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Poboyross' Budget Model A Build....Sans the Model A :P

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by poboyross, Oct 26, 2010.

  1. poboyross
    Joined: Apr 29, 2009
    Posts: 2,133

    poboyross
    Member

    I didn't want to blow smoke as if I've already got my frame, body, and all pieces ready and rarin' to go, so that's why I named this thread what I did. I read a lot of posts on here about how guys got parts in cool ways and for cool prices, so I figured I'd head that route....how I get my parts piece by piece and post the stories here, along with the interesting tidbits I learn along the way for other "A" noobs who come after.

    I'm new to A's, so this will be as big a learning experience as my first build, my 50 Chevy. I'm planning on it being as much of a budget build as humanly possible, for multiple reasons:

    -baby on the way
    -decreasing cash flow
    -Would rather obsess about getting a deal than a part that others think is "cool"
    -did I mention the baby?

    Towards that end, I want to build a car that utilizes more of the OEM parts than newer ones, and modify existing parts instead of buying new bling. This will likely require me to change my plans from time to time, based on what I can find. I know what my general target is, but if somehow an A sedan body came up for a steal, then that's the way I'm going to go, as opposed to the coupe that I'm envisioning. This may sound dumb, but originally being a sculptor who used clay, you have to let the medium talk to you sometimes, instead of telling IT what to do. I'm going to apply this to my build. If I find artillery wheels for free instead of wire wheels for $200, as long as it doesn't detract from the look, that's what I'll use. In essence, the car will partially build itself based on "directed circumstance", if you will.

    What inspired me most is Seret's Orange Jalopy Model A Coupe thread:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    I want to go highboy for this, primarily because it won't necessitate any major frame or suspension mods, as far as I know. Plus, it's not the NEW traditional route that so many others have. Not that there's anything wrong with that way of doing it, but I figured it would kill two birds with one lug nut.

    I started hunting for my first piece to the puzzle, but didn't know whether it should be the frame, a stock chassis, or the engine. I knew that I didn't want to put an SBC in it, and I've seen a number of HUGE threads around here where guys are using the old inline 6's. Some even using them in their A's. I really dig the silhouette of this obelisk of steel sitting in the bay, and even being non-symmetrical with the exhaust, intake, etc. I started looking for 250's and 292's. Almost got off track and got hornswaggled into buying a "running" 250, Offy head, Holley 390 for $350...until I took the advice of TMan, and with a little luck, *coincidentally* found this Chevy 250 w/powerglide for $100.00. One cylinder is stuck from it being outside for a week or two after it was pulled, but it's starting to loosen up as we speak:

    [​IMG]

    I kinda had my heart set on a manual trans for this build, but I don't really want to go out and buy one. If someone wants to trade a compatible manual trans for this one, I'd be up for it.

    So, without getting into my adventure of getting the engine unseized, I'll close on the first post, and post successive ones regarding all my (mis) adventures. :cool:
     
  2. Good choice for an inspirational car!! I love that thing!

    I feel you are going at this with a great mindset. Keep your eyes and ears open and be sure to spend time with all the old timers in your area. They are always the first to help.



    Good luck and I'll keep checking back.





    BloodyKnuckles
     
  3. JeffreyJames
    Joined: Jun 13, 2007
    Posts: 16,588

    JeffreyJames
    Member
    from SUGAR CITY

    This sounds pretty cool. I'm digging the vibe Poboy! I will say this, that inline is going to be a great deal longer then a SBC or flathead so you are going to need to recess it into the firewall or you're going to fuck up the proportions. See the problem that I see with Model A coupes and especially sedans is that people are always trying to extend the wheel base instead of keeping at a 104". This is because of them getting them excessively low or not setting the engine back to create the space.

    So you are dead set on that engine (which I think is cool and that's what we're running in my father in law's '31 Chevy coupe) then measure everything out and don't mount it until you can see where it's at in relation to the body. That axle needs to stay in it's original location and if you have to lose 6-10" in the cowl then so be it because you'll be much happier with the overall stance if you do.
     
  4. JeffreyJames
    Joined: Jun 13, 2007
    Posts: 16,588

    JeffreyJames
    Member
    from SUGAR CITY

    The Don's (my father in law) plan is to run a t5 behind that 250 and hook it up to a 55 Chevy rear or a GM 10bolt. He's into keeping it all chevy even though he's a Ford man. Sometimes you can find a decent T5 for a couple hundred dollars which is a lot but sometimes you're going to have to spend a little otherwise you'll be left on the side of the road in no time.
     
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  5. JeffreyJames
    Joined: Jun 13, 2007
    Posts: 16,588

    JeffreyJames
    Member
    from SUGAR CITY

    I know that you're on a budget but if you can find a sedan or a coupe with fenders and use that inline....well that would be just too cool!!!! Here's a '31 Chevy but you get the point.

    You could do this much lower brow like Chris' Coupe or whatnot and not worry so much about the finishing details. Just make that engine nice and clean and give i the right stance...the rest will take care of itself.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. JeffreyJames
    Joined: Jun 13, 2007
    Posts: 16,588

    JeffreyJames
    Member
    from SUGAR CITY

    But then again....you said you had a baby coming so that might be a bit expensive only because finding a coupe or sedan with fenders is going to require some cheese....or a good hookup!
     
  7. general gow
    Joined: Feb 5, 2003
    Posts: 6,093

    general gow
    Moderator
    Staff Member

    i think it's a cool thing to do. car as a result of circumstance. i will only say that you can create your own circumstance. that is, don't accept a 8" rear as a sign from God if what you really want is a banjo rear. just wait for the banjo. it will come if you hunt it out. stuff is out there, you just need the patience to find it. i have less than $500 in my entire drive line and front end, and i have everything i wanted. '34 front end, y-block, offy adapter, '39 box, '47 rearend and brakes all around.

    it's a very doable thing. just don't get caught up in the moment and make bad decisions.
     
  8. poboyross
    Joined: Apr 29, 2009
    Posts: 2,133

    poboyross
    Member

    Thanks for all the responses and info ya'll!


    That's a lot of good info to have, Jeffrey. I had been thinking about the firewall recess issue, but wasn't sure how it would play out when it all came down to it. I want to keep everything stock length, height, etc...except where absolutely necessary.

    Funny thing about the "sign from God" regarding parts. I was about to go down and seriously look at that 250 inline that had an Offy intake and Holley carb for $350 on Sunday afternoon, but we had church beforehand. I'm friends with a guy there that has his own shop and does work on old cars, but never gets anything new, just works on his stash....and NONE of it included these engines. Out of the blue after service, I went over and asked him if he had ANY engines sitting around gathering dust. I was figuring he'd say "no", as that's always been the case when it came to things I'm looking for. He looks at me and says "Yeah, I randomly traded some corvair engine heads for this guy's 250 inline/trans about two weeks ago...it's sitting at my shop....I'll sell it to ya for $100." I was bowled over.....maybe not a sign from God, but close enough!!!!


    Update....been working on getting cylinder to to come loose. It sat outside, allegedly covered for the two weeks prior to it getting pulled/swapped for a v8, and me buying it. In the process of soaking the head/cylinder and giving it some "persuasion", I ended up sullying the piston head surface some (pea size dings less than 1mm deep, and none around the "d" recesses or perimeter) and my wood block shattered, my hammer glanced off to the side, and ended up with this little bugger on the mating surface:

    [​IMG]

    How concerned should I be, and is there anything I can do to fix it.....or am I just snookered?
     
  9. mace69
    Joined: Apr 11, 2010
    Posts: 153

    mace69
    Member
    from mass

    Looks like it will be ok when you have a new gasket in it, you could deck it to be sure, but due to the budget it might be worth the cost of a headgasket to try. Those inlines are pretty forgiving.
     
  10. poboyross
    Joined: Apr 29, 2009
    Posts: 2,133

    poboyross
    Member

    That's what I was hoping to hear. I talked to ModelACitizen on the horn, and he echoed pretty much the same thing. They don't really create enough compression, stock, to be uber concerned about leaks with a gasket that large, right? Also, what's a rough estimate to deck something like this?
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2010
  11. Congrats on the Baby on the way!!! Got three myself 18,16 and 12! Wouldn't trade any of them for a million, wouldn't give you a nickel for another one! My tour is about over with kids. Here is my .02, love them kids, give them what they need, love, time and yourself, all else will fall into place. Hot Rods can wait. Being a Trade school teacher I see way too many kids that had parents that DID NOT PARENT! Parent first, hot rods second. A very old friend of mine told me when he heard I was going to be Daddy for the first time, " well your life just changed, kids & family come first, Dads needs and wants come after that!
     
  12. Screamin J Pito
    Joined: Oct 16, 2010
    Posts: 92

    Screamin J Pito
    Member

    Yeah man! Love seeing people run inlines! Congrats on the baby and the new project!
     
  13. You just got the engine............soak that damn thing for a couple weeks before you wail on it!
     
  14. poboyross
    Joined: Apr 29, 2009
    Posts: 2,133

    poboyross
    Member


    Hulk impatient.....Hulk *smash*....Hulk f*ck up.
     
  15. hahahaha nice reply!
     
  16. IowaMercMan
    Joined: Sep 22, 2008
    Posts: 423

    IowaMercMan
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

  17. Beebeebobby
    Joined: Sep 5, 2010
    Posts: 224

    Beebeebobby
    Member
    from Webb City

    I am an inline kinda guy...so, I am followin' this one. I also like your mindset on this kinda thing.
     
  18. poboyross
    Joined: Apr 29, 2009
    Posts: 2,133

    poboyross
    Member

    Ok...so I'm in need of some more schooling. I've seen some original Model A chassis' for sale with most to all of the components present and moving freely, but I've also seen guys on here who are using either newly fabbed frames or boxed original ones. I also know that most of ya'll are using some newer rear ends, like the oft-mentioned Ford 9" rear. I'd like to know what is likely to be the safest and most economical route to go? Do I hunt for one of these chassis with all of the old school stuff there and build around that? Can you even adapt the closed driveline to use that 250? Is it even safe? Or is it better to just find a good original frame, or perhaps an original one that's been boxed? I honestly am figuring out where to start. Seeing I'm trying to keep this a budget build, I don't really want to begin shopping from the catalogs, but rather find it in the junk yards and on here....providing prices aren't sky high. It's like starting all over again when it comes to the learning curve!
     
  19. Most of that stuff on an A frame is not useable save for the front bones. You can however use lots of those old Ford parts to fab other parts.........."A" brake crossover tube makes a good front spreader bar, tie rods,drag links can be used etc........

    And 9" is the easiest way to go for you first car.
     
  20. smarg
    Joined: Nov 18, 2008
    Posts: 1,069

    smarg
    Member

    This is very cool.

    Looks good in Black n' White tooo.

    Vintage.....
     

    Attached Files:

  21. Well I assume you are going to piece it together. Find an original A frame and box it. Go with the S-10 4X4 rear 60" wide. You can find alot of other parts; axles,ect on craigs list,Want AD Press ect. You just missed it but Hersey is a great place to look. Not a far ride from North Jersey ( I did it many times as a kid) Also get the Tardell traditional Model A book. Althogh you are going with a different powerplant their is still alot of good info in it.
    Do us all a huge favor. If you run the 6. Which is way cool!! Make sure you recess the firewall enought so that the front doesn't look too long or it will look like ASS!!
    Tod
     
  22. poboyross
    Joined: Apr 29, 2009
    Posts: 2,133

    poboyross
    Member

    LOL....I *hate* the long front ends. I want it looking snub nosed....maybe I'll set it back far enough that I can mount a cup holder on the side of the block. Eh?

    GOOD info on the S10 rear. So does that mean you could use a 2nd gen Camaro rear too? Is there a reasoning for using the S10 other than it's all part of a GM drive train?
     
  23. Pete1930
    Joined: May 5, 2006
    Posts: 322

    Pete1930
    Member
    from Boston

    Love that Orange Jalopy! Mine is probably going to end up similar.

    Not that I'm all that knowledgeable, but here's my $0.02...

    You can also try the Ford Ranger rear end. Ford Granada / Maverick is popular for the 8" rear.

    Stock A frame is fine, that's what I'm using. Some guys box it, some don't. I will be boxing mine up to the firewall, then I'll have some type of crossmember / X-member for the remainder. If you are going to stay with the stock wheelbase, then an A frame should be a good starting point. If you were going to have a longer nose to fit the inline 6, then I'd say maybe you should start with tubing and make a simple frame.

    A banjo rear is considered more appropriate / traditional by some people, especially if it's going to be very visible under a highboy. But, as we all know, cost commands many decisions.

    If you have your heart set on a manual, there should be a number of available chev manual trannys that'll easily and cheaply bolt to your inline chev motor. Chevy put tons of manuals in pickups, cars and vans behind the inline 6.

    I also think your dent in the deck will be fine. Put a new head gasket on and see what happens. My opinion on stuff like that is that things don't always have to be perfect. But --- be careful! And don't do it again. ;)

    Good luck
    Pete
     

  24. I'm talking cost/availability. I'm sure your on a budget. You could probable piece it together without alot of $$ you just need to shop around and buy smart. You will also save a ton by doing the fab work your self. Got a good welder?? Todd
     
  25. Pat Pryor
    Joined: May 28, 2007
    Posts: 1,868

    Pat Pryor
    Member

    maybe im rong but i thought a model A wheel base was 103''
     
  26. Pat Pryor
    Joined: May 28, 2007
    Posts: 1,868

    Pat Pryor
    Member

    nice poboy lookin foward to the build. keep the coupe body sedans are just hotrod minivans
     
  27. poboyross
    Joined: Apr 29, 2009
    Posts: 2,133

    poboyross
    Member

    So it looks like I'm no longer "Sans the Model A" any longer...or at least I won't be in a few weeks :) I struck up a deal with RpmRex, and i'll be picking up most of a body to build an A coupester. I know, I know.....and I don't really care what the naysayers think. I like the idea of it and I've seen some on here that look really nice. PLUS, being 6'3" and 225, having the extra leg room and doors will be a blessing, not to mention a blessing to my fracked up back.....all this at the ripe old age of 31.

    The wife and I will be hitting the road the day after Thanksgiving, driving out to Indiana to meet up with Rex and get the goods! My wife loves to travel, so we'll be doing some sight seeing in the area, as she's never been to Indiana before. I'll post pics of the journey then. My wife's a trooper, she's 4 months pregnant, already having some troubles moving around, and she STILL wants to go....and is EXCITED about the build for once. She was "meh" with my 50, but is stoked about having a full time roads...er....I mean coupester ;)

    My mind has been racing with all types of ideas of things I can do to it to modify the look, but my first focus will be getting the two halves together and squared up.

    Here's some pics of what I'm picking up:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    and here's my latest inspiration for it:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I've always liked the idea of having a roadster or convertible of some type, but when my wife actually expressed a lot of interest, this fit the bill!
     
  28. Nothing against roadsterized coupes, the one you show is pretty nice. YOU GOTTA GET THE WINDSHIELD RIGHT!
     
  29. fattysgarage
    Joined: Mar 23, 2010
    Posts: 56

    fattysgarage
    Member

    Awesome first post, very well written! Your approach is very similar to the one I am taking for similar circumstances. Subscribed!
     
  30. Yep! It's all in the windshield.
     

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