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Projects Model A Coupe to highboy

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by panhead_pete, May 19, 2021.

  1. panhead_pete
    Joined: Feb 22, 2006
    Posts: 2,820


    Have bought a really nice Model A coupe that is pretty much stock but with some nice upgrades likes 35 wheels, 6.1 head, OD tranny, Model B carb, cab and dizzy. Hopefully get it shipped out me in Japan next month with my 33. Plan is to leave it mechanically as is and just enjoy having a simple car.

    Im toying with the idea, although a long way from being certain about it, of perhaps going to a highboy with it. Its a really nice looking car and it would be hard for me to do that if at all but if I was I'd like to buy what I need now and have it come over with the car. Just in case of a rainy day or long winter.

    Having not done this before so far my shopping list consists of
    Smaller Non Model A Headlights
    Headlight stands
    Tail lights
    550/750 16 tyres

    Im thinking Im missing something Is that all I'll really need to do that?


    Last edited: May 19, 2021
    Stogy, Tim, harpo1313 and 5 others like this.
  2. I wouldn't change a thing. It looks gorgeous .
    VANDENPLAS, Dino 64, Cleat and 3 others like this.
  3. ^^^ What he said
    VANDENPLAS likes this.
  4. brokenspoke
    Joined: Jul 26, 2005
    Posts: 2,925


  5. Chicster
    Joined: Aug 5, 2018
    Posts: 276

    1. Missouri H.A.M.B.ers

    What previous 3 said.
    VANDENPLAS likes this.
  6. WB69
    Joined: Dec 7, 2008
    Posts: 1,778


    Drive it!! Yes on the lowering a little. Maybe bigs and littles.
    Butler 32 and Rustridden31 like this.
  7. oldsman41
    Joined: Jun 25, 2010
    Posts: 1,556


    Yep big and littles and drive it. Looks nice
  8. mrquickwhip
    Joined: Oct 15, 2009
    Posts: 551


    Would a highboy be legal in Japan?
  9. [​IMG]

    I'm just throwing things at the wall to see if they stick, if it were mine I leave the fenders, lower it front and rear, remove the spare tire, add a dropped headlight bar, remove the quail radiator cap. add some big and little tires and call it done. HRP

    Disallow the step plate.


    What ever you do it looks like you found a nice car. HRP
    Last edited: May 21, 2021
    brEad, OzMerc39, CC-Mo and 13 others like this.
  10. CC-Mo
    Joined: Oct 13, 2019
    Posts: 43


    I'd leave the A grille on it either way.
  11. Why a high boy, it's cool the way it is. Besides (and I'll no doubt get flack for this), a Model A frame looks out of proportion (too spindly) to be exposed, unlike a '32 frame which looks proportionally correct. Don't mess with a good thing!
    KiWinUS, belair, VANDENPLAS and 2 others like this.
  12. You and I think alike. HRP
    Butler 32 and KiWinUS like this.
  13. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 5,929


    This place is getting a bit soft. Take the fenders off and drive it ! He is in Japan. Would neat to see a fenderless A running down the street. You will be very happy if you did that. Sometimes making a big decision is hard but do what makes YOU happy. If you sell it, the next owner can put them back on. If you don`t like it, you can put them back on.
    VANDENPLAS, Stogy, -Brent- and 5 others like this.
  14. Keep the fenders and the top; big 'n' little steelies; ditch the bumpers, the exposed spare, and the hood. Detail the flattie (yeah, that's an SBC in the pic, work with me). Add a deuce shell.

  15. 51504bat
    Joined: May 22, 2010
    Posts: 3,161


    Yes on the fenders. No on the deuce shell.
  16. I’d leave it alone and enjoy it as is!
    That’s a nice looking coupe

    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
  17. Joe Blow
    Joined: Oct 29, 2016
    Posts: 845

    Joe Blow

    You're right on the flack.:) Think I would have added an "IMO" to that statement. A lot of bad ass highboy A's on here with A frames. Not bashing anyone for stating an opinion but also not agreeing with your blanket statement. Don't disagree that a 32 frame doesn't look good, it looks great but it's not the only option. This isn't Pete's first rodeo, I'm positive he knows what he wants. Just a few spindly rides below....;)

    thumbnail (1).jpeg 315450-1312845595-9f3bcd1c32325666832fdb712dc1fa4a.jpg newpicfront.jpg 009FoothillRanchCruiseNight011-vi.jpg IMG_4367.JPG
  18. OK... IMHO... which happens to be right!
  19. Joe Blow
    Joined: Oct 29, 2016
    Posts: 845

    Joe Blow

    Ok, you're right.....I'm sure he'll build it the way you want.:rolleyes:
    -Brent- and Blues4U like this.
  20. adam401
    Joined: Dec 27, 2007
    Posts: 2,586


    Wow looks like an awesome car to start with thats great! My old model A is in Japan maybe you'll stuble upon it not sure how tight the scene is over there. I think your plan is spot on as well. Good luck!
    Stogy, Nicholas Coe and Joe Blow like this.
  21. Rckt98
    Joined: Jun 7, 2005
    Posts: 1,053


    As per the pics above, unless you take a few inches out of the roof a hiboy coupe looks out of proportion. Leave the fenders on, that is a great looking coupe.
    Butler 32 likes this.
  22. 34 5W Paul
    Joined: Mar 27, 2020
    Posts: 116

    34 5W Paul
    from Fresno CA

    All she needs is an altitude adjustment. Toughest looking coupe for many many kilometers - even with the spare!!!
    Japan Coupe.jpg
  23. panhead_pete
    Joined: Feb 22, 2006
    Posts: 2,820


    Thanks all. I appreciate everyone's input. I agree it looks great as is and that's why Im far from certain that it would be changed as per my original post but there are 2 factors at play here. All my hotrods to date have been in Australia where I have had to run fenders and I have another full fendered car coming too that wont be changed :) . So back to my original question. IF I was to do this is all I need to have sorted is???

    Smaller non A headlights
    Some sort of headlight stands
    550/750 16R Firestones as currently its running radials.
    And any other parts to lower it should I want to. (still researching that as want to keep the mechanical brakes at the moment.

    Thanks for all the input so far fellas.
    Stogy and Joe Blow like this.
  24. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 8,914

    anthony myrick

    Dropped axle
    16 inch wires/ big and little bias blackwall tires
    Juice brakes.
    joel likes this.
  25. PotvinV8
    Joined: Mar 30, 2009
    Posts: 190


  26. luckylou
    Joined: Jan 6, 2008
    Posts: 92

    from canada

    Not to steal the post but do you know more about this car and tire sizes and rims on this car? Love the stance.thanj you
  27. 97
    Joined: May 18, 2005
    Posts: 1,959


    Joe Blow likes this.
  28. 97
    Joined: May 18, 2005
    Posts: 1,959


    If you want to keep the mechanical brakes, (yes I agree with that idea) it is a bit more complicated when you get to the dropped axle. If you are going for a big drop
    You either need to fabricate an inner mount extension for the brake actuating shaft housing[​IMG] , or use 32- 34 parts [​IMG] . That shaft is the one which goes between the socket ball on top of the king pin and the top of the perch bolt. The bracket I am on about is part of the Model A perch bolt . The brake rods rotate the shaft in its housing and press on the brake pushrod through the kingpin.
    The whole shebang has to remain parallel so that it will operate. When you drop the axle it will alter the angle and prevent the brakes from working properly.
    I find the best drop is to actually put a complete 32-34 front axle into the car, you get the better /bigger cast iron brakes, the correct perch bolts with extended mount, and about 2" drop. (35 and 36 axles are the same but have different brakes and wishbone ,spring etc) . 16" wires bolt on , all other dimensions are the same except for the thickness of the axle 32-36 = 2" Model A is 2 1/4 at the perch bolt. Either machine the axle or the will need to use the Model A wishbone if you are going to keep the rest as is.
    Add some good quality linings, and Ted's floaters and you should be sorted.
    There are lots of post on HAMB and Fordbarn with full explanation. Its not hard to do just finding the parts might be a bit of a 'Mare from Japan.
    Last edited: May 21, 2021
  29. continentaljohn
    Joined: Jul 24, 2002
    Posts: 5,052


    Congratulations Pete and great looking model A . Your going to have a bitchen garage with the coupes . I think 97 hit it on the head with the drop . Using a stock 33-36 axle with 32 spring perches hangers and with a bit of rubber rake your look is going to be perfect. My buddy Tom did a few car as such and looked awesome..
    Joe Blow and panhead_pete like this.
  30. panhead_pete
    Joined: Feb 22, 2006
    Posts: 2,820


    Cheers 97, yep trying to get all my shopping done before the car ships so it can all come together. Still got a lot to learn to pull all that off.

    I REALLY appreciate your detailed response and have done some reading myself today. Im pretty keen to keep the mecahnical brakes and I dont plan to fit a dropped axle for a variety of reasons with complexity, as you mentioned, being the key one. I also want to be confident I can do this, maybe with a little help so the KISS principal comes into play. Ideally I'd like to keep it in line with pre war parts as much as possible too even though its already drifted from that.

    I saw a post by @gwhite that would apparently get me 4" which is in line with your post and a start for a shopping list to which Id add king pin kit and a reamer.

    'Front suspension - 32-34 axle (1 3/4" drop), 32-34 spring perches (to maintain alignment for mechanical brakes), reverse eye spring (1" drop), #'s 2,3 & 4 leaves removed (1 1/4" drop) - total 4"

    Rear - Stock A crossmember with 1916-1927 8 leaf T spring - approx. 4" drop. If you need more rear drop you can reverse the main spring eyes or heat/bend the spring.'

    Perhaps I misunderstood but if the A axle is 1/4" thicker at the spring perch bosses wont I need a spacer or similar when fitting the 32 axle to my A wishbones or have I got that ass about?? Are the 32-36 Axles all the same thickness?

    Once again thanks!
    Last edited: May 21, 2021
    Stogy, Joe Blow and Blues4U like this.

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