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Projects Rowdy 31' Coupe build

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Tim Helzer, Jan 27, 2021.

  1. Tim Helzer
    Joined: Jan 14, 2021
    Posts: 17

    Tim Helzer

    New here and fairly new to the hot rod world. I absoutely love Model A's and somehow wound up with 2 project cars. I started with a 31' Fordor slant window sedan and was slowly working on it here and there. I wanted something I can drive in the meantime so I found a ratty used 31 Coupe with a nice sbc350 and custom chassis for sale. I brought the car home a few months ago and started making it more road worthy. Unfortunately I have really high standards and before I knew it, the car was completely disassembled. I was also in the middle of building a shop so getting started was slow but I am fully in the swing of it now.

    The plan for this build is a traditional style with a lot of modern drivetrain performance. I want to sand the body down to bare metal and just clear over it. I like the dents, dings, and bullet holes. The chassis and drivetrain will be spared no expense or labor to become a work of art. I'm looking forward to a loud and rowdy little hot rod. Once done, I will build the sedan into a more of a comfortable traditional cruiser that the whole family will fit in.

    This is how is looked when I brought it home.[​IMG]

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    Last edited: Jan 27, 2021
  2. Tim Helzer
    Joined: Jan 14, 2021
    Posts: 17

    Tim Helzer

    I pulled the engine and tranny. The tranny was pretty much shot, so I will drop a new one in later. I tore the motor all the way down to inspect everything.

    There were a ton of issues with the body mounting and the channel, so the body has to come off also. [​IMG][​IMG]

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    swade41 and kidcampbell71 like this.
  3. Tim Helzer
    Joined: Jan 14, 2021
    Posts: 17

    Tim Helzer

    Had to take a break to get both cars moved into the new shop. It's quickly turning into a dedicated hot rod shop.[​IMG]

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    swade41, 31Apickup and kidcampbell71 like this.
  4. Tim Helzer
    Joined: Jan 14, 2021
    Posts: 17

    Tim Helzer

    I didn't like the triangulated 4 link rear suspension. The upper links sat above the chassis and on top of the rear axle. The forced the floor to be raised way too high. I am 6'4" and the head room was lacking. I have decided to ditch the entire rear suspension. I will be switching to a Pete and Jakes ladder bar setup with coilovers. Withe the channelled body hiding th rear suspension I figured it wouldn't matter if it didnt look traditional.

    I have been spending a little bit of time here and there on the body also.[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

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    swade41 likes this.

  5. Tim Helzer
    Joined: Jan 14, 2021
    Posts: 17

    Tim Helzer

    The 9" axle has been gutted and cleaned up. I am going with a Strange Engineering 3rd member replacement with 3:70's and a posi. Also stepping up to 31 spline axles from Strange.

    I need to clean up the block for paint but some AFR aluminum heads showed up to lighted the weight up a bit. [​IMG][​IMG]

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    swade41 and sloppy jalopies like this.
  6. Tim Helzer
    Joined: Jan 14, 2021
    Posts: 17

    Tim Helzer

    And to catch up to where I am now. I have another sbc350 that is planned for the sedan. I bolted up the old tranny and dropped it in for some mock up. I also set the body back on the chassis. I am going to stretch the wheelbase 4" to give myself a little more room. I'm ready to start mocking up the new rear suspension and axle.

    I feel like I am finally done with the teardown and the rebuild can start.[​IMG]

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  7. Mike Colemire
    Joined: May 18, 2013
    Posts: 1,394

    Mike Colemire
    Member

    Going to be a nice hot rod. Dang that was one long 4 link set up.
     
    tdog likes this.
  8. Tim Helzer
    Joined: Jan 14, 2021
    Posts: 17

    Tim Helzer

    It was, I'm not really sure what the previous builder was thinking. The axle was not centered squared either.

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    Crew Chief likes this.
  9. TheSandman
    Joined: Jun 6, 2011
    Posts: 62

    TheSandman
    Member

    Watching this one!
     
  10. tdog
    Joined: Nov 15, 2009
    Posts: 412

    tdog
    Member
    from Omaha, NE

    Great progress ! keep up the great work
     
  11. Tim Helzer
    Joined: Jan 14, 2021
    Posts: 17

    Tim Helzer

    I don't have many updates lately. I am in north Texas and the mild snowstorm we had kept us freezing and out of power for 4 days. I finally got back into the shop yesterday and got some more work done building the new floor in the body. I'll get some progress pics in the next few days
     
    -Brent- likes this.
  12. AHotRod
    Joined: Jul 27, 2001
    Posts: 11,557

    AHotRod
    Member

    Model A Hot Rod's RULE the World !
     
    Tim Helzer likes this.
  13. Tim Helzer
    Joined: Jan 14, 2021
    Posts: 17

    Tim Helzer

    Finally, a little bit of an update.

    I was able to get the Pete & Jakes ladder bar kit installed in the rear and the axle set in place. I didnt get it quite right so I have cut the left side mount off the axle to make it right. The mounts on the front cross member are off by 2° from side to side. It made one side sit more outboard on the axle than the other. Not a huge deal but I need to get it perfect. [​IMG]

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  14. Tim Helzer
    Joined: Jan 14, 2021
    Posts: 17

    Tim Helzer

    While I am waiting for my machine shop to cut me another axle bracket I decided to add gussetts to the front crossmember.[​IMG]

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  15. Tim Helzer
    Joined: Jan 14, 2021
    Posts: 17

    Tim Helzer

    Most of the little fab work I am doing right now doesnt add up to much in photos. Once the axle is set again I can start mounting the coilovers and making a panhard bar. Should be more updates soon.

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    chryslerfan55 and 30tudor like this.
  16. Tim Helzer
    Joined: Jan 14, 2021
    Posts: 17

    Tim Helzer

    Been a bit quiet. I was getting frustrated with some things so I took a few weeks off from the build. I had an issue with some measurements on the chassis so I had to step back and rethink some things. Got it all worked out finally and got some worked knocked out. [​IMG]

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  17. Tim Helzer
    Joined: Jan 14, 2021
    Posts: 17

    Tim Helzer

    I got the rear axle mocked up with the Pete & Jakes ladder bar kit. I used a 34' kit to get the dropped crossmember. I had to have my machine shop cut me out some new axle brackets to fit the diameter of the 9" housing.

    I was then able to put together a rear crossmember/upper shock mount. I am pretty happy with how it came out.

    Now I just need to get a panhard bar done.[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

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    swade41, KiwiGlen and chryslerfan55 like this.
  18. Tim Helzer
    Joined: Jan 14, 2021
    Posts: 17

    Tim Helzer

    Now the rear axle is temporarily assembled and the body is back in place so I can plan for engine placement.[​IMG][​IMG]

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  19. fordgezzer
    Joined: Aug 22, 2010
    Posts: 11

    fordgezzer
    Member
    from texas

    Wow, the car is as nice as your car. Thanks for sharing.
     
  20. Good stuff. How did you arrive at that rear shock angle?
     
  21. Tim Helzer
    Joined: Jan 14, 2021
    Posts: 17

    Tim Helzer

    It's just where they fit the best with the axle brackets that I already had, they were planned for a different set up but worked here also. I really didn't do any figuring...haha. I also wanted to keep everything mounted below frame height. If it drives weird when I am done it's easy to change.
     
    chryslerfan55 and 30tudor like this.
  22. Doug Sonnenberg
    Joined: Dec 10, 2020
    Posts: 61

    Doug Sonnenberg
    Member

    looks real nice! post some pictures of the bracing you have for the body please. I am curious to know how you did it. is there bracing welded to the body? are those cross beams welded to the frame? im building a roadster and wondering how builders are attaching the body to the frame. thanks


     
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  23. Some great work going on there, maybe some longitudinal bracing on that ladder bar crossmember. What size heads did you get ?
     
  24. WIDE BOX BENNY
    Joined: Oct 29, 2020
    Posts: 10

    WIDE BOX BENNY
    Member

    NICE!
     
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  25. Tim Helzer
    Joined: Jan 14, 2021
    Posts: 17

    Tim Helzer

    I placed some 1 x 2 box vertically on top of where the floor was cut. I welded it to the cut section of the floor and the door sill. The floor dips in the front so I boxed it in with sheetmetal to appease my OCD even though it wont be seen once done. The crossbraces notch over the lateral supports and attach to the pillars to tie it all in. Once the engine is mocked up I will cut the center out and build a tranny tunnel. It's actually a pretty mild channel because I am 6'4" tall and I dont want to lose too much space.[​IMG][​IMG]

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    Doug Sonnenberg and kadillackid like this.
  26. Tim Helzer
    Joined: Jan 14, 2021
    Posts: 17

    Tim Helzer

    I do plan to brace forward from the crossmember and incorporate a tranny mount into all of it.

    I got the AFR Enforcer as cast heads. I don't rememver what size they are right now, I'll have to go look it up.

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    swade41 likes this.

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