Toppers Tuesday

Monday flew by and I was too tired to write down my activities. I like when I am real busy and have things to accomplish. I think we all benefit from keeping our minds busy and bodies active. I spent the morning at Frantic’s looking at some of his projects and drinking lots of coffee. Fred is working on a super neat Deuce 5 window that the customer has owned for years. My very first Deuce was a 5 window which makes me very curious about the build the owner is doing. Fred had installed a “heavy axle” in place of an early bell axle with a 3 inch drop. The new axle was wider in the spring perch area and made the car too low for the customer likes. He had the old axle re-installed when I arrived and was setting the toe in with one of Heidts front end alignment kits. I liked the old Bell myself as everyone has an I beam today.

I had Fred look at the Woody front suspension to see if everything was O.K. and once on the rack we could see what a wonderful restoration had been performed on the car. The original builders really did a quality job of putting this car back together. All the floors are painted and the remaining components are powder coated black. Nothing was cut on the chassis which required moving the engine forward a couple of inches. The car was obviously a very nice car to begin with. I really like when the undercarriage is detailed.

Back home I spent the rest of the day finishing Andre’s rear spring hangers. I have one more front to install but it requires removing some rivets which means I have to involve the wife with her strong back…

Stay Tooned!


This is the TCI rear spring hanger which is a bolt on item. I like the design of the bracket better than the CE one and once painted it blends in with the chassis. All you need is a 3/8 drill and a 9/16 wrench. Now you’re talking.

Fred had the old axle installed and I thought it looked correct for this period build. Brakes are F100 and should stop the car just fine.

The owner had purchased a dropped Deuce axle to install but didn’t like how low the car sat with the extra inch of drop. Most people today prefer the Deuce axle but sometimes they just don’t look right. This one was dropped correctly and would make someone a nice piece.

Once the Woody was on the rack I shot some pictures of the chassis for reference. Here you can see the P&J split wishbone kit that has been installed. This system while ” old school” really works as Henry intended but is not as smooth as the IFS would be. The choice is strictly up to the owner.

The engine is mounted with urethane bushings rather than the normal stock Chevy mount. I think this was done due to the motor being moved forward. They are very well made and have worked fine for over 20 years.

We looked at Frantic’s sedan delivery and he used the P&J/TCI type mounts which utilize the stock rubber mount. I use this type on all of my cars, but have been tempted to use the CE rubber biscuit mounts on my next one.

Here is a photo of the rear end and spring installation. Fred thinks this is a Posie set up and works very well on this heavy car. The rear axle is an early Mustang 8 inch unit that has been powdercoated and detailed. Note shock are mounted to the housing not the lower spring plate. Walt moved the battery from the engine compartment to the chassis which cleaned up the engine compartment. Terminal are run to the outside of frame for servicing and the battery is in a stainless drop down box. Nice touch.

Dick had his hiboy in Decatur for all to drool over. I grew up in Decatur and problably showed my 53 custom at this same venue in the 60’s. I know you don’t see many highboy model 40’s but I really like them. You can always add fenders if you must have them.

I also like hammered 34 sedans. This one has the “look”. There was a time I thought about chopping mine but it was too difficult of a job for a young man. How about those wheels? Nice ride.

Today’s thinking….changing your mind set may be required!

I think most of you know I am a very traditional car lover but sometimes comfort over rides your strict rules. Here is a Heidts Super Ride being installed on a 46-48 Ford convertible by SAR.

The IFS requires modification of the inner fender panels which differ to accommodate tube shocks added in 1947. Some builders do extensive sheetmetal shaping to hide the upper control arms. You must remember that you to need to allow room for adjustment on these IFS. SAR can do it all.

Roy installs a lot of IFS on his builds and they are traditional in style to most younger guys. This is the M11 type IFS with stainless arms. I saw this chassis at Roy’s open house and it is going under a 1942 Woody. Roy probably has the most experence of any builder when it comes to variety of build styles. I know he is an axle guy at heart but on cars with fenders he uses a lot of IFS.

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