my model A- from the beginning.
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  1. #1
    dez
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    my model A- from the beginning.

    im gunna have another go at this. previous thread was a bit rubbish so ile start again. this is all copied and pasted from another forum, until the point it gets up to date.

    bear in mind i bought this car in nov 2006, and me and it have come a LONG was since then. in that time ive moved workshop 3 times, house twice, been homeless, unempolyed and destitute, had a major relationship break down, yet ive still kept it and kept at it, despite waivering and putting it up for sale a few times. ive now decided i owe it to myself and to it to finish it. this year if i can.

    so, here we go, i have beer, lots of punk rock on iTunes and a comfy chair, lets see how far we get tonight! i started the thread i have for it on retro rides in nov 2007, so that is where we will begin-

    Aug 3, 2007-
    a bit of history on the car. I bought it last november. at the time, I had a '66 13 window deluxe splitscreen van- you know, my really, really low white one. id got a bit fed up with VWs, so I sold it, bought this model A, and got 2 grand change. shows how crazy the price of vws is these days, as my bus was pretty rough. when I collected it looked like this-




















    the spec was-
    '28 A sedan body, '31 model A visor, 'glass deuce style dash. repro bonnet, loverd ally sides, original 30-31 A grille shell. body was essentially rustfree and original.
    boxed chassis with frame horns, kicked 6" at the back, box section rear crossmember, stock front.
    3.5L rover v8, 5 speed manual, lightened flywheel, new clutch, malloy unilite dizzy, offenhauser manifold, holley carb, pop browns blockhugger headers.
    chevy 10 bolt rear axle, austin somerset 16" steels, hung on ladder bars and coilovers with panhard rod.
    VCW 4" dropped model A i-beam, tci hairpins, posies reverse eye spring, transit spindles, cortina discs, hillman minx 15" steels, cowl steer with vw steering box.
    morris minor wheel, triumph seats.

    sounds good yes? well, I only wanted about half of it!!
    but at the price, it was too good to pass up, I sold on a lot of bits, and directed some towards other projects.
    ford model A sedan
    ' 38 hudson budget hotrod pickup build

    "Some are scared of being misfits- im scared of fitting in.'

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  3. #2
    dez
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    Aug 3, 2007-
    I left it more or less along til id moved house in feburary or so, then I tore it apart.
    I sold off the camaro rear axle as I already had a ford 9" from a '59 galaxie for it, which id ended up with for more or less free through a bit of horsetrading, so I ended up £150 up there. id also already made a set of 15x6 reverse rims and welded the holes up in the centre of them, and I had a set of 8.90x15 crossplies fitted to them, so I had my rolling stock for the back and I didnt need the austin wheels.




    I then sold the dash, steering wheel, the spare 28-29 model A visor, the front brakes and spindles, the grille shell, and the headers.
    I then bought a complete front i-beam with spindles and refurbed brakes and 15" steel wheels form a guy in essex who was IFS-ing his '53 F100 pickup. he'd fitted all new shoes, cyls and bearing to get it MOTed and inspected before starting to cut it up. so I then had a set of massive 12" diameter drums in vgc for the front- much more in keeping than the discs. I then bought some 6.50x15 X-plys for the front, meaning my front rolling stock was complete again, save for some new shackles as the ones on were damaged, and the spindle kingpins need rebushing as they're a little worn. I cut down and reshaped the steering arms, smoothing them all out nicely to generally improve their appearance.





    and thats about as far as ive got with the running gear, I think.
    ford model A sedan
    ' 38 hudson budget hotrod pickup build

    "Some are scared of being misfits- im scared of fitting in.'

  4. #3
    dez
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    Aug 3, 2007-
    but, ive done a fair bit on the bodywork.
    when I got it, the body was stock, but shonky. its not got much rust, but most of the supporting subframe had been cut out to channel it, and erm, not put back in!! if you pushed the body with one finger, it would wobble from side to side, and it was all out of line in all directions. it was channeled, about 3" on one side and 2" on the other :-/

    so, I set about rechannelling it, 4" this time, and pulling the body square, and setting it square on the chassis. I added some 1" thinwall box in as the floor subframe, theres a lot more it go in yet, but the body is now pulled straight and tack welded to the chassis to keep it that way until all the steel re-enforcing is in.




    I also returned the firewall back to its original position(it had previously been recessed), and repaired all the holes that had it been cut in it over the years.





    ford model A sedan
    ' 38 hudson budget hotrod pickup build

    "Some are scared of being misfits- im scared of fitting in.'

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  6. #4
    dez
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    Aug 3, 2007-
    so, ive channelled it- you know whats coming next

    I did this-


    then I cut some out of the pillars-


    and threw it back on-






    I then spent quite a lot of time fettling the pillars to shape, it takes a while as they all taper. I still have to finish one rear corner and one door top, but I need to turn the car round to do that.
    I cant remember how much I chopped it now, 5" possibly??

    tbh the roof chop was very easy, the metal is thick and welds well, and the shapes are quite basic- unlike chopping a bug!!

    after that, I turned my attentions to the dash. I hated the fiberglass one, but id been holding on to a RHD '60 impala dash id got for quite a long time. it would fit the bill perfectly, even if I did have to narrow it nearly 18"!!!!
    I took a lot of depth out of it, and narrowed the middle so it came to a sharp peak.
    I kept it so it bolts in so I can remove it if necessary.






    it still needs bottom mounts sorting, but I cant do them until ive sorted the cowl steer.
    ford model A sedan
    ' 38 hudson budget hotrod pickup build

    "Some are scared of being misfits- im scared of fitting in.'

  7. #5
    dez
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    Aug 6, 2007-
    I has steel!

    well, I don't, but its ordered and i'm collecting it tomorrow morning. it wasn't as horrendous as I expected on price either.
    I ordered-

    100mmx50x3mm wall, 2x 7.6m lengths, so 15.2m in total (50.5ft). this is for the chassis modifications and repairs, plus quite a bit left over for another chassis.

    25mmx25mmx1.5mm wall ERW box section, 6.4m length (21.3ft). this will be used to make the rest of the flooring framework, and some of it is for body strengthening and framing in another car.

    1-1/4" square 16ga ERW box section, 6.4m length, (21.3ft). this is a hard to find size so I was pretty lucky they stock it, it will be used to replace the wood frame in the A, B, and C pillars as the gap the wood leaves when removed is exactly 1-1/4".

    2500x1250x20ga (1.1mm) sheet steel. this is for fabricating the floor of this car, plus another car i'm doing. i'm using slightly thinner steel then what most people would use, most people would use 18ga (1.2mm) or even 16ga (1.6mm) if they're constructing a flat floor- but I'm not, its going to be fully bead rolled with re-enforcing and anti-vibration swages, so it will look the part and save weight. also using the thinner steel means the beadroller puts sharper edged, 'crisp' swages in.

    all the above steel cost a shade under £120 inc. VAT.
    the people I bought from are IS&G steel stockholders in great Blakenham nr. Ipswich. the sales guy there was very helpful, much better than suppliers i've used in the past. they're even cutting a lot of it to spec for me before I collect it so it will all fit in my car, and they're doing it for free, unlike previous places that either flatly refuse to do it, or charge by the cut, so i'm well happy with the service.
    I'm really looking forward to cracking on with it, so ile probably spend most of this evening finalising my chassis drawings ;D
    ford model A sedan
    ' 38 hudson budget hotrod pickup build

    "Some are scared of being misfits- im scared of fitting in.'

  8. #6
    dez
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    Aug 7, 2007-
    todays update.
    I collected the steel.
    I think should lot should about get it done


    the dash is more or less assembled, I now need to fettle the new door cappings from the '60 impala to fit the model A doors- thats one just wedged on on the left. did I mention this 'rods going to be RHD too?


    I also messed about with the taillights. ive been thinking about them for a while, i've got 3 or 4 different sets I could have used.- some 30s aftermarket pork pie ones, some '60 chevy ones, some daimler ones, and the ubiquitous '59 caddy. on a car like this, taillights can make or break the car, as the car is so bare bones they kinda set the theme of the car. I wanted them to look like they were part of the car, not just bolted on the back quickly to get it legal.
    I also wanted something that was quite high level and clearly visable (unlike most hotrod taillights), and was also visable form the side, as I don't want this thing getting rear ended by some blind bint in a 4x4.
    so, I went for '59 caddy, with a twist. 99% of people tunnel them in, which makes them less visable- I did the opposite.
    id been looking for some 3-1/4" exhaust pipe for a while to try out an idea id had, but was having trouble finding some. a trip to mates to collect something else today also netted me some 3" pipe, which was close enough, and with a small bit added in at the back it was spot on.




    not welded on yet as I need to take measurements to duplicate it exactly for the other side, but I really like it. it will be welded on and the welds ground back so it looks slightly moulded, but not much. the lights cant really get any more visable than that either!
    ford model A sedan
    ' 38 hudson budget hotrod pickup build

    "Some are scared of being misfits- im scared of fitting in.'

  9. #7
    dez
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    Aug 8, 2007-
    todays update- chassis building!
    or how to turn 12 foot of 2x4 into a model A chassis rail.

    first pics showing me putting a 4" step into the front of the rails to lower it. cut the tube, overlap 5", set up flat/straight on chassis table, buzz together.








    the next bit is a bit more complicated.
    the framerails will taper from the front of the step to the front of the frame horns (the step itself is hidden inside the cowl). the rails will measure 5" deep at the firewall, and 3" at the frame horns, tapering over the full 34" length. as I'm using 4" deep box section, that means removing a wedge from the front portion, and adding some to the rear.
    so far i've cut out the taper on the front section, but not added the bottom strip.
    cutting along the edge first then taking the wedge out further in means you keep the bevel on the edge of the box so you only have to do a flat weld and grind it up rather than welding on the corner and then shaping it when grinding.
    pics to illustrate-






    lastly, I cut out the rear kickup section. the rear kickup is 13" high. and raises at a 60deg angle. notice how I cut the ends of the tube so the ends of the main rail and the top rail are 'socketed' into the kickup. this give maximum weld length, and therefore most strength.


    the chassis rail as a whole-


    I still have to do the taper on the rear chassis section that runs from the top of the kickup to the rear crossmember, as it needs to taper down to 2-1/4" to fit the x-member. then ile weld the rear sections together, and cut and weld on the lower part of the front taper, which will see this rail done for the minute, so it will then be a case of rinse and repeat....
    ford model A sedan
    ' 38 hudson budget hotrod pickup build

    "Some are scared of being misfits- im scared of fitting in.'

  10. #8
    dez
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    aug 9, 2007-
    smallish update today- reason why in a mo.

    first, I made this-


    its the rear kickup bit. 2" of straight bar at the start, then tapering form 4" to 3" over a 12" length.
    it was made using the same method as the front tapers, so I didn't bother taking extra pics of it in progress.

    then, I repeated the process on the offcut from making the first chassis rail, as it was too short to do anything else with, to give me a pair. so out of the first of 4 lengths of steel, ive got one complete chassis rail + the extra kickup bit, with about 4" of waste, which I'm very pleased about as I hate wasting materials.


    I then planned to crack on and make the rest of the other chassis rail, until I realised id run out of cutting discs. bum. does anywhere in ipswich sell 1mm cutting discs? do they gosh darnage! so ive got to wait 3 days to get some direct from the manufacturer. worth waiting for though as I get 125mmx1mm cutting discs for 63p each.

    so, I started to clean up the rear model A x-member, grinding off the rivet heads and drifting out the rivets to remove the bit of chassis rail still attached to it. like so-


    so thats all I got done on it. ile post pics of the other light options and seats in a min.
    ford model A sedan
    ' 38 hudson budget hotrod pickup build

    "Some are scared of being misfits- im scared of fitting in.'

  11. #9
    Official RnS Addict sk8erdave's Avatar
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    looking forward to the rest of this (im hoping there is ) Chop looks just right

  12. #10
    dez
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    aug 11, 2007-
    so what do you do whilst everone else is at R-R show, cos youve made a conscious decision not to do any more shows this year, but use the time and money spent on shows on your car instead?
    well, as I still haven't got any cutting discs, I had to pick jobs I could do without them, so I couldnt carry on with the chassis rails as I didnt fancy cutting fast amounts of 3mm wall box section with a hacksaw, so I cleaned up my front crossmemebr and carried on steeling out the body.

    both of which are a story in themselves! the front crossmember is an original one off the chassis that came with the car. I thought it would be a simple case of cutting the chassis rail off up close and grinding down a few welds to get the crossmember off without damaging it. what I actually found was that each join between crossmember and chassis rail had 3 runs of terrible, badly penetrated weld that were heaped up on top of each other, then skimmed over with filler to make it look like a decent weld!!! in most places I had to grind off welds that were half an inch wide and half an inch deep! it took me over 3 hours of solid grinding to get the crossmember cleaned up properly.
    before-




    after-




    as you can see its a little thin at the edge on one or 2 bits, but nothing to worry about, once theres a weld on each side of it holding it to the chassis, it will be fine. it does need some repair though as someones see fit to cut the front lip off it, which adds quite a bit of strength and stops it flexing, so ile need to fab some bits up and graft them on.

    after all that grinding my hands were aching and my brain was rattled, so I packed in and we took the dog out for a walk instead of me doing anything else on it. that concludes yesterday, apart form when I got back I did a bit of messing about mocking up the grille, rad, and front crossmemeber to check clearances.
    ford model A sedan
    ' 38 hudson budget hotrod pickup build

    "Some are scared of being misfits- im scared of fitting in.'

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