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Projects T-V8 Build Thread

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

  1. Mindover
    Joined: Jan 18, 2009
    Posts: 1,625

    from England

    Its going to be a nice car. I like what you have done so far. the front wishbone mounts look a lot nicer now. Its not always necessary to have lots of machines or even a wheeling machine almost anything can be fixed or made with just hand tools. Your friend did pretty well on the floor panels. Keep up the good work.

    brEad and Late to the Party like this.
  2. I like it!! Keep posting.
    Late to the Party likes this.
  3. Thanks, David. Your comments mean a lot, since they're coming from a metal-shaping professional. I watched your youtube video and enjoyed it. I don't have any sheet metal shaping experience, so I am very fortunate to have JD on board.
  4. I don't have a lot to report, but I did make a little progress. I got the Austin-Healey seats installed. Had to make a couple of the tracks, since they had been lost at some point. I'll have the seats recovered. Note the F-1 steering column at the far right of the picture. I'm going to need to shorten it by about a foot.
    I did a few small things which don't show much, such as running all the brake lines and welding up the seams at the corners of the sill covers. I also spent a couple of hours fine-tuning the door fit. I had the local exhaust shop make me some radiator tubes to fit. The "official" Flattie ones came out about 5" too tall for my short radiator.
    I had the radiator built (by Superior Radiator in MI) to fit a Model T low radiator shell, so the tubes the vendors sell were way too tall. I asked the exhaust shop guy whether he could re-bend those, but he said he'd just mess them up if he tried. So I had him make me some from 1-3/4" exhaust tubing yesterday. He made them a little long, and I cut them to fit, then painted them. Then I installed them today, using old-style hose clamps. I had bought a big box full of those clamps several years back, and I had used a few of them working on Model T's. So I had plenty on hand now that I needed some. It takes a dozen to do a Flattie.

    They're a small detail, but I think those small details add up to a lot when trying to achieve a Traditional-looking build. Dennis Lacy said in his build thread that he drills bolts for cotter pins and uses castle nuts rather than the ny-lock nuts which come with some modern repro parts because he feels that those details are important. I couldn't agree more, and I'm doing the same thing on my car. I've restored Model T's for about 15 years, and I can tell you that Ford used about a zillion castle nuts and cotter pins per car. ;)
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2016
    Vic Walter, brEad, dwollam and 6 others like this.
  5. bobbytnm
    Joined: Dec 16, 2008
    Posts: 1,443


    Great inspiration here
    Thanks for posting your build!!

    Late to the Party likes this.
  6. OK, so I rolled it outside to get a profile pic. Tires are 6.00-16's in front and 7.00-16's in the rear.
    The crankcase looks too close to the ground, but I think that's because of the crown in the driveway. Sitting on the level garage floor, there's 6-1/2" of clearance. I've been working on getting the pedals worked out, and I'm about done with them. I'll post pics of that when they're finished.
  7. PKap
    Joined: Jan 5, 2011
    Posts: 593

    from Alberta

    Really nice job. Authentic build that still requires your problem solving, has unique features, is not cloning someone else's car, and putting "junk" back on the road without spending double what it's worth.
    You're hitting every important key imo.
    Looks like a blast.
    gas pumper and Late to the Party like this.
  8. Thanks, PKap. I appreciate your comments.
  9. arkiehotrods
    Joined: Mar 9, 2006
    Posts: 6,551


    This is a great thread! You are an excellent writer, LTTP! For a lot of years, I have enjoyed visiting with JD at the Petit Jean Swap Meet, as the Model T guys had their spot right next to drdave and me. He has a ton of knowledge and lots of skills!
    Late to the Party likes this.
  10. Arkie -- Thanks for the compliment. I am one of those "Model T guys" who are always there with JD at PJ. JD is much more of a talker than I am. ;) We'll be in the same place, as always. For 10 years I had a '15 Touring Car, then a wood-bodied green pickup, now a '21 RPU with a gray bed. We'll see you there in about 6 weeks.
    bigblockfordman and arkiehotrods like this.
  11. Great job saving that body. It gives me some ideas on how to save my T body. I like that metal "cage" for body support. Might have to steal that :cool:. Did you use 2x3 subrails because thats what the stock wood is?
  12. "Did you use 2x3 subrails because that's what the stock wood is?"

    Yes. It's kinda' overkill, but we just thought it would work out easier to use the same size material as the original wood. We used 1x1 tubing around the top edge and for the uprights. Two old guys still can lift the body. ;)
  13. How did you form the curves in the 1"?

    I had thought of using angle iron as my sub rails to keep the floor low. I guess the floor could be at the bottom of the 2x3. I'm 6'1" trying to fit in a '15 T!! Every 1/2" is going to count
    brEad likes this.
    Joined: Dec 3, 2002
    Posts: 1,132


  15. "How did you form the curves in the 1"? "

    We clamped the 1x1 to the center of the seat back, then heated and bent it to match the shape of the body. We had to make two of the bends first, in order to clamp it in place. Then just move along slowly, one guy heating and one guy bending to fit. There are some in-process shots in post #7 of this thread. I don't have any "action shots" because we both had our hands full and there was no one else to operate the camera. :)
    brad2v likes this.
  16. Thank you.
    I wasn't sure about bending of the tubing do you know what wall thickness you used?
    Any chance you could pack JD up and send him West?:D
    One more question, Just painting Rust Bullet on that body got rid of all that T rust?
    Thank again I'm hoping to get my T body pieced together this summer, they way you did the inside cage is very well thought out. I bet it made it nice and stiff.
    Make sure an tell JD I have a bunk for him and the coffees always hot and the whiskeys strong:cool:
    Late to the Party likes this.
  17. The 1x1 tubing isn't very thick, I'd guess 1/16" or so. It's plenty strong for what we did with it.

    JD wire brushed and sanded the body panels before using the Rust Bullet. The directions say to remove all the loose rust. It still had some surface rust visible when painted with it, but it was quite smooth by then. I'll have JD go next door to his granddaughter's house so he can catch up on this thread and see your offer. There is no computer in his house. ;)
  18. steinauge
    Joined: Feb 28, 2014
    Posts: 1,507

    from 1960

    The car looks great! I particularly like the way the turtleback came out.Are you going to run a windshield or just a monocle or deflector?
    Late to the Party likes this.
  19. I'll run a windshield. I was going to put a '15-'22 windshield on it, with the bottom half chopped as much as possible. I had a 4"-5" tall bottom glass in mind. I like the vertical windshields on T's, rather than the slanted windshields of the later T's. But in looking at period photos, there are vitrtually no post-war T Hot Rods with vertical windshields. (Fad T's have vertical windshields. :( ) The post-war ones all used slanted ones. So, to be true to "the code", I'm now thinking about putting a slanted one on it, suitably chopped. I really like the looks of ("Mr. Model T") Clayton Paddison's car, and his is slanted quite a bit. It looks sinister. The '23-'25 slanted windshield setup will bolt right onto my '21 body, same as the vertical one. I'll need to get my seating worked out so I can see where my line of sight will be before cutting anything.. Since it will be slanted, I might make it one piece of glass instead of two.
  20. manyolcars
    Joined: Mar 30, 2001
    Posts: 8,510


    beautiful car. What are your spaces at Petit Jean?
  21. OK then -- On with the show! I got really discouraged the other day when I did a trial fit of my fat belly into the seat with the pedals in place. When I raised my foot to reach a pedal, my knees were so high I would need to put the steering column more vertical than I want to, and the steering wheel would need to be too high. (It's that Fad T look again. :( ) So I began looking for ways to make this thing work. It's definitely too late to turn back now! And I have to be comfortable driving the car, or I won't drive it often enough. JD noticed that the front floor pan could be lowered 1", resting it on the frame. So we cut out the floor pan and had a new piece made with turned up edges, so I could screw it to the body subframe.
    That helped a little, but not nearly enough. It also helped out with the pedals. I knew I would need to shorten them, because they are too close to the floor. Dropping the floor 1" means I'd need to shorten them 1" less. So I raised the seat 1" as well. It's on a 3" riser already, so I added another inch temporarily.

    An inch here and an inch there helped slightly. Then I realized that I could bend the pedals toward the firewall about 2" and still have room for a full stroke of the master cylinders.
    That helped even more. Inch by inch, I was making some progress. I bought a "universal fit" pedal setup, and as you can see, it needed a little tweaking. :) They look tacky here after all the heating, but this afternoon I shortened them 1" and painted them, so now they look much better while they're drying overnight. (Sorry, no pics yet.)

    But I still wasn't there on the comfort thing. I am comfortable seated in my restored '21 Roadster, and I can drive it for hours with no problem. So I came to the realization that I needed to ditch the Austin-Healey buckets and put the seat back padding against the back of the body, as was done in the original cars.
    Even though these seats are pretty thin at the top, I think I can gain about 3 or 4" of "butt room" by ditching them and putting the upholstery against the back of the body. An inch here and there helped some, but 3 or 4" more is what I'll need to be happy. So, as much as I like the looks of the A-H buckets, they're going down the road. Plus, back to that "code" thing, buckets were not seen much (if at all) in post-war T builds, so a bench-type seat will be more authentic.

    So tomorrow, after the paint is dry on the pedals, I can put everything back together without the buckets. I'll take the seat bottom out of my restored car for a trial fit and lean back on a pillow to simulate the padding in the body. I hope to be very pleasantly surprised at all the room I'll now have. :) :) :)
  22. Thanks for the compliment. Our PJ spaces are H 23-25. It's where every year for many years there have been several Model T's parked during the swap meet.
  23. manyolcars
    Joined: Mar 30, 2001
    Posts: 8,510


  24. That's odd -- Rows E-J go clear out to the highway, just like B-D. We usually have a few things for sale, but not a lot. This year I'll have some T-Shirts like the one in my avatar, and a few T parts.
  25. Made a little progress today. I put the shortened and painted pedals back in the car, installed the clutch and brake master cylinders for the last time (hopefully), and finished the last two brake lines which connect to the brake M/C. So now all my brake and clutch lines are done. The pedals look a little nicer with some paint. :)
    So I took the seat bottom out of my '21 and put it in the Hot Rod. I shimmed it up nearly to stock height using 3-1/2" blocks in the front and 1-1/2" in the back. The 2" of slant looked good, but it didn't feel like enough support for my legs. I also felt that I was sitting too high in the body. So I went to 3" in the front and none in the back, and that felt great. (This is all on top of a 3" riser which we built into the floor originally.) The 3" difference front-to-back looks like a lot, but it feels good. And that's the important part. The front edge of the seat is 1" lower than stock, but my butt is lower so I don't feel like I'm sitting too high.
    So I'm going to go with a stock T seat bottom spring, and probably 2" of dense foam for the seat back padding. That ought to work out pretty well. I'm still not sure what to use for the upholstery. I'm thinking rolls and pleats. I think white would be too in-your-face and difficult to keep clean. Something less bright, like an oxblood, probably would look pretty good. The body will be shiny black. Any thoughts?
  26. .... your favorite used, free or nearly so ... curb side leather couch giveaway could be just your color deciding factor ! Good tidings to that, and more so keep up the great work. I am here for this kind of build stuff. Never enough ! Late to the Party my ass. :)
  27. waxhead
    Joined: May 11, 2013
    Posts: 1,173

    from West Oz

    I vote for oxblood rolls n pleats
  28. Mindover
    Joined: Jan 18, 2009
    Posts: 1,625

    from England

    It's coming on nicely. Looks better with a bench seat. I am at the same stage with my 27 T, working out seat position, steering wheel and pedals. I am not tall like you though so it should be easier. Here is a link to my build in case you are interested.

  29. I'm only 5'-9" tall. o_O I was going to read your build thread, but that link wouldn't open for me.

    There is a lot of ass-scratching involved with figuring out the seat position, steering column, and pedals. All those components need to work together for the car to work. I see some pics of Fad-T's and wonder how in the world anyone could drive in that position. My guess is that they don't for very long at a time. I need to be comfortable in mine, because I intend to drive it.

    I thought those A-H seats were the tits, but I finally realized they wouldn't work out for me. They just need to go into a longer body, so you can stretch out your legs. Henry and his boys had it figured out pretty well. They didn't waste a thing, including inches of leg (or butt) room. When I put a 2"-thick pad on the back of the body and use the stock bottom spring, everything works out.
    bigblockfordman and gas pumper like this.
  30. 2club
    Joined: Feb 2, 2011
    Posts: 26

    from California


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