My 1927 Essex

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Rocksalt

Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2019
Messages
19
I’ve been working on it for about 10 years. I just painted it over the week between Xmas and New Years. I plan to post more of the progress pictures here and there, but I thought it would be best to start with a current image next to where an image of what I started with.
 

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I freely admit, the above photo is totally staged. I've yet to drive, or even start it, but I was too jazzed with how it looked not to get it all posed up. I'll post more pictures of the build. I've been at it awhile, and I have no idea what I'm doing. So I'll start with the my chassis, and engine setup. The carb was given to me, and I've heard/read that it may be too big. I did trade work for the transmission, and it is thus far untested. It may well blow up, it may run fine.
Here's my run-down:
Engine is a 1978, 305ci small block chev. No internal modifications, and I don't know if I ever will muck about with it.
Transmission is a 200-4R
Rear end is a Ford 8.8 with 3.73 gears, disc brakes, with 3" spacers to clear the body because she's got a fat ass.
Front end is 48" with a 4" drop, and the GM disc setup. Manual master cylinder
Intake is an Edelbrock 650 cfm - it was a freebie and I never turn down parts. We'll see how it runs and if you have recommendations (that don't involve me throwing the carb into a lake-I wanna run it once first) I'll take them.
I built the chassis.
I really should emphasize again that I don't really know what I'm doing, when I get to a specific point, I research the crap out of that point, then complete the work, and move on. I've had to backtrack a couple of times and change plans and designs and I've just figured that's part of the package.
I'll post more pic but I think this'll get me started and any critiques are WELCOME.

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Don't worry about whether its running or not for pix. There's a heap more pix of machines in progress than those that are running unfortunately. When they get done sometimes we don't get to see them again...hint,hint guys! Hoho!
 
The only thing I see that could be a problem is your rear panhard bar. At rest, with all the weight on it, it should be level. I realize all the weight is not on it, but it looks like a lot of angle to me. That can be corrected later as more weight is added to the springs.

As is, when the rear springs are loaded with more weight, the bar will push the rear towards the right side of the frame.
 
I'm glad ORR expanded your picture as it shows off some of the beautiful detailing on the car.
Backtracking and re-designing is in the package. Nothing to worry about.
I also noticed the slant of your panhard bar, but thought with the body on and some fuel in the tank it would be fairly level. Your frame work looks real good.
 
The only thing I see that could be a problem is your rear panhard bar. At rest, with all the weight on it, it should be level. I realize all the weight is not on it, but it looks like a lot of angle to me. That can be corrected later as more weight is added to the springs.

As is, when the rear springs are loaded with more weight, the bar will push the rear towards the right side of the frame.
What avenues would you recommend I should take to correct it? There's still a bit of angle on it and a full tank of gas will only add 90 lbs. I think the shocks have 3" of travel total. I'm always hunting for options.
 
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The Body: 1927 Essex. 4 suicide doors, (they're discolored because they're aluminum, riveted to steel hinge plates. I rebuilt the front passenger door with a full steel frame and put the original skin back on.
Chopped 3". I didn't have a TIG welder for the aluminum parts of the doors so I used a small piece of sheet metal to bridge the cut line.
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More of the Body:
The original top to the Essex' were made of wood. I decided to make mine from metal as my wood skills are... meh
I made ribs from 1/2" square tube, and then used 3/4 for the pieces that run the length of the car. I was extremely new to the concept of form but I managed to stumble through it and came up with a shape that would create a square topped opening, and give a nice curve to the top of the car. I made the top sheet metal pieces using a mini-English wheel that Harbor Freight used to sell and an empty fire extinguisher cylinder that I had modified for sheet metal shaping. It's what I had at the time and it actually worked really well for this little job.


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More Body:
I finished the space between the rounded corner pieces by running a square tube and capping with sheet metal. I only tacked it on the section that touched the original body because the original Essex metal has ALWAYS welded like hammered shit. It burns away like a leaf under a magnifying lens, and most of the time I had to place a backing sheet to even get a decent tack on it. The floor metal was more hardy and I managed to get good welds for the floor bracing. I welded the bracing on top of the perimeter of the body's metal from the top and bottom. I think I may have overbuilt it.

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More more body: The pretty touches, and a perfect example of how little I know what I'm doing. Here's the first design of my firewall. I love classic type filigree and so I started drawing to fill space and eventually settled here.
When I realized that I would have to re-do the entire thing because I didn't realize how bulky a distributor actually is and didn't make a space for it, I was super bummed. I consoled myself by buying a hand-crank bead roller to make the second one. The first one I hammered out by hand and it took bloody hours. The next one I cranked out in a fraction of the time.
I cut back the old hood lip on the body and bent a piece of 1/8" by 2" metal flat stock to fit the exact contour of the cowl. I then riveted the flat stock to the body with big nasty steel rivets, making sure the edge of the flat stock fit flush with the outside edge. I then welded the firewall from the backside. When I finished here I had a loose idea of how everything would go together. I was counting on having to trim here, fill there. I didn't have hoses or a dipstick for the transmission. I also don't think I had a master cylinder picked out yet.
Edited for clarification.

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