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Old 11-15-2020, 11:39 AM   #1
Chester Leighton
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Default Need help-New to flatheads

I just inherited a 37 Ford pick up that has had a lot of drive train modifications. Looks like it has an 8BA engine with the water outlets at the front and the distributor is up top on the passenger side. The transmission is a chevy 5 speed with open drive shaft and an adapter on the original diff/rear axle. The brakes have been converted to 1940 hydraulically operated front and rear.
I'd like to know what books you folks recommend I get so that I can know what I need for replacement parts and tune up specs. Who are the reputable parts suppliers? When the transmission was installed, they welded (and not very well) a bracket with an eye bolt to the frame in the center under the rear of the transmission and attached the two original radius rods to that. They installed a bracket to the center differential case and ran a rod from that to a bracket they welded to the front of the right side radius rod. There is a rube goldberg pulley and cable system that is operating the parking brakes. That's it. No two link system or bracket. Is there anyone in the Central Virginia area that could look at this and advise me on what to do with it? My dad put a couple thousand miles on it after he had the tranny put in but I'm not comfortable with the set up.
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Old 11-15-2020, 11:42 AM   #2
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Default Re: Need help-New to flatheads

I will be the first to recommend this. Join the Early Ford V8 Club and join a local chapter, too.
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Old 11-15-2020, 12:04 PM   #3
19Fordy
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Default Re: Need help-New to flatheads

Chester, Please post lots of photos showing what your concerns are.
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Old 11-15-2020, 12:15 PM   #4
alanwoodieman
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Default Re: Need help-New to flatheads

where are you located? usually there is help close by in the form of a local V8 club or at least a member who may be able to help you. You say your Dad did this conversion or did he buy it like this, maybe some of his friends could help you find this out and get you pointed in the right direction
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Old 11-15-2020, 12:19 PM   #5
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Default Re: Need help-New to flatheads

Welcome Chester. Attached is a link to a recent discussion about the modifications necessary to install a five speed in a late 30's Ford. There may be some helpful information about products that are available to clean up your installation.

https://www.fordbarn.com/forum/showthread.php?t=290067
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Old 11-15-2020, 12:28 PM   #6
Chester Leighton
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Default Re: Need help-New to flatheads

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The transmission work was done by someone up in Maine, not my dad. He had the original transmission taken out and had someone put in the S-10 transmission and open drive shaft. The truck and I are in Lynchburg Va. It will be next weekend before I can get some better pictures of my concerns with the work.
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File Type: jpg 20201108_114101.jpg (51.6 KB, 148 views)
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Old 11-15-2020, 12:37 PM   #7
Charlie Stephens
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Default Re: Need help-New to flatheads

The original radius rods scare me unless there is more support back at the rear end. The original torque tube took the twisting motion of the rear end and I assume it has been removed without adding other support.

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Old 11-15-2020, 01:28 PM   #8
cadillac512
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Default Re: Need help-New to flatheads

Quote:
"When the transmission was installed, they welded (and not very well) a bracket with an eye bolt to the frame in the center under the rear of the transmission and attached the two original radius rods to that. They installed a bracket to the center differential case and ran a rod from that to a bracket they welded to the front of the right side radius rod"


Hi Chester;
Charlie makes a very good point. Not only the rotational twisting force but all of the forward force is carried by the original torque tube. Any redesign must be as strong as original to be enough to be safe and lasting.
You're right to be concerned...sounds like some re-work is in the cards for that.



Terry
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Old 11-15-2020, 01:31 PM   #9
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Default Re: Need help-New to flatheads

Chester first of all welcome. Your in good hands on this forum with much great knowledge. Second that workmanship & concept look scary to me. Cheap Quick & Nasty. Needs some help for sure. There is help here in the Charlotte area if you can’t find closer. Good luck.
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Old 11-15-2020, 03:16 PM   #10
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Default Re: Need help-New to flatheads

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chester Leighton View Post
I'd like to know what books you folks recommend I get so that I can know what I need for replacement parts and tune up specs. Who are the reputable parts suppliers?
Hi Chester, Welcome to the FordBarn Forums! Congrats and sympathies on your truck. I've got a car inherited from my dad too.

There are books to get, yes. But one of your best "parts counters" you'll run across are the members here. Decades of experience, mixed with first timers and everything between are at your fingertips. Besides which you are not working on a one-year type project, so a '38 guide only gets you close anyway.

Parts? Depends on several factors, but I'm a 'period correct' guy so I source from people who stock actual Ford parts. I try to stay away from glossy-catalog joints who are just loading and unloading trucks in favor of vendors who're able to supply advice along with the best fitting bits.

Unfortunately Lynchburg is not near any of the V-8 Club regional groups, you're in a bit of a blank zone. Good news though, the national roster shows a member in zip 24501 and one in 24503.

Adding: You might try to browse around vanpeltsales.com for a vast library of diagrams and handy info. The namesake is one of the cadre of long-time valued contributors too. More than a few of them have 'written the book' on various subjects.
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Last edited by VeryTangled; 11-15-2020 at 04:04 PM.
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Old 11-15-2020, 03:44 PM   #11
JSeery
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Default Re: Need help-New to flatheads

Who to suggest for parts tends to depend on what you need. So good folks that are also Barn members are:

VanPlet: http://www.vanpeltsales.com/ Mac VanPelt

3rd Gen: https://thirdgenauto.com/ Michael 844-327-5988

Cornhuskers: http://cornhuskerrodandcustom.net/

Wescotts: http://www.wescottsauto.com/index.html

Hot Rod Works: https://www.hotrodworks.com/product-...ange-rear-end/

There are several more, but that should get you started. Here is an example of Hot Rod Works bracket for the rear wishbones.
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Old 11-15-2020, 05:11 PM   #12
Mart
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Default Re: Need help-New to flatheads

Other than the booger welding, the mount appears to be a copy of the Hot Rod Works setup. If the torque arm has been made to the same standard as the HRW one, and the welding could be brought up to snuff, the rear end could work ok.

The emergency brake linkage, although not pretty, either works or doesn't work. If it works then as long as you can't see any reason for it to stop working, then also in theory there is no reason to not use the vehicle because of it.

With any divergence from stock, you have to weigh up the quality of the conversion work. The brake conversion. How well was that done? That's probably the most important part to be studied.

There probably are not any books as such that would give you the answers you want. If I were you, I would ask a question about each individual part of the car and back it up with lots of good quality photos of the exact setup. The experts on this site can study the pics and then say if things are ok or need work. And if work is required we can normally say what should be done.

You've already overcome the first hurdle by being able to post pics. People that have been here years are not able to do that.

So hello and welcome to the Barn. I hope your inheritance gives you many trouble free miles of early ford pleasure.

Mart.
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Old 11-15-2020, 05:44 PM   #13
Chester Leighton
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Default Re: Need help-New to flatheads

It would appear that who ever did the work attempted to reproduce the Hot Rod Works set up. I just wish they had either bolted the plate on or did a better job welding it.
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Old 11-15-2020, 06:08 PM   #14
TJ
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Default Re: Need help-New to flatheads

If you have an open drive rear end go to parallel leaf springs in the back.
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Old 11-15-2020, 10:58 PM   #15
JSeery
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Default Re: Need help-New to flatheads

Quote:
Originally Posted by TJ View Post
If you have an open drive rear end go to parallel leaf springs in the back.
You can, and it is often done, but it is not required if the rear axle is braced properly. The original two radius rods can not stop the axle from rotating during acceleration or braking, but by adding an additional support arm it will work fine.
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