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Old 10-27-2003, 06:32 PM
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Need beginners have mechanical experience?

I am beginning the quest to acquire a street rod--something I've longed for ever since I was 16. Only one problem: I'm a university professor with no mechanical experience. Am I way out of my league in this venture; or is it possible to find a basic rod--say a 1940 Ford coupe with a mildly worked 350--that will perform almost trouble free?

Many thanks for any thoughts.

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Old 10-27-2003, 08:01 PM
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Hi Priapus,

We all started 'out of our league' at some point. You can't hardly go wrong with a mild 350 sbc as far as low maintenance. But keep in mind that there's nothing in life that's trouble free; of course you know this if your married (they require lots of time and maintenance).
Whatever you get man, have fun!

James
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Old 10-27-2003, 08:09 PM
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if i can do it, as dumb as i am, i know a man of your intelligence can also. pick up a few books. read the KNOWLEDGE BASE. link at top of this page. and have patience.

and as far as finding a 40 coupe with a 350 that will run without problems, sure you can find one, but it'll cost way more than finding one that needs some work, that you can do, and then it'll be yours. know what i mean. Weimer calls 'em bought rods...
and if you were to do it your self, you'd know what you had in it, and i'd say yes, it can be trouble free. just do it right.

addendum; if you have to buy tools etc, it might be just as cheap initially to buy a bought rod, but your still gonna have to have basic garage skills and tools to maintain etc..... so just buy you a good set of tools.....
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Old 10-27-2003, 10:06 PM
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Here is how I did it.

I have been in the same position as you. I work a full time job in the day time. I started looking aroung and found trade schools in the area that teach courses at night. I have taken welding, auto body, mechanics, and drafting. I took those skills and built my own rod. If you get stuck this web site is a wonderful source for information. Maybe you could take a few classes to see how you like it. For the most part, you can buy a completed street rod cheaper than you can build it yourself. Join the NSRA. Go to the shows, talk to the venders and rod builders, check out the rods for sale in the back of the magazine and you will eventually find something to your liking, and learn a lot in the process.
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Old 10-27-2003, 10:25 PM
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$ will solve any problem you may have. You got lots? Have you looked for a car yet?
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Old 10-28-2003, 02:06 PM
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my experience with people like you who are really really "book smart" (like my lawyer dad, esp.), is that mechanically that they couldnt find their a$$es with both hands, so i would expect you to be a complete moron at building a rod. therefore, you should, if you really want to do it yourself, take a course as per above, in welding and auto shop after hours somewhere as a bare minimum. of course, did i mention that i, too, am a teacher??? Buh-hahahahahahahahaha!!!! i de 'yoelctrical perfesser" at d'local job corps! buh-hahahahahahahaha!
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Old 10-28-2003, 02:09 PM
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Wink

Welcome aboard, and as the saying goes " your never too old to learn". Good luck and keep us informed. Not to alarm or scare, but some people are not mechanically inclined. I personally know some excellent un-licenced mechanic and body men that are self taught, but just can't put it down on paper.
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Old 10-29-2003, 05:14 PM
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First Question is how deep are your pockets? You get what you pay for, so what are you willing to pay for? Get a Hemmings motor news and peruse the print. Keep notes, page numbers and such. http://www.cruisintimes.org/ is another great place to search. Keep us informed dude. A 40 Ford, very nice looking ride.



Todd



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Old 11-06-2003, 09:29 AM
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I'm there too - I just yesterday acquired a 49 Chevrolet Fleetline for a restoration project for - get this - a 12 gauge shotgun and a subaru with a blown up motor - and I know about enough to change oil, plugs and flats. But I have friends and resources, two good things to have when totally without a clue as to how to do a thing. I also realize there is a wealth of knowledge right here and so as I progress through this journey I have faith that it will all come together!
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Old 11-06-2003, 11:29 AM
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A lot of 40's are for sale at most any time with just about any equipment that you would want. Shop around and do not get in a big hurry. Besides taking the classes, which I think is an excellent idea, talk to some of the local hot rodders, just as with this site it will be a wealth of information, might even make a new friend or two.
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