Monday, March 28, 2011

1923 T Bucket Update - The Body is On

The body is on

Installing the windshield - We ordered tinted safety glass for the windshield and side wind deflectors.

Pre fitting the fuel tank and battery case in the rear of the truck box

Installing the Windshield Support Rods - Because of the vertical windshield the wind resistance it will cause the 23 T Bucket calls for chrome support rods mounted to the frame. They must be the exact length before they will fit.

Installing the chrome radiator hose - this installation posed most difficult because the chrome copper Rad hose was just too short for us to place the chrome end caps on and fit it to the engine. But with 3-4 hours of study we managed to get it fitted. It doesn’t help when the Rad hose kit is missing critical parts.

Laying out the wiring harness - I’m using a wiring harness called, “It’s a Snap”
In my opinion the name, “It’s a Snap” wiring harness is misleading, it leads you to believe that it’s a snap to install when in fact it’s a pain in the back side. The company should have spent a little more time creating better instructions. 
The instructions began by saying that there are 3 bundles of wires, one bundle goes to the front of the vehicle, the second bundle goes to the rear of the vehicle and the third is for the interior. You’d think they could count; I looked at the harness and saw 4 bundles. It took me one hour to figure out what the forth bundle was for, and this was just the beginning. The wiring diagram was just as confusing, they did not show where the signal switch was, and they did not show how to wire up the brake switch and so on. By the way they have no internet site where you can go for help so I had to go to other sites to get the information.    
We did manage to get the rod wired.

Wiring the 6 gauges, light switch and ignition switch. 
Yes it looks a mess but it’s a well organized mess. 12V wiring has always been a pleasure for us and relatively easy to do.  The wires are coded so its easy to follow from one end to the other.

Fuel tank & Battery installed

We had to make up a special bracket to install the Solenoid

Installing the firewall and floor carpet

The carpet must be in before we can install the wiring harness. 

Placing the entire wiring harness
Let me tell you working under the dash of a 23 T Bucket is just about impossible. We did as much of the pre wiring as possible on the bench because we knew what we were in for. The T Bucket is just to small to crawl on ones back and let- alone having to soldering wires under those conditions.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Rolling Chassis

WOW, its coming together just fine! We’re on the home stretch. 

Months of hard work appear to be paying off and we’re seeing the benefits. I guess it reminds me of being a kid, assembling a glue together toy model. Its much the same feeling because you find it hard to lay down your tools and go home at the end of the day, you want to keep on going but you know you can’t, you’re delayed until other parts are installed first. As a kid the glue never dried fast enough for us.
I guess in the long run we all have the kid in us and I think it’s a good idea to keep it in as long as we can.

At this time we are going through the entire front-end, tightening all the bolts, setting the King Pins, shimming the King Pin bearings in preparation for the fender installation. Many special stainless bolts had to be ordered, sanded and then polished to a chrome finish. Our Fenders have to go on before the Rotors are installed.

Extra care is taken to install the freshly painted fenders. We are hoping that they will fit and align up as they did before taking them to paint.

Both fenders are now installed and it looks like we got the final fit and alignment right. 

The Headlight has been waiting a long time to be installed and now it’s resting on its chrome perch. It looks absolutely awesome.

We ran into a problem installing the wiring to the headlights. We couldn’t find a professional casing long enough to house the 5 wires going to the frame. After studying the issue we went out and purchased a stainless cable kit made for similar headlights. This new system caused us to drill a ½” hole in the backside of the light casing. The lights we have were designed for the wiring to exit through the bottom bolt that attaches everything to the headlight mount but the long mounting bolt caused problems as well. This new system actually looks great.  I know we did the right thing.

Its time to install those big boots, 15” X 31” – 18” wide Mickey Thompson tires. We’ve had them on and off so many times its nice to finally put them on permanently.

Installing the front tires

It’s a 20” Drive Shaft, custom made to order with a little silver paint just so it fits in with all the other running gear fittings.

Installing the self-adhesive fabric webbing to the frame. This webbing lies between the body and the frame and sort of acts as a cushion. Rather than mounting the body directly to the chassis and possibly creating friction we now have a squeak free  mount. It must be the way they did it in 1923

We’ve got ourselves a rolling chassis and it’s beginning to look like we’re on the home stretch. We’re not fooling ourselves; we know there’s a lot of hard work ahead of us but its sure feels good to get things to this stage.
Before we can install the body we need to attend to a few things that are still incomplete located on the frame - next on our to do list is:
  • Finish the Brake lines and bleed the brakes
  • Install the Emergency brake cables and cut them to length
  • Install the Speedo to Transmission gear attachment 
  • Install the Fuel line and Electric fuel pump that will be mounted at the rear
  • Route the heavy 8 gauge Battery cable that goes directly to the starter from the rear of the Rod – the battery will be located inside the truck bed

The bodies has been placed on the frame temporarily, we’ll be removing it for final frame wiring and finishing etc. Just wanted to show everyone how it looks.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Hot Rod Update March 2nd, 2011

Chrome front suspension waiting to be installed – supported by wood blocks so we could mimic a loaded springl

Front end finally installed
We finally solved our front shock dilemma. Because of the front leaf spring installed with no load we couldn’t predict where the final position of the shock would end up so we had to use wood blocks to mimic the weight of the rod. And finally on our fourth try we hit it right. For those of you building a similar rod, take a look where the lower shock is mounted to the shackle. Again we did not get instructions; it was truly trial and error. The internet search showed every picture imaginable but nothing that we were looking for. The lower shock mount must be bolted to the shackle on the lower inside.

Installing the radiator cowl 

The Third Member is now in place. We chose a 9” Currie Ford Rear end with 4:11 gears and painted it silver/ aluminum just to accent the red 

The final touches to the axels – by adding black rear sock springs and black brake housing we are getting the look we wanted. When it’s all finished you’ll see what a little change that that can do to enhance the red Rod.   

It won’t be long now and we’ll have all the major parts installed. It will look complete on a photo but the hard work is yet to come, like, wiring, brake lines, e-brake kit, gas pedal and linkage, gauges, oil and fuel setups, radios, gas tank, tonneau cover remote lock, etc etc.
I must add, Dianne Kiefer owner of California Custom Roadster in California put out a great product. I highly recommend the company for its workmanship. It’s everything she said it would be, in fact she noted that their product and frame design have won many awards over the years, I can see why. 

If you have any questions give us your comments, we’d love to hear from you especially if you have some helpful tips for us.