I have been working with one hand on my two Hot Rods which is difficult to say the least. I have built many Hot Rods over the years and learned, as an engineer, that all serviceable items need to be located for easy access. Take for example the brake master cylinder under the floor board on Pepe. The unit is a TCI power unit with a booster which mounts within an inch of the floorboard. The original builder did not cut a hole in the precious metal so access is very difficult to inspect or to fill. Poppy has the coil mounted under the dash with the wires touching the cowl and impossible to remove without taking out the interior carpet and firewall pad. Fuel tanks with no shut off valve to clean the filter or replace the fuel pump. Hidden batteries, resistors or wiring panels make it difficult to diagnose when on the road. The list goes on and on these two Hot Rods.
If you were to break down on the road, it would cost you a fortune to have anything that wasn’t easily accessible to repair. Let alone damage by an outside garage working on your baby. I have tried to fix most of the problems by moving the components to an easy access place on the car. For example, I moved the coil to the intake manifold for easy access in case of failure. The battery is under the fender on Pepe so I made extensions for the jumper cables to connect. The original location under the hood is my personal preference. I know some builders like to hide all the components but I like them where I can work on them easily. If you have some ideas of how you installed your serviceable items, send them to me and I will publish them.
Here is a list that I use to make sure these items are easy to service:
- Electrical panel including EFI components
- Battery including cables that can be viewed without crawling underneath car
- Ignition system including coil and switch
- Fuel pump (electric) with shut off valve
- Fuel fill and filter (not inside the trunk)
- Brake master cylinder fill and access
- Easy engine and transmission removal
I’m sure they are more but these will be get you home if you have to repair them on the road.
Happy motoring this summer and I hope you don’t have any breakdowns.
click on photo for a larger image
The EFI takes up lots of room and requires a box for all the wires and controls. The distributor is very hard to work on due to the stacks. All components are located under the fender in a SS box. The coil is inside.
I had trouble removing the rear QC cover due to the gas tank, so I had Fred weld in a cut out.
Some my fellow delivery owners put the filler in the cargo space. The smell never leaves the cockpit once you start using the tank. Jim drilled a hole in the sedan delivery fender like the rest of the models have.
Pepe’s batter is under the passenger fender in a SS box which must be removed to jump or replace battery. I have since changed that for easier access. I normally keep the battery under the hood but the A/C was in the way as were the headers.
Here is Chuck’s clean 40 with access to everything right no top.
This M/C booster shows how close the cylinder is to the floorboard. Cut a hole and make carpet loose.
I add side plates to the repo X-member to fit against frame. Drill holes for wires.
Just added insurance for the rough roads we have in LA.
If you have one of these make sure you have an extra cable in your tool box.
The 46-48 also can clearly mount the battery where is easy to replace.
Another example of the battery and coil access on the 46-48 Ford.
Not so critical in the early chassis but the later 40-48 require some thought for easy transmission removal.
Clean brake line installation makes servicing easy.
IC has the removable trans mounting plate that make it easy to drop transmission.
Several people offer these firewall mounted units which I like for ease of checking and maintaining.
Ryan made sure all the components in the exhaust system can be serviced.
The flathead in a 46-48 can be serviced easily with all components up top.
Craig shows us what a well-built roadster rear end looks like. It is easy to service with noticed gas tank.
When everything is done right they are fun to drive and service. Thanks Craig for your great photos.