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-   -   Building Rat Rod with 1951 Chevy Frame (http://www.hotrodders.com/forum/building-rat-rod-1951-chevy-frame-159810.html)

klutchmaster427 06-08-2009 10:42 PM

First Rat
 
Hey,
So this is my first post, and my first rat rod project. I have 3 1951 Chevy Stylelines sitting in my driveway. 2 four doors and a 2 door. One 4 door is gonna be a factory resto, I haven't determined the fate of the 2 door yet, and I want to use the frame of the second 4 door to build a rat rod.

The main thing I want to know is if this is a good choice. I know that many people will tell you that you can do whatever you want when building a rat, since it's somewhat of a compilation of parts, but I'm looking for any advice as to whether or not I should find a "better" frame or if the 51 would be a good option.

A friend of mine has a mid 80s cougar he is giving me. It has an 8.8 rearend. Everyone says I should go with a 9", but I'm not really planning on building this for racing. Ive got a 350 I'm gonna put in it, it will be slightly modified, but I don't expect anything more than 400 horses from it. I'm looking more at the lower 300 range. Would this be a good rearend to use? Should I just use the entire running gear from the cougar? I'm open to any advice/opinions you have. This is my first rod. Any info helps. Thanks!

low budget rodder 07-01-2009 07:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by klutchmaster427
Hey,
So this is my first post, and my first rat rod project. I have 3 1951 Chevy Stylelines sitting in my driveway. 2 four doors and a 2 door. One 4 door is gonna be a factory resto, I haven't determined the fate of the 2 door yet, and I want to use the frame of the second 4 door to build a rat rod.

The main thing I want to know is if this is a good choice. I know that many people will tell you that you can do whatever you want when building a rat, since it's somewhat of a compilation of parts, but I'm looking for any advice as to whether or not I should find a "better" frame or if the 51 would be a good option.

A friend of mine has a mid 80s cougar he is giving me. It has an 8.8 rearend. Everyone says I should go with a 9", but I'm not really planning on building this for racing. Ive got a 350 I'm gonna put in it, it will be slightly modified, but I don't expect anything more than 400 horses from it. I'm looking more at the lower 300 range. Would this be a good rearend to use? Should I just use the entire running gear from the cougar? I'm open to any advice/opinions you have. This is my first rod. Any info helps. Thanks!

Did you have to pay a lot of money for it specifically for a rat rod?? if not, then it's a good choice. Remember, when the traditional hot rod was first done in the 1950's, kids couldn't afford new cars or the best of parts... but they did use their imagination. got a working engine and tranny... put it in. got a body you wanna use.... need to connect them together?? see if the frame kinda fits the power plant and the body.... if not use some 2x3 or 2x4 retangular tube. Headers used to be made from the drive shaft tubes of model A's.

I guess it depends on the look you want...

May I recommend a dvd from the $5 rack at walmart...."Hot Rods, Rat Rods & Kustom Kulture - Back from the Dead The Complete Build" (Circle King Networks, Inc.) Although it doesn't show every second of the three month build, it shows enough to be excited about building and it gives people an idea on how to look at junk as treasure when it comes to a car build.

I wish you all the luck

~Joe

dinger 07-01-2009 10:01 AM

I'm probably going to sound like a Grandpa here, but why waste your time on a Ratrod when you have the makings of a super cool rod in your driveway! That 2dr would be cool anyway you build it, custom, rat, hot, you name it, it will be cool. I would use the Cougar rear if it measures up all right, maybe all the running gear from the Cougar, just to be different and keep the costs down. IMO, the Chevy frames from those years are best suited to those years and would make a poor donor frame. Be rid of the enclosed driveline and start up fresh with rebuilding what you have on the chassis. There's got to be some good info on making that frame usable for a street rod. Good luck, I would love to have that 2dr. but I can't seem to get done my own project!
Dan

klutchmaster427 07-01-2009 10:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dinger
I'm probably going to sound like a Grandpa here, but why waste your time on a Ratrod when you have the makings of a super cool rod in your driveway! That 2dr would be cool anyway you build it, custom, rat, hot, you name it, it will be cool. I would use the Cougar rear if it measures up all right, maybe all the running gear from the Cougar, just to be different and keep the costs down. IMO, the Chevy frames from those years are best suited to those years and would make a poor donor frame. Be rid of the enclosed driveline and start up fresh with rebuilding what you have on the chassis. There's got to be some good info on making that frame usable for a street rod. Good luck, I would love to have that 2dr. but I can't seem to get done my own project!
Dan

yeah I'm pretty excited about the 2 door. I have it in addition to two 4 doors. I'm doing a factory resto on one 4 door for my wife to use as a daily driver. the other 4 door is just a parts car, which is why i was thinking about making use of the frame for a rat. the 2 door im not sure which way i'll be going with it. Ive seen some pretty cool stuff done with them. I saw one on craigslist the other day that had been chopped and they had put (56?) caddy quarters on it. it was pretty sick. Ive also seen some with a chopped top kinda brought to mind the old led sled mercs. I kinda like the idea of leaving it the way it is, except maybe doing a nice chop on it and dropping a powerhouse sbc in it. maybe bbc???


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