I've decided to start a thread to document my Twin-H conversion. Maybe people will find it interesting, or helpful if others want to do it in the future.
I originally planned to keep my 1954 Hornet Coupe as original as possible (within reason), and that meant keeping the single-carb setup, which frankly, runs great. It was hesitating earlier in the year, but a new accelerator pump fixed that right up.
I like to go to local car shows on the weekends when I can. Most people don't even know what a Hudson is, and I'm usually the only one there, even when there are 700 other cars. There is also a select minority that knows exactly what a Hudson though, and they become very excited to see one "in the flesh." Usually, the first question I get asked is, "is this a Twin-H?!?" And of course my answer has always been, "no..." You could see obvious disappointment in some people's eyes... I finally starting thinking to myself, "wouldn't it be nice to be able to say yes to all these people...?" Then, I met a guy at the last car show of the year who also owned a Hornet (although he didn't bring it to the show), and he was telling me about how his brother in law found a Twin-H setup in a junkyard, which he installed on his car. That got me thinking, if he could do it, why can't I?
The only problem is, where to find a Twin-H setup? I think most have been picked from junkyards long ago. And even if they weren't, I'm sure years of exposure to the elements would not have been kind to them. eBay had miscellaneous components for sale, of varying condition, but all for extortionist prices. No, that wouldn't do... I needed to find someone who stockpiled several sets, and was willing to let one go for a reasonable price. My first feelers were not fruitful, but finally, after posting on this forum, I got a lead from a regular poster (thanks Uncle Josh!) I called up the gentleman who allegedly had some Twin-H manifolds for sale, and was pleasantly surprised to learn that not only did he have the manifolds, he also had the carbs, air cleaners, AND linkage (AKA The Holy Grail). When he told me his price, I was once again pleasantly surprised, as the gentleman was not looking to make money, but rather just got back what he paid for it, 20 years ago. Hooray for inflation! :-)
In another stroke of fortune, the gentleman lived only about 2 hours away from me. This means I could simply drive up in my fuel-sipping hybrid, and save the shipping costs. Those manifolds are HEAVY - I can only imagine what shipping those hunks of metal would cost...
The exchange went well. I was buying everything sight-unseen, as the gentleman does not have internet, so I took him at his word that the items were in good condition. He had previously mentioned that he is also trying to sell his '51 Hornet, so I offered to help him out by posting the car on the forums/Facebook groups for him, since he did not have internet or a computer. He was very grateful for that, as he seemed a bit overwhelmed with the prospect of figuring out how to sell it. He even offered to pay me a commission, but of course I refused. His health now prevents him from enjoying and maintaining the car, and his children have no interest in it. Anyway, I scanned the photos he provided to me, and posted them all the very same night. With any luck, his phone will soon be ringing off the hook with offers... :-)
The first picture shows my haul. It's not perfect, but overall, I'm VERY happy.
Here are my concerns:
-The exhaust manifold has one of the studs snapped off a bit. Not sure where I would find another one. My dad said that one of his buddies (a gunsmith) can possible make a new one.
-The intake manifold has a hairline crack (see pic 2). I understand that a lot of people seem to use JB Weld to fix these cracks. It doesn't look bad at all, but I'm no expert. The other option is to try to find a guy to weld it properly.
-Both manifolds have a TON of carbon buildup. All you need to do is shake them, and it'll start pouring out. This of course will need to be cleaned out. I wonder if a professional sandblaster can help me?
-The air cleaners are not correct for a '54 - they are '55 I believe. However, with that being said, they are in nice condition - no dents like most you see, and only very minor surface rust. The paint and decals are pretty chipped and faded, but they are all still there, which is kind of cool. I could either restore them and use them anyway, since I like this style the best, try to trade them to someone for the correct style, or maybe just use them as-is, with the original paint and everything. We'll see.
-The carbs have supposedly been rebuild with Daytona kits, which is great. However, they just don't seem right to me. For starters, the levers on the one carb seem to have been reinstalled backwards in comparison to the other. Not sure if it's supposed to be that way, or if it was just done improperly? They've never been run on a car since rebuild (or probably 40 years before THAT) so it wouldn't have been an issue. But obviously that something that needs to be sorted out. Additionally, the carbs seem to have been spray-painted a gold color. I heard that these were originally off a '53 Hornet, so my guess is that someone wanted these to be gold to match to engine color. This is not ideal for me, as my '54 engine is red. I'd like to have just plain silver carbs. Repainting them silver seems like a pain... I wonder if there's a way I can simply scrub them with a solvent of some sort to remove the gold paint?
-The linkage is just a big unknown to me. It looks like the major piece is there, but I really have no idea of what other pieces I may need, or where to get them. I understand that some pieces are different depending on the transmission, etc. I really won't know until I start mocking things up, and comparing them to pics I see on the internet...
-My last concern is just trying to figure out all the other miscellaneous odds and ends that go along with installing this setup, specifically the plumbing. I have no idea how I'm going to plumb in the fuel lines, and get all the fittings, fuel blocks, etc. Is that stuff I can simply get off the shelf? Who knows? I need pretty much everything regarding the plumbing, including the tubes that go into the manifold from the choke (sorry, don't know the name for them).
Well, I guess that's it for now... Feel free to chime in with questions, comments, suggestions, or answers. Thanks! :-)
1954 Hornet Coupe - Originally my Grandfather's