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Technical I have officially been beaten sadly.

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by lostone, Jun 7, 2020.

  1. lostone
    Joined: Oct 13, 2013
    Posts: 1,199

    from kansas

    I have, after months of trying, given up. The 31 tudor has whupped my butt. Not whipped, whupped, thats worse.

    I have, sadly, given up the stupid idea of trying to make this thing totally square, it ain't gonna happen.

    I have squared the roof, thanks to Kevin's measurements, and as some of you may remember I built a nice sturdy floor truss system which itself is nice and square. So building from a square, solid "floor" up to a square, solid roof should have been easy but alas that was not the case.

    Also note that I had opened up the door openings to flush fit the doors so this is were things don't come together. I guess since the doors overlap the quarters the idea of the openings needing to be totally square were a mute point.

    I can square the entire rear section of the body and roof then when trying to match cowl/doors, square openings then the doors don't fit and the gaps go to hell. If I over lapped the doors like original it wouldn't be a problem you'd never see it.

    Of course all of it could be over come by A: replacing each panel and fitting as you go. B: cut existing panels, fit gaps and weld back together. No I did neither I opted for option C: throw caution to the wind along with the measuring tape. Now there is over 1/4" difference on quarter heights but I do have body lines flat on the cowl, doors and quarters (hate crooked body lines) also have door gaps but boy are the measurements off!

    I.... MUST... NOT .... THINK.... ABOUT... THE.... MEASUREMENTS.....!! It drives me crazy, first time in my life I couldn't square a body and make it fit !!
  2. do your best.....Bondo the rest...
  3. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,333

    jimmy six

    What ever you do... will be better than the day it rolled off the assembly line.
  4. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 18,062

    Staff Member

    Just let the doors overlap, It is traditional......
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  5. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 3,455


    Being the owner of many '55-9 Chevy PU's, one of which my dad bought new, nothing lined up on any of them. So, choices are to get it as best you can, or get the grinder out and fit it then weld up seams you cut away.

    Hey, if it was easy to make a '31 look like a Lexus, everyone would do it;)
  6. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 27,104


    I'd like to see how the door latches work with the flush door deal. Bob
  7. I watched a shop square a coupe. They built an inner structure to work from. It had suicide flush doors with bear claws, also. It was a lengthy process. I think they said one quarter panel was 5/8" higher than the other.
  8. lostone
    Joined: Oct 13, 2013
    Posts: 1,199

    from kansas

    See this is one of the advantages, I picked up about 5/8" of an inch between the door and the pillar. with the small bear claws i figure between moving them inboard and the added room I should be able to mount latches pretty easily compared to other installs on the model A's of course it could just reach out and bite me in the butt like most everything else on this build LOL !!
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  9. lostone
    Joined: Oct 13, 2013
    Posts: 1,199

    from kansas

    Yeah I ended up with the drivers side quarter over 1/4" higher actually sitting pretty close to 3/8".

    funny thing is the doors are set to the cowl by door gap, with that gap being a fat 1/8" top to bottom. So with the doors set to the cowl I then moved on to the quarters to the door fit/gap. If I line up the door gaps the quarters run high to the rear of the car making the body line look like its running up hill which it is and this is with measurements square. Now if I lower the rear of the body to make the body lines straight the measurements don't square. The bottom of the quarters are too far forward and the upper line on the door to the panel above the door don't line up either.

    The upper panel to door is interesting as the gap runs thick to thin front to back on the door overlapping the panel. As in the top front of the door overlaps say 3/8" of an inch and by the time it gets to the rear of the door this measurement is say 3/16". these are just guesses as I haven't actually measured them as I said I made doors flush so I altered the doors here to fit.
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  10. Almostdone
    Joined: Dec 19, 2019
    Posts: 245


    Walking away and returning another day helps with a lot of problems.
    guitarguy, wandi harry, kjmmm and 5 others like this.
  11. GordonC
    Joined: Mar 6, 2006
    Posts: 1,987


    In our minds we want our hot rods to be perfect when in fact the originals weren't even close to perfect. Its going to be off a little bit here and there. Get things functioning the way you want them to work and as close as you can get them and let it go or it will make you crazy. Take it from someone who worked to plus or minus .005 of an inch for a good part of his life!
  12. X-cpe
    Joined: Mar 9, 2018
    Posts: 948


    I was playing with the coupster doors last night. The top of the pass. door is 1/4-3/8" wider than the driver's door. Put the tape away and came in to bed. Not to be snarky because I know how imperfections and the inability to bring them to your standard can be irritating, but are you going to drive it or win a Ridler. Have you looked up threads on here about panel alignment? Good advice to walk away. I was building a stand for a cut away for school a couple of years ago. Multiple compound angles. Couldn't get two main pieces to line up. Quit and left it alone. A couple of weeks ago I was ready to throw it out because it always seemed to fall of the shelf on the bottom of the work bench. Looked at it and said "Damn". Its done and painted now.
  13. Nicholas Coe
    Joined: Jul 5, 2017
    Posts: 1,446

    Nicholas Coe
    from Tontitown

    I feel your pain. If only I had learned to walk away several years ago. It would have saved me so much....

    Sent from my Pixel 3a XL using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  14. There are times when the eyeball is better than the tape....
  15. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 4,692

    from Oregon

  16. adam401
    Joined: Dec 27, 2007
    Posts: 1,995


    The hot rod gods were punishing you severely for the mortal sin of flush fit doors. You are forgiven my son. Go in peace.
  17. Elcohaulic
    Joined: Dec 27, 2017
    Posts: 904


    I owned one of those one time. I can still remember crying with joy as I watched it go away from me after being sold. Later on, driving home through the Liberty tunnels, I said a prayer and right after praying a nice el Camino past me in the other lane, what makes this special is this was January and the roads were covered in salt. The guy must of been moving it. The next week this beautiful el Camino fell into my lap for a song. New 454, paint and all for 12gs. Working on this car is a dream, everything lines up and fits!!! I will never sell this one, I've allready had offers for 25gs, not way will I sell it..
    Desoto291Hemi and The37Kid like this.
  18. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 27,104


    Some photos of your "problem" sure would help. How did you achieve the flush fit, move the back of the body back the distance of the overlap or cut it off the doors? :confused:

  19. scrap metal 48
    Joined: Sep 6, 2009
    Posts: 5,920

    scrap metal 48

    Overlapping doors are part of a model A's charm.....
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2020
  20. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 24,906

    Jalopy Joker

    square is achieved by adding more or cutting off too much metal - on a side note, try hanging/ aligning front sheet metal on a '40 Ford (and others) - only perfection that I have achieved is a perfectly total disaster
  21. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,401


    What makes you think it was square when it left Henry's hands? Lots of good advice here. The car knows how it wants its parts to fit.
  22. gregsmy
    Joined: Feb 11, 2011
    Posts: 46

    from Florida

    I have a "glass" bodied project. The mold was supposedly pulled from a nice original vehicle. In trying to align and square the body to the chassis I just couldn't get it to work out. I was constantly chasing about 5/8 of an inch. Finally in an effort to figure things out I attached a long straight edge to the firewall and one to the back of the cab. After that I could see that the cab is wider on the drivers side and tapers towards the passenger side by the 5/8 of an inch. Doors measure the same. gaps are nice, etc. I dont know if its how the original truck was made or something moved in the mold making process, but it took a while to figure it out.
  23. Nostrebor
    Joined: Jun 25, 2014
    Posts: 997


    Sage advice in that tag line.

    I built a really nice looker of a stock car for a friend my first year in the stock car game. It was just short of laser straight. It stayed pretty for exactly two laps of the feature. After that... red tape and Krylon baby!:eek:
  24. Mat Thrasher
    Joined: Nov 5, 2007
    Posts: 1,139

    Mat Thrasher

    I’m doing the same on my 32 Tudor. It’s a bitch getting everything exactly the same. Like you, I was completely ocd about getting it perfect.

    I’ve relaxed on that and gave myself a little grace. Like someone said earlier. “Are you building a ridler or a driver?” I remind myself of this all the time.

    I know things are off here and there. But I only know that because I’m spending hours working on it and staring at it. No one will see those imperfections rolling down the freeway

    Plus I think if you get too crazy you’ll burn out and never finish it.

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    hotrodjack33 likes this.
  25. wheeldog57
    Joined: Dec 6, 2013
    Posts: 1,685


    Are you using sub rail's? Every body panel is attached to the sub rails. If they are straight and flat the body panels should fit pretty close.
    If you are not using sub rails then that is a whole other topic. . . . And a whole other thread. Good luck, Ron
  26. That tape measure is handy.
    But you and probably no one else will ever measure it again. Just got to look right, Everybody’s gonna look at it all the time every day a few times on Sundays. Just make it look right.
  27. missysdad1
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,921


    If the subrails are not already sitting on the frame, you are chasing your tail trying to make it all square. Everything will change when you pick it up and put the body onto the frame.

    If the body is sitting on your frame - not somebody else's - the fit of the door openings can be adjusted using shims at the body mount points. This is how open car bodies and door fits are adjusted. If you've already welded your body rigid it's too late to do this unless you cut it apart at the critical places which are preventing the jambs/panels from moving.

    But if as I suspect you are pretty well along on body assembly your only remaining option is to do what 31Vicky has suggested: cut, weld and trim until everything looks right without worrying about how it measures. Good luck!
    tb33anda3rd likes this.
  28. KevKo
    Joined: Jun 25, 2009
    Posts: 413

    from Motown

    I also have a project that stalled for similar reasons. It's a fiberglass '32 roadster. I got the body at a swap meet. Don't know any history for it or the molds. But every panel on the driver's side is different than the passenger side. And the whole thing is kinda like a parallelogram looking from the front and overhead. It just sapped my enthusiasm.
  29. tiredford
    Joined: Apr 6, 2009
    Posts: 488

    from Mo.

    When you drive it for the first few times, everything will settle in to where it wants to live anyway
    scrap metal 48 and AHotRod like this.
  30. lostone
    Joined: Oct 13, 2013
    Posts: 1,199

    from kansas

    Yes the body is now welded to the floor structure, as far as settling I don't see much of that happening.

    Here's why for those that haven't seen it.

    Yeah I understand the square thing, it's just the idea of I already had it apart and reassembling so it was a good time to make it right.

    Just a little nip and tuck here and there and I should be good to go.

    I went from the tape measure to a 4 ft straight edge to run down the door / quarter body lines and set the body up that way with some kind of starting points on the new door gaps.

    Sooo... It's all good just not square !!:D

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