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Projects Project planning, '27 on '31...you decide

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by JC55, Apr 4, 2017.

  1. JC55
    Joined: Jan 12, 2016
    Posts: 9

    JC55
    Member
    from Ohio

    Hey guys. I've been on a lot of different forums but have always appreciated this community's comraderie. I'm glad to be here.

    I'm on a steep learning curve trying to get a plan together. I've cleared out all my other projects and would like some advice/direction.

    I scored on a truckload of parts last year including a body, tons of wheels and an "A" front end. Got most of the metal work done on my 27 body and the body's subframe since then.

    The plan was to put the body on my grandfather's Z'ed T chassis. I got '28 wheels and made adaptors, and started on a front Z bracket...then I changed my mind.

    I bought an 81a with a 3 speed and a 59a all for $125. Then I just traded a rifle for a superb model A chassis last week.

    After some research, I found out that this '37 tranny will bolt to the "A" torque tube...I ordered a v8 clamshell.

    Here's some pics. Looks like both front springs are reverse eye and the extra axle has split wishbones with rod ends installed.

    I spent some time with the Model T spring on the hydraulic press last year to lower it. Some guys use them on "A's"?

    The internet said that this is the desirable passenger car 3 speed? Looks to be in pretty good shape.

    The 81 stamped motor is complete but has a broken piston and is full of water.

    The 59A had a missing nut on a rod (found in pan) and spun a bearing. The crank isn't too too bad. It's currently at .060 overbore but overall looks great. It's been bored at .040, then .060 according to what's stamped on the deck. Measuring the bores verifies that.
    All the rods are 8BA...same stroke? Later rods?

    I have a bunch of '33/34 wheels (17")

    I'd might box the frame on a jig but don't want to channel the body or Z the frame. I read a post about Elrod using '32 perches to retain the mechanical brakes with a dropped axle?

    There is no budget per say, but I'd really like to challenge myself to not overbuild. I've done that on projects and they just aren't fun anymore. I'd like to "repair" the engine for a 3000 rpm max driver.

    What would you guys build with this pile of parts?

    I built that '55 a while ago, I'm just now getting back into cars.


    IMG_20170404_184503.jpg IMG_20170404_184334.jpg
    IMG_20170404_184427.jpg
    IMG_20170402_192714.jpg
    IMG_20170404_184237.jpg
    IMG_20170401_181600742_HDR.jpg
    3581820092_large.jpg
     
    Texas Webb likes this.
  2. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 15,355

    Squablow
    Member

    My '26 sits on an A frame with a '38 24 stud flathead and a '40 rear. The '39 trans is the one everyone wants, although you can put the guts of a newer trans into your '37 case if you have a '39 passenger car or later Ford pickup shifter tower to use on it. I currently have an early trans in my car (like yours) but I have all the parts to swap it out for the '39 trans. They're nicer to shift. Although the early ones work fine if you double clutch and don't try to power shift.

    My car is not channeled and frame is not Z'd but with my '40 spring-behind axle I don't have much clearance between the axle and the frame. I am probably going to swap a slightly taller rear spring in to see if I can gain another inch or so. The T spring on top of the A axle shouldn't have that same issue, and should be strong enough for a basically stock V8

    If the flathead isn't cracked and you can reassemble it with minimal machine work, I'd mount that in the A frame with your '37 trans and A rear axle, T roadster body, and 17" wheels. If you can make the brake geometry work, run the mechanicals with a floater kit in them, they should have more stopping force than the skinny 17" tires can hold to the road.

    Save the Z'd T chassis and early wires for another speedster/racer like the red one in your picture, that's neat.

    03-31-15 009.jpg
     
    39custom, Texas Webb and bct like this.
  3. JC55
    Joined: Jan 12, 2016
    Posts: 9

    JC55
    Member
    from Ohio

    Squablow, your car is sooooooo gorgeous. Thank you for taking the time to post your informative reply. That is the perfect stance I'm after, and it's good to know that your frame is not Z'ed.

    I'll research the floaters because I would like to keep the mech brakes. What did you do on your front end?

    Beautiful car.
     
    Squablow likes this.
  4. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 15,355

    Squablow
    Member

    Thanks! The chassis was built by my friend Joe, this was his car that I got unfinished from him in trade but he had already done a ton of work so I don't want to take credit away from him. The front is just a spring-over dropped I beam with '40 juice brakes on it and split bones, pretty standard. I think he flattened the front crossmember too which is an easy way to get a bit more lowering.

    If that primered front axle/spring is the one you're planning to use, it looks like it's already got a reversed eye main spring (a good thing) and if you cut your front crossmember up to make it more flat instead of dipping down in the center you can get your chassis lower without any real extra investment in parts. There's lots of good threads here on the HAMB that better explain how to flatten a Model A crossmember.

    Back in high school our school had a team in the Great Race and we ran Model A speedsters with mechanical brakes, set up well they work great on a light and not overly powerful car and I've heard great things about the floater kits for them. But I've also heard that lowering the car too much makes the geometry of the mechanical brakes really difficult, I've never personally tried it though.

    It'd be easier if you had some roller tires you could stick on your 17" wheels, but I'd try a mock up with the A rearend under the T spring, and your front end with the reverse eye spring and the crossmember cut, hold the wishbones in place with whatever, then see if the brake rods will still line up. That might be all you need to get a decent stance.

    Another tip I've learned, if you don't have the money for a new set of tires to make a roller yet, lots of late model cars have 16" and 17" super skinny space saver spare tires that fit on an early Ford wire wheel really nice and are dirt cheap at the junkyard (just the tires, not the whole wheel). You would still need inner tubes but it beats shelling out big bucks for new tires, especially if you're on the fence about using the wheels.
     

  5. JC55
    Joined: Jan 12, 2016
    Posts: 9

    JC55
    Member
    from Ohio

    Perfect info. That's what I'm after. I like the front crossmember modification idea and I'd not heard of that and it's within my abilities. I appreciate these suggestions.

    I also have later model spindles, front juice brake drums and backing plates for the "A" front axle but no idea what year they're from. hoping to keep mechanicals.

    I'll keep the brake rod geometry in mind.
    It's a little overwhelming, there are sooooooo many options and years available to mix and match.

    I'll get started on the wheel restore and getting some new tires right away. (Ugh, to paint spoked wheels)

    I'm going to Wray Schelin's coach building class tomorrow morning in Massachusetts, so I'm pretty excited about that.

    Thanks,
    Jim
     
    Squablow likes this.
  6. JC55
    Joined: Jan 12, 2016
    Posts: 9

    JC55
    Member
    from Ohio

    Maybe someone can ID these...
    IMG_20170405_090849.jpg
     
  7. My build with what you got? A chassis, 8BA ( no water soaked yet) repair the spun bearing grind crank is necessary. I personally would opt for juice brakes over the mechanicals. I am a juice brake sort of a guy but its up to you what you want to run.

    I would look for self energizing brakes if I could find them but not modern brakes by any means. It is not a modern brakes kind of a build.

    easy peezy.
     
  8. patmanta
    Joined: May 10, 2011
    Posts: 3,746

    patmanta
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Woburn, MA
    1. MASSACHUSETTS HAMB

    Backing plate is 39 up.

    Those might be F100 spindles if they're large bolt pattern (they're Model A if not, I can't see them well enough to tell). I'd suggest getting some 37+ passenger car spindles if you don't have the steering arms or hubs for them. IIRC there's a little to be done as far as adapting the 39-48 brakes to F100 spindles but I may be mistaken on that.

    To run the T spring in the A rear, I hear guys use the top leaf from the A spring pack to center it in the crossmember.
     
  9. JC55
    Joined: Jan 12, 2016
    Posts: 9

    JC55
    Member
    from Ohio

    Awesome info guys! Keep it coming. I got a flatty rebuild, and traditional rod build book coming in the mail too.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2017
    Squablow and patmanta like this.

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