Well it seems that the old problem of "change one thing" and "it affects two more things" has risen its ugly head. While installing my battery box under the driver side of the seat, I found out it occupies the same space as the radius rod. When I originally installed the battery box and doing the general layout of everything way back at the start of this project, I was using the stock rear cross member and stock length drive shaft and radius rods. At that time there was plenty of room for everything. But when I installed the 2 inch drop rear cross member and installed the shortened Warford driveshaft and radius rods, I did not notice how much things had changed. The body was off at that time so I did not have a good point of reference to really notice the interference problem. Anyway, I have hit a wall and the fix is going to be a "major pain in the #@%". Since there is no other location to move the battery to, I could cut the battery box down by removing three inches of height and hope to find a battery to fit. So far no such battery has been found. I could possibly install two lawn mower batteries and hook up in paraell, but not sure how that may work. I can not move the battery to the trunk because the dropped rear cross member takes up most of the space and it would be too much of a safety issue being so close to (and behind) the gas tank. The only real fix I have came up with yet is to "not have a Warford". I can change out the shortened drive shaft, and re-install a stock length drive shaft and radius rods and pretty much solve the problem. It will also solve the issue I have with the AC accessory brake cables hitting the Warford. So at least there is a little sunshine to this ordeal. I will need to re-re-build the speedster rear end and change out to a 3 to 1 ring and pinion. The light speedster and having a Rajo equipped engine should work together OK. Not as good as having a Warford, but ????? not really much choice.... I was planning on using the KC Warford in my 27 touring instead of the speedster any way. I had a Chicago I was going to use in the speedster instead. So I guess the speedster project has came to a "screeching halt" while I change out drive shafts, install the Rocky Mountain brakes, and also install the KC Warford in the 27 touring. Then I can re-re build the speedster rear end to add the 3 to 1 gears. Then maybe I can be back on track. I laid under the speedster for hours trying to come up with "a plan" and this is the best I can think of. I have a couple days work getting every thing and all the cars changed around to positions to make the changes. So if any one has a solution I am just not thinking of Please let me know .... If I had been a "crying type of person" I would have been like "a squalling newborn baby" when I saw what had happened when trying to install the battery box. When I worked as a Boilermaker I was usually the "layout man" on the jobs. It was well know that "Donnie does not make mistakes often" but when he does they "take pictures" write books" "fly in the Big Boss" "have big meetings to solve the crisis" and have the accountants figure up the amount of damage to the corporation. Well right now is one of those mistakes/oversights .... Its a sad, sad day in Arkansas....
There are AGM battery's made for the electric scooters handicap people use to get around. They are the same size as a lawnmower battery but will easily start the average car or tractor.I used 1 in my Kubota for about 2 years.
2 in parallel will work fine for what you are doing.I would go that route before I would give up the option of that Warford.
Donnie - get a 6 volt Optima battery and lay it on its side. I don't have room for a regular battery, but with the 6v Optima on its side it clears everything no problem. I'll take pics when I get home. Should let you run the Chicago no problem. It's a little expensive as batteries go, but I love mine.
Have you considered securing the rear radius rods to the frame rails to make room for the battery box?
My solution was the same as Seth. It works well and the batteries often last 10 years.
Speedway Motors has a neat aluminum battery bracket. It bolts to a flat surface takes a full sized battery. It has a 90 degree base. Across the top there is an adjustable bar to hold the battery in place.
Cost about $36. I had a serious space problem in my 1928 dirt track race car. This battery holder solved my issue and for the price I could not have built it.
I had the same idea as Seth and Tony. I use the Optima 6 volt in my T, and as Tony said, they last a long time. If you need 12 volt, then I would use two of the 6 volt batteries in series laid on their sides.
Donnie, I don't remember your speedster's design, but did you consider a battery box outside the frame? Many car makers did that, including the American RR. It would require a bit of fabrication, but you could make it look very period & "speedsterish."
My first thought was like Don A above. Split the radius rods and attach to the outside of the frame. The attachment point should be very close to in line with the U-joint ball. Also, a panhard bar to reduce side sway of the rear end would be a good idea. On the one of mine I split the radius rods to the side of the frame, I did not use a panhard bar because the rear spring had been shortened enough that the rear end couldn't sway hardly at all without one. That car was pretty fast, and far and away the best handling speedster I ever drove.
On the other hand, if the oft-mentioned Optima battery works for you (personally, I don't like them)? Or if David D's idea works? Go with it!
I have spent the day re-grouping, cleaning shop, and doing a lot of studying. There are some good suggestions above. I looked at several options as to an outside battery box like David's suggestion. I have several original battery size tool/battery boxes I could use, but nothing looks right as to appearance. My other issue is Im trying to stay "period correct" with as little repro or modern parts as I can. Normally I would not hesitate to use "whatever works" But this Patina finish car cuts my options way down. I got the dimensions of the 6 volt Optima battery today It will not fit into the modified battery box if I was to modify it. The battery box would need to be modified to 10-3/4 inches long by 7-5/8 inches wide by 6 inches tall (deep), to work and miss the radius rods. The length and width of the 6 volt Optima batter will work but its height is 8.13 inches tall (aprox 8-1/8 inches) and will not fit in the 7-5/8 inches width of my battery box. I love the Optima batteries. I have one in my hot rod Model A pickup. but I do not like the idea of using something not available back in the 1920s era to fix my problem. The split radius rods idea sounds promising, but there are things in the way of the mounts. Mostly the Taylor Loudspeaker muffle is in the way. I may have to relocate the muffler anyway as it is too close to the radius rod now for my liking. But it is a simple bracket modification and nothing major. So I am still looking into possible re-locating the radius rods to the frame. I have not ruled it out just yet. You would think there would be somewhere to move the battery to. But this car is so tight and the under slinging and dropped cross member has just magnified the tightness. The little trunk is basically "useless". A pickup bed or a "flat deck and tool box" would be way more useful and flexible as to design changes. I am not building this speedster for pure speed. A Warford/Chicago trans would be cool or neat to have but for me it is not really needed. I believe the 3 to 1 gears and the Rajo will be more than sufficient for the speeds Ill want to drive, and the power Ill need. The "No Warford" option also solving my brake cable problem makes that option more appealing (to me) So for right now I am in "install KC Warford in 27 touring mode" That will give me more time to make my decision as to what Ill do on the speedster project. Ive got to have the KC Warford in the 27 touring by September for one of our tours this year. As long as it takes me to do anything any more, I better go ahead and get started now . . Thanks for all the suggestions. have fun and be safe .....
I guess we needed more info then - you're committed to an old school battery, good to know. Are you dead set on being able to access said battery by pulling it up through the floor? Also, the trunk won't hold the battery? I guess it's shorter than I remember.
Maybe take some pictures, but I'm really surprised that it won't go on the drivers side, towards the rear of the car, just forward of the rear end. Basically inside the radius rod, axle tube, and driveshaft triangle. Now, if you're bound and determined to pull it up through the floor, then I can see how that won't work. But in terms of needing a space on the underside of the car for the battery to hang, that seems to fit the bill. It'll miss your radius rods even under full suspension travel, and should miss the Ruckstell shifter rod. It won't be pleasant to remove and replace, but, such is life. You can always put a battery disconnect somewhere easier to access.
Here's my 2 cents on the transmission issue: If the speedster is never going to tour, you're just going to enjoy it by yourself out and about, then don't worry about the Warford or Chicago. I REALLY like my Chicago and Ruckstell together because I can always find a happy gear combination no matter what speed on what hill. This is important cause there's tons of hills I could run up if I could just go faster. But that's not an option when you're touring and have other T's in front of you and behind you. Even with my 3:1's, in Ruckstell and Chicago under I can move at a walking pace at idle in Ford high. Or I can run 65 and only turn 1,200 RPM.
Donnie, I looked at some of your prior posted pictures of the battery box under the drivers seat. Because the 6 volt Optima will mount at any angle, if you were to remake the bottom of the box with a slope so the Optima would fit, I think there is room for it to go under the radius rods. The Optima type battery, in 12 volts, was originally designed for NASCAR use and they mount them in a box in the wheel well just forward of the rear tire for pit stall access if the need comes up during a race.
My Uncle Kilo Watt stayed up all night and built this to help power the speedster. He said all you have to do is add a ball hitch and tow it behind and run the power cables to the engine.
Whenever I start complaining, my wife says: "If you don't like those kinds of problems, you shouldn't work on old cars"! I HATE that woman, especially when she is right!
Could you modify the radius rod? May be a bend or a dip and strengthened . I have seen many radius rods that are not doing much because they have been bent, or repaired poorly. Anything that you would do on one would be done well.
You know? You could weld (or use clamps) anchors for the radius rods to attach about a foot behind the U-joint ball. Maybe that would give you enough room? It wouldn't weaken the rear end all that much.
Jon, not complaining (maybe a little whining) Just needed to "vent" Im pretty sure my fix is going to be, install a Ruxstell with 3 to 1 gears and not use the KC Warford or Chicago. It keeps everything period correct, and Ill put the KC Warford in the 27 Touring (our main tour car). I can also install the Ruxstell shifter outside the body for more room inside. Thanks for all the input. I guess I better get back to the shop. Right now it is a mess. I have two cars on jack stands. Two rear ends removed and torque tubes and radius rods laying everywhere. and Im getting ready to go drag the Ruxstell from the storage building and throw it into the mess. Not complaining, Just a little "venting"
I would love to read your post but a solid page of text is almost as hard to read as all caps. Can you please put a paragraph break in your writing from time to time. I know you have a lot of important things you want to say ... and I want to read them. :-)
No pic of your car in this thread, so I'm going by my faulty memory. Can you hang a nice metal battery box off the side of the car, maybe on the driver's side, somewhere in the middle of the car, maybe just behind the firewall area, without it looking too odd?