Posts Tagged ‘1928-29 Ford dash rail’

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

Tuesday, 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.


1928 – 29 Model A Ford Dash Rail Installation

Sunday, 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:

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.