The title and tagging process in Pennsylvania took about two and half months all in … yes, you heard correctly. But, I am happy to report that we are now able to legally drive on the highways and byways. A “Street Rod” tag isn’t exactly the easiest come by here but my baby came through with flying colors.
I’m working on a few of the nuisance “road manners” issues like having the computer reprogrammed for the set up that I’m actually running …
More later guys … and, wait to you see the Foose wheels with Firestone Firehawk Indy tires I have on it … yeah man!
I can’t imagine that anyone who was following my blog is still checking to see what the latest status is but for those of you who do check, I’m pleased to report that my project car can now be driven on the street (as soon as I get it licensed that is). It’s been a long journey (about 7 1/2 years) and not completely finished but I’m thrilled to finally be at this point in time. As soon as I find some suitable software to use for uploading pictures, I will post some of my ’33 Ford Vicky as it appears today.
I installed the drive shaft and it fit perfectly … thank you Inland Empire Driveline (IED)!
For those of you who don’t know, I had an aluminum drive shaft shortened by IED located in Ontario, California. It was from a Camaro and since it was a GM unit, the aluminum shaft had a heavy enough wall thickness to handle the shortening operation.
Because it was aluminum, shipping was really minimal cost and took about a week to get there and then another week to make the trek back east. The folks at IED were great to deal with and particularly helpful to say the least. I first saw them at the NSRA East Show in York, PA a few years back. I attended one of their free seminars on driveline vibration and was favorably impressed with not just the technical stuff but their easily understood presentation style as well …
As I mentioned in an earlier post, the shaft looks like jewelry; it’s almost a shame to put it “under” the car 🙂
I cannot remember when was the last time I posted anything to my build site (without looking it up, of course). For the record, the project goes on and into its fith year since starting this journey but I am determined to finish it and enjoying th eride when it’s finally on the road. I never expected it to take this long and I have a bunch of reasons why it isn’t done yet but who cares … I am going to “see” it through. Speaking of seeing … I’ve had two eye surgeries this year for cataracts which I should have taken care of a year ago. But, not to fret, I now have 20/20 vision without glasses and can see even the smallest details once again.
We also bought a second home (in Pennsylvania) that my wife refers to as a garage with an attached house. That came late in 2012 so when I say that my project car is a time and money dependent activity – neither of which are in abundance … you’ll get why the project is only now being jump started again. But I’m excited about it … hey, just yesterday, my drive shaft arrived from Inland Empire Driveline Services (Ontario, California). It’s an all aluminum shaft that originally came out of a Camaro. Inland did a fantastic job cutting it down and making look pretty. It has the original GM set-up on one end to mate up with my 4L60E tranny and a Ford set-up on the other for the Mustang rear I have on the car.
More than a couple folks advised me to sell off the LS-1 but, I have too much time, energy, and money invested in it now to abandon it. I will admit I probably should have stuck to my original plan of using a small block Ford or Chevy under the hood. The LS-1 does run rather nicely and I’m sure I’ll be happy with it once the car is finally on the road.
Streetbeasts has become a distant memory – it went out of business for anyone who just arrived on the planet. I have my fingers crossed that I can make it all work one way or another since any safety net I might have had is gone forever. I still like the rigidity of the body … nuf said.
Stay tuned … I’m back … more to come!
I wanted a six gauge design (speedometer, tachometer, oil pressure, temperature, voltage, and fuel) for the dashboard configuration where most ’33-’34 setups only use five. It might be a little bit of a challenge to see them quickly through the steering wheel spokes but we shall see (or not ). All of the gauges are an AutoMeter Black Designer II style.
The turn signals and high beam indicators are on top and toward the center. I did leave room on the dash for other contols, such as, air conditioning and maybe a toggle switch or two. I haven’t actually decided yet on what else might be going on this upper portion of the dash.
In case anybody is wondering, there were only two gauges in the dash at photo time … more later.
I thought that I better get to work on some of the exterior features of the car in bewteen other items that need to be done before mounting the body on the frame since hopefully it really won’t be that much longer before it sees the road for the very first time. I call these mini-jobs filler projects. For one of those smaller filler projects, I installed the tail lights (minus the wiring). And, of course, Don wouldn’t just be satisfied to put one tail light on each side when two seems like a much better idea. I mounted an amber lens unit along side a red one (see the photo on the right to see the color difference more clearly). I really liked the result although it took me a while to figure out what spacing worked best and to actually do the body work required to mount them. Yes, the amber ones are for the turn signals and the red ones are the regular tail and brake lights.
Well, guys (and gals) … another project within a project. Since the front suspension is a Mustang II set-up, the front springs originally had spring insulators at the bottom end. I’m told that that was for noise suppression more than anything else. Of course, front spring suppressors are not available anymore so I improvised with a piece of tight fitting heater hose that had to be coaxed into place with some very slippery lubricant and brute strength (courtesy of my son-in-law).
We used our hand-made spring compressor tool to compress the small size Mustang II front springs and slipped a front coil into position. A regular size spring comprssor is just too big for these smaller size springs. We found a video on-line on what to do when a regular-size spring compressor won’t work. I no sooner had the spring in place when I decided that it waasn’t seated well enough to suit me. It just didn’t look right and closer inspection revealed that it wasn’t seated quite right either. The angle wasn’t good so I decided to redo it with the spring that didn’t have my improvised “suppressor” on it yet just to see how it would fit. It was a much better set-up so there was no real decision to make to remove the heater hose suppressor that I was so proud of a few minutes before. We did the other side and lowered my now “rolling chassis” (of sorts) to the ground. I’m getting really stoked now … onward!
Discovered that a regular size coil-spring compressor doesn’t really work on the smaller size coil-springs used on a Mustang II front suspension set-up. Found a neat way to do it though on You-Tube . We’ll try that the next time we tackle the front suspension – ran out of time today to fool around with it further.
But, please note the beautiful coil spring insulator installed nicely at the bottom of the spring in the picture. Their use is probably not really necessary, but … I’m told that Ford put them on to keep the coil-spring from flying apart during a fatigue failure if that were to happen. Whether that is true or not is pretty much a mute point – they aren’t particularly easy to find available anymore so we had to improvise with a section of heater hose. For you techies: the spring steel measures 0.690″ in diameter. 3/4″ inside diameter (0.750″) hose was too sloppy and a 5/8″ inside diameter (0.625″) would be too tight – right?! Well, not really; we managed to put the 5/8″ hose on with a little effort (provided by son-in-law Steve) and a little help from a super lubricant with Teflon that I keep around the garage – problem solved! It’s looks like a factory installation too. More to come on these bad boys …
Last weekend we did the rear suspension for real (not just a mock-up) and the bolts were brought up to factory torque settings as well. We also put the tires on all around and sat the car on the ground for the first time in a very long time. It’s been 20 inches in the air resting on leveled jack stands since we started the build. The front springs are next to be put in place before rolling the chasis out onto the driveway for a body-on trial fit up.
I will provide a picture or two of the front end set up once it is all in place.
I will also measure the actual drive shaft length that I need at that time because the all aluminum drive shaft I have is a little longer than what the ’33 can handle. The shaft came out of a Camaro so it is a perfect fit up with the 4L60E overdrive automatic transmission I have but it runs back to an upgraded ’89 Ford Mustang 8.8″ rear end. I say upgraded because it has new 3:55 gears and axles that I got a while back from Drive Train Specialist (DTS) in Warren, MI. By the way, those guys were super to deal with as I recall. More on the drive shaft mini-project later.