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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. winduptoy
    Joined: Feb 19, 2013
    Posts: 1,238

    winduptoy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    You ask about brakes and breaking from Trader tradition. My Cabriolet has mechanical brakes and my good buddy runs mechanical on his A coupe. Mechanical brakes can be made to stop as well as juice brakes with little pedal effort. Cast iron drums for starters. The steel drums expand as they get hot and then the brakes fade as a result. I've used Flathead Ted's floaters. You have to eliminate all the slop from wear in clevises, pins, linkages, shafts, bushings and such. The car can sit for years and no hydraulic issues. My current project, a '31 Vicky, is staying mechanical. Either scenario takes effort and attention to detail.
    My $.02
    Good luck,
    Larry




    Sent from my XT1254 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
    cederholm likes this.
  2. cederholm
    Joined: May 6, 2006
    Posts: 1,348

    cederholm
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Model A Gomez (and others) - let's talk rear end. You're saying my stock rear end will work with my V8. Is this an option for a non-racing car? Is it a wise option or will I be asking for trouble? And if for, for the time being, I convert the current axel to juice, would I be able to reuse the brakes on a different vintage axel should I upgrade with the V8?

     
  3. Texas Drifter
    Joined: Oct 8, 2016
    Posts: 46

    Texas Drifter

    Converting a bone stock "A"? Suggestion: Chassis work, do the engine and tranny first then the brake system. Of all the things I've learned over the years is to keep a build book, notes, parts, etc. Make sure to measure things before drilling or welding things onto the chassis. Doing the engine and tranny first then would allow you to see how the new hydraulic brake pedals, etc would fit. All the mods can be made with the body intact, just not any easier. Take your time and do it right. As for the concept of mechanical brakes vs hydraulic? That's up to you but I'd opt for hydraulic brakes done right. Of course, I'd have to install a dropped axle along with all the goodies with it! Just my opinion. Have fun and take your time!!
     
    cederholm likes this.
  4. I assume you will be using '40-48 Ford brakes on the Model A rear end (or Lincoln if you want the deluxe version). These will fit any rear axle 1928-1948. I think you will be happy with the A rear end (unless you have a very heavy foot) but if you feel you need a little more strength the later rear ends are actually slightly easier to convert (no rubbing problem with the brake drum on the backing plate). Remember the '32 and up rear ends mounted the spring behind the rear end so you will need to add Model A spring perches to the rear end. The later rear ends are slightly wider so watch out for tire/fender clearance.

    Charlie Stephens
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2018
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  5. louisb
    Joined: Oct 13, 2008
    Posts: 788

    louisb
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    If it’s your first build I would say do it one project at a time and keep it on the road as much as possible. Having a car completely disassembled can get overwhelming.

    —louis
     
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  6. Model A Gomez
    Joined: Aug 26, 2006
    Posts: 953

    Model A Gomez
    Member

    If you aren't too hard on a stock rearend they are fine behind a flathead, not a lot trouble to use 39-48 Ford brakes on them and any part is available including 3:54 gear sets. As to the drums rubbing on the backing plate you need to take a grinder to the lip on the backing plate and grind off about 1/8" and to cut a notch in the backing plate to clear the spring perch. People have ran them behind V8's for years.
     
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  7. cederholm
    Joined: May 6, 2006
    Posts: 1,348

    cederholm
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Very helpful info all - Thanks!

    ~ Carl
     
  8. Look's like you have a great start with that coupe. I have found, over the years, that it's easy to lose interest in a project when trying to do it all at once. There is a lot to be said about buying a nicer car and doing the modifications in steps so that you can still enjoy your car as you make changes.
    When I bought my Tudor, it was 30 plus years since it had been restored but it was still presentable. Going in, I thought that my only issue would be the engine. Unfortunately, it didn't work out that way. There were set backs, both with the project and my health, but I still believed that doing it in steps was the best way to go. Anyway, that was my approach and it has worked for me so far. My .02 cents!
    Feel free to ask questions, I'll try to help. Check out my build thread, it might help answer some questions.
     
  9. cederholm
    Joined: May 6, 2006
    Posts: 1,348

    cederholm
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Back with more questions. This time about stance.

    I'm pretty happy with the hight of the rear, but I'm not thrilled with how I got it. I removed the upper three or four springs ( I forget exactly) from the pack. This gives me a hard thump when I hit a bump in the rear. I'm reading about using a model T spring, but when looking that the vendor sites I see option, and of course reverse eye springs. Again, there are options. Looking for opinions/advice please.

    The front, on the other hand, is a more complex. As discussed above the plan is to drive the car as much as I can before I pull the body and install the 8BA. I will be using a 32 K member (Tardel style) with the master cylinder mounted to it. That kinda rules out the hydraulic brake conversion until the new motor goes in.

    Can I use a 3" dropped axel with mechanical brakes? Seems like the rods would hit.

    Thoughts on all the above would be greatly appreciated.

    ~ Carl
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
  10. Automotive Stud
    Joined: Sep 26, 2004
    Posts: 3,781

    Automotive Stud
    Member

    Do you have shocks on the rear? If you do, I would try to add more leafs back into the spring. You might be more happy with a reversed eye model a main leaf in the rear. A model T spring is narrower, I don't really think you'll see an advantage there. As for the front, I know there's some guys here and on the fordbarn that run mechanical brakes with a dropped axle, but if you are planning on converting to hydraulic anyway it hardly seems worth the effort to me. Just do the axle and brakes in one shot when you get to that stage.
     
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  11. cederholm
    Joined: May 6, 2006
    Posts: 1,348

    cederholm
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I do have shocks, tube shocks that the PO added. Some sort of bolt-on kit.

    Good advice on the rest, I did not know that about the T springs - thank you!

     
  12. I am not sure how the master cylinder mounts on the Tardel style K member (yours really wasn't an X, was it?) but here is how I did it on my AVATAR with a stock K member.

    Charlie Stephens

    Card1 032.jpg
     
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  13. cederholm
    Joined: May 6, 2006
    Posts: 1,348

    cederholm
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Thanks Charlie! ..and yes, K member. I shouldn't post before coffee.

    Can you give me more info on that mount?

    Thanks,
    Carl
     
  14. Charlie, that looks like some interesting engineering on that MC mount.

    I'm just at the tail-end of this. I was planning on hopping up the banger, but once I priced out a rebuild it didn't take long to decide to use the nice flatty that was sitting on a stand 10' away waiting to go in my '41 coupe.

    My A was untouched since the '60s and they filled most of the body the seams when they filled the roof and painted it so I didn't pull the body, which made things a bit tricky but not impossible.

    Keep your ear to the ground. I lucked into the complete running gear out of a restored car that was getting street rodded, so I ended up with the front and rear axles, wishbones, brakes, torque tube, wide 5's etc. for the equivalent price of a nice dinner out.

    8BA
    '37-41 rear axle
    Model A front axle, 4" drop
    '40-48 juice brakes
    F1 steering box
    F1 trans crossmember
    F1 brake and clutch pedals
    '39 toploader (ok, it's actually a '35 case with '41 internals and a '39 shift tower, but '39 toploader is easier to type :D)

    Removed 3 leaves up front and 4 in the rear, used reverse eye main leaves from modelasprings.com (they're a bit long, but ok)

    Custom made motor mounts and spring perches

    Most of the heavy lifting on this one was done at Binbrook Speed; props to Keith, he also supplied and modified the F1 crossmember, did a great job.

    MGA rear shocks all around (a bit of work modifying the arms, but way cheaper than Model A, and my car had no shocks to start with so I didn't even have cores). I might change these if I can find Model A shocks I can afford someday.

    Geardrive headers

    I'm having a rad custom made locally. I'm keeping the Model A grill shell and will run a hood without the sides. I looked into walker or brassworks etc then found an old shop that could still make one to my specs.

    I bought one of the master cylinder/battery box conversion kits from Snyder's and it might have worked with the banger, but won't work with the F1 crossmember and pedals. I'm still trying to figure out where to put my battery, probably in the trunk.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    (yes, the spare tire will be coming off... but I'm leaving the cowl lights :D)...
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
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  15. cederholm
    Joined: May 6, 2006
    Posts: 1,348

    cederholm
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Whoa! What a helpful post - thanks for taking the time to write it up. My goal is to have a car very similar to yours. That thing is sexy!

    ~ Carl

     
  16. No problem, it's more fun than the work I'm supposed to be doing right now :D

    I've done a fair bit of research finding out what actually works and what doesn't, I don't mind sharing my findings (although your results may vary). My limited experience is with newer cars so this has been a fairly steep learning curve. Still figuring out throttle linkage and some other stuff.
     
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  17. cederholm
    Joined: May 6, 2006
    Posts: 1,348

    cederholm
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    You're my new best friend! ;)

     
  18. I know what you mean about the coffee. Just a little more info. I put it in thirty years ago so I am sure I might miss a few details. I started by bolting a steel plate to the back of the K member using existing bolt holes, therefore no welding to the car frame. I took a piece of about 4-inch structural steel (from the construction industry) and shaped it. There is a local business that deals with all types of metal, since what I used was a scrap piece the price was right. When I took it to a friend to weld his comment was “I didn’t know you had a mill”. I was shaped entirely using hand tools. There are two bearing blocks for the shaft that holds the levers. I choose a ’39 master cylinder but by using a larger diameter tube a later dual master cylinder could be used. I determined the length of the levers based on the pedal assembly from a ’39 Ford. The rods coming through the K member go to the original ’32 pedal assembly. The master cylinder fills from the top using the original hole for filling the battery (see picture). Today I would probably use an Optima battery but that technology wasn’t available, or at least I didn’t know about it. I relocated the battery using what was a hand made mirror image bracket (see picture).


    I assume you will incorporate “anti-chatter” rods in your design, they must be necessary since Ford used them for so many years. I made mine using brackets and threaded stock.


    Charlie Stephens

    Card1 029.jpg Card1 034.jpg
     
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  19. Taking the spare tire off of the rear excellent idea. Putting the tire in a wheel well and a trunk on a rack will greatly increase your carrying capacity (that is what you are planning, isn't it?).

    I am not a fan of a battery in the trunk especially if you intend to keep the rumble seat, any chance you could mount it under the frame like I show in Post #48 (realizing of course that my car is a '32 and slightly different)?

    When you have your radiator built you might consider a pressure cap under the hood (or in your case hood top) and bolt the original cap onto the shell from the bottom (this is how it is in my AVATAR).

    Charlie Stephens

    IMG_7101.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
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  20. Me neither, actually. This is one of those jobs I've been ignoring while I tackle other things, so it might hopefully end up somewhere similar to yours. Thanks for the info and photos. I don't want to mess up Carl's thread with a bunch of stuff about my car, but the info might help him too, so if I come up with a solution that I think is decent I might post it here.
     
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  21. cederholm
    Joined: May 6, 2006
    Posts: 1,348

    cederholm
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Please don't worry about my messing up my post - any and all info would be appreciated! And if you don't mind I might reach out with questions from time to time.

    ~ Carl

     
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  22. Corn Fed
    Joined: May 16, 2002
    Posts: 2,362

    Corn Fed
    Member

    If it were mine, I'd get a nice bare 30-31 frame and build that chassis up as much as possible. If you can, get the new chassis titled as a coupe with the numbers that are on it. Then when you could go no further, pull the sheet metal off the coupe and transfer it to the "hot rod" chassis. That keeps your car driveable as long as possible and allows you to resell the "stock" chassis as a whole unit. You will find that selling a whole stock chassis (especially if it has a matching number title with it) will bring more than just separate drivetrain parts.
     
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  23. southcross2631
    Joined: Jan 20, 2013
    Posts: 2,386

    southcross2631
    Member

    I agree with Corn Fed build yourself a rolling chassis and just swap the body over and sell your original stuff to a restorer. You can have it done and still drive yours until you are ready to do the swap.
     
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  24. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 23,224

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I like your vision for the coupe. That is pretty close to what I want to do with my 31 Vic but it is a lot more of a project. I like the idea for the banger drivetrain too.
     
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  25. 100% Matt
    Joined: Aug 7, 2006
    Posts: 2,294

    100% Matt
    Member

    I sent ya a pm with some spring info.
     
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  26. cederholm
    Joined: May 6, 2006
    Posts: 1,348

    cederholm
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Corn Fed, this certainly is a smart approach but due to space limitations it doesn't seem feasible for me - though I am going to give it some serious thought.

    Secondly, I already have a vision for all my left over A parts. I have a tendency to get ahead of myself. :D

    ~ Carl


     
  27. 100% Matt
    Joined: Aug 7, 2006
    Posts: 2,294

    100% Matt
    Member

    I kick myself for not doing this with my AV8 build.........
     
  28. stubbsrodandcustom
    Joined: Dec 28, 2010
    Posts: 891

    stubbsrodandcustom
    Member
    from Spring tx

    I feel your pain of the decisions, I recently got a 29 coupe, planned to pull the fenders off strip it down as a banger hotrod, just have such a hard time doing that now, fenders are damn near perfect, and the car is unrestored except for 1 repaint 15 years ago. I think I am keeping the fenders and going to build a speedster out of the extra A chassis I have laying around. They say great minds think alike. Find it funny we both got a pretty nice car and are doing the same stuff somewhat, I am keeping my banger though.... That lil thing grew on me fast.
    Love your coupe man, look forward to seeing the progress.

    29-2.jpg 29-1.jpg
     
  29. cederholm
    Joined: May 6, 2006
    Posts: 1,348

    cederholm
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    NICE A!!! Great looking car.

    Yeah, my banger is growing on my too, but I'm good at sticking to a plan! I am, however, taking the advice of building on a separate chassis to heart. ...I have also been thinking future speedster and might keep the full A running gear for that.

    ...as you say, great minds! Ping me if you start a thread, would love to see what you're to with your A.

    ~ Carl

     
  30. Ron Brown
    Joined: Jul 6, 2015
    Posts: 1,098

    Ron Brown
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    9CC27BC5-F0CE-4CAC-A4EB-AEAC1A0FC4CC.jpeg 5E1BFCB5-C841-4F72-B944-3FBB2952146A.jpeg FB62A68E-111F-4D24-8BC1-77F0EA232346.jpeg I think Charlie has the right idea. Thats how I do things. I left my running gear intact while I did everything else. i also actually built a flat eight but ended up enjoying the car as is... So the 8 sits in a stand as wasted money spent and hot rodded the banger up a bit. You can enjoy the car this way and keeps your interest in the car when you can make a modification then take it out for a spin.
    in all honesty...even if I put the 8 in the car I still wouldnt use it for more than I do now. Anything farther than 40 miles away the car gets trailered. at 65 years of age living in the central Calif area where temps regularly hang in the 100 teens degrees for weeks on end. I prefer my F250 Super Duty with air conditioning.

    by the way...when Charlie makes an observation concerning anything Model A, you can take it to the bank. He has been an invaluable source for me.
     

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