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Projects Fry's Model A coupe build RECAP

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Fry, Nov 5, 2018.

  1. I joined the hamb almost 16 years ago, though I'm not active like lots of folks on here I have always used it for searching info, reading build threads, etc.
    The hamb has always been my only outlet for hot rods, I have no family or friends who share an interest in cars and the local scene is nonexistent.
    With that said keep in mind that everything I've learned is through pictures and info, there's a lot that I've done wrong I'm sure, so don't expect miracles in from this build ;).
    Its funny, up until this was rolling I've never even sat in a model A, or any hot rod for that matter. I'm doing this from thin air...

    I tend to get wordy, so I'm trying to keep this thread slim, less random thoughts, pictures, etc..
    (I did start a thread awhile back but photobucket screwed that up and its too much of a mess to continue with).

    So lets start with this, Dec 2015
    I picked of this body 5 hrs away as a project from a hot rod shop owner.
    The body is decent, it had no subrails was just a shell with a half installed top wood kit.

    When I got it home I built a frame table and straighten the body and re-braced it so the doors where as good as I could get. It took a good bit of pulling and twisting, its not perfect but I'm ok with that on an 85 year old.

    Sitting and waiting for the frame rails to show up.

  2. Spoiler alert, I'm doing this thread now as I recently drove it out of the garage under its own power. So I was going through my phone and everywhere else I have pictures stored trying to get them in order. It got me thinking about how much work this has been, everything has been done solo. I've dedicated so much of myself into this thing just to have a awesome hot rod to drive in. I set a goal earlier this year to have this running by July 2019 to drive it a 1000 miles to Victoria, British Columbia for Deuce days 2019. Hopefully this thread ends with a successful trip out to the west coast and back :D
    Here I'm being wordy again...
    I ordered ASC rails which took forever to get here.
    They needed a good amount of massaging to make them look good, and I also cut them down to a consistent 2" top and bottom.
    f1.jpg f2.jpg
  3. GordonC
    Joined: Mar 6, 2006
    Posts: 1,872


    I like where this is going. I pretty much had the same thing. Nobody near by into hot rods at all. So you got a blank canvas to do with it as suits you!
    Fry likes this.
  4. I pinched the rails front and rear
    f3.jpg f4.jpg
    I boxed the rails, I set the boxing plates in a little so it didn't look so modern.
    I also made up a center crossmember and added some exhaust holes through it.
    I didn't want anything hanging below the chassis so I wanted the exhaust tucked up close.
    I also picked up a narrowed 9" and used old left over 4 link bars to locate it.
    I hand cut the mounts with and angle grinder, and bent them to a V with a torch.
    Lots of parts picked up in this step, I have the 16x4&5 wheels, borg warner ST10, front axle, wishbones, etc.
    f5.jpg f6.jpg
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  5. I wasn't sure how to attach the upper bars, so I bought a tubing bender and made this K-member type setup out of 1.75 DOM tubing.

    f7.jpg f8.jpg f9.jpg
    A lot of research into 4 link and vehicle dynamics went into my 4 link. I found that the bars are supposed to have mount points closer to the same axis as the pinion. I did a lot of drafting and calculating to come up with what you see here. I think its pretty ok.
    I ditched the magentic dial type angle finder for a digital, way better idea.

    I had these laser cut locally, which was stupid expensive but the hang a little low for proper geometry so I wanted them nice.
  6. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,217


    Words are good in a build thread. Don't hold back on your feelings as you were building and planning, as others will benefit from the entire journey with thoughts written down here.

    When you start running the roads, everywhere you stop will bring new friends and others with like interests.

    Kan Kustom, AHotRod, Texas57 and 7 others like this.
  7. oldsman41
    Joined: Jun 25, 2010
    Posts: 1,145


    Fry, dont think wordy is a bad thing. There are guys out there just lurking like you and if they read what went through your head it just might jump start a few more rods. I think guys on here sometime think everyone knows what they do and don’t elaborate enough. I do it myself. Just let er rip we can follow.
  8. Notching the frame, f12.jpg f13.jpg f18.jpg
    This was my method to make sure I was getting proper the notches in the proper spot.
  9. Heres a sketchy part, damn mig welding threw too much heat into the diff and I had to straighten it. So I borrowed a 9" jig and used the press at work to get it back in alignment. Glad I checked it before going any further. fr25.jpg
  10. Mounting engine and trans... f14.jpg
    simple, effective engine mounts..

    f15.jpg f16.jpg

    I bent some tubing, cut a notch into it and made a mount for the trans. Like i mentioned earlier I wanted nothing hanging below the frame and the stock mounts were just to low and ugly.

    Clearance, I added rod ends for cushion/flex.
  11. Kids thought the crossmembers looked like a skull and cross bones so I made it a skull and cross bones. A little rad rodish, but whatever... rolling bones can get away with skulls why can’t I. Haha.

    f19.jpg f22.jpg This is a little out of order but I had the body on and off a hundred times, which is a lot of work by yourself.

    Last edited: Nov 5, 2018
  12. These are a little disjointed as well,
    I went with coil overs because it seemed easier. I did not want them behind the axle so I made up this mount and had a machine shop cut it out for me. The shock was used as mock up. I welded the round puck to the mount as well. I can't seem to find any better pics of the process but I'm sure it will show up later on.

    Tapered shim to get some more caster out of the front crossmember, I had tilted it as much as I could in the front rails but it still wasn't enough.
    This is a bit of a later on pic, but here is the finished hidden coilovers.

    Got the vega box mounted and gusseted I'll see if I can dig any more pictures of that stuff up.

    fr28.JPG The f1 shock mounts modified. Thats about all I have sorted for today. I'll see what I can dig up and post some more progress tomorrow hopefully.

  13. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 6,331

    Bandit Billy

    This is fun, it's like catching up on 3 seasons of Game of Thrones in only a few days.
    czuch, alanp561, brEad and 4 others like this.
  14. AndersF
    Joined: Feb 16, 2013
    Posts: 670


    Great start on this build.
    Working on my first hotrod myself.
    1927graham, Fast Eddie 27 and Fry like this.
  15. Speaking of TV, I kinda ended this episode with a poor ending..
    So this would be the cliff hanger..
    Off the table, body test fit again, grill shell chucked up and front end together.
    Really getting the look of things to come.
    This would be spring 2016.

    Kan Kustom, czuch, Dog_Patch and 12 others like this.
  16. ckdesigns
    Joined: Jan 21, 2004
    Posts: 608

    from Ogden,Utah

    My first hot rod story is much like yours, I learned lots from here and I had never been in a model A or a hot rod until I took mine down the road. You do some great fabrication. Thanks for taking the time to put a thread together.

    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
  17. GordonC
    Joined: Mar 6, 2006
    Posts: 1,872


    Fry those are some nice looking welds. Do you weld for a living?
    catdad49 and B Bay Barn like this.
  18. Thanks, I appreciate that. It’s kinda quiet in here, was hoping it would be worth the effort.
    czuch likes this.
  19. Haha, thanks. No I’m a journeyman agriculture mechanic. I had taken an “after work” class on welding when I was younger and a few during apprenticeship training. Couple that with some practice and a decent mig enables a few ok welds every now and then.
    After this I really would like a tig to expand my skills. There were so many times that I lacked tools and skills in this build, that I had to settle for what I could accomplish instead of what I wanted to accomplish. Hopefully on the next build I’ll be able to get past some of those barriers.
    Kan Kustom, LBCD, czuch and 2 others like this.
  20. GordonC
    Joined: Mar 6, 2006
    Posts: 1,872


    Looks to me like your doing great!
    czuch, craig b blue and Fry like this.
  21. raven
    Joined: Aug 19, 2002
    Posts: 4,577


    Beautiful work shown so far. I do have one concern, the cross member where the driveshaft goes through does look like it would allow much rear suspension travel before the driveshaft hits it. Am I jumping ahead?

    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
  22. The picture probably look like that but bottomed out on the c-notch it still has a lot of clearance. This was just a telescoping set of tubes to simulate a driveshaft and wasn’t sitting in the center of the pinion.
  23. Then I got my tires, 5.50 & 7.50s, early ford wheels.. I believe fronts are 4" and rears are 4.5 or 5".
    Set up at ride height, waiting for money to finish the front end.


    Glamour shot with the front end rolling, still no axles for the rear.. This is where you really start getting excited, seeing everything come together. It looked kinda cool unchopped, but didn't stay that way for long.
    Kan Kustom, catdad49, brEad and 3 others like this.
  24. I had initially planned on having someone else to the body work, including chopping.
    I'm not a body man, and really lack the knowledge and skill to pull this stuff off, but no point being a coward.

    So before I actually welded on the body I took the old cut out pieces and practiced on. Sometimes I find this old tin is hard to weld, but this stuff actually went pretty well.
    c3.jpg c4.jpg

    The wife and kids are very encouraging with the project.
    My son told me at this point "dad, if you hurry up we can drive it tonight".. haha, kids..

    Finished welding, didn't turn out too bad. I was pleasantly pleased that I did not wreck it during the process. I took my time, tacked, hammered, cooled and went to the other side and repeated. I didn't end up with any warping.
  25. I cleaned it all up, cleaned up the garage as those other photos sure make me look like a pig..
    bf1.jpg Still no axles and floor past the subrails. So not a roller yet. Thats the hardest part on building on a budget, learning patience.

    Kan Kustom, 32SEDAN, catdad49 and 9 others like this.
  26. The chop was 4", well 3 & 11/16" or whatever masking tape works out to nowadays.
    You can kinda see in these pictures that I built a rear subfloor to follow the frame rail curve. I later decided this was stupid and changed it all up. I think thats probably whats next on the list as it was mostly labour while I was waiting to save up some cash for parts.
    Kan Kustom, 1927graham and brEad like this.
  27. treb11
    Joined: Jan 21, 2006
    Posts: 3,394


    "I'm not a body man, and really lack the knowledge and skill to pull this stuff off, but no point being a coward."

    That is the most profound statement for Home-built Hot Rods I've ever read. thanks for sharing
  28. Nice build. Thx for taking the time to share it!
    INVISIBLEKID and Fry like this.
  29. brianf31
    Joined: Aug 11, 2003
    Posts: 554


    Nice build!
    Fry likes this.
  30. Like I mentioned earlier, I had built a rear subrail assembly that curved around the frame. Then got to thinking about mounting a fuel tank or fuel cell and curved floors. Then I started thinking that I have no way to build nice rounded floors so I scrapped the whole idea.
    I wanted a roll bar, I thought the doing a dimple dies tie-in would look pretty gnarly. I wanted it to stay classy without going overboard on that kind of stuff like so many people do.
    So I bent a roll bar for the back of the cab. I notched the body seam and pressed it close against the tin.
    In hindsight I should have went a tad high as I'm not sure what I'm going to do for the rear window attachment (which I'm working on currently this winter).
    There are body mounts welded to the bottom of the roll bar. I'm taking the body on and off a hundred times after this so welding to frame wasn't an option. I didn't build this to any spec, to meet any racing sanctions or anything. The goal was to beef it up and add a little protection.
    I never did continue with the side bar along the door frame. I thought it would have been cool to tie in the door frame with some more dimple dies. But it was too many curves and a lot more work so I abandoned that part of it.
    In this picture you can see the seat frame laid in place.
    I beefed up the factory bottom of the seat and added hinges. BTW this is a caravan seat that is virtually brand new, comfy and cheap.
    I added a sliding pin style lock that pins the rear of the seat into the frame to lock it in place. Not sure if I have pictures of that.

    rb4.jpg rb5.jpg
    I started building a floor, I bought a really cheap bead roller and some 20 gauge and went to town, bending and beading but it didn't turn out as planned so I bought some 16 gauge and made flat floors.
    The curve at the top was a pain in the butt to bend.


    This is the trunk area, not great.
    I added mounts to hold the rear and just used hockey pucks for those body mounts.
    The front mounts are flat rubber pieces I found around the shop used for stops/rests for heavy ag equipment, which fit the bill perfectly.
    Not seen (well sort of) I braced underneath the floor near the firewall for the future fuel cell.

    rb7.JPG rb8.JPG
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2018

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