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1930 Chevy Coupe with a twist.

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  • 1930 Chevy Coupe with a twist.

    I am building a 1930 Chevy Coupe.

    The body was found in Scandia, MN and I plan to build the rest myself. Here are a couple photos of what I am starting with.

    20170218_125854 by Chad Truss, on Flickr

    20170218_142844 by Chad Truss, on Flickr

    20170226_164210 by Chad Truss, on Flickr

    Full of bullet holes. :)

    20170226_164223 by Chad Truss, on Flickr

    20170226_164155 by Chad Truss, on Flickr

    And here is why I say "with a twist." I am going to power this hot rod with a 2.3L Saab turbo engine mounted for RWD use.

    20170409_125042 by Chad Truss, on Flickr

    Why? Well, Saab engines are super reliable, make good power, and are easy to tune. This particular engine in stock form makes 200HP and weighs half as much as an old stock SBC that would put out similar power. And with a bigger turbo, bigger injectors, and a tune, this engine can put out 430 HP. In fact, this engine came out of a Saab 9000 that was dynoed at that number.

    I am still very early on in the build. I will add some more posts throughout the day to get caught up to where I am at. But basically what is going on is since the Chevy Coupe body had a wood frame, I have to build that body frame all over again because it's gone. I am building it out of metal. Then once I have the body all put back together, I will build the chassis and suspension. After that, mount the motor and all that good stuff.

    I am still in the process of putting the body back together. More posts to come.

  • #2
    I have restored cars, repaired classics, and modified cars, but I have never built one from scratch before. So here I am building this thing and learning to weld, and all of that.

    So I have to rebuild the body. I am using 1x1 and 1x2 square tubing where there was wood in the original body.

    For starters I put the cowl up on some sawhorses. And started adding a 1x1 square tube frame to it.
    20170430_154313 by Chad Truss, on Flickr

    I tied the first tube to a couple really solid mounts at the bottom of the cowl and started from there.
    20170430_160959 by Chad Truss, on Flickr

    20170505_135156 by Chad Truss, on Flickr

    Then I made the A pillars out of 1x2 because they will support the hinges.
    20170430_175612 by Chad Truss, on Flickr

    20170505_135148 by Chad Truss, on Flickr

    20170511_195306 by Chad Truss, on Flickr

    It's a little off. The hoop closest to the firewall is where it is out of square. Left to right it is good, and up and down it is good. I accidentally got that first hoop in there a little crooked front to rear.
    20170512_174413 by Chad Truss, on Flickr

    20170512_205633 by Chad Truss, on Flickr

    And then put some feet on it so I can set it on the floor and it is level.
    20170514_164641 by Chad Truss, on Flickr


    • #3
      Great progress so far!!

      I love when a guys puts something out of the ordinary into conventional hot rods! Keep it up



      • #4
        I'm a fan! Love the 'outside the box' stuff and building something from nothing. In my view, that's what hot rodding is all about! Great project! Keep the pics coming!


        • #5
          Thanks guys.

          In this post I'll post some pics and go over the specifics of the drivetrain.

          The engine is a 2.3L Saab 4 cylinder out of a 1995 Saab 9000 Turbo. I went with the Saab engine because they are cheap and the ECU does not require much input to make the engine run, so it is easier to tune. The DI cartridge eliminates the need for a distributor, for a cleaner look as well.

          20170409_121325 by Chad Truss, on Flickr

          The engine was free, but I had to find a DI cartridge and ECU. Luckily we have some euro only salvage yards in the area.

          20170427_184136 by Chad Truss, on Flickr

          Then I found a company in the UK called RWDMotorsports that makes a bellhousing for the Saab engine that allows you to mount up a T5 manual transmission. The website wasn't clear about exactly which T5 transmissions work, so I had to do a little digging. The Mustage T5 has an odd sized input shaft, so I couldn't use that. I forgot why, but the Camaro T5 didn't seem like a good option. So I got a T5 out of a Chevy S-10 pickup.

          RWDMotorsport also had the proper throwout bearing and pilot bearing. And lucky me, but the Saab clutch fits the Chevy s-10 transmission, so I don't need to have a special clutch made!

          20170427_184131 by Chad Truss, on Flickr

          20170427_184143 by Chad Truss, on Flickr

          The hardest part to find to make the Saab RWD conversion work was finding a clutch fork. Since the company that makes the bellhousing is in the UK, they designed the bellhousing to use a clutch fork from a mk1 Ford RS2000, and they were out of stock and backordered, on the part. So I had to hit the internet to find one. Even with a Ford part number it was tough to find, but I eventually found a rally team in Argentina that was selling a few used clutch forks.

          fork by Chad Truss, on Flickr

          Then once I saw it I bet a Mustang clutch fork was a close fit and could be made to work. Oh well. Now I can say I have an Argentinian rally team part in my car.

          Then for the rear axle I am using a Ford 8.8" unit out of a Ford Explorer. It has POSI. :)

          20170430_150614 by Chad Truss, on Flickr

          Suspension will be a suicide front. And for the rear I haven't decided yet. Traction bars, or 4 link is the plan though.


          • #6
            Maybe I can help a little. I found a fairly cheap way to mount the rear using junkyard parts. I used the trailing arms from a 1989 Land Rover Discovery, coilovers from an '88 Subaru wagon and a trailing arm from an '01 Kia Sportage (modded it into a panhard bar). Total cost, around $75. It mounts an 8" rear from a Maverick. Now, my roadster is probably a bit lighter out back than your coupe but not by much. The Subaru coilovers are rated at 150 psi. Should be sufficient for your coupe.

            Here's a bit of a write-up on it. Just throwin' out some ideas. Hope it helps!

            Last edited by 2.3Turbo_T; 06-14-2017, 01:09 PM.


            • #7
              Super cool idea. Thank you for the info!


              • #8
                Here are the wheels and tires I am running on it. 165/70R15 in the front and 215/75R15 in the rear, for a big and little look.

                20170505_161841 by Chad Truss, on Flickr

                I just went with cheap blackwall tires. I will eventually upgrade to whitewalls.

                And the wheels are Cragar Style 69 smoothies. I like these because they have a cone shape to them and they only have one bolt pattern.

                rear wheels and tires by Chad Truss, on Flickr

                20170511_163008 by Chad Truss, on Flickr

                20170511_163001 by Chad Truss, on Flickr

                And it won't sit this low when I am done with it, but here is a rough idea of the layout.

                20170511_162911 by Chad Truss, on Flickr

                And I am thinking about using this Farmall tractor grille.

                20170422_130833 by Chad Truss, on Flickr
                Last edited by ctruss53; 06-16-2017, 08:27 AM.


                • #9
                  These posts are almost caught up to where I am actually at on this project.

                  Here are the B pillars. The wood was actually still in the B pillars, so I kinda knew how they were built. There was nothing for A pillars, so I just winged those.

                  Here is the inside of the original B pillar.
                  20170514_111113 by Chad Truss, on Flickr

                  Here is the exterior of the original B pillar. The sheetmetal on the top side in this image is the door sill. The sheetmetal facing you and stopping halfway is the exterior body panel from the beltline up to the top of the door opening.
                  20170514_111126 by Chad Truss, on Flickr

                  Here are the metal replacement B pillars.
                  20170528_113115 by Chad Truss, on Flickr

                  And here are some photos of that exterior sheetmetal welded onto the new metal B pillars.
                  20170528_125059 by Chad Truss, on Flickr

                  20170528_125106 by Chad Truss, on Flickr

                  20170528_125116 by Chad Truss, on Flickr

                  20170528_125120 by Chad Truss, on Flickr

                  The straight vertical part of the B pillars are perpendicular to the ground, so they are parallel to each other. So I took a measurement of the body so I knew how far the B pillars need to be spaced apart from each other and welded them together temporarily.

                  20170528_194233 by Chad Truss, on Flickr

                  Then I welded the B pillar subassembly into the body.

                  20170611_131808 by Chad Truss, on Flickr

                  20170611_131817 by Chad Truss, on Flickr

                  20170611_131822 by Chad Truss, on Flickr


                  • #10
                    Thanks for sharing - will look forward to "experiencing" the build with you.


                    • #11
                      nice work cant
                      wait to see it when your done


                      • #12
                        I stopped posting in here for some reason. Then I took last year off because I had surgery to remove a brain tumor. but now I'm back at it, so I'll get this thread up to date.

                        Then I got started making the square tube that would wrap around the back of the body and tie the top of the B pillars together. This tube would wrap around behind your head when sitting in the car.

                        20170611_170530 by Chad Truss, on Flickr

                        And that piece goes inside this portion of the body up at the top of the door opening.

                        20170611_170539 by Chad Truss, on Flickr


                        • #13
                          The doors are tacked to the cowl and main body. Now I need to finish up the floor tubes and around the trunk.

                          20170623_155729 by Chad Truss, on Flickr

                          20170623_163716 by Chad Truss, on Flickr

                          20170623_181951 by Chad Truss, on Flickr


                          • #14
                            Well, my research was wrong. The S-10 T5 doesn't fit. The transmission bolt pattern doesn't match up with the bellhousing.

                            It is possible that the transmission is not what I was told it was, so I could have the wrong transmission. I was told it was from a 4 cylinder S-10. If it is from a V6 S-10 it won't work, so this could be a V6 trans.

                            Anyways. I have a friend with a 4 cylinder Mustang taking some measurements for me to see if it will work. The 4 cyl fox body T5 uses the same size pilot bearing, but the input shaft is only 10 splines instead of 14 like the S-10 and Saab. So I will have to get a new clutch disc if this transmission will bolt up.

                            The bolt pattern is being confirmed today, and if it is a match I'll be picking that 4 cyl fox body trans up.

                            Pic for attention:
                            20258255_10155507245998904_5637816581387537566_n by Chad Truss, on Flickr


                            • #15
                              Replacement found. A friend had it.

                              4 cylinder Fox Body Mustang, World Class T5 transmission. The bolt pattern fits the bellhousing, and the input shaft is the right length. And the tip is the right size for the pilot bearing.

                              The only two things with the 4 cylinder Mustang T5 is I need to get a clutch disc that works with the Saab pressure place and 10 spline input shaft. I might be able to just run a clutch disc from a Mustang in the Saab Pressure plate. They both use the same diameter disc. I will find out from Proven Force today.

                              The other thing is the base of the input shaft collar where it bolts to the case, is slightly too large. I'll have to take it off and get it turned down on a lathe. It's about 1/6" too big, so the bellhousing won't sit down onto the transmission case. Easy enough to fix that.

                              So there it is. I'm almost back in business.