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Projects My new 1935 5W coupe

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by wagoon78, Nov 28, 2016.

  1. wagoon78
    Joined: Nov 13, 2008
    Posts: 361


    Found out about an older gentleman in PA selling some of his stuff and went over to look at parts he had in sheds and barns. Picked up a few nice things and when they opened the garage door to one large shed, I saw this. We were only there for parts, but couldn’t stop thinking about this car.




    After another visit and a little back and forth, we struck a deal and the car was mine. I couldn’t pick it up for a little while and went to visit it a few times. We pulled it out of the shed, washed it up and pushed it into his big garage until we could come back for it. Tried a few times to get it running with no luck. It was hot rodded a little while ago and has been sitting for most of the past 30 years or so. Trying to find some history on it. Have the full names of the past 2 owners.

    Pushed out of the shed, but still a little dirty.

    Getting ready for its first wash in a long time.


    Cleaned up

    Have to try out the rumble seat. It is so roomy in there

    Tucked away until we could come back for it.

    After a few long weeks, we went back, loaded up and heading home. My garage was full so we had to keep it at my buddies in PA for a little while.

    Temporary garage space in PA

    My buddy came down for Thanksgiving and brought the 35 down. Now I can get to work on it in the free time I don't have.

    Here is what I know:

    Kentucky insurance sticker in the rear window from 1985. 430 appears to be an area code in Kentucky

    Titled to a Robert L. Jr from Cheltenham, PA in August of 1987. Title from 87 has mileage at 51,000. Currently reads 52,800. 1800 miles in 29 years if the mileage listed was accurate.

    Purchased by Frank B. in 18-20 yrs ago. Don’t know the exact date and title was still in Robert’s name. Frank was downsizing his collection and I was able to buy this one. His other cars were much too nice for me and I am so happy I was able to get this one.

    The story of the 35 I got was he bought the car and they were driving it home. Where I bought it was about 30 mins from Cheltenham. The car died along the way and they put it in a large shed/garage on their property. They may have worked on it a bit here or there, but it wasn’t driven since that day. Frank B has a number of perfectly restored cars so my sense was he was planning to go back to stock with it. I’m glad he left it as it was.

    After trying multiple times to get it running without tearing into it too far, we got it out of there and pulled the grill and radiator to check the distributor. Turns out the distributor cap was toast. Put in a rebuilt distributor and it fired off. Probably why it quit on them and why it’s been sitting so long.

    Modifications to the car I have found so far:

    59ab flathead with stock intake and heads. Pulled the heads and the block is relieved, bored to 3-3/8”, 4” crank and Isky 1007B cam. Going to pull intake and check lifters next

    Rear spring bent at the ends to lower it down a bit. Front spring looks flattened out. Steering box mount and column drop slightly modified. Tube shocks front and rear. Stock 35 wires with port-a-walls.

    Homemade headers with dual exhaust and glasspacks. Exhaust hangs pretty low with homemade exhaust hangers.

    Trunk switched to rumble seat. No pads on tail light or fenders to get in. Aftermarket tail lights and yellow fog lights on the front.

    Black vinyl complete interior and rumble seat. Good condition.

    Original tank was removed and a smaller tank from something else installed. Almost impossible to fill so I am going back to a stock tank.

    Crazy wiring without fuses and all the same color wire. I am ripping out and starting from scratch. Ordered wiring kit from Sacramento Ford and going to switch to 12V and keep the gauges 6V.

    All the work on the motor and it still has mechanical brakes. Going to see how well it stops and switch to hydraulic brakes eventually.
  2. What a great find!
  3. dutchrod
    Joined: Feb 5, 2009
    Posts: 406


    Great find ! I would get it running and leave it like it is
  4. skiviskaves
    Joined: Aug 3, 2009
    Posts: 256


    willumbilt likes this.

  5. 3340
    Joined: Jun 4, 2010
    Posts: 578


    Congratulations what a great find!!! Love to hear these stories! Enjoy

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  6. That is awesome
  7. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,865


    Great find. Congrats. I would do exactly as you are with the car.
  8. wagoon78
    Joined: Nov 13, 2008
    Posts: 361


    Not changed anything on the look of the car right now. Eventually want to drop the front axle a little bit, put on hydraulic brakes and maybe steel wheels. Want to get it wired up and running/driving first to enjoy it a bit.

    Pulled the heads and unfortunately found this in cylinder 2. My guess is a spark plug electrode broke free and bounced around in there a bit. Top of piston is beat up, but cylinder walls look good. Trying to see if I can replace piston in car. Have to get a more exact measurement, but looks to be bored to 3-3/8". Had stock size copper head gaskets and the edges of the gaskets at the cylinders were in bad shape. I don't think copper pieces would do this to a piston.


    Cylinder wall looks pretty clean for how bad the piston looks.

    Cylinder 4 has a deeper groove. Hope i don't have to pull the motor. Have a rebuilt shortblock but was planning to put that in a different car.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2016
  9. dwollam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2012
    Posts: 1,729


    I think I might be inclined to clean up the top of that piston, mostly smooth it up and put it back together and run it for awhile until ready to re-do it. Did it run ok? Nice car!

  10. Petejoe
    Joined: Nov 27, 2002
    Posts: 11,235

    from Zoar, Ohio

    Quite a find. I agree with Dwollam. Just smooth up that top and go.
    Number 4 will probably smoke. You could try a new set of sized rings on it and see if you can get a few more miles out of it.
    If you can drop the pan enough to unhook the piston you'll be golden.
    How cool is that.
  11. wagoon78
    Joined: Nov 13, 2008
    Posts: 361


    Thanks for the kind words all.

    The engine ran well, but we didn't run it long since we had the front end off and no water in it. That side was smoking a bit, but not terrible. Might clean up that piston, try out some of that engine restore additive, cross my fingers and hope for the best. Climbed around underneath and can drop the pan if I take steering tie rods off.

    Don't really want to spend the money right now for a rebuild and the block is probably bored too far for another round. Keeping my eyes peeled for an inexpensive motor in the mean time.
  12. steinauge
    Joined: Feb 28, 2014
    Posts: 1,507

    from 1960

    If you pull the engine you might have the block sonic checked to see how much wall is left.If it is safe you can always sleeve the damaged cylinder.Or as suggested you can just run it and see what happens,likely nothing but a little smoke.
    chris13mel likes this.
  13. brady1929
    Joined: Sep 30, 2006
    Posts: 8,814


  14. Fogger
    Joined: Aug 18, 2007
    Posts: 1,638


    That's a great find, congratulations. My first car was a '35 5W but yours appears to be in better shape that the one I bought in '57. I dropped the front with longer shackles but a drop axle would be great with hydraulic brakes. Have fun and enjoy the old Ford.
  15. Very nice coupe!!
  16. neatoldclassics
    Joined: Mar 1, 2008
    Posts: 187

    from Montana

    Jealous... lucky guy!
  17. hotrodyankee
    Joined: Jun 27, 2016
    Posts: 304


  18. wagoon78
    Joined: Nov 13, 2008
    Posts: 361


    Dropped the tiny gas tank that was in it. Don't know what it was out of, but it was hung with straps and the filler neck was impossible to get to with the rumble seat in the way. I think the car originally had a trunk and was converted to rumble after this tank was installed. Would need a 3 ft funnel to fill it. Have a new tank from Bob Drake ready to go in.

    Pulled the intake and it has adjustable lifters. Didn’t check them all yet, but noticed one intake valve was way off. Going to adjust all the lifters, button the engine back up and run it as is. Hope it doesn’t smoke too bad and doesn’t blow up right away.


    The vintage wiring kit from Sacramento Vintage Ford is on its way and will get here in the next few days. The kit looks so nice, I am actually looking forward to wiring the car. All cloth wiring, looms and correct connectors. Rod&Category=Wire Loom- Vintage


    Mocked up the intake and heads. Looks good. After the photo, I took it back apart.

    Last edited: Dec 12, 2016
  19. manyolcars
    Joined: Mar 30, 2001
    Posts: 8,671


    When you go with hydraulic brakes, stay away from crappy Lockheed and use self adjusting, self energzing Bendix. Wilson Welding backing plates are a good start. I bought only the backing plates then got the self adjusting parts
  20. Johnboy34
    Joined: Jul 12, 2011
    Posts: 1,459

    from Seattle,Wa

    Did you roll it over to make sure that intake lobe is not flat? No offence, just thinking out loud....
  21. 3blapcam
    Joined: Jul 15, 2004
    Posts: 531

    from Austin, TX

    And make sure that valve isn't seized in place...

    Very sweet car! I love '35 5W's... especially like this one (not street roddy).

    Johnboy34 likes this.
  22. ... Looks like a good one ! ... Are you going to have to separate the body from the frame to install the new tank? ...
  23. wagoon78
    Joined: Nov 13, 2008
    Posts: 361


    I was trying to think about what to do with the engine and cruising the internet, I found an engine for sale locally. Clean stock recent rebuild bored 30 over. Some weiand goodies on top. Struck a deal and brought it home.




    Pulling the weiand heads and putting on the motor to go in my roadster. Weiand intake going on the shelf for now. Going to stick with the cheaper heads and the sharp intake for the 35.

    Full garage makes me happy(and broke). Need more space. My sedan is at my friend's house. He's going to turn it into a pickup for a little while. Just swapping bodies, no real mods. Going to keep the engine from the 35 for a future rebuild. It will need a sleeve or two (or eight).

  24. lakepipes
    Joined: Jan 1, 2007
    Posts: 25


    Great car, any updates please?
  25. wagoon78
    Joined: Nov 13, 2008
    Posts: 361


    Thanks for the reminder about this thread.

    Got the old engine out and new one installed in one day. Wasn't plumbed or wired to start, but it was in. I was real excited to finish things up and get it on the road. That was end of December and life got busy so not much progress was made.

    I've made some progress recently, but its been slow with some minor setbacks. I had some parts compatibility issues and limited time so things have taken longer than I expected. First off, distributor wouldn't sit flush so I had to buy a spacer. Wired up the engine to start and it would run on starter fluid or gas down the carbs, but fuel pump wasn't working. Replaced pump with another and still nothing. I think it might be the intake and fuel pump rod length. Decided today to abandon the mechanical pump and install electric fuel pump. Ordered the parts and should have them this weekend.

    This is how she looks right now. Hoping to finish up for the Jalopy Showdown a month or so away.

    12 New Engine.JPG
    Squablow likes this.
  26. cant wait to see it come together for you
  27. Ford Freak
    Joined: Jan 5, 2005
    Posts: 826

    Ford Freak

    Very nice car !
  28. weemark
    Joined: Sep 1, 2002
    Posts: 819

    from scotland

    looks like a nice car and a good start. the original wiring in them had a single fuse in them and that was it. they are so basic they don't need anything fancy in them.
  29. wagoon78
    Joined: Nov 13, 2008
    Posts: 361


    Took her for the first drive over the weekend. A few things to work out, but real happy with this one. 35s drive much smoother than than model A's. Realling digging this car.

    I completely rewired the car in the spring and was thrashing to get it ready for TROG weekend. Late nights and bunch of crap not going my way and I decided to leave the car alone before I started beating on it with a hammer.

    Well, life got busy and I never touched the car again until this weekend. After an hour or so of tinkering, we drove it around the neighborhood. Still plenty to do, but after that first drive I have motivation again.

    Only changes since last photos. Used spacers to run 40 wheels with mechanical brakes. Removed spare tire mount and flipped the license plate holder.

    After I finish the mechanical and wiring, next on the list is to find shortened rear bumper braces or heat and bend the stock braces to bring in rear bumper. Might relocate the license plate to hide the holes from the spare tire bracket.

    Only future mods will be lowering front end a bit, hydraulic brakes and continue driving it.

    First photo was first drive with hood still off from tinkering. IMG_4348.JPG
    Jet96, 40LUV, 50DropTop and 2 others like this.
  30. spurgeonforge
    Joined: Oct 18, 2013
    Posts: 417


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