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Projects Time Crunch A

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by powderfinger, Sep 18, 2019.

  1. powderfinger
    Joined: Mar 16, 2018
    Posts: 23

    powderfinger
    Member

    Well, I'm one of those people that has basically no idea what I'm doing and no business building a hot rod, but I'm determined to blindly stumble my way though this anyway, with the help of the literally endless amount of information on here. We're moving cross-country in January, so I have three months to finish up this chassis in preparation for a nice west coast body. I think it'll end up being a roadster since that's what the wife likes, although I had a coupe body in mind when I started this. This isn't going to be the most fun build thread to look at, I'm working out of my parents' garage that is piled with miscellaneous junk and these photos are going to be messy and embarrassing, but a lot of people have built way cooler cars with way less so I can't complain about it.

    The parts collecting started about a year and a half ago with a Riley Automotive frame set up for an SBC. I was inspired by this car and wanted to do something in the vibe of this, with the kickup in the back and an SBC. This is the first car with overhead valves I've ever owned.

    [​IMG]

    Like I said, the original plan was for a coupe, but honestly I'll probably just see a body I like for the right price and throw that on impulsively. I don't care, I just want a hot rod.

    This is an ultra-budget build, and most of these parts I've had laying around or was able to get for free/very cheap. The car will have, in no particular order:
    • 1962 Chevy rear end, ladder bars
    • Model A axle, spring & perches (for now), reverse eye main leaf
    • Round back spindles with 1935 wire wheels up front
    • Steelies on back (trying the mismatched look here, okay?)
    • Mustang T5 behind a Jeep CJ bellhousing (the most expensive part of this build other than the frame.......)
    • Late 40s (?) GM (?) steering column that I'm pretty stoked about
    • 1969 307 motor
    • Prewar mystery dash picked out for me by Gene Winfield at Hershey a few years ago
    I have my work cut out for me with this time frame, but most of the big stuff to get the chassis and drivetrain finished up is already there and I just have to get off my lazy ass and actually do the work.

    Here's how the project sits now. I'm waiting on drums from a friend to get the front end off the jack stands.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Good luck with the project. Sorry that you are moving West as I would enjoy seeing the car when it hits the road. ........Don in Southern Maryland.
     
    Dino 64 and scrap metal 48 like this.
  3. MikeRose
    Joined: Oct 7, 2004
    Posts: 1,568

    MikeRose

    Where are you moving to? Sounds like a cool build.
     
  4. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 3,387

    41rodderz
    Member
    from Oregon

    Great project. Yes where are you moving to ?
     
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  5. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 23,966

    Jalopy Joker
    Member

    have fun - guessing that this will not one of those TV show complete builds in a hour deal - Ha!
     
    Texas Webb likes this.
  6. powderfinger
    Joined: Mar 16, 2018
    Posts: 23

    powderfinger
    Member

    We're moving to Vegas. Maryland is nice and all that, but I can't see allowing myself to buy property here for several reasons... so we're headed to the land of no state income tax, public land, and freedom. I will super miss all the awesome events here, Jalopyrama, Jalopy Showdown, TROG, so I'm hoping there's a pretty good community that'll be local to me out there.

    Spent yesterday getting the rear end mostly setup with the ladder bars, in preparation for bellhousing/trans installation this weekend and associated pinion angle-related things that go along with it. The frame is real nice and set up for the Pete & Jake's ladder bars with a 3" housing to fit the axle. They literally just bolt right in.

    The Chevy axle was under an old A hot rod and already had the spring perches welded on top, as well as super cool homemade ladder bars. Due to this being a spring-behind situation the perches won't work, however I'm leaving them on there because they're cool and I would feel wrong cutting them off. I have a set of So-Cal spring mounts that will be welded on later. The OG ladder bars are going as well in the name of safety.

    Goodbye, cool old high-school engineering:

    [​IMG]

    Cut the ladder bar housings in half and located the axle, very lightly tacking everything in for the highly likely event that I am doing something wrong and need to adjust later (the axle still rotates within the housings for now so I can set the pinion angle). The photos below are before the halves of the housings have been tacked on.

    [​IMG]

    You can see the retro-fitted A perch on the right hand side of the photo here.

    [​IMG]

    I am going to have to tidy up as much as I can in there next time I have some free time...
     
  7. Good luck in your move to Vegas.
     
    Dino 64 and powderfinger like this.
  8. Looks like a working garage!
     
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  9. powderfinger
    Joined: Mar 16, 2018
    Posts: 23

    powderfinger
    Member

    It is. There's two '60s Triumph projects and a Shovelhead crammed in there too, along with a full banger setup and two newer Harleys... all of these projects seemed like great ideas in isolation.

    Looking at parts for the 307... do you guys have any feelings on the long vs. short water pumps in these motors? I know the short is more traditional and probably looks better to most people. I don't have a water pump but do have the long pulley already as it's a 1969 motor, and don't know if it's worth the extra $ to swap it over to a short pump. Opinions? Seems long might be better due to more options to tuck the alternator down in there.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2019
    Dino 64, Just Gary and lothiandon1940 like this.
  10. If you are running a mechanical fan I would let the distance to the radiator make that determination as both short and long can do the job. If you have to go with an electric fan, use what you have.
     
    Dino 64 likes this.
  11. powderfinger
    Joined: Mar 16, 2018
    Posts: 23

    powderfinger
    Member

    Sounds like a plan. I'm inclined for now to go with a Stewart Stage 1 long pump, and the Alan Grove low mount alternator bracket. While I have the motor apart for cleaning and paint, the plan is to throw an Isky 270 Mega cam in the motor since I'm going to assume the stock cam is trashed per the reputation of these motors. Goal is to have a nice streetable motor, nothing too crazy.
     
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  12. powderfinger
    Joined: Mar 16, 2018
    Posts: 23

    powderfinger
    Member

    Bolted up the Posie's Super Slide 1935-40 rear spring and got the So-Cal brackets located on the frame. The last thing to do here is set the pinion angle, and then weld it all in. Note for anyone else considering a Riley frame, this frame has proprietary dog bone bottom clamps to hold the spring in that are included; they don't match the spacing of anything else.

    Very rough mockup photo, note I'm going to need to grind the remnants of those old ladder bars off before welding. And yes I know that shackle is on backwards in this photo.

    [​IMG]

    While I'm waiting for the eBay bellhousing to get the rest of the drivetrain mocked up, I pulled the intake off the motor to start cleaning it out and prepping for paint. I do know this motor sat with the various holes on the manifold unplugged for a time and wasn't surprised to see some junk in the lifter valley. The sludge buildup isn't bad at all. All I had time for last night was to get the gasket surfaces mostly prepped with a wire wheel which really did the trick, as always. Tonight I'm hoping to attack the junk/sludge/detritus in the lifter valley, and drop some white vinegar down into the water jacket to sit for a while before power washing.

    When you wire wheel this area, it's important to orientate your grinder correctly so you're not flinging garbage down into your ports.

    Before:
    https://i.imgur.com/OLb4EiT.jpg

    After wire wheeling some:
    [​IMG]
     
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  13. treb11
    Joined: Jan 21, 2006
    Posts: 3,303

    treb11
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    May I offer the following points. NOT critiquing at all.
    You realize the pinion angle can be adjusted with the clevises on the ladder bars, right?
    Did you set the spring bracket width with a pre-load on the spring or in a relaxed state?
    The spring brackets can be mounted to lower the rear as well, which is kinda the profile of your example rod.
    IMHO a 270 cam is too much for a stock compression SBC with only 307 CID. With an OD T5, it will be sluggish until it gets "up" on the cam at highway speeds.
     
    Just Gary and powderfinger like this.
  14. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 14,716

    alchemy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Stop! If you weld that spring hanger on like that the spring will smack it on a hard bump. It's upside down. They are called "hangers" not "prop uppers".

    If you need it to be that high up to get the geometry/height you are shooting for, you will need to redesign it. Maybe push the brackets farther apart and hang the shackle mounting loop off the side of the bracket? You need to have room as the 45 degree shackle comes to a more 90 degree position on a hard bump.
     
    powderfinger likes this.
  15. powderfinger
    Joined: Mar 16, 2018
    Posts: 23

    powderfinger
    Member

    These are all awesome points, thanks.

    Nope, didn't know that's what the clevises were for. I have literally no prior experience with ladder bars (or really any non-Model A suspension parts in general), so this does make me feel better that I can adjust them slightly after the fact. Additionally, I need to verify that the bars themselves sit horizontal to ensure they provide the proper anti-squatting that one would expect.

    Spring width was set in a relaxed state to maintain 45 degree shackle angle; I was going to tack them in, see how they sit with weight on them, and then adjust accordingly, unless there's a better way of going about that that I'm missing. Can't think of how to replicate how they sit with weight on them otherwise?

    Now that you mention it, I'm pretty sure the documentation with those spring brackets has them oriented the way you describe.... and that would make more sense for sure trying to get the rear of the car down.

    Re: cams, I referred to this thread for cam selection information. Would something with less lift be a better choice In addition to not knowing anything about ladder bar suspensions, I also know nothing about Chevrolet motors, as may be apparent. Really appreciate the input!
     
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  16. powderfinger
    Joined: Mar 16, 2018
    Posts: 23

    powderfinger
    Member

    Bopped on over to Bratton’s and picked up a can of Ford Green paint and got the motor looking more decent. Dropped the pan and thankfully there were no surprises, just the usual sludge and some carbon. Three cans of Brakleen and we’re back in business. Bottom end looks good, and I’m going to proceed using this motor. Here’s a quick shot of the color scheme I’m going to rock. [​IMG]
     
  17. treb11
    Joined: Jan 21, 2006
    Posts: 3,303

    treb11
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

  18. powderfinger
    Joined: Mar 16, 2018
    Posts: 23

    powderfinger
    Member

    Oh yeah, I have been going through this one and taking notes. Haven't had a lot of time to work on the car lately and I'm traveling for the next week and a half, so there's not going to be any progress until the week of the 21st.

    Nothing new really to report here either, saving for a house is a little rough and fun-money's been tight and I hate credit card debt so I've been having to do the responsible thing and gather motor parts piece by piece, slower than I'd like. I decided to go with an HEI distributor. This thing is huge and ugly but I’m hoping it’s just the thing for a car I can put a ton of miles on. Also grabbed a Stewart water pump based on how many people here seem to love them. Still need the hardware to get it all buttoned up though, that’ll be next….

    [​IMG]

    I did get a new pair of 8.20x15s for the back wheels to pair with the 6.00x16s up front. Plan is to get the tires mounted, see how it sits, and then have it welded up that week. Guy down the street does welding... how I long for a garage with 220 (or a panel that isn't in the exact opposite corner of the house).

    However, I also went to TROG. Kind of breezed through things again this year, but I like this alternator setup even more that I've seen it in person.[​IMG]

    Sorry this has been the most boring build thread of all time so far. Hopefully it'll pick up a little bit in November.
     
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  19. fourspd2quad
    Joined: Jul 6, 2006
    Posts: 628

    fourspd2quad
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I designed and made my own similar setup for a mini alternator. Let me know if you decide to go that way and I will gladly set you up with what you need to make your own.
    IMG_1638.JPG IMG_1641.JPG IMG_1924.JPG
     
    34 GAZ likes this.

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