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  #31 (permalink)  
Old 12-28-2005, 01:31 PM
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Jerry - build the Wildest Car - not the funniest.

Jerry,
Almost every idea can be a good idea - if you do it at the right time.
If you want to scratch design and build your own rat rod - you could consider doing it after you have built a car that someone else designed.
I have seen streetrodable cars sell at the end of a swap meet for under $500.
They just werent a very desirable body style to most streetrodders.
That would give you a car body and frame in the 30's, 40's or 50's. Then you could study how similiar cars were built and build yours the way that suits your budget. This would also give you something to eventually sell and bankroll your 'orphan' car.
Remember - 'orphan cars are cool' but 'frankenstein cars really suck'. It is everyones dream to pull into a Rod Run with the wildest and coolest car. You want the Rodders to be talking about your car for the 'Cool' value it brought to the show - not the 'Entertainment' value.

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  #32 (permalink)  
Old 12-29-2005, 09:48 AM
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That's an impressive and informative journal, Cboy! Anyone considering building their own body should definitely take a look at it. I'm leaning more toward the foam and fiberglass method used for some more modern vehicles, or wood and steel used on 20s type vehicles. I've even considered making a four cylinder powered car along the lines of a 1920s T "platform" roadster (no rear body at all) with a wood frame. Don't laugh, several cars were made with oak or other hardwood frames up into the late 30s. They had hardwood rails, but steel cross members bolts to them.

For the front suspension, look at pages 36, 33, and 7. Good pics on the finished product on 7, starting on 36, bare frame on 33. I don't particularly like the twin I-beam design, but it works if you want traditional looks and IFS. You know, you could have mounted the radiator up front and the trans oil cooler in the rear instead of radiator and all back there, but the faux radiator up front sure will be easier to maintain or replace should you have an accident! When there was talk on the board about a AWD rod, I thought about something similar -- use the radiator to hide the straight front axle. Get a T-case and axle from a right drive 4x4 (comes off the t-case on passenger side) and it just might work.
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  #33 (permalink)  
Old 12-29-2005, 08:36 PM
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http://www.cardomain.com/ride/641585

It all started in between 10th and 11th grade. I was looking for a rear end for my 1935 Ford pickup project, and a friend said they knew where there was a ranger rear end. I went to look at it, and offered the guy $40 for the complete truck. It was complete, but had rear ended somebody. The man I bought it from have taken parts off it, like the windshield, alloy wheels, interior. It was a 2wd, 4 cylinder, 5 speed manual. I got it to my dad's shop, and after a day or two got it running. The drivetrain had just over 100,000 miles on it, very fresh. I then thought, why not put an old body on this new drive train and have the best of both worlds. Modern suspension and drivetrain, excellent gas mileage, and a cool looking body. I found the remains of a Plymouth pickup and purchased them for $150. My plan was to have a fenderless pickup, with a wooden stakebed.

The 1983 to 1997(I believe) 2wd Ranger pickups all use the twin I beam front suspension. It is the cleanest looking front suspension to use for an old pickup. If you made new radius rods, and used coilover shocks instead of the factory coil springs and buckets, it would look like an old axle. Cheap IFS setup, ps, pb, disc brakes, and a popular bolt pattern. So what, it was a four cylinder. Think about it, many of the old cars originally came with a four cylinder. A V-8 would be nice, but if you cleaned up the 4 cylinder it would like like an old rod motor.

The ranger frames dip down a considerable distance in the middle though, so a little modification would be needed in order for the body to sit nice on the frame and look good. But a very good platform to base an old rod off of. If you need a V-8, there's plenty of room in the frame to put mounts. I went as far as I could on the project. I had everything stripped off the old frame, and labeled. I took the Plymouth cab and mounted it to a wooden frame to easily move with two guys. I was all ready to weld in a new floor to fit the ranger frame. Then, stupidly, my dad talked me out of using the ranger frame. This was a short lived project, between 10th and 11th. If I had kept going, I'd have a pretty cool truck now. Ah, but I sold the motor, saved the rear end, and scrapped the frame.

Hindsight is always 20/20. Now I'm stuck because of lack of funds. I have a great frame though, a 1927 chevrolet 2 door sedan frame. I found the entire car up in the woods in Winter, WI. On public land, so it was free for the taking. Most of the body was too rotten to save, but the frame is perfect. The runningboard mounts are what saved it. They stuck down into the ground, and held the frame up. This car was about 700 feet off the dirt road, at the site of an old CCC camp. It was a ***** hauling that frame through the woods to my truck, I hurt for a week after. But it was free.
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  #34 (permalink)  
Old 12-30-2005, 01:40 AM
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Cboy you do have a valid point, I should have used different wording. What I was implying was that one could get a vintage cowl for a reasonable sum and with a bit of work and some sheet metal build a body. It does take being able to visualize and some fab skills but this is somthing that he can learn on with out worrying about mistakes being costly. He could even look at an old truck cab (pre 55) and imagine how it would look as a cut down roadster that was chopped, sectioned and narrowed to T-Bucket size. Yuppers it would take a lot of cutting, fitting and welding but it would be doable at a low cost.
A guy has to visualize a bit and see what works, could a pair of roadster doors be cut out of that old Mid 60's Dodge pickup hood that is in the scrap pile. That sort of thing.
In the early 70's I helped put together a little 27T roadster that had the back end of a 55 chev cut down for a turtle deck complete with 55 taillights. It was extremely low buck even then but caused somewhat of a sensation at the Nationals that year in Tennessee.
In reference to the Ranger front suspension. I just don't belive that there is any way to make that clean enough (scab free) to look right on an open wheel car. That is one area that you just have to do it right and make it look the way it is supposed to.
On a rod a guy has to think several things. outside of safety.

there is Stance, the car just has to sit right or it doesn't look right. Tire size is critical here.

Theme, Kewl cars are built to one theme end to end top to bottom. I won't rant here but I have seen cars that just don't blend into one theme.

Scabs. Don't stick some componet on the rig just because it is available or free if it looks like a scab stuck on it. On a little open wheel car this would be front suspension that is too bulky for the car.

Last edited by Chopt 48; 12-30-2005 at 02:27 AM.
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  #35 (permalink)  
Old 12-30-2005, 12:24 PM
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If you look at Cboy's truck, he used the same idea only from the fullsize F-150. The ranger suspension would work out just fine, I would know, I only played around with possible designs for it for a whole summer. As long as the welds were done right, it would be perfectly safe to drive on the road. I don't like your use of scab, it implies the person doing this would do a ****ty job and not care about the finished product. Just because it's a "rat rod" doesn't mean the workmanship has to be "ratty."
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  #36 (permalink)  
Old 01-01-2006, 02:18 AM
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Hey Jerry!
First off, You want to use a Mopar motor, that's Extra Cool in my book. It would seem to me that one big advantage of starting with a pre-built "T" frame is it should be easier to find & set-up your suspension, brakes etc. Getting a pre-engineered frame & suspension package will give you a great foundation for your rod. This is the route I was planning to follow to build myself a little roadster but then I found a friend who was selling a partially done '56 Dodge pickup and . . . well now I'm knee deep into my first street rod & it's a pick-up, not a roadster. It's kinda funny how life does that sometimes. Always keep your eyes & ears open for a deal. You may find youself a gem you didn't even know you were looking for.

Good luck on your project!
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  #37 (permalink)  
Old 01-01-2006, 12:33 PM
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When I said scab I wasn't replying to quality of workmanship. There are plenty of safe and well built cars out running around that "Just don't look right" For the simple reason that the components used do not blend into the theme of the car.
I have been around this game since 1962 when I bought my first car a 51 merc that I had for 32 years. In that time I have built several cars and have been involved in many more. Some great and some a bit strange.
My best friend in Texas had a 31 model A Coupe body cut down into a roadster sitting on a 59 Corvette frame and running gear. Very low buck. The car had a hot 396 with a muncie 4 speed and 12 bolt rear all out of a 69 chevelle that His wife had wrecked. The car handled great, went like stink, and was totally reliable. It also was butt ugly because of the combination of parts. He backed off going to rod trots because of the negative comments from spectators at events.
That was what I was referring to and not quality of workmanship.
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  #38 (permalink)  
Old 01-09-2006, 06:30 PM
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Finish it Dewey!

Dewey,

I think you should finish that truck/rat that you started. I think it's not as bad as you think it is. After the body and a little front end clean up you'd have a fun ride. Sure like to see you finish it.

Just thought I'd throw my 2 cents in.

Thx.
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  #39 (permalink)  
Old 01-09-2006, 10:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 73super
I think you should finish that truck/rat that you started. I think it's not as bad as you think it is. After the body and a little front end clean up you'd have a fun ride. Sure like to see you finish it.
There were just too many things going against that experimental project to finish it. The pictures don't do it justice. It was much uglier in real life.

I'm glad I built it, however. You can learn about as much from a "failed" project as you can from a successful one. Anyhow, it's too late now. I offered the chassis to Mike (Nightfire) for free...but for some odd reason he didn't quite feel making the trip down from Canada would be worth it. I still have the wheels & tires if anybody wants them...free to anybody willing to come to Northern Wisconsin and pick them up.

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  #40 (permalink)  
Old 01-24-2006, 07:53 PM
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No new things are happening with my Rat rod project, I got to do some major inner and outer rocker, floor panel stuf on my truck yet.

Some pics of how bad the inner rockers are ( after ripping them out)







If I can get my truck drivable and looking all cool and sound(and especially safe)during this summer a, my Rat Rod building can be started.
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  #41 (permalink)  
Old 01-25-2006, 10:01 PM
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Wow, that is some impressive rust. If you are able to fix that correctly you will be able to build any rat rod for sure. You are going to have a fit when I say that I think my buddy has all the parts to fix that only 2k miles away.
If you don't have it here is a link that you might like.
http://www.sweptline.com/tech/rust.html

OBTW V8 Plymounth, I like your idea for cleaning up that ranger front end.
It was those springs and towers that I thought detracted from the looks of a rig that would run that suspension.
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  #42 (permalink)  
Old 01-25-2006, 10:13 PM
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[QUOTE =Chopt 48]Wow, that is some impressive rust. If you are able to fix that correctly you will be able to build any rat rod for sure. You are going to have a fit when I say that I think my buddy has all the parts to fix that truck
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  #43 (permalink)  
Old 02-05-2006, 09:35 PM
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Designing my own scratch built Rat Rod, need guidance on where to start

I have two projects going on, an 80 toyota pickup i put a wood bed on and trailer fenders. I was going to chop the cab down to a roadster but it got cold before i could get up my nerve.

I got another toyota frame for $100.00, and a left over 230 chevy six and a crash box...i was going to put a fiberglass t bucket on it, but the maker said the suspention was too hard for such a light body..

The doodle bug weighs in at 2,500 pounds and rides ok, even with plastic race car seats.. any sugestions?.. The new frame has enough body to chop down, but i dont know if i can get it through emissions with the old six...that means either a catalitic converter, or some kind of body older than 1970, so it wont have to pass emmissions.

any ideas?
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  #44 (permalink)  
Old 02-07-2006, 07:51 PM
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come to find out they changed the law and pre-95 doesn't have to pass emissions.. back to plan "A"... here are the pix
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  #45 (permalink)  
Old 02-08-2006, 12:41 AM
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it only takes 1 thing... THE WILL

I dropped a post on this thread a while back,
mainly to show that it only takes will power to accomplish things.
well a month later, ive been kinda busy in the garage, fabbing and redesigning.
heres how my projects going.

heres what i started out with


to this..


here is my chassis almost all pieced together.



after turlock swapmeet i now have just over 600 into the project, looks like im not gonna keep it within the 1k mark...mabe 2k!!!
B
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