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Technical What order do you build a car?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by greasemonkey54, Sep 3, 2020.

  1. southcross2631
    Joined: Jan 20, 2013
    Posts: 4,023


    I find the car. Decide what motor I am going to run . Then pick the wheels and tire's .Make 4 chalk marks on the floor of my shop. Decide on the stance and go buy steel.
    greasemonkey54 likes this.
  2. Thanks guys. I appreciate all the responses. Its neat to read how you all attack builds. It sounds like the consensus is start from the ground up, which was what I was thinking.
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  3. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 4,907



    Everyone has different ideas as to what to do first in a long line of stuff on any build. My brother had his ideas in his head. He jotted them down on a notepad for a check off list. His first thing was to see if we could get the 4 cylinder 1940 Willys Coupe motor started and running. Everything else seemed to work, so braking was in the picture and we just wanted to cruise around the block.

    Also, he had a plan to sell the 1940 Willys motor and that he could say it was running when we took it out of the chassis. The motor ran fine and then we took it out, including the transmission. His plan was to get the car running with the new chassis modifications and then worry about the finishing the Willys coupe for the last item. So, we took off the fenders, hood and front grille for access to the suspension and firewall.

    We just bought a 283 SBC long block, some power pack heads and a set of headers. So, while that part of the build was inside of the backyard garage, the Willys was getting a firewall set back with a new steel plate. We were allowed a 10% set back to stay street legal. So, while my brother was cutting and getting the body firewall ready, I was bolting the motor parts together. When a major obstacle was rising, then we both worked on the firewall and floor of the Willys Coupe.

    Once the firewall was complete, the red primer spray came out and sealed the metal. Then our next item was the long block installation with modified motor mounts. As that was finished, the LaSalle 3 speed transmission was measured and attached. Then we put in the complete 56 Chevy Positraction (checked at the scrap yard) rear end, new shocks, and springs. The final step was to measure and get the driveshaft cut by our local machine shop for the final rolling chassis set up.

    The rear wheels were Chevrolet and we had the machine shop re-do the fronts to Chevrolet bolt patterns as we knew towing might cause some mismatched wheel exchanges sooner or later. So, now, we had all Chevrolet bolt pattern drums and wheels. We had plenty of narrow and wide old Chevy rims and if we needed to modify them, the local machine shop was very handy and that is where a lot of local racers took their stuff.

    Once everything was made for a rolling chassis, now the interior scatter shield and final floor board hump construction was next. Then the two bucket seats were pushed back for maximum clearance for two big teenagers. The motor was still in a semi-long block stage and now, the chassis was somewhat finished as a rolling chassis ready for the completed motor.


    Everything was in place waiting for the long block to become a short block and then the final complete 283 SBC motor with 6 Strombergs for our carb set up. It was a deal we could not pass up. We originally wanted dual quads, but the small speed shop said the 6 Strombergs were stronger and could be better for the powerful SBC motor build. Now, the Willys Coupe was sitting outside when the brothers were doing their SBC motor build. The puzzle was going together quite well and now it was ready to install it in the chassis.

    The completed 283 was installed in the Willys chassis, then, we could roll it back to the backyard garage. When the SBC was in the chassis, it took us a lot longer to tune the final part of the build with the 6 Strombergs. The final goal was to start putting together the front grill, radiator, fenders and hood to finish off the rolling chassis. Since the stock gas tank was still in place, we left it empty for now. But, we installed an legal, “inside of the cab” 2.5 gallon Moon Tank and Pump System. Despite the lack of leg room for the passenger, the passenger would not be there when racing at Lion’s Dragstrip.
    With this 283 6 Stromberg, Isky cam powered SBC motor and weight of the completed Willys Coupe, we were weighed in and classified for the B/Gas Coupe division. My brother’s checklist was complete and we were proud of our first real hot rod build and the modifications we did to the 1940 Willys Coupe.

    Within three months, we moved on to the next level of competition, a 671 supercharged on a larger, 292 c.i. SBC motor. That was a whole, new ball game, as the build was from a bare block and all new blower spec speed parts for the new motor. It was a larger puzzle to solve.

    Shadow Creek likes this.
  4. Dusty roads
    Joined: Nov 29, 2016
    Posts: 143

    Dusty roads

    Start for the ground up.

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