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Projects My roadster pickup project.

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Don's Hot Rods, Apr 19, 2012.

  1. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    Member
    from florida

    You'll have to bear with me on this one, it will take a while to get the pictures uploaded. I might have to do this in several posts as it spans quite a bit of time. Sorry, hope it works out ok.


    About 40 years ago I built a 32 Ford roadster pickup hot rod. It was originally a regular pickup, but I cut the top off and channeled it. It had a 406 cubic inch Olds engine with a Cad LaSalle 3 speed stick behind it. I almost had it done and actually got to drive it around our neighborhood, but I could never get it licensed because of Pennsylvania's very restrictive vehicle laws back then. So, I dismantled it and used most of the parts to build a 40 Chevy coupe that I later traded for an Austin Bantam drag car.

    Here is the only picture I have left of my old rpu before it got dismantled. Sorry for the quality, it is an old, taped together Polaroid.

    [​IMG]



    I've had other hot rods since this one but always had it in the back of my mind that I would like to recreate it. You guys know how it is, sometimes the cars we build are ones we couldn't have or afford when we were younger. The chance to build this current one came up when I "inherited" the body my Son Dan had on his own rpu project a few years ago. When he bought his new Brookville body I shoved this one to my side of the shop and claimed it for my own. :D

    Dan had a ton of work in the body because it started off as a Murray Fordor. He not only cut the back off and reformed a whole new back section and floor, but he cut off the original windshield and grafted on a true roadster windshield. Since the hard work was done, all we had to do was build a new frame and adapt some running gear to it.

    [​IMG]


    To be continued.........:) (This is going to take a while, my computer is running slooooooooow today.

    Don
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2012
  2. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    Member
    from florida

    I wanted the new car to have some elements of the old car but also to be a better car in some respects. I know a little more now than I knew 40 years ago so I wanted to correct some of the things I did wrong at that time.

    The engine I am using is still a 394 Olds and I had rebuilt it about 5 years ago but never used it for the intended project. It will be backed with a Jackson Racing TH350 that I also had laying around, and an 8 inch Ford rear out of a 65 Ranchero. Steering is via a 56 Ford pickup box, and I am using an undropped 34 Ford front axle and Speedway split wishbones, The front end will be suicide style.

    The first thing we did was build a frame. We are using 2 x 4 3/16 wall tubing and we tapered the front rails from 4 inches to 3 inches in front for a little better appearance. I wanted a rectangular front crossmember instead of the usual round one we use, and I am going to run a 29 Ford grille shell. Here is the frame after we got it welded up. It is kicked 4 in front and 13 in the back.

    [​IMG]

    Another picture during mock up:

    [​IMG]

    And a side shot:

    [​IMG]

    Don
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2012
  3. Gregg Pellicer
    Joined: Aug 20, 2004
    Posts: 1,347

    Gregg Pellicer
    Member

    Don cant wait to see this project finished. Knowing you I bet it will be on the road for the Turkey Run. Gregg
     
  4. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    Member
    from florida

    Hi Gregg. :D I am shooting for the BP Drags in October. I have 6 months and most of the parts, so it might happen. It was nice seeing you and Jan at BP.

    Once we had the frame kinda done we needed to hang the Olds motor. Since the Olds has no side mounts we had to build a front motor mount that mimicks the early Hurst mounts. Here is what we did on the front of the motor:

    [​IMG]

    And here is how we built a second set of mounts on the bellhousing to take some of the strain off of the TH350 rear mount.

    [​IMG]

    Don
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2012

  5. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    Member
    from florida

    I'm going to fast forward here to where we are now on the project, so as not to bore anyone with all the little mundane details. I have to warn you that one aspect of this car is NOT HAMB friendly, and that is the way we decided to mount the rear suspension. Since the bed is going to be only 30 inches long, we needed to come up with a setup that would give a good ride yet fit in about 20 inches of distance. What we are using is a triangulated 3 link setup from Suicide Doors that we shortened and modified to fit. It also will have coil overs because I wanted to use a set I had and besides, I have had several cars with traverse rear ends and just wanted this one to be different. Sorry. :eek: But it will all be hidden under a louvered tonneau cover, so the only parts showing will be old Ford parts up front. :D

    So, here is where the car sits now. It is a roller (Yea !!!!) and I have installed some of the parts so that I can start making decisions on if I like the look or not. The car is starting to talk to me and tell me how it wants to be, so I am going with that and making changes as we go along.

    These pictures were taken last night after I built a temporary bed out of masonite to see how it should be built out of steel.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    We also had the tonneau cover that Dan had punched with 224 louvers, but never used on his own rpu, so last night I cracked open the case it was in and it looks like we can cut it up and use most of it to cover the back of my bed.

    [​IMG]


    Final details like color are still up in the air. I am thinking off white suspension and I have never had a red hot rod, so I might find an old timey looking red and satin it slightly to age it. But that could change tomorrow.

    I have to give a huge thanks to my Son Dan who has been giving up his days off to help me on this car. Dan is the official welder/fabricator in the family and he takes our cars to the next level, even if we fight him, kicking and screaming. :p Thanks Dan, and thanks for looking, guys.


    Don
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2012
  6. Gregg Pellicer
    Joined: Aug 20, 2004
    Posts: 1,347

    Gregg Pellicer
    Member

    Don I'm liking what I'm seeing
     
  7. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    Member
    from florida

    Thanks again, Gregg. Coming from a guy who owns a bitchin' rpu, that is a compliment. :)

    Don
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2012
  8. dirtbag13
    Joined: Jun 16, 2008
    Posts: 2,540

    dirtbag13
    Member

    i like it , cant wait to see more
     
  9. Waldoz
    Joined: Dec 31, 2008
    Posts: 82

    Waldoz
    Member

    I'm loving this build! Can't wait to see it further along.
     
  10. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    Member
    from florida

    Thanks Guys. I think the project for today is to get the 56 Ford pickup steering box mounted. We are thinking about taking a half moon cutout out of the top of the frame rail and setting the box about an inch or so into that recess to get some block clearance. Won't know till we slide the steering box in place though.

    Once that is done we can tackle building some front upper shock mounts and that should pretty much do it for the heavy duty welding stuff and we can move on to the bodywork and building a bed.

    Starting to get excited about this one. :D

    Don
     
  11. HAMB friendly or not........ IT'S COOL
     
  12. goose-em
    Joined: Aug 23, 2008
    Posts: 349

    goose-em
    Member
    from Louisiana

    Another fine motorcar under construction by Don's Hot Rods.

    Very nice work on that rear suspension by the way. Your son is a master.
     
  13. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    Member
    from florida

    Thanks Low Kat and goose-em. I was hesitant to post this project on here because of the deviation on the rear suspension, but the other elements of the car are pretty standard hot rod fare, so I figured I would post it.

    Just in case anyone is curious as to what the rear suspension looks like, here is a picture of it. It is perfect for this car because of the lack of room in the back (short bed) and plus I have to squeeze a fuel tank and battery back there. A traditional spring, like I have on my 27 and on my old 23, would have eaten up some valuable real estate back there. Plus, this setup rides so nice on a car and plants the tires hard on takeoff.

    [​IMG]

    Like I said, when the louvered cover is down you won't even know it is back there. :D Oh, and I am going to do something on this car I have never done before, I am going to run a generator and a mechanical fan, just to keep the early Olds look going. (That should make up for the rear suspension. :D)

    Don
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2012
  14. saucerhead
    Joined: Dec 6, 2009
    Posts: 206

    saucerhead
    Member

    Is there a reason for the upper track bars not being symetrical? Looks odd.
     
  15. 29ToyA
    Joined: Oct 29, 2010
    Posts: 413

    29ToyA
    Member

    Looking good!
     
  16. CRAWLER07
    Joined: Sep 20, 2009
    Posts: 16

    CRAWLER07
    Member

    I think it looks great and I personally think symmetry is way over rated...
     
  17. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,792

    tfeverfred
    Member

  18. gnichols
    Joined: Mar 6, 2008
    Posts: 10,914

    gnichols
    Member
    from Tampa, FL

    No rest, eh? Still got that old time RPU disease, I see! Gary
     
  19. Go don go. i was hoping to see this one come back up.
     
  20. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    Member
    from florida

    Thanks guys. Today we got the steering box located by adding a half moon cutout on the top of the frame rail and dropping the box down an inch from the top, which gave us plenty of engine and header clearance. I forgot my camera, but will take some pictures next time I am there.


    Yep, that is what makes the whole thing work. If it was a parallel four bar setup you would need a panhard to keep the axle from shifting from side to side. With that top bar designed as it is it not only locates the axle fore and aft, but there is no way the axle can move sideways because of the triangulation. This setup has been used on a lot of bagged S10s, and lots of other applications. Just look at the top wishbone for a minute and try to imagine it trying to move sideways, it can't because the two front mounts resist any sideways movement. All the rear end can do is move up and down.

    Don
     
  21. Gregg Pellicer
    Joined: Aug 20, 2004
    Posts: 1,347

    Gregg Pellicer
    Member

    Don I was wondering the same thing.I understand how the triangle bar work's. My question is why the left side is almost straight and the right side is at a much greater angle.Are you doing it that vway to make room for something like a battery? Gregg
     
  22. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    Member
    from florida

    Gregg, I'm not sure why it isn't just a uniformly shaped "Y", that is the way Suicide Doors builds them. Dan had these custom built by them years ago and was using them on the first incarnation of his rpu, but we shortened them up to use them on this car. Maybe the shape somehow gives some additional support to the wishbone? It might have something to do with geometry that is beyond my understanding.

    The bars are made from 1 1/4 heavy wall tubing, so I do know one thing......they will never bend. :)

    Don
     
  23. Gregg Pellicer
    Joined: Aug 20, 2004
    Posts: 1,347

    Gregg Pellicer
    Member

    So Don what your saying is niether one of us know's why there shaped like that LOL Gregg
     
  24. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    Member
    from florida

    Pretty much, Gregg. :D It could be that since these are originally designed to fit an S10 pickup they need to be that shape to clear the fuel tank on one side and some suspension component on the other, but really just guessing. Or maybe the short leg keeps the longer one from deflecting. I might have to call Suicide Doors and ask them, you guys have my curiousity peaked. :D

    Don
     
  25. Gregg Pellicer
    Joined: Aug 20, 2004
    Posts: 1,347

    Gregg Pellicer
    Member

    Don I think the story on the arm's should be that it is a top secret design. If you tell someone what it is you will have to kill them. Gregg
     
  26. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    Member
    from florida

    Sounds good to me, Gregg. Sure easier than trying to explain it. :D

    My project for today was getting more done on mounting the steering box. As I mentioned, I am using a 56 Ford pickup steering box and a 59 (I think) steering arm. The earlier arms had a ball end on them but this one has a tapered hole for the tie rod end.

    When Dan and I wrapped up Friday night we had cut the half moon section out of the top of the frame rail and made a half round section of plate to cover the cutout. We didn't weld that plate on yet because we needed access to the inside of the frame rail so we could insert two round pieces of tubing the exact width of the inside of the frame rails so that when the bolts that hold the steering box to the frame are torqued down they will not suck in the sides of the rail.

    Here is a picture of the rail with that notch for the steering box to drop down into:

    [​IMG]

    I needed to do it that way because I didn't want the box just perched atop the rail and it also needed to come down about an inch to clear the Olds engine. By dropping it down it also allowed the two bottom bolts of the steering box flange to be below the top of the rail, and that would allow me to pass the mounting bolts right through the rail. I also had to mount the flange to the outside of the rail because I am using rectangular tubing for my frame and I needed to get the box as far to the left as possible for engine clearance.

    I made a simple jig to hold the steering column shaft at the exact height I needed it to be for a comfortable driving position, and drilled two holes through the frame and flange. Then I made up two spacers to go inside the frame to make is solid where the bolts go through, and I got those welded in place. Since the frame tapers in I had to make a wedge shaped piece to angle the steering flange out a quarter of an inch so the pitman shaft would be in a straight line with the front suspension.

    All that is left now is to weld that half moon piece in place and also weld the small bracket I made up for the 3rd bolt hole on the top of the flange. Once that is all done I can mount the steering arm that goes on the drivers side front wheel and get my drag link ordered from Speedway.

    Here are some pictures from tonight, thanks for looking.

    Don

    I used a carpenters square to make sure my steering column was straight in line with the centerline of the car. I found that I needed a quarter inch thick spacer shim at the front edge of the box flange so that the box would sit straight in the tapered frame. It took some time, but I was able to make a wedgeshaped flange that put it right on the money.



    And here is the steering box and arm bolted in place (temporarily)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012
  27. GEISTERFAHRER
    Joined: Apr 23, 2010
    Posts: 85

    GEISTERFAHRER
    Member

    Don looks like the build is going well, looks great. When you get to it can you post pictures of the body mounts? Wish I had your build skills I think I need a welding class.
     
  28. leon renaud
    Joined: Nov 12, 2005
    Posts: 1,934

    leon renaud
    Member
    from N.E. Ct.

    Don I think your right on this ,The fuel tank on an S10 pick up is located along the inside of the drivers side frame rail.On an S10 short bed I believe that the drivers side tube would need to go straight forward to clear the tank.
     
  29. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    Member
    from florida

    Right now the body mounts that are in the subframe need to be revised to work with this frame. When my Son originally did the body it was built for a frame that had a different width, so the holes are not going to line up with this one. What we are going to do is what we usually do on these, add 4 or 6 little pieces of 1/4 inch steel that are 2 inches wide by about 3 inches long to the top of the frame rails. After those are welded in place we can drill and tap them and the top of each rail for 3/8 bolts that will hold the body down. When I do that on this one I will be sure to take some pictures for you.

    As for the welding, I leave that to my Son. My welds hold ok but his are so much prettier and since my eyes have gotten worse my welds are only good for areas that don't show. :eek: I did weld the tubes in the inside of the frame last night and those came out ok, but I only did that because my Sons had gigs last night and I was on my own.

    That makes sense and is the only thing I can come up with. Suicide Doors makes a bolt on plate to go on an S10 rear between the housing and the cover that then mounts that wishbone to the rear. But since I am using a Ford 8 incher we just turned the wishbone around 180. It doesn't care which way it is facing and will work fine either way.

    Don
     
  30. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    Member
    from florida

    Tonight Dan came over to the shop after work and got the C notch welded into the frame and also got the gusset built and welded on to hold the 3rd mounting bolt on top of the frame. So that is the last of the work to do on the steering box.

    Here is the C notch after it was all finish welded in place.

    [​IMG]

    And we put the Olds motor back in to see how the steering box cleared it now that it is sitting lower in the frame. We picked up quite a bit of room all around the steering box and it drops down into a pocket where nothing is near it. Almost like we planned it that way. :D


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    All I have to do now is make up the top mounts for the front tube shocks and order my draglink from Speedway. That will be about the last of the heavy duty work on the frame and chassis. After that I can move on to getting the body mounted and start working on the Kugel Komponents 90 degree brake pedal setup under the dash.

    Don

    Don
     

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