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Old 02-03-2003, 06:29 PM
Hellbilly Hotrods
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Post model T chassis help needed

ok guys, my dad just bought a t-pickup rat rod. its bad *** . i love it. anyway, weve got a few minor problems that need adressed before we feel safe nailing it anywhere past half throttle or 40 mph.

1st, its got a dropped front axle, hairpins, a single spring, and some form of drum brakes. the hairpins, where they mount to the frame, dont have any bushings to speak of. also, there isnt really any tightness to the front end. it shimmies and wobbles so bad its scary. so, where do i get the parts to overhaul it? and, what all should i replace? ive never worked on anything quite this old, and neither has pops, so we need help.

2ndly, the car has a definite list while sitting. it seems as if the front right corner is closer to the ground. so, how/what do we check?
thanks, yall. im still a newbie when it comes to street rods. now, musclecars and the eighties i understand....

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Old 02-03-2003, 06:43 PM
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If its possible , you ay need to post some pictures of what the front suspention is . Some setups use a regular Ford type tie rod end for the pivot point on the rods and some use a shperical or ball type rod end , some use a rubber or poly bushing rod end . Speedway motors has a really nice catalog - check 'em out and I bet they have what you need . Once you compare your parts and see what you have, you may even see a better way to fix your rod !
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Old 02-04-2003, 11:52 AM
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Welcome to the wonderful world of poorly constructed T-buckets! The term Rat-rod should not cover garbage such as you describe. No term is foul enough to describe the seller of such an unsafe vehicle to unsuspecting new owners! I just hope you got into this POS very cheaply.
Now to the solution.
1. Do not drive this thing one more foot.
2. Take good clear close-up pictures as follows:
a. the backing plate/spindle area of the front end
b. the radius rod attachment point at the frame
c. the steering box attachment at the frame
d. the pitman arm/draglink end at the steering box
e. the steering arm/draglink at the spindle
f. the rear suspension from ground level looking under the bed/turtledeck
g. the rear suspension attachment points to the frame
h. the steering column mounting at the dash/firewall/floor/box
Post the pics here or if you like email them to me at I'll be happy to try and get a proper identification for your component parts and try to evaluate the problems you describe.
The rattiest looking rod should handle and ride very well. Only idiots and dangerous people we should not share the roads with put together and God forbid sell such cars as you describe.
BUT, there is hope...many a poorly constructed POS has been saved and many times without tremendous CASH outlay!
Looking forward to your good news.
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Old 02-09-2003, 04:07 PM
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Don't get discouraged and take a logical and practical approach. Is the dropped axle a tube or an I-beam, with a tube axle you need to use a 4-bar set up because it won't flex like the I-beam and will tear the bushings out of the haripins fairly quickly. You might also need a panhard bar or dead pearch to stop side to side sway. As for the list? Maybe bad frame construction or bent from engine torque or twisted by some bad suspension. You can possibly check with some serious corner to corner and corner to the ground measurements . In your area I would give Brent at Fatmans a call, he does more than MII suspensions or Flatlanders Hot Rods in Norfolk VA and let Alan give you some advice. Either place can supply the parts you need along with some down to earth advice. Good luck and have fun.
Rods Built By Owners(RBBO)club member
wrecking yard archeologist
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