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Old 06-06-2010, 02:05 PM
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where to start when building a rat rod

What are some good cars to make a rat rod out of?

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Old 06-06-2010, 02:42 PM
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Your not going to get much help with "rat rod" advice. Before spending some time around the hot rod community i used to use the term as well untill i learned to appreciate a true hot rod whether a budget car or not.
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Old 06-06-2010, 03:00 PM
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First you will need some rust, a horse blanket, and some cheap paint.

Relax.... I'm just kidding. :-)

Most of the "rat fans" embrace the cheaper 4-doors and odd parts. This keeps the overall cost low. I would say step one is to see what you can find in your area that interests you.
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Old 06-06-2010, 05:39 PM
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Start going to some hot rod meets. Talk to people, ask about their cars and parts they used. And start going to some swap meets. Get yourself a model a frame. Suspension, and so on. Once you get that all straightened out you can work on finding a cheap motor. Always keep an eye out for a body. Dont rush in, you will eventually find a good deal.

Buy this book: How to Build a Traditional Ford Hot Rod

http://www.amazon.com/How-Build-Trad.../dp/0760309000

You will learn alot, and can relate what they show you to building a nice cheap hot rod.
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Old 06-06-2010, 06:40 PM
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I was just at the NSRA York show - and the number of rat rods, thankfully is dwindling. I probably, out of several thousand cars, didn't see more then a handful - and those were even not the very few POS rats that were there a couple years ago. Don't use up a good rodable car for something that could be nicely finished as IMHO, that 'movement' is dying off.

Where/if do you start - then do it WITH A PLAN AND A BUDGET 'NOT TO EXCEED' AMOUNT (yeah!! sure!!)

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Old 06-06-2010, 07:29 PM
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I've thought about this often. Not necessarily to build a "rat rod", but just to go back to the days when we put stuff together based on what we had access to. There was no billet and very little chrome on the stuff we built. A few of the cars had decent paint, but mostly they were in primer or what was left of the original paint and a few primer spots here and there where owwies were hammered out.

Of course, these days, most of the raw materials we would have used have long since been melted down and used for other purposes, so to start with somewhat the same idea, we might have to use the credit card a little. Frame rails come to mind. In my opinion, any frame rails from the '20's/'30's/40's that you find today would be so rusty that they would be unsafe to use, so I might start off with a new set of rails to build from....
http://www.speedwaymotors.com/1932-F...ails,3429.html
http://www.speedwaymotors.com/1932-F...mber,6747.html
http://www.speedwaymotors.com/1928-3...DisplayId=6747

Everything is available from Speedway to build the rolling chassis. I would use the big elliptical cross spring in the rear and suspend a narrowed 12-bolt or 9-inch. Here are instructions/dimensions.....
https://www.speedwaymotors.com/pdf/916-57007.pdf

I might then use a mini-pickup body and bed, such as a Courier, Luv, S10, S15, Nissan, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Dodge Ram Mighty Max, Plymouth Arrow, etc.

You could Z the frame or channel the body down over the frame, cut the bottom of the body out and reweld the floor in, making the body thinner in side view, chop the top, section the body, or whatever. You could also cut away all of the top except the windshield frame and have a roadster pickup. Lots of options.

A 305 from a boneyard would move it down the road until you could make alternate plans.
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Old 06-07-2010, 05:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irelands child
Where/if do you start - then do it WITH A PLAN AND A BUDGET 'NOT TO EXCEED' AMOUNT (yeah!! sure!!)
Then depending on what you really can afford add 2-20 grand to that! Mine will be over once i pick up my motor and tranny! Not to mention radiator, gas tank, steering columb, all of an interior, paint, hinges.....My problem was i found a nice clean body on a rolling chassis for a good deal, so i spent more than i should have. Selling off the chassis parts i don't need now!
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Old 06-07-2010, 09:01 AM
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You're in Florida, go away from the coastal/rustbelt areas and look toward the old farms in the country where it costs more than the car is worth to haul it off for salvage. Find an old beater that's been given up for dead, make a deal. Now budget build. I shudder ever time I hear rat rod, call it a traditional, a budget beater, a hot rod. There's a treasure trove in most every state, find yours.
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Old 06-07-2010, 09:08 AM
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just build a safe car...

do NOT short cut yourself when it come the steering, suspensions etc... a budget is nice but u better do reserch before u start and get ideas of cost... when i built my bucket i figured high teens... $23 grand later is was finished...
u might also look out for a project that was not completed, or buy one completed... but the build is fun...
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Old 06-07-2010, 10:10 AM
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When it comes to suspension look for either an unfinished project like mentioned earlier, or a set up someone removed to put in a mustang II. If is intack you wont go crazing lookingf or missing parts.
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Old 06-07-2010, 01:48 PM
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Take the car and drive it into Atlantic ocean. Make sure not to dry it.
It will not work in the Gulf of Mexico
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