The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by rwrj, Nov 21, 2017.
Great build. Love the whole vintage & bare bones concept. Inspiring.
so cool to see it on the road!
Thank you all. It was a blast (literally and figuratively). Gdaddy, that right front isn't locking up at all, but some trick of videography sure makes it look like it. So much so that, after you pointed it out, I had to run outside and see if there was a skid mark in the leaves. The brakes and steering are what's keeping this thing from being roadworthy. Well, that and the lack of working lights. And something to keep the wind down. And... Anyway, back to the brakes and steering. I've adjusted both, but the steering box is just worn out, and the brakes seem to bottom out before they really grab. I've adjusted them from the backside of each, but can barely get them to lock up on dirt. The linkages are all adjusted up as short as they will go. The drums and shoes don't look too worn, but I have no idea how thick the lining on the shoes should be. Maybe new shoes? I'm on the lookout for a good Gemmer Model A box. Can't afford an F1 box or a juice brake conversion. I did find some affordable tires for my 19" rear rims. Shipping will probably take awhile, though.
I LOVE IT!!! I never was an early speedster guy but watching your run down the road changed my mind.
Turns out, I never did get around to adjusting that steering box. I researched it a lot, and I guess that convinced my poor old memory that I had actually done it. Used the real good directions at modelabasics.com this morning, and it worked. Hardly any play left, effort is reasonable, especially when its rolling. I also heated and bent the pitman arm to re-center it in the steering travel. One of the first things I did on this project was to reduce the angle of the steering column. I just ovaled out the bolt holes with a rat-tail file and dropped it a few degrees, but that did affect the angle of the pitman arm. So, the steering is tight. I need one of those dust covers for the drag link. Then figure out the brakes.
I love the speedster! That thing looks like a blast to drive.
I think these pictures are self explanatory. I'll just add that they don't quite represent the true level of pondering and changing that went on, or the propane tank and assortment of pipe sections I used as bending forms. Still have to attach it, and polish it up a bit.
I have some more work to do, but this is the basic idea. We found the aluminum attached to a post floating in Appalachee Bay after a hurricane years ago, which is why it has the corrosion marks on it. I kind of like it like that, though. Matches the rest of the build. The second picture is my middle daughter, home for Christmas from her second year at the US Naval Academy. She looks like a kid in the picture, but she's pretty spunky and tough.
The cowl you added looks just right. Looking great!
What a great project! Damn right she's spunky and tough if she's made it through one and a half years at Annapolis!
Yes you'v got a ripper car there. Great work
this is a really fun little car. been a blast to watch it come together so far. makes me want to build another...
I shot a little start up video this morning. It was about 35 degrees. Cold for SW GA.
Two Happy Campers......Happy New Year RW...may the new year bring some vintage plates with a sticker so ya can be a legal hoodlum......and don't be shy about swapping the wheels depending on your mood. It wears the combinations well.
As a spectator with a front row seat I look forward to your winding road of change to this vintage jalopy.
I found this old steering wheel. Model T, I think? The taper and keyway are right, but it's too flat, right up against the dash and cowl. I spent this morning turning an extension from a leftover piece of manganese bronze propeller shaft. I don't have a compound taper on my little lathe, so I had to turn in a bunch of steps and smooth it out with a file for the male end. Fortunately, I had a set of reamers that were the right taper for the female end. I pulled the horn tube from the steering shaft (I think that's what it is?) and the hole was just right for a 7/16" tap. When it's all together, there will be a bolt from the wheel through the extension into the steering shaft. I think it should be strong enough, but I'm open to contradiction. I like the wheel placement now. It has that Barney Oldfield feel, kind of up in your chest like in the old race car pictures.
Love it!!! Now that makes the car!!!
Thank you. It sure beats the hell out of that 70's dune-buggy vibe I had going before.
That thing is great! It's a very neat project.
In your start up video, the owl shifter watches us from the shadows....
Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
The steering wheel extension works fine. I don't think the pictures make it clear, but there is a 7/16" rod that goes from my homemade nut all the way through the extension and threads into the original shaft. When its all snugged up, I can yank and tug away with absolutely no give or wiggle. I'm convinced that the old steering wheel would come apart before I would have any problem with the shaft. I was a little concerned that the edge of the wheel now shows above my little cowl, but I browsed some of the old racer threads on here, and it wasn't at all uncommon, back in the day. As always, I appreciate all of the comments and support. Not to mention the inspiration I get from this site. Don't say anything about the JB Weld radiator repair. A man's got to do what he has to do, sometimes.
Perfect wheel for that car! Big improvement!
The cowl and steering wheel just make the whole car! Well done!
wow, fun f I ever saw it, and a bunch less investment than most rods...
makes me feel like a fool for taking as little as I did for my A chassis when I see what you did...
I know you snow birds are going to laugh, but this just doesn't happen down here. I'm only 30 miles North of Tallahassee. I understand, though. Every time it hits 100 degrees in NYC it makes the news. We just shake our heads. Down here, that's called July. I think I'll post one of these on that winter time thread, just for fun. Happy New Year, by the way.
Time to put the snow chains on.
I took four leaves out of the rear spring yesterday, starting with the second longest and then every other one after that. I used the c-clamp/threaded rod method. No pictures, but it's pretty well documented on here. Of course, I left the bottom leaf shackled to the rear end. It rode much better and sat a little lower. This morning I played with fire. I know that bending the ends of the springs is frowned upon by some on here, but it seems to me it was pretty common during the speedster era. We can argue the pros and cons, if you like. When I started this build, I wasn't really guided by a particular philosophy beyond keeping it as inexpensive as possible, and doing all of the work myself. As it's progressed, I've found myself wondering how a farm boy in the Depression would have approached whatever I'm considering, and been guided by that. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to replicate any historical car (for the most part, Model A's came after the speedster era), but I am deliberately trying to only use what I have and what I know. I'm pretty confident I haven't used any tools or skills that weren't pretty common back then.
Anyway, here are some pictures. First, the bending. I used the C-clamp to limit how close to the axle I got, and to make sure it was the same on each side. Had to use a big clamp on the rear to encourage it. The car is real light back there, and I didn't want to get the metal really hot.
That string is part of my temporary (?) brake return spring.
Next, some stance pictures. I'm including an old one with the stock rear spring, front with three or four leaves out, can't remember for sure. Next, four leaves out of the rear, front unchanged. Last, after bending front and rear.
And finally, a couple of shots of the rear spring, both with the leaves removed, before and after bending the ends. Don't know why I didn't take the same pictures of the front. Sorry. I'll include a shot of the bends I had to put in the drag link to clear the tie rod. As always, thank you for looking, and comments/criticisms welcome.
Separate names with a comma.