Placing the engine for the 1929 Model “A” Ford Roadster Hot Rod – Part 2
Figuring out the location of the engine and transmission in the 1929 Ford Roadster Hot Rod was a bit of a challenge. The Model A Ford Roadster does not have a spacious interior. I am 6’ – 4” tall and need leg room when sitting in the car. Many hot rodders will cut out and have about a 4” recess in the firewall to make room for the engine. Modifying the firewall was not an option for me. Originally, I started the design of my Hot Rod chassis using the 1931 Ford 5 window coupe body. Everything seemed to work out better with 1931 Ford being a slightly larger car. I could have even used the original aluminum driveshaft from the 1986 Corvette. It was like the C4 Corvette components were intentionally designed to be used in the Model A Ford! Now I had to move the engine forward to clear the firewall of the 1929 Ford Hot Rod roadster.
My first motor mount was of a style that bolted to the front of the engine and had same inside width of the chassis. I made this motor mount out of ¼” steel plate and made up small brackets that I could weld to the inside of the frame rails. At first, this looked like a good option. With the motor mount at the front of the engine, I would have a bit more clearance for the original 1986 Corvette headers and exhaust. Remember, one of my goals with this project was to use as much of the 1986 Corvette as possible in this build. This included the exhaust. As I continued on with the project, I started to realize this style of motor mount would not work well for me. The 1929 Ford roadster body was mounted temporarily on the frame. I also mounted the 1986 Corvette steering column and the shaft from the steering column to the steering rack. At that point I realized the front style motor mount would not work. I steering column shaft would not clear the front motor mount.
When I designed and built the front motor mount, I also made up a set of traditional style motor mounts for the side of the engine at the same time. It was the side motor mounts that I ended up using. There would be no issues with the steering shaft now and along the way, I decided to change the exhaust system. I ended up purchasing Patriot Exhaust Sprint Style Weld-Up Header Kit. I will have an exhaust section later on in this Blog with details on the complete exhaust system, including a baffles and side pipes.
Being a rather creative person, I thought my hot rod would look neat if the front coil over shocks could be mounted inside the frames rails. This would be similar to the suspension found on the Plymouth Prowlers and Indy style race cars. With the body on the chassis, I moved the engine and transmission forward enough to clear the firewall. It was then I wished that the frame was about 6” longer. There was not enough room between the pulleys on the front of the engine and at radiator for inboard coil over shocks. As a result, the idea of Indy style inboard front coil over shocks would have to be abandoned. The next hot rod I build will have a longer frame to allow for this type of suspension. It would make a very clean looking independent front suspension system.
The bonus of moving the engine forward enough to clear the 1929 Ford roadster firewall was that I would not need much of a transmission tunnel in the floor of the car. This will create the needed leg room for me.
The front style of motor mount was not needed anymore, so I cleaned it up a bit, painted it black and listed it on eBay. It sold in the week and bought in a price of over $100 for me.
Come back next week for more building information on this 1929 Ford Hot Rod.