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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 09-17-2008, 09:15 PM
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My First Hot Rod!... project

I've been wrenching since my young teens and when I moved out here to Lubbock, TX to go to school that all had to stop, I didn't have any of my tools, or a place to work and most of all money. Well I aimed to change all of that! I've always wanted to build an old school hot rod, bare bones, i-beams front suspension, flathead, the WORKS! But, as most of you already know, building a hot rod of that caliber requires some serious cash... nothing a college student has lying around! So for a while I dropped the idea of building a really bad *** ride and focused on the Chevy 350 I had in my garage and the little money I had to get a vehicle to drop it in. I had shopped around for a few months looking for Chevy short/wide and other cheap cars/truck out here in west Texas. Until one day I went to the Lubbock abandoned vehicle auction last Jan for the hell of it and found a decent little truck to throw that SBC into! It was a 1982 GMC S15 pickup single cab short bed with a 2.8L V6 and Borg Warner 4-speed! It even ran, drove, stopped and all electrics worked! Just had a real bad blow out on the front. Sure enough an hour later I was towing home a little truck I had gotten for $300! And here it is in my garage.

Don't mind the other guy, thatís my roommate Cliff... he's a tool LOL. So with a used tire on, a spare battery I already had and towing, I snagged this thing for less than 400 bucks. Not bad, right? The body wasn't great, no major dents or rust but the paint was a joke so I figured that it would make a fun drag truck. Until I noticed that the platform for this truck is very solid and the aftermarket for brakes and suspension is plentiful and cheap and then as I was taking a closer look at the frame I noticed that this thing could be turned into an old school hot rod with very little fab... ok maybe not a little but at least it wouldn't be over kill! So I then decided to strip the entire body off of it.

ALOT of PB Blaster and a saw-zaw later, it finally all came of and it was now a rolling chassis!

After weeks of researching the dimensions of hot rod bodies and frames I came to the conclusion that the engine/trans needs to be moved back... quite a bit... like 18 or so inches! This is so I could get the headlights and grill as close back to the front tires as possible, or even a little further back.

I snagged some universal cross members for the tranny and engine for real cheap locally and was able to mock up where I wanted to mount the front half of the drive train. But before I made any permanent welds I needed to get the body started so I could figure out the position of the pedals and steering column. Another great thing about using a donor car/truck if that you can reuse so much ****! Wiring, steering column, pedal assembly, etc.

Now it was time for some interior mock up! I had some old motorcycle seats of the local police Harleys here in Lubbock, I got a great deal on them when I worked there! The steering wheel you see is a Grant classic series piece I had bought back in high school to go on my Ol' Bronco but it never worked out, I used a few parts from the old steering wheel off the GMC to get it to adapt correctly. The speedo was a replacement part out of an old GMC pickup (1950's?) I grabbed that brand new for $20 on eBay and had a custom center piece cut out of sheet metal to give it some style.

So far I have added a grill shell for a 1930-31 Model A that I grabbed on eBay again for abut 100 bucks shipped and some cheap headlights from speedway motors. So far tough the project is on hold, cash is getting thin!

I plan on painting it that red primmer color with some semi-flat clear on top. I was originally planning on making this a budget build for under $1000 and using the little V6 just to be cheap and different... it actually runs great and could peel out real hard when it still was a mini-truck! But since its conception I have changed my mind and budget, I am now going to build up the 350 to a mild 300hp for reliability and gas and up the budget to about $2500.

I know pretty much everyone that has read this thread is wondering why the hell I am building the body out if wood... well... here it goes... I have a lot more experience in working with wood compared to metal, I can weld and fab up parts and brackets but fab up an entire body from scratch out of metal was out of budget and out of my realm of experience. I also had almost half of the wood the build that front piece lying around from other projects. My future build will be with steel bodies, but for now, as a budget-beater-toy, I'm going to stick with the wood.

PLEASE feel free to comment, ask questions, make fun and make suggestions. Thatís why I posted this, to share and get some feed back from guys who have actually done thins before.

Thanks for reading guys!

Nick

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Last edited by TexasTechX1; 09-17-2008 at 09:17 PM. Reason: spell check
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 09-17-2008, 10:10 PM
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its definatly different....ive never seen an ol s-series turned into a hot rod

props on the progress tho






cant wait to c more pics
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 09-17-2008, 10:15 PM
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Howdy Nick, Looks like its going to be a pretty neat lil rig
Heres the one I had been building(I need to get some more metal and get back to work on it)Project kind of stalled because I am having trouble finding a cowl to base it off of(I would just build it but our titling laws suck)

And heres the sketch from when I was trying to decide which direction to go.

By the way the body sides are made from a 77 Ford truck hood(73-79 are the same)

Shane
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Old 09-17-2008, 10:29 PM
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Looks like you got a nice start there shane! why do you need a donor cowl? what does your state's titling laws require?
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Old 09-18-2008, 02:52 AM
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Man Nick, I am LUVIN' it. You GO guy. Hot rodding at its best!!!! Two thumbs up
Here's a pic of my last project (still unfinished in the pic)....
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Old 09-18-2008, 09:49 AM
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Now thats what I'm talkin about! Yours is roughly the look I'm going for, no windshield, fenders or hood and a bed out back instead of the deck.

Nick
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Old 09-19-2008, 05:56 AM
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I wish I had hald the motivation you have. Looking awesome.
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Old 10-11-2008, 12:45 PM
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BTTT

Any more updates/pics?
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Old 10-11-2008, 03:35 PM
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good idea bro!

i like what you've done so far. it gives me some ideas for my own build. keep up the good work.
ryan
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Old 10-11-2008, 08:50 PM
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Truthfully....I believe a student should concentrate of this studies and not worry about builds till they fit into there future better. A WOOD Hot Rod...No thanks. Not to be an ***, but stay with your studies, it will allow you to one day build a descent Hot Rod, more then anything you build now on your shoe string budget. Sorry reality sometimes hurts.
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Old 10-11-2008, 09:45 PM
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im not a big fan of wooden vehicles and your not the first to do it.
but you still get a from me.
keep us updated when you have the extra time.

from time to time people also need an escape from school work just like any other job. IMO, there is nothing wrong with taking a few hours a month & working on something like that. just don't let it interfere with your grades.

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Old 10-11-2008, 10:01 PM
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Not a big fan of you front suspension and belevie many will bash you for it.

I am going to have to disagree with you on you thought about building a hotrod. Im build one for $3000 thats my cut off and i am in college now. Look through my thread if you dont hate me by the end of my post give me a Pm glad to help you out.

If i were you I would part that s10 now. You got your moneys worth. You can use the gas tank, metal gas line, seats/bels, Tranny, drive shaft, rear end and etc for a parts for a better build.

I would never build a cowl from scratch, not sure if you have the experience to do it. No bash intended.

If you keep your eyes peeled searching through craigslist and backpage.com or other classifields place you can find a body for under a grand. original chassis for 200 at the max. or you can build a hassi cough cough.

Or if you want too really you and just keep the s10 chassis although i dont reommend it and you can put that "$800" body on it and make it work.

Ive seen some very nice work done with fullfendered rod but it just looks like crap fenderless with the s10 hassis
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Old 10-12-2008, 06:09 AM
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Keep plugging away no matter what anyone says.
There's no better way of learning.
Have fun and keep posting.
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Old 10-12-2008, 05:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 123pugsy
Keep plugging away no matter what anyone says.
There's no better way of learning.
Have fun and keep posting.
I absolutely agree. Pay no attention to those who would belittle your project. We're up to our a** in cookie cutter cars and it's refreshing to see someone build something different.
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Old 10-12-2008, 08:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 31chevy
I would never build a cowl from scratch, not sure if you have the experience to do it. No bash intended.
I have had a terrible time trying to find an original around here. I used the first 10-12" (cant recall the exact measurements at the moment) of a 94-02? dodge ram hood narowed down 12" and will make the side panels from the same hood.

Check junkyards,and the net. look at vehicle parts from different angles and youll be supprised at what parts you can use for something else.

Shane

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