Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Barn Find Hot Rod

Been awhile since something was posted here but with a busy summer of car shows and races it's hard to stop to post what's been going on around the shop. This job that came up was a more interesting one than normal. One of my good customers is a 32 Ford Junkie. This car he came across is what every hardcore hot rodder wishes to stumble across. This car is a 32 Ford 3 window coupe and according to my customer was hot rodded in the 50's on the east coast. It features a "full house" Mercury flathead engine equipped with Offenhauser heads and a 2 Carb Manifold, An Isky Solid lifter cam and Johnson adjustable lifters. It has 1940 Ford brakes and rear axle( a popular modification back then) A drilled, and dropped axle hangs on the front and has 1940 Ford Deluxe wheels and hubcaps. This car is really clean and has 99% of it's original hardware that Ford put on it as it traveled down the assembly line. That is VERY rare today. The car was in storage on the east coast for about 25 years then was sold to a guy in Chicago who put it in storage for another 25 years. It was unearthed this past summer and is going to see the streets again soon. Our job was to go through the motor and build a set of hood latches. The customer wanted a center pull hood latch instead of the more common 2 finger pulls. So we removed the stock pulls by carefully extracting the rivit removing the stock pull and replacing it with the center pull casting that we bored to fit the latch assembly. We now have to make new rivits from scratch as no one reproduces these rivits. lastly the castings will be sent to the plater to make them shiny again. The devil is in the details and this car is full of them. The 36 Ford coupe in the pictures belongs to Hop Up Magazine publisher Mark Morton. My Customer has been the caretaker of the car this past summer so Mark can fly in from CA. and enjoy car shows on this side of the country. This Car has been driven from coast to coast several times. This is a hot rod!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

59 Spaceliner Continued

We've finished the motor mounts and have an engine in the bike. Up next will be the drive hub. We designed this system about 3 years ago and it has worked out well. It is all machined parts from high quality aluminum. Knock on wood as we have had no failures yet. This is our own design with some ideas taken from other products that are available. With gas prices the way they are these bikes are a fun way to enjoy cruise nites and those rare perfect summer nites. Stay tuned for more on this motorbike conversion.

Monday, April 30, 2012

59 Spaceliner Motorbike Conversion

The Knuckle Head job left a few weeks ago. Customer loved the way they turned out. We were able to save a very valuable set of castings. Although it was a HUGE challenge. Next job up is a 1959 Spaceliner Bicycle which will have one of our motorbike conversions installed on it. This is a really nice survivior so there is no painting or chrome work for us to do. But we do have quite a bit of fabrication to do. Stay tuned.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Knuckle Head Restoration Moves Ahead!

We have been very busy here in the shop. I just got back on the Harley Knuckle Head restoration. We have made a fixture to hold onto the head while in the mill. I will have more pictures of the process soon. Here is one that shows the setup. more later.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Harley Davidson Knuckle Head

Our next job involves the restoration of a set of Harley Davidson Knuckle Head cylinder heads. I'am not a Harley expert but i do know that these heads and a knuckle head for that matter is extremley rare and valuable. The heads are in poor shape and will require some extensive machining to get them to a useable state but also they need to look like brand new. These heads have been repaired a few times in thier lifetime as there is spots of brazing in several spots. The heads have passed crack inspection. The next step is going to be to bake them at around 400 degrees the lead shot blast. This will cook off all the years of grime and gook that a solvent tank and a brush can't get too. The next step is too repair the threaded holes in the deck of the head. We will not be using helicoils. next will be a light machining to the deck of both heads. We will first need to build a fixture to hold on the head casting. Stay tuned this should be interesting.

Supercharger Shaft Finished.

Thought I would show some more of the operations done to the superharger shaft assembly. The main shaft has a square machined on both ends to act as a key for the flange and the front hub. this eliminates using woodruf keys and square key stock that you would normally find in an application like this. This design is much less prone to crack and metal fatique goes way down being that there is no slots cut into high stress areas along the shaft. The degree wheel is mounted on the end of the shaft and a pointer is clamped to the table. You machine a flat to the desired depth every 90 degrees. If you read the degree wheel with a magnifier you can be extremly accurate. my index equipment was set up for making gears so i had to use a different method. There is always a few ways to attack jobs in a machine shop. The shaft assembly is finished now. the customer is installing it soon. I hope to get photos of the car to post here soon.

Friday, February 3, 2012


We started using 3-d design software about 3 years ago to help speed up the process of going from sketches and engineering to machine a little faster. I'am finnally starting to become effecient at it. This was a HUGE learning curve but it has started to pay off. Pencil and paper is no longer required. The drawing below is the assembly of the supercharger shaft. We now can generate a full set of blueprints from the parts sketches done in the computer and i know the assembly will work because I assembled it in the computer. The computer tells you when you have a dimension that won't line up. Technology sometimes works in my favor.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

3 -n- 1

The part in the pictures appears to be just a random turning of steel from a lathe right? This is actually 3 parts for the supercharger drive all machined on the same bar to be separated later. I do this when i can to save on time and material. The trick is being able to split the bar up later without too much hassle. The last picture is all the parts for the supercharger drive except for the main drive shaft. More later.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


The job in the shop now is a 6-71 supercharger main shaft. The original broke due to being out of true and made from inferior material. The new one is lighter and features 1045 steel shafting material and 2024 aircraft grade aluminum. What we decided to due was machine a square for the shaft to ride in. After it is pressed together it will not fail. No welds to brake and the assembly spins true. check out the photos. There is more to come.