06 December 2012

how to - build a 70's street rod!

I've been holding out on you loyal readers,
well those interested in my mechanical hijinks anyway.

I have built myself into a corner so to speak,
and until I found a solution,
didn't want to throw this into my digital limbo.
1940 ford deluxe coupe - june bug

Here's the long story - at least a 2 parter.
speedway disc brake kit

Back in April I splurged and got a disc kit from Speedway.
If you know me by now that is very uncharacteristic!
I tried to piece a kit together from local car parts stores,
and other online retailers,
but there was no way to beat Speedways prices,
and it's all about the low budget build right now.
operation table

Slow forward a couple months to a CLOUDY day in October.
By now the 8" rearend was set,
the 302 engine and AOD transmission were in place.
f100/f1 brakes on 40 ford

These f-100 brakes were installed during the first go-round.
Way better than the original non-bendix 40 brakes.
The reasons for the swap were -
-get the 4.5" bolt pattern same as the rear
-better stopping power with the quicker engine
-I'm building a street rod here!
f-100 bendix brakes

These brakes are in good shape,
so they'll definitely be used on another project.
caliper adapter

This is the magic piece of the kit.
If I had parted out all the easy mechanical stuff,
there would be $20 left for the bracket pair, fasteners and bearing adapters,
or they sell the brackets for $100.
If I do the disc brake on the rusty 40,
I'm in the same boat.
I didn't even make a template.
caliper bracket and bearing adapter

There were instructions for this kit.
Did I use them?
Early on - no.
This was supposed to be a quick couple hours swap,
so why read instructions!
Right off the bat I was fighting it.
When the adapter plate wasn't lining up,
I cursed speedway.
Figured I'd have to grind the back of the spindle flat.
Then I found those 6 spacers in the bag.
Dang it they thought of everything.

Then it was the adapter placement.
Frigging thing was too small.
Where's those darned instructions?
Easy fix - slow heat the adapter and it slips over the spindle.
I've done this before,
and hot oil over a burner works better than an oven.
bearing race swap

so now the instructions are out,
and it seems like they know what they're talking about.
Next up,
these races needed to be swapped.

Oh no they don't!
Good thing I hammered them out lightly!
The replacement was way too small.
I was about to call up speedway to bitch them out,
but it was the weekend.
Where's those dang instructions again?
After reading them a little more carefully,
only the GM rotors (4.75" pattern) need the race swap,
these are Ford/Mopar (4.5" pattern)
Friggin frick.
At least the little race is a good hammering block!
street rod brake setup

You may have guessed that it started to rain.
Poop rocks!
Still had to do the other side!
studebaker rim

The Studebaker rim fit and cleared the calipers just fine.
Too bad there's no tires!
I had no idea 185R15 tires were so expensive!
For now I'd have to run the set that matched the rear.
Or so I thought.
wide track

How could these rims not fit on the rotors?
donkey dick

Time to get out the donkey dick!
I then realized these rims didn't match the back ones.
Friggin ebay!
workin with the 34 watt

To wrap up the night,
I saw exactly what I didn't want to see.
The track width too wide!
building a 70's street rod

I should have seen this coming.
Way back when,
this old coupe was involved in a front end mash up.
The easiest fix was to swap out the 40 axle for a 42-48 axle.
Only a bit over an inch wider,
but with these fat 205 tires everything counts.
tall boy 1940 ford coupe

My plan was to save up for a dropped axle,
which could taffy pull the kingpins closer in.
The issue with the later axle isn't only in the extra width of the rims,
but also the extra width of the spring.

So there's my hint.
After a month I've drawn up a plan,
and right now it's a gamble of a good days work.

Stay tuned!


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