Fleetwood Country Cruize-In: Canada’s Largest Outdoor Car Show June 7, 8, & 9, 2013

May 26th, 2013

 

 

Fleetwood Country Cruize-In: Canada’s Largest Outdoor Car Show June 7, 8, & 9, 2013

 

 

What a great way to start summer and attend one of the nicest outdoor car shows in this area and the country. It is said that this is Canada’s Largest Outdoor Car Show, the annual Fleetwood Country Cruize-In at the Steve Plunkett estate in London, Ontario. The estate is located at 9282 Elviage Dr. London, Ontario. This year the show will be on June 7, 8, & 9 2013.

The schedule this year’s event is as follows:

- Friday June 7th, there are four legendary artists performing their greatest hits. These are: Paul Revere and the Raiders, Mary Wilson of the Supremes, The Association, and Mitch Ryder. Tickets are $59.
- Saturday June 8th, the car show opens at 7am and runs till 5pm
- Saturday evening June 9th, there will be a dinner show with Bobby Vinton performing songs such as Roses Are Red, Blue Velvet, Melody of Love, and Mr. Lonely. Doors open a 6pm and tickets will be $89.
- Sunday June 9th, the car show continues from 7am till 4pm.
- General admission is $10 per person and all proceeds will be donated to charity.

Once again the Amphicar group, or floating motor boat cars as I call them, will be in and out of the ponds located on Steve’s golf course.

The car show itself has had well over3000 cars on display, with celebrity appearances by George Barris the “King of Kustomizers”, and American Graffiti stars, Bo Hopkins and Candy Clark, Gene Winfield legendary American Customizer, and “Miss Hurst” Linda Vaughn .

Steve Plunkett will also have is personal collection of cars on display for the public to view in two very nicely finished museums.

The poster for this outstanding car show can be found at:

http://www.fleetwoodcountrycruizein.com/

Fortunately the weather has co-operated for each of the years I have attended. There have been some dicey moments in past years including last year but the skies and Mother Nature always came through for this charity event. Hopefully the same will be true for this year’s event.

As always, there will be many unique custom cars and unique vehicles of every size and description on display. Last year George Barris have the Green Hornet on display for all to see as everyone entered the estate of Steve Plunkett. Who knows what exciting vehicles will be on display this year?

Below are several photos I from the show last year.

2012 Fleetwood Country Cruize-In
2012 Fleetwood Country Cruize-In
2012 Fleetwood Country Cruize-In
Below is a short slide show of the 2012 Fleetwood Country Cruize-In. Just click on an image to make it larger and then click on the arrows at the bottom left or right of the image to advance to the next image. To close the viewer, just click anywhere on the image.

Just click on an image to make it larger and then click on the arrows at the bottom left or right of the image to advance to the next image. To close the viewer; just click anywhere on the image.

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A Rear View Mirror & Mount for the 1928 – 29 Model A Ford

March 12th, 2013
  

A Rear View Mirror & Mount for the 1928 – 29 Model A Ford Roadster Hot Rod

 

Well, it sure seems like it has been a long winter.  I really don’t know how time flies so fast.  After the Christmas break I thought there would be lots of shop time working on the hot rod but somehow that just didn’t happen.  Part of this can be explained with a problem with the tendons in my right thumb making my hand very painful.  I guess this can be expected when using the computer for too much of the day commanding a mouse to complete various functions on the monitor.   

This past weekend the clocks moved forward into daylight savings time here.  Now with an extra hour of daylight in the evening there will be more of an incentive to get in the shop and continue with the build of the hot rod.  Then of course there is the 61st Meguiars Autorama Custom car show in (Motor City) Detroit, Michigan at Cobo Hall last weekend March 8-11th, 2013.   Attending a car show of this magnitude will get any custom car builder pumped up.  It’s always interesting to see how competing for the Ridler’s Award has changed over the years.  Having the good fortune of living about 2 hours from this event, and the weather was on my side, the decision to attend was an easy one.  I will be posting many pictures of the show in the near future.  

Now that my hand is on the mend, warm weather on the horizon, and attending a fantastic car show, it’s time to get back in the shop working on the 1929 Ford roadster hot rod.

To get things moving again on this website, I will show a simple project that I recently completed.  Every once in a while it is nice to complete a simple project on the hot rod.  This one was completed in an evening.  Back in the fall at a local automotive swap meet, I purchase a rear view mirror.  Now it was time to fabricate a mount for it.

The rear view mirror was intended for a 1947-51 Chevy pickup truck.  This was a new aftermarket stainless steel item.  I felt this would work out perfectly on the hot rod and intended to mount it on the top of the dash rail of the 1929 Ford roadster.  For this I used a small one inch thick aluminum bar.   Using a bit of masking tape on the face of the bar, a simple shape was created for the rear view mirror mounting bracket.  For layout work on the fly, I find the masking tape works well.  Using a pencil the pattern can be easily adjusted till the final pattern is created.     Once I was satisfied with the pattern, the shape was rough cut on the metal band saw.  To clean up the cut edges, I used a drum sander mounted in the drill press.  I started sanding with a course grit drum and finished with a very fine grit sanding drum.  The sanding drums that I used are the same ones woodworkers would use and are available at most hardware stores.  I purchased a set of these with several different diameters and grits many years ago for around $10 for a woodworking project that I was working on at the time.

1929 Ford roadster rear view mirror - picture 1

I drilled and tapped two ¼” x 20 holes that would mount to the top of the 1929 Ford roadster dash rail.  One more hole was drill and tapped for the rear view mirror to screw into.  A small collar was turned on the metal lathe using ¾” aluminum round shaft.  This small collar was used to act as a small spacer to hide the threads on the mounting shaft of the rear view mirror.

1929 Ford roadster rear view mirror - picture 2

1929 Ford roadster rear view mirror - picture 3

1929 Ford roadster rear view mirror - picture 4

1929 Ford roadster rear view mirror - picture 5

To protect the paint on the dash rail, I bit of gasket material was cut to the same shape as the bottom of the newly made bracket.  To finish this off, a bit of time was spent polishing the aluminum bracket.  This project only cost $24 for the stainless steel mirror, some scrap aluminum left over from some engine brackets I previously fabricated and an evening of my time.

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1928 – 29 Model A Ford Dash Rail Installation

February 10th, 2013

1928 – 29 Model A Ford Dash Rail Installation

 

Several years ago when I purchased the 1928-29 Model A Ford roadster body manufactured by Brookville Roadsters in Ohio, it had several parts missing. The body was stored in a barn 5 minutes from my home.  The doors, trunk lid, and dash parts were all removed and lost over a long period of time while the body was in storage.  This is why I was able to purchase the body for $1200. 

 

After a few emails to the folks at Brookville Roadsters, I ordered the doors, dash rail, 1932 Ford dash insert, 1932 Ford rad shell and grille, and all of the window parts.  All of these parts were shipped to me via the post office.  I already had the purchased the trunk lid outer skin and inner panel at a swap meet for a 31 Ford coupe I already had but decided to use it on the 1929 roadster body instead. All of the parts arrived in the mail a week later.  It was easy to install the doors.  When it came to assembling the window parts and installing the dash rail and 1932 Ford dash insert I had no instructions and no experience with these types of parts.  Over the years I have fabricated and built many things.  Using a bit of common sense I quickly figured out how to assemble and install these parts.

 

My first attempted at installing the 1928-29 Ford dash rail I was a bit confused about the two holes in the middle of the dash rail.  There was not anything to attach them to on the Ford roadsters body.  At that point I decided to just leave this problem for another day.  This past summer I finally completed the wiring that also included the dash instrument cluster in the 1929 Ford roadster hot rod.  Now I wanted to properly install the dash rail to the hot rod and I needed to figure out how to use the middle two mounting holes in the dash rail.

1929 Ford roadster dash rail - picture 1

1929 Ford roadster dash rail - picture 2

After a bit of thought and noticing that the middle bolt holes in the dash rail lined up with the a couple of mounting bolts for the Model A fuel tank an idea came to mind.  I found a couple of “L” shaped brackets that were stored in a jar for many years.  Who knows what they came from, but it is a good thing I saved them.  The mounting holes were drilled out to ¼ inch.  I removed the two ¼ inch bolts from the fuel tank and inserted the “L” shaped brackets for a trial fit.  As luck would have it, the holes in the “L” brackets lined up perfectly with the middle mounting holes in the dash rail.  The brackets needed to be about an inch closer to the back side of the dash rail.  Now giving this a bit more thought, I realized that I would need to install a ¼” threaded insert for the mounting bolt for the dash rail but I still would need to be an inch closer.  I could make a new bracket and install the ¼” threaded insert or I could weld a ¼” by 1” coupling nut to the bracket.  The coupling nut was quickly brazed to the “L” shaped bracket.  At this point I thought it would be a good idea to weld an additional plate to the coupling nut to offer a bit of support for the dash rail.  Initially this backing plate was about 1” by 3” using 1/8” steel plate.  After a test fitting, I decided to make this part smaller and cut it back to about 1” round.   With another test fitting, I decided the newly made mounting brackets for the center of the dash rail would work perfectly.

  1929 Ford roadster dash rail - picture 3

1929 Ford roadster dash rail - picture 4

That evening, while on the internet, I decided to search out Model A Ford dash parts.  I quickly found the parts I made were on the Synder’s Antique Auto Parts website: 

http://www.snydersantiqueauto.com/modelaparts/steeldashrail

Synder’s Antique Auto Parts had the center dash rail brackets part # A-1001-ACB for 1928-29 Ford used on roadsters, phaetons, and roadster pickups for $19.00 per pair.  While looking on this web page, I also discovered that there are rubber dash rail pads.  The rubber dash rail pad set part number is A-11900-P for the 1928-31 Fords for only $1.95 per set of six.  Who would have thought that these parts were still available and manufactured?  Oh well, I did already solve my problem in a couple hours.  I still need to make the rubber dash pads and that will only take a few minutes of my time using some scraps of rubber and the drill press.  For this I used a discarded inter-locking ½” rubber matt.  Using a 1.25” bi-metal hole saw in the drill press with a speed set to a maximum rpm, I was able to make several rubber dash rail pads in a few minutes.  The rubber is reasonably soft and will compress nicely in behind the Model A Ford dash rail.

1929 Ford roadster dash rail - picture 5

In hind sight, I’m not sure I would have ordered the parts.  $19 for the brackets, $2 for the rubber pads, and around $10-12 for shipping this would have cost $31-33 and well over a week to receive.  Was this a good use of about 2 hours of my time?  Maybe not, but I was pleased that I came up with a similar solution as the Henry Ford designers of Model A Ford did.  Not only that, I sorted out a small challenge while building my hot rod something I thrive on.

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1928 – 31 Model A Ford Hot Rod: Custom Seat Installation

January 27th, 2013

 

 

1928 – 31 Model A Ford Hot Rod: Custom Seat Installation

Every hot rod needs a seat unless you are into extreme Rat Rodding and want to use a milk crate for a seat.  I’m not into that and there is the element of comfort while driving.  There are so many options for seats when building a hot rod.  If you have deep pockets with loads of extra cash then a pre-made bench seat frame and the upholstery of your choosing will work fine.  Of course there are all sorts of bucket seats available with a wide variety of prices.  Initially I thought it would be a good idea to fabricate my own seat frame and attempt my hand at upholstery.  This all takes time and now that I want to get the 1929 Ford roadster hot rod on the road, I felt a more logical alternative would be to find a seat from the local auto recyclers.  Before heading out to the scrap yard, a quick height and width measurement of the possible seating area inside the 1929 Ford roadster hot rod was recorded.  The interior space of the 1928 – 31 Model A Ford is very small and limits the number of seats that can be used.

At the wrecking yard I came across a few possible options but finally settled on the middle seat from a 1999 Plymouth Voyager.  The seat coverings were in good shape and with the gray upholstery I felt that the seat would work perfectly in the hot rod.  Remember, at this point I just want to get the hot rod build completed and safe enough for the road this summer.  The seat was only $40 so it didn’t make any sense for me to build my own seat frame and have it upholstered at this point in time.

1929 Ford roadster hot rod - Seat installation, picture 1a

1929 Ford roadster hot rod - Seat installation, picture 1

With the seat at home and in the shop, the original seat mounting hardware was removed for a trial fit of the seat in the hot rod.  Once the seat was in the hot rod a few small blocks of wood were used as shims to create the proper seat angle and seat height.  I positioned the seat as far back as possible for the maximum amount of leg room.  Of course, like a little kid, I had to try it out and found that the seat itself was comfortable and position was perfect for my 6 foot 4 inch, 235 pound body.  This put a smile on my face.

 

Now it came time to make the brackets to mount the newly acquired seat into the 1929 Ford roadster.  At first it seemed like a good idea to modify the original seated mounting brackets.  I modified them to the size I determined in the trial fit of the seat with the wooden blocks.  The modified brackets worked out almost perfectly.  Unfortunately, the position of the driver side mounting bracket is mounted almost a foot from the edge of the seat.  This placed the bracket directly over my access hole to the master brake cylinder reservoir on the floor.  Who said building a hot rod was easy!  Oh well, a good idea but a minor detail totally overlooked.  It was back to the drawing board to re-think the seat mounting brackets.  Not wanting to rush into anything, and sleeping on the thoughts of a new mounting system for the seat, another idea was conceived.  It’s amazing how many problems can be solved with plenty of rest and having dreams how to tackle a problem!!

1929 Ford roadster hot rod - Seat installation, picture 3

This time I decided to add an additional feature to the seat.  The 1999 Plymouth Voyager has a fold down back feature on the seat.  It was quickly realized that just having the seat back fold down it would be difficult to replace the battery in the 1929 Ford roadster.  I thought it would be a good idea to have the entire seat hinged so it could flip forward for easier access to the battery, electrical panel, and easy access to the brake fluid reservoir in the hot rod.  An additional benefit would be to add extra storage space under the seat that is easily accessible.  So using some 2 inch square steel tubing and some old Stanley door hinges, new brackets were starting to take shape.  The bracket for the driver’s side of the seat was made larger to incorporate the required offset to clear the access hole for the brake fluid reservoir.  The Stanley door hinges were plug welded to the 2 inch steel square tubing creating the front hinge for the seat mounts.  Now I needed to create a locking system for the seat to prevent it from flipping forward during braking.  So, off I went to the local hardware store to see if I could come up with any ideas.  While walking up and down the aisles of the hardware store I noticed a simple gate latch.  The latch is self-locking when mounted vertically on a gate post.  Would this work in the hot rod?  With a price tag of $5 each I would not lose too much if these latches did not work out.

1929 Ford roadster hot rod - Seat installation, picture 4

1929 Ford roadster hot rod - Seat installation, picture 5

Back at home in the shop I quickly discovered that the latching mechanism would need a spring for a positive locking action.  Remember the gate latch was designed to work mounted vertically on a gate post and not horizontally on the floor of a hot rod.  A couple ideas came to mind.  The first one was to use the electronic solenoids from the 1986 Corvette convertible deck lid.  I had saved these from the Corvette I purchased as a donor car for this project.  Using these would require cables and more fabrication to create a good mounting system for the convertible deck lid solenoids.  Wanting something simpler, I decided to take the locking part of the gate latch apart and insert a small spring.  Over the years, I have saved a variety of springs in an old apple juice can.  Luck was on my side, I found a couple of springs that would work.  The spring would force the gate latch to be in the lock position all of the time.  Now the plan was taking shape.  After modifying one of the gate latches with the spring, and testing it out, I decided this was what will be used to lock the folding seat in place.  The modified gates latches were welded to a larger mounting base and bolted to the floor.  

 

I managed to design the seat mounting brackets for the floor so that at least one bolt in each bracket would be bolted into a main floor cross member in the body.  The second bolt would go into the custom fiberglass covered ½ inch plywood floor boards.   For the rear of the seat a 3/8 inch carriage bolt was used for the pin to lock into the modified gate latch. 

1929 Ford roadster hot rod - Seat installation, picture 6

1929 Ford roadster hot rod - Seat installation, picture 7

With this seat mounting system, I can have the entire seat out of the hot rod in a matter of minutes.  I first fold down the back of the seat, reach down and release both of the modified gate latches at the rear of the seat and fold the entire seat forward.  The pins in the front hinges can be quickly removed just as you would remove a door from you house.  For safety reasons, a small set screw will be installed in the front hinges to prevent the hinge pin from vibrating out.   

1929 Ford roadster hot rod - Seat installation, picture 8

1929 Ford roadster hot rod - Seat installation, picture 9

Now all I need to do is prime and paint the newly fabricated seat mounts for the 1929 Ford roadster hot rod.  This project only cost me $40 for the seat, $10 for two gate latches, and a weekend of my time.  Yes it would have been simpler to buy one of the many commercially available hot rod seats, have it upholstered, and just install it.  For me, building a hot rod is like putting a puzzle together.  It’s a challenge and testing my skills in problem solving and fabrication, something I thrive on not to mention my goal of building a cheap hot rod.

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1928 – 31 Model A Ford Headlights – Restoration

December 4th, 2012

1928 – 31 Model A Ford Headlights – Restoration

Several years ago at a local automotive swap meet, I purchased a pair of 1928 – 31 Model A Ford headlights for a reasonable price. These headlights needed new reflectors, and the mounting base in the headlight pots were rusty and didn’t look too good. In hindsight, the lower price tag made up for the imperfections. Now it’s time to clean them up for the 1929 Ford roadster hot rod. Who said that building a hot rod was easy? It’s all these little jobs that take a bit of time to complete but these jobs keep the build of the hot rod to a minimum.

1928 - 31 Model A Ford Headlight Restoration - picture 1

1928 - 31 Model A Ford Headlight Restoration - picture 2

From the inside of the headlight pots, I carefully ground off the back side of the steel rivets attaching the mounting hardware to the headlight pot using a 4.5 inch hand held grinder and air die grinder. Once this was completed, the rivets were easily removed with a slight tap using a small center punch and hammer. Great care was needed for this step to prevent any damage to the headlight pot.

The mounting hardware was then cleaned up in the sand blast cabinet. In the off chance I wanted to run wires through the main headlight mounting bolt, I drilled a 0.25 inch hole through the middle of it using the metal lathe. Instead of using steel rivets to reattach the mounting hardware back onto the headlight pot, I used 0.75” x 0.25” stainless steel bolts with a slight modification to the bolt head. The 0.25” bolt was mounted in the metal lathe and the hex head was ground to the same shape of the rivets removed. While the bolt was still in the metal lathe it was quickly sanded smooth to provide a matt type finish. This was done for 12 bolts, 6 for each headlight. This only took about 20 minutes to do.

1928 - 31 Model A Ford Headlight Restoration - picture 3

1928 - 31 Model A Ford Headlight Restoration - picture 4

1928 - 31 Model A Ford Headlight Restoration - picture 5

1928 - 31 Model A Ford Headlight Restoration - picture 6

I decided to fabricate my own headlight conduit using a standard braided stainless stain flex hose found in the plumbing section in the hardware store. This is the same type of hose that is used to connect your sink faucets to the wall plumbing and is very reasonably priced. To fasten this new headlight conduit to the headlight, a simple mounting method was developed. This involved inserting a short 0.5” national pipe thread (NPT) nipple to the existing hole (used for the vintage headlight conduit to pass through) in the steel headlight mounting bracket. This was then brazed in place.

All of the parts were then primed and painted. While I was waiting for the paint to dry, I thought it would also be a good idea to spend a few minutes polished the vintage headlight pot while all of the mounting hardware was removed. It didn’t take too long to shine them up.

1928 - 31 Model A Ford Headlight Restoration - picture 7

1928 - 31 Model A Ford Headlight Restoration - picture 8

1928 - 31 Model A Ford Headlight Restoration - picture 9

With all of the parts cleaned, painted, and polished, the headlights were quickly reassembled using the newly made fake stainless steel rivets. To hold the stainless steel headlight conduit to the headlight pot, I small O-ring was cut so it would fit inside the female pipe fitting. This will become a compression fitting to hold the stainless steel braided hose to the 1928 – 31 Ford headlight pot.

 

 

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1929 Ford Model A Roadster – Build Update

November 25th, 2012

 

 

1929 Ford Model A Roadster – Build Update

 

With a month to Christmas, the time working on the 1929 Ford roadster hot rod will be slim.  Santa’s workshop will swing into gear and this big elf will start making few gifts this year.  I haven’t done for a number of years.  Storing the Corvette off site this winter has opened up the shop with a bit of well needed elbow space making a few other projects possible.  It’s all these distractions that make time for building a hot rod difficult and time consuming. 

  1929 Ford roadster hot rod - build update picture 1

To take a break from illustrating the build of the hot rod, I decided to post several pictures of the 1929 Ford roadster as it is today.  This will give readers an idea of the direction I am heading with the build of this hot rod.  So, today I decided to wheel the hot rod out of the shop, and snap a few pictures and shoot a bit of video out in the lane.  While the hot rod was outside I also thought it would be a good idea to wash off some of the shop dust and dirt that has accumulated while in the shop.

   1929 Ford roadster hot rod - build update picture 2

  1929 Ford roadster hot rod - build update picture 3

Looking at the hot rod outside, I noticed a few things that should be changed.  Everything looks much different from a distance outside.  Of course a wheel alignment is obvious in the front end.  The Mercedes Benz horn I mounted on the front cross member needs to be hidden away.  The front Jaguar coil over shocks will be replaced with either aluminum or chrome ones and the list goes on.  Hmmmmmmm.

   1929 Ford roadster hot rod - build update picture 4

  1929 Ford roadster hot rod - build update picture 5

I must say that building a hot rod pretty much from scratch is not as easy as it sounds.  There is so much detail to consider in the hot rod and it’s all packed in a relatively small and very confined space.  Building the hot rod is very enjoyable and extremely therapeutic.  What a great way to forget the problems of the day.  It’s the biggest puzzle I have worked on so far.  With the hot rod about 85% complete, the last 15% is taking 85% of the time.  The devil is in the details!  I intend to mold from fiber glass the trunk floor, and center console for the gear shifter and a few switches.  The exhaust still needs to be welded, brakes juiced up, and an emergency brake installed.  Then there is the interior, sound system, and the final paint.  Oh my, oh my!! 

   1929 Ford roadster hot rod - build update picture 6

After Christmas I will give it my best to get the 1929 Ford roadster hot rot road worthy for the upcoming season.  At this point, an interior and paint job might need to wait till next winter.  I really would like to test the hot rod out for a summer and see how it handles with the C4 Corvette suspension.  In the off chance modifications are required, it would be nice to do them before the final paint.  Let’s see what the New Year will have in store for me.

 

 

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DIY Gas Pedal for the 1929 Ford Model A Roadster

November 19th, 2012

 

DIY Gas Pedal for the 1929 Ford Model A Roadster

 

Here we are in the middle of November with the sights and sounds of Christmas in full steam.   While out in the shop last night working on the 1929 Ford roadster hot rod, there was lots of Christmas music on the local classic rock radio station.  This created a nice atmosphere for working on the hot rod for several hours before a late Saturday night supper and movie with my wife.

 

Today I have a simple project for the hot rod, a simple and cheap gas pedal.  Several years ago when I dismantled the 1986 Corvette Indy Pace car convertible, I kept as many parts as I could use for the build of the hot rod.  Everything else was sold either locally, or on eBay, with many parts heading off to all corners of the earth and a great cash reward at the end of it all.  The gas pedal assembly from the 1986 Corvette seemed like a logical item to save. 

1929 Ford roadster gas pedal - picture 1

1929 Ford roadster gas pedal - picture 2

To connect the gas pedal to the carburetor, ¼” (inch) tie rod ends were used on each end of a ¼” (inch) aluminum rod.  The tie rod ends were the only items I purchased for this project.  To determine the location of the hole through the firewall for the throttle rod I attached it to the carburetor.  Then I positioned the throttle rod parallel to the engine both vertically and horizontally.  Once satisfied of the position, I scribed a center mark on the firewall.  Remember, measure twice and cut once.       

1929 Ford roadster gas pedal - picture 3

1929 Ford roadster gas pedal - picture 4  

Using a ½” (inch) stainless steel bolt and nut, a simple throttle rod bushing for the firewall was made on the metal lathe.  I rounded the bolt head and drilled an oversized hole through the bolt for the¼” (inch) throttle rod to pass through.  The rounded bolt head was mildly polished starting with course grit sandpaper ending up with 600 grit sand paper while in the lathe.  Since I am using very solid motor mounts on the engine I am able to use this method of the connecting the gas pedal to the carburetor instead of a cable.  The motor mounts I fabricated some time ago are 2” (inch) diameter by 1” thick urethane rubber mounts between the engine and the chassis.  This method of mounting the engine to the chassis will prevent much engine twist during acceleration.  This is an important consideration when using a solid throttle rod connection the gas pedal to the carburetor.

1929 Ford roadster gas pedal - picture 5

1929 Ford roadster gas pedal - picture 6  

Now that I know exactly where the throttle rod will enter into the cockpit, the exact mounting location for the Corvette gas pedal assembly can be determined.  For the gas pedal to work in the 1929 Ford roadster hot rod, the mounting bracket needed to be modified, and the upper arm was shortened slightly.  After a simple test fitting of the modified Corvette gas pedal on the hot rod, I quickly realized that the Corvette pedal pad was not a good fit for the hot rod.  Using a scrap piece of ¼” (inch) steel plate and fabricated a spoon shaped pedal pad and adapted it to the Corvette pedal assembly.  I was even able to adapt the small spring on the pedal pad.  This small spring maintains a good pedal pad position when not in use.  Later on, both the brake and gas pedal pads with be faced with aluminum or even replaced with an aluminum one.  Another option might even be to use stainless steel for both the brake and gas pedal pads.  These will be the finer details of the hot rod build that can be worked out once the car is on the road.

1929 Ford roadster gas pedal - picture 7

1929 Ford roadster gas pedal - picture 8  

As it would happen, the mild modifications to the Corvette gas pedal assembly provided a perfect fit for the 1929 Ford roadster hot rod.  Of course when I completed the modifications to the gas pedal, I did not have any machine shop equipment.  If I were to do the job today, I would have fabricated one entirely from scratch.  If I am going to complete the hot rod and enjoy driving it, I must look forward and not rebuild things because I have more shop equipment.  Otherwise, the build will never get completed.  The plan now is to have the 1929 Ford roadster hot rod on the road next summer.  With the build about 85% complete, the last 15% is taking most of the time.

 

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DIY Steering Shaft for 1929 Ford Model A Roadster

November 4th, 2012

 DIY Steering Shaft for 1929 Ford Model A Roadster

Halloween has come and gone. Now all of the stores and malls are loaded up for Christmas. Yikes!!! The rains haven’t let up for the past month, not to mention the effects of hurricane Sandy, even here in Southwestern Ontario. With all of the rain, it has been difficult to pick up the leaves in our yard. Fortunately, today wasn’t too bad, and I did manage to get out with the tractor to suck up the leaves for a few hours this afternoon. Tomorrow, the Corvette will be moved to storage for the winter. Now, I will have a bit extra room in the shop to work on the 1929 Ford roadster hot rod.
A while back, I was faced with the challenge to fabricate a steering shaft and adapting several salvaged steering universal joints (u-joints) for the hot rod. At the time, I did not have a milling machine or metal lathe so I needed to come up with an alternate method of fabricating a double D shape (DD) on a piece of ¾ inch (0.75”) shaft.

Many of you might remember MacGyver, the adventures of a secret agent armed with the almost infinite scientific resourcefulness in a weekly TV show from 1985 to 1992. Since can’t is not in my vocabulary, and not wanting to be beat out by not having a milling machine, I thought of an interesting solution. You might call it a MacGyver solution. I thought of another way to fabricate the double D (DD) shape on the ends of the steering shaft and adapting steering universal joints from salvaged cars.

I came up with the idea of using my old radial arm saw with a grinding wheel attached to the arbor instead of a saw blade. I have used a similar method to sharper my 16 inch wood planer blades. Using a couple of 6 inch drill press vises mounted to a small rectangular piece of plywood, I clamped the ¾ inch (0.75”) steel shaft very securely. This piece of plywood with the vises and shaft was then screwed to the radial arm saw table. The shaft was mounted such that the outside edge of the grinding wheel was even with the inner most part of the double D (DD) shape. Then light passes over the shaft were made, changing the angle of the radial arm slightly to continue grinding to the end of the shaft. This continued till the desired depth was achieved. At that point, the shaft was rotated 180 degrees and the entire process started again. This method of machining the double D (DD) shape worked out very well and the shaft fit perfectly into the steering shaft universal joint (u-joint) end. Both sides of the steering shaft were ground on the radial arm saw using this described method.

1929 Ford roadster steering shaft - picture 1

1929 Ford roadster steering shaft - picture 2

The next part of this story is how I came up with the proper steering shaft universal joint ends. In the process of collecting parts for the build of the 1929 Ford roadster hot rod, I acquired from a friend, a section of a steering shaft complete with universal joints (u-joints), and a rag joint he had removed from a car and no longer wanted. Another friend was scraping a car in the in the parking lot of the apartment building next door to me. I took the opportunity to salvage a few pieces that I could use for the build of my hot rod. One of the items I removed was another section of steering shaft with a universal joint (u-joint) and rag joint. Not realizing it at the time, it was a good thing I did. Having the two steering shafts with universal joints, I was able to come up with the right combination of ends on the universal joints that would work on the 1929 Ford roadster hot rod. Taking these universal joints apart is no different that working on a driveshaft for any car. The only thing is that everything is much smaller. In no time at all, I had the correct ends on the universal joints that would attach to the steering column shaft, the ¾ inch (0.75”) steel steering shaft I fabricated, and to the Corvette steering rack. The universal joint ends were bolted to the steel shaft and will be welded later on once I am sure of the fit on the hot rod. The shaft is very close to the motor mount, and I just might modify this to a two part shaft with another universal joint and rod end for extra support. If I do decide to go this route, I still have enough pieces left over from the parts I salvaged, to do this. I only thing I would need to buy is a rod end to support the steering shaft. This time I have a metal lathe and a milling machine to make the modifications. Everything gets so much easier with the right tools.

1929 Ford roadster steering shaft - picture 3

1929 Ford roadster steering shaft - picture 4

What did this cost me? Nothing at all, only a bit of my time on a Saturday afternoon. As it would happen, Street Rodder magazine has a good tech article in their January 2013 issue (pages 110 to 114). The article explains how to connect a steering column for a 1951 Chev to a Chassis Engineering steering rack using parts obtained from Borgeson Universal Company. If I didn’t come up with a MacGyver solution to create a steering shaft, I would have needed to do something very similar, as described in the Street Rodder magazine tech article for my hot rod.

1929 Ford roadster steering shaft - picture 5

Several years ago when I started the build of the hot rod, I only took pictures for my own reference. I never dreamed of creating a WEB site documenting the build of the 1929 Ford roadster hot rod. My first pictures were taken with a 35mm film camera. Then I progressed to digital cameras including lots of video clips. The pictures for today’s post were taken with an early and very simple digital camera long before the creation of this web site. This is why I do not have more pictures, especially ones of the u-joints and how I adapted them for this application.

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Easy DIY Aluminum Trunk Hinges – 1929 Ford Model A Roadster

October 28th, 2012

 

Easy DIY Aluminum Trunk Hinges for the 1929 Ford Model A Roadster

When I purchased the 1928 -29 Brookville roadster body several years ago from a fellow that had it storage around the corner from my place, the doors, trunk lid, dash parts were all missing. At a swap meet, I did manage to find the outside skin for the trunk lid. Later on in the same summer, I came across the inner metal panel for the trunk lid. Assembling these two parts will be another post later on but for now I will focus on how I arrived at my final set of hot rod trunk hinges.

The roadster body was originally built as a rumble seat roadster something I did not care to use. These cars are small enough, and a trunk would be much more useful to me. When the car is completed, I intend to travel from Southwestern Ontario to the California coast attending car shows / cruises and visiting hot rod shops along the way. Maybe my own version of “Wild Hogs” only I will name it “Wild Rodders”!!!

For my first attempt at fabricating a set of trunk hinges, I re-cycled a set that I salvage from a 1991 Ford Mustang hood. Some minor modifications were made to theses hinges and installed on the 1929 Ford roadster hot rod. Not being satisfied with the look and operating dynamics of these newly modified trunk hinges, I removed them and sold them on eBay to another hot rod builder. The eBay sale provided me with a small financial reward for a minor amount of time and effort for the modifications I made to them.

Easy DIY Aluminum Trunk Hinges for 1929 Ford Model A Roadster

The second attempt involved a set of hinges from the back window of a Ford Explorer SUV. I mounted these on the outside of the trunk lid and they worked well for a short period of time in the shop. The 1929 Ford roadster hot rod is currently sitting on a set of wheel dollies. In order to make room for another project, the hot rod was repositioned in the shop. Unfortunately, the trunk lid was propped up with a dowel and as I moved the hot rod, the dowel moved and the trunk lid slammed down hard. This broke one of the hinges. In hind sight, these hinges were a disaster waiting to happen. IT DID!!

Easy DIY Aluminum Trunk Hinges for 1929 Ford Model A Roadster

Now I was a bit disappointed from the accident and decided to fabricate a new set of trunk hinges for the 1929 Ford roadster hot rod. Using some 2 inch by 0.5 inch aluminum bar that was laying around in the shop, I traced the outline of the Ford Explorer rear window hinge onto the aluminum bar. To make the hinge more robust, I thought it would be a good idea to use the long sided shape from the Ford Explorer hinge for both halves of my new hot rod trunk hinge. Aluminum marks very easily, so to mark the outline, a machinist scribe was used. In order to prevent a mistake while cutting the hinges out, I provided myself with visual markings on the hinge outline for the material that would become waste.

At the time I was fabricating these hinges, I did not have a milling machine so I needed to keep the design simple. Now that I have a milling machine and decent metal lathe, the design and fabrication of the trunk hinges would have been slightly different.

Easy DIY Aluminum Trunk Hinges for 1929 Ford Model A Roadster

The entire hinge was cut out using a small metal cutting band saw. Cutting aluminum on a metal cutting band saw requires a small amount of lubricating oil. The oil prevents the teeth on the saw blade from plugging up and slowing down the cutting process.

The outside shape and the hinge slots were cut for both trunk hinges. With the hinge slots cut out, both halves of each hinge were clamped in a drill press vise in preparation to drill the hole for the hinge pin. This will allow for an easy alignment of the hinge pin in both halves of the hinge. The hinge pin is made from 3/16” (0.1875 inch) zinc coated steel rod. A 1/8” (0.125 inch) pilot hole was drilled first only half way into the second outer hinge slot. This will allow the hinge pin to be visible only from one side of the hinge once the hinge is completed. Now both halves of the hinge are removed from the drill press vise. The half of the hinge with the middle slot is now clamped back into the drill press vise. The hole is re-drilled slightly larger than the diameter on the hinge pin. The other half of the hinge having the outer two slots are now clamped in the drill press vise and re-drilled slightly smaller than the diameter of the hinge pin remembering not to drill through the second slot. If this happens, than the hinge pin will be visible from both sides of the hinge. Drilling the two different sizes of holes allows for the pin to be pressed into the hinge and for an easy pivoting action on the hinge.

Easy DIY Aluminum Trunk Hinges for 1929 Ford Model A Roadster

Easy DIY Aluminum Trunk Hinges for 1929 Ford Model A Roadster

Using a variety of hand files, and a one inch bench mounted belt sander, the slot edges were smoothed to an even finish. Now the face edges of the slots needed to be rounded to facilitate the pivoting action of the hinge. Again, the combination of files and the one inch bench mounted belt sander was use for this task. The hinge pins were cut slightly longer than required and pressed into the hinge just far enough to test the pivoting action of the hinge. A few adjustments were made and only when I was satisfied with the pivoting movement of the hinge, the pin was pressed in completely into the hinge and trimmed.

Using a six inch vertical belt sander, the final shape of the hinges was formed. On the bottom of the hinges, holes were drilled and tapped for the mounting bolts. In order to prevent scratching and marking of the painted surface underneath the hinges a simple washer needs to be fabricated. Using a bit of gasket material, the outline was traced from each hinge. To keep everything perfect, I labeled each side of the hinges and gaskets using metal number punches. These were then bolted to hinges for a final shaping of the hinge washer / gasket using the one inch bench belt sander.

A very quick polish job was completed on the finished hinges using the technique described in my aluminum polishing posts found at http://1929fordhotrod.com/johnsblog/category/polishing-aluminum/ .

To strengthen the attachment of the hinges to the 1929 Ford roadster hot rod, small 1/8” backing plates were made to mount in the trunk lid and for the underside of the rear deck.

Easy DIY Aluminum Trunk Hinges for 1929 Ford Model A Roadster

Easy DIY Aluminum Trunk Hinges for 1929 Ford Model A Roadster

These hinges took the better part of an afternoon to fabricate and seem to look fine on the hot rod. As always, once I have made something, I look back and say to myself “next time I could do better”. If I am going to get the 1929 Ford roadster hot rod completed, I better keep moving forward, and not make anything more than once if I do not need to.

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Install A Borg Warner Transmission Cooler in the 1929 Ford Roadster

October 20th, 2012

 

 Installing a Borg Warner Transmission Cooler in the 1929 Ford Model A Roadster

The build of the 1929 Ford road hot rod is developing well and it is starting to look like a real hot rod. As I have opted to use the suspension and drivetrain from a 1986 Corvette Indy pace car convertible with a 700R4 automatic transmission, the installation of a transmission cooler was next on the list of things to do.
Normally most radiators contain an internal transmission cooler. The 1932 Ford style radiator I am using in the hot rod does not have this feature. Also, if the radiator had an internal transmission cooler I do not think I would use it. My intention on this build is to keep the front of the hot rod chassis relatively clean and minimized the number of wires, and lines at the front of the hot rod chassis.

On many of the vehicles that I have owned in the past with automatic transmissions, I always installed a heavy duty external transmission cooler as an extra precaution to keep the transmission fluids at a good operating temperature. Fortunately, I removed and stashed away a transmission cooler from a 4×4 truck I sold many years ago. So far, the cost of building the 1929 Ford roadster hot rod has been very minimal. There has been lots of buying and selling, with the profits sliding into the build of the hot rod. So, it made sense to re-cycle the used Borg Warner transmission cooler that has been sitting around in the shop for the last few years collecting a bit of dust.

The 1929 Ford roadster hot rod should have lots of transmission cooling with this Borg Warner transmission cooler. It is 11 inches by 6 inches and almost 1.5 inches thick. To make sure I didn’t have a leaky transmission cooler, I plugged one end of the cooler and connected the other end to the air compressor with about 50 psi pressure. Using a soapy water solution, I sprayed the cooler looking for air leaks while I had the transmission cooler pressurized. None were found, so it appears the transmission cooler is okay to use with new life in the 1929 Ford roadster hot rod.

Using some 0.75 inch steel angle iron, a bracket was formed for the transmission cooler and MIG welded together. I choose to mount the Borg Warner transmission cooler just in front of the Holley “Blue” electric fuel pump on the underside of the hot rod floor. This location would only require a short run of tubing to the 700R4 transmission.
Installing a Borg Warner transmission cooler in  the 1929 Ford roadster - picture 1

Installing a Borg Warner transmission cooler in  the 1929 Ford roadster - picture 2 Installing a Borg Warner transmission cooler in  the 1929 Ford roadster - picture 3

I made up four 0.25 inch threaded inserts for the fiber glass covered floor boards for the 1929 Ford roadster hot rod. The transmission cooler will have an air space between the underside of the hot rod floor and the bottom side of the transmission cooler. My intention is to monitor the temperature of the oil circulating in the transmission once I get the hot rod on the road. If the temperature is high, I will mount a few fans, possibly, a computer style fan that will be thermostatically controlled. For now it will be the “keep it simple” rule.

To keep the cost down for the hot rod build, I will use rubber hose to connect the Borg Warner transmission cooler to the 700R4 automatic transmission. At a later date once I test drive the 1929 Ford hot rod, the entire hot rod will be dis-assembled and painted. Once this is done, the rubber hoses will be replaced with either stainless steel lines or a stainless steel braided hose.
Installing a Borg Warner transmission cooler in  the 1929 Ford roadster - picture 4

Installing a Borg Warner transmission cooler in  the 1929 Ford roadster - picture 5 Installing a Borg Warner transmission cooler in  the 1929 Ford roadster - picture 6

After a test fit of the transmission cooler onto the 1929 Ford roadster hot rod, the transmission cooler was painted with high heat paintand and mounted to the hot rod.

 

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