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Projects Shade tree Model A speedster kind of thing

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by rwrj, Nov 21, 2017.

  1. rwrj
    Joined: Jan 30, 2009
    Posts: 305

    rwrj
    Member
    from SW Ga

    This won't be a build thread to start with, because I've already done a lot. Kind of a catch up that might turn into a build thread. I am new to hot-rodding, but not new to messing with cars and building stuff. Got bit by this site, and wanted to try it out on the cheap, so I decided to try to build a speedster. Not a faithful reproduction, just something to bomb around in. I bought this old 28 Model A chassis and drug it home.
    IMAG0867.jpg
     
  2. spurgeonforge
    Joined: Oct 18, 2013
    Posts: 392

    spurgeonforge
    Member

    Looking forward to this!
     
  3. rwrj
    Joined: Jan 30, 2009
    Posts: 305

    rwrj
    Member
    from SW Ga

    First thing was getting it running. Changed all of the fluids, pulled the plugs and freed up a couple of stuck valves, blew the dead roaches out of the distributor, that kind of thing. Piddled around with it a bit more and got it to fire and sputter along. Checked and found water in my new oil. Time for a new head gasket. I was real pleased with the look of the cylinders. IMAG0871.jpg
     
    Jim Lato, sko_ford, shark81 and 3 others like this.
  4. What are you going to do for a body.
     
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  5. fiftyv8
    Joined: Mar 11, 2007
    Posts: 4,482

    fiftyv8
    Member
    from CO & WA

    Great project, I hope all goes well and stays in budget.
    My comment to would be, probably the biggest improvement you can make to a Model A, especially something that is going to be light weight, is to upgrade your tranny.
    While you are in the mode that I see, if you consider my comment it would be a good time to really workout a better choice.
    Searches will show you a few things other guys have done from an old Volvo style 4 speed to newer 4 and 5 speed versions. Some can be made to match the torque tube while others will require a open drive shaft which ain't that hard as kits are available.
    It will just go so much better and you will enjoy driving it even more.
     
    sko_ford and ffej like this.
  6. rwrj
    Joined: Jan 30, 2009
    Posts: 305

    rwrj
    Member
    from SW Ga

    It ran better after that. Had a deep knock from down low, so I pulled the oil pan and used the tinfoil trick to adjust the bearing shims. Babbit looked good, but I was too greasy to take any pictures of that. Had to braze up some holes in the splash tray. Other than that, the internals looked clean. Endplay is in spec, too. I clamped an old Model T firewall on it to give me something to hold a temporary gas tank and the coil, stuck an old WWII surplus Jeep back seat on it and pooted around the yard. What fun. Sorry the picture is so bad, I like it like that, though. Gives an accurate impression. 9465.jpeg
     
    1953naegle, sko_ford, brEad and 14 others like this.
  7. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,738

    tfeverfred
    Member

    Nice "speed" shot!
     
  8. steinauge
    Joined: Feb 28, 2014
    Posts: 1,505

    steinauge
    Member
    from 1960

    Great start! If you had water in the oil look carefully for cracks running from the valve seats like this.Not unusual and can be fixed but it sucks to miss them. 100_0138.JPG
     
    tb33anda3rd and Stogy like this.
  9. rwrj
    Joined: Jan 30, 2009
    Posts: 305

    rwrj
    Member
    from SW Ga

    Figured it was time for a better gas tank. The temporary one only held about a gallon, and was zip-tied onto that old firewall, and that was c-clamped to the frame. Jacklegged is the term for that down here in GA. I bought an auxiliary air tank from a pawn shop for $10. It had about 50 feet of good hose with it, so I figure I actually came out ahead. Welded a pipe neck in it to take a flip-lid cap from a Triumph Spitfire, hit Lowes up for some plumbing supplies, slapped together a wooden platform to hold it and a copper gas line, and called it a job. (Y'all aint going to start fussing about safety, are you?) IMAG0966.jpg
     
  10. rwrj
    Joined: Jan 30, 2009
    Posts: 305

    rwrj
    Member
    from SW Ga

    Don't worry, I worked out a way to hold that tank down. It'll show up in subsequent pictures. After some more spirited yard driving, it was time to do something about a body. My background is in wooden boatbuilding, so I stuck with what I know. I'm not much for plans and diagrams, so I just kind of mocked it up on the car. I used a method called strip planking. Those little planks have one concave and one convex edge, so you can lay them in a curved shape. I hope the pictures are self-explanatory. IMAG1026.jpg IMAG1034_1.jpg IMAG1036.jpg IMAG1045.jpg IMAG1051.jpg
     
    1953naegle, Jim Lato, 120mm and 17 others like this.
  11. rusty rocket
    Joined: Oct 30, 2011
    Posts: 2,947

    rusty rocket
    Member

    Looks like a fun project. Saftey schmayfty!!!
     
  12. slowmotion
    Joined: Nov 21, 2011
    Posts: 2,872

    slowmotion
    Member

  13. Go Man Go!
    A great and fun project.
    Keep the pics coming our way!
     
    weps likes this.
  14. rwrj
    Joined: Jan 30, 2009
    Posts: 305

    rwrj
    Member
    from SW Ga

    Trimmed it up, added some laminated frames to (hopefully) keep it together, sanded it a bit (not trying to make a silk purse, here) painted it, and bolted it on. My grandmother and her siblings used to have an old cut-down they called the "Grey Ghost" back in the 30's, so I went with grey. You can see my floorboards in the body construction pictures. Made those out of 3/4" tongue and groove longleaf pine flooring scraps. The back wheels, water pump, headlights, and carburetor are from my father's old leftover stash from his Model A days. That's been one of the coolest things about this, using his old stuff. He would have liked this rig. The lights are on a modified stock Model A bracket, but nothing is wired yet except for an ignition toggle. I took 3 leaves out of the front spring, haven't messed with the back one yet. It's stiff as hell, I'll bet that Jeep seat feels right at home. The brakes give an illusion of stopping it, and the body is strictly for looks, because it doesn't block wind or mud or anything else. I can't wait to get it on the road. IMAG1133.jpg IMAG1158.jpg
     
    1953naegle, Jim Lato, 120mm and 18 others like this.
  15. rwrj
    Joined: Jan 30, 2009
    Posts: 305

    rwrj
    Member
    from SW Ga

    That'll have to do, for now. My last picture is of the garage I keep it in. That "shade tree" in the title isn't just a cliche'. Every bit of this business has been done outside. IMAG1070_1.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2017
    brEad, tb33anda3rd, shark81 and 9 others like this.
  16. rwrj
    Joined: Jan 30, 2009
    Posts: 305

    rwrj
    Member
    from SW Ga

    Man, you guys are fast. Here I was typing and uploading away, had no idea anybody had responded. Wasn't trying to be rude. The water in the oil didn't do any damage, only ran that way for a few minutes, but thank you for the heads up. I am a big fan of old Volvo stuff. One of my lingering projects is putting an old b18 and od transmission into a Spitfire, but I want to keep this project simple and cheap. If I upgrade anything, I'll do the brakes first. I'll try new pads and internals first, though. The mechanicals ought to stop fine, light as it is. Anyway, thank you all for the attention and comments.
     
    brEad, Outback, Hnstray and 5 others like this.
  17. ozstuff
    Joined: Aug 14, 2017
    Posts: 14

    ozstuff

    wolfgang 011.jpg
    Wooden cars can look very nice.
    Oz
     
    SlowandLow51, BigO, brEad and 21 others like this.
  18. steinauge
    Joined: Feb 28, 2014
    Posts: 1,505

    steinauge
    Member
    from 1960

    I really like your body! I am dealing with a similar problem right now-An A speedster that I dont have a body for-and never thought of that.
     
  19. sloppy jalopies
    Joined: Jun 29, 2015
    Posts: 2,314

    sloppy jalopies
    Member

    I M O.... How about a shortened model A running board bracket on each side with a model A rumble seat step pad bolted to it to help getting in and out... '28-'29 are square... '30-'31 are round... H I H ...
     
  20. King ford
    Joined: Mar 18, 2013
    Posts: 1,012

    King ford
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from 08302

    It would look a little more "finished " and be more practical too if you built a little wooden pickup box on the back...have fun,be safe!
     
  21. Subscribed! Me thinks the grins to dollars ratio on this one is gonna be high.
     
    slimcat7m3 likes this.
  22. fourspd2quad
    Joined: Jul 6, 2006
    Posts: 510

    fourspd2quad
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I dig budget builds! Keep at it!
     
  23. rwrj
    Joined: Jan 30, 2009
    Posts: 305

    rwrj
    Member
    from SW Ga

    Time for a hood. Same construction method. The different shape of the radiator shell and body makes this a little trickier. Eyballed it again. IMAG1194.jpg IMAG1195.jpg IMAG1196.jpg IMAG1202.jpg IMAG1201.jpg
     
  24. fourspd2quad
    Joined: Jul 6, 2006
    Posts: 510

    fourspd2quad
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Digging the popsicle stick hood!
     
    Cosmo49 and slimcat7m3 like this.
  25. Ebbsspeed
    Joined: Nov 11, 2005
    Posts: 4,406

    Ebbsspeed
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Are those garage door windows in the background of the photo, or reflective signs?
     
  26. Burkedore
    Joined: Nov 9, 2013
    Posts: 144

    Burkedore
    Member

    I really like what you are doing here! Can't wait to see what comes next
     
  27. ozstuff
    Joined: Aug 14, 2017
    Posts: 14

    ozstuff

    Are those garage door windows in the background of the photo, or reflective signs?
    They are windows.
    Oz
     
  28. ozstuff
    Joined: Aug 14, 2017
    Posts: 14

    ozstuff

    And rwrj your car is shaping up very well. I like what you are doing.
    Oz
     
  29. rwrj
    Joined: Jan 30, 2009
    Posts: 305

    rwrj
    Member
    from SW Ga

    Thank you. This is an end view of the strips, showing the beads and coves that allow you to plank curved shapes without having gaps on the outside, or having to painstakingly bevel the edges. I tack the seams with superglue, then coat with epoxy. Capillary action draws the epoxy in, which effectively bonds the joint. The superglue/epoxy business is something my father came up with. It's not period correct technology. In the old days, each strip would have been individually glued and temporarily nailed or screwed to a form. It took longer, but the results were pretty similar. This is during the first coat of epoxy, so it's not soaking through yet. IMAG1205_1.jpg
     
    shark81, Stogy and spurgeonforge like this.
  30. rwrj
    Joined: Jan 30, 2009
    Posts: 305

    rwrj
    Member
    from SW Ga

    All of this since I started the hood is in real time, all caught up on the past progress, so updates will be coming at a slower pace. I'm adding some framing at each end of the hood encourage it to hold it's shape, and to stiffen it up some.
    IMAG1220.jpg IMAG1221.jpg
     
    Ian 5, BigO, brEad and 17 others like this.

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