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Stuck in the 30's
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120 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Just wanted to intro myself. Been subscribed to the newsletter for awhile but never had the opportunity to take advantage of the forums.

I have one rebuild under my belt, a 1933 Plymouth 2 door sedan, which I refreshed and completed 2 years ago. It was originally done back in the 70's or early 80's.

My current project is a 36 Chevy, the oddball year, it seems, for the Chevys. I'm at the teardown stage and have gutted the body and chassis. Will be looking for suggestions in the right forums for the chassis.

I can't call myself an expert but if I can impart some limited wisdom, let me know.

Will be around...
 

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Premium Member
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8,453 Posts
Welcome. Yea, the poor old '36 gets passed over because of the wood body structure. I recently did a '36 Pontiac and it is a pain. Take my advice - replace all the wood with square and rectangular steel tubing. You will be far ahead of the game.
 

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Stuck in the 30's
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120 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I guess I'm lucky. The wood structure throughout the body is in really good shape. It was bone stock when I got it and must have been kept in a garage for a long time. Water damage was limited to the doors. Critters never ate into anything else.

The doors are another story, but I plan on redoing the entire inside door structure with steel to accomodate power windows. In fact there is nothing but the outside skins left after I tore them down.

I'll take your advice and replace where necessary in other areas. Right now I'm concerned with the shape of the body and don't want to mess with it until the chassis is completely boxed. The frontend and rearend is in place.

By the way I enjoyed the hell out of your project pages and will be stealing your procedure for the one piece headliner. Its slick and so obvious I wouldn't have even thought about it.

I may try it with 1/8" ABS sheet material. A friend of mine has a paint room where I'll be able to soften the plastic into shape.
 

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158 Posts
Willys,
Have to disagree regarding replacing ALL the wood. I am in the final stages of rodding my '36. While I consider it a 'must' to replace the door wood, the only other wood I replaced with steel was around the trunk opening, and that was only because I altered it from a trunk to a rumble seat. The wood over the doors was in such good shape all I did was treat it with spare varnish. Same with the rear window frame. (It was almost like new). I replaced the b-pillar wood (driver's side was actually broken) with new stuff. There are a few places around that make very good quality wood reproduction parts. For replacing the (still serviceable) sill plates, I purchased some very nice mahogany, had a cabinet shop plane it to the right thickness, and did the rest myself with a skill saw, router, files, drills, etc.
Its sooo much easier to make/buy wood replacement stuff. And considering the fact that, for example, the wood in my car had been there for 65+ years and except for the doors was serviceable or better, and given the fact that any '36 restored/rodded today is going to get a whole lot more TLC in the next 65 years than the last 65, I just don't see any reason to replace it.
I even think there may be some sound deadening advantages in using wood for the b-pillars and sill plates.

TC33, here are some pics of my project...

http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/bikeopellidave/album?.dir=ae25
 

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Premium Member
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8,453 Posts
Touche'. I agree that if the body supports are in good shape you should keep them. I should have specified that the doors where what was in my mind as the critical items that MUST be changed to steel. In fact I replace/restored the wood body supports in my '36 Willys. It came with steel doors from the factory, but then Willys was ahead of the big guys in Detroit in a lot of tech!
 
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