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Are "Parts" where you see them?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by GTS225, Nov 9, 2006.

  1. GTS225
    Joined: Jul 2, 2006
    Posts: 1,183


    Wondering what kind of items that some have used for rod parts that weren't originally intended to be used a a "car" part. (Pics would be a bonus.)
    I know at least one of you has used an old fire extinguisher as an overflow. How about odd-ball "trinkets" as air cleaners or stacks/scoops?

  2. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    I think one key skill of hotrod scrounging is learning to go through a junkyard or hardware store and spot SHAPES that will be useful in scrap, door hinges, brackets, etc. We are surrounded by complex pieces of metal, and often a slice of some existing widget will fill and automotive need perfectly.
    This skill is MOST useful for those who lack lathes and welding skill--someone out there has already done your fabricating for you, you just need to spot the garage door or furnace part that contains the bit.
    Joined: Sep 9, 2006
    Posts: 145


    lots of poeple use vintage boat sterring wheels...
  4. HemiRambler
    Joined: Aug 26, 2005
    Posts: 4,205


    I agree wholeheartedly with Bruce! Here's one of my favorites.....when I was throwing together my Rambler I scooped up some of the spare parts for my '34 Plymouth - specifically a tired 392 and a pushbutton trans. The problem was that my spare trans had a crushed to hell dipstick tube. These trans weren't exactly easy to find then (pre internet) and the bend was so tight that I had no means of fabricating/duplicating it. So there I stood grasping at straws and looking around the garage. When UREKA!! There it was! The LAWN CHAIR with the super tight bends that was exactly the same diameter as the damaged dipstick tube. I cut it apart and spliced it in - viola - I was on the road!

  5. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 4,876


    I've scrounged some good stuff. Here's the current set up on my 383 Mopar in my 57 Ford: '72 Pontiac alternator bracket (upside down), mustang radiator, motor mounts are fabricated angle steel, plate, and drilled rubber stoppers, throttle linkage is polished stainless fuel line, upper radiator hose from an 89 V6 Ford ranger....the list goes on and on. Any body can clobber stuff together, a true artist can make it look and function well
  6. Salty
    Joined: Jul 24, 2006
    Posts: 2,259

    from Florida

    I used CD jewel cases cut down for tinted guage panel backings (for the turn signal flashers and brights) I also use a machined aluminum mixing arm from a remote control helicopter for a hide away door cam
  7. AllSteel34
    Joined: May 8, 2006
    Posts: 220


    I used a section of an old steel cabinet door to fill a tailgate. It had a hat section spot welded to the back to stiffen it. Worked out fine.

  8. Petejoe
    Joined: Nov 27, 2002
    Posts: 10,850

    from Zoar, Ohio

    I agree with Bruce here. I can fab but usually dont have the proper tools to make what needs accomplished so i scrouhge for something that looks good and is functional.
    Here's an earlier cob job i did..
    The shroud you see for the fan is in fact a cover from a plastic garbage can lid. it even has the recycled insignia on the plastic showing. I am a tacky son of a gun..

  9. RatBone
    Joined: Sep 15, 2006
    Posts: 660


    I made a fan shroud from one of the rings from an old wooden barrel. It even had the old rivets and was probably older than the car.
  10. t-town-track-t
    Joined: Jan 11, 2006
    Posts: 884

    from Tulsa

    OK, I do this all the time, mostly because I am broke, and think it adds more character to a project. Anyone can pull out the speedy bill cataloug. My most recent use of such an item is completely O/T but I am pretty proud of it. On one of my older O/T vehicles, chin spoilers can run upwards of $300. And 6 months on the road with one, its hit curbs, rocks, etc.... So you threw away $300.

    Instead I went to Home Depot, and purchased a $3.00 piece of "base cove" and riveted it to the front of my car with $1.00 worth of rivets. So I now have a chin spoiler that is flexible and will bend/rebound if hit with something(already happened) and if it gets screwed up, it cost me under $5.

  11. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 48,340


    not me man, everything on my car was made to go on a car!

    except the exhaust tips

    Attached Files:

    • tips.jpg
      File size:
      20.9 KB
  12. Lets See Hmmm?
    Inverted Kids Wheelbarrow As Firewall Recess..
    Multi Wire Extention Cord As Engine Wiring In My Scooter (no Need To Shrink Wrap)..
    Various Old Chrome Tubing(elbows) From Cannister Vacuum Cleaners As Needed Radiator Hose Conectors
    The Reflective Metallic Packaging From New Computer Parts Bags As Bulb Reflectors In Old Taillites/headlites

    One 15x10 Cracked Mag Wheel As Hose Holder On Garage Wall
    The Plastic Office Memo Holders As Door Pocket Liners

    I Have Used Part Of A 3 Tiered Chrome Candy Dish Server As A Air Cleaner Top
    I Am Still Gonna Use The Multi Stepped Aluminum Turkey Roaster I Have As A Aircleaner Cover Some Where?

    Martha Stewart Tips "its A Hot Rod Good Thing"
  13. Gigantor
    Joined: Jul 12, 2006
    Posts: 3,825


    I've been driving around town and have seen a lot of the electrical utility box covers sporting some louvers in nice long rows on nice flat steel... my mental gears have already started grinding and my old sticky fingers have started itching... WE SHALL SEE.
  14. tommy
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 14,757

    Member Emeritus


    Dip stick handle.


    Gear shift knob. You'd think I was a big drinker but I'm not.
  15. I found an old 11-gallon portable air tank on the side of the road. Somebody had tossed it because the rubber hose was cracked open, but otherwise it was in pretty good shape. I cut the handles and feet off of it and did some welding and brazing and turned it into a fuel tank with a cool chrome flip-top lid. I'm going to use it in my '32 Ford pickup.

    I found an old mudflap from an old Peterbilt truck and have used that to make a lot of things, like heavy muffler hanger straps, pads for jackstands, radiator mount cushions, etc. It's 7/16" thick and has a bunch of layers of nylon webbing in it. To cut round holes in it, I use a piece of thin wall brass tubing that I sharpened that I chuck up in the drill press -- it's like a hole-saw blade for rubber.

    I find lots of uses for steel junk that I find. I made a lot of the floor panel pieces out of a big steel panel that came off the back of a machine they junked where I work. Nice 16 gauge steel and no rust.

    I make a lot of tools for metalworking out of junk. Like a piece of railroad track makes a nice anvil. I used a 4' long piece of railroad track with some huge chains and a 12 ton bottle jack to straighten the frame of my '31 Plymouth. Or the bottom of those rectangular plates with the square holes that you find near railroad tracks make a nice surface to hammer something flat on.

    I made a stand to hold my doors on while I painted them out of pieces of an old swing set I tore down years ago. I welded the top tube of the swingset vertically to the center of an old Pontiac wheel as a base. I bent some huge nails and welded them to the sides of the tall pole and hung the doors on them by the holes in the hinges. I used another piece of that swingset to make a t-shaped piece on top with some wire coming down to keep the doors from swinging around. Worked great. I hate to throw away any steel stuff, because you never know when you might be able to make something out of it.

    In my old house, I made a garden hose reel out of a DeSoto wheel bolted to the wall with a nice shiny stainless steel DeSoto hubcap on it. I sold that house about 13 years ago and I see the new owners still have it there. It's the coolest thing on the house.

  16. foolonthehill
    Joined: Dec 15, 2004
    Posts: 30


    got a honda bike with a tank made from a vw gas heater end cap,sheet metal rolled around my leg and model a style headlight bucket brazed on the other end....the exhaust pipe is a metal tube bedpost...the hurricane bobber
    has a tank made from a fire extingisher and is mounted on the right rear
    swingarm (electric fuelpump)...the roadster body is made from pieces from two donor vehicles and pop riveted together...john deere radiator, the schoolbus stoplight bracket is made from a wrought iron handrail support
  17. Machobuck
    Joined: Aug 1, 2006
    Posts: 221



    I want to make a bumper of some sort out of highway guardrail...Some of the ones I've seen around here have a nice shape to em...I dont know?
  18. markanthony
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 337


    Also, where you find them...

    working on using two 8" round cake pans to make a "stock looking" aircleaner for the 2x1 intake my little 235. Also working on using two steel cookie sheets for a fan shroud... just so happens that my boss is a chef :)
  19. Squirrel there was a kid I went to highschool with that used a pair of small coffee cans painted black and screwed to his fenderwells to look like dumps I think he saw an article about in the hot rod ot r&C or something like that.:eek: :D

    80+ year old typsetters box for battery/tool box.

    The carb cover is part of an ingersaul rand screw compressor ( stainless), if you look on the far side of the radiator you'll just barely see a clorox bottle that I use for an overflow.
  20. bobw
    Joined: Mar 24, 2006
    Posts: 2,368


    Bought a set of 4 movie theater seats, 1940's deco style, from a surplus store. Had to build 2 rods to use all four.
    Used a hockey puck for a gas cap.
    Dismantled a sofa that was going to the dump and salvaged the oak frame wood for framing the doors in a 'glass T-Bucket.
  21. Nads
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 11,632

    from Hypocrisy

    Yes, I once made a tuxedo out of Spanish moss.
  22. GTS225
    Joined: Jul 2, 2006
    Posts: 1,183


    OK, guys.....I'll come clean. The reason I asked this question was because I may have (re)discovered a source of "trinket" parts for my/our creative minds. I did have the thought that it might appear trashy, though, and wanted to get a "feel" for the creative minds in this group.

    I was "sort of" forced into tagging along with my wife into a used goods store. (I'm not usually that big into "shopping"). While I was wandering around letting the wife do her thing, I stumbled across a set of three of these;
    (Shown here are one assembled, one disassembled and a Holley model 1904 for size comparison.)

    Two thoughts come to mind;
    A set of three air cleaners for a tri-single setup. The stem is solid brass, so it would be easy to screw it back into place, cut it off and finish it into a bullet shape on top of the perforated cup. (Sorta like this);

    The other was for a couple of tail, stop, or turn signal lamp housings. The perforations would add a different appearance to things. I starting to look at things with "better" eyes? This is also something you guys might want to look into. All those brass "trinkets" that one can pick up at a used outlet might have some good uses.

  23. MercMan1951
    Joined: Feb 24, 2003
    Posts: 2,654


    I'm tellin' you guys...I had this idea..I think it could work!
  24. Frank
    Joined: Jul 30, 2004
    Posts: 2,321


    The thrift stores are a great place to find things like that. Especially in kitchenwares.

    I'm not feeling it with that particular piece.
  25. bulletproof1
    Joined: Feb 23, 2004
    Posts: 2,080

    from tulsa okla

    my grandpa made a air compresser by mounting a york A/C compresser witha electric motor(washing machine) ,fan belt.old lawnmower frame.5 gallon air tank...plugged it into the wall and it went to work..if he needed it away from the shop he had a extention cord hanging on the handle.wish id taking a pic of it before he died..i aired up allot of bike tires over the years with that thing...really had to be carefull if the dew was heavy in the morning... extention cord was also homemade......some of the later ones had a pressure switch that would kick the clutch in and out.
  26. GTS225
    Joined: Jul 2, 2006
    Posts: 1,183


    Frank, you bring up a very valid point. There's a "spiritual" element to building, also. Sure, we can take the oddball piece and turn it into something usable and different, but maybe it should "feel" right doing it, too. Something to consider, here. (add reflective pause.) Thanks

  27. rob lee
    Joined: Jul 30, 2006
    Posts: 1,327

    rob lee
    from omaha,ne

    I used as much free stuff as i could on my truck.The radiator cage was old porch railing,my headers were old drag boat pieces and my favorite part is my overflow,to old to use it anymore and it works !http://[​IMG]

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