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CLynn85
CLynn85 HalfDork
1/20/16 6:33 p.m.

EDIT: Current status 11/24/19:

I've always had a thing for traditional hot rods, I used to have a thing for "street rods" as a kid, and recently acquired a taste for "rat rods", sort of. A couple years back I decided to blend a bunch of styles together and build a Willys pickup that would go, turn, and look cool. Due to a series of events that project got backburnered, I lost my space, and generally lost interest, resulting in selling it, a decision I still kind of regret.

https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/build-projects-and-project-cars/1956-willys-pickup-hot-rod-rat-rod-autoxtrack-day-/58244/page2/

On the plus side, that made room for me to build a roadster of some sort with a traditional beam axle, which, frankly, just looks cooler than IFS. While scrolling CL one day I came across a stalled T-bucket build that was about 3 hrs away, the right price, and came with a lot of good parts. It looks pretty complete in the pics but was really just a mockup that needed a ton of work to finish.

 

It's an old Total Performance frame, some no-name 70's body, and an explorer 8.8. The PO was trying to fit an Mustang II rack, which was just plain weird, so out that came, and a SBC, which I was also not a fan of. Really though, it didn't matter, I was using a borrowed trailer with no tail lights and it was going to be dark soon, so on the trailer it went and home it came.

jimbob_racing
jimbob_racing Dork
1/20/16 6:37 p.m.

Are you going to shorten the frame? It looks a bit goofy to me as it sits.

CLynn85
CLynn85 HalfDork
1/20/16 6:41 p.m.

Once home the 350 mockup block came out and went in the corner. Plans called for a skeezy 302 I had sitting around out of a pickup and a Mustang T5. To save myself the hassle I ordered a universal SBF mount from Speedway motors to get it in between the rails and modified the existing trans crossmember to drop it in. After a couple hours of rigging I fired it up, all 8 cylinders pumping out of open exhaust ports for the neighbors to hear.

Somewhere along the way I tackled moving the steering box, because I really don't like the vertical column/horizontal wheel of the 70's buckets that this chassis was setup for and tried squeezing in 3 pedals.

Unfortunately I was having a hard time squeezing everything in, including a space for the clutch slave cyl, so at some point (last winter) I decided if I ever wanted to get this thing on the road in 2015 I should throw in the towel and toss in a C4. So out came the pedal box and in went the slushbox.

CLynn85
CLynn85 HalfDork
1/20/16 6:42 p.m.
jimbob_racing wrote: Are you going to shorten the frame? It looks a bit goofy to me as it sits.

The frame is actually REALLY short, 100"WB as it sits now, just kind of weird proportions with the way the PO had it mocked up.

CLynn85
CLynn85 HalfDork
1/20/16 6:51 p.m.

I needed accessory brackets for the motor so one day in the local pick n pull I found a truck with a 351. I really wanted the alt bracket, but it didn't want to give it up, snapping my 1/2"-3/8" adapter in the process. Don't worry, I eventually won by bludgeoning the alternator to death with a 4lb sledge freeing the stuck bolt from the aluminum alternator.

I managed to score a steel '32 grill (probably a repop, hopefully...) on the southern MD craigslist, so I dropped that in to see how it'd look, about the time some friends showed up to christen the new beer-fridge.

Sometime around this our latest 24 Hours of Lemons build kicked off so the T-bucket got kicked out into the yard to make some room.

On the plus side it was the first time the bucket had seen day light in about 6 months so it was good to see it from a distance.

CLynn85
CLynn85 HalfDork
1/20/16 7:00 p.m.

We ended up missing IOE but bringing home organizer's choice with the Valiant, so we called it a temporary victory and parked it while I went back to working on the bucket.

As a result I also had a spare Slant Six sitting around, and if I hadn't been so far into the SBF setup it would have probably made it into the bucket. Instead I ordered a generic aluminum radiator from ebay, a set of lake pipes from summit, and chopped down the 32 grill to fit.

I then cut a plywood floor for the body

And took everything apart to install the panhard bar, plumb the brakes, and paint the chassis.

The car came with Willwood front disks, so I went with explorer stock disks on the rear with a willwood prop valve and a "Corvette" MC. It also came with Heidts coilovers, which are currently sprung way to stiff and need softer springs.

CLynn85
CLynn85 HalfDork
1/20/16 7:13 p.m.

Here's a video of its first start early on in the project. First time this motor ran in about 5 years.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/wzkJQ6ZsXoo

CLynn85
CLynn85 HalfDork
1/20/16 7:16 p.m.

Several cans of Black paint later, the engine went back in.

Radiator back in, JD approves

wheels777
wheels777 Dork
1/20/16 7:35 p.m.

Love it!

Fitzauto
Fitzauto HalfDork
1/20/16 8:24 p.m.

Lookin good! I need to build me one of these

CLynn85
CLynn85 HalfDork
1/20/16 8:36 p.m.

While it was apart I fiberglassed in the floor and fire wall and painted the body red. Most people add wood structure to the body and the upholster everything. I just wanted to get it together in order to go to The Race of Gentlemen in Wildwood NJ so I skipped that step. I'm also not really fond of fiberglass bodies and want to replace it sometime soon, so I didn't want to spend a lot of effort on it.

I threw everything else back together and rigged up a tank and a battery to take it for its first drive.

CLynn85
CLynn85 HalfDork
1/20/16 8:43 p.m.

And a really short clip of its first drive around the neighborhood.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/uMHwnqfeFwI

Cooper_Tired
Cooper_Tired Reader
1/20/16 9:50 p.m.

Awesome!

Love the 96-97 Cobra wheels on the front

maschinenbau
maschinenbau Reader
1/21/16 8:43 a.m.

I've always had a thing for 30's hot rods. However I can't seem to find even a rusted-out shell that is GRM-friendly on price. Are these bodies REALLY worth a couple grand or am I not looking in the right places? Price seems to be such a big barrier to the street rod scene.

The_Jed
The_Jed PowerDork
1/21/16 8:46 a.m.

I want that Valiant!

Sweet T-Bucket too.

NOHOME
NOHOME PowerDork
1/21/16 9:49 a.m.
maschinenbau wrote: I've always had a thing for 30's hot rods. However I can't seem to find even a rusted-out shell that is GRM-friendly on price. Are these bodies REALLY worth a couple grand or am I not looking in the right places? Price seems to be such a big barrier to the street rod scene.

If you need old tin, yeah its $$$. Fiberglass is much cheaper especially when bought as abandoned project.

Lots of websites like this one dedicated to moving dead projects. Ignore the crackhead ask prices: People who want rid of dead projects are motivated sellers.

http://www.oldcaronline.com/Classic-Cars-For-Sale-On-OldCarOnline.com/results?type=Restoration%20Projects&page=2

CLynn85
CLynn85 HalfDork
1/21/16 8:44 p.m.
maschinenbau wrote: I've always had a thing for 30's hot rods. However I can't seem to find even a rusted-out shell that is GRM-friendly on price. Are these bodies REALLY worth a couple grand or am I not looking in the right places? Price seems to be such a big barrier to the street rod scene.

I'm not sure I'd say they're "worth" what they're asking for, but that does seem to be the norm lately. Frankly, I refuse to pay exorbitant $$'s for a body just because it's Henry Ford tin. The best thing to do appears to be find an alternative or be in the right place at the right time. I've just barely missed on a couple deals.

CLynn85
CLynn85 HalfDork
1/21/16 8:51 p.m.

So the test drive(s) showed a couple things; a) it's terrifying, b) it's awesome, c) the transmission which sat in a barn for 10 years is basically junk, and d) there's a light at the end of the tunnel.

Since I really wanted to take this with me to TROG I decided to press on and see what I could cobble together. I still needed lights, a fuel tank, and a little more semblance of an electrical system.

A spun aluminum tank was too pricey and a rectangular fuel cell would look out of place, so I picked up an air tank on sale at HF with a coupon and welded in a vented filler neck/cap from Speedway.

Repop tail lights were too expensive and originals hard to come by, so I decided that these trailer lights would fit the bill and are somewhat period correct for 50s-60s hot rods

I did decide to splurge on guide style headlights from Speedway and an Odyssey battery. Since there's no trunk/bed on here I needed to be able to hide the battery so I hung it in the frame.

Spoolpigeon
Spoolpigeon UberDork
1/21/16 8:56 p.m.
CLynn85 wrote: Don't worry, I eventually won by bludgeoning the alternator to death with a 4lb sledge

I love this quote.

Cool project and great writing.

Woody
Woody MegaDork
1/22/16 8:43 a.m.

Wow, you are absolutely nailing this one.

84FSP
84FSP HalfDork
1/22/16 8:49 a.m.

Very cool budget beast. Looks like the wheels and tires were switched up in the last shots? Any side and rear view shots to see what you did with the tail lights and running gear?

CLynn85
CLynn85 HalfDork
1/22/16 12:31 p.m.

Thanks.

The SN95 Cobra wheels were rollers that actually came with it. I had a set of explorer wheels with a reasonably sized tire so I stuck those on the rear (they're a horrible style, but work for the time being), but I had a hard time finding wheels for the front. I had some stock steelie plymouth and ford wheels in 14" and 15" sizes but none of those cleared the brakes, so I finally broke down a bought a new pair of wheel vintiques with dual lug patterns. I was having a hard time finding a set of cheap skinny 15's (didn't these used to be everywhere?!?!) when I had an epiphany. Stock VW wheels are skinny 15's, so I called up a VW buddy who had some extra wheels/tires laying around, so a case of beer netted me a nice set of skinny's for the front.

84FSP
84FSP HalfDork
1/22/16 8:17 p.m.

Swanky

Kenny_McCormic
Kenny_McCormic UltimaDork
1/22/16 8:35 p.m.

I like it! What's the target curb weight?

Question though, I thought you couldn't run a split wishbone/hairpin suicide front end with a tube axle, it will bind like crazy when the suspension articulates because it can't twist like an I beam.

CLynn85
CLynn85 HalfDork
1/22/16 9:10 p.m.

Curb weight should be under 1800lbs as a swag. I haven't had a chance to grab the scales and corner weight it, it's on my to-do list.

Good eye on the hairpins/wishbones. There's somewhere in the neighborhood of eleventy-billion threads on the net discussing this, but what it really seems to come down to is a couple factors including the flexibility of all the other parts in the system other than the beam, the fact that a suicide axle like this has very little suspension articulation to begin with, and the fact that cars like this were never really designed to handle very well in the first place. This setup has been run on countless cars since the 60's and the only failures that really seem to get spun into these horror stories are typically the result of bad welding or the like. Frankly it just doesn't bother me.

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