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Projects 1949 Chevy Sports Coupe

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by displaced_kiwi, Jun 14, 2016.

  1. displaced_kiwi
    Joined: Nov 20, 2005
    Posts: 246


    I figure its about time I posted a basic build up post on my 49 Chevy Sports Coupe Deluxe. With all the recent posts about truckstell overdrives and t-bird interiors, I figure I better get it out there!

    I bought it 4 or so years ago from a hamber in Seward, Nebraska. It had been put in a barn in 74 and left. The story is that the owner wanted a car with air conditioning for the family. So he bought a new car and parked the Chevy. The inspection sticker on the windscreen is Nebraska 1974.

    I redid some wiring, plugs, points, leads, radiator, rebuilt the carb etc and got it running again. I gutted the interior as it had been mouse infested and stank. I've always like the thunderbird rear wrap around seats so I located and worked in a 65 T-bird interior (I'm not quite finished that yet). New clutch, pressure plate. New gaskets on the transmission. Found and Installed a pretty rare truckstell closed driveshaft overdrive unit. Replaced the front drum brakes with disc brakes and changed to a mustang dual master cylinder, utilizing the original brake and clutch pedals. 1955 Chevy rims with "bias looking" radials from Coker. Calnevar Cadillac crested hubcaps. Rebuilt the rear wheel cylinders and new brake shoes. 3" blocks in the rear and 1 coil cut from front. Installed a Larger fuel tank, which in hindsight I should have bought a standard tank as with the rear being lowered the tank scrapes every so often.
    Next I will pull the 216 and put in a 1958 full pressure 261... Of course it will have multiple carbs...

    I decided to roll the dice and drive the 49 Chevy coupe to Dewey Oklahoma last month for the ‪#‎straykat500‬ It's one event I try not to miss each year. This was the first time I had taken it outside my local KC area. The 49 made it down and back! The overdrive worked great and made all the difference in cruising. It changed what was 50 mph to 65mph at the same rpm in top gear.

    Pics below and I'll update the post when I get onto the engine or if I make any other progress/changes to it.

    (Hey mods, if this isn't Custom enough, move it to the general board. I wasn't exactly sure)


  2. ACO.OG
    Joined: Dec 10, 2015
    Posts: 119


    Looks great man!

    T-bird interior looks pretty good in there. It looks like you did some fab work on the window garnishes?
    gsnort, Paul B and juan motime like this.
  3. displaced_kiwi
    Joined: Nov 20, 2005
    Posts: 246


    Thanks. Theres a lot of time, (mainly cause I am slow and everything takes me 3 times as long as it should, then I redo it!), in making the seats look like they belong and flow. I have reworked the window garnish moldings (this is the second attempt at those), the sides under the rear windows, seat back area etc. But I am happy with how its turning out.
    chop job and kidcampbell71 like this.
  4. NashRodMan
    Joined: Jul 8, 2004
    Posts: 1,299


    That car is very nice/cool!! You did a great job on it.
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  5. i.rant
    Joined: Nov 23, 2009
    Posts: 1,868

    from Illinois
    1. 1940 Ford

    Your car is sweet! Sold my 49 three years ago and still regretting it.:(:mad:
  6. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 18,740

    Jalopy Joker

  7. txturbo
    Joined: Oct 23, 2009
    Posts: 1,724


    I have one in the classifieds.
  8. Devin
    Joined: Dec 28, 2004
    Posts: 2,352

    from Napa, CA

    Really nice ride. Well done
  9. Beautiful car! The seats fit perfectly even if they come from the very end of the HAMB-friendly era.
  10. Caddy-O
    Joined: Aug 8, 2006
    Posts: 1,644


    The 49/50 Coupes are my favorite, and black on top of that. Please pm me if you're ever inclined to sell or trade it
    39poncho likes this.
  11. 'Mo
    Joined: Sep 26, 2007
    Posts: 4,148


    juan motime, telekenfun and 504640 like this.
  12. displaced_kiwi
    Joined: Nov 20, 2005
    Posts: 246


    Thanks everyone. I am really happy with how its turning out.

    Yeah, the seats just squeak in to the hamb friendly era. But they were the vision I always had for the car. At various times did think about keeping it all 49-59 parts and even though I haven't made any changes that cannot be reversed if I felt so inclined, reality is I am not likely to go back. I am undecided on what to do with the steering wheel to kind of tie in the seats era to the dash era.

    I've read about Sondre Kvipt's Barris 49. Its a really nice car, simple and clean. The 49/50 chevy coupes are an awesome canvas to start with.
  13. The Kalaheo Kid
    Joined: Dec 5, 2013
    Posts: 26

    The Kalaheo Kid
    from Kauai, HI

  14. displaced_kiwi
    Joined: Nov 20, 2005
    Posts: 246


    Hi all
    Time for a quick update. I pulled the 216 and last weekend I got the 261 bolted in place. Its a stock full pressure 261 from a truck, circa 1958/59. I have put the car water pump on it, 12v generator, caw valve cover, edmunds intake, zenith carbs, fenton headers, reworked front plate for the 49 factory motor mounts. Still lots of work to do, build exhaust, work out remote oil filter, new pcv setup, 12V conversion, rewire engine bay, make throttle and carb linkages & fuel lines... you guys know the story :)

    Last year I busted balls to get the truckstell overdrive and interior sorted out to take it to the stray kat 500, this year I have the goal of taking it to the SK500 with the 261 powering it along.

    Last edited: Mar 28, 2017
  15. Lookin great Kiwi....
  16. displaced_kiwi
    Joined: Nov 20, 2005
    Posts: 246


    Thanks KiWinUS ex Ashburton. I am ex Dunedin, loving the old American iron and of course the price of petrol :)
  17. Atomic Kustom
    Joined: Feb 5, 2010
    Posts: 159

    Atomic Kustom

    Looks good Ricki can't wait to hear it runnin'
  18. telekenfun
    Joined: Mar 9, 2010
    Posts: 244


    Hey Ricki, It's KB here! "Way To Go". Your dreams are getting fulfilled. I know it didn't just happen either. You have spent a lot of energy towards this end. It is rewarding for me to find a fellow traveler who can appreciate a "Truckstell OD". I'm happy you found a 261 for your rig, You'll soon find out what a difference 50 extra cubes will do. The torque from the longer stroke is impressive.
    You must be living right as well to score such gems as the Edmunds manifold and a pair of Zeniths. If your 261 is already drilled and tapped for a full flow filter your are double lucky. You may want to re tap and increase the line size for that oil filter if you want to use Fram spin-on adapter. With their adapter you can use an anti flow-back filter which prevents all the galleries from drain back into the pan, resulting in dry starts after setting overnight. I posted our setup on our Buick for "Devon" on his thread on HAMB. I wish I knew how to attach a link here so you can get the idea.
    You also want to fit your Edmunds with some water heat so that the fuel vapor stays in suspension for better distribution and smooth running. It makes a huge difference. I just used another loop of the heater feed using a military 302 thermostat housing that has an extra threaded outlet for a 5/8"hose bib.
    I welded a halfpipe of 1 1/2" Aluminum to the underside of the intake, capped and threaded each end for 5/8" hose bibs. If you go for water heat and can't find one of those "T" housings, PM me and I'll send you one.
    Also I notice that going by the Truckstell picture that you still haven't put together the kick-down mechanism. I've got extras so let me know.
    I love that no name valve cover, where on earth did that come from. It's just waiting for your own LOGO in it when all else is done!
    Keep up the great work, your coupe is really coming together.
    Best Regards and good luck with all your endeavors, KB.
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2017
  19. 10/4 on the gas price , hey if you are wanting a cam for that chevy 6 , let me know , I grind & sell the KiWi-L100 cam for flatheads but I believe my cam grinder of 55 years has some old chevy straight 6 grinds.
  20. displaced_kiwi
    Joined: Nov 20, 2005
    Posts: 246


    Cheers Greg, me too! We can line up your coupe and mine for another comparison. I'm looking forward to seeing yours down a little :)

    Thanks Tony. I'll get in touch if I rebuild the 261. My next project is a 34, I have a complete original running chassis waiting in the wings, so I might be in touch for a flathead cam, but that won't be for quite some time :)

    Thanks KB and also thanks for your email help over the past while and the documentation on the truckstell. I am slowly building the image of the car thats stuck in my head!

    I'll get in touch about the kick down once I have it the 49 back on the road. I do have parts of the kick down linkage, but for now I have a spacer in it and am activating with the push/pull cable.

    The valve cover is a cool piece. Its a "C.A.W" cover and has a small bit of writing int he middle of it. Cant remember exactly, but says C.A.W, Colorado, Patent Pending or something along those lines. Its a solid casting. Story is the guy owned a fleet of dump or garbage trucks and had these cast to quieten down the cab for his drivers. I like it as its a period piece, alloy and not ribbed, so it matches up nicely with the Edmunds intake.

    I'll search for the thread you mentioned for oiling. It already is a full flow motor and came with the external filter. (diverter pin is in, not flush). I reusing the original oil filter that I am relocating to the inner fender. It has the 1/2" npt oil ports. Right now I am building the exhaust, snaking it down and around, keeping in mind clearance or where I will route oil lines. I cannot come straight out on the rear line (oil in) as the handbrake mechanism cuts through there. It'll come out in the wash! I'll post progress pics when I get more done.

    Last edited: Apr 1, 2017
  21. gsnort
    Joined: Feb 5, 2008
    Posts: 67


    Your Chebby is looking so cooooooooooooooool. Great back seat.
  22. displaced_kiwi
    Joined: Nov 20, 2005
    Posts: 246


    So I missed my goal by a long shot, but not for lack of commitment and finally I did take it for its first drive in the weekend. Drove it to the Old Marais River Run in Ottawa, KS. It wasn't so much about the show, but the journey getting there!

    It took me a lot more hours than I thought as I do everything myself and I wanted to keep the 261 oil filter with the same style of hydraulic lines as they used in the factory, and also have the split exhaust, keep the 49 handbrake etc, there was a lot competing for that space and it took me days just to weld up the exhaust downpipes so they cleared everything, then days/maybe weeks to work out the oil lines and pipes, then more days to fabricate the carb linkages, fuel lines, battery tray, make up a pcv system, build more exhaust system etc etc.

    I rewired the car from the gauges forward as the old wires were fragile/brittle with too many bare patches. I used a modern fuse panel, mounting it to the back of the instrument access panel on the firewall. I converted to 12 volts and stayed with a generator and ammeter.

    I did manage to fit in dual "Mini Super Chargers" under each carb (I know they are gimmicky, but they are period and I figure they are a good talking point for the observant. At worst they must give me a small ram tube effect... right ?

    First impressions are that I really like the 261 ! It just wants to go and with the Zenith carbs having the adjustable main jets, I am dialing it in a lot quicker than the Sedan Delivery. More work to do of course, but this is good progress :) Next I will run the exhaust all the way out back, hopefully through the bumper somewhere / somehow, then finish off the interior and clock up some miles.





    slv63, shedzed, chop job and 7 others like this.
  23. my50chevy
    Joined: Oct 30, 2009
    Posts: 68


    Hey Displaced_Kiwi
    Nice looking ride. I was wondering what trans are you running? Im about getting ready to do a 261 install myself. Im just trying to gather info for my project.

  24. displaced_kiwi
    Joined: Nov 20, 2005
    Posts: 246


    Thanks Marc

    I am running the standard 3 on the tree trans, but coupled to a truckstell overdrive, which gives me 2.94 when in o/d, vs the stock rear end for a '49 which is 4.1 (from memory). For bolting the 261 to the original '49 car trans, I used the flywheel, clutch, pressure plate and bell housing from the original 216. I converted to 12v keeping the original 6v starter motor.

    If I didn't stumble across the truckstell o/d, I would have done one of the following...
    a. Stock trans with power glide rear end. The pg is a 3.54 gearing
    b. If I wanted to keep the column change I would have looked for a later 3 speed o/d saginaw from a nova. (open drive line conversion would be needed - new rear end and driveshaft). Not certain on what is needed to bolt the trans to the 261, but guys certainly do it.
    c. Floor shift with a t5 5 speed trans. Kits are available to bolt up. Would also mean going open drive line conversion.

    telekenfun likes this.
  25. zeph4057k
    Joined: Nov 28, 2011
    Posts: 451


    really sharp !
    displaced_kiwi likes this.
  26. telekenfun
    Joined: Mar 9, 2010
    Posts: 244


    Ricki, KB here, Glad to hear you got the 261 installed and running. Your Edmund and Zeniths is the perfect hopup intake setup to put on her. I like your "superchargers" too. I was intrigued with the ads for those in the back of magazines since I was a kid. I never could figure out how they could increase power unless those spinning blades help chop up fuel droplets into smaller particles. There appears to be some vents on the sides of each of those housings. Are they functional, adjustable or just for looks? I'm guessing you get a pretty good launch feeling now from the 261 with the 4.10 rear. Please be careful there, The torque of a 261 makes the tranny and the "U" joint the next week link. I hope you have the reverse gear OD cancel linkage sorted out. I have a kick down wedge, housing and cable for you if you haven't found one yet.
    You posted your next step is to run the exhaust out the rear. Are you using Fentons? Are you going for straight pipes or glasspacks?Smittys!
    Let us know what your acceleration characteristics feel like in comparison to the stock setup was like. Also what is your highest comfortable cruise speed and RPM at now that you've made all these upgrades.
    Keep posting your project, I think it is the coolest old school Chevy on HAMB!
    Best Regards and Good Luck with all your endeavors, KB.
    displaced_kiwi likes this.
  27. shedzed
    Joined: Jul 1, 2015
    Posts: 4


    very nice ,
    displaced_kiwi likes this.
  28. FrankenRodz
    Joined: Dec 20, 2007
    Posts: 740


    Love what you're doing. Nice to see one of these models with a 1-color exterior. It really changes the look of the car.
    displaced_kiwi likes this.
  29. displaced_kiwi
    Joined: Nov 20, 2005
    Posts: 246


    Thanks KB.
    Yes, fentons. I built the start of the exhaust, split into glass packs. It was a pain to thread the needle from the fentons down, around and under the car. Still need to finish off the exhaust. I would like to run the pipes thru the rear bumper, but not sure if I can pull it off. I'll attach some pics of building the exhaust and where I left off with the exhaust & car at the end of September. I had surgery in Oct so haven't been able to get back to it. Probably be March or April before this journey continues. I will email you when I do get to the kick down OD cancel. I know I have some of the linkage/mechanism, not sure if I have all of it or not. At the moment it is permanently set with a spacer.

    Its a lot more torque with the 261 and it just wants to pull away, a lot snappier than the 216. I can sit on 70-75 easy enough. Not sure of rpm's, but sitting on 70 is probably more comfortable for longevitey :) I am very happy with the 261.

    My only immediate(ish) issue is the charging system. I converted to 12v with the 261 change and rewired the front of the car. There is some funny business going on with either the 12v generator or regulator or perhaps the wiring or the battery... I am suspecting the regulator.

    Cheers FrankenRodz. I have been following your chevy build as well, and kudos to you, your doing a great job on your car. As far as I can tell its all original paint and has never had any repairs done to it. It has a couple of small dents on it, but I am reluctant to mess with the body as its so original and solid.

    I hope you guys all have a happy new year


    IMG_0446.jpg IMG_0351.jpg IMG_0343.jpg
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2017
    telekenfun likes this.
  30. chevy54man
    Joined: Feb 7, 2013
    Posts: 1,676

    from NC

    Beautiful little Chevy, I love it!

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