The Rodder’s Journal: Bass Self-Energizing Brake Conversion

I just received an advance copy of The Rodder’s Journal #59, and the good folks over there were nice enough to feature my “Bendix-style” self-energizing brake conversion for ’39-48 Ford brake backing plates.  I have been offering this service for several years now, but up until this point it has been a strictly word-of-mouth operation.

Do you like the look of the original ’39-48 Ford brakes, but would like them to stop much better while keeping that same traditional look?   This is the solution!

The conversion consists of media blasting the original pair of ’39-48 Ford backing plates, filling and metal-finishing the original holes for the wheel cylinder, moving the original shoe link location outboard to clear the star adjuster, re-drilling/machining, and installing the new modern Bendix-style hardware, shoes, and wheel cylinder.  The backing plates are then checked and adjusted for straightness with an original Ford spindle and drum assembly.

The backing plate conversion comes fully assembled with 2″ brake shoes for either Buick or reproduction 12×2 drums, and cad-plated Gr. 5 hardware.  Will fit ’37-48 Ford spindles with no modification, and can be adapted to ’28-36 spindles by slotting the mounting holes and using an adapter ring.  Rear ’39-48 backing plates can also be converted, but no emergency brake hardware is currently available.

Price for the conversion: $475.00 /pair (shipping not included)

Options: a.) 1.75″ shoes for original Ford drums. ($25.00)
b.) Lathe-turned stainless hardware. ($40.00)
c.) Drilled backing plates. (call for pricing)
d.) Chrome plating. (call for pricing)

The Rodder's Journal #59.

The Rodder’s Journal #59.

The brake pictured is one of four on my '29 Roadster.  These have stainless hardware, and are drilled and chromed.  (The scoops shown are currently unavailable.)

The brake pictured is one of four on my ’29 Roadster. These have stainless hardware, and are drilled and chromed. (The scoops shown are currently unavailable.)


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Follow Bass Kustom on Instagram!

Not getting enough updates from the shop?  I hear ya!  With all the social media outlets available to us today, it’s even more difficult to knock the rust off of the ‘ol blog and keep it updated.

So what’s the solution?  Instagram!  Just click that little button over at the top of the column to the right of your screen to go to the webstagram viewer for your PC, or if you are on an Iphone or Ipad click here:


Sample above taken from the @basskustom Instagram!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ex-Gasser ’41 Willys Coupe

So a couple of months ago, I got lucky and I was able to buy one of the cars I’d always dreamed of owning, but thought would always be out of my reach…a real steel ’41 Willys Coupe!

The car came from the Mid-West, and I’m currently trying to find out the car’s racing history.  Keep watching the blog, as I intend to post the build-up here as it happens.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Keith Weesner designed T-shirts NOW AVAILABLE!

Well, they have actually been available for quite a while, but I’ve been just plain too busy to update the ol’ blog for a while.  Keith Weesner did an amazing job on the artwork.  Like Henry’s famous Model T, they come in any color you want…as long as it’s black.

Click on over to the Bass Kustom main site to order yours today!

Weesner designed T-shirts now in stock!


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

New T-shirts: Coming Soon!

I just picked up a load of new Bass Kustom T-shirts hot off the presses!  The shirts were designed by talented Southern California based hot rod artist Keith Weesner, and feature the “Wade Coupe,”  which is currently nearing completion here at Bass Kustom.

I’ll have them up for sale here on the website very soon, so check back often!

New T-shirt logo, designed by Keith Weesner. Available April 2012!


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Devil is in the Details

I’ve been whittling away on the Wade Coupe over the past weeks, and Im finally getting close to finishing the major fab work!  Here are a few detail photos of some of the areas that have gotten attention lately…

Posted in Customer Projects, Fabrication, Hot Rods, Welding | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Wade Coupe. Get Ready.

Progress is being made on Lindsey Wade’s Coupe.  I’ll post some detailed photos here on the blog soon, but for now here’s a “dog’s eye view” shot of the car on the ground:

The Wade Coupe

Posted in Customer Projects, Hot Rods | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Tim’s Knucklehead

I’ve collaborated with Tim O’Keefe on multiple bike projects, and they’ve all turned out really cool.  Earlier this year he brought over this Knuckle that he and Bill Mize from Iowa had started putting together for me to do some fab. work on.

I built the sissy bar, finished the exhaust, and mounted the seat among other things.  A couple months later, Tim had changed the fork over to a VL springer and I made a headlight bracket for him.

I think Tim was going for that “found in an old barn and got it running” look.  In my opinion…he nailed it.

Posted in Customer Projects, Fabrication, Motorcycles | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Take a Ride in The Texas Playboy

George filmed this test drive video back in February as I was checking the clutch linkage adjustment.  From the sound of the grinding gears in the ’39 trans, I’d say it still needed a little more adjustment.

The little Duntov-cammed, high compression 283 runs like a champ!  Enjoy!

Posted in Customer Projects, Hot Rods | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The Texas Playboy

So I suppose the logical place I should start for the “great November blog update” is where I left off back in January, the Ernst Roadster  aka:  The Texas Playboy.

When we last joined our hero…uhh, me…I had just dropped the car off at Fatlucky’s Upholstery in Austin.  We were rapidly running out of time to get the car ready to go the Grand National Roadster Show in Pomona, but Sean agreed to give it his all to put the interior in the car in just a few short days….10 to be exact.

While Sean was doing the interior, I was handling detail stuff at the shop, like getting the headers and exhaust ceramic coated, and painting the dash.  Once that was done, I made the trek back down to Austin to retrieve the car and do the final assembly.

Upon returning to Dallas at around 4 in the morning, I went to work on trying to get the car fired up for the first time.  After a long frustrating day, I finally got the car fired up around midnight with the help of Eric Carter, and his son Tayden. The 283 sounded pretty killer, but the clear spark plug wires were arcing out badly, and needed to be replaced. I had some cloth-covered wire from the Hot Rod Company on the shelf, so it went on, and the clear stuff went in the trash.

Next Crackerhead Mike came over and helped me bleed the brakes, which turned into another ordeal. Once all the leaks were shored up, we finally had brakes…and it was about 4:30 am. I locked up, went home, and packed. I was back at the shop by 5:30.

About this time, I drove the car for the first time. Once around the block, and it was in the trailer…and we were headed for California and the Grand National Roadster Show. There were four of us taking the trip, and we drove straight through to Pomona. It took 26 hrs.   We checked into the motel, and headed over to the Fairgrounds to get in
line.  Once inside, we were directed over to Building 3 where we unloaded the car.
The car came out of the trailer, and moved for the second time under its own

All in all, it was a success.  The roadster ended up coming in a very close second place for the prestigious Jalopy Journal “Best Roadster” award.  We made a very icy trip back home to Dallas without a major incident, and I went back to work on the car, mounting the hood and working out some of the bugs.

The car is now finished, and has been since the beginning of March.  It was also photographed by Steve Coonan for The Rodders Journal at the Lonestar Roundup, and I’ll be posting more about that shortly.

Posted in Customer Projects, Event, Hot Rods, Shop Projects | Leave a comment