Posts Tagged ‘eBAy’

DIY Gas Pedal for the 1929 Ford Model A Roadster

Monday, 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.



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.