The story of car #982

In August, 2004 Ray, the new owner of a 1974 Phaeton (car # 982) began to correspond about his new purchase. He clearly has lots experience with hotrods and has set right in to changing and upgrading his car.

Here is Ray with his Glassic and a coupe that he wants to sell.

I will present most of his notes here, and will highlight topics that he has written about. The history of this car, and Ray's purchase experiences can be found in CAR TALES.

Topics to be found below: Radiator shell, lowering the front end, water pump and radiator, polishing the headlight bar and radiator shell, and others.



I carried my Glassic shell into Vintage Ford last Wednesday to see about buying new wings and cap assembly,  I laid it on the counter and the guy says, 28-29 model A,  then after simply looking at it for a moment or two says, "something is different about this radiator'.  Then I told him what it came off of.  Plus the day before I took my extra 28 A shell off the wall, carried it out to the Glassic, and also parked my Glassic next to my 31. Then  began to measure them both.  The 31 was way too narrow, and for sure way too tall.  the 28 is almost a dead on fit.  I will get you pictures of my friend's Glassic that has the 28 fitted to it, and I am going to look closely as to what they cut to make it fit.

Dairy entry for car # 982. I took the windshield off and sanded and buffed it out last week. Looks just like chrome.  I started to buff the wiper motors but thought better knowing it would take hours to get into the small places.

I removed the mirrors for buffing out.  I noted that the mirrors were made by Lucas, possible for a MG, Jag or some other English model.  I finished installing a new four row radiator.  Had to remove the small spacer from behind the fan to move back the fan. The new four row was about 1.5 inches thicker.  This four row should never have a problem keeping this thing cool.  The radiator was just a straight fit, the basic Mustang radiator. (more on this subject further down - ed.)

Replace the top and bottom radiator hoses, they were for a 69 Mustang, had to cut some off both hoses to shorten them up.  The new water pump was also for a 69 Mustang.  While cleaning I noticed the headlight bar was aluminum, so I took out the steel wool and began to remove the paint and polished it.  Looks like chrome, very pleased with it.  If someone would like to know the tools I use for polishing stainless and chrome along with the compounds let me know.  This week coming will be refitting the doors, the bottom door hinge pins have a little play in them. I need to raise the back of the door to keep it from hitting the body.  Should be an easy hour fix.  Does anyone know which door hinges might interchange.  They look close to VW.

The next significant change will be dual exhaust, and then dropped spindles.  The front sits just a little two high.  I am thinking about a 2 or 3 inch drop.  Should be able to order dropped spindles from the net. 


In answer to a question about radiator fit on a '78 Glassic:


Water pumps

Most of the older 302's had the water exit the pump on the drivers side.  In about mid seventies they changed that.  While taking my pump into the parts store the clerk punched up a 74 pick-up 302 water pump, he brought it out and the water exit was on drivers side.  He then punched in 69 mustang 302 and the water pump came out being correct.  I do think that each of these will bolt on to any 302 from the 60's to 70's.  Another thing is that when they went to serpentine belts Ford reversed the direction of the water pump. The water exit is still on the passenger side and will bolt onto the older motors but if not installed with the serpertine system they will pump water backwards.  (My friend made that mistake on his 289, he purchased a NOS water pump at the swap meet and installed it on his 29 roadester he did not know it was the serpertine pump).

Now back to the radiator shell,  I think I doubt my friends body shop installing the 28 shell unless they modified the hood.  Over the week end I placed the Glassic shell back to back against my 29 shell.  While all the measurements seemed exact the difference was at the curves from the top coming down the sides.  I think the 29 started the curve much later and would require reshaping of the hood.  Now just maybe the hood latches would pull it down just the few inches needed to fill in the gap between the two.

Tonight I am going to put back to back a 32 shell and the Glassic.  I think the top curves of the 31 and 32 are identical. (I have a 32 fiberglass shell in the box for my friends 29 and I can compare them.  I do not have a 31 shell off the car but do have a 31 hood off the car and may just try to see how close it is.  Without a doubt the 31 shell would have to have about 4 inches removed to fit.  I will try to get digital pixs of all of these back to back for your website.


last nite I compared the 32 shell, the 28-29 shell, and 30-31 shell.

The Glassic is a combination of the 28-29 and the 31.  The height is almost identical to the 28-29 and the width is almost identical to the 28-29.  However, the top shape curve is identical to the 31.  I removed my hood from my original 31 coupe, (it was easier to remove the hood that the shell).
I laid the Glassic on the 31, the curve of the top piece of Glassic fit the curves of the 31 shell perfect.  Also the curves of the Glassic fit the body nearly perfect.  The Glassic top hood piece is about 3 inches longer than the stock steel coupe hood.  The way they got the hood longer without changing the wheel base is by moving the radiator forward.  On the original 31's the radiator is sitting directly above the front axle.  On the Glassic the radiator is about 3-4 (maybe more) inches forward of the axle.  This also how they got more leg room for the passengers.

However, the Glassic shell is a little wider than the 31, and the 31 is about 4 inches taller than the Glassic.  I do think that if a person installed a 31 shell onto a Glassic that the sides of the shell would spread out just enough to be bolted onto the Glassic.  In visually looking at this I think a person would have to provide a little more strength to the sides of the radiator supports in order to make sure the steel shell remains wide enough.  Since the original Glassic shell is what provides shape for the side hood sections a person would need to make sure that the shell is stable in the position you need before mounting the sides.

The only problem I see here in using the 31 shell is deciding where to cut the side out to shorten the height.  It would seem to make sense to cut it out of the sides right at the bottom of the shell just before the sides would touch the fenders. Then the bottom could be installed first with part of the sides point up, then the top section of shell would slide over the outside of the bottom piece and should pretty much hide the fact that you chopped the shell.  If a person purchased the expensive stainless steel version then you could weld the two halves back together and polish off the welds.

I do know that the companies that make the 32 fiberglass shells will make them to fit a 28-29 or a 30-31 and they will also make them already chopped for you.  So a person could order a 32 shell for a 31 and tell them to chop it a few inches, (they already have the molds to do this) and you could probably get a bolt on 32 replacement for your Glassic.


Now for last minute up to dates.


Lowering the front end

On Saturday morning I decided to change the front suspension,  I removed the front springs and took out two springs from the original six springs.  I reinstalled the 4 leaf spring on the frame.  I also used new u bolts and  two inch lowering blocks and remounted the front axle.  I knew this was going to place the axle too close to the bottom radiator hose exit.  I raised the radiator about two inches and reattached it.  I then raised the motor about 3/4 of an inch by installing steel blocks between the motor and top of the motor mount.  This realigned the fan to keep it from hitting the bottom of the hose exit.  I am thinking about gettng a 13 inch flex fan, It will pull more air and also give me more clearance from the bottom hose.

I also took off the E-78 original tires and rims.  I replaced them with 15 inch chrome smoothies and baby moons. I mounted P 215 65 15's on the rims. (actually I bought the entire set mounted at swap meet for 200.00 last year just to have them knowing I would find a car for them someday).

I removed the jack stands and lowered the car.  This actually lowered the front bumper about 4 inches.  The front of car is now lower that rear. and the tires fit up under the front fenders very nice.  In all aspects the front tires do not even come close to the fenders. 

I did create a little problem.  The front axle is sitting about 1/4 inch from the rubber bumpers mounted to frame.  Since these bumpers are about three inches in height I am going to remove about half of that to see how it rides.

After all the changes I washed the car and headed to the car show for its debut in the Sacramento area.  The new radials did make the car track much better than the biased plies.  It did make it ride a little rougher because any little dip would bottom out the front end.  If removal of rubber from stops does not provide enough travel then I am going to replace the blocks with one inch blocks.  Or I could reinstall one spring.  But I am going to opt for the block because I think the 4 springs are very adequate for this vehicle and it should soften the ride just a little.  I think the 6 leaf springs were way more than was needed on the original car.  4 springs with some good gas shocks should provide a very comfortable ride.

The change in stance and the chrome smoothies with black wall tires have changed the appearance very much of the vehicle. 

By the way, total time for lowering the car raising the radiator and raising the motor was about 6 hours including parts running. I bought two sets of blocks and one set of u-bolts for total cost of $45.00.  (note, the spring mounting holes used by Glassic were about of an inch too narrow or you might say the blocks were about inch two wide.  That is why I had to use the new u bolts. plus I had in hand a mounting plate for below the spring that had wider holes to fit the u-bolts.  If someone does not have these then they would have to either make narrower lowering blocks or obtain new lower plates for the shock to mount to.)

 As for the problem on the 1978 regarding whether the bottom hose exits the left or right of the radiator.  Go to a good radiator shop (wholesale distributor for radiators)  They will let you look at pictures in the books.  Or you can change to water pump to the passenger side exit and then just purchase a 3 or 4 row mustang radiator.  It should be a bolt in change for all of it.  (Note: switching the water pump has not yet been verified to fit - ed.)



"How to convert to one wire alternator on 74 Glassic"

My original style alternator with firewall mounted regulator was not working. I removed the old alternator, removed the black tape from the wiring going from alternator to regulator, cut off all the extra wires and only left the large wire that was connected to the battery terminal on the old alternator.  That wire runs from the alternator to the charging meter on the dash and then runs back to the battery side of the solenoid.  Since no one in town had a Ford 'one wire alternator' and since I had in hand a chrome Delco (Chevy) one wire alternator I decide to install the Chevy alternator on the Ford.  I drilled out the main mounting whole to accept the larger Ford 8 inch bolt into the head.  I use two 5/8 nuts to act as additional spacers between the head and the alternator.  Then installed the new alternator.  Now I have a newer style alternator with 100 amp charging ability with a built in regulator.  These one wire alternators for both GM and Ford can be ordered from many of the advertisers in most hot rod magazines.  Many large car parts stores will carry them also.  The Ford one wire is more scarce since it has only been in the past year or so (to my knowledge) that they are making them.  The location of the mounting hole and the belt tensioner hole are in the same location. the mounting hole it at 12 o'clock, and the adjuster hole is at 6 o'clock.



Last night I removed headlights and turn signals and headlight bar.  The lights were also from Lucas,  I am going to replace them with king bee headlights from vintique ($55.00 for pair chrome).  The new chrome turn signals will be moved to the front of the splash apron almost directly in front of the headlights.  The Glassic aluminum headlight bar will be wet sanded with 1000 grit sand paper and then buffed to a high polish.  I also got out the buffer for the radiator shell.  I was afraid that the plastic shell may not take to buffing very well.  I was wrong, I used a cotton buffing wheel and liquid chrome polish. (note: if it had been steel chrome I would have first used a polishing compound, then went with final polish but did not want to allow the compound to possibly scratch the shell).  The shell came up to a very satisfactory shine, much better than I had hoped for.


While doing the hood disassembly I noticed the metal finish washers they use were eating into the fiberglass side panels some.  I went to home depot and purchase new zinc plated #8 finish washers (just like the original used by Glassic)  I then went to the plumbing section and got some 1/4 inch faucet washers (rubber), this faucet washer was the exact same size as the finish washer.  These faucet washers will be placed between the new finish washers and the fiberglass, this will prevent further damage to the side hood panel.  I will also use these same faucet washers on the inside next to the body along with a flat washer.  The inside flat washer will spread the pressure our over more area that just the small washer.  I will use a nylon lock nut so the system will not loosen up.