Sunday, February 26, 2012

BIG 3, It's An Understatement!

Cars, Bikes, Trucks, Parts, and More all at the Big 3 swap meet! This '41 Ford was $2895.
This is one huge swap meet!  2012 was my first year going to this San Diego annual event.  Guys have always said I should go, and now honestly I am hooked.  Believe me, I'll plan on it every year from now on!

This show is really about the parts! Frontenac "Fronty" T head.
Miles and miles of sellers, in row after row arranged without any real logical pattern.  And it's true --there is no way to cover it all in one day.  For me, two days wasn't enough!  I am sure I missed some of it.  There was part of the swap beyond the car corral I never saw.  Some were saying this was the biggest year yet.

I was able to go Friday for the half day, and all day Saturday.  By the end, I was worn out!
After seeing how big this swap meet was Friday, my plan for Saturday was to go to go around to the far end and work my way back.  Well that backfired.  By the time I got to the back end, my bags were so heavy with parts, I bought a $25 wagon to save my arms.
I know, it's hypocritical after bashing wagons in an earlier blog post, call me douche-bag if you like, whatever.  I needed help!

For the last two years, 2010 & 2011, the rain had flooded the grounds to where some parts & cars were feet deep underwater.  Aah... this year it was nice and dry, cool sunny weather.  May have been the reason sellers were in abundance.

So much to see, so much to buy! Need a tractor?
There was more then just cars to look and dream about.

That stock 36 convertible didn't have a for-sale sign, but it didn't stop me from wishing I had it.

Now this car was a great deal!!  Everybody loves a 32 roadster.
Not 2012 priced.  wow.

Travis Perich's T project car on sale.  He's got some skills.  More on this T roadster, click here.

Lots of odd items to see or buy.  Need an old TV?  Look for the "house trailer".

How about a Elephant 'foot' stool?  Says it was made in the 1950s, $1100.  Tempting...

Now, I was actually considering this.  It's a 40's sprint type racing car.  Aluminum body, Model T frame, 101 Halibrand QC, and Daytons Wire Wheels.  But I have a T racer, and I used to have Daytons, so... I didn't get it.

Now to the stuff I bought!  Here is Friday's haul:

16x3.5 wide-5 wheel, some crank pulleys, SW gauges, 25¢ wrenches, NOS parts, Lucas fog lights, chrome trim rings, spring perches, and more --and all for great prices!

I bought the red shift knob I've been looking for.

Saturday was the long day, but I found so much!

Lots of seat belts, Burns intake w/81 Strombergs, tar top battery, two 16x4 wide-5s, more gauges, more spring perches, club plaques, cheap license plates, and lots of $1 parts.

My biggest swap produced the biggest bounty.  I'm loving it!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

It Was A Good Run, Bye-Bye "Daytons"

A lingering reminder of the car that once occupied this space.

Yes, the car has been sold.  Trucked off today, on it's way to a new home --bon voyage mon ami.  Not to France, but to Japan.

It's been great to own this car for the last two years, the best really!  And in that time, numerous doors have been opened to me as an owner of a real vintage hot rod.  I can’t even count all the new friend and acquaintances I’ve made simply by knowing I was associated with this car there were so many.

Daytons, you will be missed by many. But I knew I wouldn’t own it forever. Hey, I got to make room, right?!?

I can’t say owning the car has been always easy either, there have been times the car was a real bitch to me.  Sometimes it felt personal!

The car has let me down several times, twice due to ignition problems. Like the time the breaker points broke the morning of load-in of GNRS.  And when the coil that burned out while at the Petersen.  But I sorted those problems out, and the car was better for it.  Giving your car the bird doesn't fix it, I learned

Knowledge, another thing I've gained in the short time it was my car. Priceless info like; how hot rods were build over half a century ago, 3-piece hoods, lead filler, slanted windows, and much more.  Gosh, that A-V8 had it all. I might just miss it more then I thought.

Yeah, that's me.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

A Steering Arm, The Old Fashioned Way

Vintage chrome steering arm from the 50s on Daytons.
Plans were in the works for a steering arm for the T roadster for a while.  The arm had to elevate the drag link high enough to clear the front shock.  I have the steering box inside of the cowl, so it is a bit inboard unlike most other cars where it's outside the frame.  Normally shock clearance wouldn't be an issue.

Factoring in that the drag link should be parallel with the hairpin radius arms to stave off bump-steer, my steering arm has got to be plenty tall.  It's a lot to think about when making a seemingly simple part.

I'm using this vintage arm I got off the HAMB classifieds. I know it's old because I've seen it for sale in 50s catalogs.  Plus it's identical to Dayton's (except for the chrome).

Because the arm will be up at a 45º, I added 2" to the template to compensate for the latitude.

Now cut out I traced it onto 3/16" steel plate.

Comparing it to the old steering arm, I marked points where I should heat bend it.

Using the rosebud attachment on my oxy/acetylene torch, heat bending this was probably the quickest part of this project.
The rosebud tip heats the steel to a dull orange glow in less then 1 minute.  It's done so quickly & easily, one is left wondering why doesn't everybody have one of these!

Now you are sort of seeing where this is going.

You might notice now that the thicknesses aren't the same new & old.  The vintage arm is 5/16" thick, the new is 3/16".  I'll be adding strength to the arm later.

Like the hairpin frame brackets I made in an earlier blog post, I'm using Speedway Motors tapered-hole 'shock eye' for the tie-rod end attachment.

Simply MIG welded in and then ground smooth with my new Makita grinder.

I also drilled 1/2" holes to match the 1937-41 Ford spindle.

Lots of height --more then enough to clear that shock, etc.

Here is that strengthening I mention earlier.  It is 1/8" steel bar bent and filed to fit the perimeter.

I'm coping something I saw on a sprint car I thought looked good in Gary Schroeder's workshop.

Tacked on strips before fully welding, now you get the idea of what the finished product will be.

Now, imagine it fully smoothed and chrome plated!  Are you as excited and I am?