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Old 12-26-2002, 08:25 PM
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Post What the heck have I gotten myself into

New kid(?)on the block!Just cruz'n the net and found this site.I think I found home.Well I've reached the stage in life where the kids have left the nest and I obviously have too much time on my hands.The reason I feel I have too much time on my hands is because around six months ago my wife suggested I get a hobby(actualy she said I was bugging the **** out of her and that I should get a project).Soooo...Ive had a passion for a 1950 Austin A40 2 door sedan ever since I gave one away to a car club I belonged to in the mid 60's.I went looking and came up with a 1948 Austin 2 door.It was close to home,but the fellow thought he had made a deal with another fellow(trade for a 48 Anglia).Well over the six month period the three of us kept in touch and I eventually purchased it off the third party.She's a beauty!!!!Just the body (with glass),Lots of surface rust,no motor or trans(or floor boards).It looks like it was being built as a Gasser in the 60's.It appears to be sitting on an original Austin frame(with a few cross members missing).The front end is a staight axle(possible mid 60's Ford),the rear end is possibly from a mid 60's Ford van(differential is offset).It looks like there has never been a motor installed(no welds or whatever for motor mounts.Plus the offset rear end).I want to build it up to a streetable Gasser type.It's been home for two weeks now.What I've been doing is wire brushing the loose rust off the interior and frame.The other day I was sitting in the middle of this and the thought came to me....What the heck have I gotten myself into?????I mucked about with cars in the 60's and then went on to raise a family(or two)and pretty much lost touch with the car scene(?)Things have changed,haven't they?I came across this site and hope for words of encouragement from you.What I've been doing is cleaning the loose rust from the gutted interior, with my trusty electric drill.Now this is where my questions start.When I brush the loose rust off,can I use Tremclad to spray on the areas brushed(There is a **** load of little nooks and crannies to the interior of these little cars),keeping in mind that these areas will eventually be behind upholstery.I thought I would try to get the body in shape first but after reading some of the comments I think I just may try to get it running first.That would mean a small block chev(350)auto trans and a compatable rear end.Some people have told me to dump the front end,but that is part of the 60's that I will be trying to preserve.Some words of wisdom would be of help right now.Thank-you.I'LL BE BACK!

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Old 12-26-2002, 09:07 PM
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I like you already, words of wisdom...here we go...

Welcome to the center of the hotrodding universe.

Get some good googles for wirebrushing.

Build it the way you want it!

Use technology, get your body blasted. Saves your lungs and back.

Find a buddy with a trailer, a big one!

Remember your load, any car on jackstands is a load. You can't finish the car trapped underneath it if it falls?! <img src="graemlins/mwink.gif" border="0" alt="[mwink]" />

Take a night machinist course, the access to the tooling is priceless and knowledge gained as well.

Have fun!

P.S. Post some pics!
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Old 12-27-2002, 05:47 AM
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Hey old buddy, we sound like we might be brothers! I also had two wives, and I also have a winter project, except mine is a 1971 Olds 442. Anyway, hopefully you have about $15,000.00 or so to put into this old girl and a nice garage to work on it in. Here are some suggestions from a guy who has been there done that!

1. Sandblast the frame, and save your back. You amy also want to consult an expert on frames as you may need to fabricate a new one if the old one is too tired.
2. Decide on what engine, transmission, and differential you are going to use and start looking BEFORE you actually need it. You can save a bundle if you have lots of time to look. Personally I am sick and tired of every hot rod I see having a 350/350 combo. Don't follow the crowd, put something different in it like a big block B.O.P. or Chrysler, or Ford.
3. Set a reasonable time goal for finishing the project. If you don't have a time limit it may sit there for years, or worse, never be completed. (All of us know of guys who have done that!)
4. Take classes on what you don't know how to do, or can't swap out a deal on, like welding, painting, upholstery, mechanical stuff, etc.
5. Try and do SOMETHING every day or every other day or so on the car, even if it is looking for parts on the 'net. Pretty soon the car will be done if you work on it a little (or a lot) every week, plus it is a lot easier to come up with $50.00 every other week for two years for that widget, rather than $2500.00 one time for a bunch of widgets!
6. Start now looking for colors you like on production cars, and take notes on the year, make and model, then imagine what your car will look like in that color. I am sure all of us have seen cars that had flawless body work, beautiful upholstery, an awesome engine, and a paint color that really sucks!
7. Ask for help if you don't know how to do something.
8. Find photos of similiar cars and drool over them. Nothing will get the old creative juices flowing more than looking (lusting) after another guys hot rod.

Good luck, the car sounds like it is gonna be a dream!

Ben

P.S. Keep us posted!
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Old 12-27-2002, 06:06 AM
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Benji has some sound advice.Take the time in the first place to plan out how the finish project will look and how you want it. Then research the parts you need and want make a list and write the places you found them and the prices. Ebay has been a great source of parts for me mainly because you do not see a lot of 54 pontiac 2 door hardtop on any web page.
I am keeping the straight 8 and hydromatic trans for a while mainly because they were just rebuilt and work great.But I do have the engine and trans that will replace it when the time comes.It is a 326 pontiac engine from a 68 tempest with a 400 trans and overdrive kit. thought I would at least keep it all pontiac.
I had a friend here in indiana that had an austin with a 366 in it he sold it about two years ago to someone from texas.it was a blast to drive.
But never give up and I know what you mean about the wife telling you to get a ******* hobby and leave her alone. That is what mine tells me all the time.
Good luck in your project and make sure you have a large supply of beer in the cooler
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Old 12-27-2002, 07:31 AM
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Welcome Mr. A40, sounds like some good advice you are getting here. I remember those Austins from the 60s, should make a great hot rod. But, its begging for something other than a sbc, maybe an early hemi or a buick nailhead.
Jack
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Old 12-27-2002, 08:48 AM
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WOW!I do believe I've found my soulmates!Great advice!A local community college has an autobody course being offered in the spring and it will work out well with my shift work.I thought the sbc and trans would be the way to go because of availability.I toyed with the idea of a v6 but Man I love the sound of a v8 with a nice cam!The early Hemis are nice too.Good idea on the frame inspection.Unfortnately the dragboat is in the garage(at this time).I guess you all know the feeling of spotting that house with the three plus car garage.Well,it aint mine.Nobody has yelled at me for suggesting Tremclad(as yet).When I learn alot more on how to use a computer I'll post some pictures.Thanks again guys.Your TERRIFIC!!! ps.How about a nice GM orange?
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Old 12-27-2002, 09:34 AM
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i hate to rain on your parade but i'll make it quick as i stuck a 327 in an mg many years back. you will have to replace every stock part of the car. forget a hemi and even a sbc as they weigh too much. try to find an aluminum block engine like an old buick which is what i remember them putting in the sunbeam tigers. only then will this thing corner well enough to drive like a real car. Lucas, prince of darkness, did the electrical, so plan on re-doing every last bit of it and replacing all the electrical switches with some kind of aftermarket. DO getta air compressor so you can use an air powered die grinder with a wire brush AND a cheap sandblaster. sandblast the whole stinken frame and bad spots on the body but be careful you dont stay in one place too long on sheet metal cause it will warp. find an engine first so you know where everything has to go. you will need a friend with a welder or get a cheap wire feed, preferable with gas. good freakin luck bud.
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Old 12-27-2002, 10:03 AM
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Good Luck A40. I was looking at an Austin Devon/Princess? before buying my DeSoto but the owner wouldn't quit taliking long enough to his friend to try and sell it to me so I left. His loss.
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Old 12-27-2002, 10:07 AM
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Oh yeah! In answer to your quetion... What the heck have I gotten myself into? Response; Broken nuckles, broken piggy bank and a whole lot of fun!
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Old 12-27-2002, 11:39 AM
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Check out this site <a href="http://www.austinworks.com/gas-west.html" target="_blank">http://www.austinworks.com/gas-west.html</a> Lotsa nice Austins and may help you to make up your mind. I say go for it. Maybe keep the body and have a complete chassis fabricated. There are a multitude of ways to go. But whichever way you decide, welcome aboard and whatever questions you have I'm sure you will find an answer on here. And when you get tired of working on it you can still find a place here to come and get a few laughs. I was gonna say "to relax" but that is a poor choice of words for this site as I'm sure you'll find out quickly enough. As far as the Austin goes...get it sandblasted or dipped to derust it. If it is dipped at least all that is left is the good metal and you will know exactly what you got. Sometimes that is not so good though. HAHA!!! You'll have enough to use elbow grease on instead of wire brushing.

Kevin
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Old 12-27-2002, 03:34 PM
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We have a Austin Healey with a 289, C-4, and a 9" rear end. It is a great car! Just get the motor set back far enough in the car so the weight distribution is not too horribly front biased and be sure to update those brakes!

Farm out that scraping/blasting work. You will be amazed how cheaply you can get it done. Spend the time you would have scraped and wire brushed doing a bit of overtime at work and you will easily be ahead financially and still have energy
to work on your new clean frame and shell.

Enjoy!

[ December 27, 2002: Message edited by: IH8Dayton ]</p>
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