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Features Traditional Track T or Bucket Build Cost Under $5000??

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by bobs66440, Mar 5, 2013.

  1. bobs66440
    Joined: Sep 7, 2010
    Posts: 183

    bobs66440
    Member
    from New York

    Hey guys, I've been wanting to build a traditional T for a long time now, but I'm on a budget (who isn't...) It would be a no frills, no chrome type of build...chopped windshield, skinnies on steelies or chrome reverse, painted front axle, bare bones interior...

    I see that frames can be had from Spirit Cars for $600 and bodies for $700. For the frame, it seems like a lot of engineering value for the money, especially since all the brackets and mounts are already welded. I don't think it pays to try to build it myself for that money...

    I would be building on an extreme budget. Fabbing/welding a lot of my own stuff, (but not the frame), scouring junk yards for parts, etc.

    Possibly purchasing a donor car for the drive train (ie: wrecked 80's mustang or similar) engine, trans, rear, brakes, etc.

    What do you think? Can this be done for $5000 or less? Is this a realistic goal?

    Also, I live in New York. How difficult is it to register a home built car?

    Thanks! :D
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2013
  2. Dreddybear
    Joined: Mar 31, 2007
    Posts: 5,944

    Dreddybear
    Member

    The first paragraph and the fourth paragraph don't jive.

    Yes it is totally possible. No it doesn't have to have modern stuff (80's mustang) under it.

    If you're thinking about buying stuff already done you're pushing the budget as it is. You could build a frame for 150$ in scrap steel. Find a glass body at a swap meet for 400$ or a steel one that needs some help for the same or a little more. Juice brakes, axles, springs, etc.. from an array of fords from 28 up to 48. All this stuff can be found and scrounged. Make cool parts, don't mail order them. Save 1k for tires and 1k for an old but running motor (olds, sbc, nailhead). You could have a bitchin period car. None of it will be a bolt-together thing though. Gonna have to make some stuff..
     
  3. 52stude43
    Joined: Aug 27, 2008
    Posts: 177

    52stude43
    Member

    it can be done , if you are a good scrounger , hit the swap meets for buys , and a few things to look for in a parts car , if you can find a good runner that would have a rear end you could use, motor and trans , drive shaft you could have shortened ,wheels and tires , brake parts , wire , bulbs , etc... use as much as you can to keep the part store running down you will save a bunch , the little stuff can add up in a hurry . good luck
     
  4. Drive Em
    Joined: Aug 25, 2006
    Posts: 1,748

    Drive Em
    Member

    I built this for under $5000.00: 289 Ford, Toploader 3 speed, 8" Ford rear end. The chassis is made of 1 3/4" x .120" wall, 1 1/2" x .120" wall and 1 1/4" x .120" wall round tubing. It is basically what you described, no chrome, bare bones interior, steelies. It is loads of fun and I drive it everywhere.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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  5. 52stude43
    Joined: Aug 27, 2008
    Posts: 177

    52stude43
    Member

    another site you can go to is " T bucket plans " there are a lot of money saving ideas on his site , they are geared more towards the t-bucket style but you can adapt some of his ideas too a traditional build as well , if you down load his plans he has lots of blueprints for parts , frames included , axle ideas , brake set ups , working with glass bodys , and low buck ideas that can be used and what to look for. a few builds under $3000 on his site
     
  6. kasselyn29
    Joined: Dec 18, 2009
    Posts: 210

    kasselyn29
    Member

    Drive Em Is there a build thread on that T looks great would like to see more.Thanks
     
  7. kasselyn29
    Joined: Dec 18, 2009
    Posts: 210

    kasselyn29
    Member

    Bobs66440 you need the How to build a t-bucket on a budget book,great book you could by a chassis with no bracket pretty cheap.
     
  8. It can be done even cheaper if you really try hard and use old stuff. Right now my buddy has a running A chassis. He got it running himself. paid $400 and a the front half of a 1922 willys tub he paid $200 bucks for. couple hundred bucks worth of 16 inch ford wires and some tires and you would be in business. It wouldn't be the fastest or coolest, but you could get in the hobby for really cheap if you try.
     
  9. tjet
    Joined: Mar 16, 2009
    Posts: 1,274

    tjet
    Member
    1. Early Hemi Tech

    Subscribed :)
     
  10. Ghost of ElMirage
    Joined: Mar 18, 2007
    Posts: 758

    Ghost of ElMirage
    Member

    Man if you're in NY you're not far from me. I have a bolted together model A frame with the horns capped off cuz they were so Fd up but now it looks nice since I capped em. I will throw in a grill shell from a old industrial power unit that I picked up at a swap meet years ago just for this chassis. The grill shell looks like it came off of early fifties dry lakes racer. It's in my storage unit and I can dig it out and get you pix if you're interested but it'll take me week as I am away til monday workin.$550.00 PM me if ya want.
     
  11. bobs66440
    Joined: Sep 7, 2010
    Posts: 183

    bobs66440
    Member
    from New York

    Thanks guys for the quick responses! ;)

    I was thinking of this because they can be had relatively cheap as hacked runners. Maybe even like a Lincoln or Mercury with a 302. Also, I like the idea of a Ford as opposed the to the same old SB Chevy route. I definitely wouldn't be opposed to an early Olds, Nailhead or a 312 Y Block, but I don't think that would be the most budget minded. Tough to find good runners...


    Awesome work! But that's a little beyond my skill level...but THAT is first class!



    Excellent idea. I will definitely check that out . Thanks!
     
  12. NortonG
    Joined: Dec 26, 2003
    Posts: 2,117

    NortonG
    Member Emeritus

    Last edited: Mar 6, 2013
  13. jaxx
    Joined: Mar 22, 2008
    Posts: 380

    jaxx
    Member

    If you have the time to look and gather parts and dont mind alot of your time invested you can build for real low bucks - heres mine and at this point I have less than 250 bucks in it - 2x3 frame - body skelaton ( steal ) 16 ga. pickup bed - hand built all of this to this point - just got the glass to do the kevlar body covering this last weekend - frt axle from 59 ford pu - have all the parts except a radiator and an early 60s mopar steering box -jaxx
     
  14. Your skill level is where all of us had our skill level at some point in time. Make your frame .... measure three times, cut once, tack it together, practice welding on some scrap, weld up your frame. Buying a frame is for street rodders, traditional hot rodders on the Hamb make their own. This is how you develop the skills which will last you the rest of your life. Skills aren't aquired by buying stuff, they're aquired by making stuff.
    A body can be had for a crate of beer if you look around a bit. Maybe you have a field of expertise that can be traded for a body.
    Running gear? A 28-31 axle can be had for very little, 39-47 rear end and brakes for not a lot more... so far you've got a roller for around a grand by my estimation. A runner flathead engine and trans, or a 265/283 sbc, can be had for under a grand if you're canny, cunning and patient. Add a half grand for things like a Mustang radiator, some lights and other bits and pieces and you're halfway through your budget. The remaining 2 1/2 g's will cover things like floor, making seats, wiring, guages, steering box etc.
    The cost of your rod? $5000.
    The value of your aquired skills and confidence? Priceless.
    The value of your rod that you built yourself? Priceless.
    The esteem that your friends and aquaintances will hold you in? Priceless.
    It doesn't need lots of chrome, if any at all. It can be brush painted. It can have mexican blanket upholstery. The fun you will have? Priceless.
     
    Driver50x and sko_ford like this.
  15. CoronetRTguy
    Joined: Dec 26, 2012
    Posts: 826

    CoronetRTguy
    Member

    I'm subbing to this, thinking of a T build myself....and many more builds.

    You guys doing the welding with the frames and roll cages wow just wow I'm blowen away at your skill.

    I would love to know how you guys made the frame, body and roll cage? If you could post that up it would be great.

    Also if you want a glass body take a look at RPM and Spirit both were running sales. I think RPM was 285 plush shipping and Spirit was 295 and shipping. After shipping on just body they were both within 50-80 bucks I think from each other.

    The one thing I liked about RPM was that Ron not only emailed me, but asked if he could call me and called me to talk over my build ideas and had a wealth of knowledge. I have not bought my body yet but if I do I'm going with RPM.

    I also have the T bucket frame plans from Tbucketplans.com and also the one from Car carft back in the 60s that a member from Tbucketeers.com sent to me in the mail.

    I might be able to scan those and email them to you if you would like. Not sure if it will pick the words up or not.

    I look forward to this build thread and I love traditional and I can do with out chrome.
     
  16. haha who cares about money...build something nice..the budget always goes out the door anyways and if you stick by an unreasonable budget you'll shortcut some where...like an expanded metal body.. haha wtf???
     
  17. bobs66440
    Joined: Sep 7, 2010
    Posts: 183

    bobs66440
    Member
    from New York

    I hear ya. I wouldn't mind building my own frame. I got more time than money at this point. I just don't have the welder for it. I have a 110 MIG and, while it works great for 1/8" steel, I don't think it has the gonads to burn in 3/16" wall tubing properly. And buying a good welder will break the budget, sooo...
     
  18. patrick english
    Joined: Feb 15, 2008
    Posts: 808

    patrick english
    Member
    from La puente

    It can be done for way under $5000...shoot,if you look around for a while you might find one that already runs for that much.
     
  19. coupe33
    Joined: Nov 23, 2004
    Posts: 607

    coupe33
    Member

    I would suggest a used Lincoln AC/DC I bought mine for $250 I use it for my frame work. Or find someone that could do it for you. Your going to need some help from a local car club or you will run into problems.There are other people that have done this and they can point you in the right direction as far as getting it through your state requirements.
     
  20. You're absolutely on the right track. That's a super deal Spirit has and T-Buckets can still be built for way under $5k. Here's one where the builder started with a driveline and some parts, like most people already have, and did it for under $1,500!
    [​IMG]
    Details are at http://www.tbucketplans.com/2012/12/30/arly-hayden-budget-t-bucket/
     
  21. sko_ford likes this.
  22. Harms Way
    Joined: Nov 27, 2005
    Posts: 6,869

    Harms Way
    Member

    My oldest son built this 9 years ago in his senior year of high school to compete in the Michigan "MITES" program, he took first in regional and second in the state (Because it was unfinished). Built over seven months.

    Engine trans and rear end came out of a running but rusted to death Granada,.. He got the body from "MAS" for half price because of a crack in the cowl. He scavenged my parts pile for a 40 front end, "A" springs and 35 rear wishbones... Everything else was swap meet and buddy finds... All together I think the tally at this point (second and third picture at MITES) was just under a grand.....

    It went into the barn about two weeks after these pictures were taken. And other than the steering (which I put in,... Reversed Corvair) it has sat just like this ever since.......

    Can it be done ?... yep !,.... will this ever get done ?.... ah, I aint sure.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Just before I put together the steering, My Grandson Ike,.. unbolting the body ,.....
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2013
  23. RPM
    Joined: Feb 5, 2005
    Posts: 204

    RPM
    Member

    We sell welded T frames with all the suspension brackets, and motor mounts for just $550.00. Made from 2 x 3 x 3/16 tube. We have the glass bodies for just $399.
    [​IMG]
     
    sko_ford likes this.
  24. flopalotofit
    Joined: Apr 1, 2010
    Posts: 130

    flopalotofit
    Member

    Not all used is good...I built mine with scrounged parts...there is a reason they call'em JUNK yards. 302 sounded good...shortly after #1 piston fell apart..rebuild myself = $1100.00 Trans C4 lost 2nd gear, rebuilt myself = $700.00 Camaro rear diff went to chunks, total new contents = $1000.00 So what Im saying is after all initial expences...I have since had to replace all of it one piece at a time. Now Ive got 12 years of fun and 38,000 hard miles on it and have fried all the skin off my bald head so many times..I think im going to build one with doors and a top ! flop
     
  25. Harms Way
    Joined: Nov 27, 2005
    Posts: 6,869

    Harms Way
    Member

    WOW !,... You charge yourself a ton of money to work for yourself !!!!!!!
     
  26. thunderbirdesq
    Joined: Feb 15, 2006
    Posts: 6,817

    thunderbirdesq
    Member

    He may have a touch more than that in this, but pretty close... all steel, all old stuff.

    [​IMG]
     
  27. patmanta
    Joined: May 10, 2011
    Posts: 3,535

    patmanta
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Woburn, MA
    1. MASSACHUSETTS HAMB

    My budget's a bit more than yours but not by a whole lot. You're always going to want to scrounge & find bargains on a build. It's about a third of my battle so far. I keep a spreadsheet going to track what I've got, what I paid, what I think I need, & what i think it'll cost. That helps me keep track & usually only spending money on parts I need, usually around when I need them.

    You'd do well to get that T-Bucket book and any other books that look like it'll teach you something you can use on the build.

    Develop a vision for what you want the car to be but keep it flexible. Does it HAVE to be a V8? Manual? 9" rear? Steel body? Ask yourself those questions.

    And, from my n00b experience, try to find yourself a complete front suspension that you can use as early in the project as you can. They can get expensive pretty quick and hold up your progress if you're piecing one together the whole time.
     
  28. flatheadpete
    Joined: Oct 29, 2003
    Posts: 9,706

    flatheadpete
    Member
    from Burton, MI

    Lees than $3,000 first time around. Ugly? YES! Fast? You bet! Fun? More than should be legal.
    [​IMG]
     
    sko_ford likes this.
  29. Abomb
    Joined: Oct 14, 2006
    Posts: 1,659

    Abomb
    Member

    I bought a 23 glass body and turtle deck for $200. A free boat and trailer for the mercruiser (4 banger chevy) engine. I also took the gauges, wiring and fuel tank out of that boat. I then dumped the boat off at the land fill during our town's free dump / clean up week, I kept the tandem axle trailer. I have a th350 and a T5 to chose from, ($10 auction buys) and an S10 4X4 rear end or a later model F body rearend ( $10, same auction) to chose from. I just priced a 24' stick of 1/8 wall 2X4 for $95. So, I need something to steer it with and front suspension....I think I'll be driving this creation for less than 2 grand....someday...right after I finish painting my 55...
     
  30. bobs66440
    Joined: Sep 7, 2010
    Posts: 183

    bobs66440
    Member
    from New York

    Thanks for all the great replies! The more I learn, the more excited I get about this! flatheadpete, your car is pretty much exactly what I want to build, minus the flat head though. But if I can find a runner cheap enough, who knows... I love those wheels! Very cool car...

    I also really like the chrome reverse wheels like on Harms Way's car....oh crap. I'm sure my vision is going to change a thousand times before I'm finished...

    All the cars posted are awesome. Lots of great ideas. I'm now in the process of doing some research and learning about all the options for axles, drive trains, suspension, steering, etc.
     

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