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dhinrichs47 01-23-2006 12:57 PM

36 Ford Coupe Advice
I have recently acquired a 1936 Ford 5 Window Coupe that is a fairly complete original steel bodied car. I am considering the idea of building it into a Street Rod. My concern is how much of a body modification do I need to do? One idea is a Ford 302 with either a C4 or AOD, or a Chev 350 w/a 350 or 700R4. I realize that I should plan on installing a new frame built with a IFS front suspension, Disc brakes, Rack and pinion steering and a 9" rear end. But what changes do I need to do to the body to accomodate these changes? I want to keep as much of the Original appearance both internally (interior) and exterior as possible. See the issue is that the car is quite rust free. Besides the body any recommendations to the drivetrain I listed previously. My other option would be to keep the original suspension and then just run a 8CM flathead.

joe350s10 01-23-2006 01:06 PM

Most of your major mods will be in the suspension and firewall more than likely.

I know a couple of guys who have dropped old ford bodies onto first generation chevy S10 frames and have chevy running gear.

They sell a cheap and relatively easy kit for the S10 V8 conversion. After that it's pretty much just fitting the body to the frame.

What is the wheelbase on a 36? An s10 ranges from 108"-123" depending on the model.

With the s10 drop you get an updated suspension package, disc brakes, etc.

BadA$$37 01-23-2006 01:06 PM

Sounds like you have a pretty solid car and chassis. I would suggest boxing the frame and put in a IFS from someone like Heidts. They have a front cross members that you can weld in and bolt the suspension to. As for a rear end you can do a four link set up for fairly inexpensive. My self I prefer to go the Street Rod route, as I am building a 37 convertible with all corvette drivetrane.

Henry Highrise 01-23-2006 01:18 PM

You do not have to do any body mods. And you can use the frame that you have. You can box the rails for strength and then get a kit and put IFS on it , change the rear end out and install a four bar sytem on the rear.

rocknrod 01-23-2006 04:52 PM


Originally Posted by BadA$$37
Sounds like you have a pretty solid car and chassis. I would suggest boxing the frame and put in a IFS from someone like Heidts. ........ As for a rear end you can do a four link set up for fairly inexpensive. My self I prefer to go the Street Rod route, as I am building a 37 convertible with all corvette drivetrane.

Take a look at fatman fabrication for IFS as well.
posies makes an easy rear end set-up for your car, paralel leaf etc.
Believe it or not, if you want to go straight front axle, Speedway can help there.
Good luck.

trees 01-24-2006 07:50 AM

I have owned a 36 Ford 5WC since 1960 and know a little about them. Sounds as if you have a great car to start from. Definitely street rod it. Mine had a flat head in it until 1996 and was fairly original except for wiring and hydraulic brakes. Very limited for driving pleasure. It now has a Fatmans stage III front suspension, a 57 Chevy rear end with Mustang II leaf springs, a 300 HP 327 Vette motor, and a 700R4. The frame has been boxed in the right places and the X member modified slightly (I still have to pull the front end and motor to change out the tranny). Outward appearance is stock except for the wheels and the tail lights (I removed 1.5" from them to make them shorter). The instruments and steering column are original and working as well as the inside door handles and window cranks. The wiring is Ron Francis and I use his computer to control the lockup functions of the 700R 4. I have about 30,000 miles on it since finishing in 99.

If I were doing this again, I would buy a rolling frame from one of the many vendors offering them. It would have a Mustang II kit and either a triangulated 4 bar or 4 bar with panhard bar in the rear. I would look at air suspension but probably stay with coil overs front and rear. For a cruiser car, I would stay away from a Ford 9" rear end because it eats up some horse power over a GM type. I like the 55-64 Chevy/Pontiac rearends because of the track with works and they are tough enough to handle up to 450 HP. In the long term, if you value your labor, you will have a better frame with all new stuff as cheap as you can upgrade your frame. In fact it may be cheaper if you sell your rolling frame to someone restoring a 36 Ford.

Put what ever motor you want in it, but if you use a SBF, it is going to eat up about 2.5 inches of your interior vice a SBC. Either way, I would come into the 21 century and make sure I had EFI. A 5.0 HO Ford or a LS1 or LS4 or the newer 5.4 GM all make for a smooth running, no leaking, peppy, and fuel efficient set up.

There are a lot of little things to consider in your build so when you have questions, fire me a PM and I'll be glad to offer my thoughts. I also can steer you toward lots of repro parts vendors that can handle your needs.


rocknrod 01-24-2006 09:52 PM

You know he just reminded me.
I built a 38 Ford from scratch.
Now I remember saying, I would by a complete chassis from
FatMan before I'd do this again.
Yep.....I remember.

dinger 01-25-2006 12:33 AM

I'm also building a 36, there's a few pics in my journal and album. The only body mods I did are a firewall, I'm going to french the tailights and shorten the stems for the headlights. Good luck, keep us posted. dan

35WINDOW 01-25-2006 08:02 AM


I would agree with trees-I am building a '35 (same Frame '35-'40). The best deal I've seen for Frames without a doubt would be at Heinzman's Street Rods in Phillips, NE (about a 3-350 mile drive from you). They offer a Frame exchange Program, where they will build an original (they have a lot of original Frames in stock, in unbelieveable condition-where do they get them?), and will build it any way you want it. They also build new Frames-check 'em out, they are nice folks, and are very customer oriented.

My Frame has a Heidt's tubular IFS, and a Pete and Jakes four-bar (you can see it in my Journal). I am going to run a BBC, so I recently put in a 5" setback Firewall and Floorboard kit for room in the engine compartment (the engine is setback 2"). Other than some type of possible Firewall modification, if you are not going to narrow the rear for wider tires, there isn't really many other modifications needed.

I go to Denver frequently, so if you should need any help please PM me-I might know where some '36 parts are if you should need 'em-

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