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Projects Track Roadster - fixing the unfixable?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by BarryA, Jun 12, 2010.

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

    BarryA
    Member

    So I picked this up a while back as it came up at a good price & I wanted a driver (too many projects)
    [​IMG]
    It's a fun little car built in a single garage over here about ten years ago (originally with a flathead & painted black, styled after Moal's one that was often compared to Frank Mack's). To get the traditional police going, it has: SBC, four-barrel,350, 'glass body, hideous paint & interior -thankfully the wheels in the pic are gone already;)
    I did as I said I would and drove the car quite a bit in the summer, however there were enough things irritating me to tear it down - having to remove the body to get the slipping 'box out made the decision easier...
    My intention is to try to get the car a little closer to traditional looking, and deal with some of the engineering issues. It's really tough for me to not dive in and rebuild the whole thing - exercising restraint in a case like this is going to be tough.
    The Plan:
    Fix the cooling issues - has a front and under car radiator. Some simple changes and improving airflow should make a big difference.
    Get myself more room in the car - I'm six'four and while I can insert myself into the car, a 250 mile trip takes it's toll:D The rear shock towers are the issue - right behind the seat. By changing this I can gain a good 3" and have a more solid mount for the fuel tank.
    [​IMG]
    No, the panhard bar does actually attach to the frame - just tied up out of the way!
    [​IMG]


    Make a few tweaks to the shape at the rear - think I can do this by making the tail taper/tuck in a little as it drops down to what would be the roll pan on another car.
    Go through everything and beef up where needed - the car has a LOT of flex (no surprise with that puny 2x3" frame & no X-member) Door gaps move a good 3/8" or more on dirt roads - great for pinching those flabby arms hanging over the side!

    Issues I "should" deal with:
    The car is running a Jaguar rack on the I-beam - go figure. And those dinky little rear hairpins. Having said that, it does drive better than it has any right too. In about 1500 miles of (at times spirited) driving I have noticed very little bump steer or wheel hop. In fact my biggest reason for wanting to ditch the rack is the look, and that it pisses fluid (yes it's a power rack in a 1400 pound car:eek:) everywhere.
    The front spring is mounted on perches welded to the I-beam. That and a spring mount that probably blocks 25% of the airflow through the radiator, lead me to want to move the axle forward (car could do with a little more length anyways) anddrop the spring in behind the axle. I'm also thinking a wider spring will be easier to get a nicer ride out of?
    [​IMG]

    The hairpin mounts to the frame concern me too - they're only 1/2 bolts and in single shear. When I got the car hey were stainless too - changed those out first thing.

    The length of the rear hairpins is not ideal - with a slight re-design I can double the length at least and not foul the doors.



    I'm sure I'll be needing a bunch of help & advice as I go along.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2010
  2. Anderson
    Joined: Jan 27, 2003
    Posts: 6,644

    Anderson
    Member

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

    BarryA
    Member

    Thanks - I saw that thread.
    I understand that there are issues with hairpins/ladder bars mounted to the frame instead of inboard. There are also a lot of cars on the road built that way though.
    Would you say that the stresses are only from binding as the axle articulates, or does torque/power play a role too? What I am asking is if such a failure is an inevitable "matter of time" occurence in every case, or if there are other factors that will affect the situation.

    Finding a way to triangulate the set-up would be good, but clearance is going to be an issue. Four bar with triangulated lowers?
     
  4. Anderson
    Joined: Jan 27, 2003
    Posts: 6,644

    Anderson
    Member

    I'd say it's just a matter of time but I'm no expert! The longer you can make those bars the better.
     

  5. langy
    Joined: Apr 27, 2006
    Posts: 5,735

    langy
    Member Emeritus

    just my opinion Barry but there are so many issues there it maybe better to not bother :(
     
  6. Flipper
    Joined: May 10, 2003
    Posts: 3,342

    Flipper
    Member
    from Kentucky

     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2010
  7. barry wny
    Joined: Dec 31, 2009
    Posts: 451

    barry wny
    Member

    Although the welding may be a good job, don't know as it looks like they have been ground and filled, also look's like 2x3. I would think 2x4 rails pinchd at the ends and an X as opposed to a ladder frame for a V8. For interior room and to use the existing frame, how about an "Iron Duke" or some other 4 cyl?
     
  8. JeremyJames
    Joined: Aug 11, 2008
    Posts: 432

    JeremyJames
    Member
    from concord NC

    youve got your work cut out for you.....that think is a mess! but at least you were driving this summer. build it how you want it and drive the balls off of it
     
  9. BarryA
    Joined: Apr 22, 2007
    Posts: 643

    BarryA
    Member

    Thanks for the feedback guys - all opinions welcome:D
    I get that there is a lot wrong - however I do have the car. I'm not going to flip it as is. I'm not going to bin it. It's not worth me trying to build something good out of it - for that I would be ahead of the game starting new. I'm hoping to get something okay out of it. For all the stuff that is technically wrong with it, it drives nicer than it has any business doing.
    At worst I'm out some time & materials and will hopefully have learned something....
     
  10. Flipper
    Joined: May 10, 2003
    Posts: 3,342

    Flipper
    Member
    from Kentucky

    As is, the rear axle is acting like a great big sway bar.
     
  11. Clark
    Joined: Jan 14, 2001
    Posts: 5,123

    Clark
    Member

    Just throwing an idea at you to help fix your frame flex and some other issues.....without building a new frame.

    How about adding a loop sorta like your average rollcage above the frame. Keep it 6-8 inches above the frame. You could attach it to the rear shock towers (they desperatly need bracing) and llop around to the cowl area. They could angle down to the frame to make getting in and out the doors easier. Add some bracing every so ofeten and it should solve your frame flex.

    Hell a rollbar would add to the look.
    Clark
     
  12. BarryA
    Joined: Apr 22, 2007
    Posts: 643

    BarryA
    Member

    Thanks Clark - I've got about 2" under the doors - was thinking that I could run an additional rail in there kicking up to tie into the cowl subframe as well as at the rear. This would be part of the body, and would bolt to the chassis. Jury is still out on the rollbar - I do like the idea, but packaging would need to be worked out. I may do a bolt in one.
    The shock towers are gone - I'm doing a kick up on the rear with an extra cross member which will provide more solid mountings for the shocks, gas tank and seatbelts when I fit them.

    As for the rear end - since I will need to modify things anyway, I'm leaning towards a triangulated four bar (Satchell link) with the lower bars angled inwards mounting just behind the gearbox. The existing rear cross member will have to go, but there is the under car radiator - can be made to fit between the two lower bars if their front mount is fairly far forward.This will put them at about 45" long and angled at around 30 degrees.Any thoughts on this? Every thing I've seen online looks a lot shorter.Would 1" thick wall tubing be meaty enough? I'm leaning towards thicker only because I don't know for sure - when in doubt, make it stout.
    I also need to spend more time studying roll centers, roll steering, anti squat etc - not looking for race car handling, just want to eliminate any goofy behaviour on the street. (ok you'all can stop laughing at that looking at the current setup;):D)
    To have some control of axle torsion the upper (parallel) bars are going to need to be angled downwards a little (if I want to still use the doors) I wanted to keep the outward appearance of a hairpin, but obviously deleting the lower mounting point on the axle - I'm thinking I need the upper connecting a good 2-3" above the axle?
    Looks like I have a date with Herb Adams:D and a pile of paper to draw out the range of motion - I have problems visualising such things in my head.
    Also need to find a brake drum (one is shot) and inspect the ring & pinion before I decide if I'm sticking with this axle.....
    Thanks for looking.
    Barry
     
  13. Chaz
    Joined: Feb 24, 2004
    Posts: 5,016

    Chaz
    Member Emeritus

    That's a beautiful little car.... Nice score!
     
  14. Tman
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 35,149

    Tman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I saw a picture of that you posted previously.I dont think it looks too bad, definately worth saving.
     
  15. Neat little car. Worth what ever work it needs to make it right.
     
  16. BarryA
    Joined: Apr 22, 2007
    Posts: 643

    BarryA
    Member

    Ok, so I've been slicin' & dicin' the body a little. Gained quite a bit of space and I think it will look a whole lot better (I guess I should have been taking pics!!) Amazing how out of symmetrical it was - as much as 3/4 - 1" in places :eek::eek:
    I also remember why I hate fibreglass so much - Itchy & Scratchy is in town - give me sheetmetal any day.
    A question about pinion angle: Drawing out the four-link, I'm seeing about 2.5 degrees change at 2" of travel (pretty sure that will be the extreme) - is this within reason? I'm also going to be using rubber bushes (instead of poly) to allow for any possible bind.
    Will hopefully get some progress pics on the weekend.
     
  17. BarryA
    Joined: Apr 22, 2007
    Posts: 643

    BarryA
    Member

    Been off this awhile.
    Quite a few changes made, and going in a new direction with the body. Yep after all that I'm binning the 'glass and doing a one off steel body. Loosely based on a 28/29 (especially round the cowl area) but I'll wing it on the rear end treatment a little. Going to retain the original stainless grill as some kind of homage to the original car....

    Here's what I got up to on the weekend:
    [​IMG]

    More details over here http://www.allmetalshaping.com/showthread.php?t=4928
     
  18. Tman
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 35,149

    Tman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    We cant see pictures there unless we are logged in.
     
  19. BarryA
    Joined: Apr 22, 2007
    Posts: 643

    BarryA
    Member

    Ok Tman - didn't know that. Here's some more of how I got there:
     

    Attached Files:

  20. 32SEDAN
    Joined: Jul 30, 2008
    Posts: 1,308

    32SEDAN
    Member

    Man, that car has incredible potential. However, I would tear it down and redo it :)
     
  21. BarryA
    Joined: Apr 22, 2007
    Posts: 643

    BarryA
    Member

    ....'tis tha plan sah!

    Though I am so deep in now I would have been WAY ahead scratch building everything:p. But it's where I am - just get my head down now and go for it....
     
  22. BarryA
    Joined: Apr 22, 2007
    Posts: 643

    BarryA
    Member

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