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Anyone with a completed Rootlieb Speedster


Steve_Mack_CT
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that would be willing to take a couple measurements for me? I need width of the Rootlieb platform; trying to decide if I can run speedster fenders as I have a stock length hood, the Rootlieb set up is 2" longer, which makes a difference where the front fenders could have a fitment issue with the platform/firewall base area. I am ok if my platform is a bit more narrow or if the straight style fenders offer a bit more clearance.

THANKS

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Steve- While I don't have a Rootlieb speedster in front of me at the moment, I have built more than a few of them using different fender and hood combos with the Rootlieb body kit. While I really like the Rootlieb speedster fenders, they won't look good if they are used with the stock length hood. The long speedster fenders really need the longer hood to balance them. Also, they will likely touch or be close to touching the firewall if the firewall is not moved back the required 2" for the longer hood. The width of the floor platform will not be an issue either way as the long flowing speedster fenders as they are very narrow and the platform is only maybe 4-5 inches wider (on each side) than the frame width. If I were to use the stock hood and wanted to use brass era fenders, I would use the stock 1912 front fenders and 1912 Torpedo rear fenders (these are short, curved fenders with full length aprons, not to be confused with long 1911 Torpedo style fenders). The 1912 Torpedo rear fenders use the stock 1912 splash aprons and stock length running boards. I have used this combo before and have had well balanced results. You can see pictures of these on the Rootlieb website. Hope this helps.

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Rootlieb makes virtually every stock Model T fender as well as the speedster fenders. The speedster fenders come flat and rounded (this refers to the ends of the fenders). You can go to their website for pictures. Tom Rootlieb also makes custom fenders and other sheet metal components for non-Ford vehicles.

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Thanks guys! Learning a bit aobut these - my restored chassis came with a very well done platform & stock Rootlieb hood set up; so my cross roads is whether to keep what I have, and work with that or buy the whole Rootlieb kit & sell off some of the other stuff. This feedback is really helpful. Guy, I understand and agree - 2" may not sound like much but when you really study these things you can see where some people hit the mark and others not so much in terms of proportion. You may not be able to make a Mercer or Bearcat out of a "T" but I do want the best period look I can acheive. I s/w Tom Rootlieb @ Hershey, who was very helpful, he even suggested moving fenders forward a bit if my heart was set on Speedster fenders, but again, I do not want a weird looking car.

In favor of keeping the current set up - what has been done seems to be done well, and I do like these just fine with the stock fenders, I am really going to consider the earlier 1912 vs. 1914 fender set up, Guy, as I had not thought about that option before and appreciate the suggestion. Also already have a fire engine single seat that I think will help set it apart a bit, with some cool nickel grab bars, so I do not really need the buckets. I have decided that this thing needs to drop a bit as discussed elsewhere, but maybe not as much with this set up. I will say some of these with the non speedster fenders, when low enough, achieve a nice long look, and not stubby.

In favor of complete Rootlieb kit is the proportion of the longer hood which looks great in any configuration, and if I am not mistaken, I would likely need to do this if I was ever to do any kind of OVH set up - was not thinking that initially but you never know. I figure hi comp head, better intake and exhaust will likely work fine for a fun car. Also, once you spring for it - everything is included, dropped axle, etc. etc. These tend to look sharp when they hug the ground, which involves more mods beyond the 2 - 3" drop the kit provides than we are planning for our first build.

One last question for you Guy (I really appreciate picking your brain both now and in prior exchanges) - how much steering wheel drop does the wedge give, assume it fits under wooden block and I will need to make some adjustment to the opening on the firewall - I don't mind this as I believe you can cover that work with a larger plate from Lang or one of the others.

THANKS

Edited by Steve_Mack_CT
clarity of course (see edit history)
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Guys one more thing unrelated to my quesitons - regarding Rootlieb's custom work - seems like a lot of non-T speedsters in the works these days, I bet he would do well to come up with a line of simple, semi universal flat fenders - maybe not for the ALF guys but more for the smaller, non Ford projects?

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Hi Steve- Hope this answers your questions. Here is the steering lowering bracket that I recommend using. This is a much more secure bracket than the normal wedge style and has a better overall look to it: https://www.modeltford.com/item/SW3.aspx I have used this bracket before and it gives the steering column an appropriate rake.

Regarding the firewall, if it is moved back 2" you will not have any clearance issues should you decide to go with an overhead conversion at a later date. You can still run an overhead with the firewall in the stock position, however, the firewall will have to be notched and some sort of cover will have to be fabricated in order to cover the extra "bulge". While an overhead valve conversion is certainly cool and sexy, you can get more than enough speed by using a high compression head, a bigger carburetor and/or improved ignition. There are lots of options that are not nearly as expensive as an overhead valve assembly.

Hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions.

Edited by motoringicons (see edit history)
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