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Projects Model T Gow Job

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by guitarguy, Sep 19, 2018.

  1. guitarguy
    Joined: May 26, 2008
    Posts: 219

    guitarguy
    Member

    Hello, I have read way more through the years on here than posted, but I began a project this past year and I wanted to present to you and use the experience of the members here to help guide me with my build of a Model T Gow Job.

    The goal of this build is to have a fairly accurate build of a T that might have been built by a young lad around the late thirties, lets say around '35-40, using used parts sourced from where ever he could, and maybe some help from a few talented individuals hoping he succeeds. I really want to keep near all the parts pre 1935, and what isn't, hopefully hid well enough from peering eyes.

    Clayton Paddison's T is a huge inspiration to this project, as well as a few pics I have saved from the net over the years.

    I came from the Mopar muscle car/drag racing stuff, and have kind of laid low for the past 15 years. Upon selling my Mopar, I bought a basically stock Model T cut off touring, that was made into a pickup, and have had some fun with it, but the hot rodder in me needs a creative outlet. That pick up will remain as is, but I bought and accumulated some other parts to build another.

    So here is what has transpired. I will post some pics to catch things up. And hopefully you will help guide me so I don't veer off to far from my course.

    Parts on hand:
    '23-'25 T Frame. Z-d in rear and extended raised front crossmember for a 5" drop
    '24 T cut off Touring body, windshield posts, firewall, grill shell, and hood (may only use top section)
    Model A front axle/spindles/linkage
    Model A steering column
    Model A 19" wheels
    Model T rear axle

    Major parts to get: Engine, Model T, hopefully with the adapter and '28 Chevy Cyl head on top that I already have.

    Speedster Project 2.1.jpg Speedster Project 11.1.JPG
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2018
  2. Well, I like what you think your going to build and at 70+ I understand what you want (kinda). I'm a bit of a critic but I try not to krash a guys work, just point things out as I see them. I also understand how I see things only matter to me. That said, your front cross member puts the chassis into today's home builders generation. I also don't think Z'd frames were being done yet. Something you didn't mention is what motor and trans you plan to run. If your going Flat Head V-8 you need to remember that Model A as well as 32 Ford stuff was everywhere. Back then it would have been the Hard Way to hand build mounts and a front Cross member, they would have just started with a V-8 chassis, narrowed it to take a standard T Roadster body not a Touring cut down. I hear they were every where.
    You do say T rear axle. Are you planing a T motor?
    The Wizzard
     
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  3. Front half of touring's were used all the time. I like where you're heading.

    images.jpeg 600188.jpg
     
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  4. guitarguy
    Joined: May 26, 2008
    Posts: 219

    guitarguy
    Member

    Pist-n-broke, I know there are going to be things that aren't 100% correct. Yes, I too had mixed feelings of the Z-d frame and front crossmember. They are things the would be questionable for the time period I am seeking, but I decided to move forward with them to get a certain look. I know not everyone will agree with what I do, but I like the input none the less as it may make me stop in rethink what I'm about to do. And you did it in a way that didn't offend me so any input like that is good input.

    My steering column mount at the chassis which I'll get to later will also be another very questionable item per the era, but its almost done, and I went forth with it after quite a bit of thought.

    Yes, I did not mention the engine. I ran out of time so to speak in my first post. It will be a T engine, and the ultimate plan is to get my '28 Chevy cylinder head on it (I have an adapter plate already), but the head and rockers need a complete overhaul.

    Maybe with all of this I should be looking at a Post War build time frame? Sometimes my thinking on time lines might be a little off, so correct me indeed if I am wrong.

    Flying T, thank You and any input is welcome.
     
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  5. guitarguy,

    Get yourself a copy of this book- it will be a GREAT help to you!

    [​IMG]
     
    29bowtie, Jet96 and Nailhead A-V8 like this.
  6. rudestude
    Joined: Mar 23, 2016
    Posts: 2,212

    rudestude
    Member

    Have a good time on your project and the idea of putting a time period on your build is great but when asking for advice on your build be prepared ,..some critics can get a bit harsh some time's .... I have a back burner model -T project going myself it's just something I have been building using left over or free , discarded or whatever parts that I have collected ..the plan is a single seater speedster or whatever you want to call it but because of its power it's going to have ,64 Volvo 544 1800 and trans. because it was free and all new and rebuilt, it really couldn't be called traditional but just don't call it a rr ....good luck and have fun be safe...also my front cross member is flipped ,not the frame , and the frame is z'd in the rear ...1916 frame and springs ,model-A front and rear axles.. IMG_20161113_102738.jpeg

    Sent from my QTASUN1 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  7. guitarguy
    Joined: May 26, 2008
    Posts: 219

    guitarguy
    Member

    I'm prepared, I hope, for comments. This site has a reputation for being tough on people.

    If I am way off base here, someone let me know. I am not intending to build a rat rod. I want a Model T "hot rod" that is largly based off Model T parts with some A and maybe other parts mixed in. I am trying to keep it traditional looking and use most parts no newer than '35.

    However, maybe I am wrong in assuming that would make it in prewar style? Thus also why I want to post here. Maybe I am building more of a Post War car and don't know it. I am certainly no expert.

    No offense taken by anyone, I am certainly open to ideas and comments as long as they are not derogatory in nature. Does not mean I will follow those ideas or comments, but definitely something I will take into consideration in the build.

    The ultimate goal is just that it looks as close as I can get it to early "hot rod"... although I dislike that term for this project, because I feel it instantly puts it into a 50's- 60's era. But that's just me.

    Thank you for all the input thus far.

    I also am working on some split wishbones, so again, not sure if that puts me into a later year category build than my initial thoughts.
     
  8. The prewar gow above has a split T wishbone, the prewar dry lakes car, radius rods.
     
  9. Doing a Time Dated correct build is not as easy as one might think. I was just involved in doing a 1960 time frame rebuild. I know that really sounds easy, not so much. What we constantly ran into is the way we think and do things today. We had to remember they stick welded and gas welded, didn't have a mill, anything needing lathe work meant spending $$$ and these were High School kids. So thinking like Kids and doing as they did was a big challenge today. And, this was just a F.E.D. We did pull it off well enough that the original driver had tears in his eyes when he first saw it again. To do it like it was, it's just as important to do it like they did as it is using the same parts. This photo was taken this past August and this car ran last in 1960. The Old guy in the Green shirt was the pilot that that set a national record in it as well as won the National Championship in it. I am truly honored to have been part of this. 20180812_154207.jpg The Wizzard
     
  10. When I put together this T it was with the goal to build it like my grandpa might have done it. He actually had a new '24 roadster and a 4 valve Rajo so no doubt his was way nicer than mine. But I just used my gas jig and a rosebud to put it together and bend up the front mount. There were a few things that didn't fit the era, 3 spd trans with over drive, V dub ignition (no different than era correct Mallory really) and an iron cross decal on the windshield, I just like iron crosses. I loved the front end and it was my favorite to build. The mount and the modified 'bones, it was fun.

    My wife recently told me that of all the cars I've had, 70 or so, this was her all time favorite, my crudest, roughest car. I'm kinda on the hunt for another touring. Before it was hauling kids around town and to the beach when they were young, now with a grandson and another on the way I'd like to do a tub. This time full fender I think.

    Paso2004324-vi.jpg
     
  11. guitarguy
    Joined: May 26, 2008
    Posts: 219

    guitarguy
    Member

    Thank you so much for the input. If you gentlemen feel this build thread should really be in the general message board, I can start it there before this gets to far. I picked here because I want to stay traditional as I possibly can with your help.

    Very much agreed that saying your doing a period build and actually pulling it off are two different things. I'm hoping to be somewhere in the middle of it.

    Yes, I am using a split T wishbone. The front end is a T spring, shackle and perches, Model A front axle, spindles, steering, and T split wish bone.
     
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  12. guitarguy
    Joined: May 26, 2008
    Posts: 219

    guitarguy
    Member

    Also, to keep in the theme, the body wood is totally shot, although should be useful for patterns. So I have purchased plans, and some Ash and plan to rewood the body. Again, trying to remain fairly accurate.
     
  13. banjorear
    Joined: Jul 30, 2004
    Posts: 3,774

    banjorear
    Member

    Mr.ModelT (I think that's his name) on here has the ultimate T Gow job. Truly incredible car.
     
    rudestude likes this.
  14. Personally I would use an A wishbone on the A axle. T wishbones are very flimsy in the first place and when split it exaggerates that. The suspension leverages against a split 'bone. Unsplit I wouldn't think twice of using it. An A wishbone is significantly stronger. Another thing to consider is the factory welds aren't great. I bought an A axle and it came with hacked A split wishbones I used to make an equipment stand. Upon cutting them I noticed the seem weld only penetrated 1/2 way at best into the steel and was very porous. I can only imagine one for a T couldn't be any better. The weld is responsible for the strength of the wishbone. Have people done it and lived to tell? Yep. Could be way off base but it's just my 2 cents.
     
  15. guitarguy
    Joined: May 26, 2008
    Posts: 219

    guitarguy
    Member

    These are a couple of pics that inspired me for this build:

    Model T Speedster 22.jpg Model T Speedster 20.jpg

    Model T Speedster 19.jpg
     
  16. guitarguy
    Joined: May 26, 2008
    Posts: 219

    guitarguy
    Member

    This was my find for the front end. It was a homemade (and really heavy) trailer. A good friend spotted it on Craigslist and I was off on my way to get it. It was rough, but the price was right.



    Speedster Project 14.1.jpg

    The important bits saved:

    Speedster Project 16.1.jpg

    And blasted by a local dustless blaster:

    Speedster Project 17.1.jpeg

    I spent time straightening the axle, the leaf spring is brand new, as are the perches and bushings. Shackles are originals , and I made some simple steel spacers to fit between the perch and axle so it all lined up right and allowed proper tightening of the perch nuts. This is about where I am at. It's a slow project, I was really hoping to have a rolling chassis by the end of this year, but I don't think that will happen. I have new bushings, balls, spindle pins, tie rod ends, and tie rods. All of this obviously still needs to be assembled....in my spare hours.

    Speedster Project 19.jpg
     
  17. guitarguy
    Joined: May 26, 2008
    Posts: 219

    guitarguy
    Member

    OK, this is where I would like some advice please.

    I need to make a couple of drop brackets for the wishbone connection to the frame. I am just using flat steel plate, I figure 2.5" wide should do. But should I make them from 3/16" or 1/4" thick?

    Seems the 3/16" should be enough, but my concern is they will hang down 6" from the bottom of the rail. If 3/16" is used, should I add another brace somewhere on it? The cars I have researched, just seem to use a flat plate, but I have no idea on the thickness.
     
  18. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 14,000

    Squablow
    Member

    Mine have little sides that angle in slightly, way less flexible than just a flat plate hanging down. If you look real close you can kinda see it.

    Also, just a suggestion, but your little trailer thing has a great crossmember and frame horns on it, you might consider using that if you still have it on the front of your car instead of the box tube. It'll look more period and you can flatten it out to make the spring sit higher in the pocket.

    20180921_170059.jpg
     
  19. guitarguy
    Joined: May 26, 2008
    Posts: 219

    guitarguy
    Member

    Just like the rear of the frame, I know that front crossmember will be a bone of contention.

    From pictures I have researched, the two most accurate mods for the time period that I can find, are to put the spring behind the axle, or to have a "Z" plate that bolts to the stock front crossmember, raises up, and extends forward again to mount the spring.

    I'm not crazy about the spring behind the axle deal. And the Z-plate, just seemed a little weird in the safety factor also. I really liked the idea of a full crossmember, but can agree it doesn't totally have the right look. I also really like the look of the single spring u-bolt and spring similar to what later T's (like my stock pickup) used, which in my opinion can only be obtained by a full crossmember.

    I am wondering if I can "hide" it a little by maybe welding on the stubs of the front horns from that Model A frame I have? What do you think?

    Also consider that this engine will still have a hand crank option, and I have made sure all crossmembers and suspension will clear that after I extend the crank about 4-5"

    Also still looking for input on the frame plate thickness for the split wishbones. 3/16" or 1/4"?
     
  20. How thick is the T frame rails? I'd go that much plus an 1/8" that meaning if the rails are 3/16 I'd use 5/16" and by all means at least one web on the back side. Myself I'd do two, makes a nice finish to both edges.
    The Wizzard
     
  21. guitarguy
    Joined: May 26, 2008
    Posts: 219

    guitarguy
    Member

    I went with 1/4" for the brackets--figured heavier is better in this case. Frame is about 1/8" thick, so I fit in your rule of thumb. I have them all drilled. I will bolt and weld, but later will replace the bolts with rivets, more for looks than anything. Just a little more shaping to do on the brackets before install.
     
  22. How are you determining where they go in drop below the frame rail? You have no weight on the chassis and have no idea how much the spring will compress. Or do you?
    The Wizzard
     
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  23. guitarguy
    Joined: May 26, 2008
    Posts: 219

    guitarguy
    Member

    I had my 250+ lbs friend sit on the front crossmember. Honestly. And that's approximatly the real life weight on the front end weight. A complete engine is just shy of 500lbs, but obviously not all that weight is directly on the front axle, so about half should be close. I had him sit right on the front crossmember, instead of back where the engine sits. It should be fairly close. I can just barely drag a bare Mopar big block around (approx 220lbs) and my Model T doodle bug (front 2/3 of a stock T) I can also just barely drag the front end around so I got to be in the ball park I believe. But ultimately, yes, I did add weight to figure my initial cutting of the plate length, and measurements for the wishbone connection.
     
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  24. Well, what your doing is a very common mistake, the guess work that is. Being your working with an unknown I would suggest not actually welding them in place. In fact I'd make a temp mount plate and just clamp or tack it to the outside of the frame rail and move on. Build the complete car then go back and make the final mount as needed. After all it's the easiest way to get the correct Caster there is. Finding an alignment shop to twist your axle to correct what that mount should do isn't as easy as it was 40 years ago.
    The Wizzard
     
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  25. guitarguy
    Joined: May 26, 2008
    Posts: 219

    guitarguy
    Member

    Yes, I do understand what your saying. While it kinda foils my plans as far as finishing the chassis, I think I will take that advice and do just that.

    Model T spring perches (which I am using on the A axle) already have 5 degrees of caster built into them (Unlike the A's that don't). However what I did not take into consideration, is the ACTUAL caster angle once the car is finished and on the ground. That could change easily if there is any rake in the stance.

    Good catch on that one.

    Any opinions on welding the front Model A frame stubs I have to my front crossmember to try and make it look a little better for the period? I am not really interested in cutting the frame back apart, but I get it that the straight crossmember doesn't really look the part either. Maybe that is a compromise?
     
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  26. With or without the frame horns are a personal matter. T Frames don't have them to start with. I'd just move on and maybe let the Grill cover what it can if it bugs ya.
    The Wizzard
     
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  27. Nailhead A-V8
    Joined: Jun 11, 2012
    Posts: 831

    Nailhead A-V8
    Member

    that was one of the first things I thought when I saw it...you could keep your rise in the frame to compensate for the frame rail height difference. Use the model A crossmember as well... narrow it and flatten it and you will end up with a really cool front end traditional too
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2018
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  28. Nobody would have done this in 1935. They would have just used a complete Model A chassis.
    The Wizzard
     
  29. Front crossmember and rear kick. I like where your project is heading! image.png
     
  30. Nailhead A-V8
    Joined: Jun 11, 2012
    Posts: 831

    Nailhead A-V8
    Member

    sorry squablow I was too busy looking at your roadster to notice you had beaten me to it lol
    Thanks cactus1 a picture is worth a thousand words
    Not necessarily because then they would also use the A engine and trans...this is a T gow job I think a much stronger A front clip would have been easier to torch off at the junkyard than a whole frame swap....as the picture illustrates flattened crossmbrs & z-ing was fairly common on the old race cars so were TT and Essex frame rails
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2018

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