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Old 08-29-2013, 10:54 AM   #1
Woodie UK
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Question Radius rods and open drive shaft

Hi Guys,
Within a couple of months I'll be starting the major rebuild of the 1950 Ford F472C 'Matfiord' woodie that I acquired in France earlier this year.

With gas now costing around $8 a gallon here in jolly old England I don't fancy another 15 mpg motor. So I'm planning to engineer in a modern fuel injected four cylinder engine and auto trans. (Boo hiss I hear some of you scowling already...) which hopefully should retrurn at least 30 mpg!!

I know I can get an adapter to connect an open drive shaft to the rear axle, but what the heck do I connect the radius rods to???

I'd like to keep the original rear axle so am looking for advice on how to keep the rear end in line???

Colin
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Old 08-29-2013, 12:28 PM   #2
19Fordy
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Default Re: Radius rods and open drive shaft

Speedway Motors can help but you will also need a torque arm to replace the rear radius rods.
I question whether or not the stock rear radius rods are really strong enough and would not rely upon them to "do the job."
http://www.streetrodderweb.com/tech/...ne_conversion/

Be sure and read ALL of this thread and links provided.
http://fordbarn.com/forum/showthread.php?t=88576

A huge amount of information on this topic is available on www.jalopyjournal.com
Do a search using terms such as:
Open drive line conversion
Converting torque tube to open drive line
Torque arm

Last edited by 19Fordy; 08-29-2013 at 12:56 PM.
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Old 08-29-2013, 01:33 PM   #3
41PICUP
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Default Re: Radius rods and open drive shaft

Check with Hot Rod Works.
They have what you need.

hotrodworks.com
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Old 08-29-2013, 02:51 PM   #4
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Default Re: Radius rods and open drive shaft

Hmmmm... Has anyone considered a triangulated four bar linkage hooked up to the rear backing plate bolts? If stock radius rods are connected to anything other than a common ball joint, they'll be over stressed when the body is caused to lean AND they're not designed to handle the axle torques caused by driving and braking. Hmmmm...
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Old 08-29-2013, 09:24 PM   #5
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Default Re: Radius rods and open drive shaft

Id weld in the yoke from a front wishbone and build a cross member to mount the ball pivot
With a low HP setup like you plan its not likely to have any issues … people are running V8 cars this way
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Old 08-30-2013, 01:17 AM   #6
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Default Re: Radius rods and open drive shaft

I'd personally look at keeping a V8 in there and fitting either a 5 speed box or an overdrive unit.......probably not get you 30 mpg but at least it will not totally spoil the car.There are plenty of street rods for sale with modern drive trains,maybe best to save the Matford and buy something more to what you want.
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Old 08-30-2013, 04:02 AM   #7
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Default Re: Radius rods and open drive shaft

Great plan, its about enjoying an old ford on the road and not wondering if I can afford to etc.
I have used a speedway open drive adapter on the diff . Maybe it was our ineptness but we chewed up two pinion seals badly . The only way to line up the short torque tube pinion housing is loose bolts and a seal ,bad idea!!!
The third time we made an alloy seal substitute with a few thou clearance to align the pinion and outer housin did up the housing tight removed the substitute and inserted the correct seal and it now is leak free and 100% centered .
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Old 08-30-2013, 03:30 PM   #8
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Default Re: Radius rods and open drive shaft

What you are looking at is a common hot rod conversion ,it will mean cutting out the centre chassis cradle and supporting the rear end with the radius arms going to the side of the chassis .This is a rare car and you are talking about major surgery that will unlikely be able to be returned back .but its your call .Maybe talk to old Ron about fuel economy and fit in that high Diff /rear ,Macs sell them ,
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Old 08-30-2013, 03:51 PM   #9
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Default Re: Radius rods and open drive shaft

Looks like a lot of modification ($$) to get better gas mileage. Plus the value of your rare car will drop considerably being modified(in my opinion). I think you need to calculate your gas savings for the miles you plan to drive and compare it to the mod cost and drop in your car's value.
John
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Old 08-30-2013, 03:53 PM   #10
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Default Re: Radius rods and open drive shaft

Shouldn't this go in the street rod section?
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Old 08-30-2013, 04:39 PM   #11
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Default Re: Radius rods and open drive shaft

Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodie UK View Post
Hi Guys,
Within a couple of months I'll be starting the major rebuild of the 1950 Ford F472C 'Matfiord' woodie that I acquired in France earlier this year.

With gas now costing around $8 a gallon here in jolly old England I don't fancy another 15 mpg motor. So I'm planning to engineer in a modern fuel injected four cylinder engine and auto trans. (Boo hiss I hear some of you scowling already...) which hopefully should retrurn at least 30 mpg!!

I know I can get an adapter to connect an open drive shaft to the rear axle, but what the heck do I connect the radius rods to???

I'd like to keep the original rear axle so am looking for advice on how to keep the rear end in line???

Colin
First off, I will assume the 1950 is a typo and should be 1940.
If you have fabrication skills and the required equipment, this job is very easy. It is also easy to reverse to stock.

296V8 has the right approach.
The wishbone will retain the stock soft ride and handling.
Split radius rods and torque arms are for race cars and will make the ride extremely harsh. They also screw up the handling if you need to turn both ways.
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Old 08-30-2013, 05:12 PM   #12
Mike in AZ
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Default Re: Radius rods and open drive shaft

is the 'Matford' the one in the attached thumbnail??....beautiful car....thot it was a '37...or is that a '37 woodie....lol...how many miles do you plan or hope to drive every year??....are you doing the modifications yourself and can keep the costs down??....or do have an estimate of the costs, etc??....imagine you've crunched numbers, etc.....good luck....Mike
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Old 08-30-2013, 05:41 PM   #13
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Default Re: Radius rods and open drive shaft

the pick up (picture attached) has had done what you are planning I think for what was gained was hardly worth It has a Toyota 5 speed in it but behind a Flathead . you can only do 55 MPH legally here which a Flathead will do just fine ..If you set yours up with good shocks properly set up springs ,Lube-d ,Axle caster and camber aliment reset ,high diff /Rear New Stromberg for better economy .Should work .
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Old 09-03-2013, 02:57 PM   #14
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Default Re: Radius rods and open drive shaft

Hi Guys,
Just wanted to thank everybody for their comments which were most enlightening and set me down to the road to finding a solution.

For the record, yes the Matford really is 1950. In the mid 1930s Ford wanted to expand sales in France so formed a partnership with the Paris-based Mathis firm to assembly Fords, thus MAT FORD was born. The French continued to redesign the cars and the last model update was launched in 1938.

After WWII ended, Ford took over production of the 1938 designs and produced them to 1950, with a few upgrades such as 4 wheel hydraulic brakes and front and rear anti-role bars, so the car handles and brakes real well.

While it does look like a '37 Ford, it is actually about 3/4 size and the motor is the titchy V8-60 and with 4.44:1 rear end it gets buzzy at 55mph. In Europe all trucks, right up to those grossing 100,000lbs are electronically speed limited to 56 mph so if you run at this speed on the motorway you are going to get a big rig from Lithuiania, Poland or Spain on your rear bumper pretty quick and, believe me it ain't no fun running in convoy with big rigs in a 60+ year old car!!!

The other thing I forgot to mention was that my wife (being American) has never mastered the age old art of a stick shift and as she wants to drive the new woodie, auto is the only way to go.

If all goes to plan I hope to start tearing into the car in November and will try to get it back on the road next year...hopefully not famous last words.

Thanks again
Colin
PS am attaching another shot of the car - taken by the seller before I collected it...and yes, he was into Harleys!!!
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Old 09-03-2013, 03:48 PM   #15
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Default Re: Radius rods and open drive shaft

Could maybe swap the wife for one who can drive a real trans?
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