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Technical School Me on 28/29 A CCPU Cabs

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by patmanta, Jun 27, 2018.

  1. patmanta
    Joined: May 10, 2011
    Posts: 3,038

    patmanta
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Woburn, MA
    1. MASSACHUSETTS HAMB

    So I just got a 1929 Ford Model A pickup cab and I'm having a bit of trouble getting it straight.

    Before I end up tearing the whole thing apart, where should I look for alignment issues and where should I be starting?

    Here it is as it sits. It is screwed down to a couple 2x4's right now. Instinct tells me I should pull those next and put the proper wood mounting blocks in and try this again but I want to hear any tips and tricks for getting these cabs sitting pretty.

    20180626_192238.jpg

    The doors have their own set of issues going on which seems to be aggravating things and preventing them from closing. It looks to me like the cowl REALLY wants to tilt back. The rear panels have some issues on the passenger side but the wood pillars appear lined up and vertical.

    I'm hoping I can formulate a new plan of attack for this evening so any experience y'all can share with getting these cabs straight is appreciated!
     
  2. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 12,613

    alchemy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Proper wood blocks under the cab will help immensely. I can tell from here that the top of the cowl post needs to fit a LOT farther forward on the top wood.
     
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  3. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 4,652

    BJR
    Member
    from Minnesota

    What alchemy said. It will start to make sense once you start with the proper wood blocks, then go from there.
     
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  4. patmanta
    Joined: May 10, 2011
    Posts: 3,038

    patmanta
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Woburn, MA
    1. MASSACHUSETTS HAMB

    Ok, looks like some lifting, pulling, and hauling this evening.

    Yes, the driver side is off enough to put the top of the post about 4" behind where it should be even with the strap pulling it forward. The passenger side is sitting back about 1-2" when I walked away from it to regroup last night.

    This is my first rodeo with a closed body and a wood kit.

    Are there any other common gremlins with these cabs I should be on the lookout for?
     
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  5. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 12,613

    alchemy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    The structural wood rotted a long time ago, and the remaining steel has been flopping around for years. Who knows how bent up the parts are? Keep an eye out for stuff that looks like it isn't fitting correctly. And stock door hinges were commonly overextended, so make sure the door isn't cracked or bent at the hinges.
     
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  6. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 40,360

    porknbeaner
    Member

    Wiggle the doors up and down and look at the header while you are doing it. I have seen a couple of As over the years that the wood where the header meets the A pillar was eat up some and wiggled letting the doors sag. Some not real bad and the door pawl will hold the door aligned if you lift the door while closing it, but some real bad making the upper A pillar a weak point. You can sometimes repair that with a sheet metal corner like you would use on a cabinet or picture frame ( only model A shaped)
     
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  7. oldcootnco
    Joined: Jun 10, 2010
    Posts: 39

    oldcootnco
    Member
    from neenah,wi

    I do own one of these gems. Looking at the pics what condition are the subrails in. The angle of the roof wood tells me the cowl should go strait up first, then the dimension for the door opening should be about 28 1/2 inches. That measurement is from the model a books, I forgot the guys name.
    I see that it started life as an AA, 1 1/2 ton according to the frame rails it is sitting on.
     
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  8. patmanta
    Joined: May 10, 2011
    Posts: 3,038

    patmanta
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Woburn, MA
    1. MASSACHUSETTS HAMB

    The doors have some cracking and blistering issues that I didn't catch when I bough it. I know there's going to be a lot of cancer removal in the pillars. This one sat on its roof in a field from the looks of it. I am beginning to suspect there may be some issues with the subframe but I'm going to reserve that judgement until I get these 2x4's out from under it and get the wood blocks in there.

    I'm not getting much movement when I wiggle the doors and I can't quite get them to close properly by doing this at this point. The only wood left in this one was the passenger side door pillar and some partial seat runners.

    The Chassis is out of NH and the cab came out of Kansas field, I was told. I'll measure those openings when I get home. Thanks! That gives me a number to use to check as I go.
     
  9. fiftyv8
    Joined: Mar 11, 2007
    Posts: 4,482

    fiftyv8
    Member
    from CO & WA

    You also need a header panel that fits above your windshield.
    Currently that is why your roof line is so angle forward.
    The rest will fall into place if you follow what has already been said.
    Worst scenario is that you can get a bent A pillar and/or your A pillars are out of alignment with each other.
    Trick is get the cowl sitting right and most everything else will follow...
    Oh and get yourself a decent chassis that sits flat and true before you start alignment stuff.
     
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  10. patmanta
    Joined: May 10, 2011
    Posts: 3,038

    patmanta
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Woburn, MA
    1. MASSACHUSETTS HAMB

    Oh there's a header panel in there, that's just how bad the problem is!
    The chassis looks good and so do the A pillars, so this is looking like something is putting the cowl at an angle.

    20180625_172747.jpg
     
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  11. As just mentioned, putting the header board in position will also help you see where the top of the windshield frame should line up, and that is another element in the geometry. I love my '29 CCAA, but if you are taller than 6 foot, be prepared to make concessions regarding comfort.
     
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  12. patmanta
    Joined: May 10, 2011
    Posts: 3,038

    patmanta
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Woburn, MA
    1. MASSACHUSETTS HAMB

    I got theose 2x4's removed and found the problem area when I lifted the body up by the cowl, which started tilting further back. There are matching cracks right behind the A pillars on each side that will need to be tended to.

    20180627_182258.jpg 20180627_182315.jpg 20180627_175736.jpg 20180627_175742.jpg

    I wasn't able to get the blocks under there before the weather started to look threatening but I've got some welding to do down there anyway.

    I did, however, get the doors level for the first time!

    20180627_183915.jpg 20180627_185923.jpg

    Yeah, the header panel is finally getting lined up. I need to fix/replace the driver side mount for it but it's close.

    I am not over 6' so I'm actually planning on a 3" chop, give or take. Since I'n not channeling and going with an automatic, I think I'll have enough room.

    20180623_164943.jpg
     
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  13. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 12,613

    alchemy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Make sure the new blocks will fit, and the doors will line up nice, before you weld those cracked up subrails. Once they are welded it will be a lot more solid, crooked or straight.
     
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  14. Eric King
    Joined: Feb 12, 2015
    Posts: 2

    Eric King

    Awesome build. Keep us posted!


    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
     
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  15. THe
    The chop shouldn't be a problem, but the squeeze is knees to backbone, and toeboard to butt. There are ways to adjust to that, so don't be concerned, just aware. Those cracks at the bottom of the A-pillar sure look familiar.
     
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  16. patmanta
    Joined: May 10, 2011
    Posts: 3,038

    patmanta
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Woburn, MA
    1. MASSACHUSETTS HAMB

    Thanks guys! Yeah, Getting things done yesterday took a bit more time, thought, and effort than I thought, so I didn't attempt the blocks. I had to inch the cab back because I didn't want to pull the engine (it's a bear for me to do solo) and I still need to cut the firewall. I have the bolt kit too so I'm intending to get the cab firmly in place before I go sticking metal. I'm probably going to install the whole roof and wood kit and check for square before I do too.

    Yeah, the chop will come last. The firewall needs to be cut now-ish. I'm probably going to play around with the seat orientation and padding a bit. I don't have the stock seat anyway so I may try a Jeep / Dodge minivan seat or fabricate something out of steel like I did for my other car to dial in the ergonomics. I sit low but have A LOT of room with just a piece of plywood on the riser now.

    [​IMG]

    Thanks! I will be making a build thread once I get this issue resolved and the whole thing a bit more looking like a truck.

    Hey, look it's your FIRST POST! Welcome to the HAMB!
     
  17. oldcootnco
    Joined: Jun 10, 2010
    Posts: 39

    oldcootnco
    Member
    from neenah,wi

    My cab was cracked, broke in the same place. if you are not going to run full fenders you can cheat the amount you have to set back the firewall. I am using a 4 cylinder Mercruiser 3.0L so the firewall is stock. It is full fender and has taken toooooo damn long to build. 8 years and counting.:(:(:(
     
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  18. low down A
    Joined: Feb 6, 2009
    Posts: 129

    low down A
    Member

    i have fixed more than my share of A subrails over the years and from the looks of those there is no way you can fix them correctly and i repeat CORRECTLY. without taking them apart . it's not that hard to drill out the rivet's and spot welds
     
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  19. patmanta
    Joined: May 10, 2011
    Posts: 3,038

    patmanta
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Woburn, MA
    1. MASSACHUSETTS HAMB

    I have one in the garage that I started in 2013 and needed a break from. This one is meant to have a far shorter build time and much lower expectations for its first incarnation.

    I am running this one fenderless and was planning to just cut a square out of the firewall and move it back however far it needs to go. That's a 1955 Chevy 265 in there.

    I don't have much experience to speak of as far as proper repair of A subrails. Could you school me on what your approach would be here?

    In other news, I do have it sitting flat and made it roll enough to give myself more room to work. This picture is here purely for amusement sake:

    36440222_10214984134750375_8559152737483227136_o.jpg
     
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  20. looking at the pics, i can see the sub rails are bent upward, just behind the sub rail connectors. They can probably be straightened, or new sub rails can be purchased
     
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  21. low down A
    Joined: Feb 6, 2009
    Posts: 129

    low down A
    Member

    first the doors need to come off, then the tank. that will let you get to the cowl panels i have found that running a flapper wheel up the edge were there spot welded on to the fire wall will highlite the the welds so you can drill them out with a spot weld cutter. then drill out the rivets at the bottom of the cowl post i usually remove both in one piece. now you can drill out the rivets on the front extensions which are part of the floor uprights depending on condition you might get by not having to take them apart but probaly not.back cab panels have to be removed from subframe also. now with a bare subframe your ready to do the necessary repairs.
     
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  22. oldcootnco
    Joined: Jun 10, 2010
    Posts: 39

    oldcootnco
    Member
    from neenah,wi

    Low down A is spot on. I had to make new cowl panel lowers and repair the bottom of the A pillars. The rear cab panels were junk so after all the drilling and grinding the repairs were not that difficult, just time consuming. I did find more areas that needed attention after tearing it all apart.
     
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  23. Lower back panels are always bad at the bottoms, as are cowl panels. I bought replacements for those, but the cowls require some massaging, especially in the concave curvature along the A pillar and the sharp angles at the top back corners. It is how I became better (not good yet) with a body hammer and dolly.
     
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  24. patmanta
    Joined: May 10, 2011
    Posts: 3,038

    patmanta
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Woburn, MA
    1. MASSACHUSETTS HAMB

    See, I've got the opposite problem. This cab sat on its head, so the door uppers are where the rot seems to be focused. I'm mainly concerned with getting this cab to sit right at this point. All the lower panels are staying. The upper center rear panel has some issues as does the upper rear passenger side panel.

    It's mostly passable aside from that and the cracks in the subframe which I'm focusing on now.

    Now, to that end, I'm trying to get the wood kit in there correctly and have the cab bolted to the frame.

    I have not come across any instructions for this so I've been largely winging it with a couple pictures I've found. I think I've got the rear and center blocks close but I think I'm throwing off the works up front. So, simple question, do the blocks go under the cab or through the rails? I shouldn't be able to see them from outside, I'm assuming. The info I was working on led me to believe they lust sat up under there but it looks wrong and I can't get the center of the cab to line up with the holes in the frame.
     
  25. Those dog leg blocks go through the rails, if that's what you're asking. Make sure the top holes on the subrails still have the squared holes for the carriage bolts, otherwise you'll be spinning the bolts when you try to tighten down the front. If they're wallered out, weld a little bit and then carefully use a three-sided file to square up the holes again.
     
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  26. patmanta
    Joined: May 10, 2011
    Posts: 3,038

    patmanta
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Woburn, MA
    1. MASSACHUSETTS HAMB

    THANKS! I thought that was likely the case. Yeah, fortunately, I do have square holes. The rot spots are on the top of this one. The only issue I'm having with the subframe is the cracking behind the A pillar (so far).
     
  27. patmanta
    Joined: May 10, 2011
    Posts: 3,038

    patmanta
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Woburn, MA
    1. MASSACHUSETTS HAMB

    Could someone post a pic of what this area is supposed to look like?

    I would like to get an idea of how far out I am and what it I should be happy with after I strip this rig down.

    [​IMG]

    I clamped and bumped on it this week and managed to get the wood in there. Two out of three holes fit. The front does not line up.
     
  28. wheeldog57
    Joined: Dec 6, 2013
    Posts: 1,398

    wheeldog57
    Member

    Pat, come to my house. The roadster shares the same subrail extensions as your truck. The blocks go under the subrail and sit on the frame. They fill the void.
    In your last picture, far left is a flap of metal with a hole, the block starts up there and goes all the way back to the door opening.
    Tam's has the blocks and he'll have them at the dragway swap. PM me.

    Sent from my E6810 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  29. patmanta
    Joined: May 10, 2011
    Posts: 3,038

    patmanta
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Woburn, MA
    1. MASSACHUSETTS HAMB

    Thanks, Ron, I've got the set from Mac's under there currently.

    Well the back sets are under, these front ones are going through really. I'm not sure if the holes in the wood are off or if everything is off because of the slight warping in these 2 rails. I've got the cowl feet lined up but have yet to be able to get all the body mounting holes to line up. The center ones seem like they're in a different location between the frame and the subframe (these two did not come to me as one, they are from different trucks).
     
  30. patmanta
    Joined: May 10, 2011
    Posts: 3,038

    patmanta
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Woburn, MA
    1. MASSACHUSETTS HAMB

    So almost 2 months later, I'm putting things back together, which leads me to my next question, how are these roofs upholstered?

    I've been searching and I haven't found a specific, detailed writeup or pictorial on a 28/29 Ford ccpu other than the one on Hot Rod with the padded roof, which seems like a bit more of a modern or street rod take on the process.

    How did you do yours?
     

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