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Hot Rods My Hot Rod 29 AA Express AAV8 Build

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by patmanta, Oct 4, 2018.

  1. patmanta
    Joined: May 10, 2011
    Posts: 3,450

    patmanta
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Woburn, MA
    1. MASSACHUSETTS HAMB

    So, I haven't said a whole lot about this one on here other than asking questions about 28/29 A pickup cabs, but I've hit a point I think I would benefit from a build thread if only to get some of my ideas and experiences with the build out. The other day I got a little "hey, how's it going" kinda message on here from @scott39 and ended up giving him a novella about this rig in reply, LOL!

    So here's the build, a while back I picked up a nice AA frame from @'54Caddy and it sat by my shed until I decided I needed a break from my overly ambitious first build with a "quick and straightforward" build :rolleyes: So I got myself a 29 cab, dismantled the "EAST COAST MODIFIED T" I had going (since I'm dropping my banger and 34 gear in that one anyway) and put the front, rear, 1955 Chevy 265, & TH350 into the AA frame.

    I have the wheelbase shortened to 112" and the frame shortened and sectioned currently.I have decided to cut the frame and do a proper Z instead of the beam stack setup I have going now since I will never trust my welds otherwise. If I do that, I am butt welding the whole thing and can get at both sides. My Handler 140 will totally do that.

    I'll start off where I'm at here and put some earlier pics in another post:

    20180730_191543.jpg

    Please excuse the bucktooth radiator, it's a 31 and getting replaced.

    20180730_191555.jpg
    20180731_113318.jpg 20180731_113323.jpg 20180731_113329.jpg
    20180908_143332.jpg

    Here I've got about 2.5" taken out of the remaining crossmember on the back of the frame.

    (Don't worry, I've still got the Thundercasket and I'm going to get back to it, you can see it peeking out of the shop here)
     
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  2. I love the way it is looking skyward.
     
  3. patmanta
    Joined: May 10, 2011
    Posts: 3,450

    patmanta
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Woburn, MA
    1. MASSACHUSETTS HAMB

    I only had the front half of the frame set up when the cab arrived, so I had a clown car in my driveway for a little while.
    36440222_10214984134750375_8559152737483227136_o.jpg
    IMG_20180622_153223_293.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

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  4. scott39
    Joined: Dec 19, 2009
    Posts: 26

    scott39
    Member
    from Boston

    Looking good so far
    Sent from my LGMS210 using Tapatalk
     
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  5. A Boner
    Joined: Dec 25, 2004
    Posts: 5,275

    A Boner
    Member

    image.png image.png Don't know where you are going with this build, but if it was mine, I would turn it into a panel delivery like this one. Get some sheet metal, a small pile of square or rec. tubing and what looks like some strap steel with studs welded on for the side molding, and have at it! It also looks like some oak lumber was used to get the proper shape for the roof.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2018
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  6. Someone say truck build?
    I'm here
     
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  7. patmanta
    Joined: May 10, 2011
    Posts: 3,450

    patmanta
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Woburn, MA
    1. MASSACHUSETTS HAMB

    @a boner , I'm going for a highboy 29 pickup. I've got it at 112" so I'm going to need to make the bed or modify one if I want an A bed (which I do). That's probably not in the cards for this phase of the build so the plan is to make a simple wood service body style bed out of some PT and reclaimed cedar from my buddy's deck.

    DSC07870.JPG e949d09bc6383126eae7bdc59c22d642d26b91d5.jpg

    I would very much like to make a slide in camper for this one too and those interior pictures of that delivery there help quite a bit, thanks for those! I was planning to make a wood and steel frame for it and follow the roof and cab lines. Somewhere in between a troop carrier and a huckster is the best way I can describe that vision.

    1_canvastop.jpg 195a-82b-aa131-aq8.jpg 9750127-1931-ford-model-aa-std-c.jpg

    Eventually, if and when I get a nice A bed I can stretch, I will make this a proper fenderless shortened AA Express.
    My starting point was a dropped pickup I could have bought on CL years ago and don't have a picture of and the stance of Aaron Blatter's 32 applied to a 29 AA Express:

    Aaron Blatter 32 Highboy Pickup.png
    89-A-Express-29-01-31.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2018
  8. patmanta
    Joined: May 10, 2011
    Posts: 3,450

    patmanta
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Woburn, MA
    1. MASSACHUSETTS HAMB

    Ok, so here's a quick recap from where I started.
    I had a crusty back of a cab and some sedan doors that I dropped on the front half of my AA frame. Gorgeous, aint' she?

    20180521_183644.jpg

    Tried out a spring ahead setup that my neighbor had but went for the 36 axle I pulled out of my other little T pile since it was put together and it made pulling that engine easier anyway. I may go back to this setup to get my nose down.

    IMG_20180601_184336.jpg 20180621_195540.jpg 20180621_195549.jpg

    I got the cab on there and noticed a few issues.
    20180624_131316.jpg 20180625_172747.jpg 20180626_192238.jpg

    There's a bit of cracking inside the door pillars which interfere with them fully closing. I eventually found cracking on the subframe was behind the sagging.

    20180627_182258.jpg 20180627_182315.jpg

    Around the same time I pulled some original bolt in mounts from an AV8 frame I got from @Shaun1162 many moons ago and used them to mount the 1955 265 SBC. It sits a little low so I think I may have the wrong Hurst mount for this application but I'll tackle that later.

    20180623_160323.jpg 20180623_123305.jpg 20180622_195332a.jpg

    When I had good weather I got the wood kits stained and sealed cherry and black.

    20180731_113310.jpg 20180731_134443.jpg

    And I put the frame together. I took about 13.5" out of the middle.

    20180731_170503.jpg 20180731_185700.jpg

    Which gets ups back up to speed at post #1
     

    Attached Files:

  9. patmanta
    Joined: May 10, 2011
    Posts: 3,450

    patmanta
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Woburn, MA
    1. MASSACHUSETTS HAMB

    Thanks, LOL, yeah, well maybe that's in preparation for some wikkid pissah steep rake, dood! ;)

    Thanks, @Flowmeister , your truck was actually one of the builds I took some inspiration from!

    [​IMG]
     
  10. I'll follow closely. I, too, have a '29AA. but we diverge somewhat. HiVolt 5.0 gave me great ideas to change over to a dual-chamber, power assisted master cylinder, and I'm using '60 F-350 brakes, rear axle, front spindles, etc. You'll want something lighter, I'm sure. We both share the lack of a bed at this time. I'm hoping to fabricate something very close to that stock express bed. I don't have an eight-foot sheet metal brake, so I'll have to farm that out. I'd like to do the sides, front and tailgate in 16 gauge, just for the strength, but might have to settle for 18 gauge.
     
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  11. patmanta
    Joined: May 10, 2011
    Posts: 3,450

    patmanta
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Woburn, MA
    1. MASSACHUSETTS HAMB

    Right now I've got the front end set up with a 36 axle and F1 brakes/spindles. I'm not sure if I'm going with a dropped axle, relocated spring, or both to get the nose down yet. I've got the brakes from the 47 Merc rear end I've got under there for the back.

    I haven't decided on how I'm going to handle the final bed yet. I've got to get the stance settled, then figure out how I'm going to steer. I have a F4-6 steering box, a stuck A box, a 34 box, and a 57 GM pickup box. I also need to get the cab back together for the season and my new tent shed up.

    I have made a little progress to that goal. This weekend I got the rear crossmember in where I thought it should go only to find, as I expected, that the flat crossmember idea did not allow for enough travel, and surprisingly put my wheelbase 6 inches ahead of where I thought I'd land (106" instead of 112"). So, revisions were made but I ran out of daylight and time for this round.

    20181006_114935.jpg
    20181006_151539.jpg
    received_749750302037637.jpeg
     
  12. patmanta
    Joined: May 10, 2011
    Posts: 3,450

    patmanta
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Woburn, MA
    1. MASSACHUSETTS HAMB

    The Holidays are halfway through and it's been just about since my last post that I've been able to get any time in the shop to work on anything that's not related to the house, land, contractors, or prepping for winter. I'd be surprised if I'm alone in this but it still frustrates me to see the mild weather slipping away while this rig sits in my driveway.

    I picked up one of those nice 13x20' Shelterlogic SUV sheds but it's still sitting in the box on a pallet. I'm having to re-think how I'm going to use the thing now too. I can either set it up in the driveway as planned and deal with the tightened parking and tricky snow removal, or set it up in the yard, kill all that grass, and deal with a dirt floor in there. I can either move this rig in there and chip away at it or move my car out of the shop and store it in there for the winter (but I'm worried about moisture getting to that one). OR I could just sell the thing and throw a tarp over this one for the Winter because putting that shed up is more than a notion and I may not have the time to do it before we get buried anyway because New England.

    SO, now that all that TL:DR musing is out, here's some pictures I took on Halloween. The kids (and parents) really enjoyed the truck whether it was complete & running or not, so there's that.

    20181031_180113.jpg
    20181031_180045.jpg 20181031_180031.jpg
    I set a fog machine behind the cab with some green string lights in there and the engine bay (and that's the shed sitting on a pallet where it still is, LOL).

    I should note that at least in moving it around, by necessity, I put blocks between the frame and rear end, so now I at least have an idea of where the stance is at. I'm looking like I'm only about 2" up in the front with the stock 36 axle/reverse eye so I now know that with a 4" drop should give me a decent stance without a lot of fuss.

    I also picked up a heavy duty sewing machine to stitch myself a tonneau cover for the roof and the interior once I learn how to use it. I'm reading up on all that now and the shop I bought it from gives free classes.
     
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  13. patmanta
    Joined: May 10, 2011
    Posts: 3,450

    patmanta
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Woburn, MA
    1. MASSACHUSETTS HAMB

    So, I haven't gotten anything done to this rig since October. I had to dedicate my time to getting a bunch of household projects dealt with and to putting that tent shed up... WHICH a warm day with 50MPH gusts ripped right up off the ground and blew into my shed. These things are not vented at the top in any way and rely entirely on their anchoring to stay put. My anchoring came up wanting.

    The tarp has a man sized hole in it now and I had to destroy a couple pieces (and mangle others) to get it apart before it blew away with me and did damage to any surrounding property. These things are hard to deal with if they go over, it's raining, it's blowing, and you're by yourself in your work clothes standing in 2" of water in January, FYI.

    The frame is sitting half dismantled in my yard and the tarp is stowed in the shed until spring I guess.

    20190119_140454[1].jpg

    20190124_132520[1].jpg

    In the meantime, I'm focusing on getting my shop reorganized. Then maybe I'll finish the rear crossmember for this one and maybe turn my attentions back to the other car in the shop for a while until it's not winter anymore.
     
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  14. patmanta
    Joined: May 10, 2011
    Posts: 3,450

    patmanta
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Woburn, MA
    1. MASSACHUSETTS HAMB

    Well Spring is here and I've gotten a little tinkering in on the truck as well as my car. Nothing major but I did get things cleaned off a bit, started tinkering with the frame in preparation for finish welding, welded up the new rear crossmember I made, and slapped the cab back sheet metal back on.

    It's a far cry from where things were all winter though!
    20190308_173131.jpg
    20181116_083558.jpg

    I'm not real happy with the back of the cab. It has some issues that make it a bit tough to get on the body right. One corner is good, but the passenger side is warped and seems to have been heated so it doesn't take a hammer/dolly well (I think I've mentioned this). The bottom center panel has bullet holes and the top has some corrosion holes as well as having lost the lip that wraps around the support. I have a crunchy, roached panel that I can template the lip of that panel with but I'm going to keep an eye out for a nice one regardless. I could replace the whole back with fresh repop stuff I'd rather not spend all that money there.

    I got a toilet seat aerial view shot of the truck in all its tarpholstered roof glory:
    20190420_165254.jpg

    I pulled the 31 radiator out to donate it to the Tornados CC young builder TROG giveaway. I replaced it with some brackets I had made years ago when I was going to run a 28/29 shell on my T and boy does that inch or so make a difference in the attitude of the hood. I pulled my Falcon radiator out so that's on the list next.

    Here are some pictures I took with my T project this weekend just for fun:
    20190420_165914.jpg 20190420_165936.jpg 20190421_162012.jpg

    Heading to the Fitchburg Swap Meet and getting a new bed from a fellow HAMBer. I am STILL on the lookout for sections of A beds to lengthen it though! So if you have shortened your beds and still have the cut-offs, please get in touch; I want them!
     

    Attached Files:

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  15. patmanta
    Joined: May 10, 2011
    Posts: 3,450

    patmanta
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Woburn, MA
    1. MASSACHUSETTS HAMB

    Looks like I forgot to update here. I got the rear crossmember that I made in this rig finally. So I'm somewhat confident with where the back sits now. I got the frame burned together a little better now too. Next thing I need to see is where a 4" drop axle puts me up front. I think that is going to get the stance right.

    20190429_113947.jpg
    20190429_175549.jpg 20190430_161119.jpg 20190430_161047.jpg

    In the meantime, because I can't leave stuff alone, I picked up 2 and a half partial 28/29 Tudor bodies from @'54Caddy & @Mikel50 which I'm slapping together to make a rolling project for my buddy Howie's first Hot Rod build.

    60385026_10216608540638163_8885874361433587712_o.jpg
    60667388_10216608541078174_8433883582434377728_o.jpg

    I don't have a problem any more than I have an Iron deficiency here. :D
     

    Attached Files:

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  16. Thanks for the update, Patmanta. I'm glad you've gone with an era-correct rear end.
     
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  17. patmanta
    Joined: May 10, 2011
    Posts: 3,450

    patmanta
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Woburn, MA
    1. MASSACHUSETTS HAMB

    I didn't get too far this weekend despite spending two afternoons in my shop. Someday I will learn that when there are hubs to be pulled, that's about all I can hope to get done, LOL.

    So I started pulling that 47 rear apart Saturday and got the driver site stuff off no problem. But when I moved over to the passenger side, everything went to crap. The drum on that side is on there so good that I ended up bending (ruining) my hub puller and ended up having to order a different one which should arrive today.

    I was able to yank the open drive converter and the panhard bar though. As far as that goes, I'm pondering the location of the panhard bracket. As you see below, I've got room to add about 6" of length. It is my understanding that longer is better, right? And I'm also concerned that it is mounted up a little high there. Should the pivot be closer to level with the mounting point on the housing?

    20190609_142813.jpg
     
  18. micshotrodgarage
    Joined: Sep 20, 2012
    Posts: 50

    micshotrodgarage
    Member
    from colorado

    Patmanta, This is my favorite HAMB build right now! I still have those AA\TT express beds; Know anyone out your way comming to the hot rod hill climb in Colo. in August? Let me know. Keep the posts and pictures comming! Thanks...Mike
     
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  19. If you have express beds, you've got gold IMHO. I'd love to put an original AA express bed on my '29AA, but kind of doubt I'll ever get to that stage. Nonetheless, I'm cheering on all who are grinding away on the AAs everywhere.
     
  20. 64 DODGE 440
    Joined: Sep 2, 2006
    Posts: 4,027

    64 DODGE 440
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from so cal

    Following your build...love trucks.
     
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  21. patmanta
    Joined: May 10, 2011
    Posts: 3,450

    patmanta
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Woburn, MA
    1. MASSACHUSETTS HAMB

    WOW, THANKS GUYS! Y'all'r makin me blush, LOL!

    Hey, @micshotrodgarage and @osage orange , you two should link up and talk about those Express Beds. I have shortened/kicked my frame and I don't want to hack up one of those beds to do what I want to do on this truck. I'll end up either making something or someday finding a decent A bed that I can get a hold of and adapting that to fit.

    I'm hoping to get some work in on this rig again soon but warm weather events, spring cleaning, and my buddy's Tudor pile have taken a bit of time away, BUT, I did finally get the brakes and open drive conversion off of the rear brought home a few weeks ago. It may look like I could have just run it but the guy had pulled it because he heard an ominous noise and the radius rods are too short for my needs since my WB is about 112". I could rework them, but I could also just bolt up some of the 40 rear rods I've got a pile of too.

    [​IMG]

    Still need to get a replacement gasket & roll pin for the rear end, re-bush the spring shackles, rethread the panhard stud, re-make the panhard bar w/ a new mount, finish weld the rear crossmember in, figure out shocks, mount the new brakes, and get a dropped axle for the front end.

    Then I can move on to the engine, steering, firewall, and body.
     
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  22. Shutter Speed
    Joined: Feb 2, 2017
    Posts: 614

    Shutter Speed
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    @patmanta i know you're busy with the Thunder Casket, but that A-bone bed still has your name on it should you find a need.
    Art
     
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  23. patmanta
    Joined: May 10, 2011
    Posts: 3,450

    patmanta
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Woburn, MA
    1. MASSACHUSETTS HAMB

    Great, thanks @Shutter Speed

    I've been mostly hiding from the heat in my shop so I haven't done much on the truck outside since putting the OD conversion on the pinion back in June. I'm linking up with my buddy I'm putting the Tudor together for next week so we can hopefully turn it into a roller finally so we can get it out of my driveway before winter and get some cash back in my pocket for me to spend on more car parts ;)
     
  24. Shutter Speed
    Joined: Feb 2, 2017
    Posts: 614

    Shutter Speed
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Go Man, Go! Wish I had your gumption. Best a luck!
     
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