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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
I am new here. Anyway, I have a chance to pickup a 49 chevy fleetline 2dr. I was told that the car is in excellent (original) condition. It was driver regularly by the original owner up till 3 years ago.

What I am wondering is, if I want to pick this up and slowly street rod it, what do you guess that I will need to spend, just to drive around in it. I realize that the front end would have to be rebuilt, brakes, etc.

Does anyone who has done something like this, have a guess at what it will cost just to get it road worthy again. I was assured that the engine still runs :pain:
and it does drive (ok).

How realistic is it to want to swap out the engine for a 350Chevy or so, and what about the front end, can I cheaply/easily use the existing with the bigger engine, etc?


Thanks to anyone who has a few minutes to answer these basic questions.

Thanks,
Cademan
 

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The biggest problem with these cars is if you change the engine to anything modern you have to change the rear and driveshaft and the front brakes, then the wiring to 12 volts, this gets expensive unless you can do it all yourself
 

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I'm a little odd but I don't see why you can't drive it around the way it is after a little general tune up. At least untill you have all the parts ready and the time. That way you have longer to think about just how you want it to be and you'll find out what you can afford.
Chevy drive trains are a dime a dozen. No need to get that right away. How about switching it all over to 12 volt at the same time as the engine swap? Look up wiring harnesses, they are really easy to put in now and quite compleat. With the new 12 volt system you'll need all new guages more than likely. They sell quite a few different sets just for that car. Everything from digital to oldtime reproductions. Think about how you want the interior.

Having a complete plan of work for the car along with as many parts as you can think of on hand really helps speed up the whole thing.
Just changing out a part here and there tends to make for a lot more work in the long run and a lot more down time.
However you end up doing it though the whole point of hot rodding is to have fun and get better in the long run. Having fun mostly. Good luck and keep us updated. Picture Pictures Pictures!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the great replies.

Does anyone know of a place were I can find out what rear-end will "bolt" in. My real issue with a car this old is the fabrication. I really like to lean towards unbolt-bolt up stuff. I would love to go aftermarket, but that tends to be real-expensive. Does anyone know what a good parts car would be? One that I can pull the engine, front suspension, etc off that would update the drive train of this old 49? I here rumors of Mustang II, but I find it hard to believe that it would be a bolt on type of thing.

I would really like to see some websites that have a step by step type of thing, or this car uses a XX front end, bolts in, then I used a XX for the rear end, bolt in.

Any ideas on that one? :confused:

Thanks alot,
Cademan :boxing:
 

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Returning American Maddman
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Best is to buy a donor car like a Nova, firebird, camaro,cutlass or something you can steal everything from. That way you know it all matches. but if it runs and drives, why mess with it. Do body and interior first. Chrome don't get ya home!
This stuff is worse than crack when it gets to being adicting!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So,
Like the 70's cars. What years have worked well for others? I can pickup old rusty lates 70's Camaro's, etc for a dime a dozen. But, does it really just bolt in?

Thanks,
Cademan
 

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Nothing ever just bolts up. This is the part were you get out the tape messure and hit you local wrecking yards.
Remember that if you change the whole front frame you'll have to fab up some type of body/fender mounts. And more than likely a radiator setup also. You'll also have to think about if you want the old style stearing wheel or switch over to a new one. You'll also probably going to be cutting a new one to fit.
In my opinion front suspention swaps are mainly for power steering and adding disk brakes. Most of the older suspensions can or can be made to hold up a new small block way cheaper and easier than a total swap. At least for driving around.
A donor car is the best way to go. Don't forget trucks and vans could also have what your looking for.
 

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Tazz
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pro-street 53 Chevy

I run the stock front suspension and steering. I added disc brakes up front and a ford 9" with disc brakes on the rear. Like the Dude said, "Nothing EVER just bolts in". This hobby is called Street Rodding and street rods are made up of a lot of Donor parts. You make it fit, you clean it up and polish it and drill holes and measures and measure again before you do anything. You DO NOT need to change your front end, but if you change the engine/trans you will need to upgrade the rear end and have a drive shaft made. Pick up the Donor car, stay with Chevy stuff, strip out what you want and junk the hulk, don't leave it sitting around. Happy building man.




Todd




Rat Rods Rule!
 

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Kenneth Howard hates me...
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I'm doing a '50 Styleline right now. The rear end i used is out of a '78 Grand Prix. I am keeping the stock front end, but adding discs. I love the way it drives with the stock front end. I'd tune up the 216 and drive it.



C
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So, you ended up welding / rewelding in mounts for the rear end? I was hoping that thier was some kind of "KIT" that helped out with these...SInce I don't have a welder, and wouldn't really know were to start with rear-end swap.

Thanks,
 

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Kenneth Howard hates me...
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Yes some welding is involved. But, i hear the rear out of a '55-'57 chevy is the proper width and you dont have to mess with the perches. If you go to a SBC the ribs on the firewall need to be trimmed back. Do a search at http://www.chevytalk.com (not to take away from this awsome site Jon has provided us.) There is a forum for just '49-54 Chevys.



C
 
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