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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 06-06-2006, 07:05 PM
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truck roadster idea with twist in ohio

Hello all,
I have been thinking about a truck roadster project with a twist. I don't know if this is somewhat original idea. I have little to none experience with welding and sheet metal work, this is just planning stage.

I am thinking about using a late model mini truck body like a early 90s s10 or dakota cab. Make it a convertible. The original windshield will be removed and a two piece flat windshield installed. The upper frame and windows will be removed from the doors. Move the cab towards the rear. The cab will not be narrowed. The bed will be shortened and narrowed, so that the rear wheels will be exposed. The front wheels will also be exposed and ride on a tubular arm suspension. The rear axle will come from a 1/2 full size truck so I can get the track width I want. The motor will be an 88 305 tpi with a 5 speed. The motor will also be moved rearward. I have wheels already, 17" rims with 31" tires. The most challenging parts will be the bed, windshield, hood and front suspension. This will be a fall/winter project.

Any thoughts on this?
How would I register/title and insure this?
Is this going to look horrible?
What to do for a frame? I don't want to fabricate one from scratch.
I have a couple of rudimentary sketches if anyone is interested.

If you have any links regarding anything similar, I would like to see them.

I am in northeast ohio about 45 min SE of Cleveland.

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Old 06-06-2006, 09:49 PM
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Welcome to the site aspenelm. You asked for thoughts, here's mine.

How would I register/title and insure this? Use the vin of the donor vehicle.
Is this going to look horrible? Probably. The front suspension with its large cross member will not look good.
What to do for a frame? I don't want to fabricate one from scratch. That is another problem you will have is making that big ugly frame look good or hide it under your body.

"I have a couple of rudimentary sketches if anyone is interested." Yes send them as they will help all here visualize what you are thinking.

What you are talking about has been discussed several times on the board. Use the search engine to find threads on this subject.

Good luck.
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Old 06-07-2006, 07:09 AM
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aspenelm,

This topic has been discussed in many prior threads and there is a ton of information and opinion available for you to read. Just click on the "search" function near the top of this page and enter the words "mini truck frame" or similar search terms.

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Old 06-07-2006, 07:26 AM
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Buy yourself some model kits and build it in plastic BEFORE you cut up a real vehicle. The kits will give you a very close representation of your "vision" and are cheap to experiment on...
Just don't make it look like this...


Mark
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Old 06-07-2006, 08:05 AM
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sketches attached

attached a sketch below. It currently sits too low in the drawings.
Wheelbase = 130"
Width(incl tires) = 76"
Grill width = 24"
Cab width = 64"
Tire dia = 31"
Wheel dia = 17"

home brew, I will have to some more research on this. If you use the vin of the donor vehicle, do you need to use the cab and chassis, or is the cab enough? I figured I would have to register/title it as a kit car. Also when I stopped a small junkyard, they said their policy did not allow them to sell frames. Any idea why?

astroracer, if it looks like that, it wont leave the garage...Using a plasic model is a good idea.

thinking about it some more, I wont be able to use the frame as is because it too narrow in the front. So it is either a front suspension clip or new frame. Also if the cab is moved back, it would interfere with the bend over the axles on most frames. The other problem the bed is going to be extremely shallow.

off to do some searching...
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Last edited by aspenelm; 06-07-2006 at 08:33 AM. Reason: added wheel/tire size
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Old 06-07-2006, 08:50 AM
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well, Ive searched high and low on this board, I can't find anyone who has made a roadster from a late model truck cab. There are plenty of topics where an old body is put on a late model frame. And the consensus seems to be to make your own frame.

The reason I would like to use a late model cab, is they are easy to come by and cheap. With their flat sides I think they would look fine. Although using a late model cab, the roadster will be larger than the typical to keep the proportions right.

cboy, I found this picture http://hotrodders.com/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/21020 in your gallery. Do you have any info on it? I didnt think you could mount the front leaf springs like that.
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Old 06-07-2006, 08:58 AM
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Your sketch looks pretty good but I will debate the 130" wheelbase. An extended cab long box S10 is only about 117/118". A Suburban is 116 or so. Your drawing looks to be around 96/100" wheelbase...
I would suggest looking at a streetrod frame. '30/31 Model A or '32 ford. The Model A frame is simple, flat and easy to work on with about a gazillion aftermarket suppliers and a wheel base of 103 1/2"... The '32 will have a few more contours but it's still fairly simple.
Making one out of 2x3 or 2x4 tubing is simple enough also.
Here is a link to some frame drawings on wescott's site...
http://www.wescottsauto.com/pdf2/FR-2.pdf
Do the model thing. There are all kinds of kits out there to bash with...
Mark

Last edited by astroracer; 06-07-2006 at 09:05 AM.
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Old 06-07-2006, 09:22 AM
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astroracer, you have good eyes. But I assure you that in my original drawing the wheelbase is 128-130". I checked the photo I posted and calculated 122" for some reason. Maybe some distortion in the lens of my camera. Using the tire diameter as 31" to calculate drawing scale.

Also just checked a full size reg cab long bed truck wheelbase is 133". So it is probably the closest match. Although i would have to butcher it to get the width right.

thanks for the model A drawing. it really is quite simple. I could do without the curve at the front if I have IFS. But I still need support for the bed at the rear. It cant end above the diff. Since my wheels are tall enough, I was wondering if I could run the frame under the axle and use upside down leaf springs.
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Old 01-13-2010, 09:48 AM
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Man i kinda had the same thought. go to you tube video and serch for ford courier rat rod.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ent4Ka6I-As i think this is it... any way my next projuct will be a ford courier... but the project i have now is based off a 34 ford and is on an s-10 frame... it looks pretty good but i did half to put a wider rear end to clear the body, i went with an 85 z-28 rearend.... ill try and post pics if i can find my camera... have fun with your project hope you post lots of pics
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Old 01-13-2010, 02:32 PM
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My .02,
I really like your drawing. I also love the roadster style. I'm
a member on a couple of vw forums also and have an idea of using the cowl and doors of a vw and handbuilding a truck out of the rest in the style of your drawing. Being a biker most of my life also, I've been thinking of how to adapt a Harley/motorcycle engine to a rearend or vw axle. There use to be kits for the vw/motorcycle combo. I will build a t frame for it, chopped windshield, etc. Dare to be different!!!! The roots of rodding haven't really changed over the years just how we see it. Latr-John T.
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Old 07-02-2011, 09:31 AM
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S10 Conversion

Here's a few links on S10 conversions

http://www.chevytrucks.org/tech/s10_frame_swap.htm

http://www.e-zchassisswaps.com/

http://www.ad-engineering.com/HOMEPAGE.html

Last edited by deltafour1212; 07-02-2011 at 09:39 AM.
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Old 07-04-2011, 11:12 AM
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aspenelm ,

I've been thinking along the S10 Hot Rod lines too . However , yours seems more refined than my idea .

I was thinking a ladder type frame , Z'd , tube front axle beam , fenderless , bobbed bed with enough room for an gas tank . Chevy S10 club cab body with a chopped top and smoothed out firewall. All the makings of a Hot Rod pickup with a modern cab .

Where in Ohio are you located ? I live in Wellsville, Ohio .

Gonzo
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Old 07-04-2011, 11:30 AM
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guys this thread was started 5 years ago..hopefully the OP has something built by now...

Sam
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