Well its that time of year . Time to get back on the Speedster project. I have not done much since last November-March shop working season. I have a few pictures of fitting the final trim strip around the bottom of the body, I installed the 2 inch dropped rear cross member. I thought that would go quickly, but I was wrong again. There are a lot of rivets in that darn thing. Then after installing the rear cross member, I found out the rear spring no longer fit and would hit the frame rails at both ends. So I had to cut off some of the second and third leaf from the top to get clearance back again. I also fabricated a rear support bracket for the KC Warford trans. Since I will be using a 1919 engine I wanted to add a little support. It took weeks of designing, testing, a long forum discussion, but I am happy with the way it works. I also got the body back from the upholstery shop (it only took 8 months) Ill add pictures of the upholstery later. So first thing on the agenda is to get the 5 Disteel wheels fitted with tires. Two of the wheels need a little attention because they are a little too sharp at the bead for my liking. So I will be fitting some of the rim-saver beads to those two wheels. Ill take pics and post photos later of that project. Then I have to do final hook up on the brakes and install the dual exhaust system and "Taylor Loudspeaker" muffler (more on that later) So for now Ill just post a link to the project so far for those who have not seen it or are not sick of it by now (this is the 3rd year) and pics of things already done.
This is my inspiration photo, and the closest pic I have found yet to my body.
This is how the body looked before I installed the lower body trim
The next 15 pics are of making and installing the lower body trim.
The next pictures are installing the 2 inch dropped cross member.
The next group of pics is of the KC Warford trans mount
While installing the Warford support cross member bar, I also installed a second bar above the rear running board brace that was cut off and left as a frame cross member. I installed a short piece of fan belt held in place by three small brass stove bolts. The fan belt is there to act as an "anti-rattle" My new cross bar and the rear running board bracket are not bolted together. The just rub on each other as the frame flexes. Probably over kill, but it looks neat.
These last pics are of the engine in mock-up with the Rajo 4valve head, Columbo cross drive mag, and a few other accys in place. After the chassis is finished and body final install completed, I hope to have time to finish the engine before Chickasha in March ... so much to do, so little time to do it ... have fun and be safe ... Donnie Brown ...
Nice work Donnie. It's great to see the progress.
Keep posting, Donnie, I'm inspired!!
Awesome project. Thank you for the pics and write up.
Oh, one of my favorite times of year. Always look forward to this. Keep it up, great job!
Here is the upholstery. The leather color is "aged brandy" It matches the mahogany dash and steering wheel very good.
This looks fantastic!
How long did it take you to do that whole seat/cowl combo metal body piece? I would love to do that for mine but not sure if I could handle it... haha
John, The body is an original 1920s era body. I just had to beat a few hundred dents out of it and re-wood it. I have a lot of hours in it. I work on the speedster aprox 3-4 months out of the year. I piddle on it some the rest of the year or buy things to use in the winter shop work season. This is the third year. If you did not look at the link of last years work at the top of this thread, there is a photo of the body in as found condition in the link. Other than some experience in wood working and welding, Im just "faking it" and learning as I go. So just get an extra frame to build on and go for it. have fun and be safe ....
I have studied the pictures of this project from last year many times.
I have been waiting for updates on this project.
As with the other work on this car, the upholstery is beyond first class.
Thanks very much for the time and effort it took to post the updates.
Oh wow, well anyways, great work! Looks like your almost done.
I have enjoyed this so much. Thanks for sharing.
One day, with money and time, I hope to replace all my frame bolts with rivets. I never thought about heating the rivet, after inserting it as I've only seen prior heating.
Because the rivets are so small they would cool too much before they even got in the hole also the metal of the frame would be a heat sink. Great photos.
Something a lot of people miss when first starting to rivet, is how much material it takes to form the head. If you look at the heated rivet picture, it may look like it is too long. But it takes all that material to form the head. I heated the rivet to red hot, then let it "soak" for about a minute. Then I re-heated it again, and let it "soak" one more time for a few seconds. Just till the red is all gone. Then I heated it the 3rd time and quickly set the head. Then I would hold the torch back on the partially formed head till the head just turned red. If you do it quickly and straight into the rivet head the frame will not get very hot. Then its easy to do the final forming and make it pretty. The main thing is to support or "Buck" the rivet very solidly before starting to set the rivet. The piece of square steel I show above works well when clamped in place. The dimples I made with the drill bit will hold the bar from sliding around. You will need to drill a new dimple for almost every rivet. The dimple location is usually different each time and the clamping is a different technique each time. Not really that hard of a job, but its slow and time consuming.
I was told, the rule of thumb is to have one and a half times the diameter of the rivet exposed to form a round head.
My bucking bar looks a lot like Donnie's, I drill the dimple with a drill bit and then finish it with a die grinder and a ball stone.
Great work Donnie, keep us posted.
I had to put new rivets in every location on the front of the 09 chassis.
I like the mounting for the ear of the Warford, I intend to review them more carefully and maybe add it to the Warford on the 14 Touring.
Donnie I am a little confused by your statement:
“My new cross bar and the rear running board bracket are not bolted together. The just rub on each other as the frame flexes. Probably over kill, but it looks neat. :-) “
I can see on the ninth picture from the end vertical bolts at the inner end of the running board supports. Then I can see nuts underneath.
Do you change your mind?
Why not connect them?
Why cut off the springs?
Sunday I needed to wash some clothes and such.I have been on my project for a month now.Mentally kinda pooped and physically sore.But I saw this thread and let it and the original load on my dialup as I took care of the washing and such,a bit over 2 hours to download all the pics! But I needed to see it.It is motivating to see others progress,their light at the end of the tunnel.
This is a wonderful project that is way above my skill level for sure.
Tony, The new bar I added above the "rear" running board brace is not attached to the "rear" running board brace at the center. When I installed the new bar there was about 1/8 inch gap between the bar and the rear running board brace. I was afraid that at some point in frame flex and travel they may rattle. So I added the piece of fan belt between them. The fan belt is held in place by three little brass stove bolts that are "bradded" on the threads so they act as a rivet. That way as the frame flexes they can slightly "rub" on each other with the fan belt between them. The front running board brace was re-located to the rear and just used as the material for the front flat bar/trans support cross member. The pieces of the front running board brace are riveted to the frame and the flat bar Warford support cross member. Everything was bolted together first as I was making the parts and as designs changed. Then when I was finally happy with the design I removed the bolts and riveted everything in place. What I like about the support design is that the hanger bolt is a 7/16 inch bolt in a 1/2 inch hole. So it is a sloppy fit in the hole and allows for flex. All that is needed is to support the trans in an up and down direction. This design allows the trans to move left/right and up, but not down. After I had every thing fit I did a "flex test" I tightened the support bolt till I could still turn the rubber shock washer by hand. It was stiff but I could still turn it with my fingers. The frame of the car was clamped to the saw horses on 3 sides and was sitting level. I then lifted up the one un-clamped side of the frame at the rear till I could put a 2x8 piece of wood (7-1/4 actual size) between the frame and saw horse. So I had a 7-1/4 inch twist to the frame. At that point I could still turn the rubber shock washer. It was a harder to turn, but I could still turn it. I figured a downward shock load of hitting a bump hard is the event that does the most damage with a Warford hanging off the rear of the engine. This design should almost totally eliminte that downward shock load. Mark. I had to cut off the two leaves of the spring because the 2 inch dropped cross member allowed the stock spring leaves to hit the frame. After cutting off the two leaves I have about 3/4 inches clearance. That should be plenty at that point. Mack, I can see the light, but it is still looks like a long way down there....
Tony, here is the link to the original forum discussion as I was trying to design the Warford hanger ...
Reached a "milestone" today. I was able to take the project off the saw horses Still lots of little things to wind up, but she has new shoes and sitting pretty. Here is a link to the tire part of the project and installing rim savers to a couple of the rims. Im posting it as a link to help keep this thread from becoming to long.
I also have the AC small drum brakes installed on the rear. Just need to hook up the cables and then they are done. I also have installed the "Alemite high pressure lubrication system" You can see some of the Alemite fittings on the rear end near the AC brakes. I will have Alemites everywhere they will work. More pictures of them and the rest of the system. Alemites are "period correct" accessories for our T's. Henry just never installed used them on our T's. I still have to make the Taylor loudspeaker muffler, mount the speedometer parts, get the glass for the windshield, build a spare tire carrier, and do the final alignment of the front end and radius rods. SO its getting closer. just a lot of little projects left to do ... have fun and be safe ....
Donnie are you going to start working on the engine since it is now a roller
How do you plan on pulling on the brake cable, do you have the original pull rods and guide that hook to a saddle around the brake pedal arm?
Spencer, Im going to focus on completing everything on the car this winter, all the little details, then do the engine last if there is any time or money left. . I am moving all the engine parts and goodies into one location. I have a good looking 1919 engine that Ill also bring into the shop in a couple days.
Mark, Yes, Ill use cables. I have everything, it is a complete system. I have actually used this setup on a 1921 touring I used to have. When I sold the car I kept the AC brakes for this project. I have all the parts shown on the left of the ad you posted. The only difference is I mounted a "fourth" pedal to a pivot I made that attaches to the right side of the hogs head. So I had two brake pedals side by side. One operated the AC brakes and the other was the stock Ford brakes. It worked real good on the 21 touring, so Im going to use it again ...
Nice, Donnie, very nice.
I too have used era correct Alemite grease fittings on about half the speedsters I have had. I like them.
Interesting braking system. I think I like that also.
Going to be a great speedster!
Wow! The car is a masterpiece. You are making great progress. Did you have that beautiful upholstery job done locally?
Donnie, truly a remarkable project!! Thank You for sharing. Have a Merry Christmas.
Curtis, Yes I had the upholstery done by a man about 8 miles from my house. He is very good, but slow/slow/slow. It only took him 8 months to finish the job. But I knew that going in. I knew it would take awhile
Merry Christmas to all .... There will be little work done here for the next few days. Will have family at our house for Christmas dinner, And after the kids and grandkids open presents, everyone just sits around, telling stories, playing music, and the guys usually end up in the shop around the old wood stove.
Donnie B. - I for one, as, I am sure,....many others, really, REALLY understand and appreciate all of the time and effort you are taking to (verbally & photographically) document all of the details of your fantastic speedster project! I can't tell you how much I enjoy and look forward to following your project here in the forum. So much can be learned from your excellent explanations and the excellent photos. I am especially interested in the design, building and installation of the extra support of the Warford as I bought a '26 touring with a Warford but no extra support. I really like your Warford support design. I have always thought that a Warford really needs some sort of "FLEXIBLE" extra support! Thanks so much for sharing your project with us,........harold
Harold said it well & I agree. Very nice, Donnie.
Great pictures oF a great project. Question...How do you post so many pictures at one time?? I have trouble with 2.
MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!!!
Harold, The Warford support, is one of those things that took many, many hours of thought, and discussions, as well as a lot of trial and error. When I worked as a Boilermaker I had a design and engineering staff to do all that "heavy thinking" for me. . I really miss those folks.... Since Im using a pre 26-27 engine, that is the reason I spent so much time on the support. If a person is using a KC Warford or an aluminum Warford on a 26-27 Improved model engine, I think the support is probably not needed. But if a person is using a cast iron Warford or using a 1925 or earlier engine, I feel a support is needed. There are folks that disagree with me, and that is OK. But I wanted the peace of mind of having a support. Even back in the day, Warford, Chicago, and other auxiliary transmission companies had a support of some kind.
Hal, My record for pictures in one single post is 153 pictures. You just have to copy all the pics you want to post to a new folder, then do a "batch resize" of them, I have a program that allows me to "batch resize" 100s of pictures in just a few seconds, Then I sort them into the order I want to post them in, just takes a few minutes to sort them out. Then I use "select all" and rename all the pictures, I usually just rename them "A" or "1" or "zz" ect. Anything that is very simple. After renaming them, they all will have a number applied to them by the renaming process such as "zz1" zz2" zz3" ect. Now you are ready to attach them to your post. Just do them one at a time like you would normally add pictures to you post, hitting "enter" twice between adding each pic. Hitting enter twice will space them out and "stack" them on top of each other in your post. Just follow your numbers as you add them... paying attention that you keep them in order. Sounds complicated, but I can do about 100 pictures in 15 minutes.
Merry Christmas ...
One other thing to note when posting multiple pictures in a single post - usually, only the first two pics will show up in the preview, but don't worry, all of the pics will show up in the final post.
Donnie B. - Ref. your interesting comments and opinion on the Warford extra support which interests me very greatly. My '26 touring with the iron Warford of course has the hogshead top bolted to the rear of the engine block, which of course does make the total power plant more rigid than the earlier "T's. And what I think you are alluding to is the fact that this more rigid power plant makes the crankshaft less susceptible to strain on the crankshaft due to the added weight of the Warford and the frame flex. And I value, appreciate and respect the research you have done in this area, not to mention the knowledge you also gained from the engineering staff that also helped you in your research. You are way ahead of me in your knowledge in this area, however, I can't get out of my head that even with the more rigid '26-'27 power plant, I think my iron Warford still asks an awful lot from those rear motor mounts that are riveted to the oil pan, and that we know, often break or at least loosen rivets, even without the additional weight of the Warford. I'm going to do the best I can to imitate your design to support my Warford in the '26 Touring. The extra support, as long as I can allow for "frame flex", sure couldn't hurt, right? Again, thanks for sharing your knowledge and research Donnie,.......harold
Harold, as mentioned. On 26-27 engine the hogs head bolted to the rear of the engine, is (disclaimer) "in my personal opinion" to be enough support for an aluminum Warford, or a KC Warford. But a "cast iron" Warford is very heavy, and (disclaimer #2) "should be supported" even on the improved 26-27 engines. I tread lightly here as a Warford support is one of those subjects like, what oil to use, what bands to use, water pumps, and lord help poor Marvel Mystery Oil. have fun and be safe ....
Donnie Brown North Central Arkansas
I see the provisions for what look like snaps and irons, did these have folding tops?
What did they look like?
What Harold said.
Can’t wait to see next work done.
Are you revealing the color it will be?
Tim, Yes it appears to have had some form of a top. But I do not have any of the top or top irons. All of the murphy fasteners and the top support irons were on the body when I started, so I just put them back on. The snaps could also be used for some form of a toneau cover. I have seen pictures of tops on other speedsters in ads or old photos. Most of the ads list the top as an accessory. It appears that the tops on a lot of the speedster bodies were designed to be totally removed and either left at home or stored in the trunk. Im not going to make a top for the speedster, but I may make a toneau cover to cover the seat, steering wheel, and dash area when in storage. In case of rain, Im going to have a small plastic tarp to throw over the seat to keep it dry. I can still drive the car sitting on the tarp. Ill get wet, but the seat will stay dry.
Aaron, The color is "patina" Im leaving it as-is.
Donnie, I like the raccoon tail attached to the right windshield post, a real mid to late 1920's fad. I missed seeing that tail the first time I looked at your pictures from Fri.
WOW!! Very impressive work with very impressive results. How fun is that~
Hey Donnie, pretty exciting to see it standing up on it's own, you do great work. It's very impressive. Hope to make it over to see you guys one day.
Hi Charlie... welcome to the forum .... come by anytime. I usually have a fire going in the shop ...
Some cool speedster top pictures in this thread:
I am very fond of my speedster, but doggone it man, yours has got to be one of the nicest speedsters I've ever laid eyes on. Wow, that's nice! Great work, great attention to detail, and wonderfully authentic!