We left off last month with the front axle and springs mounted to the Model A frame of my Modified project, which means the next logical step is steering and shock absorbers. With a normal cross spring-suspended I-beam, selecting steering arms and the tie rod is pretty straightforward, as there’s usually only one place the tie rod will fit; under (or through) the radius rods and under the chassis. The choice of cross steering, with something like a Vega box and universal joints connecting the steering column, or a solid column and box, such as an F-1 or stock ’32-34 box, will determine whether or not you’ll use a drag link from the left-hand spindle leading back to the steering box and pitman arm or not.

I’m aiming to build this roadster with as vintage an appearance as possible while using some new parts, so I opted for a solid column and box (which I have yet to source) and a drag link. Not wanting to place my tie rod ahead of the axle, out in front where it could suffer damage, meant it had to run across above the split wishbones, as well as over the quarter-elliptical springs I’d chosen to use. This meant careful selection of steering arms to ensure no interference between the tie rods and other components. I was lucky enough that Vintage Reproduction Parts sent me three sets of steering arms to make my selection from, and now I have done just that. I know this is something not everyone can do, so hopefully my following findings will help with selection for your projects.

OK, onto the shock absorbers. Modern thinking would dictate tubular shocks, which are available these days with built-in and/or adjustable compression and rebound adjustment (check out Rob’s Fleetline suspension story on page 42, for instance), but not only did I want to run lever arm shocks to continue the vintage theme, I’d also been hoarding a swap meet–sourced set for over a decade that I wanted to use on just such a project. They’re not early Ford Houdaille-type shocks; in fact, I’m not sure what they’re from. They’re Armstrong units, and by the shape of the arms on the front pair, they’re from an Austin Healey Sprite or Ford Anglia, but the rears, with their curved arms, are a complete mystery to me.

I was pleasantly surprised, however, while attempting to identify them with the help of Google, that they have two valves, one for compression damping and one for rebound damping, and are easily adjustable. So nothing’s new . . .

SOURCE
HarborFreight
3491 Mission Oaks Blvd
Camarillo
CA  93011
800-444-3353
www.harborfreight.com
Speedway Motors
340 Victory Lane
Lincoln
ME  68528
800-979-0122
www.speedwaymotors.com
Lincoln Electric
22801 St. Clair Ave
Cleveland
OH  44117
216-481-8100
www.lincolnelectric.com
Posies
Hummelstown
PA
717-566-3340
http://www.posiesrodsandcustoms.
com/
Fatman Fabrications
8621-C Fairview Road, Highway 218
Charlotte
NC  28227
704-545-0369
www.fatmanfab.com
Vintage Reproduction Parts
877-901-6705
www.vintagereproductionparts.com