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THE Bass Hemi Model A Coupe

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Bass, Dec 28, 2005.

  1. Bass
    Joined: Jul 9, 2001
    Posts: 3,341

    Bass
    Member
    from Dallas, TX

    Editor's note;
    this is the condensed version,
    a copy of this thread has been saved to the Tech Archives
    ................................................................................................................................

    'Torture' may be exaggerating a little bit, but for some reason I can't just keep things super simple....I have to make things challenging to stay interested. That's both good and bad I guess.

    I finished up the mounts for the '54 331 Hemi in my deuce frame today...Well they're almost finished anyway. I have to do the finish welding on the frame tabs after I double and triple check that the radiator and fan are going to get along. I don't have a (stock 331) water pump yet, so I'm not totally sure how much room I'll have between the water pump pulley and radiator.

    I made these out of 3/16" plate and some DOM tubing...After getting started I thought it would take forever to build them, but figuring out how I wanted to make the motor mounts seemed to take longer than actually making them. I set the motor up so that it would sit pretty tall in the chassis, and that complicated things a little bit.

    I don't know if there is a right or wrong way to do motor mounts, but I think these will hold up to pretty much anything the Hemi can throw at them...and I think they look OK cosmetically as well.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I now have to drop the rear of the transmission a couple of inches to compensate for the rubber rake the car's going to have. I'm going to try to build the trans mount off of the '40 X-member's stock trans saddle.

    [​IMG]

    The mounts should look neat chromed...thanks for looking.
     
  2. Bass
    Joined: Jul 9, 2001
    Posts: 3,341

    Bass
    Member
    from Dallas, TX

    Here's a pic of it mocked up with the Nailhead that ws going to go in it (until I found the Hemi)....A few other things will change as well.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Bass
    Joined: Jul 9, 2001
    Posts: 3,341

    Bass
    Member
    from Dallas, TX

    Here are the only pictures I have of the '40 crossmember at the moment.

    [​IMG]

    I kinda hate to post pictures of the welds, because they look way nicer in person than they show up in pictures...the flash makes them look a little weird. Anyway, this is where the rear of the X-member meets the boxed inner of the rail:

    [​IMG]


    This is a little O/T, but it's a bike I'm building from the ground up for a customer. It a 96" S&S in a Krafttech frame with Exile front and rear wheels, and SJP front end. I'm making pretty much everything else. I'm really not a big tire guy myself, but the thing is starting to grow on me...and you know the old saying about the customer always being right.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Bass
    Joined: Jul 9, 2001
    Posts: 3,341

    Bass
    Member
    from Dallas, TX

    Not trivial at all. The outer parts of the mount that you can actually see are made from 4 pieces. 1 curved piece each side (2 total) welded to 1 piece of 1.75" OD DOM tubing, then the inner piece was added after being bent cold with a vice, crescent wrench and elbow grease. I didn't heat anything to bend it...3/16" is about the maximum thickness I'd try to bend without heat though. All the plate was cut with a plasma cutter, then smoothed with a 5" air sander and a small 3" right angle die grinder. I used hole saws in the drill press for the holes.

    Gotta get back to work out in the shop now!
     
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  5. Bass
    Joined: Jul 9, 2001
    Posts: 3,341

    Bass
    Member
    from Dallas, TX

    Jimmy White and Bobbleed...thanks for the approval. It really means a lot to me coming from a couple of guys as talented as you two are.

    Here are pictures of the bottom of one of the mounts and a pic from the side for Seymour.
     

    Attached Files:

  6. Bass
    Joined: Jul 9, 2001
    Posts: 3,341

    Bass
    Member
    from Dallas, TX

    I was going to wait to post pictures of my rolling chassis until after I was totally done with it, but I couldn't stand it. :)

    I had to get it off of the frame table and on the ground to check pinion angle and locate the wishbone mounting points...and snapped a few pics while I was at it. I still have to finish and fully weld pretty much all of the rearend setup, gusset the ladder bars, box around the rear crossmember...etc. etc.

    This was a set of partially boxed rails and front and rear crossmembers less than a month ago....I've been busting my ass. I've been collecting parts and planning this car in my head for almost 5 years now. Lots of napkin sketches.

    Nothing groundbreaking here really, but enough changes and different stuff to keep it interesting.

    The frontend setup is based around an original Mor-Drop axle...I know people toss the term Mor-Drop around alot, but this is the real deal:

    [​IMG]

    I'm really happy with the motor mounts. I know it's a little unusual for the motor to be set-up this high, but I really like it:

    [​IMG]

    The ride height in the front will drop about 2 inches once the internals are back in the motor, and the body is on, etc. I had to take the motor down to the bare block to have it measured for the custom forged pistons. :)

    [​IMG]

    I'll be modifying the rear of the body to fit the stock '32 style tank. Wheels are 16x5" Merc rear, and 16x4.5" Ford front on Firestones.

    [​IMG]

    cont...
     
  7. Bass
    Joined: Jul 9, 2001
    Posts: 3,341

    Bass
    Member
    from Dallas, TX

    The crossmember is out of a '40 passenger car. It actually fit pretty well after I trimmed it. I made the horizontal cross pieces out of 2x4 rectangular tubing. I still need to finish out the tubular rear crossmember. Rear spring is a '39 front spring off of a 'for real' '60s show car.

    [​IMG]

    Gotta make a trans crossmember too.

    [​IMG]

    C-notched the rails and cut up a perfectly good pair of '36 rear wishbones...everybody around here thought I was crazy. I have plans for the front of the wishbone/spring hangers...I'll post more later.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    My dog (Eli) doesn't know what to think. If I keep up this pace, I might just make the Roundup! :)

    Thanks for looking....

    -Brian
     
  8. Bass
    Joined: Jul 9, 2001
    Posts: 3,341

    Bass
    Member
    from Dallas, TX

    the crossmember was removed from a '40 (I think it was a Sedan) frame that had a really rusty rail. Basically my dad and I cut all the rivets that held the outer rails to the X-member, and peeled the rails off.

    Then I laid the crossmember on top of my '32 frame, did some head-scratching and finger-crossing, and cut it to fit.
     
  9. Bass
    Joined: Jul 9, 2001
    Posts: 3,341

    Bass
    Member
    from Dallas, TX

    Thanks for all the kind words guys. I'm like a kid at Christmas this morning with it sitting out in the shop. :)

    Here's a close-up of some of the welding on the chassis, and a shot of the "strip version" with Halibrands...I need to find some 18" American 12 spokes for the front before the drags.
     

    Attached Files:

  10. Bass
    Joined: Jul 9, 2001
    Posts: 3,341

    Bass
    Member
    from Dallas, TX

    I've just about finished the rolling chassis for my Model A...I just have a few odds and ends to do here and there before it's totally complete. Of course I have to run the brake and fuel lines still, and it's definitely not going to get painted or plated before the Lonestar Roundup.

    I'm using 'Delco Lovejoy' knee-action lever shocks in the front. I drilled the arms out, which was a royal pain in the ass. I added 3/4" OD DOM sleeves in the frame to run the shock bolts through, so they should stay put.

    [​IMG]

    You can also see the Ford F-5 (dump truck) steering box has been mounted in that last pic. I built a box around the steering box out of 3/16" and 1/4" plate while I had it on the welding table, then cut the frame and stuck the box in the hole. I then set up the cowl and figured out how much the steering box would have to be angled off of the frame rail to make the column straight, and put the steering wheel in the right spot. After I had that done, I welded it all up. This leaves a recess in the frame that the steering box sits in, and does not compromise the strength of the rail.

    Another shot of the shocks and the drilled F-2 backing plates with Buick drums.

    [​IMG]

    I also got the rear shock mounts figured out. I used '40s Dodge truck shock mounts and bent and cut them to mount the top of the tube shock. The bottom goes to a bung that I welded onto the front side of the cut-off '36 wishbones. I still have to box around the weld bung on the wishbone and blend it all together. It should be a really clean installation when finished. (I hope!)

    I made the gussets in the ladder bars like the ones on the 'Rico Squaglia roadster'...America's Most Beautiful Roadster in '51.

    [​IMG]

    Because I mounted the shocks there, I had to put the panhard bar mount on top of the rearend housing. It seems like it will work just fine...A friend and I jumped up and down on the chassis and it didn't bottom out on the housing.

    [​IMG]

    I think one of the best things about this chassis is that there are only a few "store-bought" parts on it. The American Stamping '32 rails, shackles, heims, chrome shocks, tires, and misc. hardware are the only things that came off of a shelf. The rest of the stuff was either made by me or scrounged at swap meets and junkyards.

    [​IMG]

    This should show proof that you don't have to spend a ton of money to have a first-class chassis. With a little know-how and a lot of determination you can do it yourself.
     
  11. Bass
    Joined: Jul 9, 2001
    Posts: 3,341

    Bass
    Member
    from Dallas, TX

    A couple more shots.

    It was important to me that there wasn't anything hanging down under the chassis to give it a cluttered look in the side profile. The wishbones and the early "lakes-style" headers are all that will hang below the frame.

    [​IMG]

    And finally, this is the most recent shot I have of it with the body on the chassis. I've lowered the grille shell 3/4" since I took this pic, and I think it made a big difference.

    [​IMG]

    I still have a ton of work to do, but with any luck I'll be driving it to the Roundup at the end of March. :)
     
  12. Bass
    Joined: Jul 9, 2001
    Posts: 3,341

    Bass
    Member
    from Dallas, TX

    Chris, that is correct. I'm using a chopped '32 5 window windshield frame, and I leaned the posts back slightly (about 10 degrees). I was planning on making the header pieces above the windshield...but through a stroke of luck, I managed to buy a '32 Sedan/ 5w Coupe header panel from "hammeredabone" here on the HAMB, and it should be in the mail on the way right now. It will make the switch a lot easier, and I thank hammeredabone for offering up the piece.

    The white coupe you were thinking about is featured in the most recent Mad Fabricators Society. My coupe's top will be similar, but different.

    The body has already come a long way since I got it. Here it is after I drug it home...nearly 5 years ago now. In collecting parts for this car over the course of those 5 years, I've managed to find better pieces for almost every panel, but there are still some pieces from the original body that I'm going to have to use on the finished car.

    [​IMG]

    It had 157 bullet holes in it.
     
  13. Bass
    Joined: Jul 9, 2001
    Posts: 3,341

    Bass
    Member
    from Dallas, TX

    The Delco shocks I'm using were on my Dad's '36 Ford Coupe chassis when he bought it. I'm really not sure what they were on originally...but someone had apparently stuck them on his car at some point in the past. I think that gives them a little sentimental value?

    As far as the direction I'm heading...I'm shooting for a mid 50's look...right around the time that OHV motors were taking over, but before whitewalls and pinstriping became en vouge. As of right now there are theoretically no parts going on the car newer than '54, with the exception of the '66 Bronco rearend, '65 Muncie transmission, '58 Buick drums, and possibly a few of the gauges. The cool thing about that is that with a simple wheel/tire change, I can totally change the feel and "era" of the car.
     
  14. Bass
    Joined: Jul 9, 2001
    Posts: 3,341

    Bass
    Member
    from Dallas, TX

    Hey sounds like my kind of hot rod! I like flatheads just fine as long as they are in someone else's car. :)

    I'm still busting my ass on my car. The chassis is almost ready for the body...still needs a drive shaft and tranny mount. I've been building headers before the motor has to go to the machine shop....new forged pistons should be in this week with any luck.

    I haven't even stopped to clean the shop lately...

    [​IMG]

    I had to put my roller Halibrands and Americans on since I sent the 16" wheels out to make them pretty.

    Here's a few shots of the in-progress headers for the hell of it...I've got a couple of days wrapped up in this side already, and this is the "easy side"! :eek:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I'm looking forward to seeing the five window Danny.

    Hopefully we'll all make it with time to spare!
     
  15. Bass
    Joined: Jul 9, 2001
    Posts: 3,341

    Bass
    Member
    from Dallas, TX

    I posted a few pics the other day of the header I had started building for the passenger side of my Model A Coupe...


    Since then I have pretty much hammered out the other side.

    [​IMG]


    I just knew it was going to be a real pain in the ass to get the primaries around the dump truck (F-5 truck) steering box, but it actually ended up being a little easier than I expected. Unfortunately, since I am using the side steer box, I had to make the headers different from side to side, but I don't think it's a big deal. Who says hot rods have to be symmetrical in the first place? :)

    [​IMG]

    I'm still running my "roller" Americans on the front right now, because I haven't gotten my prettied up 16" wheels back yet. I hope the guy shows up with them tomorrow.

    Here's a close-up of the installed driver's side header:

    [​IMG]

    And here's another look at the passenger side:

    [​IMG]

    I have to say that building the headers was easily one of the most difficult parts of building this car so far. I've got a little over 3 days worth of work tied up in them, and I'm still not finished. I still plan on adding a merge collector to both sides with a long extension like the early "lakes-style" headers. They should end up looking something like the headers on Ken Gross' roadster (TRJ #14).

    I'm a firm believer in the theory that hot rods should be fast, so I did some research and talked to a few people before I decided to go with 2" primaries, and the 4 into 1 style header. It would have been easier to build a tri-y header on the driver's side, but this motor should respond better to the 4 into 1.

    Looking at the driver's side header off the car and on the ground, it's amazing to me that it actually fits in the space between the steering column and frame.

    [​IMG]

    The passenger side still needs an extension on a couple of the primaries to match the length of the other side.

    [​IMG]

    Right now they exit under the car in kind of a staggered formation.

    [​IMG]

    In the interest of time, I'm probably just going to run the headers like this to the Roundup (if I make it)...after I get back I'll add the collectors and have them chromed.

    This is the first set of headers I've ever built for a car...and I think they came out pretty good so far. Thanks again to Joe Martin of the Martin Brothers for the 2" mandrel bends...and thanks also to the distinguished Jimmy White for the nice 3/8" flanges.
     
  16. Bass
    Joined: Jul 9, 2001
    Posts: 3,341

    Bass
    Member
    from Dallas, TX

    Jim...here's a thread i did with more pics and a description of the motor mounts I built for this car:

    http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=85221

    [​IMG]

    I'll pm you my phone number if you'd like.


    Thanks for the compliments guys...it helps to have some encouragement when you are working somewhere between 10 and 14 hr days in the shop. :eek:
     
  17. famous59
    Joined: Oct 4, 2003
    Posts: 624

    famous59
    Member
    from dallas, tx

    Here is a couple of pics I took with Bass in action on his headers, along with a few others pics of the build up. Watching the build of this car on a daily basis has been awesome.
     

    Attached Files:

  18. Bass
    Joined: Jul 9, 2001
    Posts: 3,341

    Bass
    Member
    from Dallas, TX

    Thanks Dale...I really would like to bring the car up there this year...I just might do it. The ol' lady definitely wants to go back this year (most of her family lives in Seattle). The A should be painted and upholstered by then also.


    I rolled it outside and took some pics yesterday to show how the headers look in relation to the rest of the car (well, sans body). I kind of like the Halibrands and slicks on the back.

    [​IMG]

    I also found a date stamped on the upper firewall as I was prepping it to fill the unneeded holes and notching the flange for distributor clearance. I was unaware that Ford stamped a build date on the car...do all '29s have this?

    [​IMG]

    Looks like my body was stamped on August 3, 1929....or at least the gas tank/firewall was.
     
    markjaramillo likes this.
  19. Bass
    Joined: Jul 9, 2001
    Posts: 3,341

    Bass
    Member
    from Dallas, TX

    Thanks!

    The wheels currently on it are 16x13 Halibrands with 13.00x16 Goodyear slicks, and 15x6 Americans on 5.60-15 Cokers. I really like the Halibrands, but the Americans are destined for another project, and I need to find a pair of front runners that match the magnesium Hal's better.

    For the drags this year..the rear Halibrands will get new 12.00-16 M&H Racemasters, and the front will get either matching 15" or 16" Halibrands with blackwall bias-plys, or 18" American 12 spoke spindle mounts with Avons.

    The wheels and tires that will be on the car most of the time are 4.50/4.75-16 Firestones on 16x4.5 wheels on the front, and 7.50-16 Firestones on 16x5 wheels on the rear. Here's an earlier chassis pic with these wheels and tires:

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Bass
    Joined: Jul 9, 2001
    Posts: 3,341

    Bass
    Member
    from Dallas, TX

    A wise man once told me: "Chrome don't getcha home, brother....but it will get you laid." :)

    I was out of town almost all last week, so not a whole lot of progress has been made since my last update...but much to my surprise, my friend the 'Mexican chrome fairy' visited while I was away.

    It seems that when most people think of chrome wheels and blackwalls, they instantly focus on early sixties style cars and "American Graffiti." However, if you look at the Don Montgomery books, you'll see that there were actually a good number of cars that ran chrome 16" early ford disc wheels in the late '40s and early '50s. I like the look, and since I'm trying to build my car as if it could have been built in the mid 50's, I thought chroming the 16 inchers might work.

    [​IMG]

    The fronts are '42-48 Ford 16x4.5" with 4.50/4.75-16 Firestones, the rears are early '50s Ford pickup 16x5" with 7.50-16 Firestones.

    [​IMG]

    I'm going to be running open faced chrome lugnuts, and I plan on painting the rear axle flanges and the front hubs kind of a magnesium/ charcoal color. I might run chrome dust caps.

    [​IMG]

    I also got the steering all hooked up and working. I took a Speedway steering arm, bent it downward slightly, and plated the top as well as drilled it out. The pitman arm for the dump truck box had a massive ball end on it for the captive ball style tie-rod, and I had Bob Wilson cut it off and machine it for a regular Ford tie-rod end...after I bent it outward and down to clear the wishbone. I can turn the wheel with one finger with the car sitting stationary as of right now, so I think the steering effort will still be minimal after the body and everything else is all together.

    I also heated and bent the spindle arms downward to clear the wishbones. The tie rod and drag link will get stock Ford clamps around the tie-rod ends.

    [​IMG]

    I also got started on the pedal assembly. One of the advantages of using the '40 crossmember is that I can use the original '40 pedals and m/c mount. I mounted that up and made a plate to adapt a '67 Mustang dual m/c and a Wilwood style clutch master. I'll just need to add an arm to the bottom of the clutch lever, and make sure the linkage is giving the brake and clutch masters the proper throw.

    [​IMG]

    This will be the last 'chassis update'. Tomorrow I'm pulling the motor to take it to the machinist, and I'll be starting on mounting the body as soon as the brake and fuel lines are run.

    Thanks for looking...and remember, "Chrome don't getcha home..." :)

    [​IMG]

    -Brian
     
  21. Bass
    Joined: Jul 9, 2001
    Posts: 3,341

    Bass
    Member
    from Dallas, TX

    they were pretty decent wheels to start with. The front pair was on an old '40 Ford hot rod that was built in the late '50s. The rear pair I got at a swap meet, and they had the original black paint (and some mud grips) on them when I got them. They had never been chromed before though.

    I collected about 12 early Ford disc wheels over the past few years, and I think 6 of them turned out to be straight and true. That's the one big piece of advice I can give...make sure they are straight before chroming them!!

    To get the wheels perfect, you would have to have the centers and rims chromed seperately and then riveted or welded back together. I chose not to do that and my wheels do have a small area between the rim and center that didn't get fully plated. I kind of expected it, so it was no big deal. I'll just have to keep them waxed and polished to prevent them from rusting in the crease.

    To prep the wheels, all I did was blast them with really fine sand in the blasting cabinet, then hand sand them with 180 grit paper. The chrome guy then picked them up, dipped them, and polished them before plating them. He said he had a really hard time getting them to plate where the wheel and center meet, but I still think he did a good job.

    These are the same wheels here:

    [​IMG]

    I'm also attaching a picture of a CRA track roadster circa 1950, so you can see what Sam and I are talking about.

    Thanks again guys....
     

    Attached Files:

  22. Bass
    Joined: Jul 9, 2001
    Posts: 3,341

    Bass
    Member
    from Dallas, TX

    Danny...

    This is an older post. I'm using a hydraulic throw-out bearing and a clutch master. Here's a pic of the in-progress pedal assembly...

    [​IMG]
     
  23. Bass
    Joined: Jul 9, 2001
    Posts: 3,341

    Bass
    Member
    from Dallas, TX

    I spent the last couple of days sandblasting 76+ years of rust off of my Model A Coupe body, one piece at a time. I've got some patch panel work to do now, but I'm really more concerned about making the body fit the frame properly.

    Anyway, here's a picture...it's actually starting to look like a car again!

    [​IMG]

    It's hard to capture in a profile pic, but the rear tires are actually perfectly centered in the wheelwell arch.

    Since the deuce frame is curved, I'm going to end up pie cutting the bottom of the cowl...and also notching the lower rear valance to make the flat-bottomed Model A body fit. The stock '32 gas tank is going to complicate things a little bit, but I'm pretty sure I can get it to come together and look nice.

    [​IMG]

    I forget how many louvers are in the decklid skin, but there were initially only supposed to be 6 rows and not 7. I was pretty pissed when I went to pick it up from the louver guy, but now that the dust has settled I think 7 rows looks pretty decent.

    I'm going to be using a '32 Ford 5w Coupe/ Sedan header panel above the windshield. I've mocked it up already and I think it's going to work great. For now the windshield is just sitting in the hole, but when the header is installed it should fit a little more nicely.

    I'm undecided on whether or not I want to fill the top and run a 'fake' insert on top, or if I want to run a real '32 style insert. I'm definitely not going to wrap the canvas down to the driprails like the '29 Coupe was originally though.

    At any rate, it looks way better with the header above the windshield (not shown here):

    [​IMG]

    The Hemi is in the machine shop right now, I just got the radiator and driveshaft back, and I'm working on getting the brakes plumbed. There's still hope that I'll be able to drive it to the Roundup!

    Thanks for looking....

    -Brian
     
  24. Bass
    Joined: Jul 9, 2001
    Posts: 3,341

    Bass
    Member
    from Dallas, TX

    Thanks Sam...I really like your outlook on things.

    Yes and no. There is one example that always comes to mind every time someone questions the laid back posts and '32 windshield. Granted, it's not totally the same application, and mine's not an all-out race car...but it is a Model A with laid-back posts that was done in the early '50s. I've attached a picture of the Chrisman Brothers Coupe.

    Exactly! It's hot rodding...anything goes...right? Well sort of. When you constrain yourself to the idea of a TRADITIONAL hot rod...well that's when the unwritten (and sometimes written) hot rod rules come in to play. I try to stick to them, but sometimes you have to break 'em to keep it interesting.

    In my eyes, this is a car that could have been built in about '55 or '56. The only thing (to me) that dates the car externally, are the Buick drums. But you could get those on a '59 Buick, so I'm letting that slide since I really like them.

    On a related note, '28-29 Model A Coupes have been for the most part unloved through the history of hot rodding. Undesirable. Forlorn.

    I can count on my two hands the '28-29 coupes that have been prominently featured in major magazines. I've got plenty of theories as to the reason why, but you guys can probably figure that out for yourself.

    The thing I disliked the most about my Model A was the visor. It's a big, bulky, ugly thing when you sit it next to a '30-31 visor. I could have just put a '30-31 visor on my body, but it wasn't meant to be. I stumbled up on a pretty nice '32 5 window winshield frame at a swap meet, and that got the gears in my head turning. What you're seeing here is the culmination of sorts of nearly 5 years of head-scratching, napkin sketches, and mock-ups.

    I was planning on just fabricating some kind of header to go over the windshield, but I'm really lucky that HAMBer 'hammeredabone' stepped up and offered to sell me a rough '32 header.

    I leaned the posts back about 8 degrees to work better with the '32 header. I'm attaching a picture of the in progress door frame to show what the changes look like.

    Thanks for the kind words, everyone.

    -Brian
     

    Attached Files:

  25. Bass
    Joined: Jul 9, 2001
    Posts: 3,341

    Bass
    Member
    from Dallas, TX

    All hot rods should have a story....here's part of this one's story:

    I think it was around April or May of 2001 when my Dad and I dug this body out of the bushes on a friend's dear lease.

    It had been shot up pretty bad, and my Dad told me I should just leave it...it wasn't good enough to save. I persisted though, and the two of us managed to get it loaded in the back of the pick-up.

    I counted the bullet holes after we got it home...there were 157.

    [​IMG]

    Amazingly, after we got it off of the ground we found that the subrails were actually in decent shape. So with that as a basis, I started trying to find better panels to replace the really bad ones on the body. Now, years later, all that's left of the original body are the subrails and floor, the panel above the decklid, and the pieces above the doors. I also managed to find a Standard Coupe top...so I converted it over from its past life as a Special Coupe or "leatherback."

    After I got the body, I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what I wanted to do with it. I was initially thinking about a channeled car with a flathead, but that plan changed pretty fast..

    These rough drawings are from my sketchbook...2001:

    [​IMG]

    Another rough one from 01...

    [​IMG]

    Big changes planned out...

    [​IMG]

    Another rough sketch from a little later...as I acquired parts, the idea evolved :

    [​IMG]

    I was really kind of hesitant to post these, becuase they are really rough sketches straight out of my sketchbook...and the perspective is pretty far off in some of them. But I think it's interesting as I look back, to see how the car might have looked if I didn't find the parts that I've got now.

    Here is the last one for now...a fairly recent ink sketch. This is closest to how the car will actually look.

    [​IMG]

    Anyway...Thanks for the encouraging words. They help keep me going.

    -Brian
     
  26. Bass
    Joined: Jul 9, 2001
    Posts: 3,341

    Bass
    Member
    from Dallas, TX

    I'm still thrashing away on the coupe trying to get it to the Roundup. Since the motor is still at the machineshop, I used the last couple of days to make some headway on the dash for the car.

    I started off with a bare '40 Mercury dash shell that I found at the Pate swap meet in '01 or '02 for $20. I originally just cut it down the center to narrow it to fit the Model A cowl.

    Oddly enough I found the glovebox door at the Pate swap meet two years later and it cost almost as much as the dash.

    [​IMG]

    After I got the steering in the car, I realized that the steering column notch and bulge for the gauge cluster weren't going to be centered over the column if I left the dash as it was. So I had to narrow the dash on the left 4 tape lines above. I ended up taking out almost 4 inches to center the notch over the column.

    [​IMG]

    After fixing that, I had to add the 4 inches I took out back to the center to make the dash wide enough again. Once I had that accomplished, I starting filling the unused holes by hammer welding patch panels in.

    [​IMG]

    You'll notice in the pic above that there is one gauge already installed and the other holes layed out. I'm using the big Stewart Warner 2 5/8" gauges.

    A while back, my good friend BIG RIC machined some really nice "collars" that the gauges sit in, and allow me to recess them into the dash. I'm really glad I had these, because I would have had a hell of a time putting all the gauges in without them. Here's a close-up pic of one of the collars he made:

    [​IMG]

    And here's a trial fit of the dash in the car....I'm using a '40 Standard wheel and '40 Standard mast jacket:

    [​IMG]

    After trimming and welding in all 6 collars for the gauges, I moved on to the speedo. Im using a weird little speedo out of a '56 Studebaker that I bought from Ray here on the HAMB. I think it looks like a miniature '50s TV set, and is just funky enough to work since I wanted some '50s kitsch in the interior.

    Here it is with the first mock-up. You can see that there's a big gap under the bottom that I'll have to fill.

    [​IMG]

    After a making a pattern, cutting some 18 ga., and some welding we have a "stand-off" for the gauge to sit on:

    [​IMG]

    I also stripped the paint off of it, and was suprised to find that the housing was die-cast aluminum....I thought it was pot metal originally. After realizing that, I polished it. Here's a better look at the speedo...it has numbers that go from green to yellow/orange to red depending on how fast you are going...

    [​IMG]

    I still have some switches and levers to add next to the speedo, a tach bracket to make, I have to figure out what to do with the outside corners of the dash, and I have to weld it to the Model A dash rail. But I am making decent progress.

    [​IMG]

    Here's a shot of the gauge recesses....they are recessed a little more at the bottom than the top because the dash sits at an angle.

    [​IMG]

    The glove box will be functional when I'm done, but I still need to either find some '40 Merc hinges, or make some.

    [​IMG]

    Thanks for looking....see you at the Roundup!

    -Brian
     
  27. Bass
    Joined: Jul 9, 2001
    Posts: 3,341

    Bass
    Member
    from Dallas, TX

    I was hesitant to start on the dash before, because I just couldn't picture it in my head. But after I saw the speedo Ray put up for sale in the classifieds, something just kind of clicked.

    It'll look a lot better when it's finished and detailed. The switches and levers will tie it all together a little more. There will be an "airplane style" lever on each side of the speedo. One for turn signals, and the other for high/low beam.

    I just clamped it to the dash rail for the pics so I could get an idea of where and how I wanted to mount it. I've attached a rough sketch (on a paper plate, no less) of what I'm thinking....It needs some kind of chromed and drilled out bracket to bring some of the racecar inspired "hole-iness" (tm) into the interior.

    Thanks fellas...
     

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  28. Bass
    Joined: Jul 9, 2001
    Posts: 3,341

    Bass
    Member
    from Dallas, TX

    Dave Pluebell in Garland. Pretty well respected engine builder around these parts. Not cheap, but not necessarily expensive either. I did all the legwork (with help from Jimmy and Fernie) and supplied everything he'd need to do my motor except for freezeplugs, so all I'm having to pay for is machinework, balancing, and bottom end assembly.

    I went over to his shop yesterday to drop off the Schneider valve springs (which are going to work excellently by the way) and he has finished everything but assembly of the bottom end. Already cleaned, magged, and decked the block and bored it .060, shotpeened the rods and installed the good Hot Heads rod bolts, balanced the rotating assembly, etc. etc. Once I get the shortblock and heads back I still have to assemlble the heads with valves and springs and hang everything else on the short block.

    This motor is going to wake the fucking neighbors. You should be able to hear the cam thump over there in Arlington when I fire it up. :D
     
  29. Bass
    Joined: Jul 9, 2001
    Posts: 3,341

    Bass
    Member
    from Dallas, TX

    I think it's a boy...it's gonna have balls. hahaha :D

    To me, bringing home a freshly machined motor seems a lot like bringing home a newborn baby....but I don't have any kids so I could be wrong.

    At any rate, new forged pistons, nicely honed bores, and decked blocks are exciting to me...It's a '54 331 Hemi by the way...

    [​IMG]

    Uhh...this might require some octane booster.... :D

    [​IMG]

    If we did the math right, those domes should provide exactly 10.5:1 compression. Too much for a street car according to Bob Walker at Hot Heads....just right in my opinion. Besides, with as much cam as I'm running I need the compression up there. If I gotta carry around a case of octane booster, then so be it.

    And if you don't think the pistons are evidence that this motor is serious, here's a shot of the balanced assembly, windage tray, studded mains, and shot peened (forged) rods with the good Hot Heads bolts.

    [​IMG]

    I don't think it's out of the question to conservatively expect somewhere between 375-400 real horsepower at the crank. Whatever it puts out should be enough to push around the Model A just fine.

    All machine work was done by Dave Pluebell in Garland, TX...I highly recommend him.

    Of course I couldn't resist hanging some of the goodies on it after I brought it back home...

    [​IMG]

    The valve covers are relatively rare Chrysler 300C with the adjustable rocker bumps. I'm going to use the porcelain Autolite boots shown, but I need to put them on new wires. Intake and distributor are Cragar. Linkage, motor mounts and headers were made by me. Everything in these pics (with the exception of the 97s) was found and bought over the last 5 months or so...a good way to drain your wallet in a hurry. :eek:

    There's still a ton of stuff to do before I fire it...I need to reassemble the heads, mount the oil pump and oil pan, make a thermostat housing, make generator mounts...etc....oh, and paint it. I'm leaning towards candy red.

    That's it for now...I'll try to get some video when I fire it up.
     
  30. Bass
    Joined: Jul 9, 2001
    Posts: 3,341

    Bass
    Member
    from Dallas, TX

    Secret Isky solid cam..but I will tell you that it has .525 lift.

    Trans is a Muncie M-20 4 speed..Clutch is an 11" McLeod diaphram press. plate with a fancy kevlar disc. Rear is 9" with a 3.50 posi.

    My 355 SBC in my shoebox is running the same ratio with aluminum heads. Bob Walker says that he recommends no more than 10:1 for a street-going early hemi...but I think he's just being conservative. :)

    Thanks Glenn...I really appreciate the help with the rings. The machinist said they worked great and gapped perfectly.

    Thanks Jimmy....I couldn't have done it without your help...thanks for all the advice and help with parts.

    -Brian
     

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