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Hot Rods My Hot Rod 29 AA Express AAV8 Build

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by patmanta, Oct 4, 2018.

  1. patmanta
    Joined: May 10, 2011
    Posts: 3,040

    patmanta
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Woburn, MA
    1. MASSACHUSETTS HAMB

    So, I haven't said a whole lot about this one on here other than asking questions about 28/29 A pickup cabs, but I've hit a point I think I would benefit from a build thread if only to get some of my ideas and experiences with the build out. The other day I got a little "hey, how's it going" kinda message on here from @scott39 and ended up giving him a novella about this rig in reply, LOL!

    So here's the build, a while back I picked up a nice AA frame from @'54Caddy and it sat by my shed until I decided I needed a break from my overly ambitious first build with a "quick and straightforward" build :rolleyes: So I got myself a 29 cab, dismantled the "EAST COAST MODIFIED T" I had going (since I'm dropping my banger and 34 gear in that one anyway) and put the front, rear, 1955 Chevy 265, & TH350 into the AA frame.

    I have the wheelbase shortened to 112" and the frame shortened and sectioned currently.I have decided to cut the frame and do a proper Z instead of the beam stack setup I have going now since I will never trust my welds otherwise. If I do that, I am butt welding the whole thing and can get at both sides. My Handler 140 will totally do that.

    I'll start off where I'm at here and put some earlier pics in another post:

    20180730_191543.jpg

    Please excuse the bucktooth radiator, it's a 31 and getting replaced.

    20180730_191555.jpg
    20180731_113318.jpg 20180731_113323.jpg 20180731_113329.jpg
    20180908_143332.jpg

    Here I've got about 2.5" taken out of the remaining crossmember on the back of the frame.

    (Don't worry, I've still got the Thundercasket and I'm going to get back to it, you can see it peeking out of the shop here)
     
    ABONES, 32SEDAN, RMR&C and 2 others like this.
  2. I love the way it is looking skyward.
     
  3. patmanta
    Joined: May 10, 2011
    Posts: 3,040

    patmanta
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Woburn, MA
    1. MASSACHUSETTS HAMB

    I only had the front half of the frame set up when the cab arrived, so I had a clown car in my driveway for a little while.
    36440222_10214984134750375_8559152737483227136_o.jpg
    IMG_20180622_153223_293.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

    RMR&C, chryslerfan55 and chriseakin like this.
  4. scott39
    Joined: Dec 19, 2009
    Posts: 11

    scott39
    Member
    from Boston

    Looking good so far
    Sent from my LGMS210 using Tapatalk
     
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  5. a boner
    Joined: Dec 25, 2004
    Posts: 4,531

    a boner
    Member

    image.png image.png Don't know where you are going with this build, but if it was mine, I would turn it into a panel delivery like this one. Get some sheet metal, a small pile of square or rec. tubing and what looks like some strap steel with studs welded on for the side molding, and have at it! It also looks like some oak lumber was used to get the proper shape for the roof.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2018
    chop job, patmanta and chryslerfan55 like this.
  6. Someone say truck build?
    I'm here
     
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  7. patmanta
    Joined: May 10, 2011
    Posts: 3,040

    patmanta
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Woburn, MA
    1. MASSACHUSETTS HAMB

    @a boner , I'm going for a highboy 29 pickup. I've got it at 112" so I'm going to need to make the bed or modify one if I want an A bed (which I do). That's probably not in the cards for this phase of the build so the plan is to make a simple wood service body style bed out of some PT and reclaimed cedar from my buddy's deck.

    DSC07870.JPG e949d09bc6383126eae7bdc59c22d642d26b91d5.jpg

    I would very much like to make a slide in camper for this one too and those interior pictures of that delivery there help quite a bit, thanks for those! I was planning to make a wood and steel frame for it and follow the roof and cab lines. Somewhere in between a troop carrier and a huckster is the best way I can describe that vision.

    1_canvastop.jpg 195a-82b-aa131-aq8.jpg 9750127-1931-ford-model-aa-std-c.jpg

    Eventually, if and when I get a nice A bed I can stretch, I will make this a proper fenderless shortened AA Express.
    My starting point was a dropped pickup I could have bought on CL years ago and don't have a picture of and the stance of Aaron Blatter's 32 applied to a 29 AA Express:

    Aaron Blatter 32 Highboy Pickup.png
    89-A-Express-29-01-31.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2018
  8. patmanta
    Joined: May 10, 2011
    Posts: 3,040

    patmanta
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Woburn, MA
    1. MASSACHUSETTS HAMB

    Ok, so here's a quick recap from where I started.
    I had a crusty back of a cab and some sedan doors that I dropped on the front half of my AA frame. Gorgeous, aint' she?

    20180521_183644.jpg

    Tried out a spring ahead setup that my neighbor had but went for the 36 axle I pulled out of my other little T pile since it was put together and it made pulling that engine easier anyway. I may go back to this setup to get my nose down.

    IMG_20180601_184336.jpg 20180621_195540.jpg 20180621_195549.jpg

    I got the cab on there and noticed a few issues.
    20180624_131316.jpg 20180625_172747.jpg 20180626_192238.jpg

    There's a bit of cracking inside the door pillars which interfere with them fully closing. I eventually found cracking on the subframe was behind the sagging.

    20180627_182258.jpg 20180627_182315.jpg

    Around the same time I pulled some original bolt in mounts from an AV8 frame I got from @Shaun1162 many moons ago and used them to mount the 1955 265 SBC. It sits a little low so I think I may have the wrong Hurst mount for this application but I'll tackle that later.

    20180623_160323.jpg 20180623_123305.jpg 20180622_195332a.jpg

    When I had good weather I got the wood kits stained and sealed cherry and black.

    20180731_113310.jpg 20180731_134443.jpg

    And I put the frame together. I took about 13.5" out of the middle.

    20180731_170503.jpg 20180731_185700.jpg

    Which gets ups back up to speed at post #1
     

    Attached Files:

  9. patmanta
    Joined: May 10, 2011
    Posts: 3,040

    patmanta
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Woburn, MA
    1. MASSACHUSETTS HAMB

    Thanks, LOL, yeah, well maybe that's in preparation for some wikkid pissah steep rake, dood! ;)

    Thanks, @Flowmeister , your truck was actually one of the builds I took some inspiration from!

    [​IMG]
     
    32SEDAN and Flowmeister like this.
  10. I'll follow closely. I, too, have a '29AA. but we diverge somewhat. HiVolt 5.0 gave me great ideas to change over to a dual-chamber, power assisted master cylinder, and I'm using '60 F-350 brakes, rear axle, front spindles, etc. You'll want something lighter, I'm sure. We both share the lack of a bed at this time. I'm hoping to fabricate something very close to that stock express bed. I don't have an eight-foot sheet metal brake, so I'll have to farm that out. I'd like to do the sides, front and tailgate in 16 gauge, just for the strength, but might have to settle for 18 gauge.
     
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  11. patmanta
    Joined: May 10, 2011
    Posts: 3,040

    patmanta
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Woburn, MA
    1. MASSACHUSETTS HAMB

    Right now I've got the front end set up with a 36 axle and F1 brakes/spindles. I'm not sure if I'm going with a dropped axle, relocated spring, or both to get the nose down yet. I've got the brakes from the 47 Merc rear end I've got under there for the back.

    I haven't decided on how I'm going to handle the final bed yet. I've got to get the stance settled, then figure out how I'm going to steer. I have a F4-6 steering box, a stuck A box, a 34 box, and a 57 GM pickup box. I also need to get the cab back together for the season and my new tent shed up.

    I have made a little progress to that goal. This weekend I got the rear crossmember in where I thought it should go only to find, as I expected, that the flat crossmember idea did not allow for enough travel, and surprisingly put my wheelbase 6 inches ahead of where I thought I'd land (106" instead of 112"). So, revisions were made but I ran out of daylight and time for this round.

    20181006_114935.jpg
    20181006_151539.jpg
    received_749750302037637.jpeg
     
  12. patmanta
    Joined: May 10, 2011
    Posts: 3,040

    patmanta
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Woburn, MA
    1. MASSACHUSETTS HAMB

    The Holidays are halfway through and it's been just about since my last post that I've been able to get any time in the shop to work on anything that's not related to the house, land, contractors, or prepping for winter. I'd be surprised if I'm alone in this but it still frustrates me to see the mild weather slipping away while this rig sits in my driveway.

    I picked up one of those nice 13x20' Shelterlogic SUV sheds but it's still sitting in the box on a pallet. I'm having to re-think how I'm going to use the thing now too. I can either set it up in the driveway as planned and deal with the tightened parking and tricky snow removal, or set it up in the yard, kill all that grass, and deal with a dirt floor in there. I can either move this rig in there and chip away at it or move my car out of the shop and store it in there for the winter (but I'm worried about moisture getting to that one). OR I could just sell the thing and throw a tarp over this one for the Winter because putting that shed up is more than a notion and I may not have the time to do it before we get buried anyway because New England.

    SO, now that all that TL:DR musing is out, here's some pictures I took on Halloween. The kids (and parents) really enjoyed the truck whether it was complete & running or not, so there's that.

    20181031_180113.jpg
    20181031_180045.jpg 20181031_180031.jpg
    I set a fog machine behind the cab with some green string lights in there and the engine bay (and that's the shed sitting on a pallet where it still is, LOL).

    I should note that at least in moving it around, by necessity, I put blocks between the frame and rear end, so now I at least have an idea of where the stance is at. I'm looking like I'm only about 2" up in the front with the stock 36 axle/reverse eye so I now know that with a 4" drop should give me a decent stance without a lot of fuss.

    I also picked up a heavy duty sewing machine to stitch myself a tonneau cover for the roof and the interior once I learn how to use it. I'm reading up on all that now and the shop I bought it from gives free classes.
     

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