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Old 01-16-2005, 01:41 PM
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a long list of questions from a complete newbie

I have recently purchased a 1936 Chev straight axle 4 door sedan as it turned out my wife also loves hot rods. (no smut intended honest)

Problem number one is that I have the mechanical skills of a small goldfish. I want to do as much work on it as possible myself, I know its going to take years and years (thats half the fun) and there is lots of learning to come. I want it as a driving around car not as a race car (I might build one of those later)

Before I start I want to make sure I have the thing planned out completely so I don't end up with any sudden suprises or stuff ups. The car is pretty damned straight so I don't need to worry about rebuilding whole sections.

At this stage all I know is that I want to put the following in.
at least a 350 small block (if you guys reckon more will fit let me know)
new suspension (no idea what type or where from but we'll get there with your help)
power steering (how?)
electric windows and central locking (I can actually do both of these)
and an automatic transmission (how!?)

to make matters more interesting it is a right hand drive (has to be in new zealand

Any suggestions of what to do and where to start or anything along those lines would be great.

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Old 01-16-2005, 01:56 PM
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I don't really know what kind of doner cars you have in New Zeeland. You need to find a vehicle that the front suspension just bolts to the chassis. Here we have the GM Fiero. Mopar Volare. Ford Mustang- Pinto kits... Something similar would give you power steering, Disc brakes and modern ride and reliability.

For the rear, you would want something from a vehicle with leaf rear springs or if you have Fox bodied Ford products or T-Bird Cougar types from the late eighties thru the mid nineties. These have very adaptable IRS rear systems that bolt in with little fabricating..

Hondas have very good adaptable power window units and door lock pieces.
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Old 01-16-2005, 02:02 PM
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thanks

Donor cars shouldn't be too much of a problem - often the models have different names but there shouldn't be too much difficulty finding parts.
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Old 01-16-2005, 03:33 PM
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when you are disassembling the parts TAKE MILLIONS OF PICTURES!! lol.. digital cameras are extremely useful.. forget how this part goes on?? Oh there it is on the pic... what part goes here... oh wait.. there it is on this pic... also put bolts in baggies labeled where they came from... such as front engine bay.. transmission mounts.. engine mounts... interior.. etc.. then you have a decent idea of what goes where... also draw out things with sketches.. take notes.. you dont have to be an artist with the drawings either.. just make it so you know what is what.. this will save you TONS of time... i completely tore down my nissan 280zx.. and right now im in the process of putting it back together.. while at the same time building a 350-383 stroker to put in it... it all takes time.. and when you dont have money to buy stuff... do something that is pretty much free.. like attacking rust... or even just sitting there staring at it... getting a feel of how you want it to end up.
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Old 01-16-2005, 03:58 PM
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well at this point I am considering a 80gb hard drive for the images. I have about 200mb of them already and thats just the basics.

i sat in the car for 2 hours just letting it ooze through me. The dash is driving me mental because I want to put a centre console etc in it to run between the bucket seats but beyond bill parten's rat I haven't seen a modified dash I like (and bill's was the wrong colour)
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Old 01-17-2005, 01:41 PM
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building your rod

If you are wanting to build a console, a simple way to do that is to use plywood, then cover it with the hi density foam pading used with vinyl tops, and overlay that with vinyl. Use heavy cardboard to make your templates. from your dash to however far back you want to go.
Truth is, there are a lot of consolettes out there in lat model cars that would actually drop right in and using the above method, could blend it to the dash.
Things to consider when doing the initial locating of the console, are items like a floorshift. You want the floorshift to center in the existing hole in a consolette, rather than to butcher it up.

As for blending the console into your dashboard, once the two are anchored together, a little bit of fiberglassing will go along way to making nice smooth transition lines.
The simpler you keep it the better.

Finishing off the appearance can be easily done with thin sheets of finished laminated wood or even aluminum or other metal plates.

While you are robbing the consolette out of a car to use, you might also consider walking off with the front and rear seats as well.
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Old 01-17-2005, 01:50 PM
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I was thinking that. I want to keep the back seat though as it's remarkably comfortable for a stock seat - it's just going to get a re-upholster (?)

My wife wants to have the car done in white with a silver pearl so she can do weddings with it (which would be cool I guess) so the interior will end up being black leather etc. I am thinking that if I'm going to do a job I might as well do it properly and gut the entire inside (will have to before the body gets sandblasted - previous owner did a new paint job on it by hand straight over the original with no top coats)
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Old 01-17-2005, 01:57 PM
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fancy body

You might consider putting a landau top on your car, as that would really give it an appearance of oppulance and splender, especially if you could find a couple Landau S's from off of an early to mid 60's T-bird with a vinyl top, to put on the sides behind the doors.
Turn it into a faux luxo-mobile.
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Old 01-17-2005, 02:16 PM
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somehow don't think it would fit right on a four door
I do want it to get a little bit of a roof chop

and um.. no offense but um.. yucky vinyl - then again it takes all sorts to make a world
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Old 01-17-2005, 02:39 PM
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Don't want to rain on your parade but there is a reason why '37 Chevies are very popular w/ rodders and why '36s are not - in one word, WOOD! Up through '36 GM used wood structures everywhere in the cars including doors. You must replace the wood in the doors w/ rectangualr tubing which adds a level of complexity to your project. Two ways to look at that - way too much trouble to fool with or a great opportunity to build a skill set.


Might consider doing what I did on my '36 Pontiac 4-dr sedan and go with a tricked out Chevy straight 6 instead of the ubiquitous and boring 350 V8.



If you have Mustang IIs over there in the junk yards, consider installing an X-member out of a stock MII. Pretty easy to do, look like they grew there and IMHO, safer than the after market ones if for no other reason that Ford did a bunch more testing than the other guys. See here.
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Old 01-17-2005, 02:54 PM
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awesome

I've got a 350 lined up so I'm probably going to stick with that - but the six is a cool idea.

Considering the size of this project the wood replacement thing will be another skill set to learn.

I figured that the wood would be a pain but if I can get replacement metal for it I'd go down that path. The only other thing I really want to do is something with the hood. Basically I think it's really heavy and I don't know if I am doing something wrong or missed something but when you open it up it looks like it just sits on the paint work (yuck - too easy to make scratches).
So anyway I want to replace it with a cf hood (another skill set to learn) and make a guide to force it to fold nicely (thinking kitchen corner cupboard door styles) and then some kind of support strut to hold it up nicely off the paint work.
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Old 01-17-2005, 05:29 PM
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Re: a long list of questions from a complete newbie

Quote:
Originally posted by danielvds
I have recently purchased a 1936 Chev straight axle 4 door sedan as it turned out my wife also loves hot rods. (no smut intended honest)

Problem number one is that I have the mechanical skills of a small goldfish. I want to do as much work on it as possible myself, I know its going to take years and years (thats half the fun) and there is lots of learning to come. I want it as a driving around car not as a race car (I might build one of those later)

Before I start I want to make sure I have the thing planned out completely so I don't end up with any sudden suprises or stuff ups. The car is pretty damned straight so I don't need to worry about rebuilding whole sections.

At this stage all I know is that I want to put the following in.
at least a 350 small block (if you guys reckon more will fit let me know)
new suspension (no idea what type or where from but we'll get there with your help)
power steering (how?)
electric windows and central locking (I can actually do both of these)
and an automatic transmission (how!?)

to make matters more interesting it is a right hand drive (has to be in new zealand

Any suggestions of what to do and where to start or anything along those lines would be great.
First it is very helpful the wife loves hot rods. You have a big project ahead of you (time and $) and will need a supportive and helpful wife.

Your analagy of having the mechanical skills of a small goldfish is funny and also a challenge to overcome with the project. To help answer the questions you have posed I would suggest obtaining a copy of the Hotrodders Bible by Gerry Burger. It covers many facets of building a street rod, from brakes and suspension to replacing the wood with steel as Willys 36 suggested.

And you always have Hotrodders.com for help too.
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Old 01-17-2005, 05:57 PM
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well the wife wants to get more of them eventually so I think I am a very luck man. It has been really cool to see the amount of knowledge and support that you guys give to someone who is new to it all like me.

4 Years ago I didn't know how to use a hammer properly (used to choke it up by the head) and now we are on to our second house and I can do the lot I enjoy a challenge so this should be good.

Thanks for the info on the book. I found it on amazon (quickest way to get odd books in New Zealand)

Are there any other suggestions about books to get that have good practical guides etc?
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Old 01-17-2005, 06:45 PM
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Vinyl Lid

The Landau top was just an idea I threw out there. No offense taken.
The idea of a big six is unique.
In high school a buddy had a 38 Chevy coupe with a 62 or 63, 292 Chevy truck six, mildly warmed up and he embarrassed a lot of V-8's up to 100 cubes larger in size.
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Old 01-17-2005, 08:04 PM
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Actually it was a good idea if it hadn't been for the vinyl. Personally I always want to be careful when disagreeing with others ideas - nothing is ever Wrong (in terms of taste) and hard work is still something to be admired (I know too many kids who just finance up work on their already financed 4 cylinder jap import and then want to ponce round in it) If you can pay for it cool - go for it and get a really good job (I know I will with the paint and upholstery) but sometimes you ahve to put some work into it yourself so it becomes Your car.

As for the 6 - a friend of mine has a naturally aspirated engine and he can shame out some of the turbo'd things out there. Its just a pity its a honda
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