Go Back   The Ford Barn > General Discussion > Model A (1928-31)

Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-17-2010, 09:22 AM   #1
Barry in St.Paul
Senior Member
 
Barry in St.Paul's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 107
Default Tall man problems in coupe; bend shift lever?

I'm 6'6" and my '30 coupe is still a tight fit, even though I cut off an inch from my package tray to compensate for the roll-down rear window I installed. The biggest issue is my right knee interfering with the gear-shift, which makes it tricky to do a quick change from accelerator to brake if I'm in 1st gear especially.
Was debating about pulling the gear shift and bending it several degrees to the right, but I had it nickel-plated at great expense, and don't want to ruin the finish. Has anyone successfully bent this, without heating and without cracking the finish? Seems like I might have to get a different gear shift, bend it, and have it plated (no use ruining this good one if I have to re-plate something anyway).
Thoughts?
thanks!
Barry
Barry in St.Paul is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2010, 10:10 AM   #2
Glenn C.
Senior Member
 
Glenn C.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Didsbury Alberta
Posts: 838
Default Re: Tall man problems in coupe; bend shift lever?

I would go with the latter idea that you have. No use wrecking a nice re-chromed shifter.
Glenn C. is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)
Old 06-17-2010, 10:10 AM   #3
SteveM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 187
Default Re: Tall man problems in coupe; bend shift lever?

I'm only 5'10" and have the same problem (long legs).

You could consider putting your "good" shift lever aside and bending a second one for normal use. That way, if you have a show coming up, you can swap the good one back in.

Steve
SteveM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2010, 10:23 AM   #4
roundvalley
Senior Member
 
roundvalley's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Idaho
Posts: 150
Default Re: Tall man problems in coupe; bend shift lever?

I like Steve and Glenns ideas. But I would get a section of rod like the shifter and make some practice bends with different patterns before doing the backup shifter.
roundvalley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2010, 10:27 AM   #5
Barry in St.Paul
Senior Member
 
Barry in St.Paul's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 107
Default Re: Tall man problems in coupe; bend shift lever?

thanks. SteveM, have you tried doing this? (bending the lever...) If not, anything else you've done to get more room? Obviously I COULD pull the seat frame, strip the upholstery back (which just got put in!!! :-( disassemble the whole rear-rolldown-window assembly (ugh!) and wrangle that darn package tray out to trim off another inch or so, but it is an extremely unpleasant thought to me right now!
Barry in St.Paul is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2010, 10:51 AM   #6
Ned
Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Maryland
Posts: 51
Default Re: Tall man problems in coupe; bend shift lever?

Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)
A 28-29 shifter lever might help. They stay more to the right than the 30-31 but do go forward more in Rev and 2nd.
Ned is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2010, 12:49 PM   #7
Brentwood Bob
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: brentwood, ca
Posts: 3,319
Default Re: Tall man problems in coupe; bend shift lever?

You might run into a problem with the 28-9 if you have a temp gage mounted under the instrument panel. That will then require some creative rebending. If you run a mitchell you have to consider the location of the mitchell, but I think if you adjust it to be close to the seat it won't be an issue. Just finished rebuilding a shift tower and the old lever was real snakey(bent) I bent the new lever cold with a block of wood against the seat riser.
Brentwood Bob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2010, 12:56 PM   #8
Bruce
Senior Member
 
Bruce's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: 60 miles west of Chicago
Posts: 479
Default Re: Tall man problems in coupe; bend shift lever?

At 6' 6", I've got bragging rights! We also have a Roadster Pickup. It fits like a glove!!
I did heat and bend the shifter so that it is over and out of the way. I heated it with a map gas torch. The bend is down close to the transmission and the rubber boot covers the evidence -- which I painted to keep away the rust.
Works great.
Our Roadster came from a friend who is also tall. He had cut the shifter off and then turned it down and rethreaded the stub. The shifter ball was below his knee. It was a long reach to 2nd, though. I pulled it out and replaced it with another "custom" bent one. No complaints from my navigator -- yet.
Bruce is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2010, 01:12 PM   #9
Barry in St.Paul
Senior Member
 
Barry in St.Paul's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 107
Default Re: Tall man problems in coupe; bend shift lever?

Bruce, do you have a photo showing it in neutral position? Did you bend it while it was installed in the car, or remove it? Would sure be easier to judge 'final position' if you could do it while its in the transmission like that....
Barry in St.Paul is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2010, 01:54 PM   #10
Bruce
Senior Member
 
Bruce's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: 60 miles west of Chicago
Posts: 479
Default Re: Tall man problems in coupe; bend shift lever?

I do not have a picture, but it wouldn't be that obvious if I did. I bent in in the truck -- the localizied heat made it lean right over, as if it had been designed that way. They I let it cool, sprayed some Rustoleum on it and wrapped it (the bend) with electrical tape. As I said, the boot covers the evidence.
When Jan and I are both in the car, you can tell that she has less room and I have more. Otherwise, the car show people sticking their heads in the window would never notice.
Bruce is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2010, 04:21 PM   #11
Marco Tahtaras
Senior Member
 
Marco Tahtaras's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 3,099
Default Re: Tall man problems in coupe; bend shift lever?

I would recommend starting with another '30-31 lever. I have successfully bent a restored lever ONCE. However I was increasing the fore/aft bend from the '28-29 angle for use on a '30-31. I don't believe it could be done sideways as the lever would likely spin in any fixture that wouldn't damage the plating.



With the time I've spent with original type interiors, I'm not fond of the modern boots sold by all the suppliers as an option. In fact every car that has come to me with boots, I've tossed them in the trash and later told the owner that if he insists on using them that he can order more when he gets his car home. :-)
__________________
http://www.abarnyard.com/
Marco Tahtaras is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2010, 04:53 PM   #12
Barry in St.Paul
Senior Member
 
Barry in St.Paul's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 107
Default Re: Tall man problems in coupe; bend shift lever?

thanks Marco. So, do you any type of boot for the E-brake and gear shift? Seems like there's a lot of daylight showing if nothing is used....??
Barry in St.Paul is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2010, 04:57 PM   #13
firefirefire90
Member
 
firefirefire90's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: San Francisco/San Diego, CA
Posts: 47
Default Re: Tall man problems in coupe; bend shift lever?

How interesting. I am 6'5" with long legs and the only complaint I have is with my knees and the steering wheel. Good luck OP!
__________________
the token youngin'
firefirefire90 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2010, 05:20 PM   #14
Dennis L Oberer
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Green Bay WI
Posts: 179
Default Re: Tall man problems in coupe; bend shift lever?

Trim that package tray down to nearly nothing and move the seat frame back 2-1/2 inches and you will not have any problems with the shift lever. I am 6'5" and thats what I did on our coupe.

Dennis L Oberer
Green Bay WI
Dennis L Oberer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2010, 06:36 AM   #15
Barry in St.Paul
Senior Member
 
Barry in St.Paul's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 107
Default Re: Tall man problems in coupe; bend shift lever?

Dennis, seriously considered that, even pulled up my photos "pre-upholstery" to see where all the screws and bolts are that would need removal, and then went out this morning to look at the upholstery.... But my upholstery person just did too nice of a job, everything too nice and tight and perfect for me to start ripping it out to get at the package tray!
So, I found my original gear-shift (chromed 25 years ago, willing to sacrifice and re-plate with nickel) and will try bending it to the right before I consider gutting my back-window area. I think 2" or 3" on the gear-shift will get me 'safe' (ie: can quickly get to the brake!) again. Now, have to see if Tom W. will weld up the ball for me on this gear shift (it is square as a cube!) and in the meantime I'll do some practice bends on an old rusty gear-shift I have. Thanks for all the input gentlemen! What a great site and great group of guys (and gals!)
Attached Images
File Type: jpg P2280037.jpg (50.5 KB, 63 views)
Barry in St.Paul is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2010, 04:59 PM   #16
Marco Tahtaras
Senior Member
 
Marco Tahtaras's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 3,099
Default Re: Tall man problems in coupe; bend shift lever?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry in St.Paul View Post
thanks Marco. So, do you any type of boot for the E-brake and gear shift? Seems like there's a lot of daylight showing if nothing is used....??
Unfortunately, I've never taken a good pic of my carpet to show the details. Based on what most folks are forced to work with this is a two part answer.



Originally the rubber mat OR carpet heel pad (as required) acted as the floor seal. The hole for the shifter actually fit the shift tower. The hole for the brake lever only blocked the hole with the brake in the released or off position as would be the case while driving.





The hole for the earlier brake lever was a little different but the results were similar.

Since most folks must rely on suppliers that loosely simulate the original equipment, most will encounter excessive air gaps as you describe. There are several options only limited one's own creativity. One option would be to make flat seal from thin sheet rubber (maybe 1/16" thick) that can be quickly slipped into place before installing the carpet or mat. If you choose to follow the original drawing above, you may find 1-9/16" - 1-5/8" will work better for the hole size as most folks have the body shimmed slightly higher than was originally done.
__________________
http://www.abarnyard.com/
Marco Tahtaras is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2010, 05:00 PM   #17
jaguar6165
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Casselberry, FL
Posts: 188
Default Re: Tall man problems in coupe; bend shift lever?

Im pushing 6' 8" and had the same problem but fortunately i have a 28' four door so i did a couple of things. I first took the floor support/stand or what ever its call out and put the cushion directly on the floor i then made new side brackets and floor bracket that shifted the set back about 6-8 inches. Suprisingly i can sit in the rear set very comfortably so anyone else is fine back there. I also went to the local fabric store and bought 2" foam padding and made a new slim back cushion which got me another 4-6 more inches. Those spring backs are big and bulky and take up a lot of room. Since you dont have this room to work with the other i dea i was toying with was making a new shifter nob. My knee was hitting the nob not the shaft so i thought of either making an extension to raise the nob higher or a braket to shift the nob more to the passenger side. You could even try to buy a slimmer univerasl nob from autozone if you dont mind using non original parts.

Last edited by jaguar6165; 06-18-2010 at 09:52 PM.
jaguar6165 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2010, 05:06 PM   #18
Marco Tahtaras
Senior Member
 
Marco Tahtaras's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 3,099
Default Re: Tall man problems in coupe; bend shift lever?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis L Oberer View Post
Trim that package tray down to nearly nothing and move the seat frame back 2-1/2 inches and you will not have any problems with the shift lever. I am 6'5" and thats what I did on our coupe.

Dennis L Oberer
Green Bay WI
Dennis, I'm thinking you have a '29 Coupe (???). If that's the case, they are even worse than '30-31 bodies for space so hopefully Barry doesn't have to take it as far. However if Barry has new seat springs they can "shrink" the front compartment quite a bit!
__________________
http://www.abarnyard.com/
Marco Tahtaras is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2010, 05:14 PM   #19
jaguar6165
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Casselberry, FL
Posts: 188
Default Re: Tall man problems in coupe; bend shift lever?

Yeah removing the spring cushion was a big improvment for me. Its definitely something to consider, they take up a lot of room. Ill try to post some pics of the seat i rigged up, later when i get off of work.
jaguar6165 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2010, 05:44 PM   #20
V4F
Senior Member
 
V4F's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: ca.
Posts: 2,513
Default Re: Tall man problems in coupe; bend shift lever?

a middle seat from a mini van works good ! i have bent my shifter by using a piece of pipe . cover shifter with a cloth to prevent scares . nickel is softer than chrome . good luck ............ steve
ps: you could trade your coupe for my tudor , lots of room .....
__________________
V4f
V4F is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:46 AM.