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Projects The Afterthought Special - my '28/29 inspired lakes roadster

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by BarryA, Sep 23, 2013.

  1. BarryA
    Joined: Apr 22, 2007
    Posts: 643

    BarryA
    Member

    ...or: On a Whim and a Pry-Bar!

    A couple of years ago I picked up this 'glass bodied car built here in South Africa about 15 years ago.
    [​IMG]

    Not my style, but at the time I had nothing close to finished, and it was an ok running car at a good price. The car had been loosely based on Tim Allen's Licorice, and looked ok from a distance (except for the paintjob!), but there was a lot that was 'off'...

    The gearbox started slipping a little and it turned out there was no way to get it out without removing the body. Which revealed a few howlers in the 'suspension' design....
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
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    While working out the best approach for rear suspension, I decided to try to massage the 'glass shell to fit my 6'3" bulk into a 5'5" space:eek:
    [​IMG]

    After dicking with this for a week or three, and finding how out of symmetrical it all was, as well as being up to 3/4" thick in places, I figured it was better to bin it and do what I do best: A scratch built body from steel.

    This kind of set the tone for what has been a slightly compromised build all the way through. Following along organically, instead of really planning things out well beforehand led to quite a few direction changes along the way - hence the name....
     
  2. BarryA
    Joined: Apr 22, 2007
    Posts: 643

    BarryA
    Member

    I felt that the rear end looked too clunky, but with the wheelbase (92") it was hard to come upwith something that would work.
    I went for a kind of upswept rear pan, wanting to bring a bit of European influence to it.
    Played around with some shapes on board and started cutting metal
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Wheeled in some shape and added a reveal line
    [​IMG]
    Then added a wheel well and started to tie the pieces together
    [​IMG]
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  3. BarryA
    Joined: Apr 22, 2007
    Posts: 643

    BarryA
    Member

    I have always loved the shape of a 28/29 roadster cowl and decided to do something along these lines
    Made a simple hammerform for the rear part of the cowl sides
    [​IMG]
    Then made the cowl top in three pieces
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
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    (At this stage I got the lines wrong and had to revisit this later....:eek:

    I had this old dash panel lying around (anyone know what it is?) and reshaped it a little to fit
    [​IMG]
    Before shaping the top of the cowl to wrap around the cowl frame I made
    [​IMG]
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    With a quick nose cone (later discarded) it was starting to look like something...
    [​IMG]
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    Getting the reverse curve on the front part of the cowl sides was the toughest part with my skills at the time. I later remade these.
    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]


    Couple of pics of the car as it is now in this thread:
    http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?p=9248674#post9248674

    ...more later....
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2013
  4. Your dash is '34ish Chevrolet :D- nce job on the re-body!
     
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  5. Terrible Tom
    Joined: Feb 15, 2010
    Posts: 571

    Terrible Tom
    Member

    You have amazing metal working skills!
    Tom
     
  6. Great skills, great looking car. Please keep posting.
     
  7. BarryA
    Joined: Apr 22, 2007
    Posts: 643

    BarryA
    Member

    Thanks Guys!
    Mac - would you know I had a friend's '34 Chev Sedan stored in my shop for about 4 years and don't think I ever noticed that! It was piled full of crap though.....

    So is this car traditional? Hardly, especially given the base I was working off.
    Most of the mechanicals would not have been my choice if I started with a clean slate. Just the nature of the whole project and how it progressed lead me to feel that there are compromises all over. Even so I am happy with the end result.

    I retained the little 307, as it runs really well. Edelbrock performer manifold and 4-barrel, and otherwise pretty much stock. I do plan to tidy things up and ditch the chrome etc.
    I threw out the TH350 in favour of a Getrag (Opel) 5-speed.
    Third member is a local Borg Warner unit as they are plentiful here - ratio is mid 3's AFAIK but I must double check...
    The car had Jag discs fitted up front, and while I don't like them visually, they will probably stay.
    The Jag rack on the I-beam was another matter: surprisingly I noticed very little bumpsteer with the set-up, but chucked it out anyway. I found a Volvo steering box and elected to go with cowl steering. More on that later.

    The project had been very much on the back burner for a while, but in about May this year I decided I wanted to run it at Speedweek https://www.facebook.com/KalahariDesertSpeedweek
    and climbed back on to it in earnest.
    First decision was that the 92" wheelbase really was too short: I added 8" in to the chassis. This meant redoing the rear quarter panels. We also moved the cowl back about 4" which meant widenening and reshaping the sheetmetal.
    I was lucky enough to get a little help, firstly from a young mechanical engineering student who is very handy, and then from my new assistant Richard. He is a 19 year old who has built up a few VW's and other bits and pieces.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The new rear suspension was kind of on a whim: A triangulated four-link (Satchell Link) with the original Jag coilovers, just to see how it worked after consulting my Herb Adams book. What appear to be rear haipins are actually the top links, with the inboard lowers triangulated. Behaves well so far but will need a bit more time on tar to really get an idea. I may still fit a panhard bar as I saw a bit of movement doing donuts on the 'pan. The rubber bushes I used are fairly big and perhaps a little too compliant...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



     
  8. BarryA
    Joined: Apr 22, 2007
    Posts: 643

    BarryA
    Member

    Packaging everything under the dash was an interesting exercise : Talk about 15 pounds of shit in a 5 pound bag!
    Brake booster, steering box, pedal assembly, and for good measure we hung a battery box in there too:rolleyes: ( I think I will revisit this though - having the battery in the passenger footwell doesn't seem like a very clever idea.....)

    [​IMG]

    Took a bit of figuring to clear the steering box and have it all work smoothly.

    [​IMG]

    Both brake and clutch pedal hang on a common shaft. I machined and bushed sleeves for each of them, and hung the clutch master on the left hand side of the firewall.
    Made up simple bell-cranks for brake and clutch and then added grease zerks and nylon washers to everything

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Very nice metal work. HRP
     
  10. Wow, I am amazed with what you can do with metal! Great job so far.
     
  11. BarryA
    Joined: Apr 22, 2007
    Posts: 643

    BarryA
    Member

    Thanks guys!
    So a few issues after our shakedown run at SpeedweekSA:

    I am seeing a little sideways movement on the rear axle - without having checked it out thoroughly I put it down to deflection under load in the fairly large rubber bushings I used. Will get it up in the air and take a proper look and put a crowbar on it, but I am thinking the quickest fix may be to install a rear panhard bar. Not sure how this will work with the triangulated four-link. Some reading needed.

    We also have about 2 degrees positive camber on the front axle. This together with a little too much toe-in meant we scrubbed the front tyres pretty badly. Car also has about 9 degrees caster.
    Clearly I need to sort this out and will started off bending the axle ends to bring it back to one degree (or less?) Going to try doing this on the car, chained down and jacking outside the perch pins. Have been reading a couple of threads on this, but will welcome any pointers.

    Thing is the car behaved so sweetly on the pan I don't want to lose too much of the solid, planted feel. Others at the event were having all sorts of control issues, spinning out etc. The roadster felt really good flat out - back end was just a little loose which I put down to traction on the dusty, broken up surface. Adding some ballast at the rear may have helped.
    Playing around, doing donuts etc it never felt unsettled and was super easy to control and correct, hold power slides etc.
    Tips are most welcome:)

    We saw some overheating and the temp gauge jumping around quite a bit - I'm thinking this may be as simple as not having got all the air out of teh system, and the poor positioning of the temporary header tank.... Will check it out this weekend.

    The other joke was a fuel starvation / breaking down at high revs issue - we borrowed an extra fuel pump, dicked around with timing etc. After about 90 minutes of this we realised that in my haste I had fitted a non-vented fuel cap:eek::eek:. Running up and down at my shop the day before with a near empty tank allowed us to get away with it, but brim-full was another story......... LOL
     
  12. BarryA
    Joined: Apr 22, 2007
    Posts: 643

    BarryA
    Member

    Haven't done anything more besides fitting a rear panhard bar as a quick fix to control the rear axle sideways movement. :cool:
     

    Attached Files:

  13. BarryA
    Joined: Apr 22, 2007
    Posts: 643

    BarryA
    Member

    So it's almost a year later and Kalahari Desert Speedweek is on in 3 weeks time.
    I haven't done all that much to the roadster.
    It did develop a bit of a low speed death wobble - which at 30-40mph was scary as hell!
    I reworked the leaf spring mount as it seemed to be sitting at a slightly different angle to the axle and was chewing up the bushings. This helped, but didn't eliminate it. Next I had the Volvo steering box rebuilt as there was a little play there. Again small benefit but the issue was still there. I beefed up the mounting substantially too. I'm also going to a heavier draglink and tierod to eliminate any whip which may have been contributing.
    Like many's experience with this issue it does seem like there were a couple of factors contributing - it does seem to be sorted now though. I do wonder why or how it developed - seemed to happen after flat towing it to the 'pan last year (had a little too much toe-in on it and it ate up the front tyres:oops:). It was not there before the trip.....

    Following on my theme from 2012 and last year of leaving things to the last minute, I found some 305 heads for the 307. Had them redone and in the process of fitting them early this week. Need to make some better headers too, the ones on there were cobbled together from the side pipes off the original car. Lots of boogers inside on all the welds and probably a little restrictive. I'm hoping the changes will let us run a little north of 200kmh.....
     
  14. lamaison
    Joined: Oct 21, 2006
    Posts: 80

    lamaison
    Member
    from Canada

    What happened to all the pictures??
     
  15. BarryA
    Joined: Apr 22, 2007
    Posts: 643

    BarryA
    Member

    Lost in the switch over - I'll try put them back when I have a little more time..
    The shape of the nose wasn't working for me as it was (and the grille was a last minute rush to just get something in the hole)
    IMG_2687.jpg
    So this week I cut off the front of it
    10649473_763967913661232_7210338905744365794_n.jpg
    Made a rough in-situ buck of the new shape
    15668_763967853661238_4649520976129748367_n.jpg
    10641167_763967806994576_2339309873959544107_n.jpg
    And reshaped it
    1464026_763967633661260_2233838125631139080_n.jpg
    10623111_763967526994604_5229520105324490073_n.jpg
    Then played with a couple of grille shape and size variants
    10388583_763967703661253_8015490624491946246_n.jpg
    10616202_763967736994583_4511623150850080992_n.jpg
    And decided to go with the oval shape that is taped out in the pics above.
    Stainless surround is next. Still deciding if I will make bars or use a woven stainless mesh...
     
  16. BarryA
    Joined: Apr 22, 2007
    Posts: 643

    BarryA
    Member

    Got the opening cut out and tipped a flange around the edge. Starting to make the stainless grille surround.
     

    Attached Files:

  17. BarryA
    Joined: Apr 22, 2007
    Posts: 643

    BarryA
    Member

    I added a few more pics to my album.
    Building the grille insert was a lot of work - stainless is a bitch - but so rewarding to see the end result
    [​IMG]

    Filing the surround
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    Starting to make the bars
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    Trueing up the bars
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    Done!
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    I also made an ally hood for it, and some new lakes style pipes (with a bit of a twist!)
    Then it was off to Kalahari Desert Speedweek - great weekend but we had lots of issues on the road....more on that later....
     
    bct likes this.
  18. Damn. Kalahari Speedweek? ....... amazing. Hot rodder ducking spears, lions, hippos, while outrunning gazelles, cape buffaloes and cheetahs. What a hobby this is. Fantastic work sir. Good luck, and have some fun.....please.
     
    BarryA likes this.
  19. BarryA
    Joined: Apr 22, 2007
    Posts: 643

    BarryA
    Member

    Saw a bunch of vultures circling on our way there. That was about it for wildlife....
    The event runs on a massive dry lake /pan - same place as Bloodhound SSC will be attempting to do 1000mph :cool:.
     
  20. BarryA
    Joined: Apr 22, 2007
    Posts: 643

    BarryA
    Member

    I'm starting to look at lights etc to get this thing road legal....
    Tailights are going to be '40 Chev glasses in some handmade bezels. Headlights are a little tougher to figure out. Because the nose is wider than many, there isn't a lot of space, and a 7" light won't clear the steering arm without mounting really high.
    I kind of prefer smaller lights on a track nose anyway, so I'm playing with ideas.
    Pics show two different options (just a mock-up, not the actual lights I'll use, but same size)
    I'm tending towards low and forward, but I'm open to ideas/opinions....
     

    Attached Files:

  21. BarryA
    Joined: Apr 22, 2007
    Posts: 643

    BarryA
    Member

    Got a little dusty Saturday....
    10389617_10152990739673132_5443607041905714631_n.jpg
     
  22. BarryA
    Joined: Apr 22, 2007
    Posts: 643

    BarryA
    Member

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