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35Ford 02-24-2003 10:15 AM

Where to Start.....
I have a 35 Ford Tudor that has sat in my fathers garage for the last 39 years in pieces...

I want to get started on it this spring, but do not know where to start...on the interior, the origional seats are still there but tattered from rodents.

Should I pitch the seats and gut the interior, or will I need the seats to get the right new ones???

I have no clue where to start!

lookatme 02-24-2003 10:44 AM

i would start with the mechanicals first, just my opinion, but as far as the interior goes it all depends on what you want to do. on original seats like those, if im not mistaken, you can just order new tuck'n roll covers

Dragon J 02-24-2003 10:47 AM

I've done all my interiors- you can see my 'J' at -first off is the car painted and mechanicals done? Interior should be the LAST thing. Then see if the seats fit what you want or find donors from another car you like. You can recover seats, but it is a big job. Door panels can be handmade with masonite and fiberglass or RodDoors has plastic panels you can cut to size and recover. The sky is the limit, so just look at other's interiors and get ideas, then plan.I made my own overhead console out of steel to install overhead stereo and my armrests are flame designs in fiberglass. Don't forget seatbelts!! Have fun with it but make it the last thing on the car you do. Good Luck! :cool:

35Ford 02-25-2003 12:02 PM

Guys, Thanks for the info....So is it ok then to gut what I have in the car?? What I mean is remove the upolstry from the frames and take the head liners out?? It smells nasty and has been loaded with mouse crap...( 39 years in a barn)

To answer your earlier questions, it is in peices right now and nothing has been done. I just wanted to make sure that I was not screwing anything up by stripping all the fabric off the car's interior now?



46_stvblt 02-25-2003 03:11 PM

Like others have said, take all the interior out and store the seat frames and garnish moldings and then you can concentrate on getting all the mechanical things right. that will be a big job by its self. The lessons that I have learned are to concentrate on one area at a time. Don't go from one thing to another and then back again. Once you have the suspension and frame done then you can go to engine trans and diff. (etc)......Good luck on your project...GlennK :D

pasadenahotrod 02-25-2003 03:21 PM

Perhaps the most important questions have yet to asked. That would be "What size of garage do you have in which to play with your car?" I'm counting only flat empty floorspace not shared with bikes, mowers, wagons, and so on. ANNNDDDD.. "What time period in months or years can you devote this space solely to be the lovenest for your mechanical darling?" Further more... "What is your tolerance level for accepting hiccups, delays, no money, wrong parts, and so on?"
These answers can often dictate how to approach the first attempt at car building.

35Ford 02-26-2003 05:37 AM

I have a 3 bay garage, 1 bay dedicated to the 35 and a second bay that is claimed by mowers wagons and such. I live in a sub that I cannot keep a "non running vehicle" outside. In summer months ( April - Oct) I can use a second bay towards this project.

I plan on a lot of hiccups, delays and short on cash issues. I am patient and expect this to take a few years, if I get a lot of cash in the next year ( I am in sales so commissons fluctuate) I will do the car sooner.

So it sounds like, in the spring, roll it out of the garage, gut the interior, store the seat springs, take inventory of what I have and start locating what I need. Is that correct?



pasadenahotrod 02-26-2003 12:59 PM

Here's how I see it if you can devote the extra bay to the car during good weather:
1. NOW...Take detailed photos of every aspect of the body, inside and out, as it is currently assembled (presumably from the factory). Mark and file these in a nice album for reference.
2. NOW...After the photo session get the shop vac and go over the interior parts of the car thoroughly, don't forget the trunk.
3. NOW...Remove the headliner the easy way. Use a boxcutter or sharp scissors and carefully cut around the installed parts (visors, mirror, dome light & switch, etc.). Then sweep and vacuum up all the nastiness.
4. NOW...If your seats are as nasty as the headliner, strip them the same way. Bag all the trash, vacuum again and again.
4. NOTICE... I did not ask you to remove anything from the car except the trash, mouse nests, droppings, etc. That's because if you do you'll never remember how to reassemble it all even though you have the book of photos you carefully made to eliminate that possibility.
5. The car is now covered with a tarp or old sheet. You have your fine album of photos titled "MY HOTROD PROJECT".
6. NOW, go to the website of Motorbooks International and look through their titles concerning your 1935 Ford. You might want to buy "The V8 Affair", "The Early Ford V8 As Henry Built It", "The Restorer's Guide to the 35-36 Fords", the reprint of the Owner's Manual, the reprint of the accessories brochure, the reprint of the Ford Factory Service Bulletins, and several other books perhaps including some about building hotrods from the Tex Smith Collection. This will cost you close to $300 I would guess at today's prices. When the UPS man comes, sit back and enjoy your reading, get to know your car, sit in the garage and read to her, prevent yourself from diving in without a life preserver!
7. NOW...decide which end of your car is up to be worked first.
You'll need a place to store the body while you finish the chassis. Is there room in your wagon, mower bay?? Build a nice heavy-duty body dolly and store the other sheet metal inside it while you build your chassis. It'll probably fit crossways at the back of bay 2 with a tarp over it.

35Ford 02-26-2003 06:51 PM

Pasadena, you are awesome! I will be on the site tonight!!
Thanks for the starting points...FYI the rear seats are already out. Have been for the 33 years I have been around. the Rest of it I will strip out.

I will keep ya posted.


pasadenahotrod 02-27-2003 05:33 AM

Glad to be of assistance. You may notice from some of my posts I always try to keep other guys/gals from stepping into the errors I have made and paid for.
Of course, so much of this stuff is subjective, the usual color, upholstery, drivetrain, wheels, tires, etc., but some things like procedures and learning about your car, or cars in general, are universal truths.
By the way, I don't remember you saying what body style 35 you have. Obviously a sedan (back seat out), but is it a Touring Sedan(the one with the little deck lid atop a bumpout trunk, or a "Flatback", Tudor or Fordor?
Any questions just Email me.

trees 03-09-2003 05:10 PM

Chris, I am very familiar with the 3536 and 37 Fords. They have a lot of interchangable parts which will help you along the way. Also, there are some very good reproduction parts vendors and you need to get their catalogues. Mac's has an extensive catalogue and is good to deal with, Bob Drake and Dennis Carpwenter have quality stuff but Bob Drake's catalogue is something to be desired. He has been promising one for about 7 years! He does have on-line shopping at Dennis Carpenter has a very good catalogue. Both he and Bob Drake make a lot of their parts in house and they are top quality. Only my opinion, but they try not to duplicate each other and they both sell the others parts. Mac's offer them as well. Pasadena gave you some good pointers. You are behind the eight ball since the car is in pieces. You have not said what your intentions are: restoration or street rod? In either case, I would start at the ground up. Do the frame and running gear which includes the motor, tranny, rear end shocks, brakes, springs, steering, gas tank etc etc. Then I would get the body ready to put back on the frame, do the fenders and running boards and and then do the interior and wiring. I would save the doors for last. I still have some old parts laying around and if I have any thing that you might need, they are yours for the shipping cost.

F-1Rodder 03-12-2003 05:17 PM

35Ford: you have a very desireable problem. My recommendation is that you send me your address and I will very quickly come to your home and drag the offending vehicle away. I can see how this vehicle would offend your neighborhood, I have had this problem myself.

Ok, so now. A digital camera is a really valuable tool in this process. Take lots of pictures of even small details, they will become very important to you later. I always make a catalog system of parts. I bag them in zip lock sandwich bags or bigger and put a reference label on them. As I dissasemble, I create a database of reference numbers that relate to the pictures and the bags. Computer works for this, it used to be a file box of recipe cards.

You should read a lot about the history of the car, how they have been rodded or fill your mind with dreams of just making it a restoration project. Finding out what pleases you takes some time.

Rule of thumb one is Never Throw Anything Away until the project is 100% show quality. As soon as you ditch a part, then is the time when you will pay $300 to get it back.

Also go to car shows and see how other guys have treated certain aspects of the car. You will learn a lot about the process.

Consider the costs involved. The high costs are not where you think they are. Chrome and paint are the most expensive part of the process. The mechanicals are relatively inexpensive. I would learn to do as much as I can, mechanical, body, upholstery and paint. Most people are reasonably good at wrenching and get killed on the paint, body and upholstery, though in your case, there are a lot of interior kits available.

It took me 9 years to complete an old Porsche because I was learning the disciplines. The second one was 2 years.

Also consider sending me your address!!

BstMech 03-12-2003 06:43 PM

The only thing I can offer as far as advice on this subject is this. How far is the car from being factory original? It kinda sounds like you have restoration in mind and it would be a shame to make a street rod out of something that is all original and complete. I would try to get a knowledgeable persons oppinion regarding which way to go if you are in doubt. Maybe post some pics of the car and see what these guys think. I mean a hotrod is way cool, but they don't make these cars anymore either. $0.02 :)

35Ford 03-12-2003 07:55 PM

Again, Great Info!! THANKS.

Trees What is the URL for Mac's - Or 800 number etc. so I can Order the catalog. Also where are you located??

Dean, What is the Website for Motorbooks intl...I looked that up and could not find one.

F-1 Rodder, Shelby Twp MI...Come find it!!

FYI to all, my intention is to Street Rod this car, now my definition may be different...what I want to do is keep the body the same, no changes but put a new chassis underneath with a powerful small block Ford. On the interior, nothing outrageous, but comfortable to take the family ( 2 young sons) cruising.

I am planning to spend around $20,000 when all is said and done ( I know it will probably be a lot more! )

Keep the tips coming!!


35Ford 03-12-2003 07:59 PM

Couple more things....

It is a Tudor I believe, 2 doors, 6 windows and the back is flat, no hump, no trunk... Its in pieces, no engine, no light assemblies, and missing one of the origional wheels, ( I have 3 and the spare) So I am not considering a factory restore. It was my fathers first car and he always dreamed of making it a street rod.

Also I do not intend on "chopping" it at all. I would like tub the rear end, but do not know how much more effort that is ( and would I loose the back seats??


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