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Features The Order of the Low Buck Custom...

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Jive-Bomber, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. Jive-Bomber
    Joined: Aug 21, 2001
    Posts: 3,250


  2. ShortyLaVen
    Joined: Oct 13, 2008
    Posts: 615


    Perfectly stated my friend!!!!!! Thats the order I like too, except I always end up doing it backwards.....:D
  3. rottenleonard
    Joined: Nov 7, 2008
    Posts: 1,952


    Probem is that when you get between steps two and three you spot a great deal on a new project on craigslist and throw your whole budget at that and then you have two half done piles:p
  4. SuRfAcE_RuSt
    Joined: Sep 22, 2010
    Posts: 594


    Low buck is the way to go. Too many pipe dreams up for sale on craigslist disassembled into 6 million pieces because they ran out of money or dont know how to finish it.
    And if you actually do complete a total rebuild or restore.. Hell, your already bored with the car after a month.
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  5. grego31
    Joined: Aug 28, 2006
    Posts: 450

    from Sac, CA

    Don't forget the most important rule, KISS, Keep It Simple, Something... (insert your word here)
  6. truckjim
    Joined: May 21, 2011
    Posts: 166


    Many times the build is where the fun is.....

    Who needs shiny.
    Tried the shiny look once. No thanks. :( Always liked the primer look. Looks badass and can be 'fixed' with a magic marker! :cool:

    Nice article. Always thought getting it running right and reliable first order was smart.
  7. yetiskustoms
    Joined: May 22, 2009
    Posts: 1,932


    I used this same approach on my savoy. originally intending on keeping it a stock "librarian" car to have as a driver, I dropped it and got it running good. but things have a way of evolving if you don't let them be. I wanted something to to drive while I build my long termers. always a battle no matter how you approach it
  8. See my build thread for the Hot Rod version of this... It'll be ugly, but it should run, drive and sit good.
  9. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 14,121


    This is quoted for ultimate truth. A lot of guys who've never built a car before try attempting a full on show stopper build the first time out, and rarely get past making a big mess and spending too much on "kits" to do whatever mods they had dreamed up.

    The best low-budget builds for me are the ones that started with a decent car to begin with. Spending the money up front on something that isn't a total shit box is what keeps the total investment low, not starting with a $500 hulk and expecting to rebuild everything on a total budget of a few grand.
  10. Dude, I really could've used that advice 2 years ago...
  11. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 14,121


    You and me both! This was a hard lesson learned for me. My best finished products have all been the cars that were the nicest to start with, and my budget is always kept tight.

    There's nothing more expensive than a cheap hot rod project.
  12. slammed
    Joined: Jun 10, 2004
    Posts: 8,161


    On the road ASP 1st!!!!! Real world driver. Right now style.
  13. Yep, this is EXACTLY what works best and is a great formula to follow for everything from a planned-to-be full on custom to a mild daily that you want to look trick. I do this with my later models as well - my off topic driver has some minor rust starting and could use another repaint (the driver quality Maaco cheapy is showing it's age) but runs great, is beaned out with a bit of shine in each wheel well and sounds great thanks to a killer exhaust attached to a mostly stock engine.

  14. I did step one about 4 times before I could move on to step 2. Now I'm on #5.
  15. Baumi
    Joined: Jan 28, 2003
    Posts: 2,270


    good advice... I ended up parting out and cutting up a 61 Buick Electra I thought I could fix and was extremly rusty. I found a 1000 $ " parts car" 61 LeSabre here on the HAMB and brought it to Germany. It was a rustfree running and driving car and with a few weekends worth of work it was a cool cruiser. I parted out the rust bucket and even made a profit... sometimes it´s cheaper to buy the better car ....
  16. dastone
    Joined: Nov 19, 2009
    Posts: 3


    Well said. I've also found that registering for an event is an excellent way to restart a stalled project. Nothing motivates me like a deadline.
  17. second_floor_loft
    Joined: Jul 23, 2008
    Posts: 93


    Now ya tell me...Where were you with this advice 12 years ago when I picked up my bag of parts? :)

  18. jroberts
    Joined: Oct 14, 2008
    Posts: 1,580


    Exactly. Great advice. You have hit the nail right on the head. It sounds so simple when you look at your list, but I have found out that it isn't always I do things and I am then sorry I didn't.
    Joined: Jul 14, 2008
    Posts: 516


    Which should get finished last? Paint or Interior? I always thought once it's painted it doesn't get worked on for awhile to minimize accidental build scratches. On the other hand door trim, panels, headliner and carpet pieces should cover a painted surface. So interior last and be careful with the paint?
  20. oldcargary
    Joined: May 6, 2010
    Posts: 197

    from devore, Ca

    A big money eater is changing the build....get a idea both money and skill related and stick to it... good luck, looks good already.
  21. Sound advice, that's the plan I'm following right now on my wifes 57 Chevy wagon. Hope to have it sound, safe, and cool enough to make it to Round up in april. I like to write down what needs to be done, it helps to see what you've achieved and what's next.

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  22. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,911

    need louvers ?

    Ahhhhhh, well done, but you missed step six.... Or was it seven? Once this cute little basic driver zip around town car is up and running... FOR THE LOVE OF GOD AND ALL THAT IS HOLY AND GOOD IN THIS WORLD KEEP IT UP AND RUNNING!!! THEN and only then is it time to mess with the "forever endeavor" roadster, chopped Merc, Sedan, insert car type here. Meaning, nothing but nothing gets you more motivated to finish the big project than running down the road with a pack of friends in something that is cool, but not COOL!!! What ever you do then, don't take this thing apart until that bigger project is on the road. Trust me, these are the words of someone who has spent a lifetime already NOT having figured this out.
  23. flamingokid
    Joined: Jan 5, 2005
    Posts: 2,199


    Amen brother!
  24. Bluedot
    Joined: Oct 26, 2011
    Posts: 302


    I like the sequence, and actually followed it on the last project ('29 A CCPU), and am at the teardown for paint step on the current project ('30 A coupe). The big problem though is that after driving unpainted for a season to work out all the tech bugs, it's hard to get started on the teardown, knowing that means no driving for a few months. I finally made myself get going this past weekend - 2 1/2 days to blow it apart. Wondering how long it will take me to reassemble after bodywork and paint - I'll be under the gun for some Springtime driving!

    Highest priority for me is safety, including among other things an e-brake, seat belts, and fire extinguisher. I've never had that brake pedal to the floor experience, nor do I care to.
  25. syxxstring
    Joined: Dec 30, 2010
    Posts: 37


    I was on the right path with my 61 ranchero... then got a divorce, new job, new girl friend... killed that relationship (whew) by buying my 61 Falcon Wagon. Now I need to decide which car needs to get on the road first. The fiance and step daughter are gunning for ranchero.
  26. pasadenahotrod
    Joined: Feb 13, 2007
    Posts: 11,776

    from Texas

    RULE #1, never F--K with a running car! Building a custom or a hotrod while driving is easy enough just don't bite off a project that can't be done in a weekend, or you'll be walking to work.
    RULE #2, always buy the best car you can afford to start with and don't jump at the first lump that appears on the market.
    RULE #3, plan, plan, plan, plan...
    RULE #4, always paint before upholstery; you can fix paint but you can't unpaint upholstery.
  27. demonspeed
    Joined: Jul 22, 2004
    Posts: 517


    I agree with a lot of this list and I can speak from experience on some of it (including the brake pedal on the floor part). My project turned into a bit of a mess so learn from my mistakes!

    Avoid something that has been "modified" by some idiot/hack. I spend more time fixing the previous owner's awful modifications than anything else (example: a spare batt in the trunk wired only to an aftermarket radio....seriously. And door handles shaved by piling on bondo).

    Also don't get in over your head. We all want to build a car from the ground up and turn it into a dream car but it's not as easy as it looks on tv. Get something that is rust-free and running. And try to keep it that way. My simple engine swap is now a 6 year project because life gets in the way.

    I will however disagree about leaving open trim holes. My car had this and I now have rusty door bottoms and outer rockers. So leave your trim alone til you're ready to do some body work.
  28. This is great advice for me too. I am in the middle of a 61 Chevy Brookwood wagon project that is moving slowly. It was a driver years ago. I made the mistake of taking it off the road for a small block, overdrive, power steering and brakes and then life got in the way... I am a bodyman and painter by trade - this means nothing goes together without being painted - It is also a curse. I began to install a complete powertrain from an 87 Suburban a while back. Life is still messing with me, but I make progress. A good friend (total car guy and amazing engine builder) told me; "Don't paint anything! just PUT IT TOGETHER AND GET IT RUNNING!" "I don't want to see anything even rattlecanned! you might need to change it, so get it running, work out the bugs, then take it apart and paint it. That way it has a better chance of getting on the road." He is right. I realize now how much I struggle with "having to paint that part before I put it back on" or "not wanting to drive something needing body repairs or in primer". This is a big disabler - I am making progress in spite of it and feel better about it. Thanks for the post - excellent discussion thread!
  29. Couldn't agree more. However, I do like old car bright work and tend to leave a lot of it on....just my style.

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