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Projects Today, in the land of Geometry idiots with co morbid spatial recognition issues.

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 31Vicky with a hemi, Feb 22, 2018.

  1. Some people just should not be allowed to do this stuff. Period.

    so I get this 54 Chevy truck in here that's just impossible to drive.
    It won't steer, corner, park, or go down the road. Sorta stopped ok but the brake pedal stayed down. It wouldnt start or re turn to idle either but that's another issue from the very same challenged people. The sad part is its that's it's absolutely beautiful and completely finished after being in body shop jail for T E N years and needs to be completely dismantled then cut apart to correct the issues. The chassis was a mess of a foundation for such a beautiful truck.

    The ride height was a joke being too low in the front and too high in the back.
    The front was on bags and so low that with the suspension fully up and the moving parts bound on the limits it had the bumper about 2" off the ground. It was so bad we had to pop the top ball joints to get the front wheels off. The rear had leaf springs moved under the frame rails and then huge lowering blocks to get the thing down but still 4" too high in the back. Wheels and tires with the wrong offsets and 1" + spacers just to get the damn things in the available bed/fender spaces while running way to close to the fenders. The shocks were at stupid angles mounted to a skewed crossmember binding the bushings and the crossmember was very inadequate of doing its job. The rear sway bar was just as bad.

    Up front- The steering and Arm geometry was off, so far off that the basic principals must have been ignored. The front track width looked incredibly stupid being so narrow. However I think they narrowed it in a feeble attemp to be able get the wheels on and off. This required a new crossmember with proper pivot width and rack placement along as well as a frame modification. Adding 1-1/4 inches in on the bottom and removing 2-1/4" on the top to get things very close to optimal up front with a c notch for the rack. Some control arms

    So most all of that stuff has been corrected at least in theory and mock ups for the most part, until we get to the engine angles and driveline angles .

    Before I cut these things apart, I made a jig to get the engine in the same place as it was before I removed it. This is how it sits in its original spot, Why??? Here's why.

    First the front of the engine needed to be raised to clear the rack.

    Next the rear needs to be lower to clear the dead flat floor,,,

    ,,,the finished $7000 interior

    I'm thinking about options:
    1 Dropping the front down, smaller balancer and an exhaust manifold that tucks tighter and clears the frame.
    2 Fix the floor and send it back to the upholstery shop after I raise the back of the Trans up.
    3 Nip the oil pan and set it up rear steer with beefier GM parts instead of pinto stuff and drop the engine.( I'm liking this one the most)
    4 Leave it as is and get New 2 piece drive shaft
    5 Crank the pinion around to match and say fuck it.

    Here's some of the rear fixes.
    4" more clearance

    image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg

    image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2018
    Murphy32, Andy, Dog_Patch and 10 others like this.
  2. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 4,567

    Bandit Billy

    I hate fixing other peoples mistakes. You appear to be good at it though. Carry on
  3. Is this something you bought or something that came to you for repair?
    In any event buyer beware.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2018
    Joined: Dec 14, 2009
    Posts: 1,471


    Dang, looks like a lotta money was spent to make scrap parts!

    Good on ya for fixing it, option one is the right way , option 2 of adjusting pinion angle works but is cheating a bit, is this yours or a paying customer?
    Guess it depends on budget
    31Vicky with a hemi likes this.
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  5. williebill
    Joined: Mar 1, 2004
    Posts: 2,243


    My favorite thread title of the day, so far.
    Keep up the good work.
    brad2v and 31Vicky with a hemi like this.
  6. My first thought was that Woody Allen had joined the Hamb. Good thread though and very nice work.
    mad mikey, Willy_P, Dino 64 and 2 others like this.
  7. The truck belongs to a good customer who's become a better friend.
    unfortunately this truck was sentenced to body shop jail long before we met.
    It was finish painted early summer 2017, from there it went straight to the interior shop for the works. I picked it up from the interior shop in August to correct a few issues.
    Not starting and throttle
  8. 392
    Joined: Feb 27, 2007
    Posts: 825


    At least he's willing to spend the jack to fix correctly. Some foundations are not safe and won't ride correctly and will never be fixed. You do great work and have the skills and knowledge to make it right. And yes the Title to this is killer.
  9. He will be a better friend once you've straightened out the ugly and made the car safe. Cheers.
  10. This was the first time I saw the truck

    After that
    ,,,, well This is the next time he saw the truck

    I felt really bad for the guy.
    Imagine Spend 10 years trying and fighting to get it done,,,in three different shops over those years. Then it's finally together but just for a few months and all a parts again.

    I asked him for the paint code because I wanted to paint some of the smaller chassis parts body color. He said well "I'll just bring you the paint, I bought 2 gallons of it and have some left" Now check out the date when it was mixed. Bought and Mixed in anticipation of using it at the second shop. 3/31/2010. This can was finally opened in 2017 at the third shop.
    catdad49, Hombre and Stogy like this.
  11. tb33anda3rd
    Joined: Oct 8, 2010
    Posts: 14,186

    1. Connecticut HAMB'ers

    i can't tell you how many times i argue with guys about prebuilding vehicles before any paint is sprayed or interior is done.
    hey how were the patch panels?:);)
  12. FrankenRodz
    Joined: Dec 20, 2007
    Posts: 886


    I've had more than my share of similar situations, people trying to hand-off their problems for me to fix.
    They get turned-around and shown the door!
    I applaud your Patience, Skill, and Fortitude.
  13. Johnboy34
    Joined: Jul 12, 2011
    Posts: 984

    from Seattle,Wa

    Hopefully he got to drive it the way it was so it will be much more appreciated after getting it back!
    31Vicky with a hemi likes this.
    Joined: Dec 14, 2009
    Posts: 1,471


    Sad and frustrating as it looks like he wanted it right and spent some cake on it.

    See it here all the time some “ grease monkey” opens up a hot rod shop, turns out some crap with nice paint and stupid wheels for as long as they can then shut down shop .

    The reputable shops around charge accordingly and have been around for a long time.

    Damn tv shows..... building a show quality car in a week with
    Hopefully 1 skilled craftsman and 8 nose pickets and 2 finger smellers
  15. He is going to be a happy man after his first ride.
    1927graham and loudbang like this.
  16. Yes, but it was impossible.
    25 mph on a nice residential road was impossible. Getting it into the driveway was impossible. The trim guy hated to have to move it around his place, he almost bounced it off the building trying to back it in (like parallel parking exercise to get in).
    loudbang and Johnboy34 like this.
  17. dan31
    Joined: Jul 3, 2011
    Posts: 920


    I think more thought was put into your thread title than the first build. Ten years but it finally got to the right shop.
    billsat, flatford39, loudbang and 2 others like this.
  18. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 3,720

    anthony myrick
    from al

    Man the stuff people do
    my first sub frame graft experience was a 40 ford with a front steer gm
    It showed up with one side an inch and a 1/2 shorter on one side

    Thanks for posting I will use your pics to explain to folks why I use a caster/camber gauge when doing chassis work
  19. The body looks killer, I can't see any evidence of patch panels.
    Another good friend of his owned a pretty good sized collision shop and he finished up the body work. It took him Y E A R S to do it. Collision shops don't have the time or resources to do this stuff efficiently and being the owner there's not much time in the day or week to spend on pet projects like this. That shop owner had made the decision to close up shop his shop and move on to a different area of the field. During the wind down of that business is when the truck was finished. In the pic of when I first saw the truck, see how the shop is sorta empty.
    loudbang likes this.
  20. Maybe ask yourself instead. Why am I still in business if this bothers me so much? Come on, you know you love that people know your good. :)
    31Vicky with a hemi likes this.
  21. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 8,754

    Rusty O'Toole

    The builder is 'spatial' all right, as in short bus spatial.
    loudbang and 31Vicky with a hemi like this.
  22. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 3,720

    anthony myrick
    from al

    Short bus?
    I drive one daily
  23. Kiwi 4d
    Joined: Sep 16, 2006
    Posts: 2,305

    Kiwi 4d

    The major difference between 31vicky and the previous shop is 31vicky has superb skills and cares about building a safe handling car. The other frame monkeys on the other hand didn't give a rats . Some of the so called builders I seriously doubt own a tape measure or level . Ask me how I know , we got a now out of business shop to build a custom tube A arm front end ,it was too wide to turn corners , plus the other 43 major things they got wrong , rear window hole 1 1/2 too big.
    loudbang and 31Vicky with a hemi like this.
  24. You have to look at the whole picture as in buyer beware. So many wannabee's feed these bad shops as well. Is it any wonder?
    31Vicky with a hemi likes this.
  25. tb33anda3rd
    Joined: Oct 8, 2010
    Posts: 14,186

    1. Connecticut HAMB'ers

    speaking of not having a tape measure, this one came in like this. patch panel is actually an inch low in the back. the whole patch needs to be rotated clockwise and the quarter panel needs to be pulled forward. this side of the car is just under a half inch longer than the other side. i have a whole list of excuses from the "craftsman" that welded this, my favorite of which was "i just patched it, it came in crooked"
  26. 0NE BAD 51 MERC
    Joined: Nov 12, 2010
    Posts: 721

    0NE BAD 51 MERC

    What the hell kind of Mustang 2 system did they use? I have built dozens of 50's era Chevy , Ford's and even a Studebaker, trucks using Heidt's , Fatmans and Chassis Engineering kits and the installs where all straight forward with out any modifications to the rails aside from installing boxing plates. Minor adjustments on the alignment machine and they where good to go and went down the road like a dream. I know you will get it right . It just to bad who ever screwed it up to begin with did not have a clue. Good luck and I hope your friend thanks you big time! Larry
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2018
    loudbang likes this.
  27. There's enough of that type of work to go around - for sure

    Repairs, but it's it's grown to somewhat of a bigger job than that.

    Thank you.
    Budget becomes completely irrelevant "after" something bad happens.
    This is a perfect example of never enough to do it right the first time but
    always being enough to do it right the second time

    What was Wednesday's favorite? :p
    Will do, thank you


    That's a lot of jack and nobody could be happy.
    Thank you

    I'm sure of that.

    not many get turned away here. Sometimes they do go away and have to save up though.
    Sometimes they don't get to hear what they though and I tell them to get second opinion.
    Everyone has some problems, sometimes they are even real problems. Their hot rod problems, well now those problems I can fix.

    You'd probably fall right over if you knew how many people think my place needs a TV show. On a daily basis the most impossible situations are solved. It's not getting done in 60 mins with commercials but it's happening. People think it's me, but I have a really great Boss and give the honor and glory where it's due.

    I'm hoping it's so good and sweet that he forgot the bitterness getting there.
    He's sucked a whole lotta lemons on this one though.

    Haha, thanks!
    I think the original build on this was a series of bad decisions. Each one having a compromise to correct that followed and that compromise was actually another bad decision with its own compromise and on and on and on. Just to make matters worse some of those compromises were made by a different individual than the one that made the bad decision.

    Oh, by all means feel free.
    Teach those kids not to chase symptoms but how to find and cure problems.

    I'm not sure how to respond here, if i should, or if it's even for me.
    All I can say about it is that this stuff finds me.

    Long ago, one night in the garage with my dad having a talk he said to me that "the easiest and safest bet is to always keep everything stock. But since I know you won't, you've got to get really good at figuring things out, understanding the why of how it works and get really good at making your own parts. Think the things all the way through, every modification has at least one other modification how many modifications go with that secondary modification"

    A few years later, still a senior in high school I started work in a fab shop. I apprenticed under two guys who were incredible craftsmen. They would not let me get away with anything. Every thing I did, the stupidest little stuff had to be perfect and redone if not. After a few months of that I got really aggravated and frustrated about it all. So I grew some balls and asked them why their stuff was OK being kinda close but mine had to perfect.
    They sat me down and said because they knew I could, because if I can get to perfect in the appropriate amount of time then I can close enough pretty quickly, reaching perfection lets you know when and where cheating matters and where it doesn't, that I'll hit what I'm aiming at. Aiming for perfection is most likely going to be really nice in the end.

    If I'm any good at this, that is why and how.
    I'm very thankful to have some great men, examples and teachers along the way.

    Gotta love a good short bus joke.

    Building a chassis takes patience and understanding then proper application of both.
    Fixing another's work like this takes a couple rocks in your head. I only have one rock in there so we didn't build off of any other's work.
    Thank you!

    Nope, no wonder.
    I think everyone has a dream, some folks can make it happen while others sleep thru the process.

    I really don't know who's responsible or what parts were used.
    It's not anything that works I can tell you that. It was a bolt in that actually looked like a quality piece. The geometry of the mustang II is set up for 2"x3" frame rail section, a 2"X 4" section can be worked around. After that is nothing but compromise and compounded fudging. A taller spindle would easily allow the frame section to be larger, there's one spindle that's 1/2" taller but this thing needed a 2" taller spindle just to get within fudge range. Thank you

    Thanks for all the kind words fellas
    slim38, catdad49, loudbang and 6 others like this.
  28. Johnboy34
    Joined: Jul 12, 2011
    Posts: 984

    from Seattle,Wa

    One things for sure, he made friends with the right guy!
    loudbang and 31Vicky with a hemi like this.
  29. They taught you right. Only somebody who knows how to do it 'right' and understands why will have the knowledge as to when shortcuts can be done without compromising the build. The uninformed will see that and not understand the 'why', and as you pointed out, will usually compound their errors 'fixing' any shortcut.
    OahuEli and loudbang like this.
  30. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 5,331


    Yep, for some people, even chewing on gum is a task beyond their ability. I am Butch/56sedandelivery.
    mad mikey and loudbang like this.

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