The Daily Grind – The ’31 Ford Model A Build Update



-September 12, 2018-

The Daily Grind – The ’31 Ford Model A Build Update

Mike Burroughs

It's been a hot minute since I photographed my progress on the truck. I've taken to YouTube to document my progress, which has been a new, fun, and rewarding addition to the content I get to make, but it felt like a great time to slow my roll, grab the camera, and share some good old-fashioned photos of I've been up to.

The biggest outstanding project on the truck is undoubtedly building and conquering the custom independent front suspension. Front the get-go, I knew I wanted to build something on my own, and having experienced the dead axle setup from my previous Model A, an independent suspension system was an obvious choice. All of the calculations and drawings are finished, so I've moved to physically building the components. The cross-members are complete, and the upper A arms are finished. Up next are the spindles and the lower control arms. Once together, it'll be the biggest milestone yet. Following that, my custom coilovers will arrive from H&R, and as a complete package, this truck is sure to ride better and out-handle its predecessor, through and through.

CAD software has helped build and design the front suspension, as well as many other bits and pieces on the truck. A bit over a month ago, I made the decision to learn basic CAD tools, and downloaded Fusion 360 to get started. Now, I have parts on the truck that I designed, and had CNC-plasma cut, such as these motor mounts. The process as a whole has been exciting to learn, and exciting to see come to fruition. Perhaps my favorite parts of these builds is learning, and learning a useful digital skillset is something I had not anticipated from the project's onset, but will be immeasurably invaluable as my career continues.

The performance side of the build is underway now, too, with all the header materials having showed up from Vibrant Performance. My good friend Robert Chavez is returning to the shop, having built the incredible header on Rusty, to help build something wild for the '31. The exhaust will provide more than just good sound, too: it'll help the engine breathe, and it'll need it. A supercharger is on its way to up the power of this pickup considerably.

Inside the truck, I've been slaving over the aluminum interior. It's finally getting "close" to finished, but the process is slow and time consuming. With that said, I'm excited to see it finished up. I decided on this setup not to pull from the "bead rolled and riveted" hot rod style, but to pay tribute to the aluminum chassis of the Group C prototypes and their brethren. Clearly, there's not much room inside, but sometimes, sacrifices are necessary.

At the back of the truck, I've been working on trimmings and mounting accessories. Hidden behind the aluminum "wells" at the back are a series of pumps for the transmission and fuel system, and mounted below the radiator is the battery, surge tank, and fuel filters. Tucked behind the radiator is a small cooling unit for the transmission and engine oil. The main hurdles left in the rear are the coilover mounts, bellcranks, and mounting the heat exchanger for the supercharger.

From the back, it's looking a bit more complete, but there's still undoubtedly a long way to go. With a bit over 6 weeks left, I've got my work cut out for me, but I'm confident and excited. Come see it at SEMA at H&R Springs' booth in the Central Hall.


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