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Projects Model A Truck, Banger and a T5 "Build Thread"

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Inline, Feb 10, 2016.

  1. That's a bitch on the wood kit and brackets!
    Who is the source?
    I need some for my truck and don't want to deal with this.
     
  2. Inline
    Joined: May 13, 2005
    Posts: 261

    Inline
    Member
    from Ohio

    hotrodA, I sent you a PM.

    I never actually followed up with the wood kit supplier so I don't feel right blasting them online. Everything that was incorrect was fixable....so, I figured it would be easier to fix it than try and send it back. I usually do not have high expectations for purchased reproduction parts.
     
  3. Inline
    Joined: May 13, 2005
    Posts: 261

    Inline
    Member
    from Ohio

    Now that the wood is in and the cab is fairly rigid, it's time to start making this thing interesting.

    The first thing on the list....chopping the top. I actually spent a lot of time debating how much should be taken out. I wanted an aggressive look but still be proportioned since the cab wasn't channeled. After doing a ton of searches here and on the Googles as well as looking a countless pictures, I settled on 4".

    The chop on a Model A is pretty straight forward. I marked the rear off on the flattest and straightest section. For the A pillars, I decided to cut below the windshield swing arm mounts so that I didn't have to re-position the studs.

    20160412_190811.jpg

    20160412_192020.jpg

    After about 15 minutes of cutting, the cab was back into pieces...
    20160412_193130.jpg 20160412_193144.jpg
    A little bit of fitting was required to get it all to line up. I was then able to start tacking it back together.

    20160412_203038.jpg 20160412_203043.jpg 20160412_213203.jpg

    The back was pretty messed up with dents and rust. It actually warped and bowed in when I cut it apart. You can see this on the last picture right below the belt line. Since I have to replace that area anyway, I didn't get to overly concerned but it is going to take some work to get it right.
     
  4. Inline
    Joined: May 13, 2005
    Posts: 261

    Inline
    Member
    from Ohio

    Made some progress recently on the top and moved onto fixing some of the rust issues on the back of the cab.

    20160415_203443.jpg
    The back panel was not only rusted at the bottom but had a hole in he middle so I figured it would be easier to replace from the belt line down. Like the replacement panels I made before, I started with the lower body line. I then cut it about 3/4" down from the belt line. When this gets welded, I will have room to hammer the welds and not hit the body line.

    I did end up running it through my English wheel to get just the slightest of crown. I was afraid with just a flat panel that it would want to warp and oilcan. By putting a slight crown in the panel I could somewhat control where the warpage would go.

    20160415_212841.jpg

    Once the panel ft nicely, I marked around it using a scribe and cut to the line.

    20160416_200409.jpg

    Once the panel fit the hole, I started welding. I first tack welded every 1" to 1-1/2" then welded in between, moving around as to not put too much heat into the panel. After each weld, I hammered it to try and stretch it back out..

    20160416_220411.jpg

    You can see how the back of the cab was bowed in. The more that I welded and hammered, the better this became.

    20160416_220421.jpg

    Then came the fun part of grinding. I first used a thick cut off wheel to bring the weld down close and then used a 2" air right angle grinder to blend it out.

    20160417_114411.jpg
    After each grinder, I hammered and dollied the weld and panel to try and keep everything straight. Once it was close, I hit it with a 4-1/2" body grinder and a 36 grit disc to smooth everything out. You have to be careful with the body grinder as they tend to put a lot of heat into the panel.

    20160417_120524.jpg
     
    Rex_A_Lott and 1952B3b23 like this.
  5. manyolcars
    Joined: Mar 30, 2001
    Posts: 8,503

    manyolcars

    For those following along, consider re-cutting the splines. This gives you a fresh surface for the driveshaft center bearing.
     
  6. Inline
    Joined: May 13, 2005
    Posts: 261

    Inline
    Member
    from Ohio

    With the body most wrapped up and needing a change of pace for myself, I moved onto the chassis. The plans are to run a 4" dropped axle up front so the rear needs to be lowered about the same amount. I do not have a frame table, so I kinda had to fudge my way through this...

    I had another rear cross member that I bolted to the original one with 4" spacers in between.

    20160417_172113.jpg

    I then cut out 4 "S" shaped pieces out of 1/8" steel that would eventually become the inside and out side of the frame. The frame was leveled and supported with jack stands and the rear end was unbolted and supported with a jack. A ton of measurements were taken to make sure everything was level and square before any cutting began.

    I first cut the top of the original rail and bent it up to get it out of the way. Then, I welded in the inside "S" piece. The top was brought down and welded to the inside "S" piece and the outside of the original frame was cut away. This made room for the outside "S" piece which was then welded in. Checking the measurements, everything seemed to stay nice and square...surprisingly.

    20160417_184010.jpg
    20160417_201314.jpg
    20160417_201327.jpg

    The remaining areas that are open on the top and bottom will be completely welded and ground down.

    For the front, there was a little less fabrication involved. I ordered a So-Cal 4" dropped axle and used an original A spring with 3 leaves taken out of it. I am planning to use '32 spindles but they just barely interfere with the kingpin boss on the axle. They should fit nicely with just a little grinding.

    20160417_183404.jpg
    20160414_204621.jpg
    20160417_201306.jpg
    It's getting closer to actually looking like something...

    20160417_201255.jpg
     
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  7. brokenspoke
    Joined: Jul 26, 2005
    Posts: 2,921

    brokenspoke
    Member

    I really like the way you modified the rear frame...Great idea on stacking the rear crossmembers
     
  8. TigerFan
    Joined: Oct 29, 2010
    Posts: 105

    TigerFan
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Athens, GA

    I've really enjoyed reading your build. Keep it going.

    How tough was it to coax the old metal into place above and below your new 4" kick-up in back?
     
  9. Inline
    Joined: May 13, 2005
    Posts: 261

    Inline
    Member
    from Ohio

    It was actually really easy. I just used a c-clamp and clamped it about every 3-4 inches.
     
  10. FOURTYDLX
    Joined: Feb 22, 2006
    Posts: 718

    FOURTYDLX
    Member

    Just nice to see some PRIDE.//////
     
  11. Inline
    Joined: May 13, 2005
    Posts: 261

    Inline
    Member
    from Ohio

    I worked a little more on the rear kick up, getting the top completely welded up. There still is a piece on the bottom that needs welded in but I will do that when I tear this thing apart for paint. I'll be able to flip the frame over as I am not to good at welding upside down.

    20160422_211921.jpg
    20160422_211940.jpg

    The front was fairly straight forward to put back together. I ended up using '32 spindles instead of the original A spindles as the steering arms lent themselves better to the 4" dropped axle. I don't like how the original A box and drag link fit with the drop axle though. The pitman arm is almost too long making the drag link run uphill. I have a line on an F1 box that I can mount on top of the frame to get a much better steering geometry layout. But for now, at least it's on the ground and I can steer it.

    20160422_212545.jpg

    Since I had a filled '32 shell, I really didn't want to cut a hole in it for the radiator neck. Also, the model A neck comes out in a different location than a '32 so it wouldn't have looked right anyway. So, I took the original A radiator to a local radiator shop. They filled the original neck and installed another one that came out the back.

    20160422_212245.jpg

    Having the radiator done allowed me to finally mount the shell. This in turn allowed me to mount the headlights. A car always looks better with headlights...

    20160426_060124.jpg
     
  12. Binger
    Joined: Apr 28, 2008
    Posts: 1,730

    Binger
    Member
    from wyoming

    Great looking Build! I am glad to see someone working on a T-5 torque tube adapter. I got one from Crazydaddyo but I don't think he is making them anymore. There is a lot of folks looking to do this conversion. On the clutch disc how did you set up that side? I had an adapter made to run a stock clutch disc. I am wondering what else people are building. Does the set up you built use a stock A bellhousing?
     
  13. Inline
    Joined: May 13, 2005
    Posts: 261

    Inline
    Member
    from Ohio

    Binger, I actually use the AA bellhousing, it's about 2" shorter. If you are running a stock cross member, it doesn't have to be cut as much. I use a standard S-10 clutch disc. Napa part# ND-4201. Here are the pictures of what has to be cut on the original cross member when using an AA bellhousing...

    20160331_212504.jpg 20160331_212451.jpg 20160331_212510.jpg
    With that being said, I initially looked into using the stock passenger bellhousing. I was going to make a collar that pressed onto the T5 that allowed you to use the stock clutch disc.

    Input extender.JPG Input cross section.JPG
    The internal splines were the 1"x14 T5's and the collar would have pressed onto the pilot diameter. I actually 3D printed one up to assemble everything for mock up and it seemed like it would have worked well.

    Since I do not have the capabilities to do the internal splines, I sent it out to get quoted by several different gear cutting companies. The best quote I received back would have made the price of just the engine to T5 adapter kit around the $500-$550 range. I didn't think there would have been much of a market for it at that price.

    I certainly can take another look at it if there was enough interest.
     
    volvobrynk likes this.
  14. Binger
    Joined: Apr 28, 2008
    Posts: 1,730

    Binger
    Member
    from wyoming

    Thanks for the reply! I had a machinist friend help me built a collar like the one you have above. I used the center section out of a T-5 disc and sacrificed a stock input shaft from an A trans. He welded it up and turned it down. I hope it holds up. I will find out when I get it all together here in a few months. I have seen some people make a special disc but thought it easier to build that collar. You are right about cost and people being willing to pay. Here is a pic of the collar I had built.

    trans adapt.jpg trans adapt 2.jpg
     
    volvobrynk likes this.
  15. Rem
    Joined: Mar 6, 2006
    Posts: 1,256

    Rem
    Member

    Thanks for taking the time to document your build, Inline. You're doing a great job on the A and the trans adapter.
     
  16. Great build! Great problem solving
     
  17. Inline
    Joined: May 13, 2005
    Posts: 261

    Inline
    Member
    from Ohio

    So, yeah...it's been a while. I've been busy working on customer's cars as well as finally rearranging the shop like I have been wanting to do for the last year.

    There has been some progress, mainly on the front brakes. I decided to try and use '53-'56 F250 backing plates with reproduction 2" Lincoln drums on '32 spindles. To start off, there is an adapter needed for the backing plates as the bolt pattern and ID register are different when using pre-'37 spindles. Most after market Model A juice brake conversions use a piston ring as a spacer. While this works just fine, I thought I could do it better. I 3D printed the prototype.

    20160725_213856.jpg

    after that, the hub needs to be spaced out as far as possible on the spindle. Unfortunately, because of the spindle machining, it can only go 5/16". I designed a spacer to go between the spindle and the inner bearing. This also acts as the inner seal race.

    20160725_213734.jpg

    The finally piece needed is a spacer between the hub and the drum. I bought 2" wide drums from Speedway as they were the cheapest. I noticed that the stock hub doesn't fit flush on the drum as the outer diameter interferes with a radius on the mounting face. This was solved by placing a large chamfer on the spacer.

    20160828_202456.jpg

    Since there is a spacer between the hub and drum, I had to replace the studs with longer ones. Dorman has a really nice catalog that gives you dimensions for all of their studs. I simply supplied the Dorman part number to my local Napa and they crossed it to a Napa number, 641-3206

    20160914_073734.jpg 20160914_073757.jpg

    As far as shoes, springs and wheel cylinders, these are the Napa part numbers that I am using:

    Hold Down Springs - 80409 , '65 F250
    Return Springs - 80302, '65 F250
    Right Wheel Cylinder - 18290, '65 F250
    Left Wheel Cylinder - 18291, '65 F250
    Shoes - TS TS33, '55 F250

    The return spring kit only contains 2 of the 3 original springs. I have not found the last spring yet, but I would eventually like to find the parts to make the brakes self adjusting, so I'll keep looking.
     
  18. Inline
    Joined: May 13, 2005
    Posts: 261

    Inline
    Member
    from Ohio

    I have also been working on an e-brake mount.

    20160916_061837.jpg

    I received material yesterday an plan on machining several of them this week. With the T5, the e-brake handle will be moved to the passenger side about an 1" to 1-1/2". I also moved it back a couple of inches since the shift is back a couple of inches compared to the stock unit.
     
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  19. brokenspoke
    Joined: Jul 26, 2005
    Posts: 2,921

    brokenspoke
    Member

    Looking forward to seeing the finished E Brake mount as that is my next project on my RPU
     
  20. Inline
    Joined: May 13, 2005
    Posts: 261

    Inline
    Member
    from Ohio

    So it's been a while since this build has been updated. Life, kids, the day job and customer's vehicles have been keeping me busy. So finally things have settled down and I can get back at it.

    First thing that I wanted to square away was the front brakes. I know there are various thoughts and opinions on the original A mechanical brakes as well as the '40-'48 Ford style of brakes. Personally, I am done with them. For this truck, I wanted a "modern" self energizing brake setup but I didn't want to shell the cash out for the reproduction Lincolns. I happened to come across a set of '53-'56 F250 backing plates cheap off of craigslist and figured that I would give them a shot.

    Since I wanted to run '32 spindles, I had to adapt the F250 backing plates to the smaller bolt pattern. There are kits available for A spindles that use a piston ring as a spacer but I never really like those as the bolt heads somewhat hang off of the backing plate. So, I machined up a ring that pressed into the backing plate with the correct ID and bolt circle. This adapter ring had a male register that fit the bore of the backing plate and was tacked in place. The holes were transferred through the backing plate and it bolted on just like it should.

    Because the backing plate doesn't really sit down over the spindle like a '40 Ford backing plate does, The hub has to be spaced out about 5/16". It actually needs to be spaced out more than this but you run out of register for the inner bearing, so I ended up making a spacer to go between the hub and drum. I did end up buying new 2" wide Lincoln drums from Speedway since I like the look of the ribs and I didn't want to fight trying to find good originals.

    One thing to note is that the OD of the F250 backing plates is the same diameter as the OD of the drums. This prevents the backing plate and drum from overlapping. Because of this, I had to take off a 1/16" off of the backing plate lip to get everything to clear.

    20170319_220819.jpg 20170319_220826.jpg
    20170319_220842.jpg 20170401_203000.jpg

    All of the brake hardware was readily available at Napa. I used mostly all 1965 F250 2wd components. The stock '53-'56 F250 wheel cylinders only have a piston on one side where as the '65 wheel cylinders are the more traditional setup. I did find that the F250 and F150 wheel cylinders from '65 are interchangeable but with different bore sizes...the F150 being smaller. So if the brakes end up bearing too sensitive, I can go with the F150 wheel cylinders.
     
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  21. Inline
    Joined: May 13, 2005
    Posts: 261

    Inline
    Member
    from Ohio

    Since I raised the rear of the engine up an 1" from stock to keep the torque tube in line, it has created some issues....one of which is the gas pedal linkage. There was quite an interference between the stock pedal bracket and the fire wall. I really wanted to keep the stock pedal linkage intact so that I can still have the controls on the column so, modifying that was not really an option. Out came the cut off wheel...

    20170406_213134.jpg 20170406_213139.jpg
    20170406_214420.jpg 20170406_220234.jpg
    20170406_222202.jpg 20170406_222441.jpg
     
  22. Tman
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 34,638

    Tman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Great thread, thanks for sharing. You do top notch work.
     
  23. Inline
    Joined: May 13, 2005
    Posts: 261

    Inline
    Member
    from Ohio

    Another area of concern was the steering box and drag link. It has always bothered me when I see a Model A with a dropped axle, stock steering box and the drag link is forced to run sharply up hill. To reduce bump steer, the wishbones and drag link need to be parallel and the same length. I understand that this isn't really practical but at least let's make an attempt. As the axle swings through an arc, there is fore and aft movement. If the wishbones are long and horizontal to the ground, this movement is minimized. Same applies to the drag link. However, if the drag link is running sharply up hill and is shorter than the wishbones, then there will be more movement relative to the wish bones because it is swinging on a completely different arc. This relative movement will cause the wheels to turn...hence bumpsteer.

    So, since I used a 4" dropped axle, I essentially need to raise the rear of the drag link 4". Snyder's sells a 1"ish shorter pitman arm than stock. This not only helps the geometry but makes turning easier. So to make up the rest, or at least as much as I could, the steering box is being moved to the top of the frame. Also by moving the box, it helps reduce the angle of the steering wheel which I have always felt a bit uncomfortable.

    To start, I took a stock Model A 2-tooth box and cut the mounting flange off. The housing was then turned it down to where it was mostly round. I drew a mount in CAD that utilized the original mounting holes and 3D printed it as a mock up just to make sure everything was correct before I started whittling away on a rather expensive chuck of aluminum.

    This mount moved the box up about 2-1/2" which when combined with the shorter pitman arm is fairly close to where I wanted to be. Is it perfect, no, but it certainly is better than what I started with.

    20160929_201349.jpg 20170319_220911.jpg 20170319_220914.jpg
     
  24. Binger
    Joined: Apr 28, 2008
    Posts: 1,730

    Binger
    Member
    from wyoming

    I was glad to see this thread come up in my notifications. the build is looking good!
     
  25. Inline
    Joined: May 13, 2005
    Posts: 261

    Inline
    Member
    from Ohio

    Since the front brakes are done and I plan on running the '40 rear brakes that came with the chassis, the next step is to mount a master cylinder. Based on what I have read and previous experiences, I settled on a 1" bore Mustang drum master cylinder. With the transmission adapter that I made, the pedals are mounted to the adapter. I wanted to use an unmolested original Model A brake pedal. The problem is that the pedal pulls on the stock rods where as the master needs to be pushed. Also, since the pedals are mounted on the engine, the master should be mounted as such.

    I started with some miscellaneous thick steel plate and mounted it to the tail shaft housing bolts of the T5. I tried to keep the master cylinder as close to the tailshaft as possible to keep the alignment from the pedal as close as possible.

    20170210_212507.jpg

    Because the direction of the pedal has to change, I had to make a bellcrank. What I have picture is for mock up purposes only. Once it's done, I will not be relying on a 5/16 bolt in single shear as a suitable pivot. I initially made a 1:1 ratio but this might change depending on pedal force and travel.

    20170211_222215.jpg 20170213_203937.jpg 20170214_215702.jpg
    20170214_215651.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2017
  26. Binger
    Joined: Apr 28, 2008
    Posts: 1,730

    Binger
    Member
    from wyoming

    That MC mount looks great! Wish I would have thought of mounting it that way. I built a stock location battery box with a bellcrank on it and the MC mounts to that much like the aftermarket ones available.
     
  27. Inline
    Joined: May 13, 2005
    Posts: 261

    Inline
    Member
    from Ohio

    I started machining the steering box mount. I don't think I could have made it much more complicated but a CNC with a 1/2" ball endmill and an evening's worth of time can whittle most anything...

    20170415_233636.jpg

    Eventually, it will look like this:
    Capture.JPG
     
  28. dentisaurus
    Joined: Dec 11, 2006
    Posts: 395

    dentisaurus
    Member
    from Boston

    I like the master cylinder set up, very neat solution
     
  29. Inline
    Joined: May 13, 2005
    Posts: 261

    Inline
    Member
    from Ohio

    Sorry about the delay in between posts. A few days after my last post I had some health issues that I am just now starting to get back over. The long story short, I ended up having a blot clot in my leg from my hip to below my knee. I was admitted to the hospital for a week and then had to have a couple of surgeries. There for a couple of weeks, I couldn’t walk but a few steps before the pain was too great. About 2 weeks ago I finally felt good enough that I could start working in the shop again

    So, while I was sitting in the hospital bed, all I could think about was getting this thing to a point that I could drive it. The first step was to actually get it to run. I began with mounting the battery.

    There really isn’t a lot of room for a battery in a model A. I didn’t want it hanging down and I didn’t want it in the bed. So, about the only place left was under the seat. I plan on building a seat riser that will hide the part of the battery that encroaches into to cab. Access will be accomplished by removing the seat cushion of the Austin Healy Bug Eye seats that I plan on using.

    I bent up a battery box from some scrap sheetmetal. Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures of the process…

    20170519_214328.jpg 20170519_214345.jpg

    The wiring was just enough to get it running. I figured I can always go back and add the lights...I just want to hear this thing run! The relay and ballast resistor was mounted underneath on the cross member. The easiest place was to mount it on the firewall but I couldn't bring myself to do that.

    20170630_185759.jpg 20170629_212558.jpg

    Also, I didn't know what I was going to do for a dash yet so I quickly made a mount for the key switch...it's a bit bulky but it works and is only temporary.

    20170630_185807.jpg

    Once the wiring was complete and some stock fuel lines were added...

     
  30. Inline
    Joined: May 13, 2005
    Posts: 261

    Inline
    Member
    from Ohio

    So now that it runs and technically will move, I should probably focus on being able to steer it. I mentioned in my earlier posts that I wanted to raise the steering box up to the top of the frame to help address the drag link angle. After a couple of mock up designs, I started machining a mount. Now, don't worry, I do not plan on leaving this a solid shiny chunk of aluminum. I want to grind, sandblast and paint it to look like a cast piece. After a couple hours of programming and machining, here it is...

    20170415_233636.jpg 20170703_094304.jpg 20170703_100845.jpg

    Since the box is going to be clamped in the mount, I had to machine the original mounting flange off. I also installed needle roller bearings and seal kit from Synder's.

    20170702_133534.jpg 20170702_134230.jpg 20170702_134310.jpg

    Because the box moved up, the column had to be shortened. To place the control levers in the the same approximate position, it turned out to be 1-1/2" shorter. I ended up shortening the worm gear end as I originally thought it was simply a straight shaft with a key way. I soon found out after a went to press the the worn gear on that the shaft is actually necked down.

    20170704_095033.jpg 20170704_083004.jpg

    Once I was ready to put the box back together, I was a little apprehensive of how to properly adjust everything. After a quick search on the internet, I found this site: http://modelabasics.com/twoTooth.htm What a great explanation and thorough descriptions. It turned out easier that I anticipated.

    20170704_082010.jpg 20170705_203231.jpg

    Onto the brakes next...
     

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