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Projects Straight 8 RPU build thread

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by bobbytnm, Oct 24, 2017.

  1. bobbytnm
    Joined: Dec 16, 2008
    Posts: 1,240

    bobbytnm
    Member

    I've been hesitating starting a build thread because I only get the rare moments to work on this project and it takes me forever to get anything done.
    The basic idea of this project is an old style hot rod with basically stock suspension and a big engine. About 10 years ago I picked up a complete 1938 Ford front suspension. At about the same time I dug a Model A pick-up bed out of the desert. Since then I've been scouring around looking for a cab. Then a few years ago I acquired a Packard straight 8 followed closely by a 1926 Model T body.
    That's when I decided I could male a pretty decent little roadster pick-up. I decided I'd like to keep the wide 5 hubs so I scrounged around and managed to turn up a couple of wide 5 banjo rear axles. I had a line on a Model TT frame but the old guy swears he's going to do something with it (how many times have we heard that?) so I decided I'd fab my own frame.
    Well, about a week ago I answered an ad for someone selling a 40 Ford truck chassis complete with engine/trans and front and rear axles. The frame is junk by the rear diff is great and will give me hydraulic brakes (I'll swap my wide 5 drums onto it).
    Here's some pics of my humble beginnings;
    DSCN4303.JPG 38 frt axle.jpg Packard 288 left.jpg 20141026_125734.jpg

    More to come
    Bobby
     
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  2. bobbytnm
    Joined: Dec 16, 2008
    Posts: 1,240

    bobbytnm
    Member

    While scrounging around for parts I managed to locate a 1953 Packard 327 straight 8 that was pretty complete (only missing generator and plug wires. The car had been sitting for 25+ years. I drove from Albuquerque, NM over to Lubbock, TX to pick it up. Before I pulled it from the car I made sure I could turn the engine by hand. Long story short, we made the drive, spent the night, pulled the engine/trans and drove home. The engine was pretty clean. I did some light cleaning, put a little ATF in the cylinders, cleaned the points and put some plug wires on it. The engine is a 327ci with a 4brl intake. The butterflies on the carb were stuck. I managed to locate a replacement and we fired the thing up on my garage floor;

    https://redirect.viglink.com/?forma...bytnm/Packard/20160518_210942_zpsbtd2bpdu.mp4
     
  3. bobbytnm
    Joined: Dec 16, 2008
    Posts: 1,240

    bobbytnm
    Member

    So, now that I knew I had a decent power plant I figured it would be safe to move forward with trying to come up with a rolling chassis.
    I was working on a Model TT frame but the old guy won't budge on it. I contemplated stretching a Model A frame but quickly ruled that out. I ended up buying a couple of joints of 2"x3"x.120 rectangular tubing.
    My idea was to build a basic ladder frame similar to a Model T or TT. I used a Model A front x-member and notched the sidewall of the tubing to accept the x-member.

    I decided I didn't want to use the Ultramatic trans that is bolted to my Packard. I was searching around for a Packard 3spd trans and then decided I could adapt a T5. I pulled a T5 from the local pull-a-part and started looking at dimensions. Basically I fabbed an adapter plate that lets me bolt a GM bell housing to my Packard engine. I used to sheets of 1/2 plate. I measured, measured, measured, and measured, and then measured some more to get the layout for the Packard bolt holes and alignment pins. I downloaded an engineered drawing of the GM bellhousing bolt holes and alignment dowels. Then I measured, measured, measured, and measured and made a template. I did that several times before I was satisfied and transferred the dimension to my steel. After some cutting, drilling and welding I had a 1" thick adapter and my T5 mounted. I still need to redrill the Packard flywheel to accept the GM pressure plate but its basically done. 20170211_112557.jpg 20170228_183718.jpg 20170301_204700.jpg 20170306_190530.jpg 20170319_162125_resized.jpg 20170319_175201.jpg
     
  4. Dino 64
    Joined: Jul 13, 2012
    Posts: 1,710

    Dino 64
    Member
    from Virginia

    Here there my desert friend, happy to see that project moving along, you're a true hot rodder, making it happen. Got a shot of that bed up dug up ? Great story, great build , following this one Bobby !


    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
     
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  5. bobbytnm
    Joined: Dec 16, 2008
    Posts: 1,240

    bobbytnm
    Member

    I don't have too many pics of the bed from when I pulled it out of the desert. Someone had made a farm trailer out of it. It is bolted to the rear axle with U-bolts and wooden blocks. Luckily the sheet metal wasn't buried in the sand, only the tires and tongue (front of torque tube). The actual bed and tailgate are in pretty danged good shape.

    I'm going to run the 38 Ford front suspension completely stock, well, I may remove a leaf or 2 from the spring if needed. Initially for the rear I was going to go with a parallel leaf rear suspension. As I was scrambling around looking at different vehicles and shackles I saw an ad on Craigslist for a complete 40 Ford truck chassis. After some wheeling and dealing I drug the chassis home. This gave me a complete transverse leaf rear suspension and a banjo diff with hydraulic brakes (I'll have to swap my wide 5 drums onto it). So know I'm going to run the transverse rear spring.
    I'm also thinking that I'll take the ball mount off of the spare 40 Ford front wishbone and adapt it to the rear wishbones and fab another x-member with a ball mount for the rear.

    IMG_0134.JPG IMG_0139.JPG

    I got the 40 Ford chassis cut apart. Now I need to find a buyer for the flathead V8 and trans.
    Bobby
     
  6. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 25,931

    The37Kid
    Member

    This is going to be a good build to watch, nice work on the transmission adaptor. Bob
     
  7. manyolcars
    Joined: Mar 30, 2001
    Posts: 7,878

    manyolcars

    Straight8s werent used for traditional hotrods, Too heavy, too sluggish
     
  8. bobbytnm
    Joined: Dec 16, 2008
    Posts: 1,240

    bobbytnm
    Member

    So, I have a couple of these Packard straight 8's. The first one was given to me. Its a 288ci and its still sitting in the car (I'm waiting for the guy to get it pulled-he was going to scrap it). I ended up buying another 288ci at the swap meet for $100. Both of these engines are incomplete and don't have carbs, distributors, starters, etc.
    While talking to a cousin of mine out in the Lubbock area I located a 327ci Packard still in the car and complete. Its pretty handy having the incomplete 288ci engine hanging around. I can use it in my mock ups and not worry about damaging anything on my good engine.

    The original air cleaner on the 327ci engine is huge. It appeared to have a resonator or silencer type area between the actual oil bath area and the carb. I was just going to leave it be and run it like it was but then decided to cut it apart and streamline it a little bit. I basically cut it down a bit, used parts of it to make and end cap and found a paper filter I could make work. I then used some screen to make a cover for the paper element. Here's some pics (I cant find the finished pic with the screen) 20160315_132818.jpg 20160315_132826.jpg 20160423_100943.jpg 20160424_123921.jpg 20170104_163619.jpg 20170104_165017.jpg 20170122_142727.jpg 20170129_151636.jpg

    more later
    Bobby
     
  9. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 10,695

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    Pfffft! What is 'Traditional' is using what you got or can find. That Packard 8 will haul around the roadster pickup just fine! To the OP, ignore the Negative Nellies and carry on. Great job on the adapter.

    Ray
     
  10. khead47
    Joined: Mar 29, 2010
    Posts: 1,544

    khead47
    Member

    ^^^^^^^^^^^ I say BS !!!!!
     
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  11. khead47
    Joined: Mar 29, 2010
    Posts: 1,544

    khead47
    Member

    ^^^^ In regards to " not traditional "
     
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  12. wicarnut
    Joined: Oct 29, 2009
    Posts: 3,226

    wicarnut
    Member

    Very Kool ! Unique is what you have and admire your skills in this project, looking forward to see it finished. Can't get more traditional than that, IMO it does not have to a Model A with a flathead or a Duece Roadster. Have At It !
     
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  13. MMM1693
    Joined: Feb 8, 2009
    Posts: 434

    MMM1693
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    EXCELLENT work on mating non-traditional inline flathead to traditional aluminum bellhousing and T-5 tranny!:cool:Very cool build, don't stop now!
     
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  14. captainjunk#2
    Joined: Mar 13, 2008
    Posts: 4,330

    captainjunk#2
    Member

    great job on the bell housing adapter , using basic tools thats real hotrodding i really like the big packard mill to id love to use one in a T bucket , keep posting your progress im liking this build
     
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  15. Really.....Perhaps not many in the US, but the Germans were pretty fond of using long 8's in their hot rods. I think more then one of these ended up running at Indy. 595 hp from 345 ci was probably not that sluggish. Keep up the good work Bobby. I have a soft spot for Packard 8's.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2017
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  16. Kinky6
    Joined: May 11, 2003
    Posts: 1,765

    Kinky6
    Member

    Yeah, I know you're catching some guff over this, but I have read at least one story in the Inliner's 12 Port News about a mechanic in the early '50's running a Packard flat 8 in a scruffy looking roadster who was stomping all comers with their Ford flatties. This sort of thing just didn't make it into the contemporary publications very often. K6
     
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  17. One of the most interesting projects here in a while!
    Nice fab work,love the Packard. No power?? Please, your beloved Flatheads might make 100 HP, that Packard must have some torque! Who cares anyway, IT'S COOL!
    Do you have a sketch or drawing of what you want the finished car to look like?
     
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  18. bobbytnm
    Joined: Dec 16, 2008
    Posts: 1,240

    bobbytnm
    Member

    Thanks everyone. I've played around with old cars my whole life, hotrodding, racing customizing etc. This is my first time building something from scratch. There sure is a lot of things to think about.
    I'm not too worried about nay sayers. It seems like every build thread on here has those that pipe in stating emphatically what is "traditional" and what isn't.
    If I'm not "traditional" because I don't have a belly-button build then so much the better....lol. What I have is a very small budget, a pile of parts, and a vision. In the end I hope to end up with a unique and fun little pick-up.

    So, here's where I'm at today. I've notched my frame rails and installed a front x-member so that I can bolt my front axle in place. At the rear I just have a temporary x-member welded to the rails to hold the width. Once I got the rear axle cut from the donor frame I couldn't resist rolling it under my rails. Naturally I had to set the body and grill shell in place to see how things were looking. And, yes, once that body was sitting on the frame I did crawl inside and sit in the drivers area and make silly little vroom, vroom noises.

    My plan now is to hang the engine between the frame rails and rough in some engine mounts. Once I know where the engine needs to live then I'll know where the body mounts need to be, which will then tell me where the bed needs to be mounted. Once that is known, I'll know where the rear axle needs to be located and I can start fabricating a rear x-member and spring mount......whew. I also need to determine where the front wishbone ball mount needs to be and rough in a x-member and ball mount.
    IMG_0085.JPG IMG_0087.JPG IMG_0090.JPG IMG_0161.JPG IMG_0171.JPG IMG_0176.JPG

    Progress updates will probably slow down for a bit. Like I said, I don't get very much free time to work on this thing as life and its many obligations are a bit crazy right now.

    Thanks for all the kinds words so far. This site has been very helpful and I've learned tons from reading and seeing what others have done.
    Bobby
     
  19. topher5150
    Joined: Feb 10, 2017
    Posts: 1,571

    topher5150
    Member

    this build reminds me of a Packard pickup I saw this year. He said it was made for use in the Packard factory for running parts.
    P1010374.JPG P1010376.JPG
     
  20. bobbytnm
    Joined: Dec 16, 2008
    Posts: 1,240

    bobbytnm
    Member

    Wow! thanks for posting that.
    What a great truck!
     
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  21. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,099

    belair
    Member

    I admire your vision. Press on.
     
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  22. fiftyv8
    Joined: Mar 11, 2007
    Posts: 4,758

    fiftyv8
    Member
    from CO & WA

    Here is what I did with my T firewall to help provide a small amount of extra engine bay space.
    It is just a simple reversal. Some times an extra inch is worth working for...
    IMAG0453.jpg
     
  23. woodbutcher
    Joined: Apr 25, 2012
    Posts: 3,119

    woodbutcher
    Member

    :D Now that`s a bit different.I like.Please up date as you are able.
    Good luck.Have fun.Be safe.
    Leo
     
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  24. RMR&C
    Joined: Dec 26, 2009
    Posts: 3,158

    RMR&C
    Member
    from NW Montana

    Nice work Bobby, carry on...
     
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  25. Bobbytnm, I like your project. If the Packard does not pan out I have a Buick engine with about 10,000 miles on a rebuild.;)

    Like your Dodge. That series is my favorite Pickup.

    Ben
     
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  26. Kinky6
    Joined: May 11, 2003
    Posts: 1,765

    Kinky6
    Member

    bobbytnm, I know its a little early to worry, but please figure on working out something with that grille shell that will have it level or just slightly below the front edge of your cowl. IMHO, this is a make or break feature on any rod, but especially with mix-n-match body parts. Looks like a cool build: I love RPU's! K6
     
  27. 41 C28
    Joined: Dec 17, 2005
    Posts: 1,761

    41 C28
    Member

    A straight 8 roadster hotrod with pipes up the side has been in my concept dreams for a long time . Your build is way cool! Keep the pics coming.
     
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  28. bobbytnm
    Joined: Dec 16, 2008
    Posts: 1,240

    bobbytnm
    Member

    That's a great idea. Once I swing the engine in place I'll take a look, I might be able to save an inch or 2

    Thanks. I'd love a straight 8 Buick. They are great engines! My grandpa bought that Dodge brand new. I've been working on it for my dad. Right now my son is trying to buy it from my dad, so it will stay in the family.

    Great advice. I know it doesn't look like it, maybe its the angle the pic was taken or something, but the top of the grill shell is pretty much the same height as the cowl. When I start mocking up the engine I'll look at it a little closer. If necessary I can move the grill a little forward and drop it down between the frame rails a little. I thought about angling it back a little bit but I think I like the look of it straight up and down.

    I appreciate the input

    Bobby
     
  29. Terrific plan, Bobby. I have a 288 Packard, and TT frame. Funny, to fit the T rad shell and T cowl, I had to move the cowl back 17". Yours will be a long ride, even for a PU. Good luck and keep the pics coming.
     
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  30. AndersF
    Joined: Feb 16, 2013
    Posts: 628

    AndersF
    Member

    I dont know if you want ideas on the firewall.
    But on my build i reversed the upper half to save some wheelbase.
    Most of the bellhousing went under the angeled floorpan so it dont take up
    much space inside the coupe.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     

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