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Projects Does the HAMB really need another shoebox build thread?

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by Big A, Sep 14, 2011.

  1. Oh hell yeah. Here's my sordid tale...

    You know that story of the over-excited idiot who buys a car sight-unseen on the interweb? Asks all the wrong questions, looks at the wrong photos and eats whats put in front of him? I'm that idiot. I didn't set out to get into a full-on body off resto project, but I had a boner for a chopped shoebox and a nice pair of rose colored glasses so I jumped. Fools rush in. But this thread ain't about sour grapes, it's about lemonade…

    Let's start with Bob Bleed's highschool sweetheart. It's a running '51 Ford sedan, chopped 3.5", needs some cosmetics…

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    So after some new tires, brakes, headers and exhaust, a nice '55 Dodge grille direct from Bob Owens, and a rattlecan paintjob it was roughly presentable enough to drive it to Cheaterama, the Scrap Drive and the Hunnert Car Pileup…

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    If you looked at it from the right angle, in dim enough light and a cool enough setting, it even looked almost ok…

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    After I finally got it back to Ontario and started tearing it down, the floors had been "patched" with galvanized sheet from an old shed and a little duct tape…

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    And covered up some nastiness…

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    Niiice...

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    Rusty goodness...

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    Oh, and the frame was—for lack of a better term—fucked. As in dangerous and non-salvageable. Mere technicality. This shot is getting a bit ahead of the story, but you know where it's going anyway...

    [​IMG]

    So, being on a budget, I started researching an S10 frame swap. No way I could find a stock frame right? Well, it just so happens that about this time Jaker was advertising parting out a '51 shoebox. Got a solid frame? You betcha.

    Another trip to Milwaukistan for another shitbox…

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    Jake threw in about a car and half worth of extra parts in the deal. Jake is a freaking' rockstar...

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    Back in Ontari-ari-ari-o. And then there were two…

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    Don't get too acquainted, this ain't going to be a long happy relationship. I just bought some sawzall blades...

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    With some other stuff taking up space in the shop…

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    (my GF's brother bought this l'il Trumpet in 1974 for 75 bucks! Going to restore it someday :rolleyes:)

    In the next chapter we work out some frustration. Stay tuned.
  2. Ok, so let's crank this puppy off the frame...

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    I pumped, jacked and pumped some more. Then I decided to lift the body off...

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    Even non-car-guy friends come in handy sometimes...

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    And oot she comes...

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    Voila. One solid frame that'll get sent out for sandblasting and paint...

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    And a victim...

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    There's something therapeutic about cutting up a body...

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    More foreshadowing, if you're following along...

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    American steel, leaving Canada, probably en route to China...

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  3. Jalopy Joker
    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2006
    Posts:
    8,756
    Location:
    Rodsville, CA

    Jalopy Joker Member

    Wow-nothing like a challenge-I bought a chopped '51 a couple of years ago and due to a long list of excuses still not on road. will be selling as soon (??) as I get it running again to pay bills-have fun
  4. Some frustrations, but most days I try to stay relaxed. Keeps me from thinking about work.

    Trying to convice myself that I might actaully get somewhere... someday (thanks to Mr. Moriarty for the inspiration)...

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    And since the garage was getting mighty small in a hurry, I decided to try to get organized. Quickie racks and shelves...

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    Starting the tear-down...

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    Finding lots of ugliness...

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    And some interesting previous, um... bodywork?

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    So when in doubt, cut the mo-fo out...

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    At some points it's like, Dude, Where's My Car?

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    But it feels pretty good when you start seeing steel where there used to be cancer...

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    Damn, this shit's easy! Look how fast it's coming together!

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    I rented this garage one year ago. At the time I owned very few tools, had no first-hand experience doing anything this major, I have no budget and less than zero time. I work on this car most Saturdays and some Sundays, that's it. Most days I work by myself.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2011
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  5. While we're at it...

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    Let's cut some more!

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    Nice wheelwells...

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    Cut 'em out!

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    I'm cutting away like a madman, and I found PBRmeASAP's wrench that I dropped inside the fender last year...

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    Ok, now test-fit everything, with the door on, to make sure stuff fits and the door closes with correct gaps. At this stage it's all just clamped in place...

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    And tacked in...

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    I've bought most of my patch panels from Mac's, and they are mostly EMS sheetmetal. The quality is great, pretty much everything fits and works like it's supposed to, although some directions would come in handy for eejits like me who are diving in for the first time. One exception was the inner rockers, they didn't make any damn sense to me so I made some one-piece ones that seem to do the job...

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    Oh, and in case you were wondering...

    [​IMG]
  6. no mice just rats
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Posts:
    18
    Location:
    missouri

    no mice just rats Member

    thats one hell of a life you got.. low profile.. ha! very nice cant wait to see it done
  7. I can't wait to see it done too. Got a ways to go yet.

    Half time, change sides...

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    Second verse, same as the first...

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    Same shit, different day...

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    Stop me if you've heard this one before...

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    Baby steps...

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    I'm not hard-core like some of those Buffalo guys that work on shit in their driveway in the dead of winter, but my garage is not heated. Last winter it generally hovered between 0°C - 8°C (32°F - 45°F). Keeps the beer cold at least...

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    More cutting...

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    Picture makes it look like it's leaning on an angle, it's not, it's just the drunk photographer...

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    Seriously, I don't drink while I work. I get more work done and spill less beer that way. Generally one beer at the end of the day while cleaning up.

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    This tool makes removing the rusty Phillips screws from door hinges a bit easier. A socket adapter, an old air chisel and a piece of U-bolt...

    [​IMG]
  8. Ok, enough bodywork for a while. Who's the handsome fella in the Hellzapoppin' t-shirt?

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    One of my friends asked me about wearing gloves. Hell yes I wear gloves, I wear goggles and a mask too. It's a garage, consider everything to be hot, sharp and toxic. There's my lecture for the day.

    Just needs a little degreaser...

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    Got the frame back from the sandblaster. $250 for blasting and satin epoxy I thought was a pretty good price...

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    It starts to feel like progress when you go from this...

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    to this...

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    It's all stock suspension, Aerostar springs up front, 3" lowering blocks in the rear. I won't be laying frame.

    Once the frame is pretty much back together the best place to store the flathead is back where it's supposed to go...

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    Big thanks to HAMBer Ozzie for selling me his OD tranny, bellhousing to driveshaft. Next to the awesome frame I got from Jake I think it's the best deal I've got.

    And of course, once the engine was back where it's supposed to be, I had to test fit the goodies. They'll be cleaner when the time comes...

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    Dang thse build threads eat up some company time, where does the time go? I need some lunch, but I'll be back to drag this thread off page 9 again.
  9. Ralphies54
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2009
    Posts:
    257
    Location:
    Western Taxachusetts

    Ralphies54 Member

    Great build thread,love the just right chop. Kind of a shame to have to junk the other car,didn't look to bad in pictures and I guess there's only so much storage space. Your body work looks professional too. I had a 51 club coupe in 1956,one of the best cars I ever owned, did'nt do more than nose and deck it, skirts,pipes and lowering blocks. Then the USAF called,Married,had a child, sold car and regretted not finding another 51,so if I can I'll live those days again through you. Good Luck
  10. Jaker
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2003
    Posts:
    868
    Location:
    Waukesha, WI

    Jaker Member

    Fuck yes!

    awesome
  11. stevechaos13
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2008
    Posts:
    405
    Location:
    Dallas, TX

    stevechaos13 Member

    Killer work man. I agree with Ralphie though, sucks that you had to junk the other one. Especially since it was a 2 door, but yeah I know how it is when space is at a minimum
  12. Jack Luther
    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2005
    Posts:
    527
    Location:
    Kansas City

    Jack Luther Member

    Looks like your '51 started life the same color as mine- Mexicali Maroon. Shoebox Fords are cool. Good luck with your project.
  13. FlyFisher
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2008
    Posts:
    582
    Location:
    Dallas Texas America

    FlyFisher
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    1. 1935-1937 Ford pickups

    Really nice work. I guess you got a tetanus shot before starting the build, right?
  14. The parts car was in rough shape, but it was still a bit of a bummer to cut it up. There's a lot of it going to end up in my car, hell in some ways it was better than my car. If Mr. Bleed hadn't done such a nice job on the chop on my car it would've been the one heading to the crusher.

    Pulled the dash to get at things. Dash needs to be completely restored anyway...

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    Firewall cleaned up nice. Yep, Mexicali Maroon. I thought about keeping it that colour, but I bought a complete interior that is in great shape, but it's dark blue. Maroon ain't going to work.


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    Got tired of barking my shins so the front clip got whacked...

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    No more maroon...

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    No more frame... the scrap guy loves me...

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    When I first bought the car PBRmeASAP fabbed up a frame to mount this Mustang tank between the frame rails. I cut it out, cleaned it up and reused it in the new frame...

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    More on that later.
  15. Tim Jones
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2011
    Posts:
    64
    Location:
    The Bluegrass

    Tim Jones Member

    Look'n good Big A. Thanks for the thread.
  16. There's more where that came from... and a twist in the plot...

    Hey look Ma, more rust! What a surprise...

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    And more cutting. I should've bought stock in Norton before I started this project, I've gone through a lot of cut-off wheels (which I find more accurate than a sawzall)...

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    Steel!

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    Hey what's all this about? He wouldn't would he?

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    Oh yes he would...

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    Not sure if the dual taillights is a dumb idea or not, and cutting them in scared the shit out of me (they needed to be damn straight in relation to the ones above, and side to side), pretty nerve wracking, but I think I pulled it off...

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    I can't stand far enough back to get a good shot, and every photo makes them look crooked, but they're actually straight...

    [​IMG]
  17. styleline
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2009
    Posts:
    869
    Location:
    so-hol

    styleline Member

    hell off a job looking great big a keep going will follow you in this one cheers
  18. Thanks for the comments, I appreciate it.

    Levitating the body again...

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    to get it back on the frame to get things aligned. It'll come back off the frame once the floors are in so I can do the finish welding, clean and paint the underside...

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    Now comes the fun part. Floors. From what I could figure, prefab floorpans from various places are expensive and sometimes not great quality. I read a bunch of threads here on the HAMB and thought I'd give 'em a shot from scratch.

    Again, I don't have a ton of tools or experience, but I'm a keener! Yeah, whatever. I spend some time and very little money building this hillbilly bender/bead roller combo...

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    The Harbor Freight bead roller has some flexing issues, so I ran out and chopped down a No Parking sign and used that to beef it up...

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    Finnrodder made himself some nice dies to replicate the stock beads in Ford floorpans...

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    He was kind enough to send me a sketch of his plans, which I fancied-up a bit 'cuz I was bored at work one day (note: the shaft diameter in these plans is too tight, I had to have it reamed out)...

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    and I found a guy on Canadian Rodder to make me a set...

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    I ordered 18ga from Metal Supermarket, and had them put a 90° bend down one side. That way I had a nice accurate edge to work from. I got 6 pieces (3 per side) so it would be nice and manageable for a weakling like me.

    Here are my first-ever beads. Not going to win any awards, but close enough for the girls we dance with...

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    I don't have a photo, but I used a Sharpie and drew a centreline on the fat die so I could guide the sheet metal through. I also used a C-clamp to keep things in line. Didn't always work, some of them are wonky, but that's what carpet is for right?

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    Just roughly placed in, but looking surprisingly like a floor...

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    I think I paid $150 for the steel, rough-cut to size, and flanged. I think all this from Mac's was looking like a grand or so...

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    I'm ok with a few wonky beads if I can save $600-800.
  19. 57ford/60thunderbird
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2009
    Posts:
    4,425
    Location:
    hamilton ohio

    57ford/60thunderbird Member

    man, looks like my shoebox and yours crawled out of the same rust pit but my rear wheelwells are COMPLETELY rusted junk gotta love road salt ice melt shit

    if i was going to do mine completely right mine would look alot like yours but my plan is to get mine drivable and enjoy it some before tackling all the body work

    if i dont get it driving soon im gonna go nuts i to mainly work on mine by myself but i put in a couple hours a night on it been workin on it over a year now on a tight budget

    yours is looking great im gonna keep an ewye on this thread (mainly to keep my interest in mine) im gettin fed up
  20. I don't have photos of the floor braces in place, but they're there. I drilled some holes so I can access the bolts, and I cut an access hole for the brake master...

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    Lots of welding left to do, and a few screw-ups to fix, but I'm reasonably happy with 'em.
  21. kiwiandy
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Posts:
    335
    Location:
    New Zealand

    kiwiandy Member

    Awesome build with great naration! I dont know what plans you have for inner rockers and floors but I just brought OEM style inners from a guy called Paul Bradley and also floors. But im still waiting on him for the floors.
    Andy.
  22. kiwiandy
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Posts:
    335
    Location:
    New Zealand

    kiwiandy Member

    Hard case! In the time it took me to post that ... you have floors!
  23. It's taken me a year to get this far and yeah I've been pretty fed up a couple of times. I really did set out to just get this driveable, but once the frame needed to be replaced everything just snowballed. Big damn rusty snowball.
  24. gasjockey101
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2011
    Posts:
    40
    Location:
    winnipeg manitoba

    gasjockey101 Member

    the dual taillights looks wicked
  25. I've heard really good things about Paul Bradley's floorpans, and they are not too spendy. Once I got my head wrapped around the idea of making them myself I just wanted to try it. I also modified them a bit from stock, they are actually channeled slightly.
  26. Racrdad
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Posts:
    1,209
    Location:
    College Station TX

    Racrdad Member

    ^^^ What he said! ^^^
  27. Finnrodder
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2009
    Posts:
    1,974
    Location:
    Finland

    Finnrodder
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    It was about a time to get your build thread started and it looks really great so far!
    Good to see that your beadroller dies worked well,thats a nice looking floor.
    Subscribed!
  28. Thanks Antti. Your build has been a good source of info and inspiration for me.

    I posted a tech article on the work I did in the trunk, but it belongs here so here it is again.

    I wasn't too sure how to go about dealing with the sheet metal in the trunk. There was almost nothing left of the original, nothing to template from. I grabbed some poster board, a sharpie, a knife and some tape and just muddled through making a paper template...

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    Then I could lay it flat and trace it onto some 18ga. I used my hillbilly bender for one bend on each side, but the second bend wouldn't fit, so I used caveman tech and hammered them by hand. The beads were straight-forward. My bender doesn't give a hard edge, which actually works well in this application...

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    One underfloor brace was completely gone, but I could save one, so I used it to make a template for a new one. I did all these bends by hand using vice grips and a dead blow hammer. Drill the holes before you make the bends, run the beads after...

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    Because my tank sits on a frame made from 1x1, I needed to add some braces on the rear frame crossover so the floor would sit level. I just used some 1x2 I had laying about, but when the body comes off again I may replace these with a solid brace right across...

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    I don't have a shrinker/stretcher so i just made some cuts in the edge and grabbed the ol' vice grips again. Close enough for jazz...

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    For the piece across the back (front? I dunno... the piece closest to the back seat) I ordered a piece of 18 ga 4x4 angle, that dimension worked for me, your results may vary. I added the softer bend at the top, again my hillbilly bender actually worked well for a nice round bend like that...

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    I've gotta admit, I'm pretty happy with the results. It's actually nicer than I thought it would be...

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    I'll add a proper filler neck on the gas tank and run a hard line for a vent. haven't got that far yet...

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    And that's all I've got to show for a year's worth of Saturdays. I set out to have this ready to drive to the HAMB Drags, didn't make it. I thought I might make the Hunnert Car Pileup, but that ain't happening. I've got a mighty long list of things left to do, and a few surprises up my sleeve yet.

    I'll keep ya posted. Thanks for looking.
  29. awesome build!i love it. great job man.
  30. cederholm
    Joined:
    May 6, 2006
    Posts:
    1,115
    Location:
    Brooklyn NY

    cederholm Member

    ...this is a BAD ASS BUILD! Loving it!

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