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Technical Questions about T-bucket handling

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Greasyman, May 26, 2016.

  1. Hackerbilt
    Joined: Aug 13, 2001
    Posts: 6,243

    Hackerbilt
    Member

    [​IMG]
    Not fussy on the rail not being wrapped around the tube crossmember to make a solid connection...but its not a real problem. Shock mount is iffy...but again, not a huge problem.
    doesn't look to have enough caster...and that can be a definate problem...but its hard to tell from the pic angle.
    [​IMG]
    4th and 5th leaves down in the pack need to be trimmed to correct length for a better ride. Don't think I would remove any leaves right away.
    The shackle mounts look fine to me. Shackle pivots look like regular aftermarket.
    The main leaf is too long. That puts the shackles on an angle where they allow side sway of the car. I think thats a big issue to check for you.
    [​IMG]
    Driveshaft is definately out of phase. I hate driveshaft vibrations so I'd fix that just because its wrong.
    Crossmember is history for sure. O strength in that setup!!!
    Frame looks like rectangular tube with a strip welded along its length for a body mount.
    I don't like to see urethane bushed rod ends hanging from an unsupported bolt.
    Everything has the ability to move a bit due to bushing flex. Any flexible bushing needs a tube for the bolt to pass thru before it enters the bushing, or a dedicated bushing mounting stud with no ability to flex.
    Should be a Heim joint there in that configuration...or if you had welded on tapered bungs...a regular tierod end.
    [​IMG]
    Needs welded on tapered bungs for the tierod joints at the frame mount.
    [​IMG]
    I'm not fussy on pitman arms pointing up, but it looks like it will work...ok. The pitman arm joint should be even with the hairpin pivot to be perfect. Perfectly level draglinks are for 4 bars.
    [​IMG]
    Don't like the Panhard bracket and the hairpin brackets on the rearend look iffy as well. The shock mounts look unsupported as well. Think I'd redo all that just for peace of mind.
    Notice the rust at the panhard bar bolt? Regular bolt holding a urethane bushing means movement, like I mentioned earlier. This is a perfect example. At the least it needs a Heim joint to replace the urethane bushing.

    All in all, it looks like it was a good car originally but got bastardized along the way. All the stuff is reasonably easy to fix though...except maybe all the welding to the rearend. In the flesh it might look fine and maybe the pics don't do it justice. Pics can be like that!
    I would tear off all that plumbing and wiring tangle and do the small stuff first...while making a plan for the rear axle. Replumb...rewire. Make required checks and adjustments to the alignment and chassis.
    Drive and enjoy! :D
     
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  2. verde742
    Joined: Aug 11, 2010
    Posts: 5,375

    verde742
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Maybe that will get a few of the people on the correct track. Seems like so MANY think having a level drag link will solve everything.
    "Seems nuthin' easier than taking a car apart, and nuthin" harder than getting it back together "
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2016
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  3. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 4,003

    dana barlow
    Member
    from Miami Fla.
    1. Y-blocks

    Well,you got some good pointers for sure,an like always a few twisted ideas that are wrong,but ya got a much better idea of what to do. I had noted to another guy who had some of the same things wrong,an my note to him may help here too,so I'll repost what I said;
    On front end set up an over all car; In this case its a T-bucket a guy asked about how; Here was my note that maybe handy here too.

    So here's some tests to do your self,jack front axle up tell tires are off the ground and one at a time check; spin slow a little by hand,then look for any wobble{ out of ture],look for running ture both side to side an also look for up and down { if so look at if its the rim or just the tire, then do it again an look were it stops an if it stop an goes backword some{out of balance]=if any of those are seen you found part of prob,but also you got friction shocks= not very good to used really,they do work if adjusted as they should be,but don't stay adjusted very long an even then not great,good tube shocks are far better,there are also bad tube shocks. Your photo shows the shackel/spring combo are set wrong,there hanging near straight down an that in its self makes front end jump around on the road,you ether need to move outer end of shackle more out tell there at 45* loaded at rest,or a shorter front spring,if those are no possible add a panhard bar to front axle from frame to axle. Tires are oold an even if they line up n are round,check for age cracking,if so get new/ now MC tires were kind of cool in the old days,but now we need more control then back then,we are now on the road with cars that have ABS disk brakes,traction control Etc. so the is not the same place in the old days were MC tires an bearly working front brake or none at all that we got away with. Need better now so MC rounded tread tires are crap,need something with more tread on ground to hold n stop with. A steering damper can help by covering up other prob that should still fixed,but don't get fixed becuz it makes you think you fixed them,so running one fine,but fix why you need it in the first place!!! There more then a few other things to check too,but one more for sure is a good idea to look at when your aready jack up,see if you can wiggel the wheel any side to side=wheel bearing are out of adjustmint or bad,also take note of any kingpin sloppy ,can need new, get some one to hold one front wheel from turning,you try to turn other one back n forth looking at tierods for sloppy too. Do same to steering box see if there is play,if there is play it may just need adjustmint or replace,now steering boxs on these hotrods are also likely to be set wrong were the center of pitman are travel is not set to were car is straight ahead,an it has to be set at dead center. Caster needs to around 6* to 7* ,tow about 1/8in. Any Tire on these rods PSI is set by looking at the tire an let air out tell you see some flex show up in side wall a little=about 1/4in. stick out of side wall,that works front and back,if no flex seen they are way to hard/much PSI.
    One EZ test to see if over all car is balanced on its four tires after you have check that axles are on center to each other an SQ. With driver or someone that is about the same lbs. in driver seat,then jacking front axle up at its very center* 1/2way from each tire,using a /\ on jack lift pad so axle can pivit at center{ can be done to rearend insted}, as wheels come off the ground.take note of witch one comes off the ground first and how far it lifts before the other on has just lifted= in a perfect world both come up at one time,so any adjustmint getting closer to that is a good one. Something in this note maybe find a prob,an have a fix to make driving a bit safer n fun again.
     
  4. verde742
    Joined: Aug 11, 2010
    Posts: 5,375

    verde742
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    wow, I am outta breath just reading that...
     
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  5. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 4,003

    dana barlow
    Member
    from Miami Fla.
    1. Y-blocks

    Yup,a longwinded,is why I just reposted that info,but dose fit most of Q&A, I must had too much extra time the day I wrote it to start with,still think its OK,can help others.
     
  6. Blue One
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 10,627

    Blue One
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Alberta

    I couldn't and won't read it.

    I need a breather and simple paragraphs to break things up a little. :D
     
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  7. Maybe someone close by the OP can stop by and help, I m too far away in MN. A speedway frame kit, and the parts from his car, could have it going in a couple of weekends( with help, of course).
     
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  8. Hackerbilt
    Joined: Aug 13, 2001
    Posts: 6,243

    Hackerbilt
    Member

    Make it bit easier. good info here.
    QUOTE Dana Barlow:

    So here's some tests to do your self,jack front axle up tell tires are off the ground and one at a time check; spin slow a little by hand,then look for any wobble{ out of ture],look for running ture both side to side an also look for up and down { if so look at if its the rim or just the tire, then do it again an look were it stops an if it stop an goes backword some{out of balance]=if any of those are seen you found part of prob,

    but also you got friction shocks= not very good to used really,they do work if adjusted as they should be,but don't stay adjusted very long an even then not great,good tube shocks are far better,there are also bad tube shocks.

    Your photo shows the shackel/spring combo are set wrong,there hanging near straight down an that in its self makes front end jump around on the road,you ether need to move outer end of shackle more out tell there at 45* loaded at rest,or a shorter front spring,if those are no possible add a panhard bar to front axle from frame to axle.

    Tires are oold an even if they line up n are round,check for age cracking,if so get new/ now MC tires were kind of cool in the old days,but now we need more control then back then,we are now on the road with cars that have ABS disk brakes,traction control Etc. so the is not the same place in the old days were MC tires an bearly working front brake or none at all that we got away with. Need better now so MC rounded tread tires are crap,need something with more tread on ground to hold n stop with.

    A steering damper can help by covering up other prob that should still fixed,but don't get fixed becuz it makes you think you fixed them,so running one fine,but fix why you need it in the first place!!!

    There more then a few other things to check too,but one more for sure is a good idea to look at when your aready jack up,see if you can wiggel the wheel any side to side=wheel bearing are out of adjustmint or bad,also take note of any kingpin sloppy ,can need new, get some one to hold one front wheel from turning,you try to turn other one back n forth looking at tierods for sloppy too.

    Do same to steering box see if there is play,if there is play it may just need adjustmint or replace,now steering boxs on these hotrods are also likely to be set wrong were the center of pitman are travel is not set to were car is straight ahead,an it has to be set at dead center.

    Caster needs to around 6* to 7* ,tow about 1/8in.

    Any Tire on these rods PSI is set by looking at the tire an let air out tell you see some flex show up in side wall a little=about 1/4in. stick out of side wall,that works front and back,if no flex seen they are way to hard/much PSI.


    One EZ test to see if over all car is balanced on its four tires after you have check that axles are on center to each other an SQ. With driver or someone that is about the same lbs. in driver seat,then jacking front axle up at its very center* 1/2way from each tire,using a /\ on jack lift pad so axle can pivit at center{ can be done to rearend insted}, as wheels come off the ground.take note of witch one comes off the ground first and how far it lifts before the other on has just lifted= in a perfect world both come up at one time,so any adjustmint getting closer to that is a good one.

    Something in this note maybe find a prob,an have a fix to make driving a bit safer n fun again.
     
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  9. Went from dissecting a car to dissecting a written post, the good ol HAMB, can't ever stay on track...lol
     
  10. Greasyman
    Joined: Oct 23, 2010
    Posts: 145

    Greasyman
    Member

    Thanks for those long and well thought out posts, Hacker and Dana. All things to look at and think about. It seems my wheel bearings could use some adjusting, I discovered yesterday. I'm trying to find the proper procedure for doing that.

    Yesterday I took the car for another drive and tried to pay a lot of attention to what it was I was feeling that I didn't like. I'm not feeling anything especially bad through the steering wheel, it's definitely some sort of looseness in the chassis. It feels like all the components are attached to a floppy old mattress of a chassis. All the other suggestions about alignment and suspension adjustment are valid, and I'm going to check all that out. Also, I think I'm going to try installing the Speedway tranny crossmember that was recommended above.
     
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  11. rfraze
    Joined: May 23, 2012
    Posts: 2,003

    rfraze
    Member

    Please check all the shocks and let us know. Thanks for feedback.
     
  12. Greasyman
    Joined: Oct 23, 2010
    Posts: 145

    Greasyman
    Member

    Shocks seem fine. I was standing up in the car and bouncing it yesterday, and I didn't notice anything unusual. The rear seems pretty supple, the front is sort of stiff, but not ridiculously so.
     
  13. Greasyman
    Joined: Oct 23, 2010
    Posts: 145

    Greasyman
    Member

    That would be great if someone could take a look at it and give me their opinion of it, but I'm already getting a lot of great advice right here.

    I thought of doing that with the Speedway kit, but that's thousands of dollars, and I think if I need to put that kind of money into the car I'm better off just selling it and starting over.

    I did try to sell it last year, but only one guy came out to look at it. Didn't even get many calls. I guess no matter what condition or price these cars are, there's not a big market for them. Everybody likes to look at them and talk about them, but when it comes to actually owning one not many people are willing to drop the cash and use up the garage space.

    It would be a decent car for someone who just wants a cruiser and something to work on.
     
  14. Third DodgeBrother
    Joined: Apr 18, 2009
    Posts: 187

    Third DodgeBrother
    Member

    Easy to see where this build went bad: Because you happen to have a stick of half inch flat bar, doesn't mean you should use it for all your brackets and cross members! Just saying.

    Not sure where the $thousands to Speedway came from. Bare frames are only 400 or so, and last time I called they were willing to work out some of the brackets I wanted. Your front axle is OK, lots of the "bleep"rodders use them. Use their suppliers' bolt on brackets and hardware, to get the correct geometry. Most mount to the spring pad already on the axle. For that matter, old ford running gear isn't all that hard to find or expensive.

    A copy of Speedways' T-bucket manual is only $20, and provides a whole lot of info on what these things are supposed to look like. Even enough dimensions if you wanted to cut up some steel and start over from scratch.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2016
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  15. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 2,610

    2OLD2FAST
    Member
    from illinois

    Y
    Yep , 1-800 dial a hotrod , that'sthe traditional way to do it..LOL
    dave
     
  16. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,793

    tfeverfred
    Member

    Jeez, you haven't taken that thing apart, YET?:confused:
     
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  17. bchctybob
    Joined: Sep 18, 2011
    Posts: 2,397

    bchctybob
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Greasyman I feel your pain.... The old Austin gasser I got a while back has a chassis that looks like it was built by the same guy that built your car, LOL. ( it really isn't funny) I have been slowly addressing each bolted joint, king pins, rod ends, steering box and front end geometry. It's been slow going but fruitful - I can actually steer and stop the damned thing at this point. Now I need to get it on a decent stretch of highway to see if it still suffers from terminal speed wobble. (our county roads are more suited to 4wd trucks than ex-gassers and hot rods)
    Four BIG changes that may help your T as well;
    1. Fix or replace the steering box (you've done that) and check for loose stuff from the box to the rod ends, to the king pins. (sounds like you found some loose wheels bearings - me too)
    2. set the caster at 7-8 degrees with the car at ride height
    3. check and adjust the tow to 1/16-1/8" tow in.
    4. Put on some decent suitable tires and play with inflation pressures (within recommended limits). Like someone said, wide front tires seem to work against the steering more than narrower tires.
    Adding a crossmember (K) like Marty said will help.
    My car has parallel rear leaf springs and long square tube ladder bars. I pulled off the ladder bars and it drives much better (suspension was all bound up and fighting against itself). Eventually, you may want to ditch the rear hairpins for longer bars that attach to the frame close together in the center (like Pete& Jakes) You may want to consider that as you design a new center crossmember.
    Keep at it, it'll come around. A few years back, my buddy, Dick had a conventional T bucket with a blown small block Chevy that would cruise the crappy SoCal freeways at 70-80 mph with no drama whatsoever, so it can be done!
    Keep us updated.
     
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  18. wedjim
    Joined: Jan 1, 2014
    Posts: 420

    wedjim
    Member
    from Kissimmee

    I know what your going thru, wanting to get it feeling safe and fun. Doing a total rebuild sounds like building a new car, because it basically is.

    It's already driving...

    So just fix the trans mount, rear panhard bar mount and front spring length as mentioned above. Then see how it drives.
    Tackle an item or two at a time until it's what YOU want it to be.

    Aka, Hot Rod.
     
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  19. rfraze
    Joined: May 23, 2012
    Posts: 2,003

    rfraze
    Member

    Have you seen any way to take the spring off the rear shock, so that you could test shock action? Measure the distance between mount points before removing shock to use as a reference in case you have to order some new coilovers.
    Could you remove a front shock and test it?
     
  20. I put this frame for my 29 Roadster together in a weekend. A JW Rod Garage perimeter frame and my own crossmember design. The car went down the road at 60 MPH and you could take your hands off the wheel. Very solid and VERY stable. $600.00 for the frame and about $100.00 000030.jpg 001490.jpg in 3/16 wall tubing.
     

    Attached Files:

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  21. jetnow1
    Joined: Jan 30, 2008
    Posts: 1,575

    jetnow1
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from CT
    1. A-D Truckers

    the front shock mounts look like they could use some reinforcement.
     
  22. Wyo George
    Joined: Jan 4, 2015
    Posts: 2

    Wyo George

    There's some good info in this thread, please keep it going so we can celebrate with you when you get it straightened out.
     
  23. Lot of good advice. Since you are on a budget I would start with:
    1. Loose or worn components. King pins, wheel bearings, tie rod ends. Have someone turn the wheel back and forth and observe everything from the steering box forward. Do this against a dead stop too, and I bet you will find some culprits. Look at parts that have been modified (worn or wrong tapers on drag link for example). Look for bracket flex as well. Stick a 2x4 under the radius rods where they mount to the frame and pry up and down and look for movement. Push sideway on the rear of the car to check the panhard bar bushings and mounts.
    2. I think you could do a four wheel alignment on the floor. Remove the wheels and tires and use a plumb bob, or T-Square to drop lines down to the floor, make some marks so you can take some diagonal measurements, to give you and indication of squareness. I have seen some links to do this on dirt track cars, etc. I bet you can get pretty damn close.
    3. Check the caster. You might be able to put a magnetic angle finder, or digital level off the spindle up rights to see if you are in the ballpark.
    4. Based on the age I would be suspect of the shocks, and especially the rears. Disconnect a front one and see how easy it compresses and rebounds. The rear looks a little tougher to check without seeing the top to see if the coil can be removed.
    5. Tires. Based on age maybe deflate them and check for belt separation in the tread pattern. Then re-inflate and experiment with pressure. Maybe higher up front (32-35) and less in the rear (20-25). A narrower front tire, and less offset on the front wheels might make a nice difference. Check the balance (especially if tape weight was used)
    6. Spring rate. Might be the front is really stiff (by the looks of the spring) and the rear is too soft (especially if the shocks are overloads...That might make the car feel a little wonky.
    7. Try placing a jack under a front corner of the frame and raise it a few inches and observe for major chassis flex. Do this on the rear as well.
    Probably not the root of the problem but:
    1. Does the motor move much? Maybe use a 2X4 as a lever to check the motor mounts, to make sure they are not mush, or broke (you'd probably notice the latter). I'd put the transmission crossmember on my list as well.
    2. Driveshaft phasing. Looks out of phase to me as well. That will cause a lot of vibration. This needs to be removed, and on the of yokes cut-off, indexed, re-welded and re-balance. Or you can but a new shaft mailorder for about the same price.
    I think there is a lot you can do, for not a lot of money to assess and hopefully improve what you have. Report back what you find!

    By the way I think some guys have questioned the steering arm on the LF. Correct me if I am wrong but I believe that is one forging that is the drag link mount, and tie rod mount connected to the bottom two spindle bolts correct? If so, that's tougher than hell. I would check the steering arm to drag link tied rod end. The photo makes it look like it is worn or loose.
     
  24. verde742
    Joined: Aug 11, 2010
    Posts: 5,375

    verde742
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    show us a close up of the top of the rear shock please....:rolleyes:



    still WAITING, 6/9/2016
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2016
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