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Projects Straight 8 RPU build thread

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by bobbytnm, Oct 24, 2017.

  1. bobbytnm
    Joined: Dec 16, 2008
    Posts: 1,422

    bobbytnm
    Member

    Yes, I've fiddled with steering u-joints quite a bit (on other projects). So far this seems to work. I wont know for sure until I can run it around the block under its own power, but right now, running it lock to lock feels pretty good...no binding.

    That may be true. Usually if you have more than 2 u-joints you'll need some kind of center support. Right now it feels pretty solid. That could change once its finally able to move under its own power. If so, then I'll go back to the drawing board (again.....lol)

    Thanks guys
     
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  2. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,593

    Atwater Mike
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Fun build, Bobby...Love that big Thunderbolt! Onlookers'll make some interesting observations, (I just love to put some of 'em on, especially the 'smart types'...)
    "Yep...Thunderbolt. Pulled it out of a junked P-47 Thunderbolt, big airplane engine, WWII. Flies..."

    Years ago, some pushy guy was looking at my channeled 'A' Coupe, Olds powered...
    "Oldsmobile Rocket???? Thet sounds faaast..."

    Too tempting... Nice job, clean bracketry. Excellent shop made hub puller. Copying that one for myself. Thanks.
     
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  3. bobbytnm
    Joined: Dec 16, 2008
    Posts: 1,422

    bobbytnm
    Member

    Mike,
    Thanks for the kind words. They sure help with the motivation.

    I have made a few more baby steps this week. I decided that I want to start the engine and bring it up to temp. The will also allow me to check the condition of the water and fuel pumps (I'm guess they are both toast). If they need a rebuild I'd like to know before I paint that Thunderbolt. So, I scrounged up a radiator that I can use as a temp water source, I fabbed some clutch linkage, I pulled the thermostat housing and verified that it was working. I need to rig up some temp radiator hoses but hopefully in a week or so I can here the old beast run again.
    I'll take some video when I make that happen.

    Thanks again for the kind words
    Bobby
     
  4. ^^^^can't wait to see that video!
     
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  5. bobbytnm
    Joined: Dec 16, 2008
    Posts: 1,422

    bobbytnm
    Member

    Murphy's Law once again holds true. Just when I thought I could make some progress life slapped me back down.

    I still haven't managed to fire my engine up. While rigging up a temp radiator I noticed several stress cracks on my fan blades. So, I decided to pull the fan and make some repairs. Naturally I snapped off all 4 fan bolts. No biggie, plenty of bolt sticking out of the water pump flange, I figured I'd be able to weld a 1/4" nut on the stubs and then back them right out......LOL. Nope. Broke them all off again. Long story short I ended up having to drill each one of them out.
    I managed to drill all 4 without damaging the threads.
    Today I finally had some time to tackle the fan repairs. There were 4 stress cracks near the hub where the 2 fan blades are riveted together. I drilled a small hole at the end of the cracks, beveled the edges of the cracks and welded them up. A bit of grinding and smoothing and its good to go.

    No pics of progress as it was rather mundane stuff. No promises on when I might get things rigged up to start the engine, hopefully soon.

    Bobby
     
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  6. 64 DODGE 440
    Joined: Sep 2, 2006
    Posts: 4,254

    64 DODGE 440
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from so cal

    Speaking from experience don't use the repaired fan, buy a new one. It's not worth risking the damage when a blade comes off. Been there done that, cost me a radiator. Also had a friend with a '59 Bel Air 409 car lose one, it cut the wire loom on the way out through the hood. Not pretty and expensive to repair.
     
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  7. winduptoy
    Joined: Feb 19, 2013
    Posts: 2,378

    winduptoy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Bobby,
    send me a photo of the fan blade next to a ruler and ill look thru my heap for one that isn't cracked
     
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  8. bobbytnm
    Joined: Dec 16, 2008
    Posts: 1,422

    bobbytnm
    Member

    Great advice guys.

    I'll try and get some pics of the fan this afternoon.
     
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  9. bobbytnm
    Joined: Dec 16, 2008
    Posts: 1,422

    bobbytnm
    Member

    Larry,
    Here are a few pics of the fan. It's approximately 20" across, the center hole is approx. 1 1/4" diameter and the bolt spacing is approx 1 7/8"
    IMG_7978.JPEG IMG_7979.JPEG IMG_7980.JPEG
     
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  10. brading
    Joined: Sep 9, 2019
    Posts: 387

    brading
    Member

    If I had to use the cracked/repaired fan then I would make up and weld on a support ring something like the picture on the back side of the fan.
     

    Attached Files:

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  11. bobbytnm
    Joined: Dec 16, 2008
    Posts: 1,422

    bobbytnm
    Member

    Well, its been a long time but I finally have some progress to report.
    I've been wanting to fire up the engine for quite some time so I can assess the condition of the water pump and fuel pump. I had a spare radiator from my old Jeepster Commando and some cobbled together radiator hoses, etc. I wired up the ignition, bolted my carb back on and fired the old Packard up.
    Believe it or not, the water pump doesn't leak and the fuel pump works. Pretty surprising since this engine has set dry for tons of years. I think I'll go ahead and rebuild the water and fuel pump. I'll also need to get a new accelerator pump for the carb but the engine runs great!!!


     
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  12. winduptoy
    Joined: Feb 19, 2013
    Posts: 2,378

    winduptoy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

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  13. Sounds great Bobby!
     
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  14. That sounds great!
     
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  15. fiftyv8
    Joined: Mar 11, 2007
    Posts: 5,157

    fiftyv8
    Member
    from CO & WA

    Sure makes all those tough days when things go wrong worth it when hear that sweet sound of a running flathead engine.
     
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  16. bobbytnm
    Joined: Dec 16, 2008
    Posts: 1,422

    bobbytnm
    Member

    A new phase has begun...
    I decided to jump into the front suspension. My front spring is in horrible shape; broken leaves, badly replaced leaves, etc. I dug around in the yard and I had another front spring and 40 Ford axle laying around. The spring looks pretty good overall and only has the top spring busted. It should be easy enough to freshen up.
    I started banging out the old worn out bushings. Surprisingly they didn't put up too big of a fight. Then I attacked the wishbone. One side came out easy enough, the other side was a different story. I finally got it.
    While I got the front end apart I figured I'd better replace the king pins so I pulled the hubs and backing plates. I was able to drive the king pins out without too much cussing and sweating. I was just sure I was going to have to pull the axle and go borrow a press, but no, I was able to bang them out.

    The only thing I couldn't get loose is the steering tie rod. So now I have the spindles off the car still connected to the tie rod...LOL. I have parts on order; a king pin and bushing kit, tie rod ends, various brake hoses and fittings, etc. I'm sure I'll need tons of brake hardware. I guess I should dig out my hydraulic backing plates and start making a list.

    IMG_8617.JPEG IMG_8618.JPEG
     
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  17. bobbytnm
    Joined: Dec 16, 2008
    Posts: 1,422

    bobbytnm
    Member

    I got the new king pin bushing installed. Then it took me a little while a a few phone calls to located a bushing reamer, but I finally found one and got the bushings reamed out to fit the king pins. I managed to get the spindles back on the axle this afternoon. I'm hoping to get the tie rod ends on the steering link this weekend and dig around in the shed and try to find all of my hydraulic brake parts so I can get them cleaned up and assessed and see what parts I need to order.

    Slowly but surely I'm making forward progress...

    IMG_8642.JPEG IMG_8651.JPEG
     
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  18. Keep pecking away at it Bobby, you'll get there. Any progress is good!
     
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  19. winduptoy
    Joined: Feb 19, 2013
    Posts: 2,378

    winduptoy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Greased Lightening in the background....that's what is going to make this thing fast huh...good thing you can steer it where you want to go then. Way to keep after it!
     
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  20. bobbytnm
    Joined: Dec 16, 2008
    Posts: 1,422

    bobbytnm
    Member

    Out with the old, in with the new(er)...
    I got the front end back together. I installed some new spring shackles in my new(er) spring and got it back on the wishbones. I found my hydraulic brake parts and got the new(er) backing plates installed on the spindles. I'm using my older drums so I can retain the wide 5 bolt pattern
    I still need to hit everything with a wire brush and slap on a coat of paint (and grease everything), but... ...its all good, and everything works together.
    I even hit the wheel cylinders with compressed air and everything works.

    IMG_8656.JPEG IMG_8658.JPEG IMG_8661.JPEG
     
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  21. Looks good Bobby. I love the wide fives. Good choice.
     
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  22. bobbytnm
    Joined: Dec 16, 2008
    Posts: 1,422

    bobbytnm
    Member

    I dug through the scrap bucket and found the brake line brackets from the 40 Ford frame. I drilled and tapped a couple of holes and... ...voila... ...rubber lines mounted.
    I need to do some head scratching and hand wringing and figure out where to run the hard lines. Consistent with my nature I might have done a few things different if I had thought about brake lines way back in the beginning. Now I'll just have to figure out a clean way to route them that will work with what I have.

    IMG_8714.JPEG
     
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  23. chriseakin
    Joined: Jan 21, 2009
    Posts: 379

    chriseakin
    Member

    • Jonathon W on youtube has been building a similar machine with a Buick straight 8 an 5 -speed - he did a lot of measuring to make that work!
     
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  24. bobbytnm
    Joined: Dec 16, 2008
    Posts: 1,422

    bobbytnm
    Member

    No pics, but I did make some progress.
    I managed to get the front brakes plumbed up. I bent and ran that hard lines from the master cylinder to both front brakes.
    I have the original brake lines from the rear wishbones. I'll have to shorten them up a bit but that shouldn't be an issue. Hopefully within a couple of weeks I can have the entire brake system plumbed up and ready for to add fluid.
     
  25. 60Pioneer
    Joined: Oct 29, 2019
    Posts: 41

    60Pioneer
    Member

    Man I don't know how I haven't found this build til now. Just read through the whole thing. I love the vision and innovation. I really admire your determination and clever problem solving skills. This is so relatable to me as I've also been pecking away at my project for years as life allows. Your truck reminds me of an old fire truck being so long. That Strait 8 sounds raunchy too! Following this build to the finish!
     
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  26. bobbytnm
    Joined: Dec 16, 2008
    Posts: 1,422

    bobbytnm
    Member

    Thanks for the encouraging words!!
    They make for great motivation
     
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  27. brading
    Joined: Sep 9, 2019
    Posts: 387

    brading
    Member

    Out of curiosity what did you do about the cracked fan.
     
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  28. bobbytnm
    Joined: Dec 16, 2008
    Posts: 1,422

    bobbytnm
    Member

    I went ahead and repaired it. I drilled small holes at the ends of each crack and then beveled the edges of the crack with a Dremel tool before welding it up and grounding it smooth. For now I think its OK.
    But, just in case I did locate another fan. My buddy had a spare fan from his 1956 Packard 352ci that is identical and he donated it to the cause.


    Bobby
     
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  29. bobbytnm
    Joined: Dec 16, 2008
    Posts: 1,422

    bobbytnm
    Member

    So, I rolled the roadster out into the sunlight today. I needed to get it turned around in the garage so I can tackle the rear brakes. After I rolled it down the driveway I drilled into the concrete and set some 1/2" drop in anchors so I can attach an anchor plate to attach a winch to. My driveway has a decent incline so its nice to be able to winch things back up into the garage.
    I got the car nosed into the garage and tool the rear hub off to see what I'm up against. I've never had a banjo diff apart. Do they have an outer axle seal?
    IMG_8876.JPEG IMG_8877.JPEG IMG_8882.JPEG IMG_8883.JPEG
     
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  30. bobbytnm
    Joined: Dec 16, 2008
    Posts: 1,422

    bobbytnm
    Member

    Still poking along in fits and spurts.....
    I had to order some brake shoes, hub seals, and some replacement lower brake shoe anchor bolts.

    Helpful tip: If you need to replace the brake shoe anchor bolts for your 39-40something Ford it's cheaper to buy the anchor bolts for a 1943-1950something Jeep. All the Ford suppliers want to sell you the bolt only (no nut or lock washer) for anywhere from $10-$25 each. For an early Jeep you can get the bolt for around $8 (including nut and lock washer). I ended up buying 2 complete sets with connecting links on Ebay for $15.

    Right now I'm still waiting on my seals to arrive. I've cleaned up the backing plates, etc. and gave them a quick coating of paint. Everything is just about ready to go back together once I get the seals.
    IMG_8891.jpeg IMG_8938.JPEG IMG_8939.JPEG IMG_8940.JPEG IMG_8943.jpeg
     
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