1927 T-Bucket Roadster Project: Part 19, T Bucket Grill Shell Modifications

Want to adapt that T Bucket grill shell to better fit your height, width and other requirements in your own T-Bucket build? You’ll learn how to do it the easy way in this latest installment in our Bob Hamilton ’27 T roadster building series. This is just a highlight, because Bob covers T Bucket grill shell modification in more detail in the very informative T-Bucket and Model-A Hot Rod Modifications DVD set, which is part of the StreetRod 101 DVD Library available at our sister site, StreetRodPlans.com.

Here is Bob Hamilton’s latest installment in the building of his 1927 T roadster.

Deuce Fiberglass T Bucket Grill Shell Modifications

“The T Bucket grill shell I’m working with is a fiberglass ’32 and because I am using a suicide front end, I am only using the upper 2/3rds of the grille shell. The aluminum radiator I chose actually turned out to be about 3/4ths of an inch wider which means that the center of the shell needs to be cut and re-glassed so that it will fit the radiator and look good.”

T Bucket Grill Shell

“In order to use aluminum grille bars for the T Bucket grill shell insert, I needed to build some sort of lower mount that would enable the bars to mount and align as well as clear the front spring mount and still look decent. To do this, I made a pattern with a welding rod (or you could use a coat hanger) to go from side to side and up and around (over) the spring mount. Then I transferred the pattern to a piece of 1/8th x 2 inch flat bar and bent it to fit the welding rod pattern. Since I am making this out of fiberglass, I wrapped the flat bar with wax paper and then taped it to a piece of plywood that was covered with wax paper. I then laid up short strips of fiberglass mat – 4 layers total, let set and then trimmed the excess and smoothed it up.”

T Bucket Grill Shell

“I don’t have a picture to show the next step, but if you look at the picture, notice that there is a flange on the front and then it meets up with the angle piece just made. This piece was made by using the plywood covered with wax paper and laying pieces of mat in the shape of the mount – 4 layers. When cured, I trimmed it to fit the pattern and then used some fiberglass bondo to glue the two together and then used two more layers of mat to bond them into one part. The final shape – from the side – looks like the letter Z.”

T Bucket Grill Shell

“This picture shows the Z shape with the piece in place with fiberglass bondo holding it. Later on, before I mount the grille bars, I will use some short pieces of mat to make a more substantial bond between the grille and the lower piece just constructed. When it is fully bonded, it will be both rigid, strong, and look good and will hold the bottom of the grille bars in place very nicely.”

T Bucket Grill Shell

This installment in our 1927 T roadster building series is meant to give you a taste of the kind of terrific hot rod building information Bob Hamilton makes available in the comprehensive StreetRod 101 DVD Library we’re proud to make available through our sister website, StreetRodPlans.com. Modifying a T Bucket grill shell and building a stainless steel grill insert are covered in detail in the T-Bucket and Model-A Hot Rod Modifications DVD set.

StreetRod 101 DVDs
Collect the complete StreetRod 101 DVD Library: available at our sister site, www.StreetRodPlans.com

Be sure to click on the image above to check out all the incredible hot rod building information, tips and detail included in these terrific DVD sets.

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John Morehead
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