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First Car Project - 52 Chevy Coupe

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by leadfoot85, May 27, 2013.

  1. leadfoot85
    Joined: May 13, 2013
    Posts: 19

    leadfoot85
    Member

    Just picked up my first project car this weekend! It's a 52 Coupe that hasn't been on the road since 1973. It needs pretty much everything but the body is straight and there is very little rust, so that's a plus. I plan on doing a semi frame off with a M2 front end, ls1 motor & 4l60e trans, tan interior and a dark red paint job.

    This being my first car build, there will be a lot of lessons learned (most likely the hard way), but I have already learned a lot from the HAMB and I'm sure ill be on here often looking for help...

    I will try to take pictures along the way and use this thread as a "build thread". Here is how she looks now:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. 50 customcoupe
    Joined: May 8, 2011
    Posts: 412

    50 customcoupe
    Member

    Hi, Good looking car to start with, will make a sweet ride when finished. Keep posting as you go to keep us informed......Ray...
     
  3. john~N~dallas
    Joined: Dec 30, 2009
    Posts: 432

    john~N~dallas
    Member

    Sweet car ... Good luck with your build


    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
     
  4. knuckknuck
    Joined: Feb 11, 2011
    Posts: 3

    knuckknuck
    Member

    cool ole cars will be a fun one to build good luck !
     
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  5. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 5,908

    56sedandelivery
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    My 51 Bus Coupe, that I've since given to my nephew, came from Tx also. It went into the barn in 72. You Texans harboring all the early 50's Chevy Coupes for a reason? That is a nice start, mine was't quite that nice. Butch/56sedandelivery.
     
  6. leadfoot85
    Joined: May 13, 2013
    Posts: 19

    leadfoot85
    Member

    Thanks for all the well wishes!

    56sedandelivery - I guess we have good taste and are a little selfish... Lol!
     
  7. Looks like a good car to start with. Good luck
     
  8. 49styleline
    Joined: Nov 1, 2012
    Posts: 507

    49styleline
    Member
    from oregon

    nuthin like a 49-52 chevy coupe. does it have the 216 in it? il be watching this one good luck!
     
  9. davidbistolas
    Joined: May 21, 2010
    Posts: 962

    davidbistolas
    Member

    If it has the inliner, start with that :) If I had mine to do over, I would have bought a more complete car. 4 years later and I'm still working on it. So much for the 18 month plan. ;D

    Just a couple of things I can think of-

    (1) don't go MII unless you need to. There are disc brake conversions for the old chevy spindles that will be much cheaper.

    (2) if the glass is intact and not delaminating, try not to break it.

    (3) try to get it road worthy if possible- then work on the mods/custom/etc. You'll love running around town in it. I wish I could.
     
  10. Munster Motors
    Joined: Jan 23, 2012
    Posts: 457

    Munster Motors
    Member

    very cool car for a project
     
  11. jimstro16
    Joined: Dec 15, 2009
    Posts: 239

    jimstro16
    Member

    Cool Car

    Looks like a great clean body to start with.
     
  12. mcnally351
    Joined: Apr 12, 2011
    Posts: 407

    mcnally351
    Member
    from boston

    Nice first start, I agree get it running and driving then do the cool stuff. Get it safe first, I've always appreciated driving projects better. It's not a s easy to loose motivation if your jumping in it every day. Good luck with it
     
  13. shoebox50
    Joined: Nov 20, 2005
    Posts: 662

    shoebox50
    Member

  14. 49styleline
    Joined: Nov 1, 2012
    Posts: 507

    49styleline
    Member
    from oregon

    yeah i agree with david trust me its hard to work on a car when you cant enjoy it. what i would do (and what i wish i would have done with my 49) is get it running, lower it or do some small stuff to make it cooler and drive it for a while and enjoy it.
     
  15. Mildsteel
    Joined: Dec 27, 2009
    Posts: 74

    Mildsteel
    Member
    from VALE N.C.

    Get car. Good luck.
     
  16. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 5,928

    Rickybop
    Member
    from Michigan

    Great car for your first project. I had a '52 2dr sedan. I like your coupe better.

    Consider getting it running and driving in stock form first. Get the brakes, steering, suspension, cooling system, electrical, etc. up to snuff, and if the 216 is too worn out, find a good running 235 or 261 and drop 'er in. Be sure the replacement motor has side mounts. Keep it traditional. No need for a M2 front suspension...the original is fine if serviced. And an early SBC is traditional. An LS1 is not.

    Good luck. Welcome to the Hamb. (do an intro)
     
  17. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 5,928

    Rickybop
    Member
    from Michigan

    If your Chevy has a 3spd standard shift, it has a 4:11 gears in the rear axle. If you want a lower gear for the highway, get one from a powerglide-equipped Chevy of the same era. Or buy a new one from Patrick's.
     
  18. teddyp
    Joined: May 28, 2006
    Posts: 3,197

    teddyp
    Member

    good luck great project
     
  19. biscaynes
    Joined: Mar 16, 2008
    Posts: 1,684

    biscaynes
    Member

    sweet! great cars the '49-'52 business coupes :cool:
     
  20. 68vette
    Joined: Jul 28, 2009
    Posts: 306

    68vette

    If you take it down all the way and re-do or replace all the parts....you are in for a hair pulling time.

    I have built 3 cars from the ground up, and my 49 fleetline has been a pure pain from start to almost finish....these cars are really made nice but complicated...if this 49 had been my first project...I would have never attempted another one.

    That all said....good luck.
     

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  21. cosmic12
    Joined: Oct 16, 2011
    Posts: 422

    cosmic12
    Member

    Nice starter! As said before get it drive'n and have fun with it.
    I was planning on drive'n my 52 this summer but it ain't happening and I am not real happy about it. Went to deep to soon so now it might be another year. The stock front end is fine unless you have a big budget leave it in there and just lower it and drive it.
    Welcome to the 49 to 52 club.:cool:
     
  22. 68vette
    Joined: Jul 28, 2009
    Posts: 306

    68vette

    Here are the other two cars from ground up that I mentioned.
     

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  23. R Pope
    Joined: Jan 23, 2006
    Posts: 3,310

    R Pope
    Member

    My advice is to keep it simple. Forget the MII stuff, rebuild what you have. Find a '53-54 automatic car, swap in the 3.55 gear rear end and use the donor car suspension uprights, they lower the front an inch or so. While the rear is out, reverse the main spring leaf, lowers the rear 1 1/2" or so. Some 2" blocks and a coil off the front will get it low enough for the real world.
    If the engine is toast, a 235 or 261 works great.
    Have fun, and don't get in over your head. Rodding is supposed to be fun!
     
  24. Dan1950
    Joined: Oct 27, 2011
    Posts: 24

    Dan1950
    Member

    Nice looking car and like what the other’s have said; if it’s run able stock, get some use out of it before the mods.
    That’s what I did and it confirmed that the mods I wanted too make, made the car better for me and my driving style.
    As for going with the MII front end, why the front end in the car was used in Corvettes up into the 60’s.
    If you’re thinking that the LS1and the 4L60E won’t fit; it will because I just got finished putting a LR4 and a 4L60E in my 50 Styleline. The LR4 (4.8lt) is the cast iron block version of the LS1 (5.7lt).
    My donor vehicle was a 1999 Silverado 1500 two wheel drive pick up.
    The car has the stock manual steering suspension and the truck’s engine with its cast manifolds, slid in nicely with no clearance issues for the steering linkages.
    Bought a set of adjustable LS1 engine mounts from Dirty Dingo; that are wide enough to extend out over the car’s frame; drilled two holes vertically down through the frame and the engine mounting was done.
    When I read LS1 in your post; it put a big smile on my face; because my little LR4 pushes the Styeline down the road pretty good. You best practice saying giddy up while you’re trying to catch your breath. LOL

    Dan.
     

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  25. 49styleline
    Joined: Nov 1, 2012
    Posts: 507

    49styleline
    Member
    from oregon

  26. leadfoot85
    Joined: May 13, 2013
    Posts: 19

    leadfoot85
    Member

    Thanks for all the advice everyone! I just bought a new house (moved in same weekend I picked up the car) so I haven't touched it until tonight... I started taking apart the front end to make way for the new front suspension.

    I appreciate everyone giving me pointers on making the build easier on me and different options for suspension & drivetrain. However this car did not have an engine in it when I got it, so making it a driver quickly is not really an option. Also, I'm pretty set on the LS1/4L60E combo. I know this will upset the traditional guys, but I'm a young kid (27) and kinda have the reverse feeling of most people on here - carburetors scare me... never had a car with a carburated engine and frankly I would even know where to start! For now I'm going to stick with what I know for ease of use and driveability.

    Dan1950 - I LOVE your engine bay! It looks like it should have rolled out of the dealership like that! Would you give me more info on the motor mounts you used? One of my main reasons for going with the MII is to handle the weight & torque of the bigger motor. Did you convert to discs up front as well?

    I also picked up a rear end - 10 bolt posi out of a 3rd gen Camaro. Got it from a local guy for $100. Should work well for my "stock" engine.

    Enough of the jibber-jabber, here are some pics of what I was able to get done tonight:

    Removed bumper & grille
    [​IMG]

    RH Fender gone
    [​IMG]

    I also discovered the original color was code 462 - reformulated Aspen Green
    [​IMG]

    I'm taking it slow, saving most parts to restore and put back on. I should be able to get the other fender off tomorrow and then I can start removing the front suspension to make way for new stuff!
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2013
  27. That stock front end isn't junk, I was going to run one before I sold the car. The '52 brakes are cheap to rebuild. I'm sure you can at least sell the drums/hubs/backing plates to a guy with a 50 or older that wants to dump the Huck brakes on those cars.
     
  28. leadfoot85
    Joined: May 13, 2013
    Posts: 19

    leadfoot85
    Member

    I'm not saying they're junk. I'm being very careful when removing everything in the hopes of selling on here or a local swap meet.

    With this car I want to run disc brakes, put a bigger motor in and lower it without hacking it up too much. I feel like an MII set up will accomplish this with better end results.
     
  29. For what those things cost you're usually better off to run a Jaguar XJ front end in them. If anything easier install for a lot better front end.
     
  30. sololobo
    Joined: Aug 23, 2006
    Posts: 8,038

    sololobo
    Member

    Congrats, one of my dream cars. ~sololobo~
     

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