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Projects Model A Roadster Build - The Berwyn Bomb

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by qzjrd5, May 1, 2016.

  1. qzjrd5
    Joined: Nov 23, 2004
    Posts: 1,252

    qzjrd5
    Member
    from Troy, MI

    I've been waiting to post any pictures of my build on here long enough to feel confident it was going to actually pan out. Not to jinx myself, I think I am to that point.

    About two years ago I was in the finishing stages of a '63 Corvette convertible restoration with my dad and I was getting that old hot rod itch again. My avatar is a Brookville bodied car and I decided I wanted a body with some "history" this time around.

    I spotted a roadster project here on the HAMB. The rear half of the car was discovered in a junkyard down south. It appears to have been a race car from the 1940's (?) at some point in the Chicago area....

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    http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/found-in-salvage-yard.227001/

    This body was passed around on the HAMB to a couple different owners accumulating other '28-'29 roadster body parts to make it more complete along the way, but no one really ever started the build. Ironically the HAMBer I bought it from lived near Berwyn, IL. Somehow the little car made it back to its midwest roots!

    I was hoping to save both rear quarters and the panel above the decklid from the original car, but in the end the rust damage to the LH quarter was just too much. However, I was able to find another decent original LH roadster quarter as well as a pretty nice set of '28 roadster doors on Fordbarn.

    This project would be my first attempt at any serious body work. Sadly it shows in a couple panels, but it is what it is! Its no where near perfect, but its very solid now considering all the patches that were necessary (both cowl posts and both quarters (in two places), plus a very difficult repair on the rear side of the RH quarter). I'll post some pics here for you guys to poke fun at. ;)
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    Last edited: Oct 4, 2017
    chop job, popawolf, kiwijeff and 4 others like this.
  2. brady1929
    Joined: Sep 30, 2006
    Posts: 8,022

    brady1929
    Member
    from Mesa, Az

    Cool project. I love 29/29 ford roadsters.
     
  3. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 26,019

    The37Kid
    Member

    Nice project. Always nice to follow those HAMB projects that get passed around until someone starts them. Bob
     
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  4. qzjrd5
    Joined: Nov 23, 2004
    Posts: 1,252

    qzjrd5
    Member
    from Troy, MI

    However, before the body work began, I needed a foundation. I really prefer the look of roadsters on '32 frames. Sticking with the Henry steel, I searched the HAMB and found a frame in Kentucky (a long story in itself!). This frame has seen some history, as its got holes all over it in places it shouldn't. It was no where near straight and was poorly boxed. But it was cheap!

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    After hours of removing some really crummy boxing plates...

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    And filling in old holes, while exposing some of the correct ones for the K-member.

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    Last edited: May 1, 2016
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
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  5. qzjrd5
    Joined: Nov 23, 2004
    Posts: 1,252

    qzjrd5
    Member
    from Troy, MI

    I was able to get the frame on my Craigslist score of a frame table. (i.e. two I beams held together by two other I beams). Installed a Model A front crossmember, a K-member that needed some surgery, and a '35-'40 rear crossmember that I dropped a few years ago.

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  6. PASTDUEBILL
    Joined: Apr 6, 2008
    Posts: 781

    PASTDUEBILL
    Member

  7. PASTDUEBILL
    Joined: Apr 6, 2008
    Posts: 781

    PASTDUEBILL
    Member

    I'm gonna follow your build. Post more pictures.
     
  8. qzjrd5
    Joined: Nov 23, 2004
    Posts: 1,252

    qzjrd5
    Member
    from Troy, MI

    After I got the frame straight, I placed the flathead in position in front of the K-member. I didn't build the mounts yet, but I did support the front of the engine with a makeshift beam about the correct height.

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    And I placed the '40 rear axle in position. Also I made some jounce suspension clearance in the rail.

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    Texas Webb, lothiandon1940 and Stogy like this.
  9. qzjrd5
    Joined: Nov 23, 2004
    Posts: 1,252

    qzjrd5
    Member
    from Troy, MI

    Next I started the cosmetic surgery. Too bad for this little car I never went to medical school! I started at the cowl. I used my TIG and learned as I went. A fellow HAMBer provided some guidance here and suggested I use very small rod and a small Tungsten. It really did help prevent major warpage and made the job much easier. I'm going to post few pics here. I like looking at pictures more than reading, I figure you guys might be similar.....

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    Subrail section made to clear the upward sweep of a '32 frame...

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    Starting to look like a real car finally....

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    I also created an X closeout to give the body some cross-car stiffness. It made a huge difference.

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    Last edited: May 1, 2016
  10. qzjrd5
    Joined: Nov 23, 2004
    Posts: 1,252

    qzjrd5
    Member
    from Troy, MI

    I had some work to do on the RH trunk gutter. It was really badly rusted but I had a pretty nice LH one to work off of as a guide. They reproduce these, but the intent of this build was to challenge myself and not spend a major wad of cash. So I got to cutting and welding.

    It came out decent I think. This car will never be a showpiece that's for sure. Something between a ratrod (bite my tongue!) and a traditional hot rod is what I am hoping. I am really hoping for the latter, but many might view it as the former.

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  11. Flat-Foot
    Joined: Jul 1, 2010
    Posts: 1,704

    Flat-Foot
    Member
    from Locust NC

  12. qzjrd5
    Joined: Nov 23, 2004
    Posts: 1,252

    qzjrd5
    Member
    from Troy, MI

    I am a chassis lover at heart, and so I did spend a little cash here. A while back I was fortunate enough to score an original '32 front suspension. I sent the axle out to Okie Joe and he dropped it 2" for me. Nice guy and does nice work!

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    Mounted on the bone...

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  13. qzjrd5
    Joined: Nov 23, 2004
    Posts: 1,252

    qzjrd5
    Member
    from Troy, MI

    A little more work this week. Got the body pulled back off the frame. Started final welding in the crossmembers and engine mount brackets.

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    Last edited: May 8, 2016
    Stogy, Squablow and lothiandon1940 like this.
  14. swifty
    Joined: Dec 25, 2005
    Posts: 1,568

    swifty
    Member

    Coming along nicely Mike but you're getting a bit greedy with 2 A roadsters!!
     
  15. Like it so far. Any more pictures of your frame table? Does it bolt together?
     
  16. qzjrd5
    Joined: Nov 23, 2004
    Posts: 1,252

    qzjrd5
    Member
    from Troy, MI

    Still way behind you and your son's '32 collection!
     
  17. I'm loving it so far.
     
  18. qzjrd5
    Joined: Nov 23, 2004
    Posts: 1,252

    qzjrd5
    Member
    from Troy, MI

    Thanks. Yes the frame table does bolt together. This was a local craigslist score that someone used for their project and was ready to get rid of.

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    I made the '32 frame vertical supports out of square stock.

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  19. 1951Biff
    Joined: Apr 25, 2008
    Posts: 114

    1951Biff
    Member

    Very cool project! Any updates! I love these kinds of builds. Thank you for sharing
     
  20. qzjrd5
    Joined: Nov 23, 2004
    Posts: 1,252

    qzjrd5
    Member
    from Troy, MI

    A little progress over the beautiful holiday weekend we had here in MI. Used some rivets to re-attach the K-member in a few areas and welded the frame solid.

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    Then put the suspension, brakes ('40 Ford), trans ('38 Ford), and a mock up torque tube in it so I could cut down the '40 rear radius rods to a shorter wheelbase length.

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    Wheels, tires, and rear shocks are next.
     
    ct1932ford, kiwijeff, Stogy and 4 others like this.
  21. Limey Kid
    Joined: Mar 5, 2006
    Posts: 952

    Limey Kid
    Member

    Good to see some progress. Keep at it!
    Cheers,
    Stewart.
     
  22. Keeping wishbones un-split...nice.
     
  23. qzjrd5
    Joined: Nov 23, 2004
    Posts: 1,252

    qzjrd5
    Member
    from Troy, MI

    Update here.

    So worked on mounting the rear shocks. First off, thanks very much to 4t64rd (not sure if he's around anymore, considering this thread is from 2007) for posting the pdf file arranging the Monroe shock catalog in a much more usable fashion with travels and end forms.

    http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/monroe-shock-dimensions-re-arranged.229464/

    Ordered up a set that would work for my mounting attachments and lengths. Decided I was going to use the '46-'48 axle side shock mounts, however the RH one is too long. Cut a section out and made it match the LH side.

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    Then mounted the shock rod end into the rear crossmember by making up a couple bungs and welding them in.

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    These old axle style mounts put the shocks at a pretty shallow angle, but considering the mass of an early Ford, a shallow angle is just fine because not much damping is required.

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    Last edited: Jun 23, 2016
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  24. qzjrd5
    Joined: Nov 23, 2004
    Posts: 1,252

    qzjrd5
    Member
    from Troy, MI

    Next there was a repair necessary on the RH quarter. It was cracked up and rusted pretty good. Luckily I had a beat up Phaeton panel that I could use as a donor to repair it.

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    Cut and paste.

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    Got the body back on the frame and the doors fitting enough that they'll close now. Rolled it out tonight to get a look. My best friend Bennie was helping me out.

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    The wheels of choice here are '35 16" Ford wires mounted on 450 and 750 Firestone Deluxe Champions. Something about the overstated pie crusts on this model tire that is so cool! I used the Early V8 garage hub adapters to mount on the hydraulic style drums.

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    303racer, kiwijeff, Jet96 and 3 others like this.
  25. ESGEE
    Joined: Feb 25, 2013
    Posts: 606

    ESGEE
    Member
    from Sweden

    Looking good. Subscribed......
     
  26. CTaulbert
    Joined: Apr 8, 2007
    Posts: 1,062

    CTaulbert
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Detroit

    Looks great Mike!
     
  27. Pete
    Joined: Mar 8, 2001
    Posts: 4,463

    Pete
    Member

    Awesome build.
     
  28. qzjrd5
    Joined: Nov 23, 2004
    Posts: 1,252

    qzjrd5
    Member
    from Troy, MI

  29. 51box
    Joined: Aug 31, 2005
    Posts: 791

    51box
    Member
    from MA

    Looks really good man, spot on
     
  30. Pete
    Joined: Mar 8, 2001
    Posts: 4,463

    Pete
    Member

    My kind of build! Love it.

    I've been searching CL for the same type of beams to make a table.
     

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