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Ford model-T streetrod

5454 Views 111 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  jhn9840
..... This will be a long term post thru the winter and on into the summer as weather permits. .....

This is going to be my next project.
It is a Ford model-T that I had started building into a streetrod and it ended up being put into storage back in the early 1990's.
I pulled it out of storage in the summer of 2021 with the intention of getting it running and selling it to raise money for working on other projects.
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I have since changed my mind about selling it.
However, I no longer want to use the Hemi engine that is in it so I have pulled that out and I have that for sale.
So this is what I'm starting with now.
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And this flathead V-8 is the engine that I'm going to put in it. It is a 1949 to 1953 engine with 1948 or earlier finned aluminum heads on it.
I got this engine from Fred Sibley in Elkhart, Indiana in the late 1970's.
Fred Sibley is well known for building jet powered dragsters and he is in the Drag Racing Hall of Fame.

I haven't checked the identification numbers on this engine yet so I don't know if this is a Ford or a Mercury engine.
If it is a Ford, then it is 239 CID with 110 HP. If it is a Mercury, then it is a 255 CID with 125 HP.
This engine was used in a dragster back in the late 1950's and early 60's. It has a Pro Racing Model intake manifold on it that does not have the boss on the front for mounting the generator onto.
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Ordinarily, I would sell this intake and get one that has a generator mount on it but this has been welded on the side of the fuel pump mount so I wouldn't be able to get much for it.
I could smooth the weld down so it wouldn't be noticeable but I still wouldn't want to sell it because I'm not the one who did the welding and I don't know if it can be trusted to not brake back out later.
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I also have a stock single carb intake manifold off a 60 HP engine that were made from 1937 thru 1940. This is a shorter manifold then on my engine and they really aren't worth very much.
However, the generator mount on the front is the same as the ones used on my engine so I have cut the front off this manifold.
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If you look at the side of the carb mount, you can see a long crack in it so this manifold is scrap anyway.
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The mounting holes on the front of both manifolds are the same so I milled the mounting bosses down on both sides of the front of my manifold.
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This way, I can set the front part of the other manifold on top of the front of my manifold.
I will weld these two parts together but I don't want to do that until I have the engine here so I can bolt both of these pieces together on the engine to help keep it from warping when I do the welding.
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I know ... this seems like a lot of work but these two manifolds aren't worth anything as is and a new one can cost anywhere from $300 to over $1,000 depending on who manufactured it, what style it is and how rare it is.

Besides, this gives me something interesting to play with and when I'm finished, it will look like it came from the factory this way.
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81 - 100 of 112 Posts
Does the last number indicate that the crank was turned to .010 under size?
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The Ford flathead V-8 engine was first available in 1932 but they didn't come with an oil filter system from the factory until 1936.
This is the back of a 1949 to 1953 flathead showing the boss on the back of the block where the oil sender unit and the oil filter supply ling go.
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This is an instruction for mounting an after market oil filter on a flathead. This after market filter is designed and mounted exactly the same as the original Ford filter system.
The oil supply line comes off the back of the block and runs to the upper side of the filter. The return line comes out of the bottom of the filter and runs down to a fitting in the side of the block, just above the oil pan.

Note the third item from the bottom of the list, #6272 restrictor. This is a fitting on the side of the oil filter that the supply line attaches to. This fitting has about a 1/16 inch diameter hole in it to reduce the amount of oil flowing into the filter. The return line empties directly into the oil pan.
This ( and the original Ford filter ) only filter a small amount of oil at any given time.
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The flathead engine can be easily modified so a full flow filter can be used on it ( well, almost full flow ).
There are two oil galleries coming off the oil pump. One goes directly to the rear main bearing on the crankshaft. The other goes up to the oil sender ( and oil filter line ) and to the camshaft bearings and the other two main bearings on the crankshaft.

This is a diagram showing the modifications to the block to put a full flow oil filter.
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As shown in the photo .. another hole is drilled into the back of the block above the hole for the sending unit. This is tapped for a 1/4 NPT thread.
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This new hole goes into the oil gallery that runs to the steel tube in the center of the block that feeds the cam and the other main bearings.
The shiny round spot you see at the back of the engine is a plug that is fit into the hole where the fuel pump push rod went.
I'm using an electric fuel pump so there won't be a push rod used. There is a small oil hole in the inside of that push rod hole. Without the push rod in the hole, there isn't any restriction to the oil flow and that is just an oil leak in the system. Granted, it is only about a 1/16 inch diameter hole but it will affect the accuracy of the oil pressure reading.
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Looking into the hole on the side, you can see the plug threaded into it to separate these two holes in the boss off from the original oil gallery.
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That plug is in between the hole in the boss and the new hole in the block.
The oil supply line will come off the hole on the right side of the boss and run into the filter. The hose coming out of the filter will go back to the new hole in the block that goes into the oil gallery going to the camshaft.
This way, all of the oil coming from the pump ( except for the small amount going directly to the rear main ) will now go thru the filter before it goes to the cam and the other main bearings.
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Sandblasted the window moldings today.
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These are the clips that hold the two halves of the windshield glass into the frames.
The two on the left fit the upper frame but I only have one of the clips that fit the lower frame.
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They make reproduction windshield clips for the open car windshields but not for the closed cars.
The open car windshield frames are round and the closed car frames are square cornered.
If anyone has one of these lower windshield clips they want to sell, I would appreciate it if you would PM me.
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Everything is primed.
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And painted.
The two pieces painted black are the mounting channels for the door glass.
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I had been looking for a lower windshield clip for the model-T for a long time and haven't found one.
I'm going to need it here soon so it's time to make one.

It will be made out of this piece of brass stock that is just the right width and thickness.
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After the pattern is scribd on the brass, it is set up on the mill and the outside curve is milled into one side.
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Turn it around and mill the other curve.
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Using a Dremel tool to smooth the sides and check my measurements.
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Back on the mill and start cutting the center out.
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The center is milled down to the correct thickness and the flat end is finished.
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Then I start milling out the rest of the center area.
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And painted.
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Starting to work on getting the glass mounted.
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The two pieces on the top left are the door glass pieces with the lower channels on them.
The upper and lower windshield frames have their glass pieces in them.
I'm using Butyl adhesive caulk to mount all of the glass instead of the fiber gasket material that was originally used.
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The windshield is mounted in the car. I still have to put the rubber trim on the sides of the upper windshield and across the top of lower windshield to seal the gap between them.
What a difference it makes getting the glass in. Al of a sudden, it looks like I've made tremendous progress.
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The rear glass and the two narrow side glass pieces are also in place.
I'm waiting on the delivery of the new glass channels for the doors before I can finish them.
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The handle is mounted on the trunk.
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And the gas spring is mounted inside to control the trunk lid.
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This is the old 1930's heater that is mounted under the dash. It doesn't have any provision for the windshield defroster.
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So I have mounted a small fan with rubber blades up to blow air down onto the windshield for the defroster.
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As I mentioned earlier, I believe this engine may have had a chain driven blower on it at one time.
Here I'm removing the sprocket from the pulley sleeve that fits onto the front of the crankshaft.
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I have a harmonic balancer with a nice clear timing mark that I'm going to mount on this sleeve.
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The seal sleeve is removed and the balancer is bored out to fit onto the flathead pulley sleeve.
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Before I mount the balancer, I need to put a pulley on the sleeve to line up with the water pumps and the alternator.
This pulley is tack welded onto the sleeve and put back on the lathe to make sure that the pulley is running true before I finish welding it.
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In preparation for mounting the balancer, I first have to Line up the timing mark on the balancer with the pointer on the engine.
The pointer is located a long ways from the surface of the balancer.
This is going to affect the accuracy of setting the timing if the timing light isn't held directly in line with the center line of the crank.
So I have decided to not use that timing pointer.
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The balancer is pressed tightly onto the pulley sleeve and Lock tight is also applied to the surface of the sleeve as the two are pressed together.
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This is put up on the lathe again and the end flange is turned down to accept another pulley.
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This second pulley is welded to the end of the sleeve.
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This second pulley lines up with the fan shaft.
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I took a Chevy timing marker and modified it to fit onto the front of the engine to replace the original pointer.
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The header panel over the windshield is fastened back in place. It has the sun visors and the rear view mirror mounted to it.
The windshield defroster fan is wired up and working. I don't see this being used very much but it's nice to have when it is needed.
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Started working on putting the wood interior panels into it today.
Fitting the first flat panel on the drivers side.
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The opening for the side window is cut out and the panel is fastened in place.
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The next problem is to get the wood to wrap around the back corner with the bottom part of that area being shaped like an egg.
I am using pieces of this 3/4 inch wide trim wood to do the corner. The ridges milled into it makes it a little more flexible then the same size trim that is all flat.
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Here is the finished curved panel.
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Looking down along the side, you can see how it curves around and also curves in at the bottom.
The edge of the pieces coming up against the side of the seat base had to be cut at a sharp angle for them to fit in place.
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I'm thinking of staining this part of the interior with the mahogany color and then put clear urethane over that.
The inside window trim will be painted the same charcoal gray as the windshield frame.
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The stock fan for the flathead is 18-3/8 inch wide. The diameter of the opening in the fan shroud is 17 inch.
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And it is 5 inch from the center of the pulley out to the front edge of the fan. The back edge of the fan is about 3-1/2 inch from the front of the water pumps.
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The fan pulley housing is separated from the bearing mount.
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The pulley is put up on the lathe and the tube with the flange on it is cut off. The outside of the tube that is left on the pulley is cleaned up so it is running true with the pulley.
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Then the flange part is put on the lathe and the tube is cut back to 1/2 inch long. The inside of the tube is machined out so the pulley hub will just start to fit inside it.
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The flange is pressed back onto the pulley hub and they are welded together on the inside.
I cut the center area out of the fan and welded a pin into the center of it. This is bolted back onto the front of the flange.
The front plate and the flange are drilled out so that two 5/16 inch dowel pins can be pressed into the flange for accurately locating the front plate.
The pulley is put back up on the lathe and that center pin is turned down to true it up with the pulley.
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This is the center locator pin for mounting a Chevy clutch fan housing.
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Holes are being drilled and tapped into the front plate for 5/16 studs for fastening the clutch fan to it.
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Here is the finished clutch fan mounted on the engine. this fan is only 15 inch wide so it will fit nicely inside the fan shroud on the radiator.
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It is 4 inch from the center of the pulley out to the front of the clutch housing. This is 1 inch less that the original fan. The back of the fan blades are now about 1-1/2 inch from the front of the water pumps so the engine will be able to sit closer to the radiator.
The radiator shroud is 3 inch deep to the radiator core so there should be about 1/2 inch clearance between the front of the clutch housing and the radiator core.
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that sucker will roar when it locks up
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that sucker will roar when it locks up
Not so.
That is a 1975 to 1988 Chevy factory fan blade. Do you ever remember any of those cars making a roaring sound from the fan ?
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I took a Chevy oil fill tube and mounted it on a base so it would bolt onto the back of the intake manifold. It had a copper tube elbow soldered to it for a road draft tube.
Incidentally .. this green is the color that the engine is going to be.

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I bought a chrome alternator for this project but it has a standard 3/8 wide belt pulley and the flathead engine uses 5/8 wide belts.

I looked for a chrome 5/8 wide pulley but all I can find is a regular steel pulley.

So I bought this used aluminum pulley for a serpentine belt that has a nice nose cone for it.

I had thought that maybe I could cut a 5/8 wide V-groove into the serpentine pulley but it has two counterbores in it so there isn't enough material for the V-notch.

No problem, I'll just make a whole new pulley out of a piece of aluminum bar stock.

After the V-notch is cut, it is turned around so I can machine out the counterbores and bore the hole thru the center.

The outer counterbore is to fit the nose cone in place.

Once the three mounting holes are drilled and tapped into the pulley, it is put back on the lathe and the outer surface of the bar stock is turned down to blend with the nose cone.

Here is the finished 5/8 wide pulley mounted on the alternator.

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I am using the original generator bracket to mount the alternator on. The two tabs for holding the strap that goes around the generator have been cut off the top sides the original bracket.
The alternator is strapped in place so I can start making the mounting brackets for it.

The first mounting bracket is welded to the original generator bracket.

Here is the finished mounting bracket for the alternator.

This mounting bracket and the fan pulley have been painted and they are sitting back on the engine.

This is one of the inside moldings that has to be modified to fit the side windows.

The narrower cross piece is cut first and the little rounded corner tabs are removed.

The two halves are welded back together to match the width of the windows.

Then the longer sides are cut next.

And they are welded back together.

Here is how it looks sitting in the window opening.

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The side window glass is 1-5/8 inch in from the surface of the wood interior panel.

The steel window moldings only extend into the opening about 3/8 inch so there is a lot of space between the molding and the glass.
I took some strips of wood and made up two spacer frames to fill in that space.

Here is one of the finish painted wood spacer frames set back into the window opening.

And how it looks with the window trim piece installed.

Here is how the window looks from the outside. You can see the finished inside window trim over on the other side.

This is the door latch on the drivers door.
The shaft sticking out in the lower left of the latch is for the inside door lock and it is missing the lever to operate it.
The latch on the passenger door does not have an inside lock on it. That door is locked from the outside with a key.

So you get out of the drivers side, flip the lock lever and close the door. That door is now locked. You go around to the other side and lock that door with your key and the car is locked up tight.

I looked on the internet for the small lever that fits on the inside driver's door and I couldn't find any used levers. I also didn't find any company that is making re-production lock levers for the model-T.
Looks like I'm going to be making a lock lever for that door.

The outer steel panel of the door is nailed to the original wood door frame. If you look close, you can see one of the bent over tabs under the latch where the door is fastened to the wood.

Fitting the first door panel in place.

The inside of the door has a little curve in it so I have clamped a piece of wood across to pull the wood panel into the curve.
The door panels will be fastened in place with stainless screws.
The pieces of blue tape are marking where the bent over tabs are for fastening the door shell in place. This shows me where I can't put the screws for fastening the door panel in place.

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Working on the inside trim around the door window.
The piece that will go across the top will have to be removable in order to be able to reach the two screws in the top corner that are holding the outside rear view mirror on.

Here is the finished wood and metal trim around the window.
The two upright pieces of wood on the sides are glued on.
Both the top strip and the bottom panel are removable.

The full door with the window rolled up and reflecting my work light.

Looking across from the passenger side.
The top strip above the door still has to be mounted yet.
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The interior wood strip is fastened in place over the door.

The doors have a overhanging lip on the front and back edge that I can run some foam weatherstripping along but they are completely flat across the top so there isn't anything to attach the weatherstripping too.

When the door is closed, there is a good size gap along the top of the door.

I have about 8 foot of this rubber weatherstripping that I can use to fasten to the inside of the door frame along the top edge.

And I found this piece of stainless molding that has a small lip along one edge that I can use to hold the rubber weatherstrip.

Using a razor blade, I sliced half of the round bead off the weatherstrip.

Now it is flat on one side.

The stainless trim is screwed to the wood over the door and it holds the rubber weatherstrip in place.
Note .. I have added a strip of the beaded trim wood along the door edge to blend with the beaded wood strips going around the back corners.

The rubber seals nicely against the top edge of the door.
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Instead of having that thin strip of stained wood and the bright stainless trim showing, I have decided to paint that area to match the rest of the trim inside the car.


Close up look.

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