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Alt Bantam

Discussion in 'Project Plans & Updates' started by AltBantam, Aug 28, 2022.

  1. AltBantam

    AltBantam
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    Fletcherson, Old Round Fart... thanks for the advice. Since the majority of the weight is already on the car, the engine, trans and wooded body, I could set jack stands at the current height. I have a decent size workshop but it currently not very organized/its full of crap. I can push the car out and into the garage but little more.
     
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  2. AltBantam

    AltBantam
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    I did some work over the weekend, made a few mods from suggestions here. First I finished mounting the radiator with an electric cooling fan. I know it's not "period" for my build, but living in the south, I need a good cooling system with it's hot outside. Plus, trying to align the radiator to the water pump where a fan would be mounted would mean raising the radiator 4" or 5" higher than it is mounted now. That would place the the radiator inches over the front cowl of the body. This was not a problem with Altereds of the 60's and 70's. They did not run radiators. With the radiator mounted, I measured the distance between the closest points on the radiator and engine. It was 4 1/2". As I said before, I am building the car using the 67' NHRA rule book as a guide. For Altereds, set back max is 25% of the wheelbase. At 103", I originally set the engine at 25" off the front axle. This still allowed about 2" between the block and the firewall. Last weekend, I decide to move the engine forward for several reasons. Because of how much time I took to originally measure and weld the engine and transmission crossmembers in place, I was able to simply measure 3" forward, cut then reweld the crossmembers into their new locations. It took less than a hour with my engine hoist. So why do that? Several reasons. One was to add more room for my steering box. I have seen many buckets with the headers nearly touching the boxes. I am using a more swept back header and wanted the extra spacing. Second, the bellhousing is now even with the firewall. This will give me a little more leg room once the transmission tunnel is built. Third, I already had a HD driveshaft made by Denny's. It will now fit this car without having to ship it back to Denny's for modification. Moving the engine forward 3" also moves more weight to the front end. Curious, I ordered 8 bathroom scales rated at 400 lbs. at the end of last week off Amazon for $80 plus. Using two per wheel, I measured the current weight at each wheel, front and rear and over all current weight. All of the major weight items, other than myself, are already on the car. I was surprised at the measurements I ended up with. Over all current weight, 1461 lbs. Front weight is 710 lbs. Rear weight is 751 lbs. This is with the car as is, seats and seat frames set inside the car. Steering box mounted. What is not included are fluids, metal to cover the floor (NHRA requirement), roll bar, fuel tank and brake master cylinder, pedal assembly, and lines and wires. I will save some weight on the engine as I have already budgeted for aluminum heads, which will save 60 lbs. of weight. Below is the only photo I took as I was leaving the shop yesterday. One day at a time....
     

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  3. Spanky

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    Great to see your progress, and thanks for the detailed description of what you're doing. We are all learning from this!

    (PS - Where'd you find a pair of aluminum cylinder heads for a Buick 430?)
     
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  4. AltBantam

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    For Buick motors, TA Performance is the one stop shop. They are probably the only Buick shop around though... They make 4 versions of their aluminum heads from "you can't tell the heads at not stock if painted" to full on race. The basic heads are a bolt-on 50 HP to a stock motor. With a cam and matching intake, lots more. An example 455 Buick built by Motor Trend, .030 over with 9 to 1, TA SE1 stock Aluminum heads with a TA 234/244 at .500 cam and TA SPX single plane intake, 527 lb-ft at 4500 rpms and 513 HP at 5600 rpms. The engine makes 427 lb-ft of torque at 2200 rpms. Another 455 from a Buick forum, .030 over, 10 to 1, 288-94H cam, same SPX intake but the the SE1 heads ported from stock 290 cfm to 315 cfm. 575 ft-lb at 4600 and 556 HP at 5500. The stock Stage 1 in 1970 was rated at 370 HP, though it was probably a little more than that. Buick engines are not made for high rpms but they can make monster torque and good HP numbers below 6000 rpm. Above 6000 rpm, 900 HP without a blower is possible, if you have the $$$$. I have a 67' 430, the first year Buick dropped the nailhead V8s. In 70', the block was cast thicker and bored to make the 455. The strokes are the same for all BBB, 67' thru 76'. Btw... Edelbrock makes aluminum heads too, but they actually cost more.
     
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  5. fletcherson

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    Buick engines are overlooked. They are torque monsters. My cousin had a ‘70 skylark GS stage 1 455 that he modified in Voc school. The mods consisted of recurving the distributor, rejetting the q jet, hard shift kit, and a 4:10 gear. That thing would pull the front wheels way up from a roll between lights. It ran low 13 sec times basically stock. I have a 69 convertible that I have compiled GS goodies for as well as a 455 and a 200 r 4 and God knows what else for. It’s patiently waiting for it’s time in the shop.
     
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  6. fletcherson

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  7. AltBantam

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    And because they use a higher nickel content, the blocks are thin wall cast. A factory fresh 430/455 weighs in at 625 lbs. Aluminum heads, intake and headers drops the weight to the Chevy 350. Down side, limited number of people making and selling parts.
     
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  8. AltBantam

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    A few new photos of the Bantam, including a profile, front and interior. I cut down and mounted the steering column on a mount welded to the steel bracing under the cowl. I mounted the the 32' Ford radiator cover, just because I could. The driver's and passenger's seat mounts are cut but only the driver's side is currently drilled and mounted. I used 2" x 3" 3/16" angle steel for both the seat bottom and floor mount brackets. I plan to cut lightening holes in the seat bottom brackets later. The front mount is bolted on, raising the seat 5" off the floor. Currently, the rear of the seat is blocked at 5". I am planning to adjust the rear height, using spacers for now, playing around with adding more seat angle. I want to determine how leaning the seat back more than 20 degrees will affect the overall driver's position. The firewall mounted brake and clutch pedal assembly is clamped against the firewall. I still haven't decided if that is the best way to go. It is the look I want, though. I bought the Speedway assembly, then cut 1 1/8" from between the brake and clutch M/C. I rewelded the two halves, and cut down the mount for the clutch and steel rod supporting the pedals. The extra room is for the gas pedal. I also welded "stop" mounts on top of the assembly. There was like 9" of travel for each pedal. Using two bolts, I can adjust the swing of each pedal. I currently have it set up at 6".
     

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  9. Neshkoro

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    Looking good!
     
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  10. AltBantam

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    Thanks Neshkoro. Being cooler in the mornings now means I can spend an hour or two after work in the workshop before getting some sleep. During the summer when it was hot, I spent lots of time thinking about everything I still needed to do and trying to decide what order to complete it in. For example, I've read too many posts in other forums where someone installs their brake pedal and sometimes a clutch pedal only to find they can't run their steering column/shaft without having to snake it all around the pedals. I would rather not do anything for two weeks than have to cut off, remount, reconfigure something I did before. It's not to say it doesn't happen.
     
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  11. Spanky

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    I am fascinated by your build since I have fantasized about a bantam-bodied hotrod through the years. Thanks for sharing the details with us and keep the pictures coming! Good work.:thumbsup:
     
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  12. AltBantam

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    Thanks Spanky. Originally when I pickup the body, I had a different intention for it. I was thinking 50’s roadrace car, something like ‘Old Yeller II’ with a tube space frame. I got distracted…. Now I’m using the body for an Alter dragster clone which is more inline with why the Bantam bodies were originally designed to begin with.
     
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  13. DonnyRay

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    Your Bantam is looking great. Keep on truckin'.
     
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  14. AltBantam

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    Short update, no photos this time, sorry. I had some parts arrived this past weekend. A new brake and clutch master cylinders. For the brake, I went with a 15/16" GM Disc/Disc m/c. Looks like a Corvette but with a smaller bore. I had planned on going with a 7/8" m/c, for more brake line pressure, but after weighing the Bantam in its current state, I decided to go with looks over function.... I would have had to use a Wilwood m/c mounted on the firewall for a 7/8" bore and that just would not look as good. I was a little worried when I cut the pedal assy. down by an 1 1/4" the 2 m/c's might not fit side by side. I was thinking I might have to do some grinding. For a change, it worked out find. Both fit within the assy. mounting holes. The brake m/c has four 3/8" ports so I can mount the proportioning valve on either side. It will go on the inside. Not enough room beside the clutch m/c. The clutch is a 3/4" bore. I will be using a hydraulic throwout bearing so no linkage. I will wipe down then paint both m/c's with clear coat to keep that raw metal, but rust free look.
     
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  15. AltBantam

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    I haven't worked on the Bantam for two weeks. I had another project to finish plus just busy the last two weekends. Today I mounted the brake/clutch assembly to the firewall then mounted the brake and clutch master cylinders. I had some older holes in the floor and firewall which I was no longer using. I plugged and glues dowels into those holes a while back. I sanded them flush with the surface today. I have to add a steel panel to the outside of the firewall for the 1967 NHRA rules I'm building the car to. I have a large piece of 16 ga. steel I plan to cut for the firewall. I will try to get to that this weekend or next week. Once cut out, I will either weld a flange to mount part of the transmission tunnel to or simply weld the first part of the tunnel straight to the steel firewall. Since I moved the engine forward 3 inches, the bellhousing is no longer inside the body. This has opened up more foot area. The steel firewall panel will help fill in some of that space. I need to order a firewall mounted gas pedal and matching foot pads for the brake and clutch. Will post more soon.
     
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  16. AltBantam

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    Was going to cut out the steel firewall panel, but decided I needed to cover cowling first. I had planned to use a pliable plywood. While it bends good one way, it does not bend the other way. And with the curve and twist, I had to do it a little different than I had planned. I glued and nailed the plywood in place. It will need to set before glassing the cowl, firewall and body together into one piece. I've included a photo of the master cylinder before the cowling work.
     

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  17. Neshkoro

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    I like the way you did the curved sections of the cowl with the segmented wooden pieces. Are you going to glass over that? Should turn out good!
     
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  18. AltBantam

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    Yes, I plan to fiberglass this week after I pull the engine and transmission. As stated before, I used aircraft plywood, which is really bendable... in one direction. But between the angle from the old firewall to the new firewall plus the curve of the body, even cutting the plywood to bend as it should did not work. The area of the curve began to pop and splinter. So I just cut that out and recut that area into narrower strips. If I had a steamer, I might have been able to get the compound curve by steaming the plywood. I did not want to wait and boil water as I was in a bit of a time crunch. But this will work. And once covered by glass, no one will know but us.... ;)
     
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  19. 409T

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    Poplar bending plywood will split, mahogany ply usually will not but it is harder to find.
     
  20. HenrysT

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    could of used some expanded metal in the compound curved areas if you was going to cover it with fiberglass.
     

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