Posts Tagged ‘1929 Ford hot rod’

A Triumph TR4 Fuel Tank for the 1929 Ford Model A Roadster

Sunday, October 7th, 2012

A Triumph TR4 Fuel Tank for the 1929 Ford Model A Roadster

It has been a bit of time since my last post. Summer just flew by and now we at the start of October in the weekend of the Canadian Thanksgiving holiday. I did manage to attend a few car shows and a couple of automotive swap meets. Even though the weather was great for most of the summer, it seemed that the sky closed in with rain on the major events that I intended to attend. Oh well, there is always next year.

Work on our old Victorian home continues, moving my youngest daughter back home for the summer back in June and then back off to a College 4 hours from home just a few weeks ago. I must say the most taxing part of the summer was with the replacement of our shingles on the roof. The 35 year shingles only lasted 12 years! What’s up with that? The roofers that were contracted for the job this summer presented themselves well to get the contract. The job started off well and over the month of July, yes it took a month to re-roof the house, the job become too much for them. These guys were definitely roofers for a reason as my youngest daughter claimed. These fellows at times looked like a safety commercial on what to do to get hurt, with no respect for their equipment, and no pride in their workmanship during their last week of work. Not only that, I suspect the one fellow was afraid of heights!

As a home custom car builder / hot rodder, there are always so many distractions that seem to interfere with the build of the hot rod. I am more determined now than ever to complete this hot rod, as the completion of the build is so near.

Even though I have not posted anything for a while, work on the 1929 Ford Roadster hot rod has continued. Lately, work on the hot rod has been in the evenings, even if it is for an hour, and on rainy days. It’s amazing what can get completed working this way.
Now the time has come to install the fuel tank. Originally I thought of fabricating a stainless steel tank suitable to my application and hot rod build. Then by accident one day searching around on the internet, I came across a Triumph TR4 fuel tank for sale a few hundred miles from my home. The price was right and shipping was reasonable, so why not? For $100 I now have a fuel tank, chrome quick release filler cap, and rubber grommet for the neck of the fuel filler cap. This sure beats using a very expense sheet of stainless steel and countless hours of fabrication. The idea of mounting the fuel tank behind the seat made a bit of sense, not to mention using the top mounted chrome fuel filler cap also from the Triumph TR4 would look nice. Often, many hot rodders mount the fuel tank in the trunk with the fuel cap access in the trunk. No matter how careful you are when filling the fuel tank, there always seems to be the hint of fuel fumes in the car, something I personally do not like.

One of my goals with the build of the Model A Ford roadster is to optimize the use of space within the hot rod. Having a small fuel tank, one slightly over 11 imperial gallons will not be much of a handicap. Just think of all of the conversions while filling up at a gas station! Besides, my 6 foot 4 inch body would need to be stretched out from the small and tight cockpit of the 1929 Ford roadster hot rod. So, frequent fuel stops will not be a problem for me.

1929 Ford roadster fuel tank, installation picture 1 1929 Ford roadster fuel tank, installation picture 2

Installing the fuel tank was one of the more simple things that I have done on the hot rod. Using a bit of 0.75 inch square steel tubing I fabricated a mounting system for the fuel tank. Part of this mounting system is also to provide addition strength to the width of the roadsters body. In some cases, 1928-31 Model A Ford hot rodders use the stock fuel tank in front of the car just behind the firewall. In terms of safety, this might have been okay in the 1930’s when highway speeds were much lower. Just look at how often drivers run stop lights now a days!! Not long ago, that is exactly what happened to a fellow hot rodder, he was t-boned at an intersection by someone running a very red light. His hot rod was totaled in the accident.

1929 Ford roadster fuel tank, installation picture 3 1929 Ford roadster fuel tank, installation picture 4

A consideration later on is to use the stock fuel tank on the 1928-31 Model A Ford as a heating duct and installing a small heater radiator and fan in it. A bit of a creature comfort for those cool nights while cruising the open road. Often, many hot rodders cut away the lower part of the stock fuel tank to allow for electrical and brakes. It all boils down to how you wish to build your hot rod.

The 0.75 inch square steel tubing frame has a shape similar to the perimeter of the Triumph TR4 fuel tank. The tank was mounted upwards with about a 4 inch space between the top of the fuel tank and to the underside of the body panel just in front of the trunk lid. The fuel tank also is also parallel to the back of the seat. Once I have more of the car completed I will weld in additional 0.75 inch square tube braces for additional strength for the bottom of the fuel tank frame. The plan is to place the battery on the passenger side of the fuel tank, and the main electrical panel containing the fuses and relays for the hot rod in front of the fuel tank. For this reason I will need to be careful how the final support braces for the fuel will be placed at the bottom of the fuel tank frame.

1929 Ford roadster fuel tank, installation picture 5 1929 Ford roadster fuel tank, installation picture 6 1929 Ford roadster fuel tank, installation picture 7

As it worked out, the fuel filter fits perfectly underneath the fuel tank with a line going directly to a Holley electric fuel pump and regulator mounted inches away on the frame.
I have included pictures of the battery, electrical panel, location of the fuel filter and electric fuel pump.

Make sure you come back, as I do plan to update the site more frequently with more information on the build of my 1929 Ford Model A roadster hot rod. You can look forward to, mounting the fuel pump, mounting the transmission cooler, the complete wiring of the hot rod which will include keyless starting, machining engine pulleys and brackets, making the rear trunk lid hinges, finding a seat and creating a unique seat hinged mounting system for the seat, fabricating the headers/side pipes and much, much more.

So much to do in a 24 hour day and it’s no wonder time flies!


Designing a brake pedal assembly for the1928 – 31 Model A Ford

Monday, December 19th, 2011


Designing a brake pedal assembly for the 1928 – 31 Model A Ford

Many years ago I started with a couple of vintage Plymouths. One was a 1930 and the other a 1931. Both were four door cars. I bought both of these cars for $3500 as the seller did not want to split them up. Maybe the cars had an attachment to each other, who knows? This seller was bit different. He had so many cars and projects, that one person could not finish them all in ten life times. He told me that he could part these cars out and make a fortune. This guy had lots of ideas and stories but a lack of time or maybe interest. This is the usually pit many car builders fall into. Collect lots of stuff, but never do anything with it because they are too busy collecting stuff!!! The 1930 Plymouth was hanging from the ceiling on chains in his shop so he could pack more cars in the building. I must say there was an interesting collection of cars.

1934 Plymouth brake pedal used in the 1929 Ford hot rod

A few weeks later I sold the 1931 Plymouth for $3200. Now I was into one car for only $300. The 1930 Plymouth had numerous parts I did not need for the hot rod build so they were all sold via eBay and local advertising. The fellow I bought the cars from was bang on about selling parts from these cars. I guess he didn’t have the time or interest to do what I did.

The vintage Plymouth brake pedal breaks

More money just rolling in and I really haven’t started the build yet. Over time I realize the 1930 Plymouth was not for me and I sold it and finally ended up with the 1929 Ford roadster body. In the process, I bought and sold several cars and kept parts I thought I would need for my build. I did keep a brake / clutch pedal assembly from the 1930 Plymouth and another one from a 1934 Plymouth.

Designing the new brake pedal for the 1929 Ford hot rod.

When I designed and built the chassis / frame for the 1929 Ford hot rod, I welded a bracket onto the side of the chassis / frame for the 1930 Plymouth brake / clutch assembly to bolt to. Now it came time to install the brakes. Everything fit as it should except the brake pedal needed a few adjustments. It needed to be shortened slightly. I cut it at the bend and removed what I needed to, and re-welded it with the addition of a gusset for additional strength. Of course I thought it would be a great idea to sit in the roadster on a milk crate and give the brake pedal a try. Just a big kid at heart!! Well that didn’t work out so well and maybe a hidden blessing. One of the brake pedal parts broke along the keyway slot were it attached to the shaft. This could have been deadly if the car was out on the road. I even attempted to repair this part and it broke again. It was then I decided to design and build my own brake pedal assembly. There would be nothing worse than driving a car you cannot stop.

The new brake pedal taking shape for the 1929 Ford hot rod.

Using the slightly altered original pedal as a template, I traced a pattern onto 3/8 inch steel plate. This was then cut out on the metal band saw and the edges sanded smooth on the 1 inch belt sander. A small shaft collar was then welded to the pivot point of the brake pedal. I reused the shaft form the vintage brake pedal assembly in my new design. At the time, I did not have a lathe or milling machine so I needed to use my imagination to fit pieces together with materials I already had.

The first fitting of the new pedal on the 1929 Ford hot rod.

Now I traced the base plate onto 0.25 inch steel plate so my new brake pedal assembly would match the bracket already welded to the chassis / frame of my 1929 Ford hot rod. Using some scraps left over from the lower control arms mounts for the lower control arm I made the mount for the brake pedal shaft. A couple of bronze bushings and grease fittings were added to minimize wear of the rotating parts.
Everything was assembled and bolted to the 1929 Ford hot rod for a trial fit. I noticed a minor adjustment would be required on the lower part of the brake pedal. Once this adjustment was made, the new brake pedal assembly was primed and sealed.

The completed new pedal assembly.

The last thing I needed to do was fabricate a new brake pedal pad. Again I traced the original vintage pedal onto 3/8 inch steel plate. A small mounting bracket was added so the pad can be bolted to the pedal. The face of the brake pedal pad will eventually have a piece of ribbed aluminum attached to it to give it a more finished look.

The new brake pedal pad for the 1929 Ford hot rod. The new brake pedal installed on the 1929 Ford hot rod.

Oh, I forgot to mention. The brake pedal parts from both the 1930 and 1934 Plymouths were sold shortly after completing the one I designed and built. I tend sell or give away anything I do not see a future use for as I do not want to be a collector of stuff that I will never use.