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Bought a really bad project- so now what?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by aggieforester, Aug 29, 2010.

  1. slickschoppers
    Joined: Mar 15, 2007
    Posts: 160

    from Iowa


    honestly, the "original" frame lookes salvagable....... it can be fixed. it might be above your skill level..... it might not, the only way to know is to try....

    and unlike the last guy that looks like he didn't ask ANYONE for help, the OP seems more than willing to admit he doesn't know it all... (I sure don't either)

    THAT is what makes the difference!!! the ability to ask for help and others opinions... or screw it up BAD before you will admit you don't know.

  2. junk
    Joined: Mar 15, 2008
    Posts: 200


    Definitely seems savable and for a reasonable cost. It will take some ingenuity.

    The builder needs to be found and have all his wrenches cut in half!! Along with being charged for Cruelty to Cars.

    Animal planet has shows about animal cruelty does speed have shows about car cruelty?
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  3. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 29,584


    From what I looked at in the photos he pretty well nailed it. It's a mess but most all of that mess can be unbolted or cut off with a hand full of cutting disks in a day or so and most likely a new to the car I beam setup can just about be bolted on.

    A good shop could probably jack it up, remove all the scabbed on junk, install a I beam setup (new or take off from a car someone is updating) install a decent rear end with decent suspension , install the engine correctly and make a car out of it pretty easily and quickly. The key is finding out if they hacked up anything on the front of the frame especially the front crossmember. From what I can see it doesn't look like the guy had a cutting torch so you may be pretty well off except for the scabbed on suspension.
    Still I don't think you can get things squared away for 2000 unless you can find some bargains and do the work yourself. You would have to do almost all the work yourself and or have a couple of skilled buddies to help you to be able to get it squared away for that.

    I went back and looked at the photos again and unless the X member is hacked to clear the trans mission I don't think that there is any hacking on the frame anywhere. That iactually a pretty nice frame when you look past the scabbed on pieces. After the engine and trans are out it probably take all of 30 minutes of cutting and unbolting and cutting to get the scabbs off the front of the frame and another half hour of grinding the scab welds to be back to a damned nice original frame. Not much more work on the back to get it down to a bare frame ready to put the right stuff on. Don't kid yourself, there are guys on here who would sell off one of their kids for that frame as it sits as it is an easy fix.
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2010
  4. rusty metal
    Joined: Jun 27, 2010
    Posts: 14

    rusty metal
    from california

    just unbolt the junk he put on and hang it on your garage wall, then take a month and look at other builds and figure out which way you want to go on the suspension, if you have patience you will find good deals on everything you need to get it on a safe suspension.....

    when you get it driving again you can laugh at the junk hanging on the wall
  5. hotrod40coupe
    Joined: Apr 8, 2007
    Posts: 2,562


    First let me say that in my opinion, the asshole that built that chassis is guilty of Criminal Negligence and I would certainly be contacting the state Attorney General's Office to see if something can be done. With that being said, I agree with hellonwheels as far as fixing it goes. I did my first car when I was 13 and I didn't know my ass from third base but I figured it all out. Early fords are easy to work on and figure out. Put the chassis back to stock and then go from there. You should be able to do it for $1000 - $1500 where you live. Good luck, take your time and enjoy the challenge and the time with your daughter.
  6. Steve 38
    Joined: Jan 5, 2007
    Posts: 490

    Steve 38

    Wow. That is just scary! I feel bad for you because you seem like a nice guy, and trusted what this asshole told you. That really sucks. Here in New Zealand modified cars have to go through a compliance when they're first built/modifed, and EVERYTHING gets checked before they're allowed on the road. Then every 6 months all cars in NZ have to get a new Warrant of Fitness, where again they're thoroughly checked over for road worthyness.

    Sometimes I wish we had a more relaxed system like you guys have over there, but after seeing this sorry mess I'm kind of glad we don't have cars like that on our roads. Our road toll is bad enough as it is! If the US had something similar to what we have in NZ the fuckwit that cobbled that death trap together would still be stuck with it and you'd have bought something else.

    Best of luck, I hope it all turns out OK for you.
  7. Jonny69
    Joined: Jul 24, 2007
    Posts: 275

    from England

    I'm with this guy and all the other comments along the same lines. Most of the crap added to this car is bolted on or welded on so badly it'll all come off in a day very easily. Then you've got what looks like a good base for a car under there. It might be different from what you first expected to build but there is definitely a good base sat there.

    It would be much worse if it was all carefully welded on. It wouldn't be anywhere near as easy to reverse the damage :D
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 8,222


    Whoever/whomever built that chassis ought to be tied up with old inner tubes and pissed on by yard dogs!! I can appreciate doing one's best but WTF is that! I know it's no help to your question but holy shit the bed, that's bad. Start your search for a stock frame. I'm amazed at what sometimes pops up in the name of "store bought" chassis. Some guys dump the real ones cheap.
  9. panhead_pete
    Joined: Feb 22, 2006
    Posts: 2,695


    Couldnt see ant detailed chassis pics, maybe the others have but DONT PANIC!!! panic!!!! A new I beam front end from Vaphead (Eric at Riley Auto) is under $2K last time I checked and if the front cross member is there is an easy bolt up. YOU CAN DO THAT PART, especially if a HAMBer or two drops by. Beer and pizza are cheap :) Make sure the rest of the suspension and brakes are set up properly and you have a driver.

    If you can avoid taking the body off as thats a big time when projects stall. But its probably good insurance to do so and fully have a look.

    Just get a list and start working through it as $ and time allow. You'll learn a lot.
  10. panhead_pete
    Joined: Feb 22, 2006
    Posts: 2,695


    Yep, buy a built and liceneced rod in Western Australia and its going to be as good as it needs be then a whole lot more.

    Porknbeaner - you really are THE MAN! Generous MoFo that you are.

    Saw the chassis pics. Man not so good. Hang in there. Having read the whole thread now you have some HAMBers stepping up to help. Time for a build thread :)
  11. If I can cob together a stock front and '40 rearend to a Model A frame in half a day with a batch of mixed-up parts and no manuals or directions at all, to make a roller, you can take this thing apart and put a stock front end on and make it right. Even as I put mine together, I could see that if I wanted to come back and take it up a notch and make it roadworthy, it wasn't going to be very hard. The only thing you might need to have farmed out is mounts for the wishbone, since that's cut out.

    I would just put the word out and try and track down someone's takeoff parts from a guy going the 1-800-hot-rod route with IFS and all that crap. A lot of those guys have no idea anyone actually uses the stuff, so it's liable to be cheap.

  12. Truly!:cool:
  13. brad chevy
    Joined: Nov 22, 2009
    Posts: 2,627

    brad chevy

    You still haven"t posted this idiots name or a copy of the title,This dude needs to be shut down before he screws somebody else.
  14. Mike51Merc
    Joined: Dec 5, 2008
    Posts: 3,856


    Man this thread is a runaway train. I've never seen work so bad.

    Aggie, you seem like a nice guy that got taken advantage of although I feel you were wrong for not looking at this thing before forking over the cash. I wouldn't focus on fixing this thing, I'd focus on getting your money back or at least making the seller's life miserable for a while.

    You said "90%" complete. Was this advertised as such? What else did the ad say? Advertising is an express warrantee and a representation. Get a lawyer, not a mechanic. Any judge seeing those photos will slam the seller.
  15. 29nash
    Joined: Nov 6, 2008
    Posts: 4,544

    from colorado

    Yep, any good mechanic can see that; paying somebody else isn't always the answer. Enroll in a welding class at local community college. Whilst getting that done, like rusty metal says, jack it up, DIY, then when you're done you'll know what you got.
  16. 40FORDPU
    Joined: Mar 15, 2009
    Posts: 3,103

    from Yelm, Wa
    1. Northwest HAMBers

    You bought a used vehicle. Most used vehicles (especially old used vehicles), have had many hands on them, some are skilled and experienced, some not so much. The lesson learned is a valuable one, for you as well as your daughter (well worth the price of admission). Sure the seller was a P.O.S. as we all agree, but the lesson learned will stay with you for the rest of your, and your daughters life. The advise on here has been excellant, pick and choose the one that works best for you, and run with it.
  17. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,223


    That frame looks fine. If going back to Ford transverse, you don't need to weld anything.

    I would not pull the body off, that's just going to turn an easy job into a 3 year project that will never get done. There is NO need to pull the body on a car that "appears" to have been a well stored, unrusted, virgin car.

    The crap that was welded in with very cold welds will be easy to remove with no damage to the rails...the welds never penetrated.

    The rear end stuff will only take one hour to remove...including a coffee break.

    Don't turn it into a nightmare with "good intentions" by pulling the body.
  18. Diesel627
    Joined: Apr 19, 2008
    Posts: 319


    Holy crap that is bad!! I've laid out better welds with jumper cables, a battery, sunglasses, and a coat hanger! If you lived in Minnesota I help ya out with it, but like every one said it's easily fixable and shouldn't cost more than a few grand.
  19. A buddy of mine and I have always talked writing a book called "How NOT to build a car". This car would be perfect for the chassis section. The front suspension is very bad, but the rear is CRIMINAL! Was the previous owner a 10 year old?
  20. Invicta
    Joined: Sep 14, 2009
    Posts: 162


    I hate to kick a dead dog but damn that sucks.
  21. I'm building a 34 ford from the frame up. It's not my first or even 10th project so I know a little about old fords..
    Don't take the body off unless you plan to do a complete resto/build. IN fact...don't take any parts off yet. Price the parts you need and make a list...add up the costs of parts and ad at least 50% for small parts, hardware, paints and supplies like grinding discs, welding gas and wire, shipping expenses for parts etc etc etc..
    Only you know how much time you have to do this project and if it's for your girl, she probably needs a school car really soon, right? I doubt you have enough time/money to get it on the road for her school car.
    If you plan to keep the car for yourself, decide if you really have the drive to see a big project like this through to the's gonna take a lot of time and Money to finish safely. Yeah, I know there are a lotta posts claiming it's just going to take a front and rear suspension, new motor and some wiring.
    Bullshit. Those are the easy, fast parts of the build. The bills begin to pile up after buying the small stuff like a new alternator, starter, tranny, radiator...all stuff that's no doubt unusable from the current parts in the car. Then ad in all the brakes, little parts like pedals, new fuel pump, water pump, all belts/hoses, and on and on.
    If you have the time and pocketbook for this stuff..go for it. If not, you'll get discouraged before you get 1/2 way through.
    I knew this going in to my 34 coupe project and wasn't surprised when I got dejected because I didn't have a running car to take to the HAMB drags for 2 years in a row...when I worked in the shop and all my buddys were out having fun..when my wife complains about not spending time with her in the evenings because I'm thrashing on that car.
    It's worth it to me...but only you know if it's worth it to you. It's gonna be time consuming...
    Be honest with yourself when you weigh the pros and cons. You were thrust into this position with no lead-time to make any of these decisions......make them before pulling the car apart.
    I was faced with the same decisions when my kid wanted a hotrod for high school. He bought himself a 50 ford club coupe....I talked him into buying a $200 Plymouth Horizon 2 door "Just until he gets the 50 on the road"...yeah, he's 36 now and the coupe is over at his house in pieces...still. Oh, he's got his dream-coupe alright but it's never turned a wheel in over 20 years....just sayin.

    Attached Files:

  22. lostforawhile
    Joined: Mar 23, 2008
    Posts: 4,160


    I just saw the pictures for the first time, :eek: what was this guy smoking who sold this to you? the bolt going through the control arm would make me scared to even put it on the lift. and was that a contruction piece of tin holding suspension to the floor pan? YIKES!! people like to give me a hard time for building an off topic project, but I would NEVER do that kind of work!! and If I had a car in that condition I would have the concious to not sell it to someone!!
  23. Blue One
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 11,108

    Blue One
    from Alberta

    I agree, make public who this guy is !!
  24. This is going to be a lot more than just bolting on parts. If you're not consumed with the "New Girlfriend Syndrome" (Can't keep your hands off her) then I suggest you sell and find something more suitable.
    Paint bubbles=Bondo over rust
  25. chaos10meter
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 2,191

    from PA.

    All the talk of lawyers, law suits, and courts is pure bullshit unless you know the actual terms of the sale and what the seller verbally told the buyer, that can be verified. Lawyers have enough money let's not hand them more.
    I have sold plenty of hokey shit "(priced accordingly) "As is, where is", you get what you see "Guaranteed 10 seconds or 10 feet whichever comes first".
    I always tell them know what your buying, if you don't know the item bring a friend, cause once you hand me the cash it's yours, no returns, no phone calls, I do offer post consultation on a cash basis.

    To me it don't look that bad, get it off the frame, just tackle it a step at a time, one weld at a time, grind it out, make the proper pcs. fit it, weld it correctly.
    It will give you a lot of experience , gain some new welding skills, you'll be a real good welder when finished.
    It will be fun for you and your daughter.
    When done even if takes years , there is no better feeling than to stand back and say "We built that".
  26. 62rebel
    Joined: Sep 1, 2008
    Posts: 2,817


    you've got what appears to be a nice complete body and a solid frame. ditch the Aerostar shit (ALL of it especially the A4LD trans) and start hunting for proper parts to do this... IF you aren't fixated on how much the initial mistake has cost you. if you can't get past the shock of what you ended up with for how much you spent, sell it on, now. every dime and every minute you put in from now on is going to be counted against your returns. i gave up counting out how much a car cost me to build a LONG time ago, because it doesn't matter in the long run.

    i like the car from what i've seen OTHER than the glaring idiocy that was done to it... it's a good start for a project, just not a good buy for a ready to drive rod.

    if you really want to get shed of it, i'll trade you a '66 Falcon set up with a 302 and C4.
  27. lostforawhile
    Joined: Mar 23, 2008
    Posts: 4,160


    what happened to that car is plain and simple lack of pride in work, I don't care what you are building, traditional hot rod, muscle car, import, brittish car, whatever, if he had any sense of pride in his work, he would have never cobbled that crap together. I know someone who does carpentry work like that too, it falls down a lot. I hope the body is better under the paint, chances are there's chicken wire, steel wool, spray foam, wood screws and who knows what else under the bondo
  28. V4F
    Joined: Aug 8, 2008
    Posts: 4,186

    from middle ca.

    ive seen worse . i would buy a decent wire welder , angle grinder , torch & see how much i could fix . if you can go at it with patience & help , it will be a nice car . they are fairly rare & if you can do most of it , drive it for a few yrs , youll get your money back & some deserved fun .................. steve
  29. Shedrat29
    Joined: Jan 10, 2008
    Posts: 28


    Hi, this is a bit off the wall, but I wonder if the "builder" still has the original running gear off the 34.
    Maybe sitting in his yard.
    I know you probably don't want to really talk to the guy, but maybe worth a call.
    If it is, the buggar should give it to you.
  30. SWANKEY1
    Joined: Nov 14, 2009
    Posts: 67

    from Venice ca

    I agree with Hellonwheels , I would remove the shell take down to the frame remove the motor and trans .Start from there. Turn that Chicken shit into Chicken soup !

    My 2 bits..

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