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Old 03-31-2011, 11:46 AM   #1
Bill O'Brien
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Default Speedster Kit

Has anyone here built the speedster kit they sell on Mac's?

http://macsautoparts.com/model-a-com...0R3CHL1105652/

MAC's complete Speedster kit includes the following:
* Deck
* Floorboard
* Risers
* Seat risers
* Tank blocks
* Firewall
* Tool box
* Hood
* Center hinge bracket (need 2)
* Hood blocks
* Dash
* Seat skins with wooden base
* Black steering column bracket
* Gas tank
* Tanks straps (pair)
* Brass filler neck
* Brass lower gas outlet
* Metal cowl
* 3/4 inch molding (36 feet)
* Running boards (pair)
* Front fenders (pair)
* Rear fenders (pair)
* Rear fender bracket (pair)
* Splash aprons (pair)
* Windshield frame (9-1/2 inch tall at center)

These two window frames are an extra $25.00 upgrade. Specify when ordering.
* Windshield frame, 12-1/2 inch tall
* Windshield frame, 15-1/2 inch tall

Individual Speedster kit components are not sold separately.

For those who prefer the open wheel style of the dirt-track racers so popular in the 1920's and 1930's we offer the speedster kit. With its lean and racy look it draws attention everywhere it goes. The best Model A speedster kit on the market today, in terms of ease of construction, ease on pocket book and most important - it will give you the satisfaction of building a car you can be proud of. Full assembly instructions now come with the body, making it perfect for the beginning enthusiast. Order now, so you will be ready to spend next season with the wind in your hair and the crisp note of the exhaust in your ear.

Please note that a 28-29 radiator must be used.

Last edited by Bill O'Brien; 04-23-2011 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 03-31-2011, 11:54 AM   #2
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Default Re: Speedster Kit

Yes. Look to the left.
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Old 03-31-2011, 02:46 PM   #3
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PM sent.
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Old 03-31-2011, 02:52 PM   #4
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Default Re: Speedster Kit

Check the yellow car in my avatar. It's a Rootleib kit
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Old 04-02-2011, 09:22 PM   #5
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Default Re: Speedster Kit

I believe Mac's simply resells the Rootlieb kit. Rootlieb also sells parts individually and does not charge extra for different size windshields.
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Old 04-23-2011, 11:39 AM   #6
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Default Re: Speedster Kit

Hi Bill,

The kit is fine, it gives you all the major pieces and basic instructions. But it it is not something you can knock together in an afternoon. You will need some basic woodworking and fabrication skills. Here are the major tasks off the top of my head:

The steering box needs to be moved rearward three inches. This means making new mounting holes in the frame, increasing the length of the drag link, and tweaking the throttle and distributor linkages.

The choke and starter rods need to be lengthened. The throttle will not reach the new floorboard and will need extending (I made a new linkage with a gas pedal.)

You will need upholstery for the seats. All you get from the kit is a sheet metal frame.

Make the tail light mounts, and if you go fenderless, the headlight mounts as well.

The gas tank is higher than the stock location, so a fuel pump is helpful.

I have an album of photos, you can see them here:

http://fordbarn.com/forum/album.php?albumid=326
My latest project was adding a pair of windshields. I haven't had a chance to take pictures of them yet. If you have any other questions I'll be glad to answer them.

Richard aka "Sparky"
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Old 04-23-2011, 11:43 AM   #7
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Talking Re: Speedster Kit

Sparky --- That is a beautiful speedster!!! I had been looking for one with a boattail back end but the simple design is certianly growing on me!!

Does any one have pics of the Rootlieb kit with fenders installed??
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Old 04-23-2011, 11:50 AM   #8
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Default Re: Speedster Kit

Sparky, any new pics with the Windshileds installed?? Lets see some more Speedster pics!

Now.... what is the full ruset free body on my Tudor worth???
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Old 04-23-2011, 03:00 PM   #9
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Old 04-23-2011, 04:22 PM   #10
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Default Re: Speedster Kit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill O'Brien View Post
Sparky, any new pics with the Windshileds installed?? Lets see some more Speedster pics!

Now.... what is the full ruset free body on my Tudor worth???
They're coming! I would have taken the car out for the first ride of the year today, but it's been raining all day!
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Old 04-23-2011, 04:24 PM   #11
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That's a Rootlieb!
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Old 04-23-2011, 04:43 PM   #12
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Default Re: Speedster Kit

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Originally Posted by Mike V. Florida View Post


Hey, I like that green! No, really!
I like the green on the speedster, but not on my car. One thing that makes up for the color on my car is knowing what nice metal is under that paint.
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Old 04-24-2011, 12:38 AM   #13
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Hey, I like that green! No, really!
I like the green on the speedster, but not on my car. One thing that makes up for the color on my car is knowing what nice metal is under that paint.
The member that owns the car works for Sunbelt rentals and that is their green. He gets to keep the car in the showroom for free since it attracts attention for the company.
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Old 04-26-2011, 09:49 AM   #14
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Default Re: Speedster Kit

Please keep the pics coming!!

Has anyone build a Speedster and lowered it for a better center of gravity??

Last edited by Bill O'Brien; 04-27-2011 at 01:20 PM.
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Old 04-26-2011, 05:54 PM   #15
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Default Re: Speedster Kit

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Please keep the pics coming!!

Has anyone build a Speedster and lowered it for a better center of gravily??
I am assuming you just made a minor typo and are meaning "gravity", ...and if so, Yes.

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Old 04-26-2011, 08:55 PM   #16
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Default Re: Speedster Kit

How about "Center of gravy?"
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Old 04-27-2011, 12:40 PM   #17
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Default Re: Speedster Kit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill O'Brien View Post
No no.... I did mean center of gravily.


Man.. tough crowd!


Brent.... got any advice for lowering? Any pics?
Wow, I didn't think it was me that was the "tough crowd". Reverse spring eyes, ...to using a Model T rear spring, --to fab-ing a different rear crossmember or Zee-ing the frame (not recommended unless it is a junk frame) are ways to drop it. In the front, much of the same applies and then a dropped axle gains you some. It really is all about how creative you are with tools, and your goals.

Sometimes it may be best to leave it as-is with little mods and see how it performs first. It might just surprise you.
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Old 04-30-2011, 03:38 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill O'Brien View Post
Sparky, any new pics with the Windshileds installed?? Lets see some more Speedster pics!
OK, the weather was finally nice enough to take the speedster out! Here are the windshield pics. They are made from 1/4" Lexan. After tweaking a cardboard pattern until I liked the fit, I cut the plastic with a bandsaw, then sanded and polished the edges with a polishing wheel. The brackets were cut from 1/8" aluminum. They work very well; I used to get a direct blast in my face and now the air flows above my head.

The speedster also has a new face. I used to have the headlights mounted lower, and didn't have turn signals. The headlight bar is a stock '29 bar that I cut and welded so it mounts to the frame. The turn signals are Harley cycle lights that I found on eBay.
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Old 04-30-2011, 04:07 PM   #19
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Default Re: Speedster Kit

My son and I built a rootlieb kit speedster 10 years ago and we are still having fun with it. Went together very nicely and really scoots along. We reversed the eyes on the springs to lower it an 1" or so. For a windshield we used two windwings fastened to the cowl. Works well and usually keeps the bugs out of your teeth. Also built a small turtle deck in the back and raised the gas tank a little and left the tool box off. Still used and electric fuel pump. Did not use any seat risers and mounted the seats right to the deck.
We run a B engine with Cragar ohv and mild cam. I will try and post some pictures tomorrow.
Oh yes, a good father son project while Jon2 was in HS. He is now a graduate engineer working in the auto industry.
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Old 04-30-2011, 04:11 PM   #20
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1929.jpg
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Old 04-30-2011, 07:47 PM   #21
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Default Re: Speedster Kit

What is the cost of the kit?
I would love to build one of these, and may end up with a spare chassis soon.
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Old 05-01-2011, 06:27 PM   #22
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Those are Universals; can't answer the wear question because I've put only a hundred miles or so on them so far.
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Old 05-01-2011, 06:30 PM   #23
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What is the cost of the kit?
I would love to build one of these, and may end up with a spare chassis soon.
The complete kit can be bought from Mac's and is $4960. It's much less if you don't want fenders or a windshield. You can also make your own if you are handy.
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Old 05-02-2011, 04:18 PM   #24
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Default Re: Speedster Kit

Thanks Sparky.
I could have checked their site, and called them, but nice to ask here.
Hope you dont mind, im currently using your speedster as my wall paper for inspiration.
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Old 05-02-2011, 06:08 PM   #25
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Thanks, I'm honored!
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Old 05-10-2011, 12:19 PM   #26
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How about some more pics of Speedsters!
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Old 05-10-2011, 02:59 PM   #27
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How about some more pics of Speedsters!


http://nwvs.org/CarPhotos/CarThumbNails.shtml


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Old 11-06-2013, 08:19 AM   #28
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Default Re: Speedster Kit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill O'Brien View Post
Hi Bill,

The kit is fine, it gives you all the major pieces and basic instructions. But it it is not something you can knock together in an afternoon. You will need some basic woodworking and fabrication skills. Here are the major tasks off the top of my head:

The steering box needs to be moved rearward three inches. This means making new mounting holes in the frame, increasing the length of the drag link, and tweaking the throttle and distributor linkages.

The choke and starter rods need to be lengthened. The throttle will not reach the new floorboard and will need extending (I made a new linkage with a gas pedal.)

You will need upholstery for the seats. All you get from the kit is a sheet metal frame.

Make the tail light mounts, and if you go fenderless, the headlight mounts as well.

The gas tank is higher than the stock location, so a fuel pump is helpful.

I have an album of photos, you can see them here:

http://fordbarn.com/forum/album.php?albumid=326
My latest project was adding a pair of windshields. I haven't had a chance to take pictures of them yet. If you have any other questions I'll be glad to answer them.

Richard aka "Sparky"
Hi, Bill, I was just reading over one of your old posts about the Rootlieb speedster kit, and my dad and I are elbow deep in the build. I have kind of a novice-sounding question that maybe you can answer. The kit comes with a gas tank, which, if I recall has no filler hole in it, and with the brass (I assume) filler neck. Any recommendations for the best way about getting those tow pieces together? I ask because, well, I've got one chance to get it right and there's no shame in asking for help, right?

Thanks in advance for any you can provide!

--Dan
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Old 11-06-2013, 08:55 AM   #29
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Hi Dan,

My filler neck has an extra saddle-shaped piece that fits between the filler itself and the tank. Do you have something like that? I think they are soldered together; I didn't assemble my tank personally.
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Old 11-06-2013, 09:06 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Mikeinnj View Post
That is a BEAUTY!
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Old 11-06-2013, 09:41 AM   #31
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Default Re: Speedster Kit

I dropped my speedster 4 inches by using a T rear spring and only leaving in I think about 6 maybe 7 leafs. For a rootlieb kit, this would be plenty sense there is not weight in the back of them. My speedster is a boat tail, that had the 15 gallon gas tank in the very back. It does bottom out when I hit a big enough bump. I haven't gotten to adding shocks yet, but I'm probably going to have to drop the rear end and add a leaf or two in the assembly.

My cars getting the upholstery done right now, so after this Friday I should be able to post pictures of it completely done . Be looking for that thread this weekend or within the next week or so. I also only left like 5 leafs in the front spring. This dropped the front a little, but not a whole lot. I really only took out some leafs in the front since there wasnt going to be a whole lot of weight up there. No fenders, hood, or any go slow stuff up front.
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Old 11-06-2013, 02:06 PM   #32
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Subscribed!
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Old 11-06-2013, 02:30 PM   #33
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Hi there,
I am building a speedster and looking at every component with the view of improving performance and improving handling whilst utilising as much of the original A components as possible
A dropped front axle has given me a headache as the tie rod is now too close to the chassis and the front brake shaft supports have needed extending up and made additionally stiffer.
At the rear the spring mounts on the diff have been relocated to lower the rear.
A quick change centre section on the diff has resulted in an open drive shaft with the radius rods (front and rear) relocated to the chassis rails and an F150 gearbox has slotted in simply using a Macs Speed shop bellhousing.
An alloy radiator reduces weight and the petrol tank is at the rear between the chassis rails for lower CofG.
Oh yes, the motor is moved back 4" and the wheelbase is 4" longer.
All these mods are resulting in the project taking a lot longer than anticipated as I don't have engineering skills.
Cheers,
Keith
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Old 11-09-2013, 09:17 AM   #34
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Default Re: Speedster Kit

Another option is to work with Jim Husbey @ olympic speedsters. Great guy to work with. The pic is one that I worked with him on last year.
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Old 11-09-2013, 10:15 AM   #35
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Here is a pic of my speedster, 32 B engine, shorten frame, open drive shaft.

Mike
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Old 11-09-2013, 11:01 AM   #36
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Here is my home made speedster. I'm a po country boy and couldn't afford the kit. I had a bunch of discarded parts and decided to try and make a purty out of them.

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Old 11-09-2013, 12:01 PM   #37
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here is a pic of my speedster, 32 b engine, shorten frame, open drive shaft.

Mike
beautiful!
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Old 11-09-2013, 12:07 PM   #38
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Skrain,

Thank you, we have a lot of fun with this car

mike
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Old 11-09-2013, 01:07 PM   #39
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Here is a pic of my speedster, 32 B engine, shorten frame, open drive shaft.

Mike
I like the looks of your speedster!
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Old 11-09-2013, 08:08 PM   #40
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Default Re: Speedster Kit

Mine started as speedster, and I decided to fab my body rather than buy one I started with the chassis in my avitar, took 3 springs out of the rear, 2 out of the front, re rolled the front springs to turn the eyes over., and used 17 inch wheels. It sits a few inches lower all around, and has about 3 inches of rake to the front. Admittedly it is morphing into more of a Rod than a speedster though.
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Old 11-10-2013, 09:34 AM   #41
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I built a speedster using the kit from Rootlieb which I bought through Bratton's. I have had it on the road for three years. My wife and I have a great time with it. It is a crowd pleaser. Not many speedsters in this part of the country. Howie
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Old 11-10-2013, 09:39 AM   #42
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Some questions for anyone who has done a Rootlieb speedster...can you buy the modified spark and throttle controls you need to install?
What is involved in repositioning the pedals?
Where do you get the resized steering arm?
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Old 11-10-2013, 09:49 AM   #43
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Howie,
That is a beautiful car!!!

Mike
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Old 11-10-2013, 12:35 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skrain View Post
Some questions for anyone who has done a Rootlieb speedster...can you buy the modified spark and throttle controls you need to install?
I have a little homemade bell crank linkage that is attached to the top of the engine.
Quote:
What is involved in repositioning the pedals?
There is no need to change the brake and clutch pedals. For the gas I am using a Fulton pedal with a linkage about four inches long.
Quote:
Where do you get the resized steering arm?
Cut the original and weld in an extension section as required.

Last edited by Sparky; 11-10-2013 at 02:12 PM. Reason: Forgot something
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Old 11-11-2013, 08:09 AM   #45
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Quote:
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I have a little homemade bell crank linkage that is attached to the top of the engine.d
That is what I did to, I turned a ring that fit over a head nut, made a small divot in the nut for the head of a screw to fit into, and made a Bell-crank that attached to the ring to transfer the linkage over the head. Locknuts and loctite seem as though it will keep in place.

I guess you can simply bend the Spark Advance rod. Most sane folks do, but I really do not like the looks of the bent rod. I used a throttle rod set to each side of the Bell-crank.
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Old 11-11-2013, 08:15 AM   #46
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I built a speedster using the kit from Rootlieb which I bought through Bratton's. I have had it on the road for three years. My wife and I have a great time with it. It is a crowd pleaser. Not many speedsters in this part of the country. Howie
Howie, that Speedster is very nice! What color is it? I am leaning towards Sage Green for mine.
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Old 11-11-2013, 08:36 AM   #47
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Looks great howie.
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Old 11-13-2013, 08:12 PM   #48
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The color is called Cactus green. It was a Ford pick-up color from the 70's. The fenders and splash aprons are black. Hood, fenders and trunk are pinstriped in red to match the wheels. Ford script on the gas tank is also matching red. I extended the spark and throttle linkage by cutting in the middle and making a sleeve to go in between. The spark linkage had to be bent for clearance. I was not able to make the pedals work by bending alone. I had to cut them and weld in a piece to extend them. The drag link was cut and a piece welded in to extend it the same amount the steering box was moved.
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Old 11-13-2013, 09:14 PM   #49
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Thank you Howie for the additional information. You did a nice job on it, feel free to post additional photos or a photo album. If possible, I would appreciate seeing more of it.
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Old 11-13-2013, 10:30 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill O'Brien View Post
Please keep the pics coming!!

Has anyone build a Speedster and lowered it for a better center of gravity??
Note the dog leg put into the chassis by the foot step on this speedster at Model A Day in Sharon, WI a while back. It did a nice job of lowering the car by 3 or 4 inches.

IMG_0059.jpg
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Old 11-14-2013, 06:08 AM   #51
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Note the dog leg put into the chassis by the foot step on this speedster at Model A Day in Sharon, WI a while back. It did a nice job of lowering the car by 3 or 4 inches.

Attachment 153466
THAT is one sharp speedster!
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Old 11-14-2013, 08:29 AM   #52
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.great combination of design and skill... thanks to all
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Old 11-14-2013, 05:47 PM   #53
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If you want to see a sharp Model A Speedster, look here:

http://www.themotoringjournal.com/fe...speedster.html
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Old 11-14-2013, 06:46 PM   #54
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Is there a reason that speedsters are mostly all 28/29. I have been having an urge to build a 31 speedster. Maybe with some 32 parts and a B engine and trans with later gears. Has anyone suggestions or pictures?
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Old 11-14-2013, 07:26 PM   #55
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I believe it's the stock radiator height.
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Old 11-14-2013, 09:59 PM   #56
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It is because Rootlieb is the only one currently building a kit, and their kit uses the 28~29 Radiator. I am building a '31, although it uses an A engine and Chassis it is probably crossing the line into a Hot Rod, but I think that line is pretty thin where Model A Speedsters are concerned.
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Old 11-14-2013, 10:18 PM   #57
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I have silently watched this thread, not wanting to interfere with the sale and enjoyment of the speedster originally discussed, until it was stated that there was only one builder of speedster "kits". I still don't want to interfere, but there is certainly more than one builder. For your enjoyment have a look at www.olympic-speedsters.com and call or email them if you want more pics . BTW, somewhere in the website there is a statement indicating that for administrative reasons, the shop is closed. Nope, the shop is very busy. Also, BTW, the reason the '28/'29 radiator is chosen is because it sits more than an inch lower than the later ones and makes the whole body lower.
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Old 11-14-2013, 10:30 PM   #58
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Thank you Jim, I had forgotten about Olympia. Although I did not know that they built a "Kit" as. I indicated that Rootlieb does. I have not seen kits for sale on their website. They gave me the impression that they are a contract fabrication shop.
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Old 11-14-2013, 11:13 PM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brother Hesekiel View Post
If you want to see a sharp Model A Speedster, look here:

http://www.themotoringjournal.com/fe...speedster.html

I can't find anything I don't like about this one.
I have many pics of this one saved to my laptop
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Old 11-15-2013, 08:00 AM   #60
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Quote:
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If you want to see a sharp Model A Speedster, look here:

http://www.themotoringjournal.com/fe...speedster.html
That #7 is one sharp speedster. Are there more detailed pictures of that car? I like the way that the body seems to fall below the frame. I wonder if he widened the frame to get seating for 2 in the cockpit. More detail would be appreciated.
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Old 11-15-2013, 10:32 AM   #61
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Quote:
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How about some more pics of Speedsters!
Speedsters are fun, here are some pictures of a couple that my father and I have built together. The first was a partially built Rootlieb kit where the folks building it "lost some parts". We took it apart and redid it the way we wanted to, using a '40 Buick hood for the tail.

The second is the red one, built from the ground up using a "hot rod cast-off" chassis using a '41 Ford hood for the tail.
Attached Images
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File Type: jpg attachment-5.jpg (82.5 KB, 120 views)
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Old 11-15-2013, 02:00 PM   #62
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Just wondering, what goes between the plywood deck and the frame on these kits? Is there some form of crossmembers or spacers of some sort?
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Old 11-15-2013, 03:10 PM   #63
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The kit that I disassembled just had something like a welting material in between. Nothing substantial. The rear plywood had been cut to allow the hump of the rear crossmember through.
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Old 11-15-2013, 03:34 PM   #64
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A question for anyone with a Rootlieb speedster...how large are the seat buckets?
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Old 11-15-2013, 03:37 PM   #65
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Thanks. Those pictures on the dirt track are cool!
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Old 11-15-2013, 03:41 PM   #66
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A question for anyone with a Rootlieb speedster...how large are the seat buckets?
You mean width? I'll measure mine for you when I get home.
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Old 11-15-2013, 03:52 PM   #67
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Thanks. I need to know if MY bucket will fit in one, or if I will have to come up with a bench seat like Mike has...
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Old 11-15-2013, 05:57 PM   #68
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The shell is 20" wide and I have an inch of upholstery on each side, so it's about 18" on mine.
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Old 11-15-2013, 07:03 PM   #69
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The shell is 20" wide and I have an inch of upholstery on each side, so it's about 18" on mine.
Looks like it's going to be a bench seat for me!
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Old 11-15-2013, 07:25 PM   #70
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Q Golden, Thanks for the comments. I am attaching a few more pictures. Howie.
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File Type: jpg 100_0301.jpg (50.7 KB, 101 views)
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Old 11-15-2013, 07:58 PM   #71
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Looks like it's going to be a bench seat for me!
I was in pretty much the same boat until I came up with this:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Model-T-Ford...item258326d286

I just noticed the ePay price is $55 more than their website price.


I've had mine for about 6 years and quite a few miles. Have some good foam in the upholstery and is comfortable. I'm 6'2" and 230#.

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Old 11-15-2013, 07:58 PM   #72
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You really don't want a bench seat! You will slide around and not enjoy the speedster. Just start with some metal and wrap it around you and go from there. They are really fun to build!
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Old 11-15-2013, 08:32 PM   #73
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Q Golden, Thanks for the comments. I am attaching a few more pictures. Howie.
Hey Howie, is that Ford logo on the gas tank a decal or a custom job?
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Old 11-15-2013, 11:02 PM   #74
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Q Golden, Thanks for the comments. I am attaching a few more pictures. Howie.
Thanks for the inspiration! Where does your Starter Rod go? It looks lengthened and is a a high angle.
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Old 11-16-2013, 07:56 PM   #75
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The Ford logo was hand painted by the pinstriper. He did a beautiful job. I kept the choke and starter rods as close to original angle as I could determine. They run through the firewall with steel guide plates. The starter rod is just round stock threaded to screw into the starter switch with a wooden handle on top. With the firewall set back 3 inches, the starter rod enters behind the dash. I shortened a reproduction choke rod and made a longer sleeve using large diameter brake line. The GAV/choke rod also enters behind the dash. Operating the starter and choke at the same time is a stretch but I have long arms. I used a reproduction starter pedal as a gas pedal. I welded an extension to the stock throttle linkage and made a swivel for the pedal to screw into. I found all the final details to be the most enjoyable part of the project. This summer I added turn signals using a vintage turn signal unit and motorcycle signal lights mounted with custom made brackets. Thanks again for all the positive comments. Howie
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Old 11-17-2013, 04:16 AM   #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George D View Post
Thanks. Those pictures on the dirt track are cool!
Latimore Valley fairgrounds in York Springs PA. Home of the Jalopy Showdown every May. A good time for sure.

Lots of info on it over on the HAMB.
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Old 11-20-2013, 05:14 PM   #77
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Ok speedster fans, I have started on my 31 frame. It is almost bare and needs blasting.
Going on vacation and will try to post some pics in Dec when I get closer.Will be using ft brakes only,don't know about wheels yet. I like the look of wide 5 for the rear. Will be reversing the ft spring eyes,possibly a t spring in the rear. May try swapping my 31 rad and grill for 28/9
How thick is the plywood base? How thick is the metal for the body ?Why do you need to move the steering back? Not a problem though.
I have a friend that is very good at fabrication work,and he is going to help.
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Old 11-20-2013, 07:23 PM   #78
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The deck for the Rootleib kit is made of 2 layers of 3/4 inch plywood. The top layer is one large piece, the bottom layer is smaller pieces placed for reinforcement. I am not sure of the sheet metal thickness. It is quite easily formed over the cowl and around the seats. In the kit, the hood is about 3 inches longer than stock and so the firewall is about 3 inches further back. That requires moving the steering column back. It also means changing the choke rod, starter rod, throttle and spark linkage. If you are not using the kit, you can do whatever you'd like. I saw a picture of a speedster built using a stock cowl and fenders and it looked really nice. You can be as creative as you want and that is the fun part. Howie
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Old 11-20-2013, 08:34 PM   #79
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I will be copying the kit .Lowering the steering is not a problem.

Have been doing some research on my fathers side. My GGfather had a body shop where they built truck bodies, and wagons. It's not a stretch that he built some car bodies. This will be the Jefferson Body Shop Spl, B'ham Al. Would have been est around 1915 I think. I have the st address.Colors will be red /cream,black lettering.

Is there any chance I could see what the bottom panel of ply looks like?
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Old 11-20-2013, 10:34 PM   #80
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Does this help?
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Old 11-21-2013, 12:26 AM   #81
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I did not move my column back, but I did lower it by turning it down a few inches, which in effect moved it back a bit.

Follow my name back my photo page and you will finds scans of the Rootlieb instructions.
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Old 11-21-2013, 07:22 AM   #82
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Sparky, Picture is worth a bunch.
The progress will be slower than I want.After Our vacation to the Turkey Rod Run in Daytona, and some parts ,will Have to learn how to post pics. I will start a build thread.
My frame is missing key components,brakes, u bolts for the ft suspension, and needs sandblasting. I have brake parts coming, and the blasting should be done by the new year.Engine is missing intake,starter, gen, exhaust, dist. At Daytona I will be looking for parts.
Thanks for the support.
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Old 11-21-2013, 11:16 AM   #83
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Sparky, Picture is worth a bunch.
The progress will be slower than I want.After Our vacation to the Turkey Rod Run in Daytona, and some parts ,will Have to learn how to post pics. I will start a build thread.
My frame is missing key components,brakes, u bolts for the ft suspension, and needs sandblasting. I have brake parts coming, and the blasting should be done by the new year.Engine is missing intake,starter, gen, exhaust, dist. At Daytona I will be looking for parts.
Thanks for the support.
Sounds like the perfect donor for a Speedster!
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Old 11-21-2013, 11:31 AM   #84
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Q G thats what I thought. I am in the middle of a 31 a hot rod build,so I really don't need this , BUT I want to.
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Old 11-21-2013, 12:25 PM   #85
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Does it matter which 3 spring leaves you take out of the ft?I have 2 broken leaves,second from top, and one of the longer ones in the middle.
Got the f/e out from under,cleaning to install my mech brakes. Will start a build thread in Dec.
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Old 11-21-2013, 01:04 PM   #86
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Does it matter which 3 spring leaves you take out of the ft?I have 2 broken leaves,second from top, and one of the longer ones in the middle.
Got the f/e out from under,cleaning to install my mech brakes. Will start a build thread in Dec.
When I wanted to lighten my springs I did a search on the HAMB and found several opinions, but most people seem to agree that you should keep the second one (next to the longest one with the eyes) then alternate the ones you remove, i.e. remove #3, #5, etc. until you get the ride you want. You may have to add spacer blocks so the u-bolts will still keep the pack tight.
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Old 11-21-2013, 01:27 PM   #87
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That will work.I know about the spacer blocks.
Where do I get the eye reversed or does the shop just rebend the spring?Going thru my parts I found a rev eye rear spring.
Its setting on saw horses now,r/e, steering removed.
Thanks for all the help.
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Old 11-21-2013, 01:31 PM   #88
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The usual way is to re-bend the spring cold. I've never done it but the two methods Ive come across are using a hydraulic press or just a big hammer.
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Old 11-21-2013, 02:20 PM   #89
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Will be using ft brakes only,don't know about wheels yet.

How thick is the plywood base? How thick is the metal for the body ?Why do you need to move the steering back? Not a problem though.
I have a friend that is very good at fabrication work,and he is going to help.
Not sure how well you are going to like just having front brakes driving on the street!

.
.

BTW, tell your friend that I know a way he can save himself a lotta work doing fabrication by telling you to talk to the owner of this car...











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Old 11-21-2013, 03:39 PM   #90
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Brent ,that is about what I am going to do.Will be changing from a 30/31 grill and rad to a 28/9 .Ft brake do 85 % of stopping. Just drive something with rear only and you will see. Not closing the door on this though. Does the O/P want to sell his? Is that what you mean by saving my self fab troubles?Give me his contact info. Thanks Brent.
This afternoon I now have the frame upside down on the horses, and cleaning the grease off.
Sparky that is what I thought on the spring, will be using a flattened cross member I have in my stash.
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Old 11-21-2013, 03:49 PM   #91
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You may already have the contact info.
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Old 11-21-2013, 06:58 PM   #92
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Where do I get the eye reversed or does the shop just rebend the spring?
.
I reversed my springs (Front) with an HF "Pipe Bender". I have never bent more than one or two pieces of pipe, but with a few mods it sure is handy at a lot of other things. Take your spring, mark it with a piece of chalk every two inches, start in the center, "bump" it with the press. It take a surprisingly small amount of pressure to affect change. Don't get carried away. I brought the ram to the spring, made contact, and bumped it just one stroke. Release, move to the next mark and repeat. After one pass in each direction (from the center out) the spring was nearly flat.
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Old 11-22-2013, 07:44 AM   #93
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I reversed my springs (Front) with an HF "Pipe Bender". I have never bent more than one or two pieces of pipe, but with a few mods it sure is handy at a lot of other things. Take your spring, mark it with a piece of chalk every two inches, start in the center, "bump" it with the press. It take a surprisingly small amount of pressure to affect change. Don't get carried away. I brought the ram to the spring, made contact, and bumped it just one stroke. Release, move to the next mark and repeat. After one pass in each direction (from the center out) the spring was nearly flat.
Do you have any photos or illustration of what how you did this. I may need to try this. How much did it lower your front end?
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Old 11-22-2013, 07:57 AM   #94
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Default Re: Speedster Kit

The spring eye reversal lowered it maybe an inch and a half. I also took out a couple of leafs and used smaller diameter tires/wheels, so I do not know for sure how much drop the eye reversal was responsible for.

I don't have any pictures doing it, but I do have a few spare leafs and can set it up again, and do another one. I can show you the mods I made to the bender as well that make it perfect for spring work. I will do it this weekend and take some photos.
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Old 11-22-2013, 08:25 AM   #95
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Default Re: Speedster Kit

Thanks, that would be appreciated. Are there any drawbacks with lowering it that way?
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Old 11-22-2013, 09:44 AM   #96
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Default Re: Speedster Kit

QG , a friend has what you suggestion about the tubing bender and will be doing it the week I am gone.
When I get back another friend will be assisting with pics as we go along.
Had a good conversation with Brent this morning.
Ross it took me a while to figure out about the contact info. LOL
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Old 11-22-2013, 08:18 PM   #97
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Thanks, that would be appreciated. Are there any drawbacks with lowering it that way?
None that i have seen. The geometry of the front end stays the same. The shackles end up in pretty much the same orientation and the spring length stays within a 1/4 inch as near as i can tell. Some say that any bending or bending of the spring is a compromise but i have not seen it. I learned to do by watching my Grandfather. He used to rebend springs in customers cars when they would wear out or if the customer towed a trailer on their Sedan. I don't recall him doing the same car twice, so i guess it worked.
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Old 11-23-2013, 06:26 PM   #98
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Default Re: Speedster Kit

I do not have a spring in stock with eyes to demonstrate the bending, but I have an arch in stock, so I used that for this demo.

In order of appearance:

The HF Pipe Bender has a few mods to it, the first are the 6 holes in the center, it comes with the 12 outside holes, adding the 6 in the center gives it some additional versatility.

Next I made an end for the ram so it is easier to center the spring on it. Just a piece of roundstock with a hole in the side to sit on the ram. And mark its CL on the top.

Lay your spring on the floor and trace the arch, flip it around to see if it is symmetrical, A springs should be, some others are not. If not, you will need to bump one side more than the other to bring it in, just note it for now, we will fix it later.

Lay a rule beside it, and mark it every two inches.

Lay the spring in the press, start in the center.

Next two steps are real important, by hand, (without the handle in the ram) raise the ram tight to the spring, then insert the handle. You will need to figure out how many pumps to give the ram, I recommend one full pump or one and a half. Go easy until you figure out how much your ram moves.

Set it, start it with your hand, insert handle and pump, release, move the next mark and repeat, and repeat, and repeat. After you get to the end, go back to the center and do it again in the other direction. Then take the spring out and lay it back on your original chalk line and take a look. After a couple of sessions you will be able to feel exactly how much pressure will bend the spring exactly where you want it to go.

This time it took three rounds to reverse the arch, I laid it back on the chalk line, noticed it is off a little on the right side. I flipped it over to make sure the error followed the spring, marked the spring where it had runout, back to the press, and just nudged that area, one and a half pumps each inch on one end, and it dropped right in.
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Old 11-23-2013, 08:00 PM   #99
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Default Re: Speedster Kit

Thanks that was very clear. So the first and last picture are the same arch before the reversing and then after the reversing, right?

What other purposes do you use the pipe bender for other than the obvious?
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Old 11-23-2013, 08:28 PM   #100
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awesome
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Old 11-23-2013, 08:31 PM   #101
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Default Re: Speedster Kit

Good, yes first and last are the same arch, reversed. If you notice on photo 2, I make the chalk marks on the inside of the arch. If you blow up the last photo you see there are no chalk marks on the inside, 'cause they are now on the outside.

I have a number of attachments that I have made for the press, I have used it for pressing cartridge type wheel bearings, and straightening any number of items, including every bent tankers bar in the neighborhood. I formed some of the parts for my current speedster with it. Not quite a shop press, but real handy for the $80.00 it cost.
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Old 11-23-2013, 08:45 PM   #102
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Default Re: Speedster Kit

It does seem that with a few mods that you could make a press out of it.
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Old 11-27-2013, 02:30 AM   #103
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Default Re: Speedster Kit

I am building a speedster based on a Rootlieb kit. I hope to be installing the seat belts soon. Anybody who has built a Rootlieb have any suggestions or ideas. Thanx in advance.
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Old 11-27-2013, 07:16 AM   #104
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Default Re: Speedster Kit

Check these out, I believe these are what I will be using.

http://wescoperformance.stores.yahoo.net/am4point.html
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Old 11-27-2013, 08:25 AM   #105
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Where would you attach the shoulder harness in a speedster? I don't think you should connect it to the floor.

I have a pair of universal mount lap belts in mine.
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Old 11-27-2013, 04:41 PM   #106
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I have a pair of 4" military seatbelts in mine. Heavy duty and look vintage.
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Old 11-27-2013, 06:49 PM   #107
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I have a pair of 4" military seatbelts in mine. Heavy duty and look vintage.
I acquired a couple of those but haven't come up with a good way to attach them to my wood floor. How did you do it?
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Old 11-27-2013, 08:55 PM   #108
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Install a piece of Channel or Angle crosswise between the frame rails under the seat?

I really like those Military Belts, era appropriate for sure! But I want a shoulder restraint on the drivers side. That steering wheel is not very forgiving.
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Old 11-27-2013, 08:55 PM   #109
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Thanx for the replies. I intend to use belts out of a old style bulldozer, nice and wide and adjustable to keep the buckle in the middle of your lap no matter what your 'size'.

Did you cut slots in the wooden base of the seat and bolts them thru the floor? The seats aren't mounted yet--trying to make a plan.
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Old 11-27-2013, 09:48 PM   #110
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Thanx for the replies. I intend to use belts out of a old style bulldozer, nice and wide and adjustable to keep the buckle in the middle of your lap no matter what your 'size'.

Did you cut slots in the wooden base of the seat and bolts them thru the floor? The seats aren't mounted yet--trying to make a plan.
Yep
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Old 11-28-2013, 09:52 AM   #111
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Default Re: Speedster Kit

I am curious about the discussion of seat belts in speedsters. Do any of you plan to add a roll over protection device to make sure the vehicle does not end up sitting on a well belted driver/passenger?
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Old 11-28-2013, 02:41 PM   #112
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While a tip over is certainly possible, I am far more concerned with a quick swerve that topples an unsuspecting passenger over the side. Or a 30 mph bump after being run off the road. Statistically that is a more likely incident.
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Old 11-30-2013, 11:31 PM   #113
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Default Re: Speedster Kit

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I acquired a couple of those but haven't come up with a good way to attach them to my wood floor. How did you do it?

We (BangerMatt and I) used 1 1/2 x 1 1/2 x 1/4" steel angle bolted with 2 bolts per bracket through the floor of the speedster using VERY large fender washers on the bottom of the wood floow to spread the stress out over a larger area. This then gives a vertical plane to which you can bolt the belts.

I wouldn't advise attaching the belts to the frame. Our thoughts are that if an accident were to occur if the body separated from the frame the occupants would become trapped in between the frame and bodywork. Not a very nice scenario.

We left the bolts holding the belts to the steel angle so they can pivot on the bolts. All hardware is grade 8 with nylon locking nuts. Yeah, I know grade 8 bolts.... Other things will structurally fail before the bolts do.

By the way the wood floor of the speedster is 2 pieces of 3/4 inch plywood sandwiched together using screws and a liberal amount of glue. It is held onto the frame using 8 7/16 elevator bolts.

As someone else pointed out, tipping over is not the conceren, these speedsters have a fairly wide track and are very stable in turns. It's much more of a concern driving in an open vehicle and not wanting to get thrown out.

THAT would be a bad thing............

Oh, and the lean action in the turns is more to avoid mud than it is anything else.




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Old 12-01-2013, 08:34 AM   #114
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As someone else pointed out, tipping over is not the conceren, these speedsters have a fairly wide track and are very stable in turns. It's much more of a concern driving in an open vehicle and not wanting to get thrown out.

THAT would be a bad thing............

Oh, and the lean action in the turns is more to avoid mud than it is anything else.

Ohh please Do NOT kid yourself!! This is the very reason why myself, James Rogers, and several others here gave up Model-A Speedster racing several years ago because our friends were going upside down in their cars. We decided we wanted a more dignified way to die!! Maybe y'all are just puttin' around but we were serious about 'haulin the mail'. Speedy Ed Johnson who used to be a Fordbarn regular decided he had seen enough and so he put a roll bar in his speedster. I installed a roll bar in my track roadster. I always intended to install one on both my speedsters too if I had continued. I personally have been up on two wheels on more than one occasion and seen it right in front of me. I also was following Dan Price at Marietta, OH when he caught a rut coming out of turn 4 and it looped the car and he shot out through the infield just missing a light pole and his car went airborne. If it had landed at an angle, he would have rolled then.

One other thought, the bodies on these do not have enough mass to worry about shearing off so it is probably a moot point in these cars to worry about a seat belt bolted to the frame vs. not. If the car has taken a hard enough hit to shear the body bolts from the frame, chances are the Coroner is the one who will be checkin' you out next.

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Old 12-01-2013, 08:51 AM   #115
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From my perspective, as this thread has migrated to seat belts, I was answering Farrell from the perspective of "puttin around". If I were to build a Speedster with the intention of the photos above, it would definitely have a roll bar. And a windshield for that female passenger in the last photo!
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Old 12-01-2013, 11:31 PM   #116
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Brent - I completely agree with you that if we WERE racing these a roll bar would definitely be installed along with a 5 point harness. The pictures make it look MUCH faster than the actual speeds. The cars were traveling at about 40 mph and were on the track alone. This event provides track time that is strictly for photo ops and is controlled tightly. The reduced speeds and single vehicle on the track is the only reason passengers are allowed as well.

Besides these old things can't go that fast anyway.....right?


QGolden - These pics are from 2 years ago. There's an additional windshield there now!
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Old 12-02-2013, 06:41 AM   #117
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Ok, I understand now. At least you are much safer and having fun!! Even though we were exhibition racing, those two words were defined separately in most of the driver's eyes!!

On half-mile tracks, WE were racing in excess of 60 mph in the straightaways. We were also wheel to wheel in most turns. Many in the group we raced with actually carried a passenger which was known as the riding mechanic. Towards the end, mant including me did not do that because the extra weight slowed us down. AARA has basically fizzled in my view but DAARA is still a very active group that races these. Back in our "glory days", we usually had 4 - 8 speedsters show up for a field. As the bottom 3 pictures will show, we weren't driving 40 mph and we were playing for photo ops.

1) A field in Marietta, OH lining up.

2) Me on the outside of Speedy Ed Johnson.

3) 4Banger Dan Price in his RAJO powered Model-T outside me in a Cyclone-headed Model-B powered Dodge.

4) Dreamwerks Engine builder James Rogers 'haulin the mail' in his speedster at Washington Courthouse.








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Old 12-02-2013, 06:56 AM   #118
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Not that I will be racing mine,but those pics get the blood flowing.
This week will be doing some trading,ordering some of the things I need to get going. Will post some pics tomorrow,I hope, with the help of a friend.
I'm learning that the model A is not so simple.
Is there one particular book that I need?I am starting with a bare frame ,bare ft axle, and bare r/e.
Is there a site that shows schedule and racing events? As well as swap meets?

Great Pics, Brent.
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Old 12-02-2013, 07:15 AM   #119
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Not that I will be racing mine,but those pics get the blood flowing.
This week will be doing some trading,ordering some of the things I need to get going. Will post some pics tomorrow,I hope, with the help of a friend.
I'm learning that the model A is not so simple.
Is there one particular book that I need?I am starting with a bare frame ,bare ft axle, and bare r/e.
Is there a site that shows schedule and racing events? As well as swap meets?

Great Pics, Brent.

Just as you found in your former drag racing career, there really is not any book that can singly tell you what you need to know. In the case of your speedster, you need to draw out your goals, then begin your build thinking through each step of the way. Be creative and make it your own.

As far as meets go, I think you just missed the Moutrie swap meet which would have been close to you. You were just at the Turkey so maybe you were able to gather some parts there. The one thing that you have as an obstacle is you are wanting to do this on a very limited budget. Most of the stuff (i.e.: bling or speed items) that you buy cost $$, ...so you need to be creative and find items that can be repurposed and with added detail.
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Old 12-02-2013, 07:51 AM   #120
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All good advice. I do have a plan of where I want to go, and the parts are starting to get together. While at daytona, I picked up some excellent 17'' wheels and tires, my brakes came in,and will be starting on the assy of the ft end parts. Hope to do some trading for a 28-9 grill and rad this week.
Next will be contacting a source about the eng/trans. The only speed parts I will be looking for will be a track style exhaust. I know the old saying of "speed cost money, how fast do you want to go''.
Getting it running is my main goal, then who knows.
What did you use to make your tank?
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Old 12-02-2013, 08:19 AM   #121
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When I started my speedster project I thought that I had a realistic budget and I may have. As things progressed I modified my earlier plans and went the extra step on almost every step of the way. Things like 16" powder coated wheels instead of the stock 21's and that meant new rubber all around. Sometimes I'd mock up 2,3 or 4 different assemblies before I picked the one that suited me best. It's things like that made it go to double my original budget. I'm glad that I went with choices that I made but it was more costly.
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Old 12-02-2013, 10:10 AM   #122
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Default Re: Speedster Kit

In my former life, I owned a company that built bolt-in roll bars that were built to SCCA specs. In looking at some of the photos, I suspect that the roll bars shown were next to useless. Material should be 1-3/4" OD mild steel with a minimum of 1/8" wall thickness and radius bends need to be done on a mandrel bender. The biggest problem I see is the angle of the brace and where it is tied into the main hoop. I actually removed the roll bar on my roadster as it was more for looks than safety. Based on my experience, the frame attachment points would need to be beefed up considerably and the finished product would look considerably different from the bars usually seen on an A speedster.
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Old 12-02-2013, 10:54 AM   #123
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Default Re: Speedster Kit

Denis nice looking t speedster.
Ross I know what you mean by going the more expensive way. If I can get a deal on a running eng and trans that will be the big hurdle.
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Old 01-02-2014, 10:01 PM   #124
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Default Re: Speedster Kit

Some where I saw a post about install a master cyl backwards and using a bell crank to actuate it. I can't seem to find it now. Anyone? thanks,
jim
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Old 02-09-2014, 04:56 PM   #125
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Still looking for the master cyl mounted on the cross member.It used a differential bell crank to actuate it. Please help me.
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