Some days you bite the bear…

Posted: June 27, 2017 in Hot Rod, Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

…and some days the bear bites you.


Yesterday I was planning fitting the brake lines and measuring for the driveshaft.  I got the front brake hoses (’40 Ford) out of their packages, and discovered they don’t fit the wheel cylinders in the Wilson Welding backing plates.  The fittings are too big.  So, scratch that, now I need adaptors, or correct size hoses.

Moving under the car, with trouble light and tape measure in  hand, I set out to measure for the driveshaft.  It was immediately apparent that the driveshaft wouldn’t clear the flat top of the X member at the rear, nor the flat floor.  I had plenty of room with before the body was mounted, but that and the engine settle the suspension enough cause  interference.  So, out came the cut off wheel and the torch, a little floor removed, a little bit off the back of the X member box, and we’re good to go there.

After adding a bit to the back of the cardboard and fiberglass trans tunnel/floor hump I made the the other day.  Good thing I’ve got the rest of the cardboard shipping tube laying around…

Then I moved on to the steering shaft.  I’d bought a double U joint to connect the Vega box to the ’59 T’bird column, and short piece of double D solid shaft to correct for the slight mis-alignment.  Great plan, but, I hadn’t noticed that the column has it’s own flex coupler hidden at the lower end, this gave me 3 U joints, not two, and the shaft flops and binds, so now I need a support bushing to hold the shaft solid between the box and column.

Thinking I’d make a solid fuel line from the pump to the fitting for the carbs, and thinking I could use one of the hose bibs I took off one of the E-carbs, I found that the new fuel line has 3/8″ NPT threads, and I don’t have THAT fitting, so no fuel line connected either.

No problem, add that to the order from Speedway, and I got the box of progressive linkage for the dual quads out of the box from Edelbrock.  Piece of cake right?

Wrong, Edelbrock makes this to fit THIER manifolds, which place the carbs tight together, this old Offy intake has them an inch further apart, making the Edelbrock linkage, nice stainless and brass bits, too short.  So, now I need to get some 3/8″ rod and make new links for that too.

So now, with the car setting on jack stands, a new hole in the floor, and nothing accomplished, I’m waiting for parts.



  1. kirkus says:

    Taking a bunch of bits that were never meant to work together and building a car? It takes time.

  2. Keith says:

    As Rodney Dangerfield was known for saying, “If it wasn’t for bad luck, I wouldn’t have any luck at all.”

  3. Tom Payne says:

    As an ex-parts guy I feel your pain, especially on the plumbing bits. Working in the big-time NASCAR shop you just couldn’t have enough of that stuff. I was known for having it in stock. I actually kept a lot of the little bits “illegally” as some of it stayed around long enough to become “Old Stock” and the accountants wanted it gone. I started buying it as “Shop Supplies” so it never showed-up in inventory, I just knew I had it. I kept a fishing tackle box with all of the little Couplers, Adapters, Unions, and -03 male to -04 female, stainless 45-degree Hose Ends.
    My final job was at Goodridge and was always in trouble because I would let the crew chiefs come back into the parts warehouse and browse and put the pieces together to make what they needed.

  4. Lance says:

    Thanks for sharing some of the frustrations and realities of putting together a custom rod, Brian. Reality TV tends to make these builds look so fast and easy as I commiserated to my neighbor yesterday, ” I have been rebuilding a 1953 English steering box for several weeks now. Seals from France! Loose ball bearings and a puzzle that might not ever go back together!”
    You are an inspiration for the amount of work you get done! I love everything you build! Thanks for sharing!

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