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Projects Dropping a Model A headlight bar - PICS

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by badshifter, Jul 1, 2013.

  1. badshifter
    Joined: Apr 28, 2006
    Posts: 3,397

    badshifter
    Member

    After lunch today I figured its not a hot rod with a stock headlight bar, so here is the damage report for my 29.

    So the before picture.
    Removed the bar, made two tabs to bolt to the ends, laid it on the welding table and tacked the brackets to the table.
    Marked the headlight mount centerlines on the table, and a line 4 inches below to aim for.
    Unbolt one side, and heat the bolted side with a rosebud, at the very base first. Slowly heat and bend, the goal is to make a 90 degree bend about 1 inch short of the scribed headlight centerline.
    Air cool the first bend, and heat and slowly bend it back to level with the line on the table. The goal here, is parallel to the line, and to have the headlight mount line up again.
    After an air cool, remove bolts, and bolt up the opposite side and repeat.
    On the final bend, you should be able to bolt the first side back into your tabs and let air cool.
    I gave a quick sand blast, spray paint and back on in less than 2 hours.
    No more bug eye headlights.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. badshifter
    Joined: Apr 28, 2006
    Posts: 3,397

    badshifter
    Member

    After.
     

    Attached Files:

  3. Big improvement. HRP
     
  4. So-Cal Speed Sacramento
    Joined: Sep 6, 2008
    Posts: 463

    So-Cal Speed Sacramento
    Alliance Vendor
    from Sacramento

    rad! this would have been a good tech-week one.
     

  5. Fogger
    Joined: Aug 18, 2007
    Posts: 1,635

    Fogger
    Member

    Great job, Eastwood has dropped a couple for me and yours looks very good. Sure makes your A Model look better!
     
  6. badshifter
    Joined: Apr 28, 2006
    Posts: 3,397

    badshifter
    Member

    Funny you mention Pete. He saw pics of my truck and told me in no uncertain terms it needed a dropped headlight bar. He had a pile of done bars he was delivering to guys at Pomona 2 weeks ago. I looked everywhere at Pomona for a spare bar to give him to drop for me, but no luck. So I did it myself.. It was fun. That stuff gets HOT though!
     

    Attached Files:

    kidcampbell71 and scrap metal 48 like this.
  7. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 30,839

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Slick, now I just need to figure out how to straighten mine before I drop it.
     
  8. Makes a big difference. Good job. I did the same and kept the original buckets.
     
  9. So you dropped your bar eh? Well, you could've just bought one......:rolleyes:

    But that would'nt have been half as cool at what you did :D

    Nice job, looks great.
     
  10. hmmm I need to do this.
     
  11. It's the little things that make a huge difference.
    I love your truck!
     
  12. mow too much
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 906

    mow too much
    Member

    Looks great! It's amazing how much better they look after being dropped.:cool:
     
  13. Wardog
    Joined: Jan 12, 2010
    Posts: 2,425

    Wardog
    Member

    Massive improvement and the right price!
     
  14. Canuck
    Joined: Jan 4, 2002
    Posts: 1,101

    Canuck
    Member

    Looks good with a style all your own. :cool: Lots of drop. :eek:

    Nice tech write up as well. :)

    Did one the same way a couple of years ago, only used a 30/31 bar mounted on 28/29 fenders.

    [​IMG]

    Canuck
     
  15. Wardog
    Joined: Jan 12, 2010
    Posts: 2,425

    Wardog
    Member

    If I had'nt read this thread I would of bought one. Thanks.

    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 16, 2014
  16. skryla
    Joined: Oct 22, 2012
    Posts: 120

    skryla
    Member
    from Brick, NJ

    do you have a "straight on" pic you could share to see what it should look like?
     
  17. rusty rocket
    Joined: Oct 30, 2011
    Posts: 4,541

    rusty rocket
    Member

    Very nice work, looks a hell of alot better.
     
  18. Tim
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 13,501

    Tim
    Member
    from KCMO

    That's a pretty graceful looking drop! Thanks for the post :)
     
  19. lake_harley
    Joined: Jun 4, 2017
    Posts: 1,666

    lake_harley
    Member

    Digging up an old post here.

    As I build my '31 I'd like to drop the headlight bar. In case the original poster sees this, I want to say it was a good tutorial on the process. The tabs placed before doing anything would be critical to fitment after the bends are made.

    My question is two part......
    1) is this a "this looks about right" process subject to some trial and error?
    and closely related to the 1st question
    2) one of the last steps is "On the final bend, you should be able to bolt the first side back into your tabs and let air cool" does that mean that the 4th and final bend is used to pull everything back to the proper position per the fixed tabs?

    Maybe I'm obsessing about this, but it seems that all 4 "heat and bend" operations might have to be tweaked with a re-heat and re-bend to get the whole headlight bar fit back between the two mounts with the headlights level and centered. An overbend here, and an under bend there and it seems it could end up being less than symmetrical.

    Please advise, and thanks, in advance.

    Lynn
     
  20. lake_harley
    Joined: Jun 4, 2017
    Posts: 1,666

    lake_harley
    Member

    Today I went to the welding supply store and bought a rosebud tip for my Oxy/Acetylene torch to take on dropping my Model A headlight bar. I had an extra one that I bought at a swap meet so used it and kept the one that was on the car in case I totally destroyed the "victim".

    Welded tabs onto a 6" X 1/2" piece of bar stock similar to what badshifter did in the original post. Made some reference lines for the centerline of the headlight mount holes and 1" increment marks for reference as to the amount of drop achieved. On the first side I ended up having to reheat and tweak the bends to get the headlight mount back on it's centerline (and one photo shows that), but the second side went much better. Although the two sides didn't turn out perfectly symmetrical someone would have to stand in front of the car and have an eagle eye and too much time on their hands to see the slight difference. Maybe the radius of my bends isn't as tight as badshifter's so I only ended up with about 2" of drop compared to his 4" drop, but perhaps it has something to do with his example being a '28-29 bar and mine is a '30-'31. In any case, I'm happy with how it turned out.

    Thanks to badshifter (providing he's still active here) for the tutorial. It gave me the confidence to give it a shot. Even with buying to new rosebud tip I'm still about $75+ to the good, compared to buying a bar that's already been dropped. While I have the jig set up I might just drop the other one too and use the one I like the best.:)

    I know, pictures, or it didn't happen.......

    Lynn

    20201101_142405.jpg 20201102_150114.jpg 20201102_162855.jpg 20201102_162923.jpg 20201102_162952.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2020
  21. scrap metal 48
    Joined: Sep 6, 2009
    Posts: 6,077

    scrap metal 48
    Member

    Nice job on lowered bar.. I did mine a little different to get them nice and low.. They're low but not as nice looking as yours.... **clic pic** sell pics 011.JPG 50's show rod 001.JPG
     
    Dave Mc, kidcampbell71 and badshifter like this.
  22. badshifter
    Joined: Apr 28, 2006
    Posts: 3,397

    badshifter
    Member

    Nice work guys!
    Badshifter is still active.
    The truck got finished, headlight bar chromed.
    Liked the truck better when it was a little more rough.....
    Sold it.

    IMG_2478.JPG IMG_2300.JPG
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2020
  23. lake_harley
    Joined: Jun 4, 2017
    Posts: 1,666

    lake_harley
    Member

    Good to know you're here and I can say "Thanks" directly!

    The truck looks great either way but somehow I bet if was more "useable" when it wasn't all perfected?

    Lynn
     
  24. Great job guys! I bought a second bar for our 29 and plan on giving it a try.
    I just read a post on a FAKEBOOK group page about this very thing, and they stated that a 28/29 bar is easier to drop than a 30/31 bar. The poster mentioned he only got 2 inches out of his 30/31 bar also.
     
  25. lake_harley
    Joined: Jun 4, 2017
    Posts: 1,666

    lake_harley
    Member

    FWIW....I dropped the other bar I had today and only got it down about 1 1/2" or so. I dropped it to to use the headlights I have that were on my Coupe and I don't think they're actually Model A, but that's a whole 'nuther story. Probably could have tightened up the bend radius a bit on the bars I dropped to get a tiny bit more drop but I didn't want them looking "kinked". I used a short length of 1 1/4" steel round bar against the headlight bar as a "bend mandrel". It's all an experiment anyway as I prove to myself I don't know what any number of seasoned hot-rodders already know.:confused:

    Lynn
     
  26. Canuck
    Joined: Jan 4, 2002
    Posts: 1,101

    Canuck
    Member

    This was done a few years ago. Headlight bar is 30-31, fender brackets are 28-29. Only got about a 1 1/2' drop trying to keep the curves smooth. About in line with where the bar attaches to the fender bracket. Headlights are BLC sealed beams, turn signals ended up from a HD and mounted under the headlight attachment bolt. upload_2020-11-3_20-55-15.png
     
  27. Pass The Torch
    Joined: May 18, 2018
    Posts: 979

    Pass The Torch
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Just did mine a few days ago....

    Adjustments.JPG
     
  28. Anyone ever do it this way? Sorry, no before or during pictures 20201104_100348.jpg 20201104_100355.jpg 20201104_100405.jpg 20201104_100414.jpg 20201104_100550.jpg
     

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