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Hot Rods New and Confused

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Ballistic, Apr 25, 2020.

  1. mickeyc
    Joined: Jul 8, 2008
    Posts: 1,077


    You are close to Pete and Jakes in Peculiar Mo. They
    are an excellent group and amicable to old car guys
    regardless of intent. Next time your on the west end of
    your state stop by and have a chat with the Slovers.
    You wont be disappointed.
  2. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 6,187

    anthony myrick

    Can it run reliably on modern highways? Yes. But remember, this is not a Camry. It’s going to need regular maintenance. It’s a flathead. They had short overhaul intervals especially conspired to today’s 200k plus engines.
    Can you keep up with traffic? Define keeping up. Some guys here hate to get passed and complain about being cut off in traffic. When I drive an old ride, I’m not in a hurry. If someone passes me or merges into my lane, I’m good. It will go faster than the 45mph minimum for highway driving. Rear gears can be changed to help keep rpms in a happier place.
    Will it stop good? Yes. Will it stop like a new vette? No. The hydraulic set up can be made to have very respectable stopping ability.
    Where to start. Start by cleaning it up and inventorying the modifications by your grandfather. Make sure you know what has been changed and by what. Then have someone make sure those mods are road worthy. If road worthy start making it drivable. Brakes, fuel system, wiring, engine/trans ......
    These are simple cars and lots of info is here and on the web. Don’t be afraid to locate a book or 2. Maybe even a correct year service manual.
    Be patient and learn or write the check to a reputable shop.
    Driver50x, F-ONE, 6-bangertim and 3 others like this.
  3. Welcome.....and you can weed out suggestions by your choice. Getting on the road like some have said would e a goal. Juice brakes would be an improvement and not that costly - figure a price like a newer model brake job - about the same or close.
    Thor1 likes this.
  4. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 4,898



    Nice story you wrote for Jalopnik. It hit the nail on the head. Good for your grandfather, too. Your story seems like a story you would like to relive, every time you get into that cool sedan. But, driving that 36, while it might get to the local store for necessary supplies, these days, it does not seem like an old car I would take on that 250+ miles of Highway 70. If that portion of highway 70 is anything like going West from Kansas City, on Highway 70, that 36 sedan will get beat to death. It would be a nice drive, depending on the time of the year, but the traffic for us, at least, was murder in the sun, wind, rain and "truckers."

    As it sits, even if you get the 100 hp Flathead running, that sedan is something I would drive around the local streets, on short trips, but not that long haul. The body looks really good, so I assume the rest of the body needs a little work. Reliability should be the goal of most every hot rod or someone who drives any old car. We all want it to start when the key turns.

    Here are my goals:
    1. I want it to run well enough not to be terrifying (I'd like to be able to drive the Missouri I-70 Corridor between
    Kansas City, Columbia, and Saint Louis without needing a tow truck on speed dial).
    2. I want it to be fast enough on the highway not to be terrifying.
    3. I want it to stop well enough not to be terrifying.
    4. I want it to run.

    As a teenager, I owned a 80 hp Flathead motor in a 1940 Ford Sedan Delivery. We had it running as well as it could and we went all over So Cal, as far north as Santa Barbara and as far south as San Diego. It ran, we had fun and exploration road/surf trips were an adventure to say the least. But, we were teenagers… one thing it definitely needed was more power and better brakes. But, it was a form of surf transportation for the local surf scene and those weekly or twice monthly longer trips north or south.
    We sold it and many years later as “20 somethings”, my wife and I bought another Ford Sedan Delivery. Even with a 327/auto/A/C, it still needed work to make it more reliable and handle safely to compete against the daily drivers on the freeway and Coast Highway in So Cal. Again, it was one hot rod that needed work for reliability and safety, maybe not as much as your 36 sedan, but it was enough for my wife to like it, but would not drive it until it was road safe. Once made safe and road worthy, I could not get her out of the driver’s seat.


    Now, here we are in the era of good hot rod shops and people that know what to do to your sedan. If we learned anything, it was get it safe first. But, with the abundance of new ideas for handling and braking, perhaps a new complete chassis set up for your new motor (Ford or LS and transmission) would be the way to go on this build. No one can deny the handling/supreme safety of disc brakes and a good handling suspension. You seem to have great goals in mind and with that, starting with a safe, good handling, reliable hot rod would just add to your lifestyle.

    But, for the traditionalists here on the HAMB, it is your car, your daily drive or weekly drive and you have to enjoy it, not them. I am sure the HAMB Kansas City guys or St. Louis guys would know of places that can get your 36 sedan set up with a new completely ready chassis and all of the necessary things for a great running, reliable hot rod for your needs.

    If we were in the market for re-doing your 36 Ford sedan, that would be our choice for a smooth comfortable ride and safe driving of an old hot rod. Now, once the hot rod sedan is set up, then get to the specifics of modifying the look, insides or see what else pops up for your needs. No one needs to know that you have a modern chassis that is safer and handles better than the other hot rods you may see anywhere you drive.

    As grandparents, we certainly would be happy and proud if our granddaughter did the modern upgrade on an old hot rod. That is just a different outlook on how you see what is called building a hot rod. We all have different ways to see and do things. A traditional look, with modern safety and handling built in, would fit your 1-4 list of needs. It is your hot rod, your family’s safety and your comfort when enjoying the open roads, even on that nasty, East West, Highway 70. (once we can all get back on the road as per society rules…)

    Last edited: Apr 30, 2020
  5. Bill Rinaldi
    Joined: Mar 23, 2006
    Posts: 1,811

    Bill Rinaldi

    Ballistic, I have a few suggestions--1. List an area after your name, no way of knowing if your from Alabama or Alaska, without researching your name.--2. You've some good advice here. Take your time and start off with what you have, get it it running and stopping as well as you can. Drive it enough to make some decisions on what you Need and what you Want.--3. I don't know how you and your brother are going to cordinate what you do, how either of you will pay for what you do, much less how you'll share the family 36. Keep us posted on the car and your future adventures of the Saga of the 36. Bill Rinaldi
    Peter Nowak and Thor1 like this.
  6. As for old cars being able to run with traffic--back in the early '90s I was living in Baltimore and drove up to Hershey for the big swap meet. I was in a Ford Ranger pickup running about 70 when this mid-'30s Packard passed me like I was stopped. One upgrade I think we all need for safety--our old cars are at greater risk of getting rear-ended because drivers are used to the much larger taillights/brake lights on today's cars. Everything '86 model and newer has the third brake light mounted high, which has helped cut down on rear-end collisions. '36 Ford taillights (I hope you have two--the passenger side taillight was an option on Standard models, only Deluxes had two taillights from the factory) are MINISCULE compared to the taillights on today's cars. Add a passenger side taillight if it doesn't have one, and mount a third brake light in the back window. I found an old light with the word "STOP" molded into the glass lens and mounted it in the back window of my truck.
  7. Thor1
    Joined: Jun 6, 2005
    Posts: 1,489



    This is good advice from Bill - the first thing you should do is finish filling out your profile and put down your location. We will know where you are and who might be in your area that can offer help and information. The HAMB is like a big family and I expect there may be some folks very close to you that would be willing to give you guidance.

    The rest of Bill's advice was also solid! Welcome to the HAMB.

    Peter Nowak and Desoto291Hemi like this.
  8. A few years ago I bought a completely original 41 Pontiac with a 239 cu in flathead 6 and a 3 speed. I wanted it to be able to cruise at hiway speeds and do a little touring. I swapped out the rear axle gears to some higher [lower numerically] and put a pair of tall 16 inch radial tires on the back. Changed it over to 12 volts like your car and gave it a good , thorough service. Like your car it had been sitting for a few years when I trailered it home. Man! I had some very serious fun with that old car!!! On the first trip I left Omaha, drove it to the Bonneville salt flats for speedweek and then to Joplin for the HAMB drags....then home to Omaha. Nothing broke but I did change the plugs and points in Wendover simply because I didn't have time to change them before I left on the trip. Had a blast! Didn't even take a spare tire but I did throw in a can of fix-a-flat.
    It cruised comfortably at 65 mph all day long. Only had to shift down to 2nd gear once, going up a steep grade on I-80.
    Your 36 Ford was simply a "car" back in the 30s-60s and we used them as such and they worked fine as long as we kept them in proper working order. Sometimes we even got 100,000 miles on one before selling.
    I'd go over the brake system first, making sure to install all 3 new brake hoses and replace any rusty steel brake lines. Adjust them up as a 1940 manual will say. Pre lube up the engine with marvel mystery oil in all the spark plug holes overnight and leaving the plugs out, turn the engine with the hand crank or using the fan belt, making sure it goes all the way around several times.
    Fire it up and get to know your it around a few weeks and if you think you like it, buy out your brother. If not, sell your 1/2. 41newthirdmember.jpg 41onvacation.jpg hambdragscoloradoscenery2.jpg HAMBdragssign.jpg
  9. Old cars are like having a puppy, they attract people. Now, puppies attract pretty girls and old cars attract guys with dirty finger nails. My reason for saying this that you'll meet kindred spirits. People who will help you fix the ol' Ford or help you find parts for it. IMO, the most fun is traveling in a group. It is safer because you'll have help if you break, you can help if someone in the group breaks, and, most importantly, by traveling in a group you are more visible, even if you're going slower than the flow of the fast traffic. Many people on here talk as if they're total hermits, and maybe they are, but the old car hobby is a very social activity. I said all that to tell you this: it's fun to drive these things with other car guys. It's not a loud hot rod, so you can even take a puppy along, to meet the younger chicks. At your age, that is probably almost ALL chicks. *grin*
  10. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 6,884

    Bandit Billy

    I should have bought a puppy
    joel, Moriarity, Tri-power37 and 2 others like this.
  11. Tri-power37
    Joined: Feb 10, 2019
    Posts: 510


    All great advice given so far I am a big fan of getting it running the way it is and getting a feel for what it is. But before that decide who is and who isn’t going to own this car - you should buy your brother out or sell your share.
    A successful Uncle once told me “ own ALL of it or don’t own it at all”.
    Desoto291Hemi, 6-bangertim and Thor1 like this.
  12. Bill Rinaldi
    Joined: Mar 23, 2006
    Posts: 1,811

    Bill Rinaldi

    When Molly, our middle size Australian/Poodle mix was a puppy---Her nick name was BAIT----And man, did she live up to her nick name---Still does. By the way, Ballistic has only replied once, I hope we haven't scared him off. Bill
    Thor1 likes this.
  13. BrerHair
    Joined: Jan 30, 2007
    Posts: 4,493


    Tim and Thor1 like this.
  14. Owning a car with a brother... I dunno. I owned a stock car with my brother. After some friction I bought him out and we didn't speak for 2 years.

    You both could sell it and still have some nice bucks to buy your own cars. It takes a great deal of experience, tools and money to keep an old car running and driving.
    Thor1 likes this.
  15. F-ONE
    Joined: Mar 27, 2008
    Posts: 2,273

    from Alabama

    A 1936 Ford, a 36, a pre-war Ford V8, Flathead powered with juice brakes and 40 Ford column shift is definitely not old junk!!!!

  16. harpo1313
    Joined: Jan 4, 2008
    Posts: 1,973

    from wareham,ma

    Make it reliable and roll with it. Some cars get taken apart and never get put back together. dont be that guy.
    Thor1 likes this.
  17. joel
    Joined: Oct 10, 2009
    Posts: 1,721


    I'll be checking back to see what you decided.
    Thor1 likes this.
  18. brigrat
    Joined: Nov 9, 2007
    Posts: 5,276

    from Wa.St.

    "By the way, Ballistic has only replied once, I hope we haven't scared him off. Bill"
    If he decided to stick with the old junk he may be over at the Ford Barn!
    Thor1 likes this.
  19. Ballistic
    Joined: Apr 25, 2020
    Posts: 3


    I'm not scared off yet! Don't worry about that. Life just gets in the way sometimes. Though I wish I'd gotten my Grandpa on this site while he was alive, he'd have had a riot of a good time.

    I have read every single response here and I'm overwhelmed with the support and stories - I've actually been thinking of writing a book of stories of some of these old cars before they're all gone. I think I have something written already about a Roush-swapped Pantera sitting around somewhere. It was owned by a tweed-wearing history professor I had in college. Wonderful car, wonderful guy.

    Anyway, ramblings aside, I've got a lot to think about at this point. And before anyone gets too excited, the '36 is going to have to sit on jack stands for a little while longer since it's in a garage at my parents house and they're under quarantine.

    To answer a few questions:

    1. I'm aware of the issues with dual-ownership. There's a whole story behind that but, suffice to say, we're working it out. I'm fortunate to have a great person and friend for a brother, and that relationship will come first.

    2. I split my time between Jefferson City, Missouri and Kansas City, Missouri. The car currently sits around old town Saint Charles, near Saint Louis, Missouri. My brother lives in Saint Charles as well. All these locations are along I-70. This is why that I-70 corridor is so important. And, as a few people have pointed out, that I-70 corridor is absolute hell. Maybe I'm looking at this all wrong and just need to figure out the side roads instead.

    3. Once life is back to some semblance of normalcy, I'd certainly love to grab a beer and talk cars with people.
    sodbuster, F-ONE, Thor1 and 1 other person like this.
  20. Part of owning an Old Car is the Drive, not necessarily how you get there.
    Peter Nowak, chopnchaneled and Thor1 like this.
  21. Thor1
    Joined: Jun 6, 2005
    Posts: 1,489


    Boom! - Mic drop and Pist-n-Broke walks off the stage as there really is nothing more to say than that:cool:
    Pist-n-Broke and chopnchaneled like this.
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 8,061


    I do this shit for a living, reviving the old stuff. Both stock and rod the systems will be the same if the goal is not too many mods. Good call on the brakes, get em right. Ford brake parts are like dandelions, everyone everywhere in the Ford parts game has stuff for you. Carb rebuild kits are best obtained from Daytona Carb in FL. Good stuff, ethanol stable. Cooling too, make sure the radiator flows well. It's not rocket science. Once it all works for you just drive it. YOU have to be used to what it can do so it means learning what "right" feels like. Mostly it means that big drop in RPM we're all so conditioned to now isn't gonna happen. With the bigger later flathead and what might be a 3.78 rear gear plan on no better than a mile a minute, and you want to work up to that. Just drive further and further from home until you know what to expect. It's a 36, it's 84 years old, treat like an older woman would like to be treated. Slow, patient, even talk nice to it sometimes. Ok maybe not, but you get it, right? Listen as you drive, feel it in your butt cheeks, shift it smooth and steady instead of 1-2 shift in a street race. Use your nose too. Sometimes removing the hood and driving it a lot becomes useful in many ways. You hear, you see, you smell things, and it's easier to pull over and tweak it as you go. There's more to it but you're in the right place. It's a Ford, it's kind of easy, it's almost like a way of life so welcome to it. Dunno if that's what you're looking for but...
  23. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 5,200

    from Oregon

    I am old and still confused. :)
    Thor1 likes this.
  24. nochop
    Joined: Nov 13, 2005
    Posts: 1,732

    from norcal

    Puppies poop, old cars leak, choose you clean up duty
    Thor1 likes this.
  25. F-ONE
    Joined: Mar 27, 2008
    Posts: 2,273

    from Alabama

    No joke....
    Open the door of the old Ford and have a seat. Play this on your phone. Grasp the wheel.
    Then you’ll know what to do.
    grumpy65, chopnchaneled and Thor1 like this.
  26. Chop the top!:eek: Then we will talk.:p

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