Archive for the ‘1929 Ford Roadster Body Modifications’ Category

A different idea for 1928 – 31 Model A Ford floors

Monday, December 12th, 2011

 

A different idea for 1928 – 31 Model A Ford floors

The original floors for many vintage automobiles were made of wood.  This was okay 80 years ago.  The 1928-31 Model A Ford used a combination of steel floor pans and some wood up front.  The Brookville Roadster 1928-29 Ford roadster body is equipped with very nice steel floor pans and was set up for a rumble seat.  Having designed a custom frame / chassis for my 1929 Ford roadster hot rod forced me to remove the entire metal floor.  Using a C4 Corvette suspension for the chassis / frame on the 1929 Ford hot rod required a narrower frame / chassis width in the rear.  My chassis / frame sits inside of the roadsters body rails at the rear of the hot rod.  The original Henry Ford design has the entire body sitting on top of the 1928-31 Model A chassis / frame.  This was a good design for the time, as the body also provided strength to the lightly made ladder style chassis / frame.  Part of my body modifications necessitated the rear floor cross member to be removed and moved a few inches towards the front of the car.  Because of this modification the rear floor pan could not be re-used easily.  I did consider making new metal floor pans but did not like the 0.5 inch difference between the height of the floor and the roadsters body frame rails and floor cross members.  Wanting a nice flat floor even with the top of the roadsters body frame and floor cross members I thought plywood would work but would seal them with fiber glass.  Below are a few pictures of this messy process.

1928-31 Model A Ford floor: moving the rear floor crossmember - view 1 1928-31 Model A Ford floor: moving the rear floor crossmember - view 2

Step 1: After giving this a bit of thought, and having done a fair bit of drywall work in all of the houses I have owned, it made sense to trim the edges of the new 0.5 inch plywood floor cut outs with metal drywall j-mold.  It fits perfectly over the plywood edges to seal and provide a nicely finished edge.  Small nails were used to tack each piece in place.

1928-31 Model A Ford floor: a different idea -- step 1

Step 2:  I decided to use a gray colour pigment made for polyester resin to match the grey primer I have been using on the car.  Now it is very important to mix the correct amount of catalyst with the amount of resin to be used.  Another consideration is the ambient air temperature in the shop.  This means if your shop is very warm you can use less catalyst and if it is on the cool side of things, more catalyst is required.   Not enough catalyst will be a disaster as the resin will not ever harden.  Too much catalyst will cause the resin to set too fast and get very hot.  Only mix enough resin for a time period you can handle.  The resin is expensive and you do not want a waste any product. I used plastic bowls from the dollar store to mix up the resin.  Using a permanent marker, I marked out a 4 ounce and 8 ounce points.  From the local farm supplier or even the drug store, purchase several small syringes.  These are great for getting the exact measure of catalyst.  I used 2 teaspoons or about 6 cc of catalyst for 8 ounces of resin or gel coat.  When I did this, my shop temperature was about 65 degrees f.  From the dollar store I also purchased heavy duty rubber gloves, several paint brushes, and small paint rollers.  For clean-up I used lacquer thinner.   Do this in a well-ventilated area and wear safety glasses.  I do not clean my rubber gloves or mixing bowls.  Once the resin hardens, the hardened resin just peels off the gloves and breaks away from the plastic bowls.  When applying the resin to the fibre glass matt, make sure you work out all of the air bubbles to maximize adhesion to the plywood.  This is a very messy and smelly process that cannot be rushed.

1928-31 Model A Ford floor: a different idea -- step 2 1928-31 Model A Ford floor: a different idea -- step 2-2

Step 3:  Once all of the floor boards had the fiber glass matt applied with a good coat of resin, I started to paint on the gel coat.  Again, I used a colour pigment in the gel coat and used the same amount of catalyst as I did for the resin. Several coats of gel coat were applied.  Eventually, I will sand the bottom side of the floor panels smooth for an even finish. All edges were sanded smooth on my stationary 6 inch belt sander.  The entire process to seal the wooden floor panels took several nights out in the shop. 

1928-31 Model A Ford floor: a different idea -- step 3 1928-31 Model A Ford floor: a different idea -- step 3-3

All of the panels fit into my 1929 Ford roadster without any problems.  These will all get screwed down with a heat shield and rubber padding applied to the interior to reduce noise and heat.  These floor panels will be extremely strong and well-sealed from the elements.  A similar technique is use to make light weight but very sturdy cedar strip canoes.

1928-31 Model A Ford floor: a different idea -- front view 1928-31 Model A Ford floor: a different idea -- back view
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1929 Ford Model A Ford Roadster Body Modifications – part 3

Sunday, October 31st, 2010
 

 

 

1929 Ford Model A Ford Roadster Body Modifications – part 3

 Hot Rod building distractions continue.

 I had another really good week here at home and at the College.   One section of my students are finishing up their electronic projects I have them build.  These students are building anything from variable DC power supplies to FM transmitters for their MP3 players like iPod’s and iPhones.  So far all of the projects are working and many students are happy that I taught them to solder on a very difficult practice printed circuit board first.  Next week I will mark the remainder of the projects and most likely trouble shoot and fix a few projects that do not work.   Of course there were a few more meetings at the College and that’s part of what I need to do so no complaints there.

Leaves are still falling off the trees and I am really glad I have the tractor with a bagging attachment to pick them all up.  There were so many, that I needed to go over the areas with a heavy leaf cover first using the mulcher on the lawn tractor.  Once this was done, I was able to bag the already chopped up leaves with the bagger attachment on the tractor.  This is a bit of a job on our one acre property but I find it a great way to unwind.

1929fordhotrod.com - This Victorian house was built in 1868 by a local Judge in the area.  As you can see, the property is well treed.  In the picture there is a large tulip tree, locust bean tree, and a ginko tree.  The tulip tree will hang on to its leaves well into to Novevmber here.

1929fordhotrod.com - This Victorian house was built in 1868 by a local Judge in the area. As you can see, the property is well treed. In the picture there is a large tulip tree, locust bean tree, and a ginko tree. The tulip tree will hang on to its leaves well into to Novevmber here.

Last weekend I also needed to get a TV antenna mounted to one of the chimneys on our 140 year old Victorian house.  About a year ago I decided to have the cable TV service removed.  For over $100 per month we found that we were watching TV channels that I could receive off air using an antenna.  So why waste the money.  The cable company just could believe we did not require their services anymore.  The funny thing was they even offered to give it to me free for 3 months just in case we wanted to change our minds.  Even after the 3 month of free cable we told them to disconnect it.  A local store “The Source” or the former Radio Shack had a saucer style antenna with a pre-amplifier, rotor, and cable on sale.   Having designed and built UHF TV antennas with my students at the College I work at in the past, I did not have much hope for this unit, but decided to give it a try since I could not find a used high gain UHF antenna and rotor.  I mounted the antenna temporarily on the flat roof that we have on one section of our old Victorian house.   You can see the flat roof in the attached picture of the back of my home.  To my amazement, I received all of the TV channels I wanted and the picture quality wasn’t bad.  Of course as fate would have it, there is always way too much too do around here so the temporary antenna installation lasted a year.  This fall the flat roof will need another coat of tar before winter, so my temporary antenna installation now needs to become permanent.  Using a bit of 1 inch steel pipe, I welded up a nice antenna mast to mount on the chimney.  Now I have a flying saucer mounted to the top of one of the many chimneys on our Victorian house.  It looks totally out of place but I now receive free TV channels with excellent picture quality.

1929fordhotrod.com - tv antenna - I use this antenna to receive free and excellent quality tv signals.

1929fordhotrod.com - tv antenna - I use this antenna to receive free and excellent quality tv signals.

1929fordhotrod.com - tv antenna mounted to the chimney.  The antenna is attached to a 1 inch round steel pipe that is bolt to the chimney using concrete anchors.  I made the mast using surplus materials found in my shop.  The top of the antenna is over 40 feet up from ground level.

1929fordhotrod.com - tv antenna mounted to the chimney. The antenna is attached to a 1 inch round steel pipe that is bolted to the chimney using concrete anchors. I made the mast using surplus materials found in my shop. The top of the antenna is over 40 feet up from ground level.

Surprisingly enough, I did manage to get several good hours in the shop during the evening to work on the 1929 Ford hot rod.  I am now very determined to get this project completed and move on to the next one.  I have a few ideas, but I will focus now on finishing this one first. 

When I originally started this project, I always took lots of pictures, starting with the old 35mm film camera, then to the digital camera, and now adding HD video to the mix.  I never dreamed of documenting the project on the internet as I am doing today.  Of course this all takes time and is a good hot rod building distraction.  My main intention is to show readers how I created and build a nice looking hot rod using curiosity and ingenuity without a high dollar investment.  Again, the actual hot rod it much further along then what is already shown in this blog.  In fact just last week, I re-painted the front brake calipers and re-installed them on the car.  The first paint job on the callipers was damaged by a small amount of brake fluid that leaked out of them.  The new paint I used this time as the manufacturer claims is heat and resistant to brake fluid damage.  Hopefully I can get the rear calipers completed this weekend, do a quick alignment of the rear end, bleed the brakes, and take the hot rod out in the lane for a short test run.

Continuing with the 1929 Ford hot rod body modifications.

 The original Model A Ford built from 1928 to 1931 by Henry Ford used several wooden blocks of hardwood to mount the body to the chassis / frame.  This was fine for the time and Brookville Roadster http://brookvilleroadster.com/  has continued with the tradition to keep the body in true vintage form.  The idea of using wood to mount the body to my custom C4 Corvette hot rod chassis just do not seem right to me.

1929 Ford Hot Rod roadster front body modifications - The front wooden body block has been removed from the Brookville Roadster body.  I do not want any wood used for body mounting.

1929 Ford Hot Rod roadster front body modifications - The front wooden body block has been removed from the Brookville Roadster body. I do not want any wood used for body mounting.

1929 Ford Hot Rod roadster front body modifications - The wooden block will be replace with this 2 inch by 1 inch rectangular steel block.

1929 Ford Hot Rod roadster front body modifications - The wooden block will be replace with this 2 inch by 1 inch rectangular steel block.

1929 Ford Hot Rod roadster front body modifications - Before welding the new steel block in place, it was bolted in to prevent any movement prior to welding.

1929 Ford Hot Rod roadster front body modifications - Before welding the new steel block in place, it was bolted in to prevent any movement prior to welding.

1929 Ford Hot Rod roadster front body modifications - The new steel body mount block is now welded and the welds cleaned up with the grinder.  The will be a better front body mount for the Brookville Roadster body the will be used on the C4 Corvette custom hot rod chassis / frame.  The wooden blocks used in the original design of the Model A Ford from 1928 to 1931 are fine for that period but not for a modern custom car.

1929 Ford Hot Rod roadster front body modifications - The new steel body mount block is now welded and the welds cleaned up with the grinder. The will be a better front body mount for the Brookville Roadster body the will be used on the C4 Corvette custom hot rod chassis / frame. The wooden blocks used in the original design of the Model A Ford from 1928 to 1931 are fine for that period but not for a modern custom car.

 Not keeping things simple in the creation and design of my 1929 Ford Roadster hot rod, I decided to make one more modification to the Brookville Roadster body.  Instead of using the hardwood front mounting blocks, I would use steel ones.  The firewall had already been removed from the body so this job was very easy to carry out.  I found that a 1 inch by 2 inch rectangular steel tube would work perfectly in place of the wooden block.  Using a grinder, cut-off saw and die grinder, I trimmed and cleaned up the front body mount location to accept the new steel block.  A hole was drilled into the new steel block and then bolted in place on the body to prevent movement prior to welding.  Everything was in place and lined up on both sides. Using the Mig welder, I welded the new pieces in place.  A few more minutes of grinding the welds to smooth everything up and the job was now complete.  I must say this ended up to be one of the simpler modifications and jobs I engaged in on my 1929 Ford hot rod project.  Not only that, I sold the entire hardwood mounting blocks for the body on eBay.  I even included in the sale the remaining wooden structure for the interior of the car.  There is no point keeping anything from the car that I will never use again, so why not turn these items into money for the hot rod build project.  This did work out well for me in the end.


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