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Projects Order of events - building a model A Hot Rod

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by cederholm, Jun 28, 2018.

  1. cederholm
    Joined: May 6, 2006
    Posts: 1,320

    cederholm
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Looking for advice on building my first Hot Rod.
    I have;
    • a mostly stock, fully running 1930 Model A coupe
    • a fully machined 1952 8BA with all the parts for assembly
    • my trusty Vern Tardel book (the big binder one)
    I need to start collecting parts for the car, juice brakes, transmission, dropped axle and the all usual suspects. The plan is to build a good-running traditional hot rod with Vern's book as guidance. ...and advice from you guys as well.

    My questions. Do I collect all the parts and fully convert the car at once, or is it better to, say, add the dropped axle, juice brakes, steering upgrades first and do the motor, trans, rear end and electric later? Or some other plan?

    Thanks,
    Carl
    IMG_0182.JPG IMG_0184.JPG
    IMG_0204.JPG
     
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  2. town sedan
    Joined: Aug 18, 2011
    Posts: 732

    town sedan
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  3. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 12,052

    alchemy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Other than the master cylinder bracketry (new juice master mounts to the A bellhousing?), I don't see why you couldn't do the car in half and half like you said. Adjust the stance and brakes/steering stuff first, then the engine/trans the next winter. The first half could probably be done with the body on. The engine/trans might be easier to install (new center crossmember?) with the body off. What does Vern do for the center crossmember?
     
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  4. Bill Rinaldi
    Joined: Mar 23, 2006
    Posts: 1,297

    Bill Rinaldi
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    Man, This post HAS to be a teaser----No body starts with an A Coupe THAT nice and Flat motor THAT nice------DO THEY?????
     
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  5. Get all your parts together and do it all at once. Expect it to take longer and cost more than you anticipated. So have the time and funds there waiting on you.
     
  6. cederholm
    Joined: May 6, 2006
    Posts: 1,320

    cederholm
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Not a teaser Bill. I've been dreaming of this build for a very long time. I bought the motor over a decade ago (see below) and only recently had it inspected and machined. I totally got lucky with the car (I think) this turned out to be the same price as a complete non-runner that I was looking at. I think the fact that it was in the city turned other prospect buyers off. The tires and wheels are new.

    IMG_4910.jpg
     
  7. if you have the space to sperate the body from the frame and keep them both out of the elements then that is how i would attack it...do it all at once. there is some drilling, cutting, welding, and machining in Vern's book. all that stuff is easier when the body is off. IMHO.
    Chappy
    PS. beautiful starting point btw.
     
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  8. cederholm
    Joined: May 6, 2006
    Posts: 1,320

    cederholm
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Oh, btw, the original vision was a chopped top, fenderless car. But I fell in love with it the way it is. The roof will stay tall and the fenders stay! ....maybe no the spare tho. ;)
     
  9. cederholm
    Joined: May 6, 2006
    Posts: 1,320

    cederholm
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Thanks Chappy. And yes, my plan was to pull the body when I do the motor. It will also give me a good chance to clean/repair/modify the chassis as needed.

     
  10. The first thing to do is get the paperwork straight, which I assume you have already done. I am not talking from personal experience but from what I have read the pre '48 engines are shorter and make for an easier installation, you might check this out. If the A engine is running good I would drive it and tackle projects one at a time as long as they don't involve things that will have to be redone later. Trying to do too much at once can lead to a project that you lose interest in. Nice car to start with. You might consider a little speed equipment on the A engine, and keeping the original transmission and rear end. Remember not all hot rods are V8's. Disclaimer on photo, not my engine.

    Charlie Stephens

    IMG_3382.jpg
     
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  11. lake_harley
    Joined: Jun 4, 2017
    Posts: 169

    lake_harley
    Member

    cederholm.....you're in about the same place I am now with a '31 Coupe I bought last year. The HUGE difference is that you're starting with a MUCH NICER car than I bought!

    I'd suggest considering what Charlie said in the post above. Why not warm up the 4-Banger a bit, do the dropped axle, steering and brakes and call it done. If you decide later you just have to have a V-8 you could always go back and do that later.

    In my situation, I'm planning to stay with the 4-banger with mild mods, hydraulic brakes, lowering, and hopefully a RTS170 3-speed + overdrive to make the car more appropriate for todays roads and speeds.

    Whatever you do, good luck and congrats on a beautiful car!

    Lynn
     
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  12. winduptoy
    Joined: Feb 19, 2013
    Posts: 1,075

    winduptoy
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    Really like those wheels.
     
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  13. cederholm
    Joined: May 6, 2006
    Posts: 1,320

    cederholm
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Charlie and Lynn, I hear you about the banger and that's part of why I asked the question in the first place. I already have to much time/effort/money invested in the flatty not to use it, but I am digging flying around with the banger. The car runs great and I'll enjoy it as-is this summer while I build that motor. But keeping the flathead on a stand for an extra season wouldn't kill me if the stance in right.

    ~ Carl

     
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  14. Carl, since we are on the subject of wheels I hope you are running spacer rings so they seat properly, if not you may see your wheel going down the road ahead of you (See http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/40-ford-wheels-on-a-model-a.750368/#post-8330045).

    The major Model A suppliers sell a beefed up battery box that incorporates a mount for the master cylinder. You should ask on fordbarn which is the best one to buy, some of them are a little flimsey For steering I would call Randy Gross. Here is one of his ads from fordbarn: http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/40-ford-wheels-on-a-model-a.750368/#post-8330045 Be sure to ask him if it will work with a flathead.

    I would put 3.54 gears in the original rear end and forget the overdrive. Overdrives are nice but it is a trade off on how you are going to use it and how much it costs.

    Charlie Stephens
     
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  15. cederholm
    Joined: May 6, 2006
    Posts: 1,320

    cederholm
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Thanks Charlie! Very helpful.

    ~ Carl

     
  16. winduptoy
    Joined: Feb 19, 2013
    Posts: 1,075

    winduptoy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    OK since you seem open to banging around for awhile while you pick away at the other stuff.... I have to jump back in. IMG_20160604_174931455.jpg
    But you probably won't go this route as you have a V8 to put in it eventually....

    The Banger is going to be pretty tightly wound above 55 mph with the 3:78 rear end as Charlie stated.
    A 3:54 gear set helps but now you still have the Model A transmission so you need a little more to get you off the line. A 5.5 head is good for a babbitt engine without hurting the bearings. Hunt around for a B intake and carb or if you are lucky score a down draft manifold and a Holley 94.
    DSC03444.JPG
    All of this if you want to run up the hills faster
    If you are going to just Cruise, if it isn't knocking....run it the way it is. Use
    Unless we make a convert out of you and you sell your V8 to fund a banger build.
    http://www.autonetnewengland.com/36...ents/to-our-fellow-gearheads/253-model-a-tech
    An article and go to the Banger Meet thread and there is a link for Jim Brierlys' book on hopping up bangers

    Larry
    unlike Charlie they are both mine
     
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  17. sloppy jalopies
    Joined: Jun 29, 2015
    Posts: 2,051

    sloppy jalopies
    Member

    stock A frames stop at the rear crossmember, the weight of half the quarters, deck, rear fenders, spare and it's mount hanging off the back of the body will eventually split the beltlines where they sepatate and one curls up and around the back... DSCN3053.JPG
     
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  18. FityFive
    Joined: Aug 9, 2010
    Posts: 250

    FityFive
    Member

    Great looking car!
     
  19. Deescott
    Joined: Mar 1, 2017
    Posts: 78

    Deescott

    I’d say do what keeps the car on the road. Driving a hot rod every day is what it’s all about. Make plans around keeping it off the road for the least amount of time, you will have more fun!
     
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  20. Bill Rinaldi
    Joined: Mar 23, 2006
    Posts: 1,297

    Bill Rinaldi
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    WOW, Now that IS a nice piece to start with!!! I went to The Race Of Gentlemen in Wildwood N. J. a few weeks ago. One of the cars I FLAT fell in love with was clean, not perfect, but very nice 30/31 A coupe. It was not a racer but we saw it around town and at the preferred parking area. It had a dropped axel, a little lowered in the rear, a nice tire rake and looking through the louvers, a flat motor. The car had hydraulic brakes, and a few extra gauges. I was really done with the sand by then, so I didn't get down in the sand to get a good look at how he lowered the rear end. I can just envision your car in the same mode. Good luck on the build, I'm subscribed so I'll be watching. Bill
     
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  21. Model A Gomez
    Joined: Aug 26, 2006
    Posts: 923

    Model A Gomez
    Member

    I've used the Tardel book as a basis for two V8 A's but changed several things. Snyder's Antique Auto has brackets to mount the stock pedals to a V8 trans bolts on and there is a new clutch cross shaft that lets you use the stock pedals and linkage. They also make a bracket to mount the stock wishbone to the V8 trans, I've used them on two V8 A's and a hopped up banger with a V8 trans. Have to build motor mounts and rear crossmember, mounted the master cylinder on the crossmember. I've run the Model A rearend in both flathead cars, the axles are the same diameter as the V8 axles and use the same bearings. The biggest difference is the ring and pinion is smaller but the weak point on both rearends is the axle keys. 4" dropped axle with 40 brakes and 51 F1 steering on my avatar and almost the same set up on the 30 Sport Coupe I'm building now, biggest difference is split wishbones. The 8BA is tight on the firewall, I had to do a small set back to clear the fuel pump riser.
     

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    Last edited: Jun 28, 2018
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  22. You've got a nice '30 coupe, it runs now and you've got an 8BA awaiting. You have ascended to hot rod heaven!
     
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  23. Alaska Jim
    Joined: Dec 1, 2012
    Posts: 259

    Alaska Jim
    Member

    I agree with Charlie Stephens. I started with a running driving model A a little over 15 years ago. It was no where near as yours, and was very rusty, and most restorers would probably not bothered with it. I took it completely apart, and it is still a project. I finally started back on it about a year ago. life sometimes has a bad habit of things popping up unexpectedly, and thing get put on hold. 3 years ago, I realized there was a real possibility that this project was goig to take a very long time. I went out and bought a car that was supposed to be turn key, ( but was not ) so that I had a car that I had dreamed about when I was a kid. Now I have it, ( my avatar ) and my 29 roadster project. I say with a car that nice do as much as you can while still keeping it as a driver. when you get to the point that it has to come apart, I think you will find that you have less to do, and will be able to stay focused on it. Just my $.02. I hope you enjoy your car , It looks great !.-----Jim
     
  24. Fomoco998
    Joined: Feb 12, 2018
    Posts: 6

    Fomoco998

    What size tires and wheels ? Looks like a nice combination . Nice car to start.
     
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  25. 55styleliner
    Joined: May 11, 2015
    Posts: 331

    55styleliner
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

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  26. cederholm
    Joined: May 6, 2006
    Posts: 1,320

    cederholm
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Yes Deescott, 100% agree! You're avatar rules BTW.

    Jim, I'm with you and Charlie, it to years to make progress on my '53 Chevy more-door. Life got in my way. I didn't kid myself on this one - the first project car that I ever drove home. Won my wife over instantly who had visions of another POS taking up space.

    They are 500/525-16 and 750-16 Firestone bias ply mounter on 16x4.5 and 16x6 HR chrome wheels with mini moons - all from Coker (with my alliance discount!)
     
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  27. cederholm
    Joined: May 6, 2006
    Posts: 1,320

    cederholm
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Gomez, can't thank you enough for these tips - you've answered some of the questions that have been in my hear. Mind if I reach out to you with more questions as I go? For instance, did you break rank from Tardel in regard to juice breaks? My first planned upgrade.

     
  28. cederholm
    Joined: May 6, 2006
    Posts: 1,320

    cederholm
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I never had an interest in hot rod trucks until spending time on the HAMB and you sir have a truck I would die for!! I am excited to read your build post and will certainly reach out with questions. Thank you very much for the offer!

    ~ Carl

     
  29. cederholm
    Joined: May 6, 2006
    Posts: 1,320

    cederholm
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Thanks Bill, I think you and I share the same vision for this car.

    Best,
    Carl

     
  30. cederholm
    Joined: May 6, 2006
    Posts: 1,320

    cederholm
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Larry, you're killing me with those hot bangers! ...But, when all is said and done with the coupe I do have visions of a single-seat, banger-powered, boat-tail racer. I would get another A frame and reinstall all the A parts from the coupe then try my hand at building a body. A little out of my league but.... :eek::D:cool:

     
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