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Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
12/17/19 7:10 p.m.

I'm lucky to have an eclectic fleet.  In addition to my British cars, VWs, Miatas, and other cars fairly common in the GRM world, I own a few old Fords, both stock and hot-rodded.  I've had this 1934 3 Window Coupe for about 20 years.  I bought it as a well-worn 1970's build.  It's got a factory 1934 frame, boxed in the front, with a 4-bar, Mustang steering, and a 5" dropped tube axle.  In the back, it's a 9" Ford on parallel leaf springs.  The body is fiberglass from an unknown manufacturer.  When I bought it, it was pretty sketchy to drive, was wired without a fusebox, and had a lot of other issues.  I went through it right away--new wiring, redid the brakes, switched to a dual circuit MC, added a handbrake, undid a lot of sins in the front suspension, and a lot of other details that made it a fun driver ever since.   I also updated the look.    When I got it, it had steelies with bias ply wide whites and no hood.  I changed it over to Halibrands with radials an a little more rubber rake, added a hood, and my friend Nick Hardie helped me flame it.  

It came with a stock 350 Chevy sporting a really cool Rochester tri-power setup backed up by a TH350.  I didn't do much to the drivetrain except tweak the carb linkage, add an electric choke, and give it a good tune.  Just a couple of years after I bought it, I found a GMC 4-71 blower setup and started to make plans to install it.  There's more to that story later.  But kids and other projects got in the way.  Plus I have a pretty simple rule:  Don't take a running car and make it into a non-running car unless there's time to get it running again.  So I've been driving it, collecting more parts, and waiting to have the time to update it.

The past few summers, it's been telling me it's 20 years since I last worked on it.  The trans has started to slip and leak badly from everywhere, the highly-patched original radiator has sprung continual leaks, and some other little things have made it less fun.  And this winter, it looks like I've finally got a good block of time to work on it. 

So, here's the plan:

  • No more stock 350 with a tri-power.  It's getting the 4-71, a Holley 750 double-pumper, a set of aluminum heads, and a cam to match the blower.
  • A rebuilt TH350
  • New radiator
  • A little modification to the front crossmember to lower it 1" and get the 4-bars parallel to the ground
  • Other maintenance and updates as scope creep sets in.

There are other forums more appropriate for a car like this, but I like you guys better...so I hope you don't mind this build thread.

mr2s2000elise
mr2s2000elise Dork
12/17/19 7:10 p.m.

Man that is gorgeous !!! 

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
12/17/19 7:18 p.m.

I did a little baselining before I started the project.  Since the front suspension is getting tweaked, I measured all the critical dimensions of the 4-bar and ride height.   If you look closely at this side-view, you'll see the 4-bars run a little downhill.  It's always bugged me so I'll fix it while the drivetrain is out.

 

I also finally got it on the scales.  

I think I'm going to be at about 300-350 WHP with the blower, so my power to weight will be in the fun zone.

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
12/17/19 7:32 p.m.

I'll tell you more about the 4-71 backstory later.  Right now, I'll show you the mock-up.  I knew a traditional blower was going to be a tough package for this car, so I wanted to run a 4-71. 6-71s are more common, but they're about 50% bigger (duh) and usually run with dual carbs.  That's too much carb for this mild engine and the packaging would likely have meant running a pusher electric fan--ugly and not very effective.  The 4-71 is easier to package and lets me run a reasonable carb setup for the street.  Most GMC blower setups use a 3" belt, but I cut the pulley down so I could run a 2" belt and fit everything behind the fan that was already on the car.  At least that was my plan 15 years ago when I last actively worked on this project.  

Tonight, I did the mock-up test fit to see if my plan would work.

Before:

Mocked up:

Whew!  The plan worked and it fits perfectly.

Next up, the drivetrain is coming out and the front crossmember is getting cut up.

 

Norma66-Brent
Norma66-Brent Reader
12/17/19 8:16 p.m.

Very nice!

Fladiver64
Fladiver64 Reader
12/17/19 8:47 p.m.

I have some experience with huffed rods, a 8-71 on a 392 in a 27. I don't think that fan without a shroud is going to supply enough cooling. i used an electric fan and should from this company on my 34 and it fit my walker radiator very well and only requires 2 5/8" clearance. I used a digital fan controller from Dakota digital that worked off the temperature sending unit so I didn't need an additional sensor in the radiator and it provides two speed cooling.

 

Although you already have the 4-71 setup, I did my dual carbs on the 8-71 as a progressive throttle linkage so that most of the time I just used the front carb. This made things much more street able.

 

Good luck with the project , and yes huffed rods defiantly in the fun zone for driving.

 

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
12/18/19 5:55 a.m.

Big blowers on the street are cool as hell. That's the extent of my useful input, so I'm just going to hang out in the back row and drink coffee and watch. 

Thanks for sharing this with us. 

Robbie
Robbie MegaDork
12/18/19 10:41 a.m.

Totally cool. I'll stand next to Seth. Unless you're offering rides...

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
12/18/19 10:47 a.m.
Fladiver64 said:

I have some experience with huffed rods, a 8-71 on a 392 in a 27. I don't think that fan without a shroud is going to supply enough cooling. i used an electric fan and should from this company on my 34 and it fit my walker radiator very well and only requires 2 5/8" clearance. I used a digital fan controller from Dakota digital that worked off the temperature sending unit so I didn't need an additional sensor in the radiator and it provides two speed cooling.

I'm hoping to avoid a shroud and a fan, but I'm prepared for both.  Usually, cooling problems with cars like this happen more at idle/low speeds.  Normally aspirated or with the huffer, it probably takes less than 5 HP to idle the engine, so the radiator only needs to exchange that much heat. The fan kept up pretty well before, even with the mess of a radiator I've had in the car.  But if it doesn't do it, I'll either install the shroud that Walker makes for the radiator or fabricate one with a little more hotrod flair.  I don't mind an electric fan, too, but I hope I don't need to put it in front of the radiator as that blows the athestics. 

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
12/18/19 10:55 a.m.

I dug up some photos of the car from the big updates 20 years ago.   Sorry they're a bit fuzzy--I had to scan prints.  I rebuilt this car just before patina and rat rods.  My buddy Nick encouraged me to keep the patina from the original build--he's always been ahead of the curve.   So the paint and flames required some of Nick's skills to match the 1970s paint on the car.  Whoever built the car originally had some foresight about patina as well.  There's pinstriping on the back of the car that is signed by the 'Striper and dated from the 1950s--obviously a fake date, but someone had a sense of humor.  I have people all the time that think it's that old, but it can't be since it's a 'glass body.

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
12/18/19 11:01 a.m.
Robbie said:

Totally cool. I'll stand next to Seth. Unless you're offering rides...

Visit sometime and I'll let you drive it.  I think everyone needs to feel the simultaneous comfort and rawness of a sorted hot rod, plus the view from inside a healthy chop.

AWSX1686
AWSX1686 UltraDork
12/18/19 11:01 a.m.

Very cool! 

GCrites80s
GCrites80s Reader
12/18/19 11:35 a.m.

It's definitely fun to work with old builds. Not old mistakes or dumb fads that some teenager did, but old real builds that were done with care.

LanEvo
LanEvo Dork
12/18/19 12:34 p.m.

That's badass. I didn't know those things could be so light!

akylekoz
akylekoz SuperDork
12/18/19 12:48 p.m.

Just following along, carry on.  Had a bone stock 38 Fordor for too many years, then it just went away to a friend.

GIRTHQUAKE
GIRTHQUAKE HalfDork
12/18/19 2:58 p.m.

Oh, this is gonna be cool. I love you're sticking with the 4-71 blower- the 6-71 gets overused thanks to Mad Max.

I'm real split on the issue of fans tho- for about $100 you could junkyard a couple of relays, a 90s Ford Contour shroud and a temp switch to give you dual speeds. Here's the URL. But at the same time I understand keeping the classic look of a crank-driven fan.

NickD
NickD PowerDork
12/18/19 6:31 p.m.

The flames and Halibrands make that car so much better. Also, I know they are borderline overdone, but those old finned aluminum Corvette valve covers are the best. Glad it's a '34 instead of a '32. 

Cotton
Cotton PowerDork
12/18/19 7:26 p.m.
Carl Heideman said:
Robbie said:

Totally cool. I'll stand next to Seth. Unless you're offering rides...

Visit sometime and I'll let you drive it.  I think everyone needs to feel the simultaneous comfort and rawness of a sorted hot rod, plus the view from inside a healthy chop.

Okay, not quite the same, but I was tinkering with my chopped and supercharged 78 c10 prostreet truck tonight,  so I totally agree how fun the chopped/blown combo can be.

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
12/18/19 7:33 p.m.
GCrites80s said:

It's definitely fun to work with old builds. Not old mistakes or dumb fads that some teenager did, but old real builds that were done with care.

Someone good laid hands on this car at some point.  Probably the original builder.  Lots of details are just right and so many of the parts are from the great companies of the past.  I probably could sell a bunch of the parts to pay back the original price, then put repops on to replace them.  But I won't.  Anyway, the car was about 75% really good when I bought it and then the rest was sketchy stuff by some hacks probably after the original build.  Hopefully I've gotten it better than 75% really good over the past 20 years.

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
12/18/19 7:42 p.m.
NickD said:

The flames and Halibrands make that car so much better. Also, I know they are borderline overdone, but those old finned aluminum Corvette valve covers are the best. Glad it's a '34 instead of a '32. 

Thanks! 

Unfortunately, I think the Corvette covers aren't going to be on it anymore.  With the blower, I'm going to need decent venting and a catch can and I don't want to cut up those covers since they're real. 

Regarding the Halibrands, I got them just before they went out of business.  Soon after, American Racing copied the wheels and they're fairly common now...but they're not Halibrands.  I had to machine holes in the front center caps to clear the grease caps.  I heard Halibrand was in trouble, so I quickly ordered 2 more center caps in case I ever put the wheels on something else and couldn't get replacements.  Good thing, I guess.

Fladiver64
Fladiver64 Reader
12/18/19 7:58 p.m.
Carl Heideman said:
Robbie said:

Totally cool. I'll stand next to Seth. Unless you're offering rides...

Visit sometime and I'll let you drive it.  I think everyone needs to feel the simultaneous comfort and rawness of a sorted hot rod, plus the view from inside a healthy chop.

Careful with Robbie around blown cars, we took my 27 for a ride after the challenge and before we could get a good run it decided to give us a water show with a blown water pump.

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt PowerDork
12/19/19 7:38 a.m.

This looks like a great build!

The one thing I'm a bit concerned about is the flex fan. I'm not a fan of them, no pun intended. Would it be possible to run a junkyard OEM fan instead?

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
12/19/19 1:42 p.m.

In reply to MadScientistMatt :

I've seen good flex fans and bad ones.  This one has been great for 20+ years so I think it's one of the good ones--the blades are well-balanced and the rivets are tight.

Also, I found a few more photos from the original rebuild:

The car had Ford juice brakes on the front with Ford drums.  The hot setup is to adapt Buick drums, so that's what I did.  People usually use the earlier ones that have half as many fins.  I actually found these in a local junkyard for $15 each, so I had to use them.  

The black and white tuck and roll was in the car when I got it.  It's got Mallory guages.  Who knew they used to make guages?  One of them was an amp gauge, which I try to avoid using.  So I called Mallory at the time and they still had some volt gauges, so I switched it out.  The steering column drop is a flathead connecting rod, but it was just screwed into the fiberglass dash and shook in very creepy ways going down the road.  I put a steel reinforcement behind it and tied it to the steel substructure in the body.  Other than rewiring and adding seat belts, the interior hasn't changed much since then.

Flames and PBR go hand-in-hand.

pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) PowerDork
12/19/19 2:04 p.m.

I wonder if a thin pusher fan could go between the radiator and the grill.  I know that pushers aren't as efficient as pullers but I think they'd be better than a shroud-less puller.  427 Cobra's used pushers, so if it worked there...

Where did the hood come from that you fitted, is it repop or original?  How hard was it to get it to fit the 'glass body?

wearymicrobe
wearymicrobe UberDork
12/19/19 2:37 p.m.

I had a similar setup in a old Mustang (Don't ask about why there was a Chevy motor in it). 

 

What carb setup are you going with. I had to toss the 850 that was on mine and go to a builder and have a early XP with mechanical secondary made to get it to rev past 3500rpm. Hell of a thing when running though. I love the look of that thing. 

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