Register now to get rid of these ads!

Larry T's 55 Chevy build

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Larry T, Feb 3, 2011.

  1. Larry T
    Joined: Nov 24, 2004
    Posts: 5,739

    Larry T
    Member

    I ended up with this 55 project a long time ago and it sat around for a while before I decided to work on it. I just tinker with it, but it's far enough along that I figured I'd start a thread about it.
    I'm kind of dislexic, so I decided that instead of building a street car with a tube axle that I'd build a strip only car with stock front suspension. LOL
    Here's how the project looked when I first got it. The quarter skins, roof, and cowl are metal, everthing else is fiberglass.
    Larry T
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 3, 2011
  2. HOT ROD BILL
    Joined: Apr 7, 2007
    Posts: 713

    HOT ROD BILL
    Member

    Being the early drag car guru you are, what class are you building for? ( m/p, gas, etc )
     
  3. gasser300
    Joined: May 25, 2010
    Posts: 487

    gasser300
    Member
    from Ft Worth

    55's RULE!

    Keep the updates coming. One of these days I will have me a 55.

    Thats what I wanted when I bought a 57 2dr ht back in 95
     
  4. Larry T
    Joined: Nov 24, 2004
    Posts: 5,739

    Larry T
    Member

    I'm not building a 7 second car and didn't like the TF Dragster sized tires that were on the car when I got it. So I narrowed a 9" Ford to run 10.50 X 30's. The slicks are on 10" wheels with 3 1/2" back spacing. Yea, I'm gonna get a little more nostalgic looking wheel when I get the car going. As a bonus, I can run up to a 14" slick on wheels with more back spacing if I want. But I don't see that ever happening.

    While I had the rearend out, I mounted my fuel cell.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 3, 2011
    Register now to get rid of these ads!

  5. Larry T
    Joined: Nov 24, 2004
    Posts: 5,739

    Larry T
    Member

    Bill, I guess, as much as the term is overused, it'll be a Gasser, since it has a lot of fiberglass (fenders, hood, doors, trunk lid), the firewall is modified and the engine is set back a little. I'm actually trying to set it up to be legal in one of the slower NHRA Heritage Series Gas class. But it's just something to go play with.
    Larry T

    BTW As far as the guru stuff goes, I never knew very much and as I've gotten older I've forgotten more than I ever knew.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2011
  6. Larry T
    Joined: Nov 24, 2004
    Posts: 5,739

    Larry T
    Member

    When I got the car back on 4 wheels, I decided it was time to see how the engine fit. It didn't, the harmonic damper hit the front crossmember. So I reworked the frame mounts, moved the engine up and back just a little. Then you couldn't pull the distributor with the engine in the car. I notched the top of the firewall out for clearance, but you can't see it when the cowl piece is in place.
    With the engine in place, the forward struts of the roll cage were installed low enough that no "store bought" fenderwell headers would fit, so I built some.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. Larry T
    Joined: Nov 24, 2004
    Posts: 5,739

    Larry T
    Member

    Then I made another problem for myself. When I bought the car, they said they were gonna put Mustang rack & pinion on it. The steering arms were swapped side to side so that they were to the front. The problem there was that the r/p unit had to sit WAY out in front of the crossmember and spindles. The steering arms on the rack would have had to come back at around 45 degrees. I guess it would have worked, but I didn't like it. So I decided to use a rear mount r/p unit on it. I swapped the steering arms back to rear steer and built the r/p mounts and welded them to the crossmember. This is when I built the headers.

    Now the problem. I looked at the car and thought the r/p had no place on an "old style" build. So I decided to install a regular steering box. Problem is the stock 55 box kinda mounts above the frame rails. There would be no way of running fenderwell headers and even under the car headers would be a clearance headache. Also the steering column is made onto the box and the steering wheel didn't end up exactly where it needed to be with the new driver location.

    So I decided the smart thing (yea, right) to do would be to mount a Vega box in the car. It'd be more compact and weigh a lot less than the stock unit. So I rounded up the stock steering pieces, a Vega box and got started. First I positioned the center link so that I could reverse engineer the mounting location of the box. Then I set the box up at the same angle as the the idler arm on the other side to get the location.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 29, 2011
  8. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 11,993

    Deuces
    Member
    from Michigan

    Lookin' kool!! Git er done!! :)
     
  9. Larry T
    Joined: Nov 24, 2004
    Posts: 5,739

    Larry T
    Member

    Now I had to fit the Vega box to the 55 centerlink, since the Vega pitman arm used a taperer hole and the 55 centerlink was setup for a ball.

    I cut the ball out of a stock 55 pitman arm. It wasn't too hard, the ball was a press fit and peened on the end. The I reamed the Vega arm, pressed the ball in, peened it, welded it and pinned it. Now the box was ready to put in.

    Did the steering box mount up in the stock mounting holes? Keep dreaming. (G) I drilled the new lower mounting holes in the frame, cut a relief on the inside of the frame for box clearance, installed new crush sleeves, and built a new upper mount to weld on the top of the frame.
     

    Attached Files:

  10. Larry T
    Joined: Nov 24, 2004
    Posts: 5,739

    Larry T
    Member

    When I got all of that finished and filled about 20 holes in the frame it looked kinda like this. Then I installed the box and bolted up the centerlink. So far so good.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 3, 2011
  11. Larry T
    Joined: Nov 24, 2004
    Posts: 5,739

    Larry T
    Member

    Dropped the mockup engine back in and checked for clearance. Installed the steering shaft and headers. Looks like everything might work. I think I might have gotten it close to right since it looks like everything just bolted up in about 15 minutes. LOL
    Since the engine is sitting in the car, I'll probably install the radiator next, but it might be a while. Customers are getting kind of restless, since I'm not getting any work done with the shop frozen up right now. (G)
    Larry T
     

    Attached Files:

  12. HOT ROD BILL
    Joined: Apr 7, 2007
    Posts: 713

    HOT ROD BILL
    Member

    That came out nice and clean. I'll trade the Ulgy old blower for a Pretty X-ram I have.
     
  13. Larry T
    Joined: Nov 24, 2004
    Posts: 5,739

    Larry T
    Member

    Bill,
    I'd trade ya, but you'd be mad. The "blower" is one of the plastic one's that someone sells. A buddy of mine bought it when we were setting up his 38 Chevy with a blown 502 in it. It sure is easier setting the plastic one on and off than the real one. I just dropped it on my engine when I was checking distributor clearance and it just kinda got left there.
    I'll probably pull the "street" engine out of my Anglia and drop in the 55, if I ever get it that close. It's a pretty good engine, early LS-6 style short block with Brodix heads and a Comp Cams roller cam. If I do it, I'll probably run the Brodix intake and single Dominator I have on the engine until I get a "competition" engine built. I'll leave the Nitrous off and use the older looking valve covers and engine accessories on it.
    Larry T
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 3, 2011
  14. gasser300
    Joined: May 25, 2010
    Posts: 487

    gasser300
    Member
    from Ft Worth

    hahaha i just noticed the top of the blower isnt opened up.
     
  15. Larry T
    Joined: Nov 24, 2004
    Posts: 5,739

    Larry T
    Member

    Yea, I don't really know why but it fools a lot of folks. Even with the top closed up I've had people grab the front pulley and try to spin it. (G)
    Larry T
     
  16. HOT ROD BILL
    Joined: Apr 7, 2007
    Posts: 713

    HOT ROD BILL
    Member

    Shit, never mind!!!!
     
  17. rick finch
    Joined: May 26, 2008
    Posts: 3,965

    rick finch
    Member

    Subscribed.....doin' good for a retard. Oh, sorry you said dyslexic.
     
  18. Larry T
    Joined: Nov 24, 2004
    Posts: 5,739

    Larry T
    Member

    Well, any potential buyers got kind of froggy when the looked in the window and saw the shop floor. So I decided I'd do some interior work. Since the body is just a gutted outside skin, there wasn't anything but a big open space where the floors were supposed to be.

    First thing was some seat/seatbelt crossmembers. The 1/8" strap that was welded to the framerails when I got the car just wasn't getting it. I looked in the NHRA rule book and it said 2" tubing minimum, so that's what it got. I figured out that the front seat crossmember could also work as a transmission crossmember/transmission loop/shifter mount. But I wanted to be able to drop the transmission out from under the car with pulling the whole drivetrain. So this is what I ended up with. There is a small drop out transmission mount that I can set up for a Powerglide or Turbo 400 (which I'm gonna use right now).

    BTW, I used the stack of plywood panels to set the seat position and height. (G)
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 14, 2011
  19. Larry T
    Joined: Nov 24, 2004
    Posts: 5,739

    Larry T
    Member

    Rick,
    Now that I thought about this for a minute, lets be adult about the situation.
    TAKES ONE TO KNOW ONE.
    LOL
    Larry T
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2011
  20. Larry T
    Joined: Nov 24, 2004
    Posts: 5,739

    Larry T
    Member

    When I got the front and seat crossmember in they looked kinda like this. You can see the homemade driveshaft loops that will also be the basis for my transmission tunnel. The shifter will mount off of the front loop.
     

    Attached Files:

  21. Larry T
    Joined: Nov 24, 2004
    Posts: 5,739

    Larry T
    Member

    Next came the seat mounts for the Kirkey seat. Got it all set in position and this is what I ended up with. Also positions the belt mounts to be legal.

    The tweed seat didn't look right, so I called Kirkey and had the custom make one that fits the style of the car a little better.
     

    Attached Files:

  22. Larry T
    Joined: Nov 24, 2004
    Posts: 5,739

    Larry T
    Member

    I built a bracket to mount my floormount Wildwood dual mastercylinder brake setup too. The cylinders are actually on the other side of the firewall. Then I cleaned up the firewall, put some uprights between the rollcage crossbrace and framerails to mount my removable aluminum firewall too. Made templates for the floors and cut them out of 18/20 gauge.
    Larry T
     

    Attached Files:

  23. rick finch
    Joined: May 26, 2008
    Posts: 3,965

    rick finch
    Member

    I am a-dolt about the situation....;) You gonna start another thread on the Anglia?
     
  24. Larry T
    Joined: Nov 24, 2004
    Posts: 5,739

    Larry T
    Member

    Rick,
    No Anglia threads for now. Gonna concentrate on the 55 for now. And if I get it running, I'll be using the engine out of the chopped Anglia and probably will put the Old Race Car Anglia on the back burner until I get the 56 pickup going. Ya gotta have a tow truck!

    As long as I'm here, here's the start of my transmission tunnel, but it's not finished yet.
    Larry T
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 3, 2011
  25. Larry T
    Joined: Nov 24, 2004
    Posts: 5,739

    Larry T
    Member

    And the steering column. It one of Speedways cheap columns. To me it looks more like a "real" column than the columns from most of the "racecar" places. The only problem is that the quick disconnect for the wheel is REAL sloppy. I might get a better one later and turn the original mount off in a lathe and weld the new one on. That's kinda the plan anyway.

    When I first started trying to figure out how to mount the column, I thought I might have to drop a bracket off the roof. (G) I ended up welding a small base mount to the upright for the firewall. You can see it in one of the pictures above (post 11).
    For the top mount, I had to come off the rollcage. I was kind of worried about it at first, but I'm happy with the way it worked out.
    Larry T
     

    Attached Files:

  26. Babyearl
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 563

    Babyearl
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Looking good,, always liked the 55's,, where and when is the maiden voyage?
     
  27. Larry T
    Joined: Nov 24, 2004
    Posts: 5,739

    Larry T
    Member

    No idea when, first track time will probably be at Wichita Falls or Lawton. Or I might sneak over to the old Cherokee Dragway in Frederick. (G)
     

    Attached Files:

  28. blackout
    Joined: Jul 29, 2007
    Posts: 1,982

    blackout
    Member

    Nice fab work Larry.
     
  29. Larry T
    Joined: Nov 24, 2004
    Posts: 5,739

    Larry T
    Member

    Thanks Jay,
    I do the best I can with a hammer, hacksaw, and pliers. Sometimes it sure would be nice to have the right tools and talent though.
    Larry T
     
  30. HOT ROD BILL
    Joined: Apr 7, 2007
    Posts: 713

    HOT ROD BILL
    Member

    Larry, you assistant put "Homemade" rather than "Custom Fab" driveshaft loops!!!!
     

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!

Archive

Copyright © 1995-2013 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.