Register now to get rid of these ads!

Projects T-V8 Build Thread

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Late to the Party, Mar 8, 2016.

  1. Well, I've been poking around here since last November, so I thought it was about time I started a build thread to show y'all what I'm working on. I did an introductory thread back then.

    The first thing I want to say is that I am in awe of the talent I see posted on this site. The metal fabrication and the high quality of the welding some of you folks do just blows me away. I know some of you do this for a living, but's mind-blowing. With that said, I'll say that I'm not a professional metalworker, but I enjoy doing this kind of work and I want to build this car. I've built several frame-up restorations, but as you all know, there's a lot more ass-scratching involved in building a Hot Rod. That's why I love it. My fabrication skills are not at the level of what I see on this site, so don't expect too much. My work will be rudimentary by comparison. But I enjoy building cars, so here we go.

    I began this build about 9 years ago. Then some other things became more urgent, so the chassis was out back of my shop eating grass for about 8 years. I brought it back into the shop last fall. Here's a pic of it at that time. I have been building and restoring Model T's for the past 15 years, so there will be several T parts involved in this car. I like Model T's. I built the frame using Model TT one-ton truck frame rails with shortened Model A front and rear crossmembers. I wanted the extra length of the TT rails, and wanted to be able to bolt in Model A front and rear ends.

    And here it is with the 59A block and '39 tranny in place. I began at the back and worked my way forward, so I didn't need to shorten the driveshaft. With the engine/trans in place, I left enough space for the fan and radiator, then cut off a few inches of excess frame rails and welded in the front crossmember. I won't be having the problem that a lot of you are experiencing, trying to shoehorn an engine into a too-small space.

    I disassembled it all and had the frame sandblasted (again), added an X-member of 3" channel, then painted it with Nason Chassis Black using a brush.
    I looked for quite a while for a '15 Roadster body. This is all I could come up with.
    The passenger's side isn't bad, but the mice have been after the bottom of the driver's side. The cowl top was beat up and rusted through, but I had a better one in stock. The rear center panel was a mess as well, plus, it's a '23 body, so the bead above the turtle is too high. The '15 through '23 bodies are essentially the same, except for that center panel. So I ordered a repro '15 panel from Howell's. About that time, I was visiting with Bob Whitehead, who lives about 30 miles from me. He had a running rebuilt stocker 8BA engine he wanted to sell, and he made me a good deal on it. I jumped at that, since it cost me less than it would have to finish building the 59A I have, and it would move the build along timewise. The 59AB I started with is a '47 truck motor, so I'll probably finish building it later and swap them out. Here's the 8BA.
    And Bob also made me a deal I couldn't refuse on some Thickstun head covers and a PM-7 intake.
    I set the body on the chassis, in order to figure out where in the world I could put the F-1 steering column. The frame is Model T width at the front and a few inches wider at the rear, so there's not much room inside it.
    I figured out that the steering box would need to be mounted to the top of the frame, rather than inside it. I just needed to slide the body back a couple of inches to make room for it.
    Note the hairpins in that last pic. I didn't like that arrangement, so I rebuilt the hairpins and cut those ugly brackets off, trimmed them down, and welded them on the underside of the frame. You'll see the end result in some later pics.

    When I started this project 9 years ago, I wanted to use a '15-type brass radiator on the car, so I got one from Brassworks, set up for a Flattie. I've since changed my mind about that, since I've not seen any period pics of post-war Rods with brass radiators. Everyone wanted to use later components on their Rods, and brass had long been out of style. From what I can gather, the brass rads became popular again during the Fad-T phase of rodding, and I want my car to look like a post-war build, not a Fad-T. So please ignore the brass rad in the upcoming pics, and envision a black one in its place. (The Brassworks rad will be for sale at Chickasha, in case anyone's interested.) I'm now going with a later T low radiator with a stock T radiator shell. I don't have any pics of that at present, but you all know what they look like.

    I borrowed a tall Thickstun from Bob to see what that would look like. It looked like this:
    The taller PM-7s have a lot more WOW! power than the shorter ones, but I'm going to run the top of a hood, and the tall manifold din't work out with that. The tall one put the top half of the carbs outside the hood, and I didn't like that. So it's back to the shorter one, which will expose just the top of the air filter above the hood, and I think that'll look pretty kool.

    OK, back to the steering. There was not enough room for the box in its stock configuration, even mounted atop the frame. So I cut off the mounting flange along with about 1" of the bearing surface for the shaft.
    Then I turned the flange around, and that extra 1" made it fit just fine. I didn't weld it back together yet, because I'm waiting until I have the body and seats in place to determine the best angle for the column.
    So the bottom bolt goes through the frame rail, and I made brackets for the other two bolts. They got welded to the top of the frame just after this pic, but I'm ashamed of my welds so here's a pic with those pieces sitting in place without the welds.
    The Pitman arm was curved away from the chassis, like this.
    So I applied some heat and reversed the bends, so it's closer to the chassis. DSCN8700.JPG
    I bought these aftermarket headlight mounting brackets which are made like folks used to do using a Model A headlight bar. I didn't want to ruin an original light bar, so I bought the repops. I put them alongside the radiator, so I could use the same bolts for both.
    I have a pair of headlights to use which are off some mid-30's car or truck, but they are 9" diameter, and they wouldn't fit on the stands beside the radiator. So I opted to go with some aftermarket 7" Dietz-type lights instead.
    I shortened a pair of F-1 shock mounts by 2-1/2" and bent their tails up.
    Here they are on the chassis.
    And here they are with shocks installed. I used the perch-bolt lower mounts because they were quick and easy and I didn't know any better. But after seeing several folks chastised here for using them, I'll now drill the axle and weld in some bungs instead. :)
    DSCN8721.JPG Don't mind the overspray; I had just painted the engine red a few feet away. I welded on mounts for the rear shocks. (I hope I did these right.)
    Here's the painted 8BA, with 59A heads. That's so I can use the Thickstun head covers.
    And here's a pic showing those rebuilt hairpins I mentioned earlier.

    Well, that's about all for now. Tune in next time for the next exciting chapter, when we will attack that ugly rustbucket and try to make a decent body out of it.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2016
    Oiled_Shea, Cosmo50, GuyW and 13 others like this.
  2. 410merc
    Joined: Mar 31, 2014
    Posts: 69


    that will be a cool car ,great photes ,good f1 steering box photos ,glad I tuned in
    Late to the Party and bct like this.
  3. bct
    Joined: Apr 4, 2005
    Posts: 3,064


    I agree . Great steering mods.
    Late to the Party likes this.
  4. Thanks, Guys. I had seen several posts here where folks cut off the mounting flange and replaced it with another piece, so I knew that was do-able. I just figured this was a way to narrow the box to work with my very narrow frame, while retaining the full bearing area for the steering shaft.
    Register now to get rid of these ads!

  5. patmanta
    Joined: May 10, 2011
    Posts: 3,453

    from Woburn, MA

    NICE! I really like the TT, AA, & BB truck frames. SUBSCRIBED!
  6. cool stuff!
    Late to the Party likes this.
  7. Okie Dokie then, I'm back. I did change out the lower shock mounts for some weld-in bungs. I had to narrow them a bit to fit between the top & bottom axle flanges. I won't show you any pics of them welded in place, because my welding sucks.

    I also got the backing plates and brake parts installed, as well as the hubs & drums. I didn't take any pics of those, but I'm using all 40's brake parts, so you all know what they look like.

    I showed my rusty, rotten semblance of a car body to my Model T buddy JD, and he said, "I can fix that." Turns out he used to do body work in a former life. Having JD on the case has been a Godsend, because my body working skills are right up there with my welding. Here's the body as-bought.


    The mice and termites have been hard at work. Those white spots you see aren't paint, they're daylight!



    JD made a patch panel for the lower 4" of the entire left side, and a new "tail" where the body flows down into the turtle platform. The '23 bodies were low-cowl like the '15-22's, but they had a taller turtle. So the bead at the top of the turtle is too high for an earlier turtle, which is what I'll use. This will be a '21 T body when we're through with it -- I just couldn't bring myself to build a '23. ;) Here's the higher bead on the '23:


    And here's a new seat back panel from Howell's with the lower bead:


    Here it is in place:



    Next, JD began cutting out pieces for patch panels and floor panels. (This is how the po' boys do it.) :)



    Then we fitted some 1" x 1" square tubing around the top edge of the body before disassembling it. This is part of the body's subframe assembly.




    Here's a trial fit of one seat to determine the height of the seat riser. It turned out to be 3". Seats are from a late 50's Austin-Healey and will be the latest components in the car.


    We cut out panels for the floor, and I took them to sheet metal shop to have the major breaks done on a machine. JD did the finer points by hand.




    Here's a shot of JD shaping some body panels "the old-fashioned way."


    Here's a trial-fit of the body subframe onto the chassis. (The seat back will get 2 or 3 more upright 1x1's.)


    Measuring for the spring hump in the turtle floor.


    We managed to get the shifter hole in the right place!


    Front floor and seat riser. If we had a bead roller, we'd probably run some beads through these panels for stiffness at this point. But since we don't, I'll have flat floors.


    With the body panels all disassembled, JD works on them -- straightening and sanding.


    The right side body panel has a little rust-through, but nothing too serious. JD made a new section of bottom edge and applied fiberglass cloth to the inside of the pinholed area.


    Tweaking the top edge.


    After sanding, we painted all the body panels with "Rust Bullet." Note that the left side of the body is missing its bottom 4" and "tail." JD left the bead around the false door, even though it was pinholed. He'll fix the holes using fiber glass on the inside of the panels.


    Floor panels on body subframe. Getting ready for rear spring hump.


    Hump made and fitted.


    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 10, 2016
    brEad, FlatJan, dwollam and 3 others like this.
  8. Well, I maxed out on the number of pics on that last thread. I have a few more to post, so here goes:

    Hump fitted.


    Here's the left side body panel with the new lower edge and fiberglass on the inside.


    JD applying resin to the 'glass cloth.


    The left side panel with new patch panel and 'glass.



    Then JD applied "All Metal" filler.


    I restored the turtle for my '21 stocker, but I didn't do a very good job of fixing the holes where a hasp had been added. JD fixed it right up, along with a few other dents and bruises. (My stocker now has a pickup bed -- much better.)


    Here's the turtle, primed.


    And some floor boards primed.


    So that's about where we are at this point. It has been about a month since the first installment, and we've gotten a lot done in that time. We're getting dangerously close to final assembly of the body and PAINT! Shiny black, of course. ;) All this body work has been done in JD's small and overcrowded shop, under the watchful eye of his '20 Coupe.

  9. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,217


    QUOTE: "I won't show you any pics of them welded in place, because my welding sucks."

    I'm here to see stuff being made by "most of us". Don't worry if you think your work is not up to someone else's expectations.

    And I read further down and see your friend fixing that dicey area with glass... Again, showing this, might help some others fix a "woods-find" body that simply cannot be fixed the way that less damaged bodies can.

    good build for showing alternative methods. IMO
  10. Legendlives
    Joined: Mar 4, 2016
    Posts: 203


    Keep the pics coming.
    Don't worry about the welding. There's always going to be haters.
    brEad and Late to the Party like this.
  11. I'm with F&J- I love the builds done by the guys with shops full of English wheels and shrinker/stretchers; but I'll never have all that stuff. This is a lot closer to the builds me and my buddies do. Watching this one with interest!
    volvobrynk and Late to the Party like this.
  12. dumprat
    Joined: Dec 27, 2006
    Posts: 2,385

    from b.c.

    I like it! Two guys fixing an old car with some skills and what they have around or can get cheap.
  13. Thanks for the nice comments, Guys. I'll post another installment when we get the body painted.
  14. steel rebel
    Joined: Jun 14, 2006
    Posts: 3,604

    steel rebel
    Member Emeritus

    We are not all professional "Panel Beaters" If I told you some of the things I did to make this T body presentable you would all think I'm a "hack" which I am. Presentable is what I was shooting for. You can see the side of the P.U. bed here. The first professional photographer that shot it for a calendar said "it looks like you took a ball peen hammer to it". I told him I had to get it as good as it is. He said no problem, moved a lamp that put the glare off of it and all the imperfections disappeared. Okay here is one or two. Remember it has been on the road since 1990. I smeared Bondo over braze where the P.U. bed meets the body and sanded it smooth. Look still there after 25+years. Well that's all I am going to cop to but believe me I did a lot worse.

    fourspd2quad, brEad, Outback and 9 others like this.
  15. waxhead
    Joined: May 11, 2013
    Posts: 1,084

    from West Oz

    Looking good. Subscribed.
  16. You guys are great!
    Were subscribed...
    Late to the Party likes this.
  17. I love 'T' hot rods! Go go GO!
  18. Not everyone has the skills, time, money or equipment to metalfinish bodywork to professional standards, plus we are often working with panels that have been rejected by restorers as beyond saving. If a bit of epoxy or fibreglass can get the job done then why not?

    I'm also using a TT chassis;

  19. Blackjack -- You turned that TT frame every way but loose! ;)
  20. steinauge
    Joined: Feb 28, 2014
    Posts: 1,507

    from 1960

    Great thread! I bet your welding is better than mine.I love the car.
    Late to the Party likes this.
  21. ClarkH
    Joined: Jul 21, 2010
    Posts: 784


    Just found this. I really like where you're going. Heck of a save on that body.
    Late to the Party likes this.
  22. Great build.

    Late to the Party likes this.
  23. Well, the body isn't painted yet, but I have some pics to share. There is more time involved than I realized between where we are and the color coat. ;) Here's the body going back together.
    Here's the left body side in place.
    And the seatback portion of the body framework. It's not attached yet, just built and slipped into place.
    Here's where the turtle fits up to the body. I hadn't realized it until now, but apparently the earlier turtles are narrower than the later ones, as well as shorter in height. JD had to add some steel to the body's "tails" to close gaps there on both sides. DSCN2544.JPG
    So that's where we are at this point. The whole body is pretty much together, so it's starting to look like a "real" body now. It's now far different from the rusty hulk JD started working on. I can see now that it really will make a car! When first assessing the rotten body, I was tempted to buy a fiberglass bucket, just to take the easy way out. I'm SO glad I didn't do that, because now my car will have a body of real Henry steel. (Most of it anyway.) :) I am indebted to JD for pulling this off.
  24. Well done - if you hadn't rescued that body it would probably have fallen to pieces.
    Late to the Party likes this.
  25. I am not usually a fan of fibreglassing panels as I have seen some hack jobs covering major rust damage but in the case of your T it makes sense with the amount of pin holing and pits, JD did a great job.
    Outback and Late to the Party like this.
  26. Fill & sand & fill & sand & fill & sand. You know the drill.

    I am really impressed with how solid the body is now. I remember it as a rotten wood framework, with flimsy sheet metal flappin' in the breeze. You could pick up any one corner, and the whole body would twist. JD did a helluva' job replacing all that rotten wood with a steel framework he built for it. It's now solid as a rock! :) :) :)
    dwollam, AHotRod, kiwijeff and 6 others like this.
  27. DSCN2557.JPG This pic is supposed to go into the thread later, where noted, but I don't know how to put it there. I forgot to post it during composing the post, and when I added it, it ended up here. :( Sorry about that.

    Now -- Let's begin........

    Special Delivery!!!
    This morning we brought the body back to my shop and set it on the chassis. :):):)
    We still had a few things to do to the body, such as deciding how to bolt it onto the chassis, fitting the firewall around the steering box, setting the correct angle for the steering column, installing the turtle floors and sill covers, and locating the hanging pedal setup. We thought we should do all that before shooting the final primer coat and top coat. Needless to say, I'm tickled to have the body back at my shop and the body and chassis back together again. We bolted the body down to the frame. The frame is so tall, I wanted to hide some of it, so we channeled the front of the body 2" and the back of it 1". The TT frame is tallest near the center and tapers toward both ends, so it didn't need as much channel at the rear, plus the spring clearance is tight.

    Here's JD securing the turtle floor pans in place. The front part of it is recessed down to the frame rails, to make more room for the gas tank.
    The tank is a stock '21-'25 Model T oval tank.
    Recessing it down to the frame rails leaves a little more space inside the turtle. I'll make some straps to hold it in place. Here, the sill covers are going on.
    Trial fit of the tail lights. I really didn't want to cut holes in a perfect turtle, and I think they look good lower on the sills. The downside of this is that I'll need to cut through both walls of the 2" x 3" rectangular tubing for the light housings. It's still better than cutting big holes in a perfect 95-year-old turtle. Someone might want to use it in a restoration after I'm finished with it.

    (Tail light pic goes here.)

    Here's a shot of where we were at the end of the day. I know you guys are all about "stance", but I can't get a shot showing how the car sits inside my shop without moving a bunch of stuff. I'll roll it outside tomorrow and get a good profile pic.
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2016
    brEad, Outback, dwollam and 8 others like this.
  28. 46stude
    Joined: Mar 3, 2004
    Posts: 1,704


    Great build. Stuff like this is the reason I'm on the HAMB. High $$ builds are nice, but this project is what I envision when I'm referring to traditional hot rodding.
  29. steinauge
    Joined: Feb 28, 2014
    Posts: 1,507

    from 1960

    Looks great!Especially like the head covers.
    Late to the Party likes this.
  30. Thank you, 46stude and steinauge. I appreciate the compliments.

    Stude -- My first car was a Hot Rod I built from parts when I was 17-18 years old. Talk about a low-budget build! That's the only way I know how to do it. ;)

    Steinauge -- The Thickstun head covers are for some bling on a used, rebuilt 8BA engine I got for cheap, to get the car going sooner. I have a '47 59-AB truck motor which I will finish building as time permits and swap them out later. I have Offy heads and intake for that one. So stay tuned, the Thickstun head covers and intake will be for sale at some point.
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2016
    bigblockfordman likes this.

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!


Copyright © 1995-2020 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.