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t-buckets, true costs?

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

  1. madmike8
    Joined: Dec 4, 2011
    Posts: 61

    from Tennessee

    That's how I'm doing mine... I can afford about $200 a month to dedicate to my T project. I saved for a couple months and bought a welded frame from Ron Pope. Then saved and bought his front end kit... Then rear... Wife got me the $275 body off eBay for Christmas. Just buy what you can afford when you can afford it. I've got a long ways to do, but I don't have a completion time, so no worries. I can't say enough good things about Ron Pope.

    Good Luck, and Have Fun!

  2. I wouldn't be ashamed to be seen in that even as it sits. and at 5G that a pretty sweet buy in for a pile of smiles
  3. R Frederick
    Joined: Mar 30, 2009
    Posts: 2,660

    R Frederick
    from illinois

    I nickled and dimed mine together in one year for close to $3k. The only new parts I bought were engine bearings, cam, some other engine vitals, and suspension parts like rod ends, etc. Bought a new carb and glass for the windshield.
    I didn't do any machine work on the engine, I scrounged everything from the oil actuated shocks to the wheels.
    The frame, radius arms, floor, firewall, pedals, etc were all fabricated.
    There are ways to pick and choose what is important to buy new, and what you can make or scrounge. I have virtually no chrome on my car, and like it that way. Actually got best of show at a small local car show last weekend.
  4. 06 pitbull
    Joined: Apr 11, 2012
    Posts: 21

    06 pitbull
    from GA

    mine sits off to the side in my shop... but i got 1.. its kind of a catch all.. I have a sbc turbo 350 trans, 12 bolt rear... rear tires are 29x18.5 x15..



  5. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,796


  6. Hackerbilt
    Joined: Aug 13, 2001
    Posts: 6,235


    I remember the first time I saw that little Hot Rod.
    It's one of those cars that redefines the rules.

    Someone forgot to tell R Frederick that having a small budget results in a boring car. :D:D
  7. Kramer
    Joined: Mar 19, 2007
    Posts: 908


    Sat down after reading thru this an added up what I have in mine so far. It came to just over $6000.00. I may have a few hundred more in it from swap meet purchases, and I figure I have about $1000 more to get it street worthy. That price includes 1500 for engine rebuild, and close to 800 for manifold and carb because I didn't want stock. I don't have a current picture, this was taken about a year ago. I have a little more done, but not much. For perspective, I started with buying the body in 2005. Obviously I'm not in a hurry, plus I buy what I can when I can, work on a it then wait till I can afford more.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 1, 2014
  8. Was looking on craigslist and found a guy close by with a 31 model a front susp. wishbone, axle, spindles, backing plates, spring perches and steering arm. He's asking $150. Price seems ok, but I don't know how much of the stock A can be used outside of the axle. Are these good bones for splitting? Can A spindles be used? Guys using A axles seem to use later spindles. He has no springs fot the front end
  9. powmia
    Joined: Oct 4, 2009
    Posts: 126


    I'll add pictures when I can but I set a budget on my 26 for 3k. It is almost done but I found it is well worth the extra time and money to do it right. 5k will build a nice bucket as long as you're not in a rush. Parts are cheap if you're willing to wait.
  10. Cowtown Speed Shop
    Joined: Sep 26, 2010
    Posts: 1,179

    Cowtown Speed Shop
    from KC

    Sounds like you are burnt out on the IHC project, As it is hard to believe that it could need so much that you are better off to get a whole new project. For the most part you can buy a bucket someone has grown tired of cheaper than you can build one yourself. Not always but most of the time. And there are some really good deals out there right now. A good rule of thumb on a build like this would be a 10K budget, If you beat that then great!, But to set your budget much cheaper than that is just foolishness. It can and has been done, But better be pretty crafty..
  11. nrgwizard
    Joined: Aug 18, 2006
    Posts: 1,123

    from Minn. uSA

    Hey, DD;

    You're on the right track.

    Chesters' book is illustrative of having an idea of where you want to end up, being able to see the potential in almost anything, esp when it's not automotive in nature (& I think there's a thread or two on that here. Good to rev-up the way you look at things.), finding cast-offs/unwanted stuff that isn't in demand - but will still work, & combining it all in a rather un-orthedox manner that still looks good in proportion.

    I still question some of his methods, but they can work - obviously, & how cheap you can do it, is partially a matter of what you "demand" that the car "has" to have. &, as long as they're done safely, can always be upgraded later.

    Got a friend down in Fl - Sarasota area, that for years did things on the unbelievable cheap. & wrote about it. I usually liked his approach, as he was usually successful.

    I think the advice of buying a swap-meet/CL spl has merit, although on the budget (which is a cool way of doing it, actually), it'd still be peice-meal acquistion style. You'd have to decide if the item (frame/body/used interior/etc) can be bought cheaper than the materials alone would cost, & iffen it'd work w/o too much alteration. (Never seems to work for me, but I know of others that had it work out nicely).

    There's some decent threads here, & on tbucketeers, on DIY - cheeeep... :D .

    Still, you're going to pay for it in either time, $$$, labor; but that can be fun too, if no real time limit is set.

    Nice thing about going super low buck, is the bragging rights - in reverse. :D .

    Good luck.

  12. Ya, I am a little burned out on my old binder. Problem is, it was never my dream truck and now I've got too much money in it to walk away from it but I can't sell an oddball like it especially when it's completely disassembled. I'd be lucky to get 10 cents on the dollar for it. So I would rather let it continue to sit and hopefully I will get back around to it some day, but as I said in my original post, I'm currently dealing with cancer so I've decided it's been far too long since I've had a cool car to cruise in. And I've loved t buckets since I saw my first on back in 1974. It seems like the best way for me to get back in the game in so many ways. Besides, I now have a 7 yr old who keeps telling me we need a project to work on in the garage :D I have pretty cool kids!
  13. GizmoJoe
    Joined: Jul 18, 2007
    Posts: 1,296


    You have the right motivation, as far as I'm concerned: health issues, father-son project and just-plain wanting one. What else matters?

    Do your own work and scrounge.

    I got the materials for my frame, all rear suspension brackets, ladder bars and panhard bar for less than what a frame would cost me shipped to my door.

    Shipping kills ordering parts for me and has to be considered in the cost. Two $12 ladder bar adjusters would wind up being about $50 by the time they got here with taxes and shipping. I made 2 for less than $10, scrounging stuff. That's $40 I have for other stuff.

    Mine is a LONG way from done but it's also a much longer way from 6k.

    2-300 a month will probably be enough to keep you busy with materials if you are making everything. Have to pay someone? Money go bye bye fast.

    Go for it. If you can't have some fun and make some good memories what's the point of getting out of bed? My opinion. Your mileage may vary.

    Best of luck with your health!!!
  14. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,912

    need louvers ?

    Depending on how you set up the front end, you can use the axle and wishbones. Better in my opinion is to look for a '37-40 front end. You can then use the axle, spindles, tie rod, wishbones, and if you find '40 the brakes too. The old way was to split the bones, go back down the bones about 4" and drill a hole for an "A" type spring perch and spring. If you can dig up a set of November '64 to June '65 Car Craft Magazines you will find the best series ever on building a "T" bucket in a very traditional manner on the cheap.
  15. paintcan54
    Joined: Oct 27, 2007
    Posts: 1,100


    You said you was burned out on the IHC, why not go on the "Old International Club" web site and look for some one wanting a truck like yours, or offer it up for a trade, as you said it was not your dream project!!!! I traded a '41 Ford sedan project for my T Bucket in '08 and I was not even looking for a T Bucket or trading my car, a friend had his and was tired of it, it took us about 8 months before we came to a deal, as I realy didn't want a T Bucket but a roadster. I was still working on the '41 and was not burnt out on it but geeting close to being done. "We traded even" my project for his ride and drive T Bucket, it's out there, if I was you I would put out feelers that you want to trade it off for a T Bucket, you will be suprized what comes your way, good luck on your cancer and on getting a T Bucket.
  16. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 26,093


    I think I used that Car Craft series to build my T in the 70's or a similar series in one of the magazines.

    I'm sorry gents but I am still seeing the same thing that I mentioned before. From what I see in some of the above shown cars there is no possible way to have that much money tied up in the car unless you just flat cannot hunt for a bargain and are paying exorbitant prices on the cars. R Fredricks car is the exception and it is pretty well finished. His car obviously has money spent where it needs to be spent but he didn't fall into the train of thought that he needed a $3000+ engine to go in the car when a simple good running engine will do fine.
  17. Broman
    Joined: Jan 31, 2002
    Posts: 1,484

    from The Island

    IDK seems like you are working your logic backwards. You don't need us to tell you how much to spend - that number is set. You just need to go out parts hunting and get this project kicked off. Don't buy new and try not to get taken in any deals. Buy local whenever possible so you're not blowing your whole budget on shipping.

    Professionally Killing Posts
    from my iPod touch using TJJ app...
  18. Broman
    Joined: Jan 31, 2002
    Posts: 1,484

    from The Island

    I personally think you should get the body first. That way you can start mocking up a frame. If you found a really cheap frame somewhere that will help but I think if you want it bad enough you'll get it done one way or another. Money is not your issue it's fear. You are worrying when you could just be DOING.

    Professionally Killing Posts
    from my iPod touch using TJJ app...
  19. Thanks Louvers, I'm not quite up to speed on the compatibility of alot of the early ford mechanical stuff in the susp and brake areas. But the HAMB knows all!:D
    Anybody able to scan the Car Craft series he mentions? My magazine collection only goes back to about 78 or so. Or is there a "torrent" or something like that I could download. The really old Car Craft stuff was really cool back in those days.
  20. Don't get me wrong, if someone wants to buy it from me the IHC can go down the road as I'm not in love with it or anything. The problem is it's completely disassembled and (be nice now) it's also on an S-10 frame, yes I know people around here hate that kind of thing but its actually a pretty decent swap and gives me a stance like Clark's AD pickup frame swap in the tech archives.
    Once completed the truck will be quite nice and ride nice but right now it's just another stalled frame swap that nobody will want to buy unless if they are paying scrap metal prices.:rolleyes:
  21. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,912

    need louvers ?

    I hate to be a green meanie, I do have the complete set of issues. But there is someone here on the board that is working with the original author of the series Ray Sizemore to republish it and requested that I NOT scan and post them. I said yes, so I do have to keep my word.

    I might suggest that you spend a bit of time on a thread called tradtional "T" bucket and see what everybody else is doing. There is a fine line between doing a traditional early sixties car and doing the seventies type car that most of the kit manufactures offer. The cool part is that the earlier style is usually cheaper to do.
  22. I'm not looking for somone to to me how much I need to spend.I've just been reading chesters book on building a bucket for $3G's but he talks about buying complete front ends from swaps for $25-75 and those days are long gone around these parts (the book was written25 yrs ago). I'm really asking the guys who have put on of these together, are chesters prices on everything out the window? I just don't want to get into a project that will end up costing several times more than I was budgeting for.
    I'm a pretty goog scrounger, My model A had a rolling chassis and almost all body mods done and I was into it for just under $700. Had to sell it before completion due to a move and I sold it for $2800 and I was still getting calls on it 8 months later after running one single ad! Probably could have priced it higher huh?
  23. DAVEO!
    Joined: Dec 4, 2011
    Posts: 291


    i paid $1200 for my 25 T the frame i was gonna resale and get a model A front and rear cross member and build the frame my self to i would have had no more then 5K in the whole car all work done by me. thought i would share good luck all!

    Attached Files:

  24. GizmoJoe
    Joined: Jul 18, 2007
    Posts: 1,296


  25. I pieced mine together a little at a time too. I also bought parts at good prices (swap meets), some I didn't need but was able to re-sale to make a couple bucks to get the parts I did need. You can get the basics in it to get it going and then change them out afterward , like intakes, wheels and tires, seats etc. You just need to be thrifty and have a pretty good idea of what you want so when you see it buy it. I'm under 10 grand as it sits but could have been on the road with black walls, common steel wheels and stock engine for far less.

  26. Keep us up to date on whether it gets republished, I would be interested in it. And I respect your keeping your word.
  27. What kind of tractor grill is that?
  28. Actually it's from an old hit n miss engine NOVO, I found the grill shell up in the attic of my garage and built the car around the shell. I had no intensions or desires of building a "t-bucket" before I found it, the car has grown on me though.
    The grill shell is narrow and the T body is what I thought of that had a narrow cowl to match the shell. I have an "A" grill shell that I thought about replacing it with many times but without the NOVO shell the car wouldn't exist in my
  29. captainjunk#2
    Joined: Mar 13, 2008
    Posts: 4,337


    the novo grill gives that bucket character , its one of my favorite buckets
  30. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 8,994

    Rusty O'Toole

    Sounds like a good deal to me. Sometimes you have to grab things when they are available.

    Yes the wishbone can be split. They used to cut, heat, bend the wishbone then weld a piece of an old tie rod in the end, and screw in the tie rod end, and make a bracket on the frame. This made an adjustable pivot.

    The reason for using newer spindles is to get better brakes.

    If you are thinking of building it over time and spending $150 $200 a month this would be a good start. Next month, buy the steel for the frame and weld it up. There are plans and dimensions for the frame on the net if you look around.

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