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My 1929 Coupe Project

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by lowflyer001, Dec 18, 2012.

  1. lowflyer001
    Joined: Nov 5, 2012
    Posts: 6

    lowflyer001
    Member

    When I bought my 1929 Coupe this last Sept. it was supposed to be, a buy it, drive it, and tinker with it car. Well, as it turnes out, it needed alot before I could drive it.
    [​IMG]

    The car looked great when I bought it. I drove it up and down the street some, but I couldn't really get on it, and the road there was not in the best of shape. I thought that the car shook alot, but it seemed OK and I figured, on smooth roads, it would be OK. So I bought it, and took it home.

    When I drove it in my neighborhood, the car shook violently when driven over 20 MPH. The front end shook so hard, it would take the wheel right out of my hands. That coupled with the rear end bounce and shimmy, made the car uncontrollable. I seriously had regrets buying this car at that moment.

    First things first, I had to get it tagged and registered. DMV tells me that I can't do that without wipers and turn signals. And so began the opening of the can of worms....

    The wiring on the car was, at best, a patchwork of mismatched wires and a collection of different ways to connect wires to make it long enough to reach its destination. Butt connectors, twist together with electrical tape, acorn wire nuts, scotch locks, nuts and bolts, you name it, it was done. Everything on the car ran directly off the ignition switch. The only thing that was connected to "ignition on" was the MSD box. Everything else was "constant hot."
    After adding fuse boxes, relays and all new wiring, I had managed to rewire the entire car. Everytime I would chase down a strange wire, it needed replacing. If I had known how much of it needed fixing, I would have opted to buy a new harness and start from scratch.... may still do that in the near future.

    When installing the wiper, I find that the panel above the windshield is only held on with sewing bobby pins. The A-pillar covers were glued directly to the body right over the stereo wires. I had to rip them off, repair and reattach them with Velcro. Otherwise the wiper went in rather easily.

    The turn signals just involved new headlights with signals in them, a new switch and some dummy loads for the rear LEDs.

    I had to run all new wires to the front and repair the alternator, starter and electric fan wires, as they were all spliced together in different places, and ran through a banged up, aluminum tube that was rubbing on the alternator pulley(..they could at least have used a straight piece of tube.) They had also zip tied a wire bundle to the steering shaft as it came out of the cab and the wires were limiting the steering movement.

    All that so I could get the car tagged and registered. That was the first two weeks of ownership....and I still couldn't drive it.
     
  2. E Burfield
    Joined: Dec 31, 2006
    Posts: 130

    E Burfield
    Member

    Where did you buy this car at? Town, State.
     
  3. lowflyer001
    Joined: Nov 5, 2012
    Posts: 6

    lowflyer001
    Member

    I traded my '66 Chevelle for it to a guy up in Michigan. He's just a car flipper, so I'm pretty sure he doesn't know much about it either.

    Live and learn.

    And really, the fixing part and making it "mine" is the fun part, right? Its just the wife doesn't see it that way. She is, to say the least, "not happy" with the amount of work the car has needed, and will need.

    Luckily its coming up on the winter, so I'll try to knock out most of the "must do"s before driving season comes back around.
     
  4. lowflyer001
    Joined: Nov 5, 2012
    Posts: 6

    lowflyer001
    Member

    So, where was I? Yes, got the wiring sorted out and now needed to see what was wrong with the stability.

    First I decided to tackle the rear end first. Checked the pinion angle. WOW, both the snout of the diff and the tail of the tranny were pointing up. Pinon angle waaaaay off. In trying to reset the pinon angle on the diff, find that the jam nuts on one of the trailing arm is finger tight. And in lowering the rear of the trans, anything more than -3 degrees and the front pulley for the supercharger rubs against the front crossmember. So, -2 degrees and 1/16" of clearence for the pulley.

    Drive it and its better, but still not smooth. Feels like the rear end is "skipping." I check the alignment of the rear end and find that the left side of the axle is 3/8" farther back than the right. The mount for the trailing arm on the frame was welded 3/8" too far back. Luckily there was enough adjustment on the rod ends of the trailing arm that I was able to square the rear end.

    Test drive, and its better, but still a vibration. Not nearly as bad, but still there. Felt like a bound u-joint. So, I pull the joint out, and lo and behold, the joint at the diff is bound up and didn't want to turn. New u-joint is going in sometime this weekend. Hopefully that cures the rear end bounce. That was about a week of working on it off and on.

    In the mean time, I started playing with the front end. Checked all the fasteners for security and found that most of the jam nuts for the various rod ends were just finger tight. Before I tightened them up, I did a quick and dirty DIY front end alignment.
    Toe out, almost an inch. Reset to 1/8" toe in.
    Right front was castered 2 degrees more than the left side.
    The steering dampener was trying to rotate the tie rod and binding the rod end. Still trying to figure out why it does that...
    Also, as an aside, there were wheel spacers behind the front wheels. I took them off and the wheels don't rub on anything. Caliper clearence is good, wheel and tire don't hit anything at max steering limit...strange. So I took them off.
    The front wheels had no balance weights on them, so I had them balanced. Both needed weights.
    I already told you about the wire bundle zip tied to the steering shaft at the u-joint...
    Steering wheel was off center, so that had to get recentered.
    After all that, but before the rear u-joint, I took the car out and it tracked really well. There is a slight vibration at 35mph. Maybe it needs more toe in? Maybe its the rear u-joint. We'll see.

    But wait theres more to come...
     
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  5. Damn.....Sounds like It would have been easier to start from scratch. I never bought a "completed" car and after reading this I don't think I will. I know a guy who bought a car from an out of state ad and had it shipped to his house. The seller assured him that the car needed nothing. After unloading it from the delivery truck while driving it up his driveway it had an electrical fire and burned the entire harness and paint on the firewall.At least you caught all of the problems and fixed them before something like that happened.
    It is a nice looking car though!
     
  6. old soul
    Joined: Jan 15, 2011
    Posts: 1,094

    old soul
    Member
    from oswego NY

    whos the car guy?? You or the wife????
     
  7. lowflyer001
    Joined: Nov 5, 2012
    Posts: 6

    lowflyer001
    Member

    So all this takes me from Oct of this year to about two weeks ago.

    In all the test drives, I did some "spirited" driving and found that the motor had a bad detonation problem. The engine has strapped to it a Weiand 142 blower and a single Holley. It also has an MSD 6AL box with a 4200 rpm pill in it (?!) We'll get to that later.

    What good is a blown engine if you can't wind it out? So while I was checking the timing, I find that under the distributor cap is a set of POINTS. Who goes through the expense of putting on aluminum heads, a blower, and an MSD box, then cheaps out and puts points under the distributor cap?! Oh and if you are going to put an MSD box on a blower motor, why not the 6BTM box? So I figure the 4200 rpm pill was to keep out of detonation... a band aid at best. The distributor was adding timing through the vacuume advance canister. I tried limiting the vac advance, but I felt safer just unplugging the vac advance. I'll hook it back up when I get the MSD 6BTM. Oh, and I changed the rev limit pill to 5600 rpm.

    Now, its starting to get closer to a real, driving car; not just a pretty art peice occupying space in my garage.

    But as I drive this thing around, trying to square away and refind this thing into a driver, I realize that the transmission is going to keep me from REALLY enjoying this car... It has a Powerglide in it.
    First gear is a dog. The car makes great noises, but without the byproduct of any real forward momentum. It had to go.

    If I am really going to drive this thing alot, I realize that I really need an overdrive transmission. A 5 or 6 speed manual would be great, but I don't think that I can justify to the wife, dropping $5-$6 grand into a car that was supposed to be done, but I haven't been able to drive for months. So the next option is an automatic overdrive that I can rebuild. 700R4...I don't want to have to cut the drive shaft.

    So 200-4R it is! Found one on Craigslist for $150. Rebuild kit from TransmissionCenter, Shift Reprogrammer from CK Performance, Billet Servo from Bowtie Overdrive, Lock-up kit from TCI and a new GN Torque converter from the local transmission shop.

    I got the trans rebuilt over a weekend and now I am in the process of stabbing it in to the car.
    [​IMG]

    So, if I can find the time over the holiday weekend, hopefully I'll have it back on the road before the snow sets in.

    Oh, and for that, the next project is going to be Heat and Air on the car.
     
  8. dunebuggy55
    Joined: May 6, 2012
    Posts: 3

    dunebuggy55
    Member

    I am in the process of building a 29 also. How about some side view pics of your ride. The car looks great from the front! Good luck with it ,Dunebuggy55
     
  9. pincher
    Joined: Sep 12, 2007
    Posts: 378

    pincher
    Member
    from Saginaw

    I like the ORANGE paint. Thought i was the only one with ORANGE A PEEL............PINCHER
     
  10. old soul
    Joined: Jan 15, 2011
    Posts: 1,094

    old soul
    Member
    from oswego NY

    not bad for a 80s street machine
     
  11. Nailhead Jeff
    Joined: Jun 13, 2009
    Posts: 120

    Nailhead Jeff
    Member
    from fresno

    Your detonation problem is probley related to it leaning out on the power circuit. With a Holley you need to boost refrence the power valve. Buy Dave Emmanuals Holley tuning book it telly you haow to do it. It makes all the difference in the world on a forced induction engine.
     
  12. old soul
    Joined: Jan 15, 2011
    Posts: 1,094

    old soul
    Member
    from oswego NY

    Rip the blower off and sell it for things you need. Run a nice little carb and intake.
     

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