Register now to get rid of these ads!

t-buckets, true costs?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by doubledawg, Apr 20, 2012.

  1. I'm thinking of a change to get myself motivated again. I was building a 56 IHC, and still have it. however its been unouched for more than 5yrs now ( 2 sons, a nasty divorced now a bout with cancer ). Its time to start livin again!
    My Ihc is several yrs away at least, but I've been t
    hinking a lot about t-buckets a lot the last few months. I want one, but I'm on a severely restricted budget (still on disability with a couple weeks of radiation left). I've read "chesters book" a dozen times easy and every time I'm more sure than before that I want one. How much would I be able to put one together for. I have a sbc, th700, 10 bolt posi as well as a driveshaft to shorten that I can steal from my binder project to reduce costs, but chesters book refers to parts that while still available, are no where near as common or cheap as they were when he wrote this book 25 yrs ago!
    I don't care if I'm driving a glass car or not. I also don't care about upholtery or paint. I just want a running drivng beater to have fun with! And no, it will not ne a ratrod, there won't be a single iron cross or spider web to be found!:D
    How much have you guys built a budget bucket for? Any money saving tips? Post pics of yer buckets to inspire us if you can.
    Thanx
    Darren
     
  2. TKEBH964
    Joined: Jul 15, 2008
    Posts: 216

    TKEBH964
    Member
    from MO

    I financed the cost of my Ranch Wagon by selling my daily driver and dumping a car payment. The Ranch Wagon is now my daily driver, if something goes wrong I gotta fix it and because I don't have the car payment I can afford to.

    Unfortunately, this works best when you buy a running/driving car and the equity you have in the car you are getting rid of can pay for the car you are buying.

    I got really lucky.
     
  3. jazz1
    Joined: Apr 30, 2011
    Posts: 1,479

    jazz1
    Member

  4. pasadenahotrod
    Joined: Feb 13, 2007
    Posts: 11,776

    pasadenahotrod
    Member
    from Texas

    Simple buckets can be inexpensive or high dollar too.
    Your cheapest and best bet is to advertise for one in a local paper or Greensheet or Thritfy Nickle. "Wanted: T bucket hotrod project or parts for same. Your phone num ber."
    We bought a body/frame T bucket project at the Decatur swapmeet in February after asking the guy to price just the body and frame. It had a 40 front end with split bones he thought was worth $450, a late model GM rear with links he thought was worth $250, and some motorcycle coil overs, odds and ends. He was asking $1500 or best offer, we got the body and frame for $450.

    Best of luck. It shouldn't be the hardest thing you ever did.
     
    Register now to get rid of these ads!

  5. Jazz, that looks like a nice car but my older boy wants to build a hotrod with daddy and my preference is to build over buy.
    There's a swap meet in a couple weeks. I hope to find some more goodies there. About 10 yrs ago I picked up an A tudor sedan at the same swap for 2 bills. It was already chopped, roof filled, custom visor (nicely done),hidden hinges,suicide doors and all new floors and firewall. only bad part was the big stupid tubs they'd installed.
    Hopefully theres a stalled bucket project there this year.
    So how cheap have you guys wrapped your ass in fiberglass for?
     
  6. verno30
    Joined: Aug 25, 2008
    Posts: 1,017

    verno30
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    If you already have a 350/700R4, rear end with usable brakes, and driveshaft, you can built a tbucket for around $6,000.00. This will involve welding and building your own frame and doing all your own labor (painting, wiring, etc).
     
  7. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,911

    need louvers ?
    Member

    Verno30 above is in the right range if you have some stuff and talent to put it all together. pasadeanahotrodder is on the right track to make it affordable too. Buliding your own chassis if you can weld and understand how this stuff works is not that hard to do either. It all really depends on what you consider "done", and how well you can scrounge...
     
  8. Thanks verno, that's a doable number for someone in my position.
     
  9. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 26,228

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    It depends on a few things.

    1. Is your welding/fabricating skill good enough so that you can build a safe frame/chassis?
    2. Are you a good scrounger/bargainer?
    3. Are you willing to build a plain car with no bling on it to begin with?
    4. What will your Province's laws allow you to build yourself and be legal?

    Knock the bling and extra internal engine goodies off the yellow T that Jazz1 showed above and I at least can build the basic version for 5 to 6 K and probably a lot less than that.
    That means no honked up engine, no trick innards in the transmission and no other exotic parts. Just your basic small block of choice, matching trans and rear end with a self built tube frame, Model A front axle and steelies with a new set of radials from the local tire store.
    It doesn't mean having a rough car or off the wall parts that don't blend in it just means being very careful in how you spend the money you do spend.

    T bucket plans is selling a digital download of the California Custom Roadster plans that not only have the basic measurements but have diagrams for all of the other pieces one would need to build a rolling chassis himself. Some of the things like building your own tube axle might be beyond most guys but it's worth the asking price just for the tips they give to make your frame and chassis look better without spending any extra money. http://www.tbucketplans.com/california-custom-roadsters-t-bucket-chassis-plans/

    You also have to take into consideration that some of the guys on here who say you can't build a respectable T for just a few thousand dollars are the ones who think any hot rod absolutely has to have a custom built engine with high dollar parts, custom built transmission, high dollar trick intake and matching valve covers and what not along with a 400 dollar ignition system. Then add in a two thousand dollar set of wheels that they feel are a must have along with a frame from a "name" builder and a set of custom one off radius rods.
     
  10. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,217

    F&J
    Member

    You go get away much cheaper if you can fabricate.

    I'd be looking for the few things that are harder to fab at home:

    (used, or never built, if you get lucky)
    Body tub
    Windshield & posts
    Radiator and shell
    Front axle setup

    The rest should be dirt cheap
     
  11. Blue One
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 10,158

    Blue One
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Alberta

    If I was in your situation I might consider shopping for a running driving bucket.

    There are some very good deals to be had out there in the US now as there are lots of toys being sold just to pay bills. Unemployment etc etc.
     
  12. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,911

    need louvers ?
    Member

    It seems that every swap I have gone to this winter around here has had at least one 250.00 glass bucket body floating around. Hell, around my house, I just flat had one "show up" in the driveway last summer from a neighbor that was moving and thought I could use it...
     

    Attached Files:

  13. Sumfuncomet
    Joined: Dec 31, 2011
    Posts: 578

    Sumfuncomet
    Member

    I think the six thousand figure is doable.........no bling. Take a suggestion and prowl Craigslist etc for an unfinished project, get one with a factory welded I.e. Speedway, Spirit or Wintec. Ron Pope Motorsports at eztbucket. Com is THE man when it comes to parts and advice....a great guy, very helpful and down to Earth!
     
  14. My starting budget for this one was $10K. I came in right around that number.

    My dad and I did all the cutting and welding on the Model A chassis, the 302/AOD came from a junkyard and the body is glass.

    I did buy a ton of stuff from Speedway though....and that's where most of cost came from. Then of course, the wide whites were expensive too. If I hadn't been so particular and had used things like old hubcaps, a swap meet windshield frame and a swap meet steering column, I bet I could've gotten it done for around $8K....maybe even around $7500, but it would've been hard to get down below that unless a guy already had some stuff laying around.

    This was pre-Craigslist, and I bet I could've chopped off some more money by scrounging on there.

    (I used a Speedway steering column with a quick-release steering wheel to make getting in and out of the damn thing MUCH easier)

    This was ten years ago....so add some inflation to my numbers.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 20, 2012
  15. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,796

    tfeverfred
    Member

    When I built mine, I did it a piece at a time. When I could afford something I bought it. Other things I had made. I became good friends with my local salvage yard. Saved up for stuff like the body (used glass) and frame (don't know how to weld). It took me about 1 1/2 years to build a basic bucket. Total cost to get rolling was about $6K. You've got the running gear and that's probably the most expensive thing you'll have to buy.

    Since I've completed it, I've added some chrome pieces just because I wanted it, not needed it. Try www.tbucketeers.com or the NTBA (Google them). Both sites have a wealth of info and the people are cool.

    Here's a pic of mine. It's about as basic as it can get.

    [​IMG]

    Some things are different in this old pic. Mainly the radiator. Changed out the yellow wires and I have several air cleaners. Take your time, price shop and ask questions and you'll be fine.

    Oh... 2X on the quick release steering wheel. If you have any kind of gut, you'll need it. One of my peeves is tilt columns in a T Bucket. It always looks wrong.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2012
  16. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 14,130

    Squablow
    Member

    Not to be a Debbie Downer, but building a T-bucket from scratch is going to be way more work than finishing a '56 IH truck. Especially on an exceptionally tight budget. If this bucket is intended to be your new primary project, then best of luck to you and go for it. But if you're thinking this is something you'll whip up in a few months in the meantime while the IHC is getting worked on, I have a feeling you're going to end up with two unfinished projects instead of just one.

    Just sayin.
     
  17. raidmagic
    Joined: Dec 10, 2007
    Posts: 1,432

    raidmagic
    Member

    I've got about 5 grand in this as it sits. It still needs paint and interior but is licensed running and driving. I also already had the engine and trans

    [​IMG]
     
  18. 5foot2
    Joined: Apr 28, 2005
    Posts: 284

    5foot2
    Member
    from Maine

    I'm building a gas altered using a T body and turtle deck. This scenario sadly is not even close to how things are for those of us living in the sticks. I ended up buying a body/deck off UP22.com and having it shipped to Maine.

     
  19. gnichols
    Joined: Mar 6, 2008
    Posts: 10,605

    gnichols
    Member
    from Tampa, FL

    You might consider buying a used one, there always seem to some for sale, cheap, too, and you could change just what's needed or required. I'd also take a look at Speedway's new, low n long T body / chassis starter set. Gary
     
  20. Squablow:No, my IHC is gonna have to stay on the back burner for a while longer yet. And believe me, it needs everything, it's not even close to an easy or short project. It also needs lots of cash too. It will also be fun trying to remember how to put it back together so many years after pulling it apart
    Need louvers: you've got some wicked neighbours!
    I have ok welding skills, but a buddy who is certified will stick anything together for me if I tack it in place, and luckily he has some awesome shop equip. bead rollers, shears, brakes, welders, plasmas, all industrial quality from when he was running his own shop repairing ag equip.
    In the past I've fabbed my own basic steering columns, I built a RPU windshield frame from conduit (came out way nicer than I expected), a removable top for the same RPU, and adapted several production rads in A and 32 shells etc. So I do have some skills, the only part I'm a little lacking experience in is the heavy fabbing, ie. frame, suspension etc. But I've been fooling around with both muscle cars and hotrods since the mid 80's.
    Only bling I'm looking at is some assorted chrome engine bits that I"ve been tripping over in the garage for years . lol
     
  21. Nice. That's almost exactly what I pictured building just with plain steel wheels and skinnier tires on the back.
     
  22. gibraltar72
    Joined: Jan 21, 2011
    Posts: 260

    gibraltar72
    Member
    from Osseo Mi.

    I am in final mock up of a track T will soon start coming apart for chassis paint. I bought another guys project 30 years ago. He was a supermodified owner and builder who had decided to build a street rod because a friend had told him you couldn't build one for three thousand dollars. He had buillt frame and purchased MAS body. Being a race car guy he scrounged lots of old race car stuff homebuilt quickie windshield frames etc. His plan was for an Iron duke out of a boat. His plan didn't involve cancer though so when that happened he decided to sell. It got worked on periodically and I took a couple wrong turns ask me how ungainly an econoline front axle looks with a narrowed quickie! It got put aside for years while I went Sprint car racing. I paid 300 bucks for the project but as I said he had scrounged a lot of stuff. I will have about 5 grand in it. But lots of stuff I bought I had to wait until I found a great deal swap meet or CL etc. Some stuff is just gonna be expensive radiators and steering gear come to mind. Hope you find someone elses dream as thats most economical in my mind. Good luck with your project!
     
  23. LongT
    Joined: May 11, 2005
    Posts: 935

    LongT
    Member

    I can't paint and had to get some help with some minor welding. Probably have $11k or a little more in this. Can easily be done for less if you have more skills than I do. Newly rebuilt 355 Chevy, 391 hp on engine dyno, rebuilt trans. Purchased as a project.

    [​IMG]

    Bill
     
  24. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,796

    tfeverfred
    Member

    How much do you have to spend?
     
  25. I can afford to spend 2-300 a month but I don't have a big chunk of cash to buy someone's completed project. But I can afford to buy some tubong and plate and while I cut and fit and tack my chassis together I can look for a deal on a body and other parts I'll be needing. I have no illusions that I will be driving this car this summer. I expect it to be 18 months to get it to a driveable stage.
     
  26. raidmagic
    Joined: Dec 10, 2007
    Posts: 1,432

    raidmagic
    Member

    Yeah I know it's not HAMB friendly. That's why I've never posted it.
     
  27. LongT
    Joined: May 11, 2005
    Posts: 935

    LongT
    Member

    Mine took 5 years. With those skills you'll do better than me time and cost wise. Best of luck.

    Bill
     
  28. raidmagic
    Joined: Dec 10, 2007
    Posts: 1,432

    raidmagic
    Member

    This is my second body. They can be had cheap. I paid $450 for the bucket. I already had the bed.
     
  29. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,796

    tfeverfred
    Member

    Then do a bit at a time. Saving up for the big stuff. That's what I did and it seemed to make things easier. It gives you time to concentrate on stuff that usually gets rushed. 18 months will go quick.
     
  30. OldCrow
    Joined: Jan 10, 2010
    Posts: 134

    OldCrow
    Member

    fabricate everything yourself and use contrasting paint or (fabricated) aluminum bits instead of chrome and you can built one of these pretty reasonably. I also had my engine, front and rear axle/brakes and a few small bits already. I paid for upholstery but did the rest myself. total was right at $8500. it can be done! have fun with it !!!
    I've built a few rods over the years, but the T is by far the most fun to drive. be prepared to smile a LOT.

    Russ
     

    Attached Files:

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!

Archive

Copyright © 1995-2020 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.