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Projects Not worth saving... 1929 Model A Roadster AV8 Hotrod (build thread!?)

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by crazycasey, Mar 6, 2017.

  1. I really appreciate that you're still doing text and picture updates on here. I never have the time for Youtube (just a long list of 'Watch Later' videos) but I love the thread updates because I can read a bit at a time in-between work stuff.
    Either way, great work on this thing. Cool watching it come together.
    34 5W Paul, brEad, woodiemike and 2 others like this.
  2. Right on @Speedy Canuck! I appreciate the feedback. I’ll keep the traditional updates rolling too.
  3. New update, folks. This is really just me rambling in front of the camera for 15 minutes. And some pictures of the Flathead. All covered in depth here in the build thread already, but it’s a new video, so...check it out if you want to.

    curt e, USMercUte, Willows and 6 others like this.
  4. Mart
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 4,493


    Hello Casey. You're doing a great job on this build. loving the videos too. Youtube needs more carefully considered Hot Rod content.
    crazycasey and 35cab like this.
  5. 210superair
    Joined: Jun 23, 2020
    Posts: 943

    from Michigan

    Is that apple juice you're drinking? I love apple juice. I drank a few Jameson black glasses of apple juice last night, lol.

    Man, if the car is not worth saving, you should name it hopeless when it's done....

    Lookin good.
    barrnone50 and crazycasey like this.
  6. Thanks Mart! That’s high praise. I’m kind of shocked that the build is being so well-received, to be honest. But that has me feeling extremely motivated. Thank you for the subscription, as well. Cheers!

    Hahah! Hopeless; I like that. Might have to consider it. And yes, this is some of that rare Rye apple juice from Vermont. They know how to do it up there where the weather’s cold. ;)

    And thank you for the compliment.
  7. Hey HAMB’ers!

    I’ll be back with a text/pictures update tomorrow morning, but here’s the latest video.

    How to do the “Vern Tardel Book” Rear AV8 Spring Drop:

    simplestone, brEad, A Boner and 3 others like this.
  8. Aaron D.
    Joined: Oct 27, 2015
    Posts: 1,012

    Aaron D.

    Cool man, great progress.
    crazycasey likes this.
  9. Alright guys. So, for those of you with “the boss” constantly peering over your shoulder, here is the traditional project update.

    Ahem! Anyway…

    I’m not sure if I’ve posted this info in the forum, or not, but the chassis I’m using on this roadster was under another car, originally. It was VERY tall, and it rode like an unloaded truck.


    So, at that height it had (in the rear) a frame-width rear step, and some aftermarket looking spring with reversed eyes. The front was another story; I swapped in a dropped axle long before I started taking pictures of the project. But I knew I needed to change up something with that rear spring.


    My original plan was to use this T-profiled spring (the one on top; it’s actually an A-spring that somebody re-profiled), but the main leaf is too long for my current perches, and I don’t really have room to move them out any further. All but the main leaf of my current spring is pictured below, for comparison. I *may* still experiment with the T-profile spring, later, depending upon how things shape up with the car fully loaded, but for now, I wanted to try the “Tardel Book” method of lowering my existing spring.


    And so here that is done. Watch the video for more info if you don’t grasp the concept, but here is one important point. The lowest of all Model A springs is the roadster at 7 leaves with a “dummy” spacer underneath. Tardel’s method takes that “dummy spring” concept to the next level, adding the top three springs (cut down to the “dummy” length) underneath the effective leaves. So you end up with 4 main leaves and 4 dummy leaves. This lowers the car two ways; first by physically moving the main leaf (which is directly attached to the axle) further up into the crossmember, and second, by reducing the effective rate of the spring.

    My aftermarket spring only had 6 leaves total (no dummies), and there was evidence of it moving around in the crossmember. Additionally, it wasn’t really “clamped” in place, because you need at least two inches of “pack” for the u-bolt perches to engage the spring properly. I cut some leaves from another spring to get the pack to the proper thickness, but right now I only have three effective leaves (1 less than Tardel specs in his book). It seems like it’s going to be just right.

    And these are the results:



    All in all, it was about a 2-1/2” drop, but before the chassis didn’t budge even with full vehicle weight and a 150 lb person in the rumble seat, and this moves about two inches with all of my weight (I’m not small) jumping up and down on the rear crossmember…so I think that “fully loaded” it could be a 5” drop. I still have two leaves that I can put back in, if it’s too low, but that’s the problem I was “hoping” to have.

    Anyway, after finally sorting out the rear spring, I put the newly assembled body on the lowered chassis for the first time:








    And, now, I’ve gotta REALLY get to work.

    Try to check out the videos if you haven’t. You can always fast forward through until you see something interesting. I’m presenting them as more of a “beginners information” type of scenario, but I’m very open to feedback.

    Thanks, and I’ll be back with another update soon!

    ClarkH, Jeff34, Nailhead A-V8 and 9 others like this.
  10. Mart
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 4,493


    Hi Casey. I'm enjoying following the build and the videos.
    Guys, hit Casey up with a sub. It helps a lot on the Toob.
    showrod and 35cab like this.
  11. 35cab
    Joined: Jan 5, 2011
    Posts: 266


    Great video and very "saveable" photos to go into my someday A build folder.
    I have another question, what is the bracket sitting in front of the kick up for, from what I understand the sub rails sit outward of the chassis? I assume a left over from previous build?
    Thanks again and keep up the good work, both yours and Mart's videos make everyday a school day!
  12. Thanks Mart! And yes, it does seem like the views and subscriptions are happening exponentially. There must be an algorithm that shows the videos to even more people, based on how many likes and subscriptions they generate, or something…

    Thank you 35Cab! And keen eye, sir. Yes, those were some kind of body mount for the body that was on the chassis when I got it, and I had intended to cut them off before setting the roadster body on, but forgot, so now I have to get under there and do it. They’re actually holding the back end up an extra 1/2” or so. That said, when you do the rear step, you lose your rearmost body mount, and should come up with some kind of additional support near the crossmember.

    Thanks again for watching the videos!!

    brEad likes this.
  13. Alright guys. Here’s the latest video update:

    I finally finish securing the quarter panels to the subrails. Hopefully some useful information in here for somebody doing the same, with no visual reference.

    I’ll be back with a text and picture update soon!


  14. lamaison
    Joined: Oct 21, 2006
    Posts: 99

    from Canada

    Nice work, keep it up.
    crazycasey likes this.
  15. Hey guys. Sorry for the lack of a text update. I will try to get on that for you. I’ve had many irons in the fire lately (trying to build a road racing engine for my Mustang has me mentally consumed). But here is a new video update.

    I got the wishbones split and tacked in place:

    In the words of my favorite California Governor, “I’ll be back”.
  16. Sorry guys for the lack of a text update. Life has been so busy. I’ll try to do a mega update soon to bring the thread up to speed, but in the meantime, here is the latest video:

    Nailhead A-V8 and USMercUte like this.
  17. Hey folks. So for the people who can’t or don’t watch the videos, here is the long overdue text and photo update on the roadster project. I have about 30 pictures, so I’ll break this up into a few posts over the next few days.

    You all will have to forgive me for the lack of progress lately. With an infant and a full time job, there’s not a ton of time for projects, and the roadster is just one of three currently on my plate. Well, that, and every single neighbor still asks me to fix their cars as well. I am getting better at saying no, but they still suck me in quite often. Anyway, here we go!

    Mounting the Rear Quarters to the Subrails


    So, I screwed up when assembling the subrails. The rear-most cross channel has two rivets that go through it and the outer rail, which I installed. Well…they’re supposed to go through the quarter panel as well, sandwiching all three pieces of metal together. So I had to drill those rivets out.


    And at that point it was impossible to get my riveting buck up inside the subrail, so I cheated. A pair of alloy steel button-heads with hardened washers and mechanical interference nuts buttoned everything back up. A dab of bondo in the hex opening should fool most folks…and these DO sit behind the tire, anyway.


    The next order of business was to rivet the front quarter panel braces to the subrail. I believe that I showed you guys earlier my process of riveting and spot-welding the braces to the quarter itself. I had just used clekos going into the actual rail, in case something had to come back apart. Now they’re permanent.


    My Harbor Freight Air Hammer and Ford pattern waffle tool.


    The bottom edge of the quarter panels wrap around the outer edge of the subrail. The easiest way I found to accomplish this task was to use a block of wood and my HUGE channel-lock pliers, and I just sort of worked very slow and gradual back and forth, a little at a time, until all the fingers were bent up uniformly. I’m sorry I didn’t take a picture of the inside of the panel…

    Mounting the Door Sills


    What I thought would take 10 minutes literally took a day. But I’m getting used to that with this project. The “generally accepted” level of aftermarket fit, is the usual culprit (this is a Brookville sill on a Brookville quarter).


    BFH to the door sill brace; the brace was pushing the sill plate out about a 1/4”. That was about half of the issue solved with three sharp whacks!


    Then massaging the sills by hand into a general shape that more closely resembled the body line.


    Followed by my trusty wood block and channel-lock trick. I did come in with a body hammer after this for some final finessing


    And le voilà!

    I’ll be back tomorrow with a bit more.
    kidcampbell71, ClarkH, brEad and 6 others like this.
  18. Great work! I'm very impressed. It's a whole different ball game when you've done the work yourself; something to be really proud of.

    I'm a little surprised it's taking so long though. I saw one like this on TV that took 10 episodes. At 30 minutes a piece, that's only 5 hours. Maybe they did a little work between episodes?
    crazycasey likes this.

  19. When I worked at a two man Hotrod Shop in ~2008, and we were negotiating with our first big “full-build” customer, we got all the way to end and then he said “and I have to have it in 30 days”.

    We eventually agreed to get it done in 92 days and deliver it to him at SEMA (even though none of us were invited). We worked 10 hour days 5 days a week for the first month, went to 12/6 the second month, and by month 3 we were up to about 16 hours a days 7 days a week. We finished it…barely. We got it there after driving through the night after about a 30 hour final thrash at the shop.

    TV shows, man.
  20. Jeff34
    Joined: Jun 2, 2015
    Posts: 519


    Your build is looking awesome, Casey! You've got some ambition! Good on ya'
    I'm just around the corner from you. Look forward to meeting you and seeing the car!
    kidcampbell71 and crazycasey like this.
  21. RodStRace
    Joined: Dec 7, 2007
    Posts: 2,699


    Strange thoughts on "TV time".

    Remember all those old TV shows and movies with clocks moving forward fast and calendar pages falling?
    That all added up and now they use that extra time to make current shows fit into a couple episodes!
    Algoma56 and crazycasey like this.
  22. Thanks Jeff. I look forward to meeting you too. You ever go to any of the local Cars & Coffee things?

    Haha. That could be true. I mean, if I understand “time” correctly, it had to go somewhere. :D:D:D
    RodStRace likes this.
  23. Split Bones

    I have never done this before, and I have no idea if my methods are correct. So even though this looks and feels like a “how-to”, it’s really just a “how-I-did”…

    So I got this ‘40 Ford complete front suspension for another project long ago. A buddy of mine ended up with the axle, spindles, and drums, but didn’t want the bones. So I lopped the shock mounts off, cut them at the knuckle, and stuck them up in my attic. When I (years later) scored this chassis, with poorly split and too short bones, I knew I would eventually dig that ‘40 pair out of the attic and use them. So this update is a brief synopsis of that process.


    These are the “split” bones along with the Speedway bone splitting kit that I used to add weld bungs and tie rods to the ends of them, as well as the frame brackets.


    Pro tip: make sure you cut your bones squarely, and the “exact” same length. Chamfer the edge.


    I also drilled a hole through the bones for a rosette weld. And then I devised this little setup to make sure that the bungs were held into the wishbone opening squarely, and wouldn’t move whilst I was tacking them in place.


    All killer no filler! Just kidding. But for those tacks (two on each side) I just melted a little bit of the bung into the wishbone. I wanted them to come back apart easy if my measurements were wrong. I mean, hey, I’ve never done this before. :eek:


    One other thing I did was make sure to tread the tie rod ends into the bones equally, the same number of turns per side. I lucked out that I ended up with a right and a left that way…in hindsight, I should have threaded the ends in before I tacked the bungs in place.


    Just sorta getting things roughly in place…


    Notice my magnetic angle finder on the axle. You actually check the kingpin inclination angle at the kingpin, but this angle was good for a reference.


    And, tacking the brackets in place. I put some weight on the front end to simulate ride height before doing so, and took SEVERAL measurements to square everything up. The closest way I could find was to measure from the rear axle’s spring perch to the front king pin. Let’s hope whoever put the rear axle in got it square to the bare chassis. Regardless, nothing will get final welded until all the weight is on the chassis, and then the caster will get set final final, and then everything will come back apart for a check of squareness.

    And that’s all I know. See you all tomorrow or Sunday for another update. :)
  24. Looks good! Thanks for sharing the pics setting up the front wishbones.
    crazycasey likes this.
  25. You bet brEad!
  26. Mounting the Body


    So, for a while I had been kinda procrastinating mounting the body to the frame. I had forgotten to cut off these weird mounts that the guy who built the frame had added, and I wasn’t sure how to address the body mounts with the boxing plates. Anyway, I decided to quit procrastinating and I just jumped right in.


    I know it’s not very “traditional”, but I have always liked the look of a drilled frame. And I don’t want to go crazy and drill through both sides and weld in sleeves, or anything like that, but I kinda figured that I could solve my body mounting issue and accomplish a cool “look” by drilling holes in the boxing plates in line with the body bolts, and then spacing more holes evenly between them.


    Lucky for me, a 2” hole saw felt a little small in the location of the second cross rail, and I had a 2-1/4” hole saw on hand and decided to drill that first hole that size. Also lucky for me that a 1-3/4” holes saw fit the rail pretty good at the rear rail, because I really didn’t have a plan, but after those two holes were drilled, I decided to go buy a 2-1/8” and a 1-7/8”, and bam! Evenly spaced and decreasing size holes from 2-1/4” to 1-3/4” in 1/8” steps.


    Nobody will believe I didn’t plan it…


    For those of you following along at home, this is the correct orientation of the body blocks.


    And this is what comes in the bolt kit. It’s a good thing I’m not running that rear mount, because they didn’t give me enough bolts.


    Test-fitting the cowl mounting bracket. I’m unsure if this was a Sedan frame, originally, or if the PO had just relocated the brackets. Either way, I had previously cut them off and ordered these from Brookville.


    Just a few tacks for now…


    And there she is!

    Next steps will be to work on the floors…at least in the rear portion of the body. I basically want to button up everything that is keeping the rumble lid from going back on.

    BUT you will have to wait!

    Thanks for following along The HAMB. I appreciate you guys!
  27. Looks great!
    crazycasey likes this.
  28. Thanks brEad!
  29. MojoRacing
    Joined: Mar 24, 2013
    Posts: 42


    Casey, I really enjoy watching your progress on this build! I'm in the process of building a 29 roadster pickup and found quite a few of the small unanswered details I've been questioning while assembling my body from pieces. Great build! Very informative even to us that have many builds under our belts! Always great to see it from other people prospective!
    crazycasey likes this.
  30. That’s awesome to hear, Mojo! Thanks for the support, and good luck with your project. Let me know if there are any questions I can help answer, too.
    303racer likes this.

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