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Thread: Another build thread? Yep, my track-style T
          
   
   

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  1. #211
    J. Robinson's Avatar
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    Thank you, Don. Yeah, the bumper and radius rods are styled after the early Kurtis midgets & sprint cars. I am eventually going to make side nerfs and a rear bumper for it, too. I think I need to put something in the bumper, but not sure yet if it will be my initial or something else...

    The Turkey Run is sneaking up on us almost too quickly. I will drive my coupe unless I need my truck to haul something home, but my son is really wanting to have his sedan running. He has reached that point in his first build where a lot of first-timers get frustrated and quit. There is a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel, but it seems like an unending list of little details that keep getting in the way of putting everything together. We've all been there...
    Jim

    Racing! - Because football, basketball, baseball, and golf require only ONE BALL!

  2. #212
    Itoldyouso's Avatar
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    I know that "valley" that we all get into all too well. I'm down to stupid stuff like brake and fuel lines, and I built the whole car faster than I am wrapping up these little details. Just pulling the starter and making up cables the other day was enough that I needed a nap after. My big project for yesterday and today is making up my exhaust baffles.

    Keep after your Son, it sounds like he has a real good shot at making it. Don and I figure once Dan actually sees our two rods running it will kick him in the butt and he will quit reengineering his '29 and want to get it on the road. Right now it is in a million pieces getting a total revamp and it has never even seen the street.

    Don

  3. #213
    J. Robinson's Avatar
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    Well, the roll bar and bumper were a nice distraction from standing on my head under the cowl, but I must get this steering done sometime, so...

    In order to get the Ford Ranger steering box to work as a cowl-mounted unit, it is necessary to extend the pittman arm shaft out through the side of the body. To accomplish this, I gathered a couple different sizes of tubing, two pittman arms (the original one that came with the Ranger box and another one of unknown origin), and some miscellaneous nuts, bolts, and washers.

    The first step was to cut the Ranger pittman arm apart. I only need the splined portion. I ground the remains of the arm off to get this piece as round as possible so I could chuck it up in a lathe later. I also marked and drilled six equally-spaced holes in a pair of 1 1/4" washers.

    I could have used a grinder to reduce the size of the splined collar, but it would be slow going. Luckily, I have access to a small lathe, so I quickly turned the splined piece down to a more easily useable size. The purpose here was to get the piece down to a smaller diameter that would fit between the six bolts on the big washers. I also turned the tips off the corners of the big nut that holds the pittman arm on the steering box so it would fit through the hole in the washers.

    Once I got what I needed, I welded the splined collar to one of the washers. I welded a short piece of 1 5/8" tubing to the other washer. These are welded on both sides and then the welds dressed just enough to make everything fit together. Now the splined piece fits on the steering box, the nut with the shaved corners will hold it in place, and the other piece bolts to it.

    That's as far as I got. The pictures help to explain what I did and it is becoming apparent where I'm going with this.
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    Jim

    Racing! - Because football, basketball, baseball, and golf require only ONE BALL!

  4. #214
    Itoldyouso's Avatar
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    Pretty cool way to mount the box and extend the arm.

    Don
    Last edited by Itoldyouso; 09-23-2007 at 07:13 PM.

  5. #215
    J. Robinson's Avatar
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    The next step in extending the sector shaft (pittman arm shaft) was to locate and cut the necessary hole in the cowl. Then I welded another piece of tubing (the next size smaller) into the adapter collar that I made in the last installment. It is positioned so it will not interfere with the retainer nut on the steering box. This piece was deliberately too long so that I could mark and trim it to length after trial fitting. After that, I cut and welded yet another piece (again the next size smaller) into the end. This last piece only stuck out enough to fit flush with the outside of the pittman arm.

    I put the extension in place, indexed the steering box to dead center of travel, and hung the pittman arm on it. With the box centered and the pittman arm hanging straight down, I marked them so I could weld them together in the correct position later. Next, I welded a 3/4" bolt (with the head cut off) into the end of the adapter, leaving it out far enough to put a self-locking nut on the outside. Finally, I welded the pittman arm to the extension; I welded both sides completely making sure that I got good penetration all around. I let this piece air-cool completely. When it was cool enough to handle, I bolted it in place and put the nut on the outside. The nut really serves no purpose except to hide the weld and make the whole thing look complete.
    Attached Images
    Jim

    Racing! - Because football, basketball, baseball, and golf require only ONE BALL!

  6. #216
    J. Robinson's Avatar
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    Now, to mount the column... I am using the steering column out of a 1968 Olds 442. I chose this one because it does not have the key in the column and it doesn't have a column shifter mechanism. I could have used any 1968 or earlier steering column. I have already deviated from my early-50's theme with the front suspension; I didn't want the column to be a dead giveaway that this is a modern-built car.

    The first step was to cut it off to a useable length. I began by chopping right through the housing and shaft with my chop saw. I held it up to the car and decided it was still too long, so I cut about another 6 inches off. At this point, I disassembled the remaining column down to the bare shaft.

    From the big piece I cut off, I took the tubular shaft section that transitions from round to double-D and cut it off about 8 inches long. The double-D part, of course, slides right onto the piece of upper shaft that I am using. The other (round) end slides right onto the input shaft of the Ford Ranger steering box. The Ranger shaft already has a flat on one side, so I ground a matching flat on the opposite side, tapered them both slightly, and now the tube slides on until the flats are up inside the "transition" portion of the tube. Now I could slip the pieces together and sit in the car with the wheel in place to check the fit. I ended up cutting about another 2 inches off the upper shaft section.

    Finally, I marked and welded the tubular piece to the upper shaft piece. With some trial and error fitting, I marked and cut the column housing about an inch shorter than the completed shaft and then reassembled everything. The column and wheel assembly now slips right onto the Ranger input shaft with the flats trapped in the transitional part of the inside tube.

    In my next installment, I will make the pieces that keep everything solidly together.
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    Jim

    Racing! - Because football, basketball, baseball, and golf require only ONE BALL!

  7. #217
    Itoldyouso's Avatar
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    You've got the steering really figured out pretty well. I like the way it exits the cowl. If I were doing that I would have had 3 or 4 large holes cut because I can never seem to hit the exact spot where steering columns and other stuff needs to be, so I end up patching a lot of holes.

    Good job and really making headway.

    Don

  8. #218
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    See it's ahead there Jim. Steering came out good . Issue with me never cut one and am a bit shaky on the thought . Are all GM columns basicly the same i have a 82 silverado pick up column.

  9. #219
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    Great thinking and design, I do believe you have helped alot of people with this thread and on thier behalf I thank you.
    "Sunshine, a street rod and a winding beautiful Ozarks road is truely Bliss!"

  10. #220
    J. Robinson's Avatar
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    Thanks guys. I hope some have benefitted from this thread; I'm enjoying doing it.

    Bobby, as far as I know the GM columns are all somewhat similar inside. Since the mid-'60's they have all been collapsible and used similar components. On my coupe I only needed to shorten the column ('95 GMC Sonoma) a couple of inches, so I took advantage of the collapsible feature. I stood it on its steering wheel and used a wood block and a big hammer to shorten (collapse) it. I did the outer housing first and then the shaft. Works like a charm...
    Jim

    Racing! - Because football, basketball, baseball, and golf require only ONE BALL!

  11. #221
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    Thanks Jim give's me better in thought to what i will look for . Be great to see a tech article on various types

  12. #222
    J. Robinson's Avatar
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    Everything fits together nicely; now I need to make it stay there. This turned out to be one of the easier ones I've done...

    First, and most importantly, the steering shaft has to be locked to the input shaft on the steering box. At first I thought I would simply drill a 3/16" hole through both pieces and pin them together with a grade-8 10-32 socket-head bolt. Then I discovered that the input shaft on the Ford Ranger box is hardened and can't be drilled, so...

    I drilled a 17/64" hole in one side of the hollow end of the steering shaft. Then, using a shank-bolt (no threads on the end), I centered a 5/16-24 nut over the hole, tack welded it, removed the bolt, and welded the nut solidly in place. After it air-cooled, I ran a 5/16-24 tap through to clean up the threads in the nut and cut threads through the hole in the shaft. I installed a 5/16-24 socket-head set screw.

    Next, I put the column / wheel back on the box and tightened the set screw to make a mark on the input shaft. Then I removed the column / wheel and ground a small notch in the shaft at the mark. This allows the set screw to seat in the notch so that it locks the column onto the input shaft. When I assemble the car for the final time, I will use lock-tite on the set screw.

    The second part of this operation is to put a bracket on the column housing so it can be attached to the body. The bracket doesn't have much stress on it since it's not supporting any weight. All it does is keep the housing from rotating around the shaft. I welded a small angle bracket (from ACE Hardware) to the column housing so that it would be positioned behind the dash. I situated it on the housing so the turn signal lever is about 10 or 15 degrees above horizontal. The reason I did that is to make getting in and out of the car easier for the driver (more clearance to get my leg between the lever and the body). A small bolt through the dash just above the column locks the housing in place. When I finish the car, I can either hide the bolt behind the dash cover or replace it with something decorative like a chrome acorn, etc.
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    Jim

    Racing! - Because football, basketball, baseball, and golf require only ONE BALL!

  13. #223
    J. Robinson's Avatar
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    Well.., I whipped up a drag link and connected the pittman arm to the front spindle. Now the car is steerable.., but the steering box moves! It seems that the bracket I made isn't rigid enough. I fab'd it out of 1/4" plate; I should have used 3/8". When I move the steering wheel, the steering box mount flexes. I can fix it OK, but this is a minor setback...

    Oh well! Right, wrong, or indifferent, I will show you the construction process, warts and all.

    Meantime, I am toying with the idea of using a Duvall style windshield. Since I have the body with the extended cowl, I can make one to fit using Brian Ruppnow's instructions. Here are some pics of a cardboard mockup; tell me what you think.
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    Jim

    Racing! - Because football, basketball, baseball, and golf require only ONE BALL!

  14. #224
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    I Like The Windshield There J Looks Good And I,ve Been Following Your Progress All The Way,and Actually Picked Up Some Pointers,just Wanted To Say Thank U For Sharing Ur Knowledge And The Way U Present It.

  15. #225
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    The steering box issue is just one of those things that crop up, you'll fix it. We all find things like that, you just have to address them and move on.

    D***, that T looks ready to drive almost !!! It's one thing to have a roller, but you have lots of the mechanicals done already as well as the body. I really like it. To me the windshield looks good, but maybe just a tad too tall. I know that you would rather look through it than over it, but maybe just a little off the top wouldn't create any problems. Just my opinion.

    Seems like your Sons sedan is pretty far along too from the pictures. Hope to meet you both in Daytona.

    Don

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