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Hot Rods Model A body on ‘32 chassis WITH FENDERS- Help!

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by RiffRaffRoadster, Dec 24, 2018.

  1. This is such a neat situation to be in. I can understand your mindset in wanting to do a little modernization/upgrading while things are in a state where it is easier now than it will be later. Allow me a few lines here for a few thoughts. Befriend someone with a similarly built Hot Rod that is driving and stopping. I am talking early OHV V8, Early hydraulic drum brakes and period but dialed in steering. Maybe that person will let you drive it. You may be quite surprised how well that old "junk" works on a light weight Hot Rod. Now if you "Must" upgrade. Maybe just a good rebuild on the 283 with hotter cam, some work on the heads and a dual quad intake. With running the fenders, hiding a modern overdrive transmission may be a stealth option (think 700r4). If you want disc brakes, there are covers to hide them and keep the drum look. Need to strengthen the frame? Perhaps an old stock later 30s "X" section is just the ticket. Maybe a new pair of springs and oil (not gas ) shocks will get the ride where you want it. VW restoration Empi brand shocks are cheap and may be "It". That said I would strive to ride in or drive a similar one before scripting big changes right off the bat. Hit up a couple Traditional focused car shows too. This place is contagious for its enthusiasm for keeping these things old school. It looks like that is taking effect on you. Have fun with this regardless of what direction you go with it.
     
    cactus1 and RiffRaffRoadster like this.
  2. RiffRaffRoadster
    Joined: Dec 24, 2018
    Posts: 433

    RiffRaffRoadster
    Member

    Thanks green73. At the end of the day, I'm going to have to rely on some help with this car - whether its from Rexrods or other hot rod owners. I see on many Hamber's profiles that they are either pros, or in a mechanical trade with access to car-building tools, or totally committed weekend amateur builders. I'm none of these things (yet) and will need to rely on communicating my intentions to the eventual shop the car ends up in.
    I found and registered on this site 1 week ago (seems like 5 years ago) to ask a simple question: were there any tricks to fit my Model A body and modified fenders onto a prefabbed '32 frame. I didn't know at the time that I used a lot of forbidden language like "prefabbed chassis" and "crate engine" and "disc brakes"! I've provoked (not intentionally) a lot of pretty sharp criticism on this thread, telling me that I'm not bought into the spirit of period hot rods. Maybe not, but I'm open-minded, and I just want to do right by the history of the car, but also end up with the car I want to own and drive and pass down to my kids. This means there will probably be some compromises, like some of the ones you are suggesting. Whatever the outcome, there will be some in this community that will be supportive and some that will be disappointed - that's OK by me.
    Right now, the plan that is evolving in my head is to keep the car as close to the period it was last updated in, which was probably in the '60s. That means keep the overall car intact: original Model A body on '32 frame, keep the fenders as they are. Keep/refurbish the drum brakes and rear end. Evaluate the design and condition of the suspension - make repairs/mods as needed. Clean up the slot wheels and re-use them (with some new whitewall radials). I like the old Model A taillights mounted on the rear fenders. Keep Nerf Bars. Clean up the '33 Pierce-Arrow dash and re-use gauges if possible. I'd like to have the '57 Chevy 283 small block rebuilt and dressed up a little and possibly upgraded with some mild performance parts like new cam and maybe some things to give it more 'altitude' like tunnel-ram intake and/or dual quads/Strombergs, but keeping with what was available in the '60's. I'm guessing the ram's horn exhaust manifolds are period correct, so I'd keep them. I'd be willing to change to a manual transmission. New period-correct upholstery. The two most radical things I'm thinking about now are: I'd like to re-locate the gas tank to behind the cockpit (it was originally inside the trunk), and I'd like to do something interesting with the paint scheme. Maybe black fenders and dark blue/green/red body (like the original Model A's were painted from the factory).
    I think I can do all these things and still have basically an improved version of the car I inherited. If there is consensus that this plan is a huge mistake, then I may need to un-register from this site because I may be a lost cause.
     
    brad2v, Nostrebor, slv63 and 8 others like this.
  3. Welcome to the HAMB. :) You're doing just fine, my man !! Sounds great !
     
  4. flatford39
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 2,649

    flatford39
    Member

    Didn't take you long to get up to speed here....Like Kid Campbell said "Welcome to the Hamb"!!!!

    This site is a contagion for some people...looks like you are one of them. What you want to do with "your car" is a great plan. Not sure I like your color combo but that's always a very personal thing between the owner and the car.

    If it was mine I would probably replace that rear cross member with a Model A member and do an X style center cross member in lieu of your current one.

    But it is your car number one and the rest of us can only be jealous about it...at least me.

    Good luck with it...it's a gem.
     
  5. big duece
    Joined: Jul 28, 2008
    Posts: 5,981

    big duece
    Member
    from kansas

    Vette 2x4 clone setup would be way cooler than a tunnel ram, run better too.
     
  6. pitman
    Joined: May 14, 2006
    Posts: 4,959

    pitman

    A pair of WCFB's, borrowed from an old Caddy? :)
     
  7. big duece
    Joined: Jul 28, 2008
    Posts: 5,981

    big duece
    Member
    from kansas

    They have the small alum base like the Fords did. Two 1x4 carbs for '57 chevy work the best for clones. The bolt right up to the vette intake, and will flow more air than the original 2x4 carbs suited for the 283s. My clones that I wish I never sold. DSC08323.JPG
     
  8. RiffRaffRoadster
    Joined: Dec 24, 2018
    Posts: 433

    RiffRaffRoadster
    Member

    Any pics of this set up?


    Sent from my iPad using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  9. RiffRaffRoadster
    Joined: Dec 24, 2018
    Posts: 433

    RiffRaffRoadster
    Member

  10. flatford39
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 2,649

    flatford39
    Member

    What is the condition of the old interior??? I might be interested in it if it is still available.
     
  11. trollst
    Joined: Jan 27, 2012
    Posts: 1,760

    trollst
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    First....the "experts" aren't, we'll give you the best advice for your car, and learn to think for yourself. My 36 was a fire truck when I got it, all the experts told me I couldn't do what I did do, mine has a 51 merc pickup frame under it, a (gasp), stock pinto cross DSC07102.JPG DSC07097.JPG member under the front, I built the kick up for the back, made my own box, built the whole truck against all the rules. You decide......
     
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  12. RiffRaffRoadster
    Joined: Dec 24, 2018
    Posts: 433

    RiffRaffRoadster
    Member

    IMG_2257.JPG
    Kind of nasty, moldy Naugahyde?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 1, 2019
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  13. RiffRaffRoadster
    Joined: Dec 24, 2018
    Posts: 433

    RiffRaffRoadster
    Member

    wait - I already know the answer: "aint nothing wrong with that interior! Just wipe it down!"
     
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  14. Dick Stevens
    Joined: Aug 7, 2012
    Posts: 2,889

    Dick Stevens
    Member

    That may clean up with a little elbow grease and cleaner! :D
    Suggestion, it would be nice if you would select to post the pictures as full size images instead of thumbnails, makes it easier for those of us following your thread. :D
     
  15. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 18,925

    Moriarity
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member

  16. David Gersic
    Joined: Feb 15, 2015
    Posts: 2,203

    David Gersic
    Member
    from DeKalb, IL

    Build what makes you safe and happy. But EFI isn’t a thing to mention here.



    Sent from my iPad using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
    RiffRaffRoadster likes this.
  17. RiffRaffRoadster
    Joined: Dec 24, 2018
    Posts: 433

    RiffRaffRoadster
    Member

    yep-learned that one the hard way...
     
  18. big duece
    Joined: Jul 28, 2008
    Posts: 5,981

    big duece
    Member
    from kansas

    One might disassemble the gauge panel, and see if there are any dates on the back of the gauges. May not be accurate to the year the car was built, but might put it within a couple yrs. If you get discouraged with putting the panel back together, I could take it off your hands... :p
     
  19. big duece
    Joined: Jul 28, 2008
    Posts: 5,981

    big duece
    Member
    from kansas

    Large logo SW gauges were used in 55-'57, Sun tach late 50s to mid 60s.
     
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  20. Dick Stevens
    Joined: Aug 7, 2012
    Posts: 2,889

    Dick Stevens
    Member

    Thanks
     
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  21. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 16,635

    Stogy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    @RiffRaffRoadster...about the Gas Tank lots of Hambers run the stock tank...It works.

    Here are some reasons why it was traditionally moved.
    - perceived safety...it may have merit but these cars are not collision air-bagged modern things regardless
    - to make room for Gauge clusters and other components in and under the dash area Stock model a dashes and gauges fit in a cubby area built into the tank but it is limiting
    - increasing fuel capacity
    - if it leaks its right into the cabin and many crack right around the steering support.
    - fumes from cap mounted dead center in the top of the tank or gas spilled there while filling.
    - awkward to reach

    Cons or Encountered issues with rear mounted tanks.
    - loss of trunk space
    - fuel filling awkward if you dont add a external fill pipe with cap. (if you fill or spill fuel in trunk area it may work its way into cabin area (some may call this Hotrod Perfume...I don't...:D)

    So I think if your Very Traditional Tank in the back is in good working order and vented somehow I think you would be ahead of the game to keep it.

    Just remember I'm not an expert and this is opinions...My Hotrod has a trunk mounted tank with a top quarter mounted Cap has a vent. I have never driven a Model A Hotrod with an original tank AND guess what theres threads on this very subject...;)

    Honestly I can't wait for you to see The team at Rex for some veteran advice on top of this mounting pile of mixed advice and I hope you meet that Hamber Jimi and Jim working on that Vintage Restoration of a 32 Roadster Tweety with The Rex Team.

    https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum...returns-after-50-years-kerville-drags.985495/

    Another Inspired Hotrod build and quite frankly a moving one (they all are)...

    https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum...ute-memorial-build-and-info-ambr-1955.415187/
     
    RiffRaffRoadster likes this.
  22. Simple Green is a great, "kind of nasty, moldy Naugahyde cleaner". Use a bristle brush, after spraying liberally, then wipe clean. Tah' dow !! White naugahyde returns !
     
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  23. RiffRaffRoadster
    Joined: Dec 24, 2018
    Posts: 433

    RiffRaffRoadster
    Member

    big deuce - I'll try doing that this weekend thanks. And no - I'm not parting with that dash. Its probably woth a pretty penny. I just saw the same Cragar steering wheel that we have on the Roadster for sale on E-Bay for $1,500.
     
  24. big duece
    Joined: Jul 28, 2008
    Posts: 5,981

    big duece
    Member
    from kansas

    Just funnin with ya...
     
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  25. Dick Stevens
    Joined: Aug 7, 2012
    Posts: 2,889

    Dick Stevens
    Member

    I've used some citrus based cleaner that works well too! It also smells good!
     
  26. RiffRaffRoadster
    Joined: Dec 24, 2018
    Posts: 433

    RiffRaffRoadster
    Member

    I will try to clean up the interior panels - give me a chance to 'bond' with the car...
     
    kidcampbell71 and Stogy like this.
  27. I first saw this car posted on reddit, by your son. And I made the general comment aligned with most guys here...basically dont mess it up and ruin its history.

    I was worried at first. But it sounds like you're on the right track now. I think you've got a solid plan and I hope it ends up with Rexrods or similar.

    Here are a few things about how i would do it. First thing is you can upgrade the "Lockhead" brakes to "bendix" style. This will greatly improve your brakes and how they operate. I wont go into to much detail, but basically Bendix is "self energizing" and are much better.
    I think the manual transmission is a good move too. I'd put in a 5 speed.

    Personally, I'd keep the original frame, In fact, no way would I get rid of that 32 frame. If you know what you're looking at, a p&j frame or similar has some differences that make it an obvious "catalog part". Not that there is anything wrong with that. Just original is better, in that it has those small differences and the history of actually being there. This is the soul of the car. And believe it or not, probably increases it a value. At least to me it does. Basically I'd install nicer crossmembers and redoing the rear suspension so it works better. Probably throw some polished and chamfered springs in it. That will make the leaves move across each other better.

    I'd keep that engine, rebuild it. Put in a good cam. Something from a hi-po motor of the same vintage. Chevy guys can help you pick something period and fun. I'd do a vette 2x4 or maybe a weiend 4 carb or 6 carb intake with 97's. Just make it look like it was pulled out of a wrecked chevy and dropped in a hot rod with an intake and cam change. Obviously you can upgrade the internals of it if desired. Modern pistons, rods, etc.

    I'd leave the rear end. Just make the suspension a little better.

    As far as gas tank, I'd probably leave it in the trunk or go 32. Probably wouldn't use the model A tank. Restore the dash, but nothing crazy. Make it as it was. Do a nice interior. But with period correct materials and techniques. I like all the color choices you listed for paint. I dont think that affects it to much. But do a nice job on it. Fix the rust and any of the body issues.

    The three other things I would change is put the taillights back in the body, using the same that was there. My reason for this is, you could run it fenderless like that down the road if you got bored with it. I'd also change out the headlight bar for a dropped one. And I'd change the wheels to 40 ford style with bias ply tires. Or maybe 15 inch ford style wheels. I'd probably keep the mag wheels too with a set of new tires and be able to swap back and forth.

    Basically my whole thoughts are try and keep what it is, dont change a ton of parts on it to make it "new". New parts do not always equal better. But I would upgrade and repair what is there to modern "traditional" build standards. From what I am hearing, that is kinda what you want. And I think you'll be very happy with the results and have a car that is timeless while meeting your expectations and not ruining the history of that car. Hopefully rexrods gets involved. You cant go wrong with them.

    Have fun. Looking forward to seeing this thing built. It's got potential to be a great one!

    Sent from my SM-G965U using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2019
    brad2v, Jim Bouchard, ClarkH and 5 others like this.
  28. RiffRaffRoadster
    Joined: Dec 24, 2018
    Posts: 433

    RiffRaffRoadster
    Member

    hitchhiker - that's pretty close to what I have in mind. Thanks for the comments. As for the gas tank - I think the original builder removed it from the front cowl area like it came from the factory (you can still see the remnants of it underneath) and moved it to inside the trunk. After the current builders took it out, they said it was in pretty bad shape. I've seen pics of other roadsters with the gas tank mounted behind the seat. Isn't there a space there between the trunk and back of the seat frame? I was trying to get away from mounting it below the rear panel if possible (too much like a '32 and too common IMO). If putting it behind the seat isn't period-correct, I can put it back in the trunk.
     
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  29. thirtytwo
    Joined: Dec 19, 2003
    Posts: 2,629

    thirtytwo
    Member

    Keith’s dad ,Vern had a bunch built like triangle towers that went behind the seat and held like 15 gallons or so for A roadsters he was building years back,, worked fairly slick and still a bunch of trunk space fill locations were inside trunk or outside cap above decklid
     
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  30. Oh! I understand now. You can definitely fit a tank up there. It's really just part of the trunk area. It's pretty common to see them mounted there. That is probably what I would do.... To get the most space out of it may require some finagling or custom tank. But it can definitely be done. And is most definitely "period".

    The thing to consider is really the fuel neck and filling it like was mentioned above. On my 50's built 4 inch channeled roadster, it has a filler neck coming out of the top of the quarter. My trunk lid is filled also, so just about the only thing you could do on that one.



    Sent from my SM-G965U using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     

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