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1930 Chevy Coupe with a twist.

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  • Old Stuff
    Gotta love a '30 Chevy! Just went through the build. A lot of work there! I look forward to seeing the progress continue.

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  • ctruss53
    Great tip for the wire in the welder. Thanks!


    20200505_123128 by Chad Truss, on Flickr

    20200505_123300_HDR by Chad Truss, on Flickr

    1994 Pontiac Firebird Formula. Bought it just to have something fun to play with while I build the hot rod. It's in pretty damn good, original shape. Just has a ****ty aftermarket stereo in it, and a clunk in the rear suspension I'll get fixed. Then I'll just enjoy it.

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  • Burnin#2
    Holy *hit your back... !
    with a vengeance it seems
    Great progress!
    Gene is right about that wire, even if theres a bit of surface rust on it, use one of them strong black paper clips fold a small piece of scotch brite pad or something similar in the clamp, clamp it around the wire between the spool and the feeder drive and that will preclean the wire, so to speak. Click image for larger version

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  • 2.3Turbo_T
    Really good progress! Luv all the progress pics! Keep the updates coming. I kinda feel a kinship here although yours is a coupe, mine is a roadster. You started with a rusty/rotted mess, so did I.....check. You're running a turbo'd 2.3, so am I (only Ford)....check. 4 cyl Mustang T5....check. Pretty much handmade everything....check. You're 3 years into it, it took me 9 to finish mine....check. The list goes on!
    If you haven't seen it, check out my build.

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  • Gene
    WOW! What an epic build. That is a lot of posting to bring us up to date, but we now get to see the whole deal. It sounds like its been a roller coaster ride of ups and downs.

    Your welds are looking much better. I don't know how long ago you changed the roll of wire and discovered the polarity was reversed, but if your old wire is still around, you should be able to feel a roughness or see a discoloring if the wire was rusted. If it looks OK and feels smooth to the touch, it may still be good. Usually rusted wire won't feed through your tips smoothly long before they won't weld. For the price of wire these days, it might be worth another look. Gene

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  • ctruss53
    Originally posted by euro
    That probably shouldn't have blown my mind as much as it did. Might swap reels on mine now since the wire spool came with the welder i recently bought. Thanks for the insight!
    I had no idea this was a thing. Crazy. Never thought of it.

    More news and progress:

    I bought a new spool. When I was changing the spool, I realized that the welder polarity was backwards!!!!

    The welder came with a very small spool of flux core wire, that I never used. I just put on a bigger spool of solid core wire right out of the gate. I didn't realize that when I did that I was supposed to change the welder polarity. So this whole time I was struggling with clean welds, assuming I was part of the problem. Come to find out that my welder was set up wrong to begin with and it was impossible to weld right.

    With the new wire, the polarity correct, my welds are coming out much, much, better.

    I spent Friday night and a few hours Saturday finishing up the frame notch. I'm so excited to be making progress again.

    Fish plate clamped down
    20200424_200208_HDR by Chad Truss, on Flickr

    20200424_200523_HDR by Chad Truss, on Flickr

    20200424_201114 by Chad Truss, on Flickr

    Almost done
    20200424_201732_HDR by Chad Truss, on Flickr

    Boxed in
    20200424_204541_HDR by Chad Truss, on Flickr

    After that welding work I went back to the bench to assemble some suspension parts. I am missing two heim joints, to I placed an order for them. And I welded in the front suspension crossmember incorrectly, so I need to cut it out and relocate it or replace it. I ordered another one just in case I need to replace it. They are $60 and Speedway has a good return policy if I don't need it.

    Then I checked the fit of the hairpin brackets that need to get welded to the rear axle. They don't fit. The radius is more than an 1/8" too small. Instead of grinding them large enough to fit over the axle tubes, and likely ruining how round they are. I am drawing up new brackets for my buddy to cut out on his laser.

    Yaaaaaa, I'm making progress again!!!!!!

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  • ctruss53
    I have been struggling to weld well, so I had a friend come over and work with me on welding, with my welder.

    I have been playing with heat and speed. I have been adjusting the gas. But no matter what I do, I can't get a smooth weld. It spatters and pops more than it should.

    My friend showed me how the settings change things, in real time. Adjusting wire speed as we welded. tried different gas settings to make sure there was a proper shield. But no matter what we did, there was still too much spatter and there were holes in the weld.

    Then he asked me how old the wire was, because the wire can rust and cause the problems we are dealing with. The wire is 3 years old, and has been sitting in a garage with some water leaks, so it's not the driest place. He said that was my problem. I need new wire.

    When I got the welder 3 years ago, I just got a big spool, I didn't even consider the fact that it would rust. So from here I'll buy smaller spools and see if this fixes my problems.

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  • ctruss53
    I'm in a group on Facebook that is all about swapping Saab engines into other cars. In this group there was a discussion about RWD setups.

    So I bought that custom bellhousing, had a clutch disc made, and bought a special pilot bearing, so the T5 from a 4cyl fox body Mustang would fit the Saab engine. The one thing I was a little disappointed with about this setup is the 4cyl T5 transmission I am using is supposedly only rated for like 250 ft/lbs of torque. This means I can't upgrade the motor much, I am already at the top end of what the transmission can handle.

    Well, in this RWD discussion I found a new option that I might switch to.

    There is a company that makes a complete kit that includes an adaptor, flywheel, and clutch kit, so you can put a ZF5 from an E46 BMW on the back of the Saab engine. This transmission can handle much more power than what I currently have, so I can make engine upgrades later.

    So when I get back to work full time, and get closer to putting the engine in the chassis, I'll have to check this kit out.

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  • ctruss53
    Yeah, the hairpins are on either side and attach the axle to the frame. The panhard bar, or radius rod (a term I read somewhere, I'm more familiar with the term panhard bar), will be used to stop side to side movement.

    UPDATE: Finally after this project has stalled out for a year, I got out in the shop and made some progress. I put some more work into the 3" rear frame Z.

    Top portion of the Z. Welds ground smooth.

    And got started on the bottom gussets, and put a fish plate on there as well.

    My welds look like complete ****.
    And I can't get img links to work, so you get to click on links.

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  • ctruss53
    Finally had a chance to get out in the garage and make a little bit of progress.

    The front suspension is now completely reassembled with the upgraded parts I bought. The first time I built the front suspension, I used a T Bucket style tube axle, and smaller spring thinking that it would be better since I am not using a V8. Turns out that suspension is really designed for suicide mount instead of under the frame, traditional style, like I am doing. So I sent the parts back and got a Super Bell I-Beam front axle and Model A spring.

    20180901_151329 by Chad Truss, on Flickr

    20180901_151342 by Chad Truss, on Flickr

    Then I get the back part of the frame tacked back on. I need to go back and do final welding and put lower gussets on though.

    20180901_170034 by Chad Truss, on Flickr

    And then since the chassis was all back together, I rolled the rear axle under it to see how it would sit.

    20180901_172223 by Chad Truss, on Flickr

    20180901_172236 by Chad Truss, on Flickr

    20180901_172252 by Chad Truss, on Flickr

    Yes, my garage is filthy. It is impossible to keep the floor clean. The next garage is super close and the proximity of the two buildings creates this wind vortex in my driveway. Everything in my driveway gets blown into my garage.

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  • ctruss53
    Small update.

    Got started on the rear frame Z. I am doing a 3" Z. Where I cut the frame it is 3" tall, so I am basically just moving the rear portion up one frame height. Here is how far I got. I have the step up sections done on both sides, now I need to weld the rear portion of the frame back on and add a gusset to the bottom that will kinda match what I did on the top there.

    20180609_144254 by Chad Truss, on Flickr

    20180609_162343 by Chad Truss, on Flickr

    20180609_162338 by Chad Truss, on Flickr

    I got the Model A Super Glide spring and Super Bell I Beam drop axle for the front suspension. But something isn't working right with the way the kingpins are installed now that I have different parts. Everything should work, but something isn't right.

    Good thing Back to the 50's is next weekend, because the hot rod places I am buying parts from are coming to me basically. So I can bring my parts in and find out what is wrong, and then buy the right stuff right then and there.

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  • ctruss53
    Got a great deal on a steering wheel.

    20180507_111056 by Chad Truss, on Flickr

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  • ctruss53

    And finally, once I got a good look at how high the frame will sit, even though it is lowered quite a bit in the front, I decided to channel the body. Originally I welded in the floor framework of the body so that it sat on the frame, like it would have when it was built. Well, now seeing how high up the frame is I cut the floor tubes out and put in new ones that are 3 " higher up. So now the body will sit down over the frame by 3".

    New floor tubes.
    20180429_190614 by Chad Truss, on Flickr

    This photo shows one of the cross tubes where the floor used to be. The tubes entering the frame from the sides are for the new higher floor.
    20180429_180947 by Chad Truss, on Flickr

    From the side. The tube would sit on the frame, body would hang down over the sides.
    20180429_181006 by Chad Truss, on Flickr

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  • ctruss53
    I had a free hour over the weekend to work on the hot rod, so I made a teeny tiny bit of progress.

    I drilled and tapped three bosses in the side of the block so I could bolt up a motor mount. Then I made a plate. The plate is 1/8" thick. I am having second thoughts about that. I might make the plate again out of 3/16" plate.

    20180318_151914 by Chad Truss, on Flickr

    20180318_151925 by Chad Truss, on Flickr

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  • ctruss53
    Next thing to build is the chassis. I was doing some calculations to figure out about how much the raw materials for the chassis would cost, came up with about $250-$300 in steel.

    Then a friend of mine posted up a 1930 Model A frame for sale for the same $300. Normally I would say no because those old frames are just C channel, not square tube. They are not strong enough for todays horsepower, or highway speeds. BUT this frame has been professionally boxed in by a welding shop in Rogers. So the frame is all reinforced and ready to go. So I pulled the trigger.

    20171217_133512 by Chad Truss, on Flickr

    Since this is a genuine Ford Model A frame, I can shop at any store that sells Model A suspension parts. I don't have to buy a suspension kit and lay it out. So I'll get a dropped Model A front spring, and a 4" dropped axle for the front. The back I will probably have to z the frame, but I might just use that bar across the back and run one spring back there too. Old Skool.

    We will see.

    And if the frame seems short, it is. The frame only sticks a few inches out in front of the front axle, and that rear crossmember with the hump is inline with the rear axle. The frame doesn't go any further back than the rear axle centerline.

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