Gunsmoke

1931 Chrysler CD8 - making rear deck cleats

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Posted (edited)

The 4 rear deck cleats were missing from my Roadster and are impossible to find (have looked for 5 years. closest I came is a set of unfinished old bronze forgings, guy asking $200+ shipping. They would have required a lot of finishing work, then chrome plating, figure a total cost of about $800 ready to go. Originals I understand were polished aluminum castings (or may have been chromed aluminum?). A friend sent me the primary dimensions. So decided to make my own, a piece of hard aluminum 5' long cost me $12 and about 30 hours of my time and here we go, about $3 apiece! I initially ran the 3/8" aluminum bar lengthwise thru a 1/4 round bull-nose bit router on the table, then cut the pieces to length, about 11.5". Next ran cleats end-wise on belt sander gradually creating about 1/16" crown on top of cleats. Since rear deck curls upwards about 1/4" near seats, front of cleats was next bent in a vice using male/female wood molds simply made on belt sander. Next countersunk holes were drill-pressed, 8&1/16" apart (must be done after bending otherwise bar would likely kink at bolt hole during bending). Next step included using the disk sander to shape horizontal ends of cleats and then angle grinder with sanding disk to bevel the ends close to a series of pattern photos (see photo off internet). Final stages involved cleaning up with 120, 220 wet, 400 and finally 1000 grit wet paper. The spacers would originally have been part of the casting, but I made them separately, they are about 3/8" thick, 1/2" flat sides, rounded ends. To shape them, pre-drilled a piece of bar with 8 -1/4" holes spaced about 9/16" apart, then cut 8 pieces about 1/2" x1". I strung all 8 of them on a snug 1/4" bolt (4" long threaded rod covered with sufficient duct tape to make a tight fit) and clamped the set in a vice and sized and rounded ends with angle grinder sanding disk and then block sanded with 120/220/400 while still clamped as a set. Plan will be to eventually secure them to underside of cleats with mastic of some sort. The originals had a slight taper (wider at top, easier to remove from casting mold), but don't think I'll bother trying that. Also outer 2 cleats hjad 3/8"x5/8" slot for top cover hold-down straps, have never seen them in use, so don't plan to put those in at the moment. Sometimes you have to do what you have to do.

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deck cd8.jpg

Edited by Gunsmoke (see edit history)
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Benefits of AACA Membership.

I think it's absolutely gorgeous!  Now if I only knew what those things looked like on my 1928 Model 72 Sport Roadster I would try to make a set too!  Any ideas on what they did look like?

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Posted (edited)

Here is pic off internet of a Model 72 Roadster rear deck. I recall a guy (DPCDfan) named Gary R had some of these for sale a few months ago (Dec 17 2019) among a lot of 1930 era Chrysler parts listed a 1931 Chrysler CD8 Parts. Check parts for sale section. Should be easy to make, but might have a groove around edge? Here is pic from his listing? Good guy to deal with, California I think, he could send you measurements if he still has them. BTW, I think these were bronze castings made many years ago. 

1972 Chrysler Roadster model 72 cleats.jpg

1928 Chrysler Roadster Cleats.jpg

Edited by Gunsmoke (see edit history)
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Thanks for sharing how you made these. Will be very useful when I finally need to make some for my 29 Chrysler 75. Thanks again 

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I still have a few more spares. Chromed bronze and stainless, plus one single alu. Will include picture later tonight.

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Memory did not serve me entirely right. Here is what is left,  3 rough cast aluminum, 1x stainless, 4x bronze/chromed. Mounting hole spacing is 8-1/2" for all, the various locations for top rest saddles will fit different models. I am asking $25/ea for the alu ones and $60/ea for the others. Shipping from Norway is not as expensive as I feared, less than $40 to US as a letter (which is good as all parcels are held back due to corona). The alu and stainless ones are bought from Marty Lum, the bronze I have had made in the UK. Note that these differ from the CD8 at start of this thread, but I believe them to be correct for Series 62/72/65 Roadsters.

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