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Old 03-05-2006, 03:31 PM

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What's the best Donor Vehicle

Guy's I'm in a situation were I have to buy a beater car for local transportation. In the future I'd like to build a 34 Ford Coupe. I will probably go with a Wescott body and some prefab frame, but I would like to use the donor for as much as possible. So here's the question, what car should I buy which will make the best future donor vehicle. Car, truck, it doesn't matter, I just want to be able to get the most parts off it and be able to buy it at around $1,000- $2,000 or less.

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Old 03-05-2006, 05:05 PM

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Good luck!!!

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Old 03-05-2006, 05:28 PM
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Obviously, V8 rear wheel drive. ......What is your preference.....Chevy, Ford, Mopar.........your choice.
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Old 03-05-2006, 05:40 PM

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Guess I should have been more clear. Since I will probably build a Ford, I would like to keep it as much Ford as possible. Engine really doesn't matter, V8 would be nice but a well built V6 is also nice. I'm kind of wondering things like steering, rear end, seats and feel free to fill me in on other desirable interchangeable parts. I don't really know if one car/truck is better than another, when it comes to hot rod compatibility.

When I built the Caddy, I had a Buick engine/tranny, Ranger seats, Chev truck steering, Nova rear, etc. I spent way too much buying these individually at the junk yard. Just though a donor might be easier.
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Old 03-06-2006, 08:22 AM
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I'm gonna get slammed for this I know, but the Explorer V-6 would be nice with EFI (or Mercury Mountaineer -- resale value is a little less on them). I'd get one with a 4.0L instead of the 3.8L, but the 3.8L will perform well in a light coupe vs. the heavy Explorer. Bucket seats and disc brake rear axle will be useable, tranny also. Make sure it's a 2WD, not 4WD! You can use the 4WD, but will have to convert the trans or get a 2WD replacement. I don't recall how the 2WD front axle is made, it might be a twin I beam. If so you could do a "C-boy" on the front of the 34...

If you're looking for a bargain and want a V-8, look for crown Vics and Town Cars with the 4.6L. The rear axle will be to wide, and the seats are wide bench though. Most trucks will be the same. Even the bucket looking bench seats usually have the center arm rest/cushion made onto one of the seats or have all the bottoms on the same rails.

A Fox body Mustang would be a good donor vehicle, but will likely cost more than a Vic. Same with T-bird and Cougar.

A Ford Ranger truck should work well for a four or V-6. The Aerostar van would provide the same (at least V-6, don't know if they came with a four), and rear axle and seats (with modified bases) should be useable. If you can find a T-bird turbo coupe or a Merkur XR4ti turbo (or even the non turbo version) those would be super nice!

The XR4 is rear drive and has an IRS tha can be adapted to the 34 frame. I don't know if the turbo version has a stronger diff than the standard or not. I doubt the diff would stand up to a V-8, but should be okay for up to a 4.0L V-6. I just bought a ti for a project and plan on using the diff, but it's going into a small early 60s Rambler. At least that's the plan for now. Mine has a T-5 trans, don't know what they used for an auto.
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