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Hot Rods Post war 31 A coupe traditional build?????

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by The Engineer, Jul 13, 2011.

  1. The Engineer
    Joined: Oct 3, 2007
    Posts: 117

    The Engineer
    Member

    Hi all,
    Im relatively new to the traditional hot rod build scene and need some old school wisdom on how to do a few things on my build and what better place to find it but on here!!
    I have been collecting parts for a couple of years now and know how I want my 31 A coupe to look and sit, basically I have

    1, 31 coupe body
    2, Original complete untouched 32 chassis in good condition
    3, 39 ford rear axle complete with torque tube
    4, 39 ford front axle complete and also 37 ford truck front beam with wishbone
    5, 39 ford engine and trans
    6, 35 wire wheels
    7, full set of buick drums
    8, 32 grill shell
    9, 7.50x16 rear tires and 5.50x16 front tires whitewalls
    10, 46 ford dashboard

    [​IMG]

    The above picture is the correct stance and roof chop that I want on my coupe so I need to know what xmember to use in the rear to get that stance with my 39 ford axle, I cant really use the 32 on as its got a curve in it for the 32 curved spring?? also what front xmember to use, prob model A but is this my only option, It may mean I have to fabricate both xmembers from scratch to get the ride hieght I want but im sure the right original one are out there somewhere??
    also need some ideas on shortening the torque tube??
    and do I have to split the wishbones fron and back to run the flathead v8??
    I have so many questions I cant remember them now, I will add them as I think of them.
    looking forward to your replys??

    Jeremy
     
  2. Your link is a dead link. Maybe you can go over there and get a clean link.
     
  3. The Engineer
    Joined: Oct 3, 2007
    Posts: 117

    The Engineer
    Member

    I fixed the pic now!!
     
  4. Ta dah !!! Now the fellas have something to work with.

    You shouldn't have to split the bones with the flatty by the way. Sometimes when you drop the snout you run into clearance issues with the wishbones and the chassis. Then you have to split the bones.
     
  5. billthx138
    Joined: Oct 17, 2009
    Posts: 401

    billthx138
    Member

    The stance is the easy part now a days with all the fabricators building the chassis with that in mind. My car has about the same stance with the So-Cal A-V8 chassis using their front and rear springs and the same tire wheel combo. Also the top has a 4 inch chop, the radiator and grill have a 2 inch chop to fit the A body. Hope some of this helps.
     

    Attached Files:

    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  6. The Engineer
    Joined: Oct 3, 2007
    Posts: 117

    The Engineer
    Member

    That stance is perfect and also the chop, thanks for that
     
  7. Ralph Moore
    Joined: May 1, 2007
    Posts: 655

    Ralph Moore
    Member

    bill thx138,
    I have a question for you. You said your radiator is a 2 inch chop, but it looks like the grille shell/ insert is stock. Is that true, and how did you do it ? And how much do you have the body channeled over the duece frame?
    I have my 31 body channeled about 1" over a duece frame and want a 2 inch chop radiator, and I am wondering about the grille shell insert choice.

    Thanks,

    Ralph
     
  8. The Engineer
    Joined: Oct 3, 2007
    Posts: 117

    The Engineer
    Member

    I cant believe this thread has been on here for a day and its only had 3 replys and one of them isnt even for me, come on guys I need some help on this?????
     
  9. Shaggy
    Joined: Mar 6, 2003
    Posts: 5,207

    Shaggy
    Member
    from Sultan, WA

    32 crossmember and spring are usable, you just need to kick up (probably best for your height)or Z your frame in the rear(traditional Z'ing is cutting your frame at an angle and stacking it ontop of itsself, instant 5" on 32 frame)

    Anouther option to fine tune the ride height later on, say, after your frame is done, is to fabricate your own spring perches to whatever height you need. It's a good thing to fall back on if you get almost done and are unhappy

    Front crossmember is pretty easy, model A will drop you 1", you'll probably need a reversed spring and dropped axle to get that low

    Splitting 'bones in the front is almost always needed, there are ways around it, but it's easiest. In the rear it isnt needed, infact most of the 50's cars didnt if they didnt have to

    Also when splitting the 39 front bones you'll encounter turning radius issues because the '39 axle has the 'bones mounted too far out. There are ways around though, i can elaborate


    The main thing is just start throwing stuff togather, and then go "OK how do i go from here to there"
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2011
  10. billthx138
    Joined: Oct 17, 2009
    Posts: 401

    billthx138
    Member

    Good eye, you are correct, I miss stated the chop on the grill shell. The radiator is 2 inch chopped but the shell is stock, with 2 inches taken from the sides to clear the frame. This lowers the shell 2 inches in front of the axle giving the impression of being a lower ride height.

    The front of the body is about an 1 1/2 inch channeled but the rear of the body is less due to the way the A sub rails are built. I had to lift the rear in order to maintain a symmetrical appearance to the frame. If not, the frame appeared to be getting narrower towards the kick up in the rear. Hope this makes sence.
     
  11. Ralph Moore
    Joined: May 1, 2007
    Posts: 655

    Ralph Moore
    Member

    Got it billthx138.

    Enginner, sorry bout that, but I've been mulling over that issue for awile. I have a set of 32 rails, 40 rear crossmember(narrowed and flattened)so I can use a 35-40 rear spring, a model A front xmember, and a narrowed 32 K member(because I pinched the frame for the 31 body). I am also running split bones in front.
    I just got done shortening a 37 torque tube to fit. I cut out the center section with the bearing, because I am running a hollow driveshaft(speedway, but like a 34 inner shaft). I just cut the section out with a chop saw and then welded it back up. I don't have the body mounted right now, but here's a pic of the frame and torque tube setup.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. Kripfink
    Joined: Sep 30, 2008
    Posts: 2,040

    Kripfink
    Member Emeritus



    don't take it personally. The time difference and when you're posting could have something to do with it. I always try and leave my posts as late in the day as possible (UK time).
    Best of luck
    Paul
     
  13. The Engineer
    Joined: Oct 3, 2007
    Posts: 117

    The Engineer
    Member

    Thanks guys now were getting to the good stuff, I knew it would start flowing in with a little help, I like the 40 rear x member, I could just fabricate one up.
     
  14. Rem
    Joined: Mar 6, 2006
    Posts: 1,257

    Rem
    Member

    With a '32 chassis and stock K-member you'll need a '32 wishbone if going unsplit, as it's the only one that will reach.

    Also, '35 wires don't fit easily to Buick drums, even if the drums are redilled to the Ford stud pattern: you would need spacers (from Rally America) about an inch thick. Personally I don't think early wires look right with Buick drums anyway as, by the end of the '50s when these drums were available, the wires were over twenty years old, and not very "hot rod" for the time. Buicks should be used with plain or reversed-rim steels, preferrably chromed. But that's only an opinion :)


    PS Chris Casny's Coupe is definitely something to aspire to!
     
  15. So-cal Tex
    Joined: Aug 24, 2005
    Posts: 1,384

    So-cal Tex
    Member

    Good point REM!

    I would not put Buick drums on a post war build, most comon would be '40 brakes or possibly the the rare Lincoln brakes.

    Also, any '40s hot rod should have black walls as the white walls were not common until the mid '50's.

    I really appreciate the fact you are not mixing generations and trying to stick to one. Alot of rodders will mix and match parts and it becomes a strange collage of the '40-'60's tradition.


     
  16. 28hiboy
    Joined: Feb 2, 2007
    Posts: 403

    28hiboy
    Member
    from Milton, Fl

    Go with the Lincoln style backing plates and steel drums, better for post war and good brakes--think Wilson Welding repo's. Love the style you have there. Wires don't go with the Buick drums and spacers suck.
     
  17. Ditto. Cheap and "correct" would be '40 brakes, steel wheels and blackwalls. In my opinion.
     
  18. The Engineer
    Joined: Oct 3, 2007
    Posts: 117

    The Engineer
    Member

    I hear what your saying with the Buick drums, and I also are not a big fan of spacers but its not like im running a lot of power or high speed driving so it should be fine, and I am also aware that they are not period correct until the late 50's also with the white walls but I like the look so might have to bend the rules there, thanks for making those valid points guys:D
     
  19. The Engineer
    Joined: Oct 3, 2007
    Posts: 117

    The Engineer
    Member

  20. The Engineer
    Joined: Oct 3, 2007
    Posts: 117

    The Engineer
    Member

    I have a couple of sets of 40 brakes so I could always go that way!:D
     
  21. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 31,123

    The37Kid
    Member

    [​IMG]Are the cowl bottoms cut and a stock subrails still in place? I like the look of the one inch or so channel. :)
     
  22. billthx138
    Joined: Oct 17, 2009
    Posts: 401

    billthx138
    Member

    In the first photo the lower portion of the firewall foot is removed by drilling the rivets and the second shows it replaced to fit the channel. The sub rails are still in place but the "C" portion of the sub rail has been removed allowing the body to sit the inch or so lower on the frame.
     

    Attached Files:

  23. Ralph Moore
    Joined: May 1, 2007
    Posts: 655

    Ralph Moore
    Member

    I kinda did the same thing on mine. I moved all the crossrails up even with the side subrails. Then I split the front body mounts and raised them up to bring the body down an inch or so. I took the two angle braces in front off first, and then put them back on when the other work was completed.
    You can see in the last photo where it still has the portion of the mount sticking down where it used to be. As soon as I turn the body over to weld I will finish the underside.
     

    Attached Files:

  24. 8-Track
    Joined: Jul 26, 2008
    Posts: 396

    8-Track
    Member

    [​IMG]A Little more inspiration


    Here is mine
     
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  25. flthd31
    Joined: Aug 5, 2007
    Posts: 588

    flthd31
    Member

    That small channel makes a big difference in the overall look when putting an A body on a 32 frame. Keeps it from looking like the body will slide off the frame if you take a corner too fast.
    My project is alot like billthx138's with 2" chopped radiator and full height shell cut at bottom. Channel is the same also but I sloped up the bottom cowl patch panels to compliment the frame reveal.
    Model A front and rear crossmembers with a Model T rear spring on a '40 rear-end with C notch and slightly kicked rear frame ( no "z"). Just another option
     

    Attached Files:

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  26. The Engineer
    Joined: Oct 3, 2007
    Posts: 117

    The Engineer
    Member

    Im Glad a few of you have put pics up of the cowl fit as its gave me a good understanding of mounting the body, one thing I also need to know is does the front of the frame need to be pinched as its an untouched original frame which measures 32" at the front cowl holes or at the point where the front of the wings of the K-member joins the chassis which is correct to the 1932 ford drawings, I ask this because my 31 body measures 30 1/4" to the outside of the front cowl mounts so if I sit the body onto the chassis now I would see 1/2" of the top of the rail both sides, also does the rear need to be pinched as well, I havent tried the body on the frame yet as the frame is up on a frame jig and the body is in a different garage and I need to get three mates to come and give me a hand to carry it in.
    I was hoping to get the frame correct by taking measurements but now Im thinking I should try the body on the frame??
     
  27. The Engineer
    Joined: Oct 3, 2007
    Posts: 117

    The Engineer
    Member

    This also is an awesome looking car, loving the bare metal look and the stance is perfect also, how much chop is on the body, looks like 3"??
     
  28. 117harv
    Joined: Nov 12, 2009
    Posts: 6,589

    117harv
    Member

    I agree, 8-Track's car is spot on for my taste in every way:rolleyes:

    You state you have an origonal 32 chassis, does this include the heavy axle and wishbone? I would go with the heavy un-dropped or a 33-36 these are much better than the 37 and up imo.

    I would also go with a modified model A rear cross-member and a T spring, this is a tried and true combo. There was a thread started a few days ago showing an A cross-member being moded and rivited into a 32 chassis...GOOD stuff:)
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2011
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  29. 8-Track
    Joined: Jul 26, 2008
    Posts: 396

    8-Track
    Member

    Its a 4 inch chop with the visor welded and filled.
     

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