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Projects ‘34 Ford Sedan Eldonius Build

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Eldonius, Apr 24, 2020.

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  1. Eldonius
    Joined: Apr 15, 2020
    Posts: 63

    Eldonius
    Member
    from Louisiana

    I’m at the beginning stages of turning this original all steel ‘34 into a hot rod. Still thinking on exactly how I want to do it, but have some questions for those that would be willing to share their perspective.

    Here are my current thoughts:
    1. I am building this car for myself with no plans to ever sell it. It’s a project I’ll be working on with my wife and 9 kids. Don’t panic...we’ve built great projects and their under good guidance (see my other project pics). That being said, I want to build a hot rod out of this car, and am willing to exercise restraint to retain value of the car so I have some questions related to this. Not for resale...but value retention.

    2. Thinking 3” chopped top, one-piece hood with solid side panels, full fendered, flames (as a tribute to body shop owner that connected me with cars), very clean look with shaved hinges, retained suicide door handles, low profile taillights. Planning a new frame to handle a stroked 351W. Only Ford parts (or custom)...not interested in putting any other brand of parts on the car...no, I don’t even care that Chevy 350 engines are cheap. Ok, so here are some questions.

    3. The doors need the bottom 3” replaced. Would you suggest just buying the inner/outer patch skins for this? As I look at it, I think the entire inner door should be removed so I can soda (or walnut?) blast the both sides of the inner door panel and the inside of the outer door skin. Otherwise, I don’t see how I get this door fully addressed from a restoration/ preservation perspective. Is this how you’d go about it?

    4. Floor needs replaced. Thoughts on original floor design vs the hot rod floor design that is flat in the rear, without the drop-down for rear passenger and without the driveline hump? Will installing the hot rod floor demolish the value of the vehicle once built because it isn’t the original floor design?

    5. Really like the look of a 3” chopped top. Does this kill the value of the car, or is this mod common enough it’s ok (assuming it’s done very well)?

    6. Tubbing it for wider rear tires. Similar to questions above....will this drop the value of the vehicle once complete, or is it all right if I don’t go as extreme as a full pro street?

     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2020
  2. Slopok
    Joined: Jan 30, 2012
    Posts: 2,574

    Slopok
    Member

    Have the doors dipped.
    Pro Street will drop value, that was an '80s fad!:eek:
     
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  3. Weedburner 40
    Joined: Jan 26, 2006
    Posts: 744

    Weedburner 40
    Member

    I wouldn't replace any more than is necessary. If the inner is sound, blast it after you remove the skin. If the inner needs to be replaced, blast the remainder after you have cut the door open.

    I put a "flat" floor in my coupe and like it. You may need the stock floor for the rear seat area though. The drop down is for the rear seat passenger's feet.

    A 3" chop looks super and will not diminish the value, if it is done properly.

    I stepped the rear of my frame 2" on each side because I am running full fenders and the wheels I am going to run are only available in 10+" wide. So I have a slight "tub" but not a pro street by any stretch. That way, the tires will fit under the fenders.
     
  4. clem
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,993

    clem
    Member

    Probably time to post some good photos of what you have.

    The following is just my opinion; others will disagree with me........

    From what you are describing it sounds like a roughish body, so nothing you do hot rod wise will diminish the value.
    Most of your questions relate to end value.
    Ask yourself, - What are you doing this for, your enjoyment or resale value, - seems to be the latter.
    (Probably not going to get your money back on any work you do).

    you haven’t done an introduction here and explained your experience or qualifications, so we have to guess a bit. Therefore the answers will vary.
    Maybe spend some time looking at threads on here, to decide what you really want.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2020
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  5. hemihotrod66
    Joined: May 5, 2019
    Posts: 229

    hemihotrod66
    Member

  6. RJP
    Joined: Oct 5, 2005
    Posts: 1,653

    RJP
    Member
    from PNW

    Since you seem more worried about value than the build, you might be better off buying a finished one you like, then beat the seller up on the price and sell it down the road for more. You can never build cheaper than you can buy finished.
     
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  7. razoo lew
    Joined: Apr 11, 2017
    Posts: 412

    razoo lew
    Member
    from Calgary

    What @RJP said is really worth considering if final value is a big concern.
     
  8. Eldonius
    Joined: Apr 15, 2020
    Posts: 63

    Eldonius
    Member
    from Louisiana

    Is there someone you recommend that could dip the doors?
     
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  9. Eldonius
    Joined: Apr 15, 2020
    Posts: 63

    Eldonius
    Member
    from Louisiana

     
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  10. Binkman
    Joined: Nov 4, 2017
    Posts: 250

    Binkman
    Member

     
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  11. Binkman
    Joined: Nov 4, 2017
    Posts: 250

    Binkman
    Member

    I would not tub it, too much work and they rarely look right. I have a chopped '34 Victoria, and a chopped '34 2-Dr. Both chopped 2.5 inches. Both have new floors. I like them chopped but not too much. I like it when people look sideays and try to figure out what is different. It usually hits them in a minute or two. The Vicky is now done, the 2- dr is 90% done. These are old photo's to show a chopped top.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. I had my doors chemically dipped and I had new inners and outers welded in both doors. If the chop is done well, it should increase the value of your car.
    My buddy and body man, Jimmy looked at my cherry 33 floor and said...we'll make a new one so the mufflers have a place to live. . Mine's a coupe so I had no worries about a flat rear floor. 34floorssmalljimmy.jpg 34doordrivershalfdone7_13small.JPG 34insidepainted1.jpg
     
  13. 31aford
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 89

    31aford
    Member
    from az

    Here is mine it is chopped 3". I had to raise the floor above the rear axle to the top of the frame rails so the rear axle would have clearance . Left the rest of the floor stock. I wouldn't tub the rear. I have 8" wide wheels in the rear with 255/70 15 tires that is the widest that would fit under the fenders. IMG_20200301_081058132.jpg
     
  14. Eldonius
    Joined: Apr 15, 2020
    Posts: 63

    Eldonius
    Member
    from Louisiana

    Thanks for asking for more info. Just joined, so didn’t want anyone to feel burdened with a long post from a new member. However, I can see people are more than willing to help. I posted info to my profile to give some background on myself and show some past projects I’ve done. Thanks for asking for that. I also uploaded some pictures of the passenger door as it is the worst of the two. At the bottom, the outer and inner skins a are fully separated from the rust. I may have given the wrong impression about keeping/selling. I edited the first post to clarify. I have no plans to sell it...just don’t want to diminish the value and am willing to exercise restraint on the build to do so. Planning to buy new steel fenders, tank cover, hood. However, I am really uncertain on the best path forward on these doors. Hopefully the additional pics give better insight for suggestions. Thank you again for the help.
     
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  15. Eldonius
    Joined: Apr 15, 2020
    Posts: 63

    Eldonius
    Member
    from Louisiana

    Great looking car! Really like the open engine area!
    Great looking cars. The 2.5” chop looks really good. I can tell I’ll be wrestling with the 2.5” or 3” decision. Did you do hot rod floors, or original floors with the drop down for rear passenger feet? What are your thoughts on this?
     
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  16. Eldonius
    Joined: Apr 15, 2020
    Posts: 63

    Eldonius
    Member
    from Louisiana

    Great looking car! Really like the open engine area!
    Great looking cars. The 2.5” chop looks really good. I can tell I’ll be wrestling with the 2.5” or 3” decision. Did you do hot rod floors, or original floors with the drop down for rear passenger feet? What are your thoughts on this?
     
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  17. Eldonius
    Joined: Apr 15, 2020
    Posts: 63

    Eldonius
    Member
    from Louisiana

    Thanks for the pictures. Sounds like a few members are recommending the chemical dip. I’ll have to look into this further. Floor replacement and door repairs look great!
     
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  18. Eldonius
    Joined: Apr 15, 2020
    Posts: 63

    Eldonius
    Member
    from Louisiana

    Thank you for the pic. 3” chop looks great. I’ll be landing on a 2.5” or 3”. Hadn’t thought axle clearance may be an issue with original floor. I’ll take a look at that with my set up. Thanks for letting me know max tire size to get under stock fenders too. I appreciate that.
     
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  19. Eldonius
    Joined: Apr 15, 2020
    Posts: 63

    Eldonius
    Member
    from Louisiana

    Probably didn’t represent my intent the best. Edited the original post to clarify. It’s a keeper, but want to build it in a way that doesn’t diminish its value as a hot rod.
     
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  20. hemihotrod66
    Joined: May 5, 2019
    Posts: 229

    hemihotrod66
    Member

    The rearend on mine has been narrowed and the had 3 inch wide tubs installed...I am running a 10 wide rim and a 29x12x15 ProStreet Hoosier radial tire....I also narrowed the frame in the rear to but looks pretty close to stock from the outside until you get under the car...Coil overs and trailing arm suspension...
     
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  21. Rckt98
    Joined: Jun 7, 2005
    Posts: 975

    Rckt98
    Member

    9 kids? How do you find time to work on a car?
     
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  22. Eldonius
    Joined: Apr 15, 2020
    Posts: 63

    Eldonius
    Member
    from Louisiana

    Ha! Many have asked that same question. I take them to the garage with me and they do some work as well. This will be the 3rd (and most involved) project we’ve done as a family so far. Did 2 Harley’s and rebuilt a salvaged Jeep.
     
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  23. Shamus
    Joined: Jul 20, 2005
    Posts: 1,177

    Shamus
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from NC

    Must be Irish!!
     
  24. dirty old man
    Joined: Feb 2, 2008
    Posts: 8,678

    dirty old man
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I like the thoughts of the top chop, and also wouldn't tub it as too wide of rear tires just doesn't fit the early bodies without looking like an 80s street rod.
    One thing I strongly disagree with is your plan to replace the louvered hood sides with solid panels, both for form and function reasons, IMHO.
     
  25. IMG_2641.JPG IMG_2207.JPG Here is mine unchopped.
     
  26. Eldonius
    Joined: Apr 15, 2020
    Posts: 63

    Eldonius
    Member
    from Louisiana

    Thank for the perspective. I think I’ll keep the original body style without tubbing it at all. Just need to repair a little rust patch and I should be good to go there. It’s a tight engine compartment...so I do have some concerns about losing the louvers. I see you filled your top with beads. What are your thoughts of beads vs a panel without beads?
     
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  27. clem
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,993

    clem
    Member

    Go 2&1/2” rear and 3” at front.
     
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  28. chev34ute
    Joined: Nov 13, 2011
    Posts: 891

    chev34ute
    Member

    Chopping the top is a complex operation and limits head space and hidden hinges with antique door handles always looks odd with any Ford built before 1949. Combining that with a three inch chop could make it look like a repro rod. This is just my personal opinion but here in Australia there is company that produces 34 Tudor bodies with a standard three inch chop, hidden hinges and a filled cowl vent and they look don’t look genuine. At the end of the day it’s all down to what you as the owner wants to do. If you go ahead and chop it and then decide it’s too low it’s very hard to reverse it.
     
  29. texkbc
    Joined: Apr 27, 2007
    Posts: 397

    texkbc
    Member

    4" inch on this one upload_2020-4-27_8-45-38.png
     
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  30. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 15,862

    alchemy
    Member

    Here's my take, and you can take it for what it's worth. Chop it a little if you like, that won't hurt the value at all. But if you want to ruin the value with 90% of the hot rodding public, go ahead and tub it, fill with a ribbed roof, put in hidden hinges, and remove the door handles. Building hot rods is a fad-ish hobby, and all those things are passe'. They are not what the savvy builder is doing today. Maybe in 30 years those mods may come back into fashion, but that's a long wait. Right now, a stock body (all the original hinges, handles, and top insert) is worth way more than a smoothed off body.
     

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