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Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
1/6/20 8:27 a.m.
Mad_Ratel said:

Please! I'm young dumb and dreaming!

The Ford truck just oozes cool to me. 


I wonder how much of interest dieing is the age thing or just plain lack of access.


I saw this the other day

1930 Hudson, it is literally just the body, and some of it's not even attached. 

$10,000.  I'd be interested in say 1k.  but otherwise? cool story bro. 


It's hard to figure out where the hot rod thing will go.  The rat rod movement certainly made it more accessible and people did find ways to keep the costs down.  Model A's used to be pretty affordable, but as the 1932-34s, then the "fat fender Fords" (1935+) went up in value, people moved to Model A's and they went back up a bit.  I think some of the crazy prices have come down a bit, but they are still up there.  There are also a lot of cars out there (maybe like that Hudson) where people saw a TV show or auction and think their cars are worth that.  Or they think it's worth what a Ford is worth.  Non-Fords, for the most part, are much less $$, so there are some values out there.  I'm predicting there will be a pretty big glut of dated street rods from the 80's and 90's with pastel paint, tweed interiors, etc., that may be slightly more affordable.  They'll probably still be five-figure cars, though, but at least at the lower end of the price range.

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
1/10/20 6:03 p.m.

When I write for the magazines, the stories get tidied up nicely for print.  I tell the whole story, but some of the details might be glossed over for space or other reasons.  Print is just a little more polished. 

With build threads, I feel like it's important to include some of the uglier stuff and get deeper into the mistakes.  There's more space for these things, and if I can help the next guy, I feel like I should share the challenges. 

Here goes.  Since the motor mounts were a bit collapsed, I replaced them.  No big deal.  We test drove the car and everything was fine.   Things were good, confidence high.  Other projects have come to the forefront while this one winds down, and I haven't touched it for a few days.  Except end of day, a few days ago.  I quickly put the horns back on, just to get something done.  I noticed they seemed close to the fan, but they were fine before.  I didn't change their bracket, and the fan is installed the exact same way it was before.  I thought I should maybe add a little clearance and made a mental note to do so.  But since things were fine before, I didn't take the potential issue too seriously.

I was planning on putting the grille, hood, and rest of the front end back together this weekend.  Assuming the new radiator fits the grille pretty well, that's about a 2 hour job.  I'm lazy and spoiled and it's a little easier to do that on the hoist.  I thought I'd put the car in a hoist bay  tonight so that I could get right to work tomorrow.  I pumped the throttle about five times to get some fuel in the blower, turned the key, fired right up and a terrible grinding noise greeted me.  Shut it down, maybe it's something with the gear reduction starter and flexpate.  Nope, water is pouring out of the radiator.  Fan hit the horn, blade got pushed into the radiator, and my brand new radiator now needs its first patch(es). 

After the fan hits the horn, there is a little bit of clearance...

At least, since it's a flex fan, it flexed back and there is no damage besides the radiator.   The front end won't be going back together this weekend.

The lessons: 

  1. Changing the motor mounts raised the engine a little bit and reduced the fan/horn clearance.  
  2. I should have addressed the horn clearance right away (or taken the horns back off), rather than make a mental note.  Just like I never put bolts/nuts on finger tight and hope to remember to tighten them later.  They either get tightened or removed. 

I'm only going to be out about $50 and a little behind schedule, so it's not the end of the world.  I hope this helps the next guy think more carefully about a potential issue.

ClemSparks UltimaDork
1/10/20 8:57 p.m.


But I appreciate your attitude smiley

Recon1342 HalfDork
1/10/20 9:54 p.m.

I think it was a GRMer that said experience is that thing you acquire about 3 seconds after you needed it...

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
1/11/20 11:51 a.m.
Recon1342 said:

I think it was a GRMer that said experience is that thing you acquire about 3 seconds after you needed it...

I've been at this about 35 years and I've too often found I need that extra three seconds...

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
1/11/20 11:55 a.m.

I decided it's time to start fixing my own radiators, so I got at it. 

It's a copper/brass radiator, so I just got out the torch, flux, and solder.  Two holes plus a flattened tube I thought could use some reinforcement.

I filled it back up and the pressure tester says it's just fine.

Back to my planned work...

759NRNG UltraDork
1/12/20 5:02 p.m.

Carl ,my sincere apologies....I've just know started digesting this......ever since R&C went bye bye I've been jonesin' bad for this very thing(blow by blow build). I'm down with where you are headed with this. My only take is.....not a fan of 'hairpins/4link' front ends.....this deserves 'wishbones'!!!.....your build ,thank you carry on. .love it!!!....hey what are yu gonna do with the 'trips'? 

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
1/12/20 5:25 p.m.
759NRNG said:

Carl ,my sincere apologies....I've just know started digesting this......ever since R&C went bye bye I've been jonesin' bad for this very thing(blow by blow build). I'm down with where you are headed with this. My only take is.....not a fan of 'hairpins/4link' front ends.....this deserves 'wishbones'!!!.....your build ,thank you carry on. .love it!!!....hey what are yu gonna do with the 'trips'? 

I'm not a big fan of 4 links, either.  That's how the car came.  It's a stock Ford 1934 frame that's been boxed in the front only  I has a late 1960's Mustang steering box mounted 90 degrees from the way it was in the Mustang so that it can move the draglink to the left front steering arm.  It's all Pete & Jakes stuff from the 70's.  It also has a tube axle and I-beams have been the more popular choice for awhile (and they're necessary with split wishbones or hairpins).  When I got the car, I thought about updating it to all the more modern/trendy stuff, but realized that for all the cutting and reworking I'd have to do, I could just start over with a new frame.  And if I had a new frame, I'd want a better body than the one on it.  It would turn into George Washington's "original" axe pretty quickly.  So instead, I just started building the 1932 roadster from scratch.  I put a couple pictures of it up on page 3 of this build.  It's got the split 'bones, I beam, Vega steering, Buick drums, etc..

 .hey what are yu gonna do with the 'trips'? 

Do you mean the tri power setup?  Probably sell it.  The '32 roadster is getting blower as well.

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
1/12/20 5:30 p.m.

As hoped, I got the front end all back together in just a few hours.  I changed the headlights a little bit and did have a bit of work to get the hood to fit the new radiator.  Details will follow, but in the mean time, here are some glamour shots.



Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
1/12/20 5:58 p.m.

Here's some detail on getting the hood back on and fitting the radiator.

I'd pulled the previous radiator so many times for repairs, that I had every adjustment pretty well marked for reassembly.  I put everything back together with those same adjustments, but since most of the important stuff mounts to the radiator, things were now different.  The radiator is made by Walker and is a very niece piece.  Expecting it to be dimensionally the same as a patched 85 year old OEM unit would be nuts.

I first put the inner splash panels back, then mounted the little brackets above them.  Those brackets are an attachment point for the grille and also the latch plate for the front latch.  The grille went on next.

The grille didn't just fall into place in the bolt holes.  I didn't have to egg anything out or do anything drastic, but it wasn't the natural fit things previously had.  So when the hood went back on, the fit was off quite a bit.  

The sides fit even worse.  You'll just have to trust me as I neglected to take pictures.  I've learned that adjusting four piece hoods is easier if you take them apart and adjust the top first.  The sides are held to the top halves with a long 1/4" rod that serves as the hinge pin.  To remove the sides, I just pulled the rods.

I was going to pull the sides anyway because I may run it without sides, and I wanted to see how it looks.  Why hide that blower?  On the other hand, I love louvers and I and don't want to leave them off. 

Time for a digression.  I had a flat back tire a few years back just before heading to a small party/car show, so I put the red steelie/wide white back on while I was dealing with it.   I didn't want it to look too dumb for the party, so I put the front steelie/wide white back on as well. I figured nobody looks at both sides of the car at the same time.  So I go to the party and pull in, then back the car into a spot in the parking lot.  One of my buddies comes up and had noticed the Halibrands, and he brought a guy with him to show the wheels to.  He went to the wrong side of the car, and just stood there scratching his head for a few minutes, swearing he'd seen Halibrands.  Someone told him to go to the other side, everyone had a good laugh.

So back to the hood decision.  For the first 50 miles or so, I'll probably run it without a hood while I'm sorting the details.  But maybe after that, I'll run a hood side on one side and not on the other so I can enjoy both looks of the car.  Opinions?

And back to the hood fit, I had to do a little shimming of the welt in a few spots, but luckily most of the adjustment was easy.  There are two radiator support rods that go to the firewall and adjust with some jam nuts.  I moved things around until the fit was pretty good. 

The fit isn't quite as nice as it was before, but it's close.  I'll probably mess with it again after the sorting period.  For now, I'm happy.  I'm also happy this isn't a perfect show car and I don't have to worry about a little nick here and there.




Mr_Asa New Reader
1/12/20 6:06 p.m.

I like the look of the side-hoods off, myself.


Maybe do a shared custody thing and put them on every other week till you reach a decision?

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
1/12/20 6:25 p.m.

I get a lot of comments about the "look" of this car, usually compliments.  As a piece of art, I'm pretty happy with it.  As a dimensionally accurate car, it's got so many issues.  And as I mentioned above, it would be easier to start with a new frame (or a new car) than correct all of the dimensional issues throughout the car.  

One of those issues is the left headlight fit.  When I bought the car, it had some mid 1930's Ford pickup buckets on it.  They looked okay, but I love the look of the huge OEM '34 lights.  So I fitted a pair with halogen conversions and amber parking/turn lights in the reflectors as well.  The only problem was that the left light would hit the tire at full lock if the frame was twisted just right, like coming out of a driveway.  Sure enough, maybe 10 years ago, I was pulling out of our driveway, the tire rubbed the headlight, and off came the lens and securing ring.  There was quite a bit of rust in the headlight and the forced removal did irreparable damage.   Duct tape to the rescue.  I've collected quite a few bits and pieces of '34 headlights over the years, but never got around to fixing the taped one.  Plus, I've got friends and advisors who were telling me that the duct tape was now part of the patina and "look" of the car.

Enough of that. 

It looks terrible sitting on a table, but if you look at the picture in the first installment, it didn't really show up on the car. 

It wasn't too much work to swap the guts into a new headlight shell and re-use the ring and lens.   The new shell appears to be a reproduction, but it's a good one and in better shape than some of my other shells.  The real Ford ones are stainless steel except for a little steel ring that rusts away where the guts and ring mount.  That was the problem that led to the duct tape.

Back on the car:

Nick stopped at the shop about then, and we were talking about how I really like my headlights low and far forward.  We then realized we couldn't move the headlights lower without making new mouns, but we could move them farther forward.  They mount to the shock brackets with some aluminum castings from JC Whitney or some speed equipment manufacturer.  They're clearly designed to mount behind the shock,

but we tried them in front and they fit.   We were worried the tire interference would be worse, but they were far enough forward that it wasn't an issue.

I may have to make some sort of tab to keep the headlight from rotating, no big deal.

Back to dimensional accuracy.  Notice how the left headlight is closer to the grille than the right headlight?  Like over an inch?  There are a lot of stacked tolerances adding up to that mess, and I like it just fine.  The '32 will be better, this one's just going to have its own sloppy cartoonish look.  


Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
1/12/20 6:30 p.m.

This shows the headlights through the years. 

The ones that came on the car:

Mounted behind the shocks (and held together with duct tape):

Mounted in front of the shocks:

Let me know when you're bored with this minutia.

SkinnyG UltraDork
1/12/20 8:02 p.m.

There is no chance of boredom.  You have my utmost attention with every post.

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
1/12/20 9:13 p.m.

In case you're wondering where the first set of headlights went...

This was a super low buck build some friends did with me. We gave the car to a guy who had all done us all a lot of big favors but he never had a running hot rod himself.   Everyone donated time and parts; we built it like a high school kid would have done in the late 1940s. 

We later got him a better (taller) set of rear wheels/tires to correct the stance.  

It was all old-school stuff except we put two one-barrel Webers on it.  Mike Pierce at Pierce Manifolds had some oddballs he sold me for $20 each.

759NRNG UltraDork
1/13/20 8:00 p.m.

Carl, the green B/GT on page four speaks to me..... have you done a build thread on it in here?

Oh MORE HOT RODS PLEASE!!! I meant to ask you about the cam specs for this bullet.....duration....lift...and what ratio rockers are you using?

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
1/13/20 9:19 p.m.

In reply to 759NRNG :

Regarding the B/GT.  That's a customer car at Eclectic.  1994 1.8 Miata engine and gearbox, Fast Forward supercharger, Vintage HVAC, cruise control, front and rear coilovers, the list goes on.  No build thread, but I wrote 10+ stories for GRM in print and you can get most of them online by searching for "swap science."  So far they covered most of the dry build before paint.  The next set of stories will be wiring, making the gauges work, exhaust fab, probably dyno tuning and results, sorting and more.  Here are a few links, just search for some of the others. 




Regarding cam specs, it's on the milder side for good streetability, plus blowers like it:

  • 224 duration at .050 (intake and exhaust).  Old style specs would make that about 290 degrees.
  • .300 lift (intake) .307 (exhaust) measured at cam.  1.5 ratio rockers so .450/.460 at valve
  • 114 LSA, which superchargers like.   
  • 8.7:1 static CR, 67cc heads that are supposed to flow very well.

We run a very similar cam and heads in Jack's supercharged 302 CAM-T Falcon Wagon and make about 325WHP wtih 7psi and a very conservative tune.  I think will have 400ish with a more aggressive tune and maybe a bit more boost.

I'm expecting less with this car. I've got more cubes but less boost--maybe 300-325 WHP.  That's plenty for 2400lbs.

759NRNG UltraDork
1/15/20 9:03 p.m.

Carl ....yes it's the dead of winter...but when do you think we might get an update on the inaugural once around the block.....with the always appreciated opposite lock, pedal mashed to the floor board, exit from the shop? wink

MarshHoltRacing New Reader
1/15/20 10:12 p.m.

What a great car! What are you greasing your paper gaskets with? Bearing grease? Any old grease? Ive taken a few things apart that had paper gaskets that were reuseable. I always wondered about that...

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
1/16/20 7:20 a.m.

In reply to MarshHoltRacing :

Most grease is probably fine.  I usually get a grease gun cartridge, cut it in half so I have two 6" tubes with a open tops, then stick an acid brush in each one.  I keep them by the workbench or toolbox and paint some grease on gaskets, bolt threads, etc..  

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
1/16/20 7:29 a.m.
759NRNG said:

Carl ....yes it's the dead of winter...but when do you think we might get an update on the inaugural once around the block.....with the always appreciated opposite lock, pedal mashed to the floor board, exit from the shop? wink

It's a weird dead of winter up here in Michigan.  We usually get 100" of snow, but as of today we've only had accumulation a couple of times and there is no snow on the ground.  I've gone around the block several times, but until I hit the dyno, I'm not ready for the photo you're requesting.  I've back burnered the project for a few weeks to get back to paying work, so the only photo I can offer in the meantime is where the car is now.  I stuck it in the Eclectic storage building in the LBC section while it awaits sorting and tuning.

Jerry From LA
Jerry From LA SuperDork
1/16/20 4:41 p.m.

That rod stored with those cars looks like a fox in a henhouse.

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
2/2/20 6:40 p.m.

The bones of this car are from California and there are virtually no pits or evidence of rust on anything on the chassis.  The stock gas tank is perfect inside--no rust or dirt at all.  However, stock 1934 gas tanks have a very short filler neck and if you accelerate quickly or make a right turn with more than 1/2 tank of gas, fuel spills out through the vent in the cap.  Over the years, I've tried several caps and other tricks, but still had spillage.  So a few years ago, I bought a Bob Drake tank with a flapper valve that is designed to stop this.  I was painting black this weekend, so I sprayed the tank in preparation for installation.  I used two coats of PPG DP90 and three coats of house-brand acrylic enamel black from our local paint supply store.  I thinned the topcoat with lacquer thinner instead of  enamel reducer to keep the gloss down a little bit.  It will dull down a little more and should match the rest of the car pretty well.

759NRNG UltraDork
2/5/20 7:48 p.m.

IMHO any updates on this HOT ROD are well worth the read thanks......now go find something that just doesn't look quite right  to you....we'll be here wink

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
4/16/20 6:35 p.m.

The pandemic hasn't given me any free time yet, but I did make time to work on the Hot Rod over the past few days.  When I put it away in January, there was a small list of things I needed to do before the serious test driving could start.

I relocated the horns.  I've learned that horns are as important as brakes on a classic car, so I don't drive until the horns work.  They are now far away from the fan.

Then I tackled the gas tank.  It turns out the previous tank was an older reproduction, not an original tank as I thought.  The swap went fairly well.  I needed to make minor fuel line routing changes due to a different pickup location and do a little clearancing on the lower body panel.  


Fortunately, the sending unit transferred right over.

The old tank fit a little tighter to the rear valence but I think I'm the only one who'll care.  It's pretty obvious from this angle, but when you're standing behind it, it's no big deal.  I'll get Nick over sometime to put some white pinstripes on the new tank just like the old tank had.  And we'll knock some of the gloss off of it.

I spent way more time on the horns and the gas tank than I would have liked to--maybe six hours total.  And in both cases, I had to drill and/or grind some fiberglass.  Some days, progress is slow, frustrating, and itchy.

My stock 1929 Model A needed its fuel valve replaced so I thought as long as I had the shop stinking like gas, I should fix that.  So here's a gratuitous picture of the Model A in front of the 1934.

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