt


    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
     
  28. Anderson
    Joined: Jan 27, 2003
    Posts: 6,407

    Anderson
    Member

    7ABA08B7-0ED0-45DD-9ECA-C9F50BD350E2.jpeg ‘60’s was the goal from day one on this build. Cars like the McMullen and Gene Sonnen roadsters were the inspiration. I have a paint color in mind but am not for sure. This car would be my first “finished” build so I hate to jinx it.
     
  29. RODIST
    Joined: Dec 29, 2016
    Posts: 154

    RODIST

    Hi,.. your a real good “wheeler Dealer” !!
    with your 5w plan turning into a Roadster Runner!! Well done man !! Tks for the many postings of ur build.


    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
     
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