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Featured Projects How not to build a hotrod - My '33 Plymouth

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Johnny Sparkle, Jan 6, 2018.

  1. Johnny Sparkle
    Joined: Sep 20, 2003
    Posts: 1,095

    Johnny Sparkle
    Member

    So, I haven't posted a build thread on the HAMB in nearly a decade. I kinda miss having actual conversations about a project, and it's cold outside and I'm looking for motivation. So here I am. Hi.

    I'm not kidding about this being a tutorial on what not to do. This car is a saga of bad decisions. I've been messing with this stupid car for about 5 years now, and it's still got another year or so of work left to do, I'm sure. I'll start from the beginning and make several posts showing my "progress."

    Step 1: Break up with your girlfriend.

    Yes. That's right. This will make you bummed out. Then you'll talk to a buddy that has a Plymouth coupe body. You always wanted a coupe. There's a hole in your heart, and you need to cram something in there, regardless of condition and wisdom. You should shove the world's rustiest and gunshot Plymouth in there. Isn't that better? Bonus points if it's an old dirt tracker that was torched in weird places and it's been rolled.

     
  2. Johnny Sparkle
    Joined: Sep 20, 2003
    Posts: 1,095

    Johnny Sparkle
    Member

    Step 2: Cut your new project into little pieces.
    Brace nothing. That will only slow you down. Make sure you only really use the remnants of the quarter panels once you're done cutting.


    Step 3: Make new subrails.
    Don't worry, you'll cut these out later and throw most of it away. I tacked together the tattered remains of the subframe to get some rough measurements. It's important to just fake it till you make it. It's never going to be stock again anyway, you can't screw it up too bad.

     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
    52Muntz, dwollam, patmanta and 11 others like this.
  3. glrbird
    Joined: Dec 20, 2010
    Posts: 254

    glrbird
    Member

    No picturesshowing
     
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  4. williebill
    Joined: Mar 1, 2004
    Posts: 2,039

    williebill
    Member

    This thread is really promising so far.
    I think I can relate.
    Continue, please.
     
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
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  5. Johnny Sparkle
    Joined: Sep 20, 2003
    Posts: 1,095

    Johnny Sparkle
    Member

    Step 4: Buy '32 frame rails. Cut them immediately.
    Text your ex-girlfriend to help you with the math. She'll make a little drawing showing the angle needed. Spend some time drinking and watching Carl Sagan's Cosmos.


    Step 5: Place the body onto the subrails.
    You'll noticed I cut the framerails before I figured out the body. That's intentional. You must make sure you ruin the most expensive thing you've bought for the project before you proceed to mock anything up.
    I think I cut about a foot off the bottom before I found decent metal to weld to. The cowl is from a truck body I got in the original deal.

     
  6. Johnny Sparkle
    Joined: Sep 20, 2003
    Posts: 1,095

    Johnny Sparkle
    Member

    Apparently this is also a tutorial on how not to post a thread. I'm using the embed feature for the first time for pics. I didn't have the album set for public view, I'm guess that's my problem since I can see it. Does it work now?
     
    slv63, chryslerfan55 and AZbent like this.
  7. Fortunateson
    Joined: Apr 30, 2012
    Posts: 1,418

    Fortunateson
    Member

    Works great for me. You know, this could be a very important educational thread, seriously.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
    raven likes this.
  8. RMONTY
    Joined: Jan 7, 2016
    Posts: 809

    RMONTY
    Member

    It's working for me now. Brilliant thread! I only see 1 mistake so far. That was texting the ex-girlfriend for anything other than a booty-call....providing it hadn't been tampered with.
     
    Aswright, chevy54man, Saxman and 2 others like this.
  9. trollst
    Joined: Jan 27, 2012
    Posts: 999

    trollst
    Member

    I got pics, you got interest, don't stop now.
     
  10. vtx1800
    Joined: Oct 4, 2009
    Posts: 599

    vtx1800
    Member

    I must need better glasses, I can’t see the pics


    Sent from my iPad using H.A.M.B.
     
    cptmoney and 31hotrodguy like this.
  11. kidcampbell71
    Joined: Sep 17, 2012
    Posts: 3,274

    kidcampbell71
    Member

    :) ( :D:D !!! )

    Edit to insert lots of LOL's, I love this thread.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
    1927graham and Max Gearhead like this.
  12. Johnny Sparkle
    Joined: Sep 20, 2003
    Posts: 1,095

    Johnny Sparkle
    Member

    Step 6: Measure everything about 87 times. Remember that it was rolled. Measure 96 more times.
    Also, make sure you have no surfaces that can be easily measured from. You'll have to devise new methods of measuring, and also invent new curse words. Bonus points if the curse word has 4 syllables. Seriously though, I used some 1x1 steel and some cheap turnbuckles from the hardware store to get it into shape. The turnbuckles make it easy to tweak it as you move everything else.


    Step 7: That cowl you've spent all that time cleaning up and welding to the subrails? Cut it back off.
    Find a '34 four-door sedan body. The cowl and doors will fit with a bit of work. The sedan body is a couple inches taller, but you're gonna chop it up anyway.

     
    52Muntz, dwollam, pitman and 10 others like this.
  13. Johnny Sparkle
    Joined: Sep 20, 2003
    Posts: 1,095

    Johnny Sparkle
    Member

    Step 8: Chop the doors first.
    Just drink a little bit and cut up those doors. Just cut till it looks cool. Later, when people ask you how much you chopped it, give them a blank stare and shrug. I have no idea how much it's chopped. Pretty sure I made a wedge chop too. Not like there was a roof to base anything off of. Make a template of the window opening and you can make the other door match easily enough.


    Step 9: Stop working on the chop to make wheelwell patches. Throw them away later.
    The wheelwells got torched out when it was a racecar back in the day. Thanks to whoever did that.

     
    dwollam, patmanta, rjones35 and 9 others like this.
  14. Rckt98
    Joined: Jun 7, 2005
    Posts: 665

    Rckt98
    Member

    This is a great thread, well written, very funny.
     
    lawman likes this.
  15. I'm in for this one. Got a little old time HAMB flavor.
     
    Russco, Gotgas, weps and 3 others like this.
  16. Johnny Sparkle
    Joined: Sep 20, 2003
    Posts: 1,095

    Johnny Sparkle
    Member

    Step 10: Chop the back half till it kinda matches.
    The coupe body's top is much shorter than a sedan from the factory. Add that fact with the doors that I chopped up, and you have some guessing to do about how much chop you're going to get. Fake it till you make it. Looks like maybe 2 inches. Whatever. It looks good, I guess.


    Step 11: Cut up the rear framerails.
    Why did I just chop the top and then jump over to the framerails before finishing it? No idea. Just going in chronological order according to the pictures. I guess I was just in the mood to do it. In retrospect, I could have made that kickup about 2" less. I was planning on going with bigger rear wheels at the time.

     
    dwollam, v8paul, Stogy and 7 others like this.
  17. Bird man
    Joined: Dec 28, 2009
    Posts: 228

    Bird man
    Member
    from Milwaukee

    Rule # 1: Engage cranium before operating the mitts :)
    Tech hint: a Pontiac 421 will cure most ills.
     
    '51 Norm, Wrench666 and Runnin shine like this.
  18. sawbuck
    Joined: Oct 14, 2006
    Posts: 1,668

    sawbuck
    Member
    from 06492 ct

    keep it going johnny !
     
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  19. Johnny Sparkle
    Joined: Sep 20, 2003
    Posts: 1,095

    Johnny Sparkle
    Member

    Step 12: Try to fill in the gaping holes left in the roof. Cut most of it back out a couple years later.


    Step 13: Reshape the rear window openings.
    You're smarter than all those Plymouth designers that made a beautiful coupe in the first place. You got this. Cut the foor-door donor into 12 pieces and weld it all together. Hit things with hammers.

     
    dwollam, Kiwi 4d, rjones35 and 12 others like this.
  20. harpo1313
    Joined: Jan 4, 2008
    Posts: 1,361

    harpo1313
    Member
    from wareham,ma

    I can relate ,keep going and keep track of yer fingers .
     
  21. Johnny Sparkle
    Joined: Sep 20, 2003
    Posts: 1,095

    Johnny Sparkle
    Member

    Step 14: Buy a house. Pull up carpet that smells like cats and old people.
    Buying a house is dumb.

    Step 15: Do chassis things.
    This thread is getting bloated already. Look at a post by Brian Bass if you want to see proper chassis work. My stuff is OK at best. I can do more posts on the frame later if people are actually interested. I'm tired of uploading pictures.

     
    dwollam, rjones35, Stogy and 7 others like this.
  22. spurgeonforge
    Joined: Oct 18, 2013
    Posts: 247

    spurgeonforge
    Member

    Awesome build! Thanks for the post.looking forward to see more.
     
  23. partsdawg
    Joined: Feb 12, 2006
    Posts: 1,754

    partsdawg
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Minnesota

    Love it and I can relate.
    Best thread of the year.
     
    Chucky and kidcampbell71 like this.
  24. skipstitch
    Joined: Oct 7, 2001
    Posts: 1,146

    skipstitch
    Member

    This is awesome! Neat project, great pix... and a superb writing!
     
    4speed_mopars, clem and kidcampbell71 like this.
  25. Johnny Sparkle
    Joined: Sep 20, 2003
    Posts: 1,095

    Johnny Sparkle
    Member

    Step 16: Build a '59 Rambler real quick.
    Sure, you're making good progress now that the house doesn't smell like old people, but you want to drive something. I mean, how long can a quick engine swap take?


    Step 17: Build a whole rear suspension and air ride for that stupid Rambler. And replace most of the floor.
    Did you know that a Rambler Classic has both a torque tube rearend and its a unibody? Surprised me too. Only took me a year to get it all done...

     
    dwollam, patmanta, slim38 and 7 others like this.
  26. Johnny Sparkle
    Joined: Sep 20, 2003
    Posts: 1,095

    Johnny Sparkle
    Member

    We're only 6 days into the year so far. Pretty sure the bar is pretty low at this point. Haha.
     
  27. Johnny Sparkle
    Joined: Sep 20, 2003
    Posts: 1,095

    Johnny Sparkle
    Member

    Step 18: Make engine mounts for SBC. Remove SBC for different brand engine later. Put mounts on a shelf.
    It may shock some to hear it, but I can be indecisive at times.


    Step 19: Cut the front of your car off. Hit more things with hammers.
    The distributor wasn't clearing. Might as well cut the car apart. I didn't like how the cowl sloped down anyway. I think I took 3 " out of it?

     
  28. Johnny Sparkle
    Joined: Sep 20, 2003
    Posts: 1,095

    Johnny Sparkle
    Member

    Step 20: When in doubt, throw '32 Ford stuff at it.
    The bottom of a Plymouth is flat. I like the curved rocker of the '32 Ford. So, I used '32 3W rockers, 5W quarter patch panels, and 3W cowl panels. I had to make the front part of the cowl. Obviously, I'm cutting the front part back off at some point, since that's what I do. I didn't get the curve at the front quite right.
     
    dwollam, pitman, patmanta and 9 others like this.
  29. Johnny Sparkle
    Joined: Sep 20, 2003
    Posts: 1,095

    Johnny Sparkle
    Member

    Step 21: Buy $400 '34 Ford wheelwells. Ruin them.
    I ended up cutting them into little pieces. I ran the body line through the bead roller to make the bead bigger to match the '32 Ford body line, and used the T-dolly to round the edges out a bit. Also had to eliminate the whole crow's foot part because it didn't fit.

     
    dwollam, Austin kays, v8paul and 10 others like this.

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