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The "what's left of my build thread!"


I thought I would start a thread to show the progress on my T. I've had the build thread going at Club Hot Rod for quite awhile, but thought post what I have left to do here too. If you've been following it over there, it'll be basically the same stuff on this board. If anyone has questions, fire away. I'll do my best to answer them.

At this point I'm just finishing up some loose ends on the major fabrication. On a project like this, I like to get the major stuff mocked up and then slowly fill in the details. Just like an artist starts with a rough sketch and then gradually keeps improving it with details.

Here's a link to the rest of the build:
Time for another update and this time I have pictures!
I got the new rearend installed. The new setup doesn't look much different than the old one, but does have a few changes. I lowered the bag mounts an 1 1/2" and lowered the bar mounts by about the same amount.
The bag mounts were modified because I noticed that when the mounted hieght of the bags was increased the suspension seemed to be more compliant. With the old setup this raised the back of the car and screwed up the rake.
The bar mounts were lowered to level them up. The angle of the bars relative to the ground at ride height effects roll steer in the rearend. Keeping the bars level should give neutral roll steer. I added an extra set of holes for a little adjustability.
I added extra holes for the lower shock mounts. Since the shocks serve as the lower stops for the suspension(to keep the bags from over-extending) I wanted some adjustment.
I also got the driveshaft finished. All 12" of it.
Thought I would show a few pictures of the front spring mounts since all this was done before I started this thread.
The springs have 2 tie bolts that serve as locating dowels and keep them from slipping sideways in the mounts. The extra hole in the middle was where the original tie bolt was located. I use it now just to hold the springs under the frame during assembly.
I did make a small modification while I had it apart this time. The rear clamp bolts are probably the highest loaded pieces in the front end as they are in tension add carry the wieght of the car. This is aggrivated by the fact that the springs act like levers, increasing the load. The bolts are technically more than strong enough, but I thought a little added safety would be a good idea.
I tapped some 1/2' thick pieces for a 1/2" bolt. These were welded inside the frame at the rear of the spring mounts.
I added a small tab to the rear off the lower spring plate for this bolt. A spacer goes between the frame and lower plate. This allows the 1/2" bolt to be torqued properly and serve as an independent back-up to the other bolts.
also fabbed a brace for the brake pedal. It probably didn't really need it, but it couldn't hurt and proved to be a good place to mount the brake light switch. The switch is activated by an arm on an adjustable sleeve. This allows me to adjust where the switch turns on.
Why would that be so important? This car is going to have cruise control. I have a hydraulic switch on my 46 and it takes a pretty good tap on the brakes to get the cruise to disengage. That may be OK on a heavy car. but I don't want to get that rough with the brakes on a light car like this. With this mechanical switch setup I can have the cruise drop out with just a tiny bump on the brake pedal.
BTW The pics were taken with the frame upside down
I've been skipping around some lately. I have several small projects that need to be finished.

I sort of built built myself into a corner where an alternator is concerned. When I built the frame, I wanted the front crossmember back far enough that it wouldn't interfere with the radiator. I actually got it a little too far back. It doesn't effect the rad, but it kept me from using a low mounted full size alternator. I really wanted to keep the top of the engine clean.

I flirted with the idea of a top mounted generator for a while just for a nostalgic look, but wasn't too thrilled with that. The one I had on hand is only 30 amps as were most of the common units "back in the day"(40 amps was about max). Also, I've driven cars with generators and while they work OK, alternators will maintain much more constant voltage. I 've also read that the constant arcing inside the old mecanical voltage regulators can sometimes play havoc with sensitive modern electronics.

The 30 amp limit was enough to make me want to go with something else. We have a local guy that is very good on repairing alternators and starters and I knew he had a bunch of old stuff, so I went to see him about finding a bigger generator. While I was there I spied several small Nippondenso alternators.

Now I'm certainly not the first person to "discover" mini alternators as they've been for sale for a long time. I looked at them in the catalogs, but I didn't actually know how small they are and I don't like the idea of not being able to find a replacement locally(or on the road) if one fails.

What I wound up with is a 50 amp unit from a 92 Suzuki Swift. This thing fit with room to spare where a small GM alternator would just barely squeeze in. I got a V-belt pulley from another Denso unit that went on a small tractor since the Suzuki unit had a flat belt. I had to modify the spacer under the pulley by thinning it up a little, but it works good now. If I need one on the road, I would need to find a way to swap pulleys on the replacement, but that would probably be quicker than waiting on a replacement from Summit(or someone else). A few seconds with an impact wrench and that's done.

The brackets worked out pretty good. I mocked the lower bracket up out of scrap before making a pattern for the flame cutter. The bracket is 5/8" thick mainly because I didn't have a piece of 1/2" big enough. The sleeve is 7/8" OD with a 5/16" hole.
Nice work, it looks good.
I just finished reading your build. All I can say is WOW!
Thanks, Engine.

The 46 was built a long time ago and most of the work was literally done under a shade tree as I was going through a divorce. The quality is the best I could do at the time with the tools on a welding truck. I plan to give it a "make-over" when I get the T done.

Well, that is after I get my ever growing "honey do" list took care of!:lol:

Didn't I tell ya Mike would be an asset here? That's some inspiring work Mike. I don't know how much longer I can read posts like this and not start my '27 build. Keep posting your progress. I'm sure others are just as impressed as I am.

Youngster said:
I don't know how much longer I can read posts like this and not start my '27 build.


No time like now to get started! If you get started tommorrow, you'll get through at least one day sooner!:lol:

I like the 27's BTW. I've wished several times that I had started with a 27. My T actually started out to be a cheap build and the 23 body was the cheapest I could get.

After seeing couple of cars on Clun Hot Rod with nerf bars, I started thinking that one would look good on my car. So here's my take on 'em.

I filled my pipe(1/2" Sch 40) with dry sand and used heat to roll it around a quickie jig tacked down to my welding table. I used a single long piece of pipe. This meant that I only had one butt joint to weld up and finish.

A word of warning is in order! This method can be VERY dangerous! If the sand has ANY moisture in it then steam will be generated when the heat is applied and the pipe can blow out causing SERIOUS burns! Don't use this method if you don't know exactly how it's done! Find someone who has done it and get them to show you how to do it safely. PLEASE!

Once you learn how, you'll find that you can bend tubing almost as well as a mandrel bender, though. The pipes on my jig are 4 1/2" OD(2 1/4" radius) and that's a pretty tight for a 180 degree bend in 1/2" pipe, but I've actually bent it even tighter with the heat and sand method.

I used 4 1/2" because that's the OD(more or less) of the 50 Pontiac taillights I wanted to use. My intention was to mount one in each end of the nerf, but I found that 2 in each end actually looked better(to me at least).
One thing that is wrong with these little T's is that there is just no room to carry anything! With 2 people on board, there is less room for cargo in my T than on my Goldwing motorcycle! If you run a small fuel tank, you might be able to squeeze a little freight in the bed, but not much.

I want to drive this car, at least to weekend shows and have been pondering this problem for a while. You can always pull a trailer, but I would hate to drag a trailer everywhere I went! That kind of defeats the purpose of having a little roadster.

What I'm going to try is a removable rack like the ones that are sold for SUV's. I'm going to either fab up a small one or cut a store bought one down to T size. All I really need is room for an overnight bag, a couple of collapsible chairs and maybe a small cooler.

I didn't want a trailer hitch sticking out all the time though.

My solution was to hide the reciever for the hitch behind the tag. If I get hassled by the cops about removing the tag, I can always add a reciever to the rear of the rack and just transfer it when the rack is in place.
I'm pretty sure I 've seen the tag mount trick somewhere before, so I sure ain't gonna take credit for it.

At any rate, if the rack idea doesn't work at least I have a trailer hitch.
The hitch reciever was cut down from a Harbor Freight drop hitch unit that I caught on sale. All the correct size tubing for the various parts came out of this hitch kit and it had the pin, too. It was all cheaper than I could have bought it all for.

Right now the hitch is just clamped on the frame. When I tear it all down for final paint, I'll bolt it in with crush sleeves in the frame.
Good lookin' nerf bar setup, looks like it belongs there.
Cool hitch idea. Just hauling a cooler is a chore. I want to build a teardrop trailer to go behind mine. I think that will cause more attention when I'm out.
Hotrod46 said:
Thanks, Engine.

The 46 was built a long time ago and most of the work was literally done under a shade tree as I was going through a divorce.

Man, how did you end up with a tree after the divorce?? Mine didn't even leave me THAT !! :D:D:lol:

Hey, I like your nerf and trailer hitch. Dresses it up really nice back there and I agree about needing space to haul stuff in these small T's. Coming along nice Mike.

I really like the quad tail lights. It gives lind of a "Tweetie Pie" look to the rear end of your T.

Here's a tip that might keep John Law off your butt. See if you can find a license plate mount from a late '60's Chevelle. You know, the one that flips down to gain access to the filler cap. Mount it so the plate flips up and you should be good to go.


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