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Old 09-12-2007, 08:02 PM
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preplanning a "true" rat rod

Hi everyone.

I am new to this site and 'rodding, so new in fact, I don't have a hot rod yet!

I have been bitten by this rat rod craze. I always loved hot rods, but for some reason this look does it for me. I want to bounce some ideas off you guys to help guide me along. I am just in the preplanning, pre parts gathering stage. I want to build a "true" rat rod. A truck style rat rod. Using parts on hand, minimal budget, and tons of attitude.

Ok, I want to use about a 47-60 Willys pick up cab. I have never seen one done, and have always liked that body style. I have a 73 Ford 302 that came from a previous Bronco project and have a 3 speed manual that came from a pick up. This next part may sound crazy, but I have a Dana 70 rear end with 4.10 gears at my disposal. I know it is huge, but its free. and bullet proof. I have seen some guys running 8 lug wheels, and it looked cool. I am not tremendously worried about keeping it super light, this thing will never see a race track, just a cool cruiser. I want the chasis to be low, but that is one area I don't know where to start. I could used the Willy's frame which has solid axles and leafs but not very low. And finally, I am so glad to see how much safety is stressed here. While I do not necessarily want some fancy 4 wheel disk brake system, I want to at least install the most modern drums possible, with a dual resivoir mc.
OK. Like I said, this is all in my preplan now. Please, let the opinions flow! Thank you very much in advance.

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Old 09-12-2007, 08:17 PM
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What exactly is a "true " rat rod? Thats a new one on me.
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Old 09-12-2007, 08:46 PM
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Well, what I mean, is using parts on hand, scrounging them, swapping for them, building it in the garage, with out maxing out 3 credit cards and refinancing the house, and most importantly, doing it myself. Yes, I know you can do this with any hot rod, but I am after a certain look. Something that doens't fit into someone's "mold". I want to create something that doesn't require a fully stocked shop to fab. I work in a 2 car garage with basic tools. In the last few years I have done a 66 Ford Bronco with a EFI 5.0 swap and a disk brake conversion, did major paint, body, and suspension work on a 4x4 Jeep Comanche, and currently have a completely disassembled CJ7, all in my 2 car garage. All with basic tools. I want to build something that looks like it was built 50 years ago, but with my tastes, and while I am after that look, not necessarily following any pattern. Strictly my own custom creation. So maybe the phrase "true" rat rod isn't correct, but whatever I create will be true to what I visualize!
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Old 09-12-2007, 10:11 PM
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I think you would be better off to weld up your own frame out of 2x3 tubing rather than using an existing frame. Then you can mount the suspension as low as you want and channel the cab over the frame to get the "lower than dirt" look.
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Old 09-12-2007, 11:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shoez
...using parts on hand, scrounging them, swapping for them, building it in the garage, with out maxing out 3 credit cards and refinancing the house, and most importantly, doing it myself. ...Something that doens't fit into someone's "mold". I want to create something that doesn't require a fully stocked shop to fab. ....with basic tools. ....... I want to build something that looks like it was built 50 years ago, but with my tastes, ...... but whatever I create will be true to what I visualize!
Henry I think he talking about how you and many others on this site built their cars.
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Old 09-15-2007, 12:50 AM
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Centerline hit the nail squarely on the head. That's how I'd do it too. You could "Z" the frame rails front and rear and get her loooooow. I think the Willys pickup cab is an excellent idea. I used to have a '51 and had the same thoughts.

Don't worry about the width of the rear axle either, just widen the box to come out to the tires. Then shorten it. Hmmmm, maybe turning it sideways would work. Nawww, just kiddin'.
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Old 09-15-2007, 07:58 AM
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I have also thought about a Willys truck cab for a hotrod....saw one presumabally going to the scrap metal place a little rusty but not all that bad .
Shane
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Old 09-15-2007, 03:13 PM
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After thinking about this overnight, I'd probably cut the top off it, leaving the windshield and frame in place for a cool roadster pickup.

As for brakes, the Dana probably has drums. Rigging up a straight axle in front using '54 Chevy spindles and drums would bring that lightweight to a halt in a hurry. You wouldn't need power assist. Simple and cheap.

Last edited by techinspector1; 09-15-2007 at 03:18 PM.
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Old 12-19-2008, 01:42 PM
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1950 Willys Rat Rod

I just purchased a 1950 Willys 1 Ton 4x4 that I plan to make into a Rat Rod.

My intent is to slam it and chop the top. Also, I will keep it 4x4 so I can
do burn outs with all 4 BFG ATs.

Has anyone seen a Willys truck lowered, chopped, ams still a 4x4?

Thanks in advance,
Richard
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Old 12-19-2008, 02:56 PM
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I don't know if that spindly little Spicer transfer case is gonna take a lot of abuse. You could end up with a milk crate full of paperweights.
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Old 12-19-2008, 03:16 PM
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jeep yea

I had a Jeep wagon 4 x 4, Jeep pickup, Jeep flat front cab over FC and Still have the 48 jeepster.. We sold the trans-transfercase front with locking hubs and the chevy v 8 adaptor and bought late model chevy stuff with factory locking hubs front disc brakes and a lot heavier duty trans -T case- rear end and had money left over to buy other stuff. chevy stuff is tougher and costs less than old jeep stuff.
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Old 12-19-2008, 03:20 PM
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lower is against the flow

My jeep fc had a 6 inch body lift and 6 inch susp lift.and monster tires and wheels .. I had a hard time getting in it for a test ride when i bought it. ... I lowered it back down so I could get in without a ladder.
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Old 12-19-2008, 03:28 PM
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jeep axle

If the jeep is 2 WD the beam axle might be usable. The original jeepster spindles might fit the 2wd or if it has Ford pass car patern in should be easy to go to bigger brakes. I used ford wagon front drums that could be removed from the hubs . removed the jeep drums. the jeep drums were inside the hubs I cut the rivets and used longer studs and mounted the wagon drums on the outside. adapted the ford wagon backing plates to the spindles.I had good brakes ant they were what was left in the shop
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Old 12-19-2008, 05:50 PM
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The transfer case will be swapped with a chevy one, just not sure which one yet. I don't think the diffs will hold up for too many burn outs so those will swapped out eventually. I plan to put a small block chevy in there too. (hopefully ~600hp).

One more thing. Soon after I discovered you fellas today I found
a site with a dude buiding a 1950 willys truck rat rod with an old air
cooled diesel. Cool truck.

Check it out.
http://www.killbillet.com/showthread.php?t=9764&page=3
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Old 12-19-2008, 07:33 PM
F&J F&J is offline
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You can't "slam" a 4wd with solid axles. There is no room under the pan and even less room for the front driveshaft.





and you can't do 4wd burnouts without spendy lockers/posi.
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