Posts Tagged ‘1928-29 Ford Roadster’

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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The 1929 Ford Roadster Body

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

The 1929 Ford Roadster Body

Part of this car hobby is coming across all kinds of deals.  The fellow that sold me the 1931 Ford, and 350 engine/transmission, happened to know somebody that had a Brookville Roadster body stored in a barn not far from my home.  We managed to contact this gentleman and we arranged a time to check it out.  To my surprise, the fellow that owned the barn where the Brookville Roadster body was stored was a local antique dealer that I had known for a few years. When we arrived at the barn, only 5 minutes from my place, we found the 1928-29 Brookville Roadster body sitting on a pair of saw horses.  Both doors and the trunk lid were missing.  The body was sitting there with no primer or paint on it.  Apparently the fellow bought it several years ago.  He knew a local fellow in our area that would work on it for him.  As time passed, so do the fellow that was working on the car.  Over time, items started to go missing.  The doors, trunk lid, the 32 dash insert, windshield, and all kinds of other parts.  All that was left was a stripped down shell.    The original plan was to buy the body and re-sell it, and split the profits with my friend.  At the time I was not really interested in the car for myself.  I felt the car was small for me since I am 6’-4” tall and I would not have the leg room.   My friend who found out about this body tried over time to make a deal, but it didn’t happen.

1934 Plymouth 4 door car - original condition - view #1

1934 Plymouth 4 door car - original condition - view #1

1934 Plymouth 4 door car - original condition - view #2 - A neat car but in very rough condition

1934 Plymouth 4 door car - original condition - view #2 - A neat car but in very rough condition


As time passed, another friend in the car club knew somebody else that was selling a 1934 Plymouth 4 door car and asked if I was interested.  As always, I couldn’t resist, and took a look at the car.   To make a long story short, I bought the car for $500.  Now I had to figure out how to get the car home.  This was a pretty good deal considering the poor shape of the car.  The inside of the car was loaded with boxes spare parts.  Already having experience selling parts from the 1930 Plymouth, I knew very quickly this car would be a money maker for me.

1934 Plymouth 4 door car - original condition - view #3 - I only purchased this car to strip out a few parts to sell and then re-sell the car.

1934 Plymouth 4 door car - original condition - view #3 - I only purchased this car to strip out a few parts to sell and then re-sell the car.

1934 Plymouth 4 door car - original condition - view #4 - The interior view of this car. Lots of work for somebody, not me.

1934 Plymouth 4 door car - original condition - view #4 - The interior view of this car. Lots of work for somebody, not me.

It was easy to load the shell of the Brookville Roadster body onto my trailer and get it home the following day.  Once at home, I made a bit of a make shift seat, and sat in the car.  Visualizing the seating arrangements, leg positions, I was able to figure out a way to make this car work for me.  I now decided this would be something to keep. 

1934 Plymouth 4 door car - original condition - view #5 - This car came with a set of 5 of these wire wheels and a brand new tire.

1934 Plymouth 4 door car - original condition - view #5 - This car came with a set of 5 of these wire wheels and a brand new tire.

1934 Plymouth 4 door car - original condition - view #6 - What I found most interesting about this car was the independant front suspension.  I thought this was pretty advanced for the time period of the car.

1934 Plymouth 4 door car - original condition - view #6 - What I found most interesting about this car was the independant front suspension. I thought this was pretty advanced for the time period of the car.

Having so many cars was not good.  I didn’t want to become a keeper of stuff.  You know the guys that keep buying and storing cars with the intention of fixing them some day.  If you stop and think about it for a moment, these guys will never get to working on these cars in a lifetime.  There simply is not enough time in a day for this, not on so many projects.  So why store all of this?  I didn’t want to become one of those guys! 

At the time, I also owned a 5.0l Mustang Cobra convertible for summer fun. I decided to sell the 1931 Ford 5 window coupe and switch the project build to the 1928-29 Ford Roadster using the recently purchased Brookville Roadster body.  It made a bit of sense for me, since I very much enjoy open air driving in the summer time and I figured out how to make a seat work for a person my size.

 

For the next few days, I started to clean up the 1931 Ford 5 window coupe.  It got a very quick flat black paint job and a hand fabricated trunk lid.  I few of the dents were removed and I put the car all together and sat it on a Model A frame.  This was all loaded up on my trailer so I could place the for sale sign on it, on the street outside of my home.  I live on a busy county road with a reasonable amount of traffic.  It sold two days later for $5500.  The fellow that bought it wanted a package deal and it included the body, fibreglass fenders, frame, 350 engine, automatic transmission, a rear end out of a Mustang, and a front axle that came with the 34 Plymouth I just purchased.  Things are starting to look really good in the finance department for building this hot rod of mine.

 

Now it seems that I have finally came up with a plan for the final build of my long awaited hot rod and dream, the 1929 Ford Roadster.

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