Register now to get rid of these ads!

Projects CHEN's '31 Coupe Build

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by CHEN, Jul 11, 2014.

  1. CHEN
    Joined: Oct 21, 2009
    Posts: 58


    Hi Everyone,
    You probably don't remember me, but I introduced myself about 4 years ago when I was thinkin about buyin a car haha. Here's my intro thread:

    Not too much has changed. I've built a bunch of bikes since then and now, and still have ZERO experience with any type of car. Well, I recently sold a '76 shovel chop and I bought my very first car!

    Here's a pic of the Shovel I built and sold:

    And here's a picture of the car I bought with the money I got from the Shovel:

    The car is in pretty good condition as far as I can tell. Doesn't seem to be any rust spots where things are falling apart, but I won't really know until I start to tear into it.

    The plan is to channel it, no chop, maybe a small block chevy or 331 caddy motor, I got leads on both but no idea of the condition of either yet. I honestly don't even know where to start with all this yet, but I'm very excited. You can be sure I'll be doing a lot of homework on the forum and also asking a bunch of questions.
  2. Definitely a step in the right direction,,hard to beat a Model A coupe. HRP
  3. Pete
    Joined: Mar 8, 2001
    Posts: 4,578


    Chen, your the man, now get krakalakin!!!
  4. mikeallcars
    Joined: Feb 16, 2012
    Posts: 1,316


  5. brady1929
    Joined: Sep 30, 2006
    Posts: 8,520


    Great start. With your mechanical skills you should not have any problems.
  6. madmak95
    Joined: May 12, 2005
    Posts: 773


    Good solid start......nice bike too.
  7. Bib Overalls
    Joined: Aug 3, 2001
    Posts: 4,071

    Bib Overalls

    Have you considered keeping it the way it is for a while. May be a dropped axle and hydraulic brakes. There are a lot of guys here with full fendered banger motored Model As. Drive it while you get a handle on what you want, acquire the parts, and get the chassis built.
  8. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,413

    Atwater Mike

    That was a classic shovel...I had a rigid pan that looked similar, in '65. Back then, San Jose guys were constantly trading rods for bikes, and vice-versa...
    Beauticious 'A' bone,'re right in the groove now.
    Consider what BibOver Sid for a 'Dago' axle, and pick up some juice brakes...
    steel or V8 wire wheels, big & littles. Just for now, while you gather parts....
    patzfab likes this.
  9. tnich123
    Joined: May 26, 2009
    Posts: 160


  10. mike bowling
    Joined: Jan 1, 2013
    Posts: 3,556

    mike bowling

    Nice coupe-always better to start with a solid base and that one looks excellent. Good luck, have fun, and keep posting. Mike from mass.
  11. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,792


    Damn! So, basically, a '76 Shovel is a savings account you can ride? VERY nice. Good luck with the coupe..
  12. Love those Model A's
  13. CHEN
    Joined: Oct 21, 2009
    Posts: 58


    Well, I got the car all torn down, and it seems I have severely underestimated the space required to build a car. The 1 car garage stuffed with motorcycle stuff is nowhere near enough space, so I just moved into a bigger garage space with a few buddies and it should be a lot easier to get stuff done in there. Here's a picture of us moving the body to the new garage. More to come soon.

  14. CHEN
    Joined: Oct 21, 2009
    Posts: 58


    So I've been trying my damndest to get these perch pins out of the front axle, and the other day I noticed that the left side of the wishbone (still unsplit) was kinda bent upwards. Should I be worried about this or just heat it up and bend it back down, or leave it?
  15. CHEN
    Joined: Oct 21, 2009
    Posts: 58


    Good news is that I finally got the perch pins off. Bad news is that I was so focused on getting them out that I didn't realize the reason the wishbone was bent up the way it was in post#14 was because they had snapped and were welded back on.


    It was covered in globs of dirt and grease, so I didn't see it, but after scrubbing it a bit with a wire brush I saw the weld and also noticed that the wishbone is in fact welded into the axle.


    So, I guess I'll have to buy new wishbones.
    subneil56 likes this.
  16. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 16,439


    Just carefully cut the weld and see what it looks like all apart. May be saveable.
  17. CHEN
    Joined: Oct 21, 2009
    Posts: 58


    Well a quick eBay search resulted in a set of already split wishbones for about $50, so I figured the $50 is worth the hassle and clean look. Still gotta carefully cut the weld off to save the axle though.

    Here are a few updates. I finally finished stripping down the frame. I took off all the tabs that I'm not gonna be using anymore, cleaned up all the rust and paint, and I'm just about ready to start doing some fabrication.


    Also, I started to strip the body down to bare metal. I'm trying a few things to see which works best. The first was paint stripper, which was messy and relatively ineffective. The next was a DA, which was too slow, and required way too many passes to get the paint off. I feel the most effective way has been those paint removal discs that they sell at Home Depot and a wire wheel on the angle grinder. From what I've read, the biggest concern is warping from creating too much heat on the sheet metal. I try to move around when I'm working it with the angle grinder and not stay on any spot too long. Also, after every pass I put my hand on the body to make sure its not getting too hot.


    Also, my wheels and tires finally came in. Gonna be running 6.00 in the front and 7.50 in the rear on 16x4.5 wheels.

    -Brent- likes this.
  18. air hammer and heat are the biggest trick to poppin perch pins out. as with everything go slow and pay attention. do you plan on dropping the axle?
  19. 4 banger 4 life
    Joined: Jan 26, 2014
    Posts: 301

    4 banger 4 life
    from ohio

    nice build great start. gonna be watching this one...
  20. Byron1930
    Joined: Mar 18, 2014
    Posts: 30


    Looking Nice ! Looks Like yours is / was the same colour as mine was before I attacked it with sand paper.
    Your Chassis looks like it is in good condition.
  21. edcodesign
    Joined: Mar 30, 2007
    Posts: 4,095


  22. CHEN
    Joined: Oct 21, 2009
    Posts: 58


    I was gonna drop the original axle, but after talking to some local guys that I'd trust with doing it right for me, it seemed to make more sense to just buy an aftermarket dropped axle and sell the original for a few bucks. After reading a few of the scary threads about Super Bell axles snapping and cast axles in general, I decided to go with a forged 4" drop axle from So-Cal.


    Also, I picked up a motor for the car the other week. The coupe is gonna be powered by a '52 331 Hemi. I picked up the full motor with trans, but I'm thinking of swapping the trans because I don't want to run the fluid drive. Any suggestions for a good 4-speed that will bolt onto the extended block with an adapter?

    Stogy, volvobrynk and kiwijeff like this.
  23. CaliDreamin'
    Joined: Jul 30, 2009
    Posts: 179


    Your off to a damn good start!!! Nice pics by the way.
  24. I had an almost same thing happen to me with a pair of '36 bones and axle.. except the stubs were welded on. I knew the axle could have been saved.. but the perch bolts just would NOT come out at all. I ended up having to sacrifice the axles bosses a little, to save the wishbones to use on my Roadster.

    It sucks.. but i still have the axle. Is hanging up for now but will become a wallhanger eventually. The wishbones look really cool with the spring hangers cut off and cleaned up too!
  25. K.L
    Joined: Jul 15, 2014
    Posts: 93


    Awesome, watching this.

    P.S: Fantastic quality on the pictures!
  26. Jersey Joe 67
    Joined: Jun 12, 2008
    Posts: 427

    Jersey Joe 67
    from J Town

    She'll be a sweet ride when you're done, keep it up!
  27. Austinrod
    Joined: Jun 14, 2012
    Posts: 1,914

    from Austin

    I'm subscribed for the ride

    From Austinrod
  28. CHEN
    Joined: Oct 21, 2009
    Posts: 58


    Thanks Irishjr! Yea, I've been looking at the trans adapters for the early Hemi, and doing as much homework as I can here on the hamb. A quick craigslist search tells me the easiest transmissions to source in my area are gonna be the T-5 or a m20/m21 Muncie. So I've been reading about both, and I'm kinda leaning towards the T5 because of the overdrive. I'm not gonna cram too much more power than stock into the Hemi, but want to have the transmission survive the occasional burnout and such. Can the t5 survive the hemi, or should I be leaning more towards the Muncie?
  29. PistonHead88
    Joined: Aug 8, 2014
    Posts: 17


    Like to it finished :). watching

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!


Copyright © 1995-2020 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.