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32 Nash 1063 convertible sedan


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I will do 2 posts to keep it less winded:rolleyes:. I am just showing what went wrong so others won't do the same.

I worked on the same #2 skin today. I put the biggest jack in the press. A former aircraft plant manager was here and saw what affect the press jack has on the 15/16" thick top die plates..

I pumped the die internal pressure to 500, and then started to press on the center of the die. You could see the internal pressure go up 200 to 300 PSI with just moderate pressing. Wow.

So, I was already working with the skin that had the sealing area distorted from yesterday with the small jack, and I only got up to 2200 PSI before it leaked in more areas. At that point, I gave up on getting more pressure with this skin. I think the best way, is to gradually raise the internal pressure and the press force, alternating each, to try to keep the die top from flexing down or up. If I press too hard on the press first, that will rock the sealing ring by making the top plate dish downwards, just like putting too much internal pressure in, which lets the die crown go up.

I took the skin out to see what happened. The die recutting now gave me more crown, and now the skin fits nice on the old shell. The first skin did not sit down as nice. The first skin edge would have to be pulled downwards to start the rolled edge. That would make it difficult. Might be able to see that in the pic of all 3 caps. The one in the middle of 3 caps, is todays skin.

"Learn from what you see"; I noticed I now have a much flatter outer ring on this skin. The middle ring also now has at least a faint trace of flatness in the very middle. The small ring is still domed, no trace of a flat area. This tells me what I had read online; inside radii takes much more pressure. You can see the flatter detail in the pic of 2 skins.

So I am struggling with the wrong solution by trying to raise pressure with limited equipment. It dawned on me as to why the different rings showed flat areas being different than each other; It's the width of the ring that causes the difference. Each of the Nash rings get thinner as you go from outside ring to the inside ring. Ta-ta :)..... This all goes back to the balloon effect, because air or hydralulic pressure acts like circular force...like a balloon.....

What I am now thinking, with 100% confidence, is that if I made the die grooves for the rings very shallow, I should get a much wider flat spot on each ring. That's my theory, and I drew a sketch. I had made these die grooves much deeper than stock, as I thought it would help, and it makes it worse, from what I see.

EDIT: The sketch is worded wrong. It should say that the maximum force can now have a greater effect than a deeper groove.




Edited by F&J
correction (see edit history)
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You may have noticed that the new skin only has a slight trace of the center emblem. I planned it that way. When I took out the old piece of original hubcap skin with the emblem, it left behind the epoxy filler that was under the brass. As I machined a deeper crown in the die, it left that faint mark.

I wanted some trace of the emblem, so I can "feel" the 2 zinc dies line up, when I press in the emblem later.

Here is the skin laying on a Nash wheel. Looks pretty good. These wheels still have the original dark midnight blue that I saw under the rim flaps. I will do the same color. The brake drums were painted navy blue, which is a bit lighter. Then blackwall tires, like it must have had when new. Should be nice.

Here is my problem; This morning my son was in the shop as I showed him what I was trying next. He said "you need to finish the Ford so you can finally have a car to drive, spring is coming, and the Ford is almost done"

Then my elderly friend said later today, after seeing all the cars in the shop, "you need to finish a car" :) . He has restored many, many cars, and never has 2 going at once...so he does finish them.

So, I may try filling the die grooves tommorrow to try skin #3, but I may just stop right now, and get on the Ford. That's the problem, As much as I like the Nash, it would never be finished for summer.


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I don't know if you are familiar with Kirksite (spl) dies that the auto makers use for testing a design or other short run stampings of parts.

It is a alloy of zinc and will hold up for many stampings, especailly using thin Brass.

I have used my ZA alloy to stamp smaller parts, but not as large as a hubcap.

You would take an original cover that is in very good conditiion and copy both sides with a no-bake system.

Then cast these in ZA (or Kirksite) alloy and then polish.

They would then be mounted in a die holder so that they were perfectly lined up.

The die holder would need to have a clamping frame to hold the sheet of brass so it stretched and not wrinkle as it is drawn with the dies halves.

From there you would press out copies.

Trimming the excess off could be done by hand.

To crimp them on the original cap body would be the next hard to do part.

It was done in a press originally, so the crimp was done all at once.

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Coley, Thanks for the alternate ideas and info on forming. Others will see this when deciding what to try. Most of us with oddball cars, can't seem to come up with a NOS cap or one that is not dinged somewhere, to get a good copy of.

Ok, I machined the female die once again, to get the ring grooves shallower. I also did mess with the sealing area a bit.

This time I got to 2300 PSI gradually, and heard a quick "Pop" inside the die, and then saw oil leaking out of one of the two .040" air bleed holes. I knew the copper ripped, because the pressure went to nothing instantly, and it never has before.

Pic shows a razor knife blade stuck in the 1/2" long tear at the sharp 90 bend right at the edge of the sealing ring. That is the edge of the copper that is crushed by the seal, and is likely the weakest point. I originally thought 2 weeks ago, that it might tear there right in the beginning of the pressurizing, so I have no idea why it would tear now that most of the major stretching was done. The tear is right where I would trim the extra off, before crimping, so it's not ruined.

Anyways, when it blew, the rapid pressure loss made the edge that will be rolled, distort a tiny bit. It actually forced that small area tighter into the outermost inner radius. I also noticed on the middle raised ring, that there was an indent right in it's center, all the way around the cap. I don't know if rapid pressure loss did that, or maybe there was trapped air under that ring, under 2300 PSI, and perhaps the instant loss of oil pressure, let the air push up in the center? I can fix it.

Pic shows all 3 test caps. The one in the center of the wheel is todays. The other one with a pressed Nash emblem was the first one. If you stand 10 feet away, they all look the same, but I do like the latest one better. I am going to make the rest the same, and maybe drill a .040" air bleed in the middle ring and center ring (in the die). I put the holes in the tightest part of the inside radius. That area will never get covered by the copper, so it will not leave a mark on the copper.

I am happy with the results of this project, as I think they look good for what I have to work with.

I need to clean up the shop and store these pieces away, and start on the Ford in the AM, so this is my last update for a long spell.

One more thing to say for someone doing this; if your cap is smaller, like 5", that would be a tremendous reduction in the spreading forces on the dies. I rounded off the figures when I did the math on my 7.25+" caps, and figuring on the lighter side, I was at 92,000 lbs when it popped. You can go to an online chart to figure the "area" in sq inches, of your smaller cap, then multiply "area" by the PSI you have. I was told years ago, that a hand grease gun can go to 2000-2500 PSI, so you don't need an oil pump...just some tubes of grease :) A pressure gauge would be good, so you know where you are. Mine was fairly cheap for a new swiss made one, on ebay years ago.



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I need to clean up the shop and store these pieces away, and start on the Ford in the AM, so this is my last update for a long spell.
I did clean up and put the Nash parts away, but I was curious about rolling the skin onto the old hubcap shell.

This skin is the first one which will be scrapped later. It was a test of the rolled edge. I did not trim anything, not even the 90 degree bend going in the wrong direction. (I did not know how short to trim it)

I only have 2 hubcap shells with skins removed so far, and they are also beat up at the edges. So I straightened the edge without spending too much time on a test. If you don't make that old edge perfect, it will show through on the new rolled skin.

I put the cap and skin upside down in my lap, holding one side in, then gradually rolling the opposite edge with a body hammer. Using a sideways "brushing movement" with the hammer, it helps "push" or "smush" the metal sideways without denting it.

The closeup pic shows how tightly the new skin hugs the wire wheel, it's a huge pic so you can see that. I am very pleased with the project.



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These are not Nash pieces that I made yesterday, but some people like to see hand made parts, if originals can't be found.

These are hood sides for a 20's Stewart wrecker. Someone added something attached to the motor that required the hood side to be cut away. That piece will be a fairly easy fix, but one hood hook bracket was gone and one handle was missing.

The hook bracket; I started with a rough zinc sandcast, and did some milling/drilling and filing. I like working with the zinc, as it seems to be stronger than aluminum on thin pieces. It does melt at a lower temp, so that is good. But the low temp makes drill bits gum up unless you turn the speed down.

The hook looked like a challenge. There are 3 choices on fabrication. Start with 3/8" solid steel rod and heat it red to blacksmith the shape. Or, casting by sand, or better yet, by lost wax method. However, if it is just one part, sometimes hand fab is far more economical for the car owner.

I looked and then felt a seam under the other handle, and saw it was made from rolled up thin sheetmetal. I had a piece of 3/8" steel gas line and started by gently flattening the center part. Then slit the ends from underneath with a cut-off wheel in a pie shape cut, and start rolling the tapers. I had to recut those piecuts a few times to get the thin ends.

Curving the ends was suprisingly easy to do with a body hammer and 2 wood blocks between the center of each bend.

Then the 2 flat mounting feet were cut from 1/8" steel plate and welded on. Then drill and finish grind the feet and the welds. It really went quickly.

I need to gather ceramic supplies for when I try to make all the Nash interior door and window handles by the lost wax method. I will use the zinc, as the practice on the last few projects gave me a bit more confidence on how it will go.





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hello fj

if you chucked up the hubcap backing in your lathe then installed the skin then using a shaped wood block to crimp the edge of the new skin over the backing would the heat from the wood block help keep the material soft while the crimping process was underway,just a thought dave

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hello fj

if you chucked up the hubcap backing in your lathe then installed the skin then using a shaped wood block to crimp the edge of the new skin over the backing would the heat from the wood block help keep the material soft while the crimping process was underway,just a thought dave

Dave, don't worry about special tools to crimp the skins on. That friend that told me about doing the 31 Chevy ones decades ago, said "I don't recall how I did it, but they were already chromed, and it was easy to crimp, and they came out nice". So, I was experimenting with the scrap skin, and that took away any concern about wrecking it, and I just used a body hammer and no dolly. You are cold shrinking the metal, by shoving it into itself, just like "tuck shrinking" does

The one issue is that you must repair any edge damage on the old hubcap body. If you don't, you'd be forming over a "dented buck", and it will show right through the thin skin. Someone PMed about using brass, and I replied that I had read that brass needs to be annealed again, if it was worked or shaped. This is shown on youtube in a high end hydroforming factory doing large brass cylinders, and they stack them in an oven made for that. I am guessing that the brass may age crack if you don't?

I am thrilled so far on the copper, as well as the .016" thickness. They are very sturdy, once they are formed. Next one up is a tick under .022 (.02187?), and I think that would be a problem for forming details?

Fantastic work Frank. What a great project.
Thanks, I am having a good time, despite trying new things with a few hicups. I never would have dreamed I could do this, back when I was looking for good used caps.

Speaking of Nash... and your locale.. I am sure you know all about the car below. I saw it in person, maybe 40 years ago, when it was still in the open pole barn. It was on one outside row, exposed to some weather....at a sawmill near Athol. I was young to the hobby, and from a distance, I thought it was a J Duesenberg. The yard worker said "no, it's a Nash" :) I could not believe Nash made such a monster, or one so beautiful. (I liked it better with painted wheels and blackwalls..)

Just a few years ago, another elderly friend told me who owned it then, as he was good friends with the mill owner. They were both horse traders. Sad to say the owner called my friend the night before he passed away..to say goodbye.

I told Mr Pease about it later, and he showed me a sales brochure and said it "must be an Ambassador". All these years, and I assumed it was on the 140+" chassis, but Dave Mitchell just told me that the conv sedans were not. I have a framed 33 brochure hanging in the shop, and he is correct. I was mixed up because I had read that there were no 32 Ambassadors with the conv sedan body, and that they did in 33, but only 3 were made and this one is the only known survivor.

My little Nash is about half scale. Oh well...


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  • 3 years later...

I'm going to try to get going on the Nash before I'm too old to drive.


I've had plenty of time to think about the issues on this car; one was a badly cracked head, and the other main thing is that this car has a 4.73 gear ratio that would give a comfortable driving speed limited to 40 to 45 MPH.  That won't work on roads in my area, and I wouldn't drive the car with the engine screaming.


I did finally find a used head on AACA "what is it" thread, and it should be here in a week or so.  I hope it's better than mine that is cracked all the way across the top, and into one spark plug hole.


I've read the old Special Interest Auto's article from year 2000, about a 1932 Nash 6 cyl 1060 sedan that is the identical chassis as mine, and the car was heavily modified during many years of running in the "Great Race".   He never trailers the car to the starting points of each race, he drove it, so it certainly can keep up with modern traffic issues.    It still looks stock to me, so I will make "some" of the changes that he did.


My first job will be the rear axle ratio.  He ran a Gear Vendors inline overdrive unit.  Those are too pricey for me, and I really don't want to deal with a dash operated switch while driving, So I will be doing a gear change.  My car was flat towed in the 1980's from Carlisle by a former owner, 300 miles to Connecticut.....with no oil in the rear end!  It also lost all the wheel bolts on one rear wheel, which apparently bent the end of one axle shaft.  There simply are no parts cars out there, so I have decided to swap the rear end.


I am picking up the donor rear end tonight, and will get some pics of my plans and progress.  There are hours of research to determine which donor rear end will work, as far as width, gear ratio availability, and being able to use the Nash wheels and drums.  The drums on these cars were very visible through the spokes, and were painted the body color, and the wheels were painted the color of the fenders and reveals.  My car had navy blue body and drums, with midnight blue fenders and wheels.....so I must use the Nash drums 






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I am going to start with the rear end ratio change.  This car is useless and dangerous in today's traffic with the 4.73 ratio which would cruise best at 40mph.


I could not do a center housing swap like Dean-H did on his Hup, due to the offsets on the Nash gear set and axle shafts, so I am swapping the entire rear end, but need to keep the very visable Nash brake drums which were painted a contrasting dark blue, with midnight blue wire wheels.  you can see the original 1932 dark blue paint in the pics, as well as the farmer blue that someone did later.


It took 4-5 days to decide which rear end would be available locally, and be able to make it work.


I needed to figure the total width first.  My smallest series Nash uses a 58" wide rear from drum faces.   My car looked very odd with the rear tires that looked set inwards too deep in the fender, so I will be moving them out, like the bigger Nash series had.  It just bugged me, so I will do it.


The next issue is how any of these bolt on wire wheels need to be supported as you tighten the lugs. 


In the pics below, I show with a pencil, the 10 "bumps" on the rear of the wheel that must touch.  Also in the other pic, I show with yellow crayon, the very non-typical groove machined in the rear drum hub, to support the unusual "reversed type" lip on the center hole on the wire wheel.  


Most wheels have that 90 degree lip at the center hole, facing outwards, but in either style, that center hole area must also be supported from crushing inwards by the lugs, like designed.


First step was to drill off the 5 drum rivets, and discard the rear axle hubs:






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Neat.  What ratio are you aiming for?  4:00 or 3:90?

I had my mind made up on a 3.80, which would bump me up 10 mph at the same rpm.   But....  I am contemplating a 3.55, mainly due to the fact that for many decades, the guys with flathead 6 powered 40s Dodge trucks are using a common 3.54 Mopar center gear carrier.  I have an elderly friend with one, and they drive interstates to Maine.   I also just rented a storage bay to a local young guy, who just bought a 47 Dodge P/U with the 3.54 swap, and he did drive interstate highway from where he bought it, to my place.  He will have it legally registered this week, and offered to let me drive it on different road types, to help decide.  Yes, I know the 40s Doge motor is more power, but I am wanting to try his truck.


Even if I choose the wrong gear, the donor rear I chose, has a wide variety of new gears that are only $150, so it's not a big worry right now.

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Ok, back to choosing a donor rear.   Here is a pic of the Nash "Midland Steel-Draulic" cable brake backing plate.   As you can see, the center mounting flange is a super deeply dish shape at the mounting flange.   This would require a very precise homemade machined adapter, to be able to use it on "any" semi-modern rearend.


The Great Race sedan I showed, was converted by the owner, to hydraulic brakes.  I honestly did not want to switch to hydraulics, as the Midland brakes were OK in the day, if properly adjusted.   I did read that a member here did have "rear wheel lockups" on a 1933 Continental sedan.  So, I will just do the hydraulic brakes on all 4 wheels.  I already planned out the master cylinder location, so I know it will be an easy fit under the floor.   And, I also looked at the front brakes, and I think I can modify them fairly easily.


To make the 12" Nash drums fit the modern rearend, I will be using them as dummy drums, with smaller modern 10" drums inside.  Due to that groove that the Nash wire wheel needs, I can't just slide one drum over the new drum.  I need a spacer/adapter that I can machine a groove into.


So, the simple way out, is to use a narrow rear, but be able to use the common, inexpensive wheel adaptors which are 1.250 thick.  The adapter bolts to the new rear end, over it's drum, then the Nash drum and wheel bolts to that.


So, I wanted a rear end that was common enough to order whatever ratio I ever need, but be still narrow enough to use two 1.250 spacer/adapters.   I also wanted the drop out gear carrier, versus the integral carrier that is a pain to do gears on.   My only choices were 1957 Ford that is a 9" gear, and a 66-77 Bronco also a 9", or a 64-1/2 to 66 Mustang V8 which is an 8".   As some of you know, a lighter rearend reduces the unsprung weight ratio, to give a better ride....so I chose the Mustang.




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I got lucky and found a 65 Mustang rearend an hour away, and got it for $150.


The Nash uses a very odd way to hold the rearend to the springs:  It is 4 rubber bushings instead of the normal 4 U-bolts.   


It will take a bit more labor, but I will reuse the Nash style.    The Nash as 4 forged curved brackets welded to the rearend.   To cut and trim all 4, and get them lined up and welded to the Mustang rear, is too much effort.  I cut up the Nash rear and am leaving a C-shaped piece of the Nash axle tube, as a weld on bracket.  The Mustang tube is smaller, so it fits right on.


another reason to not use the easy U-bolts, is that the angle of the lower shock link will change, as that bracket would need to move further back to fit narrow U-bolts.


I can't weld them on yet, because the rear leaf springs were sitting very crooked from bad rubber bushings.  I did some searches to find out that 67-up Chrysler Imperial uses this size bushings, and they will be here soon.


As soon as parts arrive, I will continue...





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My new spring bushings and wheel spacer/adapters arrived yesterday.   The adapters are what I wanted, but the bushings are for 1" spring eyes, not 1-1/2" like one company had said on the net.


I am not a huge fan of returning parts, and waste even more time searching for those big bushings...   But I also believe that things often happen for a reason..


Take a look at the old Nash bushings and setup below.


This car was likely junked when it was less than 20 years old, but even then, the oversize soft bushings had distorted by the cars weight on center stud.  The bushings now have the center hole "offset" from crushing.  To make matters worse, Nash used a flat washer in between the two bushing halves.  With saggy bushings, the inner stud shaft was being sawed through by rubbing on the washer.  You can also see that the washer was being sawed through.


so I decided to use the firmer bushings that I received. More on how I did make them work in the next post.


One shackle was OK, but I had to replace the two studs on the other shackle.  These two studs were rotted and partly sawed through.  These are stepped studs with a shoulder, so that the two sides on the shackle can be tightened by the nuts, and then stop as the outside plate hits the shoulder.   Those studs are a pain to make and cut threads on my old lathe, so I used leftover 1/2" fine studs from some "too long" U-bolts that my son had shortened.   Then I made two thin bushings on the lathe to act as shoulders.


Welded back together like stock




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To make 1" OD bushings fit into a 1.5" spring eye, I needed a sleeve like a piece of pipe.  There are no types of pipe made in that size.


I went to our local metal recycle place, hoping to find aluminum stock that is easy to cut on the lathe.  They had tons of it.  I bought a 4 foot piece of new Alcoa 1.5" solid round stock.  It was a bargain at $7.00


The rubber bushings have a hat shape, so that the spring edges can't ride against the steel shackle.  (you can see the black rubber bushing sitting on top of the lathe chuck)  That bigger end was a bit too wide, and I figured it would be good to step-bore the new aluminum bushing adapters.  I think this will be better.


So, both ends of each aluminum adapter, gets step-bored for two bushing halves.  Then the aluminum gets pressed into the spring eye.


The pics are in the wrong order, but you can see how it went




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That is nice work.  Did Steele not have the 1.5 inch bushings?  Seems like they have everything.


It is possible that they have the correct ones, but !!!


Take a quick look at one of their bushings, and enlarge the dimension sketch.  I tried to copy that pic, but the format they use won't copy/paste.  Anyways, it is a useless list of bushings, because they skip the most important dimension like the bore size of the eye.  They list the stud ID and the OD of the outer step, but not the eye size. 




Geez, whomever did the sketches probably went to college, but lacks any common sense.   That is why I mentioned "wasting more time on the net looking for more bushings"   


I only found one chart listing Harris style bushings from some spring company, but they only had 3 bushings in stock!  How can it be a spring company that you'd do business with, if they don't even have enough to do just one end of one spring??


I miss the old days when the local auto parts guy knew which parts were what size, so you could find something to work on an obsolete antique car.  This is why people now "restore" 1990 cars to show at Hershey. LOL

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Just a quick post to try out the new forum software.

Here are 2 pics taken from the Nash Car Club website of two 1932 "Second Series" Nash sedans with the same main body color that my car had when new.  One is a Big Six 1060 chassis like mine, and the bigger sedan is a 1080 Advanced Eight which is 2 chassis sizes larger. Nash made two more sizes even larger than that 1080 shown below.


My original Dupont color chart shows that 1932 Nash Second Series came standard with two tone paint, the main body was one color like these, but the fenders were a contrasting color...but interesting that is says black fenders were "optional".  My car had darker midnight blue fenders and wheels.


The smaller Nash below is not supposed to have silver paint on the wheels, and it has an older unknown incorrect bumper on the front.  My car will be blackwalls, too.




Edited by F&J (see edit history)
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The spring bushings all sorted out, and springs back in the car.  Now I am setting up the Ford rear end to center it, and also must set the pinion nose angle, before welding the Nash spring perches to the axle tubes.   You need to measure the angle of the trans centerline, then if that is say, 3 degrees downwards, you must set the pinion nose angle to 3 degrees up.  That is so both u-joints will be working without binding.  If the angle was not matched, the u-joints fight each other during a revolution, causing vibrations at a certain speeds.  Once I get it set, I will weld the perches on.


You can see that the Nash drum now sits on a spacer/adapter, and does hide the Ford drum.  The spacer also allows cooling air to keep the Ford drums cool.


The pic of the wheel laying flat with a feeler gauge stuck in...  I said in another post, that a wheel centerhole, must be supported by the drum face so that when you tighten the wheel lugs, the wheel is not bending inwards there.  As maybe you can see, the center hole is NOT touching.   Guys who do 1940 Ford Hydraulic brakes on 28-34 Fords with wire wheels, can easily buy "spacer rings" made for many decades, to fix this mis-fit.


What I am going to do instead, is machine some of the face of the aluminum spacer, so that the dummy Nash drum fits inwards the exact same measurement that I get with the feeler gauge.  That will also perfectly center the Nash drum to the aluminum spacer...just like the stock Nash hubs had a recess for the drum.


I also did test fit one tire/wheel on, to see how much better the tire looks with a wider track that I wanted.  It looks great to me, as the tire is no longer sitting way too far into the fender.   It looks so normal now, that it looks like nothing was changed...even comparing it to the front tires and sidemounted spares.





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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...
On ‎4‎/‎12‎/‎2016 at 8:36 PM, alsancle said:

31 but the bodies were held over?


Hi alsancle...


I'm not quite sure of the question on the body shell..  but here is what I do know:


the body you posted is the older style that was indeed held over for the "first series" of 1932 Nash.  That first series car was kind of a mongrel, as it did use the older body main shell and doors, but they added a new V grille, as well as going to single blade modern style bumpers..


That series was quickly replaced in the spring of 1932, by an "all new" car.  That "new" V grille was refined again!, so it is totally different, and the hood got vent doors instead of the louvers.  But the main body was also all new stampings; the door at the beltline, now sweeps upwards at the front, to meet the new windshield upper A pillars.  The first series A pillar looks straight, and the new series gives a slanted-back look to the upper pillars.   Also note that the older doors have a "point" or "bubble" detail at the bottom of the beltline...(right in the center of the door).


The first series 32's are 900 model numbers, and the second series are 1000 series, like mine.  My car is 1063, the 10 means second series 32, the 6 indicates the smallest chassis, and the 3 indicates a 2 door conv sedan body.


I also believe the fenders are totally different on the second series, but the bumpers appear the same to me.


The entire chassis is all new on second series, going to a strong X frame, and even the steering box is different, springs, motor  etc,etc


All of these changes, make for a true nightmare in finding any missing parts.


I'm happy to say I found most of the last parts I needed in the last 3-4 months from 3 sources....stuff I never thought I'd find.

Edited by F&J (see edit history)
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  • 3 weeks later...

The rear end swap was easy, compared to converting the front brakes from Steel-Draulic cable, to hydraulic.


Here is a drawing of the Midland cable brakes used on a few early 30's cars like Auburn, Nash, Pontiac and Continental.  These cars all seem to have the very odd dished inwards center of the backing plates.  That deep dish makes it impossible to swap to a newer hydraulic backing plate, as they don't have that dish...so, the brakes will be outwards too far.



I am having trouble with the forum pic system...not sure if it will work as there is no preview button like before?



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So, if I want to keep the Nash drums as they do show, and were painted a contrasting blue....the easiest way would be to try to fit a wheel cylinder into the very tiny area where the original cable pivots were.....and keep the Nash backing plates/drums... 


I read the Special Interest Magazine article on the modified 32 Nash that ran the Great Race for many years.  The reporter asked if he used "newer" brakes from a Nash.  The owner said: "No, they are homemade, it took a lot of work to get them in there, and make them work".


Now I see what he meant about getting them in there, due to lack of room with those dished plates.  There was no point in getting conventional "split" shoes such as 39-48 Lincoln that also has 12" x 1-3/4" shoes, because there is no room for the bigger cylinder those would need.


So, I was trying to guess just how much pressure is applied on these "self energizing" Midland band brakes, from that cable/lever in the brakes.  From what I read, these brakes were touchy as they can grab too much if not adjusted correctly, or if you used the softer lining...


I decided to try to find any cylinder that had a small mounting footprint that could fit in there.  The only one I saw was a 3/4" bore Honda from the 1980's.  That bore size seems way too small for a front brake on this weight of car, but I hope that by selecting the right size master cylinder bore, and getting the pedal ratio correct....It might work?   I am now happy that the rear brakes are only 10" as the fronts need to be stronger.


It took a lot of trial/error to modify the hole for the cylinder, and clear everything, including the spindle on the back side.  I had to remove the old cable levers, and make and weld in, two feet for the cylinder to push on.


I also found a nice offset pair of Steel-Draulic adjusting pliers, as shown.


you also can see how close the king pin boss of the spindle ended up being..




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This is unpredictable as far as guessing if it will ever work, so I have also started looking into a spindle/brake swap.  That has been done for 60 years in the hot rodding hobby, to get hydraulic brakes.


There is so much to plan for, like king pin inclination, steering arms locations, wheel bolt pattern etc.  AND, I see no way to keep the Nash drums, even as dummy like I did on the rear end.  The closet match so far is 48-52 Ford F1 pickup, but the king pin is smaller diameter, the arms are not quite in the right height, but the KPI is within  1/2 degree of what I've measured on the Nash.


The 53-up F100 does have the correct king pin diameter, but the KPI is 4 degrees and the F1 is 8, the Nash seems to be 7.5.


Nothing is easy...but I want to be able to drive this car safely at 55-60 on local roads, which is the whole point of a rear end swap, which led to the hydraulic swap.


There is a good reason why so few cars of this age show up on the roads or car shows...they are just not suited for today's traffic and conditions.


I would have been further ahead if I bought a 1940s Nash, but I want this car, not a newer one. 

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14 hours ago, alsancle said:

There are plenty of cars in the early 30s running mechanical brakes safely.  Do you not want to restore the original system?

I certainly would have tried to save the Midland brakes if they could be adapted to the newer rear end, but that was impossible due to that offset dish on the backing plates.


The rear axle ratio of 4.73 just won't work in today's secondary state road speeds.  The last 1932 car I had from 1985 to 1991, was a 32 Plymouth conv coupe and the first time I drove it to a show 30 miles away, I vowed to never own another car with those gear ratios.  I hated trying to go anywhere with it, pulling over into the gutter every few miles to let people pass me.  The car mostly just sat in the garage till I sold it.


It would have cost maybe $4000 to $5000 to have a one-off high speed gear set made to keep the original Nash rear end and brakes.  I did not want a inline overdrive unit.  An overdrive transmission was out of the question because the bell housing including the starter mount, is casted onto the Nash transmission.  A custom one-off bell housing would be needed.


So, I went with a rear end swap, to have many aftermarket different gear ratios available at $150 each.  That way, I can tailor the ratio to match the engine speed that I prefer.


I will conquer this front braking, one way or another.  The car only needs to be able to do 55 to 60 mph without the motor screaming.  I am not doing this to drive on expressways, I just want to use it on secondary state roads, like the one I live on.  The 4.73 ratio would have never worked for that.



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Just update to where I am with this brake conversion;

I was lucky to find a NAPA counter woman who not only still has old reference/sizing books, but was willing to look up a perfect fitting front wheel brake rubber hose(s).  She found 6 likely part numbers and only had ONE of those 6 in stock.  She had to find the male thread size, and it needed to be metric 10x1, but a not too common "inverted flare" compared to most metric "bubble flare".  It was a rear hose for a 1992 Volvo and had two that I needed for both sides.  I was shocked when I got home to test fit; the line fits the Honda rear cylinders I used on the front brakes perfectly, and the lenth was 100% perfect, as the end that needs to be bolted to the frame sides....that end of the hose fit perfect into the original clamp bracket that held the Midland brake cable!  It all looks stock!


Then I spent countless hours on deciding on a master cylinder.  I decided to not use the 64-66 Mustang one that would match the Mustang rear brakes.  The problem was that the repro Masters come in 3 bore sizes.  7/8, 15/16 and 1 inch.  Because the Honda cylinders are much smaller bore than most car front brakes, and me not knowing how far those pistons will move when following the Midland brake shoe adjustments, a 7/8 bore Master might not have enough fluid, and then end up with a pedal that is almost to the floor when brakes are applied.  But if I chose a bigger Master bore, the pedal might be too hard and not stop as well.  The local parts places could not tell me if "their" Mustang cylinder was any particular bore size!


So, I will use a 64-66 Chevy pickup Master with 1" bore.  I am fairly certain that if I end up with too hard of a pedal force, I think I can add a 7" underfloor brake booster.  I do have room in the big X type chassis, so I will make a new mounting bracket to hold the master cylinder, but make it's face big enough to mount a booster if needed.


The Chevy, as well as many OEM brake pedals are 6 to 1 ratio.  The Nash measures to about 7 to 1, so it may not need a booster later. 


I also spent hours looking up brake line fittings and tee's to fit all these parts together.  Tee's were not available in what sizes I needed, but I had some ancient NOS ones from my Dad's shop in the 1950's and one more from an 82 year old friend who gave me all of his old car stuff.  So, I think I have everything I need as soon as the new Master and Mustang wheel cylinders arrive tomorrow at Autozone.


Today, I will measure out all the new steel brake lines that I will need, and start building a Master cylinder mount.


I hope I can finish it all and road test it by the end of the weekend, and then I need to finish my almost-done 32 Ford.

Edited by F&J (see edit history)
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6 hours ago, alsancle said:

Frank, please post some pictures of where things are!

Yes, I will as more parts get installed this week.


I did get a small start on making the bracket to hold the Chevy Master cylinder.  I don't have the cylinder yet, but I can at least make the bracket and get the approximate location.  I can't yet make the mounting holes to hold the cylinder, and can't weld on the 4 bolt-hole tabs onto the bracket, to bolt it to the X member. 


To have the pedal push exactly straight into the new master, I drilled a center hole on the new bracket face, to "mimic" the center of the Master bore.  I will use that 1/4" hole tomorrow when I find out which hole saw size to cut the big center hole for the master.  For now, that 1/4" hole is perfect to jamb in a foot long piece of metal rod, to get the mount in relation to the pedal.


The front end of that rod, needs to point "exactly" at the clevis hole on the clevis tab on the bottom of the brake pedal.  Then, if the rod is perfectly jammed into the new plate, so it is 90 degrees to the new plate in all directions...that will make the pushrod push in the same plane as the master cylinder position.  It will also have the plate face exactly where it needs to be.   After the cylinder is mounted, then I will modify one of the two original pedal pushrods to be adjustable, and to have a rounded end to fit into the Chevy piston.


I painted the 1/4" alignment rod in silver, so it can be seen better.


Oh, and I see that some of the handbrake is showing:  That was a strange setup, as it makes the original foot brake pedal go down when you pull the hand brake. (the parking brake originally locked all 4 wheels).  If you can see a heavy cross shaft going along the bottom of frame to the other side?  That was the main pivot for all 4 brakes.  It will now only be hooked to the twin Mustang E-brake cables.  The ratio was way off, and couldn't move the Ford cables enough.  But it was so easy to change the ratio by drilling a new clevis pin hole in that U shaped channel bracket or link that is directly to the left of the new face of the cylinder mount.  Took 3 minutes to pull off the link and drill a hole, and the ratio is perfect now.


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Is the handbrake like the Pierce Arrow where you can't get out of the car when the brake is engaged?

I don't think so, but I will try it.  It is forward a lot, and this car has doors wider than even a "J" lol.


Here is partly assembled right front.  I hung the old Midland cable up on the shock to show what it looks like.


The new hoses are Volvo rears...  and dummy me..I was trying to run them up higher, until I spotted the original cable mount clamp under the rear of the shock.  DUH, the new hose needs to follow the exact path of the old cable.  I put a scrap of metal brake line to show, I will get all new metal lines tomorrow.


N.B.Pease wanted me to bring my old spindle and king pin parts to match.  He did find it all in NORS.  I don't have a reamer yet, so I will use the old pin to roadtest the brake conversion.


on those shocks; dashboard controlled "ride control" as Nash called it.  There is the thin metal rod going to the shock body.  It controls a valve exactly like your small hydraulic bottle jack.. It works just like letting the jack go down slow, or fast.  Simple, and nothing to break or wear out?... Yes, I need new shock bushings :)



Edited by F&J (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, alsancle said:

The underside looks remarkably clean for a 85 year old car.  Is that the original color blue?

No, it is old Rustoleum I think..

Not sure, but I'd bet you might know Don Carlson from central Ct...Packard and other classics?    The guy I bought the Nash from was a flipper, but took me to see Don, as Don knew another former long-ago owner of the Nash. 


That guy turned out to be the person who bought the Nash at Carlisle in the 1980's.  He told me a flipper had about 5 cars from an old guys estate for sale there.  From what I see all over/under the car, that deceased owner was "fixing it up";   He cleaned and painted the chassis, blasted the outer body, and painted undersides of sheetmetal in blue, and yellow on wheels.  He did some crude rewiring, had some parts replated, but the wood must have been real bad...so I doubt it was ever driven.  I think the Nash lost some parts when the estate dumped all 5 cars at once, and probably mixed up the parts with other cars.


The Nash shows signs of once being junked, and stripped for small parts like Carb, Dist, Spare wheels.  The glass and headlights were shot up with BB gun.


I wish I knew where and when this car was first "saved" from wherever it was junked.  I'd bet it was rescued in the 1950's, going by lack of metal rot.  In the late 30's or WW2 era?, the car was painted dark green and twin 33-34  Ford taillights were added.


The original colors were the only standard "no cost" scheme for the 6Cyl convertible sedan.  Navy blue middle body and brake drums, Midnight blue on fenders, wheels , mouldings.  The only other color listed for this exact model, was optional cost "all black".   I found one tiny fabric scrap behind a inside door handle that is black.  I think the top should be natural canvas tan?, rather than black?  Just guessing.  (no whitewalls for this car, I have new blackwalls)   All 32 Nash models had steel spare tire covers as standard equipment, but I'll never find a pair.

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No, I don't know Don.  It was good you were able to save it.  I'm a big fan of Conv Victoria bodies and particularly like the 32/33 Nash as you never see them.


You are correct on the sidemount covers.  The Indy region of the CCCA used to make them in all sizes but the dies got lost and they are out of the business.  Are those 18 inch wheels?  If so you are definitely in tough shape trying to find a set.

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