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Projects Ford Mike's Roadster Build

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Ford Mike, Mar 11, 2014.

  1. In the off chance I forget about this thread and don't update it, my instagram is here...

    Ok I really wasn't going to put a thread up for my roadster, at least not until it was done, but a lot of people have been getting on me to do a thread. Even though those of you who know me know I'd rather be working on my car than typing about it, I guess I'll give it a shot...

    First off, I need to thank everyone for the overwhelming amount of support I have received while working on this car. Everything from advise to parts, there is no way I would be as far along as I am without you guys, Thank you!

    I bought this car almost a year ago in April 2013 out of New York. I got a great deal on it, and I was super glad the previous owner gave me the opportunity to buy it. Here it is as I first saw it...


    When we got it home it basically sat like this in my dad's basement until sometime in the fall of 2013. In the beginning I didn't really know what I wanted to do, but at the 2013 Jalopy showdown after talking to Zach Suhr and Jason Sheets and seeing their cars I decided I wanted to do a late 40s flathead v8 powered build.

    I had been collecting early ford parts for years already so I wanted to use mostly stuff I had available at the time. I tried to mock up the engine and motor mounts according to the Tardel Av8 book but quickly found out that many of the measurements were wrong so I just eyeballed it with the mock up engine and model A radiator.


    After everything looked good in the engine bay I moved on to the trans crossmember. The original idea I had was to use an F1 tranny mount but after searching for one for months I decided to make my own out of different old ford parts. I started with a 34 big truck crossmember and cut it in half to get it to fit in the frame rails.


    I wanted to run unsplit wishbones but this crossmember was too far back to run any stock ford wishbones so again I started cutting on the 34 truck and cut the wishbones off right behind where they mount on the axle. The truck wishbone was still too short so I made up the difference with pieces of model a wishbone. Here it is in early mock up. I grew quite fond of the downward swoop the wishbone made from the trans crossmember.


    Now onto the rear. Its a 36 ford rear I adapted model A spring hangers onto. I saw that on the hamb posted by Chris and I loved the idea, very simple and it takes a lot of the guess work out of mounting the model a spring on a later rear. Plus it looks factory when you are done! I don't have any photos of that step in the build but this is after when the rear was in the car and my father and I were shortening the torque tube. I was also removing a frame step done by the previous owner.


    After the tube was shortened and installed. I realize I need to cut more out around the torque tube in that crossmember. I just still haven't yet.


    I had been doing a ton of work on the body during this time so we plopped the body back on the frame to see how it looked.


    I think this was in mid fall, there has been much more progress since then. So I have more to post, I just need to get it in order and find the pictures
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2014
  2. Posting a build thread on the hamb....what is the world coming too...

    Glad to see it here with a little more details..keep it up dude!

    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
    mink likes this.
  3. Dave50
    Joined: Mar 7, 2010
    Posts: 1,751


    Mike i really like that grille shell, I think you changed it but that is different. Glad you put the thread up easier to follow your progress here than on IG. great job
  4. JeffreyJames
    Joined: Jun 13, 2007
    Posts: 16,612

    from SUGAR CITY

    Man I've been loving following along on this roadster. So cool and I love the style you've been going with. I'm up in the air on grille shells. I don'e like commercial grille shells practically on anything but your car and it's so cool this far it's not going to make or break anything.

  5. brady1929
    Joined: Sep 30, 2006
    Posts: 8,631


  6. 3wLarry
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 12,804

    Member Emeritus
    from Owasso, Ok

    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  7. Thanks man! One of my main goals of putting this up was to give others who were thinking of building an Av8 ideas. That and a few guys kept bugging me! haha

    I am also a huge fan of the commercial shell on this car. I got a cheap 32 repop to run for now. If I find a commercial shell and have the money I will most definitely get it. Yeah my IG updates are pretty random, but thats actually how I am working on the car believe it or not lol

    Thanks a ton man!!! I usually don't like the commercial shells either but there is something different on this car. I won't be running one for a while but getting a commercial shell is real high on my priority list once I get this thing going.
  8. I've been following along on IG.
    Very cool build, shaping up very nicely!
    Easier to see details in the pictures on the computer too.
  9. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 8,116

    anthony myrick

    cool car 28/29 roadsters are my favorite. Please keep posting pics. I have one dumb ? what is IG
  10. doctorZ
    Joined: Apr 10, 2006
    Posts: 1,243


    it looks great! i love those AV8s!!!
  11. snot275
    Joined: May 11, 2012
    Posts: 131


    It's about fucking time you started a thread... (Chrisharper on IG)

    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
  12. D-man313
    Joined: Mar 17, 2011
    Posts: 1,161


    Instagram. Been following along, making good progress!
  13. +1 to about fuckin time! Been following along as well. Lookin good man!
  14. SUHRsc
    Joined: Sep 27, 2005
    Posts: 5,079


    Keep up the good work! 2 months to go!
  15. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 15,133


    Looks good so far. I like the truck shell on there.
  16. T&A Flathead
    Joined: Apr 28, 2007
    Posts: 1,904

    T&A Flathead

    Good build so far. The commercial looks good with the hood on. They are a bit thick without a hood. Looking forward to seeing more pics.
  17. Haha, people have been busting me to make one for awhile. Decided to cave into peer pressure!

    Thanks man!

    Thanks! You've got a pretty damn cool car yourself

    Oh man don't remind me! I should make it, just need to rebuild the trans, make clutch and brake pedals, get the steering sorted out, get brake parts and rebuild them, and last but not least get a radiator. I'm leaning toward an aluminum one just because 32 radiators seem to be quite hard to find. I'm sure I forgot something but I'll make it!!!
  18. I know you've been keeping up with mine haha. How did you go with the door hinges after i sent you that pic of mine?
  19. Carter
    Joined: Mar 18, 2006
    Posts: 1,440


    Great build! Glad you decided to post it. The HAMB needs more stuff like this.

    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
  20. Looking good. Keep us posted.
  21. Ok part 2. If I would have thought of it I would have just made a few place holder posts in the beginning. Oh well...

    After the pic of the car back together I took the body off again to start patching it. I also took this opportunity to improve the trans crossmember. My trans is a 36 so I decided to solid mount the transmission to the trans crossmember. I tried to stick weld as much as possible on this car too. Pretty much everything is done with stick on the running gear.


    The idea before welding.


    As for the body, I started by redoing the sub frame where it has been cut out around the frame step. The body was really flimsy, I remade the bottom of the A and B pillars.


    On top of that it needed wheel well, quarter panel, and the bottom of the passengers side cowl post.




    The wheel wells I actually just finished a few days ago. There is so much welding on those its crazy. I'll admit I do not know how to do good sheet metal work but aside from the awful quarter panel patches I think it came out ok. I still need to grind down the welds on the wheel wells but I keep putting it off because that is going to suck!


    I searched forever to find a decent flathead and my buddy Nick put me onto one near Maryland. Finally had a running engine that was just disassemble. My dad handled the rebuild which consisted of new rings, everything for the valves, studs, and a different crank.


    The first time the new engine was in the frame. I was advised by patina hater JJ to paint my well patina'd engine.


    No more original engine patina. I also sprayed paint on the bare frame rails to prevent rust.


    This was right around Christmas, we put the body back on the frame and bolted it down. The red color is a trial for the final color. I decided I didn't like it and now I've chosen a much darker red. I believe this was also when I got the steering box in. Jason Sheets really helped me by milling the mounting flange off an F1 and making me a 2 bolt style flange for the model A frame. It came out so nice, I still haven't welded it together as I want to be 100% sure its right.


    My dad fired the engine up sometime in January and it ran real good. Without a radiator we cant run it for any amount of time but it was just enough to know that it WILL run when the day comes. It has a pretty bad leak into the bell housing which will be addressed in the upcoming weeks. Oh and I had to throw a Sugar City sticker on the oil filter cant forget about that!


    I was really off and on about the idea of running the truck dash and column drop. I am now definitely going to make it work, something cool came up so I cant wait to get working on the dash later this spring.


    As I said before in the thread I got a repop 32 grill to run for the time being. Its a piece of junk so I felt like mocking up a little grille-headlight action to get myself more excited about the whole thing.


    That is a LONG way off I should add. I pushed it outside a few weeks back to get a feel for how the car looked. Its pretty much got the stance I was after.



    Now I am disassembling it a little at a time to tie up all the loose ends.
    volvobrynk likes this.
  22. I looked at yours for a very long time, welded the holes up, and redrilled them in a better location. It now looks like it belongs there but I need to slide the quarter panel back a little bit to get the catch for the latch in. Its a pain in the rear but its getting there! Thanks again for the pic
  23. Tuck
    Joined: May 14, 2001
    Posts: 5,651

    Tech Editor
    from MINNESOTA
    1. Early Hemi Tech

  24. av8
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 1,716


    I apologize for those wrong measurements. In our attempt to make the build process easy, we used dimensions from our own work where we should have advised cut-and-try mockup, as you did. Our eagerness to be helpful caused problems for some of our readers, and we've been forever sorry for that.

    I sincerely hope that you found some useful information in the book.

    Mike Bishop
    volvobrynk likes this.
  25. In my haste to get the car a roller we never shortened the drive shaft or made radius rods. I found and pulled a set of 39 Ford radius rods from a junkyard with one of my friends.


    Next was the drive shaft. Everyone recommended that I find a later style drive shaft to shorten. I searched high and low but came up empty handed so my dad and I shortened the 36 drive shaft.


    It came out nice and straight. We finished assembling the rear today and I'm not sure but I think the drive shaft is a bit too long. Everything went together but the speedometer gear on the drive shaft wasn't in the middle of the hole for the speedometer sender in the torque tube. Maybe its nothing but if its wrong it won't be too big of a deal to shorten the drive shaft a little bit more.

    Here it is back together. We readded the leaves I removed before. This intern screwed up the stance of the car.


    It bugged me for a little bit but its all in the name of progress. I would much rather be driving this thing than waiting around to get a T spring for the rear.

    This is how I left it tonight...


    And tomorrow I will pull the engine and trans as well as disassemble the front end.
  26. I knew you would like it!!!

    It's no big deal, there was definitely some head scratching when trying to get everything the same as the book but we figured it out in the end. No two of these cars are the same, that's what makes this hobby fun. If everyone's cars were the same going to a car show would SUCK! The book was very helpful for getting an idea of what needed to be done to build one of these cars right. It is a great book and I am glad I had it to reference before jumping into this project head first!
    FlatJan and volvobrynk like this.
  27. pinkynoegg
    Joined: Dec 11, 2011
    Posts: 1,135


    Im glad you bit the bullet and made a thread. now I wont be able to get away from your awesome car wherever I go!

    Been following on IG and will follow here as well. good job man!
  28. On the topic of the door latch striker plate, when i assembled my mostly original body with brookville quarters and subrails.. i initially left a gap of 550mm each side. I should've hung the doors first, but i knew the measurement already.

    When i measured the brookville quarter panels, one was about 5 or 6mm longer than the other so I used the door overlap to hide the gap, and simply offset the quarter panel back a few mm from the other side. This is also why my striker is different from one side to the other.

    In doing that, when i went to put strikers on i found the drivers side wouldn't fit. What i ended up doing is putting the passenger side on the quarter, and the drivers side i filed out the gap in the striker and slid it over the back of the quarter panel door jamb.

    I can send you some more pics if it doesn't quite make sense.

    Edit: My drivers side, not yours lol.
  29. Silvair
    Joined: Sep 30, 2010
    Posts: 189


    Mike, it looks great! I can't wait until I can start on mine.


    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
  30. 3340
    Joined: Jun 4, 2010
    Posts: 577


    Cool! Nice Job!

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