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Hot Rods 48 Austin A40 Pickup - Gasser ?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Saxxon, Oct 26, 2016.

  1. Saxxon
    Joined: Dec 14, 2008
    Posts: 1,825

    Saxxon
    Member

    This might be a bit premature as I have no real intention of starting a serious build until I get the Scout sorted out a bit better but ... what the hell.

    I have always wanted one of these little monsters and I have rarely seen one in decent shape up for sale. I stumbled upon this one in the Saskatchewan Kijiji ads purely by chance. When I phoned the guy it turns out he's been a lifelong friend of one of the Scout's previous owners, Rich Bedford (Small world huh ??) which means he is familiar with the Scout back in the day and he has been creeping on the Manitoba Gasser Face book page to see what it has been up to lately. We talked more about the Scout then we did about the Austin. (But I digress)

    The Austin pictured was picked up as a project for one of the seller's customers but the build was never completed. The cab is in great shape with just some minor pinhole rust in the corners. The doors close with a "click" and the windows roll up very nicely. The box is out back in a pile of spare parts. Did you know the boxes on these things are made from aluminum ?? (Me neither...). The Austin trucks I've seen have been fetching stupid prices... even in poor condition. I was shocked to see the price was $1000 and he brought it down to $850 Cdn when he found out I knew Rich and ran the Scout ... SOLD !! ... Now all I have to do is go get it from Craik Saskatchewan - about 7 hours one way from where I am.

    The Plan:
    Well... tough call here. The call to do another purpose built race car is strong with this one but there is an opportunity here as this thing has a registration... which means I can street drive it if I chose. So instead of dropping in a fire breathing blown and injected 354 hemi and a torqueflight it might see a pump gas - something - just so I don't have to keep messing with it and I can run laps at the track or cruise on Sundays. Either way, Race or Street or Race / Street it while have a gasser style / flavor to it. Could be an interesting ride at only 92" wheel base and a stocker curb weight of 2000 lbs

    The front suspension will be history very fast and a transverse spring or coil over straight axle will find it's way underneath. These little 1/4 ton trucks came with a decent frame. If it's still in good shape then I'll box it and add in the requisite hoops and roll bar mounts. Rear suspension will get the ubiquitous ladder bars under it attached to something not quite as heavy as the Dana 60 in the Scout. I'll likely keep things simple and re-use the leaf spring style suspension (with new leafs) but the call to coil overs is pretty loud as well. A 6 point bar is a "for sure" which will make the already tight confines of the cab - even tighter. Might be tough for a broken fat old guy like me to crawl in an out of... but like I said - what the hell. It's common to put the gas pedal over by the passenger door just so the driver has some working room...

    Ric Panneton suggested I should make this SEG legal and offered a high winding 306 with a Nash 5 speed... the image of me stradeling the trans tunnel to reach the throttle with the knee of my clutch leg up into my chest all the while shifting from my hip was an interesting thought... If I was more than a few hours closer to the SEG activities I might consider that direction but for now I think I will learn from the Scout and keep things simple.

    My brother used to run a mid 11 second Ranger truck in the local brackets with a lot of success. It currently sits neglected in the corner of the shop while he and I run the vintage stuff and he crews his daughter's super-comp dragster. The Ranger has a 347 with a full roller valve train, 10.5 - 1 comp. and a decent set of alloy heads and intake. We figure it's good for about 475 hp. It also has a narrow 8.8 w 4;56 gears that just might find its way under the Austin.

    The goal is to build something different that I can run laps in at the track and not have to be wrenching on it all freak'n day. I would love to see this thing towing the Scout to the staging lanes... (like we did with the Prefect at the Fall Fall Out) With the potential track weight of under 2400 lbs with my butt in it - and the 347 I described, this thing should see high 10's with ease and still make the run into SAM's at Meltdown or the local cruise on a Sunday afternoon.

    This is where it begins
    $_27 (1).JPG $_27 (3).JPG

    This is the inspiration - except... you know... not on the trailer...

    download.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2016
  2. 51504bat
    Joined: May 22, 2010
    Posts: 3,487

    51504bat
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    If it turns out anything like the Scout it should be awesome!
     
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  3. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 51,242

    squirrel
    Member

    A 327 with a blower would be a lot of fun to race, and drive around. Set up right, blowers work great for traditional street/strip cars.
     
    GasserTodd likes this.
  4. Saxxon
    Joined: Dec 14, 2008
    Posts: 1,825

    Saxxon
    Member

    My brother and I were bench racing last night and if I decided to be really different and then throw caution and common sense out the window ... maybe we should build an all out 4 banger. You know - Hilborn injected on alcohol or maybe even a 3-71 blower and a single port injector... Visions of a period correct D or E/Gas monster dancing and bouncing down the track sounding like a pissed off sewing machine brought a silly little grin our faces and that far away look to our eyes... Hmmm... might even be able to get 300 hp out of it on a reasonable budget... Totally kills the streetable concept but we were just bench racing here ... right ??

    So the suggestions to date have been:
    • Roller 347 and a C4 - boring but predictable / low maintenance - and we have it (Big selling point !!)
    • 306 with a Nash 5 speed - a lot more fun to drive and watch - expensive and high maintenance
    • Do I even mention Ric's suggestion of the same 306 - injected on nitro ?? ... (better not)
    • Street style 327 with a 6-71 ... not bad... I already have experience with a 6-71 rebuild and happen to have 4 bolt 355 with a forged crank in the rafters ... hmmm
    • Race ready 4 banger - guess that means a 5 speed - Totally out of our comfort zone, pushes the budget - uber cool
    It's pretty much a given I will go with the 347 / C4 route (Because we have it) but let's open the floor to other suggestions for an engine / trans combination for this thing ?? Let's have some fun with this...
    Before you suggest an Allison in the bed or a quad cam McGee fuel motor - there should be a few guidelines to the exercise
    • Needs to be period correct to 1966 (no turbos, nitrous or rotaries)
    • Budget around 6K (ish) + transmission
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2016

  5. Model A John
    Joined: Apr 24, 2008
    Posts: 1,771

    Model A John
    Member
    from wichita ks

    Decisions, decisions. It's going to be a cool build, no matter which way you go with it. If it were me, I'd go with the Ford setup, since you already have it, and low maintenance is always desirable. I've seen you thrashing on the Scout. Maybe it's time to relax at the Meltdown?
     
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  6. porkshop
    Joined: Jan 22, 2004
    Posts: 1,705

    porkshop
    Member
    from Clovis Ca

    I also vote for the Ford set up. You have why not use it. The money you save on drivetrain can be put to the fit and finish of the truck...
     
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  7. Saxxon
    Joined: Dec 14, 2008
    Posts: 1,825

    Saxxon
    Member

    I clarified the post a bit - I know I'm going the 347 / C4 route but I thought it would be fun to see other suggestions and let some twisted imaginations have a voice. As stated - the $$$ it would cost to go a different route could be out against fit and finish

    Thanks guys
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2016
  8. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 11,308

    saltflats
    Member
    from Missouri

  9. porkshop
    Joined: Jan 22, 2004
    Posts: 1,705

    porkshop
    Member
    from Clovis Ca

    Then I would go with a blown 194 Pontiac... MickeyThompsonRail2.jpg
     
  10. Saxxon
    Joined: Dec 14, 2008
    Posts: 1,825

    Saxxon
    Member

    Oooh I like that Pontiac...
    That blown hemi looking thing looks like a small Red Ram or even a Daimlier... cool either way
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2016
  11. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 11,308

    saltflats
    Member
    from Missouri

    Daimler Hemi
    For had a V4 back in the days also.
    When thinking of a 4 banger I couldn't think of anything other than a 2.0 Pinto but that's to new.
    Not sure why that Pontiac didn't come to mind but I like it.
     
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  12. Deuced Up!
    Joined: Feb 8, 2008
    Posts: 4,105

    Deuced Up!
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

  13. porkshop
    Joined: Jan 22, 2004
    Posts: 1,705

    porkshop
    Member
    from Clovis Ca

    If you like that? how about one with the Mickey Thompson Hemi head???? 15450-2_R_15d7eeed.jpg
     
  14. m.kozlowski
    Joined: Nov 2, 2011
    Posts: 140

    m.kozlowski
    Member

    V4 would be fun, but it is far from tunable engine. Race wortless. But cool anyway. I've built a few.
    [​IMG]
     
  15. bchctybob
    Joined: Sep 18, 2011
    Posts: 3,683

    bchctybob
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    An Austin pickup, awesome!
    You'd better sit in that thing and see if you fit! They are notorious for having the gas pedal on the passenger's side and the steering wheel in your gut (I lived around the corner from C&O Hydros and Gene Conway's Austin PU A/GS truck - AKA Capt'n Crunch) My '40 Willys PU with a flat firewall isn't much better and I'm only 5'11".
    I vote for the 6-71/327 combo. A gasser needs a blower IMHO and you can do it nicely within your budget. I just did my Austin the same way - a left-over 4 bolt 355, dusty parts from the shelves and a few newly purchased parts. I spent just under 2K out of pocket including a new radiator and fan.
    It's fast and fun already and I'm still in the debug, tune and "get it to cool" stage right now.
    Here's a couple of inspirational "Before and After" shots...........
     

    Attached Files:

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  16. Saxxon
    Joined: Dec 14, 2008
    Posts: 1,825

    Saxxon
    Member

    This sh*t just became real...
    The Austin has arrived !!

    Craik Saskatchewan is 7.5 hrs from Winnipeg. My brother and I left Friday night and did an over night in Regina, about 5 hrs out. Saturday Morning we rolled into Craik, met a cool guy name Larry and loaded up the Austin and the extra pieces. The Austin was everything it was advertised. I almost feel bad that i'm going to pull the front and rear suspension out of this thing - it's that nice. We loaded, bench raced a bit and then hit the road. 7.5 hrs later we were home... all good.

    A friend has offered me space in a heated garage to store and work on it this winter. I have no desire to spend money on it for a bit - or until I`m done dumping money into the Scout - but there is a ton of stuff I can do to this without spending a dime. (take it apart, clean, reinforce the frame, shorten and narrow the bed...etc etc etc...) That offer might be the jump start I need to get this thing ready for Meltdown 2018

    Look how narrow it is - wow !!
    Looking to narrow the box about 6 inches - to reduce the `massive`look to it
    IMG_0327.JPG

    92 inch wheelbase
    Box will be shortened about 8 inches
    IMG_0328.JPG

    Grill came with it. Top and bottom sections.
    I also have bumpers, bumper mounts and an assortment of spare parts.
    That absolutely perfect front suspension is coming out - and being replaced with a straight axle.

    IMG_0331.JPG

    Going to try and keep the bench seat.
    May need some repair and some mods to clear the roll bar but it`s the correct angle to drive this thing. Especially when I pull the fire wall 6`closer to it. May put the throttle straight up and down or in the passenger side
    IMG_0332.JPG

    My trailer is too big - said no racer ever !!
    IMG_0333.JPG
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2016
  17. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 8,245

    junkyardjeff
    Member

    Never knew they made a truck version.
     
  18. Saxxon
    Joined: Dec 14, 2008
    Posts: 1,825

    Saxxon
    Member

    willysguy and loudbang like this.
  19. From old days here:
    [​IMG]
     
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  20. 64 DODGE 440
    Joined: Sep 2, 2006
    Posts: 4,350

    64 DODGE 440
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from so cal

    Loving this on a lot! Following this build.
     
    loudbang likes this.
  21. Put some water on that thing so it grows a little...lol
     
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  22. Saxxon
    Joined: Dec 14, 2008
    Posts: 1,825

    Saxxon
    Member

    And so it begins:

    Spent a couple of hours with my friend James tearing into the Austin. We would have had the drive-train out if we hadn't run into some weird size bolts holding the transmission and mount. They aren't 13mm and not 14mm. Not 1/2 in and not 7/16... very odd. Oh well nothing a grinder and cutting discs won't rectify.

    Should have seen the "safe" removal of the coil springs under tension. Included the use of impact guns, 3 ton jacks and some "oh shit" use of tools at an arm's length distance. As if that would have saved us. In the end we survived and no-one lost a limb.

    Next weekend the cab is coming off and that drive-train is coming out... Whether it wants to or not... If I don't have the correct wrenches then a cutting torch and the previously mentioned stack of cutting discs will come into play.

    The more this thing comes apart the more I'm happy with it. When we pulled the fenders off I expected to see some rot in the water puddling areas... there was none, nothing, zip... no rot at all. Just primered metal. Soooo happy with this so far.


    IMG_0351[1].JPG
    IMG_0350[1].JPG
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2016
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  23. 0NE BAD 51 MERC
    Joined: Nov 12, 2010
    Posts: 1,485

    0NE BAD 51 MERC
    Member

    Didn't the English use something called wentworth fasteners or something like that? I know I had some weird size bolts on one on my older BSA motorcycles back in the 70's.
     
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  24. bigheadbaxter
    Joined: Feb 18, 2007
    Posts: 229

    bigheadbaxter
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    This thing is awesome, never seen one. Are the slots on the cab behind the doors semaphore style turn signals?


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
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  25. Saxxon
    Joined: Dec 14, 2008
    Posts: 1,825

    Saxxon
    Member

    They are in indeed - semaphore turn signals... and I have them. At least I have pieces of them. One looks good the other might need replacing. I have semaphores from the Prefect build as well. Between the 2 I might have 2 working units

    After some research - yes - they are Whitworth fastener / bolts. What a pain they are. Especially when you don't have the correct wrenches and sockets. It would be a big disappointing if the capture nuts used for the fender mounts are a different thread from something I can find local.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2016
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  26. 64 DODGE 440
    Joined: Sep 2, 2006
    Posts: 4,350

    64 DODGE 440
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from so cal

    I remember back in the mid '50s my dad had an old MG and had a full set of Whitworth wrenches in a separate box for working on it. Wish I had those tools now just for the memories.
     
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  27. Whitworth was the first guy to standardise nuts and bolts so they could be mass produced and have the same size thread and thread pitch.

    Whilst his design has been superceded by better calculated pitches and sizing, we all have a lot to thank him for.

    Before Whitworth each nut was made for a specific (individual) bolt,

    Probably one of the earliest examples of mass production and and he was probably dead before Henry Ford "mass produced" a motor vehicle.
     
  28. Saxxon
    Joined: Dec 14, 2008
    Posts: 1,825

    Saxxon
    Member

    Cab has been separated from the frame, engine and transmission out. A borrowed set of 12 point Whitworth sockets made life a bit easier (Thanks Larry)

    I am at the point where I need to make decisions regarding suspension and drive train so I can make changes to the frame. Shoot - even the frame is a decision. The current frame is in great shape but I can't ignore most of the builds I've seen for these trucks that simply build a new 2x3 frame. As far a decision is concerned I think I'll start with the easy one and make the call on the rear suspension. Ladders bars have always been the plan but I believe I'll stay with the current leaf spring set up that's on the truck. It's a less expensive set up and should work just fine.

    It's also at a point where I need to spend some money on it for materials and maybe even pony up for some parts so I can keep moving forward. Slow - but forward
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2017
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  29. Saxxon
    Joined: Dec 14, 2008
    Posts: 1,825

    Saxxon
    Member

    Decision Made on the front suspension. Now I'm hoping this isn't one of those - too good to be true - situations. eBay purchase for less than half price from JohnnyLawMotors. (I have eBay and shipping confirmations so who knows???). Regardless, I wasn't going to spend money on the truck this year but the price was way too good to pass up and it's virtually identical to the C&O Automotive Gasser I am using for inspiration.

    [​IMG]
     
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  30. Deuced Up!
    Joined: Feb 8, 2008
    Posts: 4,105

    Deuced Up!
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Here is one with the original style bed still on it.
    gas-myer.jpg
     
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