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Hot Rods The Unibody Roadster Dissected

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by metalshapes, Feb 5, 2009.

  1. metalshapes
    Joined: Nov 18, 2002
    Posts: 10,618

    metalshapes
    Tech Editor

    A while a go people were asking about my '28, and I promised to take some pics once I had some time.

    http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=314324&highlight=metalshapes+roadster

    Roadster 025.jpg

    My goal was to get the total height of the car at or under 4', with a reasonable ground clearence.
    And it needed to be comfortable enough for me to take it on longer drives, if I wanted to ( I'm 6'2" )

    So building a regular Highboy was out, there just wasn't going to be enough space...

    I found a bit more space by using Sportscoupe Quarter Panels ( that gave about 7 or 8" more interior space because the cockpit goes back farter than a Roadster does )
    That meant I had to section them a bit to make them line up with the Roadster Cowl, and I had to make my own doors out of 2Dr Sedan skins & Roadster insides ( lengthened )

    But that still wasn't enough, so I dropped the floor down so it was flush with the underside of the Framerails ( aftermarket '32 )

    Roadster 016.jpg

    Here is a pic looking down.

    Roadster 027.jpg

    And one without the seat.

    Roadster 028.jpg
     
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  2. menacekustoms
    Joined: Sep 26, 2007
    Posts: 753

    menacekustoms
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    1. H.A.M.B. Chapel

    I've always thought that idea made sense, and wondered why more people didn't do it. Looks really cool dude.
     
  3. Neat! Is there any other bracing that connects the floor to the sides?

    DOH! Didn't see the other link til now, sorry. Still is there more inner bracing around the cowl? Looks really solid, even after the tow.
     
  4. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 20,717

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Ah, how to get more leg room for looong legs without loosing style on the vehicle.
    I like the way you ran the exhaust under to the car to the back, that adds a touch of class in it's self.
     
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  5. hmmm, looks like it's coming apart for............ paint?
     
  6. retroridesbyrich
    Joined: Dec 2, 2004
    Posts: 1,873

    retroridesbyrich
    Member
    from Central NC

    I always loved this creation. Someday I hope to see it in person.
     
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  7. scootermcrad
    Joined: Sep 20, 2005
    Posts: 13,070

    scootermcrad
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I really like the bead pattern you did in the floor. Right and to the point, nothing extra. Great job on the whole car, really!!
     
  8. scootermcrad
    Joined: Sep 20, 2005
    Posts: 13,070

    scootermcrad
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Well put and I agree!
     
  9. metalshapes
    Joined: Nov 18, 2002
    Posts: 10,618

    metalshapes
    Tech Editor

    Since the Framerails are 6" tall, and the subrails are at least one more inch that gave me more than 7" extra interior space.

    This pic is of the pass side foot well, and inside of the right Frame Rail.

    Roadster 033.jpg

    Roadster 032.jpg

    The driveshaft tunnel is connected to the rear bulkhead

    Roadster 030.jpg

    Roadster 031.jpg

    And in front to the Firewall

    Roadster 2012.jpg
     
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  10. metalshapes
    Joined: Nov 18, 2002
    Posts: 10,618

    metalshapes
    Tech Editor

    Also, the Tunnel is closed off underneath, to give the Spine some extra strength.

    But its stepped up so the Exhaust pipes have a channel to run through.

    Roadster 010.jpg

    They stick out about 1/2 of the diameter to give them a chance to cool, and to have a "soft" barrier in case I hit something.
    ( I 'd rather mess up an exhaust pipe than rip up the underside of my car...)
     
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  11. thunderbirdesq
    Joined: Feb 15, 2006
    Posts: 6,462

    thunderbirdesq
    Member

    Thanks for taking the time to post! VERY cool.:cool:
     
  12. metalshapes
    Joined: Nov 18, 2002
    Posts: 10,618

    metalshapes
    Tech Editor

    But where the driveshaft tunnel goes into the trannytunnel the underside is open to give the Transmission the space it needs.

    Roadster 019.jpg
     
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  13. metalshapes
    Joined: Nov 18, 2002
    Posts: 10,618

    metalshapes
    Tech Editor

    The only two Crossmembers are the ones that hold the Buggy Springs for the front & rear suspension, so there was no strong point to hang the rear off the Tranny off.
    ( 3 if you count the one that holds the front of the engine...)

    So I used a early cast aluminum Scattershield, that uses '55/6/7 mounts.

    Roadster 017.jpg

    And the engine mounts are '55 to '57 Chevy as well...

    Roadster 020.jpg
     
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  14. metalshapes
    Joined: Nov 18, 2002
    Posts: 10,618

    metalshapes
    Tech Editor

    The gastank mounts from underneathand is completely shielded from the passenger compartment.
    ( once I make a little cover over the pick up tube...)

    Roadster 030.jpg

    It sits on the right hand side of the car, just in front of the rear axle.
    ( the best place for weight distribution, center of gravity, and safety )

    Roadster 011.jpg

    I made it out of Mild steel sheet, it has baffles, and its coated on the inside against rust.
     
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  15. metalshapes
    Joined: Nov 18, 2002
    Posts: 10,618

    metalshapes
    Tech Editor

    Its 17.5 Gal,and it fills through the trunk...

    Roadster 036.jpg
     
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  16. metalshapes
    Joined: Nov 18, 2002
    Posts: 10,618

    metalshapes
    Tech Editor

    Thanks for the comments, guys.

    ElP, no... Not for paint yet.
    It will get paint, but not now.

    I just wanted to do a couple of things to it ( the rear settled a bit too much, so I want to pick it back up, etc.
    And check a couple of things, since its been on the road for 8 or so years...)
     
  17. ThirdGen
    Joined: Nov 29, 2008
    Posts: 452

    ThirdGen
    Member
    from Wales, ME

    thats awesome! nice work
     
  18. scootermcrad
    Joined: Sep 20, 2005
    Posts: 13,070

    scootermcrad
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    WOW!! VERY clever! I LOVE it!!

    Silly question... what lap belts are you running??
     
  19. metalshapes
    Joined: Nov 18, 2002
    Posts: 10,618

    metalshapes
    Tech Editor

    The Battery sits on the left hand side, behind the seat.
    And goes in from the top.

    Roadster 031.jpg

    Roadster 039.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2009
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  20. Dan1955
    Joined: Oct 24, 2005
    Posts: 346

    Dan1955
    Member

    This is truly one of the nicest cars I have seen. And by far one of my favorites. Alex is definitly a master cratsman. I've got a piture of me standing by it. I'm 6'1" tall, and the roof line is just over waist high.
     
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  21. metalshapes
    Joined: Nov 18, 2002
    Posts: 10,618

    metalshapes
    Tech Editor

    Deist with the Surplus style Latches.

    Roadster.jpg
     
  22. DrJ
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 9,430

    DrJ
    Member

    The whole interior/framing layout looks very similar to my MGB.
    Coincidence?
     
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  23. metalshapes
    Joined: Nov 18, 2002
    Posts: 10,618

    metalshapes
    Tech Editor

    No, not really...

    I looked at a lot of cars.

    Brit, German, Italian, etc...:D
     
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  24. metalshapes
    Joined: Nov 18, 2002
    Posts: 10,618

    metalshapes
    Tech Editor

    Rear suspension.

    The '57 Ford rear axle is mounted to a pair of '36 Bones, that I kept as long as possible.
    ( I wanted a bit of flex because I was not able to have them pivot under the car, and the pivot points had to be on the outside of the Rails )

    In line with the A Pillar/ front of the door seemed like a nice spot...

    Roadster 041.jpg

    I made them follow the curve of the Frame Rails by Heat Shrinking them.
    ( an O/A flame, a bucket of water & a rag, and a day per siide...:D )

    Roadster 040.jpg

    The pocket for the pivot point attaches the Framerail to the Boxingplate, and its oval so I can get a Cotterpin in...

    Roadster 042.jpg
     
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  25. metalshapes
    Joined: Nov 18, 2002
    Posts: 10,618

    metalshapes
    Tech Editor

    Sideways movement is taken up by a Panhard Bar.

    I kept it as long as possible, and low for a low Rollcenter.

    Roadster 013.jpg

    Roadster 014.jpg

    And I lengthened the Shackles, so the rear spring isn't fighting the Panhard Bar.

    Roadster 015.jpg
     
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  26. metalshapes
    Joined: Nov 18, 2002
    Posts: 10,618

    metalshapes
    Tech Editor

    The only place the mufflers could go was on top of each other, behind the rear axle.

    Roadster 012.jpg
     
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  27. Never saw all the details in the same thread Alex, looks good. I am a tad torn on my Tudor, got some ideas that would be a hybrid of your uni and a stock frame body. We will see.
     
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  28. junkbrick
    Joined: Apr 26, 2004
    Posts: 130

    junkbrick
    Member


    ditto....I have always been intrigued by the conversations I have overheard about your car Alex...thanks for posting this up!

    --reed
     
  29. metalshapes
    Joined: Nov 18, 2002
    Posts: 10,618

    metalshapes
    Tech Editor

    Thats about it...:)

    Because the Body is welded to the frame, and the extra strength from the spine, the car is really stiff.

    It makes the suspension work very well, and there is very little cowl shake.
    ( the Koni shocks dont hurt either... :D )


    Future plans are to finish off the last little bits of Fab Work.
    And pull it apart for Paint & Upholstery.

    And I think I want to change the rear suspension.
    It has held up nicely, but now that the car has Racefab Horsepower, I think it needs to be beefed up a bit.
    ( put less stress on the '36 Bones )

    Here are some more detail pics...

    The character line in the Rails ends exactly at the edge of the Cowl.

    Roadster 024.jpg

    The Draglink drops down,

    Roadster 022.jpg

    So I made an adjuster in the middle.

    Roadster 021.jpg

    Little detail on the Doorjamb...:D

    Roadster 037.jpg

    Model A Framehorns
    ( I like those a lot better than '32 Framehorns )

    Roadster 043.jpg

    Shockmount
    ( modified Truck Steeringarm )

    Roadster 044.jpg

    Temp Gauge.

    Roadster 048.jpg

    Engine.
    ( 327 with a mcCulloch Blower )

    Roadster 047.jpg

    Roadster 049.jpg
     
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  30. Nice job. That's essentially what I did on my track roadster. I'm 6'2" also and space was hard to come by. I only regret that I didn't lengthen the cabin as you did. It's still a little cramped. The cowl on mine is about crotch high and the top of the windsheild is belly button or so.

    Charlie
     
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