Register now to get rid of these ads!

Unknown "A" Build Thread

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Jax2A, May 27, 2009.

  1. Jax2A
    Joined: Apr 14, 2009
    Posts: 352

    Jax2A
    Member

    I started to put my project thread in my intro but was told to just start one here, so here goes. Don’t get excited this isn’t going to be a mind blowing fast paced project, it’s going to take a while to complete. At this point I’m not even sure what I’m building yet since I’m just starting with a Model A frame. Hopefully, an “A” body of some type will eventually turn up for my project. We’ll see for now I’ll just build the chassis and plan on sitting something on it at some point.
    <O:p</O:p
    So I got a fairly solid Model A frame out of a poison ivy patch for $40, not in prime condition but savable I think. Spent some time with it and a tape measure comparing it to the dimension on the Wescott Model A frame drawing. Turned out to be dead on the money and square as can be, except for the left frame horn which is tweaked slightly out, but overall I'm happy with it. Once the measurements were taken I ground off the rivet heads to get the frame ready to take apart for de-rusting and repair.<O:p</O:p
    <V:p</V:p<O:p</O:p
    Over the Memorial Day weekend I started knocking the frame apart and was surprised at how well the thing was put together. Used a pneumatic hammer to knock out the rivets on the center cross member with no trouble at all. About a quarter of the rivets for the front and rear cross members came out fairly easy too but the rest were something else. A lot more grinding, drilling and air-hammering later I finally got the thing knocked apart. As flexible as that frame was I’m shocked it was so hard to get apart. Apparently Henry knew what he was doing.<O:p</O:p
    <O:p</O:p
    The front and rear cross members are in good shape just need de-rusted. The center cross member is worse and will need some rust repair before it can be reused. The frame rails are pretty solid, some repairs needed and the left frame horn needs straightening. Plus a bunch of holes will need welded up. At this point I have no idea which holes in the sides of the rails I need to keep (if any) and which I don’t. So I need to do some research there. The body mount holes in the top of the rails are pretty obvious though and shown in the Wescott diagram.
    <O:p</O:p
    So now the rust removal begins. I think for this project I’m going to try electrolysis rust removal. I’ve never done it before but it looks simple enough and seems to produce good results.
    <O:p</O:p
    All for now, Jack.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. 52pickup
    Joined: Aug 11, 2004
    Posts: 847

    52pickup
    Member
    from Tucson, Az

    looks like a pretty good starting point, and the price was right!
     
  3. Jax2A
    Joined: Apr 14, 2009
    Posts: 352

    Jax2A
    Member

    Have the day off because I was supposed to take my oldest daughter on a college visitation today. However, had to cancel it because she has exams today. (mom and daughter did the scheduling, not me.) Any took advantage and just dropped the front cross member and some small rear cross member braces in an electrolysis bath for clean up. First time attempting this so we'll see how it turns out. Got excited and forgot to take "before" pics though. Now the waiting is killing me.
     
  4. A Chopped Coupe
    Joined: Mar 2, 2004
    Posts: 1,133

    A Chopped Coupe
    Member

    Looks like you've got a solid platform to start with.
    So, what are your plans as far as engine, trans........etc? Are you going to Z the frame, box it or?????????????
    My project actually started with a flathead V8, then the frame, then the body.

    Here are a couple of pictures of my "A" frame after modifications.
     

    Attached Files:

    Register now to get rid of these ads!

  5. Jax2A
    Joined: Apr 14, 2009
    Posts: 352

    Jax2A
    Member

    A Chopped Coupe,
    I'm not sure about the project yet. It depends on what kind of body I come up with. I got a guy that wants my 59 Sprite project and I told him I'd trade it for body for this frame. The project won't be a pure period built/traditional rod though, I just don't have the resources for it and I'm not one of those "right time/right place" lucky guys. Right now I'm looking to either build up a flathead Kaiser Supersonic 134 four cylinder that came out of my 46 Jeep (not the original engine) or a Ford Zetec 2.0L made to look retro with twin side drafts and a lake pipe exhaust. I'll mate a Mustang T5 to either one for drivability. Hopefully it will look retro enough to fool all but guys like the ones here at HAMB. And hopefully since I'm not pretending it's a period hot rod and just working with what I got it will at least be tolerated here as it should meet the spirit if not the letter of the law of "traditional" rod.

    Your frame looks great, I don't plan on Z-ing mine but do plan on boxing it. It is way to flexible for my tastes and I hate seeing rods bounce along on flexi-frames. Also plan on adding K members.

    Oh, if I happen to score a coupe body, the motor trans choice goes out the window cause I'll have to source an old V8 for a coupe project. I couldn't live with myself any other way.

    Jack
     
  6. A Chopped Coupe
    Joined: Mar 2, 2004
    Posts: 1,133

    A Chopped Coupe
    Member

    Sounds like you've got a good plan. I can't say much about the Jeep motor, but the Ztec is a good choice and I've seen a couple around.
    Keep us up to date and how you progress.
     
  7. Jax2A
    Joined: Apr 14, 2009
    Posts: 352

    Jax2A
    Member

    Can't say much about it because it's a bad choice or don't know about them? It's a solid motor but not a high rever. Pulls stumps though. Can be super charged too, if done right. Will need an overdrive trans for sure though if I choose to use it. It looks cool to me too, if the wife would allow it I'd make an end table out of it with a glass top.
     
  8. A Chopped Coupe
    Joined: Mar 2, 2004
    Posts: 1,133

    A Chopped Coupe
    Member

    No, I didn't mean it was a bad choice, I just don't have any experience with any 4cyd motors expect the 2.0/2.3L Fords.
    Did have a 1988 Turbo Coupe though, Thunderbird Turbo Coupe that is.
    Had a modified head by Loyning Engine Service in Oregon, bigger intercooler and turbo with 5spd. It was a great little car, wish I never sold it.
     
  9. Jax2A
    Joined: Apr 14, 2009
    Posts: 352

    Jax2A
    Member

    Gotcha, yea I love the 2.3L too. Had one in a 74 Pinto wagon when I was in college. Boy that thing withstood some abuse. That turbo 2.3 is a nice combo.
     
  10. Jax2A
    Joined: Apr 14, 2009
    Posts: 352

    Jax2A
    Member

    06-18-09 Update
    Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been slowly de-rustifying my frame via electrolysis. Have only done the small pieces and crossmembers so far.
    I won’t bore you with the details of electrolysis as it has been covered all over the web and probably here too, but here’s the simple set up I threw together using a tub and scrap steel. The four corner posts are connected by welded submerged pieces on the long sides. I vice-gripped the short side connection on one end so I could take the sacrificial anode apart for easier storage. In the picture the small pieces are hanging from wire in the solution and bubbling away.
    [​IMG]
    Here’s the small pieces when they came out:
    [​IMG]<O:p</O:p
    And here they are after being hit quickly by a wire wheel (except the inside of the bracket on the right for comparison):
    [​IMG]
    Same views for the front crossmember:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Going take a little hand work to get the black oxide out of the crevices but not as much as if I was trying to remove the original rust.
    The electrolysis worked great and probably revealed some stuff that I wouldn’t have seen if I had just wire wheeled it, like the hairline cracks around the front spring mount.
    So after all this, my center crossmember is worse than I thought and my front has some cracks I didn’t expect.
    <O:p</O:p

    Since the last update, I’ve also bought a Harbor Freight tire changer and removed the useless tires from the wheels I plan on using and hammered one bent rim straight.
    Also, found another Model A frame a couple of hours away and will picking that up on 06-22-09:
    Don’t have any good pictures yet but it comes with i-beam and banjo axle, front and rear springs, radius rods, spindles and backing plates and torque tube and maybe some other parts, it’s hard to tell from the pictures I have. But I had to act fast to make the deal and decided to risk it. Time will tell if I got a good deal.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    All for now, Jack.
     
  11. hollywood 423
    Joined: Aug 25, 2005
    Posts: 226

    hollywood 423
    Member
    from west ohio

    I looked at that other frame you got, but passed on it for for bare frame in IN. What got me it had
    juice brakes in front and mechanical in back. Would like to see that hookup. If you come across 2 bodys, let me know. I'm looking at a couple sedan bods in IN. now, but the guy wont set a price.If I do any good I'll let you know..
     
  12. Jax2A
    Joined: Apr 14, 2009
    Posts: 352

    Jax2A
    Member

    Curious... why'd you pass on it? I'm hoping to combine it with the frame I have to get one good rolling chassis start. From the pics I thought it had juice brakes up front and mechanical in the rear. And yes I'm searching for a body too, I'll let you know of anything I find that I don't take. I'm just looking for something Model A but would love a coupe.
     
  13. Jax2A
    Joined: Apr 14, 2009
    Posts: 352

    Jax2A
    Member

    Ok, So I picked up my new other frame on Monday, sorry haven't taken more pictures but I will since I'll need help identifying the brakes. Someone should have warned me about how heavy a banjo rearend is. Man they don't look heavy. So rails are pretty bad but the crossmembers look good especialy the center one which was real bad on my first frame. Looks like I'll be mixing the rails and cross members to get one good frame.
    This evening after my son's ball game I started tearing stuff apart and took off the torque tube. I can't believe they used to make headers from them, the thing is really heavy for that. But I guess they'd take a long time to rust out though.

    Not much of an update but hey I got a little done tonight.
     
  14. Jax2A
    Joined: Apr 14, 2009
    Posts: 352

    Jax2A
    Member

    So in my spare time I've been slowly dismantling my new Model A frame. I get around to taking the brakes off the front axle. Here's what they looked like on the axle:
    [​IMG]

    The big surprise was my spindles, couldn't see this under the dirt and crud:
    [​IMG]
    Why was this done? It doesn't look like this was necessary for these backing plates. Looks like I have to add "repair spindles" to the list.

    Here's the front and back of the brakes, so what do I have:
    [​IMG]

    Also got the front spring removed, 12 leaves seems like a lot. Since I'm going with a much lighter engine I figure I can go down to at least 6. What's the fewest people use? Plan is to reverse the main and use fewer leaves to get the front end down but won't be dropping the axle, I don't want it too low for my purposes.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2009
  15. Jax2A
    Joined: Apr 14, 2009
    Posts: 352

    Jax2A
    Member

    What a crappy day. Bad day at work and now this. Get home late but want to get a little something done so I head out to the garage with the goal of removing the wishbone from the front axle. Get nuts to the spring perches cleaned off so I can see them and throw the socket wrench to them... nothing. Don't want to go crazy so I don't screw something up, so I start cleaning more so I can see if I'm missing something. Crap the wishbones have been welded on the front side to the axle. More cleaning and I think I'll be able to cut the weld and clean everything up with no damage but not tonight. Meanwhile back to the spring perches. Normally when I take stuff like this apart I only use hand tools so I don't break or screw something up. But looks like I'm going to have to break out the impact or a much bigger breaker bar. But before I do, are the spring perch threads right hand? I only ask because I nearly killed myself once (and messed up a wheel) trying remove what turned out to be left hand thread lug nuts. (Hey I was young and didn't have the internet for help, I didn't even know anyone ever put left and threads on car wheels... the other side was right hand thread.) Anyway if someone could confirm the threads before I increase my efforts I'd appreciate it.
     
  16. Killer
    Joined: Jul 5, 2001
    Posts: 1,567

    Killer
    Member

    sometimes the model a spindles were cut for the hydraulic backing plates... more often, the backing plate itself was cut.
     
  17. Jax2A
    Joined: Apr 14, 2009
    Posts: 352

    Jax2A
    Member

    Yea, I know but it was completely unnecessary for these backing plates. Maybe these weren't the ones the spindles were cut for.

    Anyway, good news/bad news on the spring perch removal. Broke out the big breaker bar with the handle of my floor jack over it and got one nut off. The other one spins the spring perch. I guess if I get the nut off the one that spins the perch should come out fairly easy. On the one that the nut came off... the perch doesn't want to budge. Found some good posts on the subject though and I think I'll be able to get them out, IF I get that other nut off.
     
  18. pasadenahotrod
    Joined: Feb 13, 2007
    Posts: 11,776

    pasadenahotrod
    Member
    from Texas

    The dork who cut those Model A spindle flanges didn't know anything about early Fords and mech to hyd brake conversions and obviously was illiterate since the procedure is covered in almost every book about A restoration and hotrodding printed since the 50s.
    The bolt holes in the backing plates should have been slotted to fit the smaller bolt pattern of the early spindle flange, and a spacer ring used to center the plate on the flange. You have the bearing spacer on the spindles so maybe only the rings are not there.
    You have 42-48 Ford Hydraulic brake backing plates there. You'll need some 40-41 hub/drum assemblies or 42-48 hub/drum assemblies. They use the same bearings from 28-48 but different seals.

    Looks like the beginnings of a really fun project. Four bangers of any kind are fun.
     
  19. Jax2A
    Joined: Apr 14, 2009
    Posts: 352

    Jax2A
    Member

    Thanks for the brake ID Pasadena, appreciate the info.
    Good news from the garage today, another night soaking in Kroil did the trick on my spring perches. Was able to get the other nut off without too much work and as expected that perch almost dropped out on its own. The stuck perch was the big surprise, only took two whacks with the deadblow hammer and it started moving. Few more whacks and it was out. Also free'd the front and mid crossmembers. While doing this I managed to punch a nice hole in my thumb with the pneumatic hammer when I slipped while driving out a rivet. Also took off a bunch of parts I'm hoping to sell to recoup some project cash.

    Question, I've been searching but haven't had any luck, can anyone point me to an exploded diagram for both the front axle and banjo rear assemblies for a Model A? They'd help me a lot. Thanks and later... Jack
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2009
  20. troutmaskreplica
    Joined: Jul 9, 2009
    Posts: 3

    troutmaskreplica
    Member
    from Tucson, AZ

    Back to your engine choices. Ford makes a Zetec crate motor for ~$2500, which is a good place to start - all new and about the same price as a thorough rebuild.

    http://www.fordracingparts.com/parts/part_details.asp?PartKeyField=4989

    With this engine and a MegaSquirt II you should be in good shape for both the stock throttle body and the side drafts if you want to rfeplace the throttle body later. I've done this install - let me know if you want more info.

    Anyway...

    Another interesting idea is an Oldsmobile Quad 4. I've heard they look like an Offenhauser when they have carburetors.

    Both engines require a RWD bellhousing conversion and there are options available See the Quad 4 Rods website for bellhousings.

    Good luck!
     
  21. hotrodjeep
    Joined: Feb 3, 2009
    Posts: 867

    hotrodjeep
    Member
    from Tama, Iowa

    Any progress for the new year?

    Jeff
     
  22. Jax2A
    Joined: Apr 14, 2009
    Posts: 352

    Jax2A
    Member

    Finally, started working on my Unknown "A" project again. It's not unknown anymore though. I've been collecting parts for the past year and picked up a 27 T touring body that will be chanelled over the A frame.

    So this weekend I finally repaired my welder, cleaned up my rails, rough cut my boxing plates and started dusting off my welding skills. I also cut in a Tardell style step for the rear of my frame to lower the rear a bit more. I'm not in to the frame scrappers so I'm just going with reversed springs and removing leaves to drop it plus the step in the rear. With the body channeled to the frame depth and a rubber rake I think I'll have the look I'm after.

    It felt good to be cutting and welding again but I'll be glad when the dirty work is done.

    Hopefully I'll have more frequent updates and pictures soon.
     
  23. hotrodjeep
    Joined: Feb 3, 2009
    Posts: 867

    hotrodjeep
    Member
    from Tama, Iowa

  24. Jax2A
    Joined: Apr 14, 2009
    Posts: 352

    Jax2A
    Member

    I'm getting good at welding up holes... still a lot more to go though.

    I've filled all the holes in my boxing plates now. Yea, I know that doesn't make sense. But I'm combining good rails from one model A frame with good crossmembers from another. I've cut off the top and bottom part of the channel on the bad rails to use the sides for my boxing plates. So I've been welding up all the holes. I know it would be easier to cut the plates from fresh steel but I had the rails, I needed the welding practice and I like the idea of having as much Henry steel in my frame as possible.

    Anyways, I'm about half done filling unwanted holes in my good rails now. Hope to have the frame ready to figure out my K member this weekend.
     
  25. Just so you don't limit yourself a '27 T goes on one of those chassis real well.

    Good start.

    Funny the things that can kick a project off. I have an engine that has been in 4 or 5 boddies to date that started off with a crank shaft and a set of rods.
     

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!

Archive

Copyright © 1995-2020 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.