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1940 Pontiac Rat Rod - my first build

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  • 1940 Pontiac Rat Rod - my first build

    So here is my project: 383 SBC Stroker mated to a M21 Munice with a 9" Ford rear. Still have to get the rear end! Anyhow - plan to make a new frame for it off of a 1978 Camaro subframe. Anyone here have any experinece with this body and the Camaro subframe? So far as I can see the sway bar must be removed, but the radiator shroud fits nicely around the front mounted steering box. So it won't corner, but I am building this to go drag racing
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Started work on the Camaro subframe - joints and bushings are still in good shape. No need to replace them. Wire brushed off about 3 pounds of road grime and still more to go. Prepping the frame to add 2 x 4 x 1/8" rails. Ill spray it with weld thru primer and then bomb can it with flat black. (unless anyone else has a better idea? I'm open to ideas!) Click image for larger version

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ID:	584911I mocked up the front fenders. Found some neat looking coated bolts at my local hardware store in the bulk bins to assemble to body parts. They are nearly olive drab and I think they add the right character. As I was cleaning off the bottom side with my hoist I attached the buck scale and would estimate that a Camaro subframe is about 350 lbs with the rotors, hubs, springs, steering box, steering pump and master cylinder. (I had removed one spring and the hub) If anyone was curious.

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    • #3
      Got to welding on the kick ups last night. Waiting for the 4 link to show up so I can get the right placement and graft it to the Subframe. Also just got in the new lowering springs from Eibach. i also picked up a used S-10 manual steering box and will mock it up to see if that gives me the right amount of space so that I wont have to modify the radiator scoop or the radiator mounting frame - just not enough room with power steering. As for kick ups in the frame build I am going with a 13" rise - this is slightly taller than a stock rear Camaro factory frame dimensions. My hope is that it will mimic the ride height of a Camaro when I am done.
      Attached Files
      Last edited by 40-Torepdo; 09-02-2015, 04:43 PM.

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      • #4
        Click image for larger version

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        Well - this is how far I got till I had to eat some crow when someone here pointed out my Camaro subframe wont work... when I was mocking it up with the front clip and the body then I realized that I can't get wheels offset enough to be able to fit under the fenders. So I now have a extra 4-Link frame sitting in the back of the shop now. But I managed to get a 117" wheelbase S-10 frame. The front steering box and radiator remain a problem with the narrow frame, but I think I may be able to get a street rod radiator and simply mount it at an angle similar to the c-3 Corvette design.

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        • #5
          Looks like a good start. Just think, the first try was just practice
          Clutter is the evidence of life!

          https://www.minterfab.com/

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          • #6
            Here are some updates on the build.
            1) Got a 117" WB S-10 frame - its almost cheating to use one and I really liked the one I made with my hands, but this is a good alternative. Problem persisted with what to do with the forward facing steering box, but after mocking it up with the fenders I found it will work nicely with the extra long front nose on the Pontiac.
            2) With that extra long nose - I had originally mounted the motor in the standard S-10 V8 conversion motor mount location. When I measured it out I was going to be staring at the shifting linkage in front of the fire wall and the shifter would poke out alongside the accelerator.
            3) I fabbed up some new motor mounts that hang off the lower control arm perch and moved the motor back 13". In doing so I had to build a new cross-member as the $70 Trans Dapt tranny mount would not work - ugh.
            4) after moving the motor back this freed up lots of room for a new radiator that will now sit behind the steering box.
            5) Installed a new ladder bar suspension with a Ford 9" - the 9" is off at the shop being narrowed to 48" I cheated on set up and simply measured the original 10 bolt with the leaf springs for being true to the fame and once I was certain that it was I simply tacked the ladder bars and cross-member to the original rear end. Then when it came time to put the 9" on I simply cut the tack welds and put in the new 9". Click image for larger version

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            • #7
              More photos - here is the new motor mount being built,
              Attached Files

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              • #8
                Cool project, keep up the good work!

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                • #9
                  Nice project.

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                  • #10
                    As Thanksgiving approaches - I am thankful that I did not burn the shop down. Never have a rag saturated with oil and wax remover solvent near your feet when you are using the plasma cuter.

                    Anyhow here is more progress. I am waiting to still hear back from the machine shop for the narrowed 9". I should have just gone with a Ranger 8.8.... but oh well.

                    So I decided to tackle some of the rust on the body. It was a fine line as the rust is rather extensive and is debilitating to the structure. So rather than have it rotting and leaving chunks on the road I decided to cut out the really bad stuff. (Its so bad that at times I would bump the body and about two cups of rust powder would fall out of the bottom.)
                    Here is what I was looking at for the drivers front of the cab (front of the cab patch and the rocker and the rear quarter all need to be replaced)

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ID:	585945 The first picture is what the inner support looked like and the second it the rusty part that was actually still a part...

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                    • #11
                      As I am channeling the floor by 2" I decided to make some modifications. First I added the first strings of the new floor line with 1" x 1" tube. Then I took the main door hinge pillar and boxed it in for rigidity and added a gusset. Complete with RatRod chicken turd welds... The original door hinge pillar went down and attached itself to a body mount that was no longer an actual piece of metal. So I decided to forego trying to rebuild that lower section. I will build an attachment point to the new frame at a later time. Click image for larger version

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                      Last edited by 40-Torepdo; 11-24-2015, 09:03 AM.

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                      • #12
                        After shoring up the door hinge pillar I began to work on the new patch panel. This was the most frustrating of all as the only parts available are for a 1940 Chevy. The 40' Chevy is exact on the rear quarter and the rocker panel, but the cab patch is a whole different story. The Pontiac and the Chevy are the same along the door edge but the front fender mounts and contour are different between the two. It took about 14 hours of work with an anvil, hammers and dolly to get it flat, fit and just the right contour. But last night at 8pm I got it tacked in...
                        Attached Files

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                        • #13
                          Took some more shots showing the mock up of the front fenders and the strange luck with the extra long wheelbase of the 1940 Pontiac to show how I have room behind the steering box to mount the radiator.

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                          • #14
                            What's the matter did that rag make you dance around in circles? LOL! Been there makes ya' pay attention! Don't know where you're from up here in NH. that's a common problem. minimal rust cars up here are kinda' expensive so more rust = lower price. Just do one section at a time and before you know it it'll be done. It's looking killer keep up the good work! I did a 40 Chevy and for the radiator I used a speedway alum. upright I was able to use most of the stock filler panels. I also used an S-10 clip.
                            Last edited by purp47; 11-24-2015, 12:00 PM.

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                            • #15
                              actually it caught my attention when I felt some heat coming up around the welding mask... then I did the stupid thing and picked it up - thereby adding more oxygen to the combustion. After about 5 feet I threw it back on the ground and extinguished it by throwing a moving blanket over it.... I got this one for cheap - it has a clear title and all the trim pieces! So I still think its a steal. I live in Washington and we get lots of rain, but not so much on the salt. The rust on this one is mostly the product of sitting out in the rain for years and having moisture pooling in the lower recesses. The upper parts are nice and solid save for some surface rust.

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