Archive for the ‘The Rear Suspension for the 1929 Ford Roadster’ Category

Installing the C4 Corvette Rear Sway / Stabilizer Bar in the Hot Rod

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

Installing the Rear Sway / Stabilizer Bar

Now it came time to install the rear sway or stabilizer bar on the 1929 Ford roadster hot rod.  The C4 Corvette rear suspension looks real nice underneath the Ford Roadster so far.  With the composite mono spring, there will be a certain amount of sway bar action.  This is the nature of this type of suspension and will just not be enough for this hot rod.  The original sway bar from the 1986 Corvette Indy Pace car has a large footprint and will be a bit of a challenge to install on the chassis.  Mounting it towards the center of the car just would not work.  If I mounted it toward the rear of the car, I would have needed mount it on the rear body rails of the Brookville roadster body.  That did not make any sense.  It was then I realized that the frame was too short.  If I lengthen the frame to the point that the chassis frame rails would still fit inside the Brookville Roadsters body frame rails, I would be able to attach the rear sway bar to the chassis.  How lucky could I get?  It was meant to be!  All I would need to do is make the frame about 10 inches longer.  Of course I could have made my life real simple and bought some after market sway bars.  I decided against this.  My goal from the onset of this project was to use as much of the 1986 Corvette as possible in the build of my hot rod.  So my stubbornness won out.  The hot rod chassis was going to be modified and lengthened to accommodate the C4 Corvette rear sway bar.

 

1929 Ford Roadster hot rod - C4 Corvette IRS rear sway bar installation - View 1 - If I wanted to use the original 1986 Corvette rear sway bar, I will need to make the chassis a bit longer.  The 1929 Ford roadster body from Brookville Roadsters was originally equiped for a rumble seat.  With the frame rail inside the body rails, the rumble seat body metal needed to be removed along with one body cross member.  I sold all of this very easily as I could not use any of it.

1929 Ford Roadster hot rod - C4 Corvette IRS rear sway bar installation - View 1 - If I wanted to use the original 1986 Corvette rear sway bar, I will need to make the chassis a bit longer. The 1929 Ford roadster body from Brookville Roadsters was originally equiped for a rumble seat. With the frame rail inside the body rails, the rumble seat body metal needed to be removed along with one body cross member. I sold all of this very easily as I could not use any of it.

Using a cut off wheel inserted in my 4 inch portable grinder, I cut out the welds off the rear section of the hot rod chassis.  Taking something like this apart also gave me a chance to look at the quality of the welds and how strong this was initially assembled.  All looked good in the dis-assembly process. 

1929 Ford Roadster rod - C4 Corvette IRS rear sway bar installation - View 2 - The rear section of the chassis was removed and the frame rail is prepared to be lengthened.

1929 Ford Roadster rod - C4 Corvette IRS rear sway bar installation - View 2 - The rear section of the chassis was removed and the frame rail is prepared to be lengthened.

 I had a couple sections of the 2 x 4 inch rectangle tubing I had left over from the main part of the chassis.  The extensions were cut to size.  To make sure that the extensions would be attached straight, I found some long and very straight pieces of angle iron and c-clamped them to the main part of the chassis and the extensions.  Once I was satisfied of the placement of the extensions, they were tack welded in place.  The rear section of the frame that I removed was re-sized and also tack welded in place.  Making sure everything was as it should be; I finished welding everything with the mig welder. 

1929 Ford Roadster hot rod - C4 Corvette IRS rear sway bar installation - View 3 - a short section of 2 inch by 4 inch rectangular tubing is added to the frame rail.  The chassis will still fit inside the body frame rail of the 1929 Ford Roadster.

1929 Ford Roadster hot rod - C4 Corvette IRS rear sway bar installation - View 3 - a short section of 2 inch by 4 inch rectangular tubing is added to the frame rail. The chassis will still fit inside the body frame rail of the 1929 Ford Roadster.

1929 Ford Roadster hot rod - C4 Corvette IRS rear sway bar installation - View 4 - The rear section of the frame is welded back on to the chassis.  Notice the masking tape.  I used it to mark the center line of the chassis and the axle center line.  Often I will use high heat paint to scrible lines on the metal for cutting and shaping purposes.

1929 Ford Roadster hot rod - C4 Corvette IRS rear sway bar installation - View 4 - The rear section of the frame is welded back on to the chassis. Notice the masking tape. I used it to mark the center line of the chassis and the axle center line. Often I will use high heat paint to scrible lines on the metal for cutting and shaping purposes.

1929 Ford Roadster hot rod - C4 Corvette IRS rear sway bar installation - View 5 - Notice the notches in the roadsters body rail.  This is required to allow the body to fit over the C4 Corvette rear axle side mounts.  I will strenghten the body later on and show how I moved and made new rear body mounts for the 1929 Ford roadster.

1929 Ford Roadster hot rod - C4 Corvette IRS rear sway bar installation - View 5 - Notice the notches in the roadsters body rail. This is required to allow the body to fit over the C4 Corvette rear axle side mounts. I will strenghten the body later on and show how I moved and made new rear body mounts for the 1929 Ford roadster.

Fabricating the mounting brackets for the sway bar mounts was next on the agenda.  Using a small section of 2 inch square tubing as a spacer and a nicely shaped piece of quarter inch steel plate everything was starting to look pretty good. 

1929 Ford Roadster hot rod - C4 Corvette IRS rear sway bar installation - View 6 - This is the mounting bracket I made up for the 1986 Corvette rear sway bar mount.  It is made of a small section of 2 inch square tubing and 1/4 inch steel plate.

1929 Ford Roadster hot rod - C4 Corvette IRS rear sway bar installation - View 6 - This is the mounting bracket I made up for the 1986 Corvette rear sway bar mount. It is made of a small section of 2 inch square tubing and 1/4 inch steel plate.

 Having a few good tools makes the fabrication process easier when building a hot rod.  In this case, a small stationary metal band saw is indispensable when building a hot rod.  Some time ago, at a swap meet, I came across the metal cutting band saw.  It was missing a motor and a few other parts.  The price was right and I bought it and fixed it up.  Now instead of using the plasma cutter, the band saw makes short work on small hot rod brackets.  All of my brackets get sanded smooth on all edges.  For this I use a small 1 inch stationary belt sander mounted on the work bench.

1929 Ford Roadster hot rod - C4 Corvette IRS rear sway bar installation - View 7 - The adjustments to the chassis are completed.  The sway bar is a bit close to the inside of the tire.  I will need to replace the 1986 Corvette sway bar bushings with new ones.

1929 Ford Roadster hot rod - C4 Corvette IRS rear sway bar installation - View 7 - The adjustments to the chassis are completed. The sway bar is a bit close to the inside of the tire. I will need to replace the 1986 Corvette sway bar bushings with new ones.

1929 Ford Roadster hot rod - C4 Corvette IRS rear sway bar installation - View 8 - The sway bar is a bit off center and the tire clearance is tight.

1929 Ford Roadster hot rod - C4 Corvette IRS rear sway bar installation - View 8 - The sway bar is a bit off center and the tire clearance is tight.

1929 Ford Roadster hot rod - C4 Corvette IRS rear sway bar installation - View 9 - With the C5 Corvette rims and larger diameter and wider tires, I might have a problem with clearance between the 1986 Corvette sway bar and the tires.  I might do one of two things, replace the tires with narrower ones or most likely use a wheel spacer.  We will see how this shakes out later on.

1929 Ford Roadster hot rod - C4 Corvette IRS rear sway bar installation - View 9 - With the C5 Corvette rims and larger diameter and wider tires, I might have a problem with clearance between the 1986 Corvette sway bar and the tires. I might do one of two things, replace the tires with narrower ones or most likely use a wheel spacer. We will see how this shakes out later on.

With the chassis extensions in place and the sway bar receiving brackets mounted to the frame, it came time to install the rear sway bar.  Once it was installed, I noticed the link bushings were worn and needed to be replaced.  The clearance between the sway bar and the rear tires is a bit close.  I still need to perform and alignment on the rear wheels and that will need to wait till the final assembly of the chassis/hot rod.  If needed, one of two options can be used to solve this problem.  Either wheel spacers or use a smaller tire.  The decision for this will wait till the car is on the road. 

 The next step will be to install the front sway or stabilizer bar for the 1929 Ford hot rod.  Come back next week to see how this was done.

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Installing the Rear Shocks in 1929 Ford with C4 Corvette IRS

Saturday, March 27th, 2010

Installing the Rear Shocks                   

Now it came time to figure out how to mount the rear shocks.  I am using the modified C4 Corvette IRS composite mono spring in the rear of my 1929 Ford Hot Rod.  To control the bounce, shock absorbers will be added to the suspension.  Without any pre-made plans and instructions in hand on how to build this car, everything including the shocks has a bit of trial and error element in the design and build.  I had a set of new gas charged Munroe Shock absorbers bought for my 1988 Cobra Mustang convertible.  Unfortunately, the Cobra convertible was stolen.  This happened in broad daylight, out of a highly visible area in the parking lot at the College I am employed at.  Sometime between 9 and 11am in the morning, somebody wanted the car more than my wife and I did.  Somebody took the car and never returned it!!  This will be another story later on.  As a result, the shocks I purchased never did get used.  Realizing that the Cobra convertible and the 1929 Ford roadster would have a similar weight for the rear of the cars, I thought it might be a good idea to use these shocks in the hot rod. 

1929 Ford Hot Rod - C4 Corvette IRS first attempt at mounting the shocks.  The angle of the shocks was too great.  At this angle the benifit and working abiltiy of the shocks would be greatly reduced and undesirable.

1929 Ford Hot Rod - C4 Corvette IRS first attempt at mounting the shocks. The angle of the shocks was too great. At this angle the benifit and working abiltiy of the shocks would be greatly reduced and undesirable.

My first attempt at mounting the shocks was less than desirable.  The look was not right and the angle of the shock was too great.  Shocks work best when they can be mounted as close to a vertical position as possible.  If not, a shock absorber damping correction factor will need to be applied.  For example, if a shock is mounted 15 degrees from the vertical position, then the shock will be 93 percent effective.  When the shock has a 35 degree mounting angle, then it will be 66 percent effective.  I had just too much of an angle and the shock just did not work very well.  There was just a bit too much bounce in the suspension.  This was not too much of a problem.  It is a good thing that I only tack welded the brackets to the frame.  The upper shocks mount brackets were easily removed.

1929 Ford Hot Rod - C4 Corvette IRS lower shock mount.  This piece was made from 2 inch square stainless steel tubing.  I will end up place a spacer in between the shock mount bracket I made and the receiving end on the wheel assembly.  This will help improve the angle of the shock and provide me with frame clearance at the top end.

1929 Ford Hot Rod - C4 Corvette IRS lower shock mount. This piece was made from 2 inch square stainless steel tubing. I will end up place a spacer in between the shock mount bracket I made and the receiving end on the wheel assembly. This will help improve the angle of the shock and provide me with frame clearance at the top end.

For my second attempt, I decided to move the upper rear shock mounts closer to the frame rail.  The mid section of the shock did not have enough clearance and was hitting the lower edge of the frame.  I already had made a lower shock mount out of 2 inch square stainless steel tubing.  A small spacer between the stainless steel mount and the actual mount on the C4 Corvette lower aluminum shock mount was all I needed.  Now there was just enough clearance and the shock did not hit the lower part of the frame rail.

1929 Ford Hot Rod - C4 Corvette IRS upper shock mount in its final position.  With the extra spacer at the bottom of the shock moving bottom of the shock in towards the center of the chassis and the upper shock mount up against the frame rail, the shock is in a more vertical and desired position.  This even looks better then my first attempt.

1929 Ford Hot Rod - C4 Corvette IRS upper shock mount in its final position. With the extra spacer at the bottom of the shock moving bottom of the shock in towards the center of the chassis and the upper shock mount up against the frame rail, the shock is in a more vertical and more desirable position. This even looks better then my first attempt.

1929 Ford Hot Rod - C4 Corvette IRS upper shock mount in its final position with the shock installed.  This will work much better now and give me good shock perfermance.

1929 Ford Hot Rod - C4 Corvette IRS upper shock mount in its final position with the shock installed. This will work much better now and give me good shock performance.

1929 Ford Hot Rod - C4 Corvette IRS right upper shock mount finished.  You can also see the center mount for the rear end.

1929 Ford Hot Rod - C4 Corvette IRS right upper shock mount finished. You can also see the center mount for the rear end.

1929 Ford Hot Rod - C4 Corvette IRS left upper shock mount finished.  This picture also shows one of the rear body mount and the mount I developed for the rear control arms.

1929 Ford Hot Rod - C4 Corvette IRS left upper shock mount finished. This picture also shows one of the rear body mount and the mount I developed for the rear control arms.

The upper mount in my opinion looks substantially better now and the shock is in a more vertical position.  With a few sand bags in the trunk and my 250 pounds, bouncing up and down on the back end of the 1929 Ford hot rod seemed to give me the right kind of movement and damping effect I was looking for.  Everything was welded into place permanently.  My next step will be to place the rear sway bar on the chassis.  Come back next week for more information on how I did this.

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