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The Alf VG30E Hot/Rat Rod Build Thread... New


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Hey guys I'm back with an update on my new project, the vg30e hot rod. I figured I would just start a new thread as a build thread so you guys can follow along with my progress. If you would like to see how this project began go here>>>>>> http://forums.hybridz.org/showthread.php?t=114405&highlight=hot%2Frat+rod


Update #1 11/1/06


Well it's been a couple months since my initial update so I figured it was time. We hauled the rod out here to KS (where I go to college) from Jersey on our 14' car trailer. I disasembled the body and stuffed it inside my Escort which aslo rode on the trailer, the frame was strapped underneath the car and the rear axle was up front, it was tight but we fit everything on and the trip out was flawless. I had a storage space rented from last year and I set the car up in there to get back to the project. That didn't work out so I ended up renting a shop in town which took a month to get, but it was worth it. So far out here I have finished the floor, channelled the body and totally disasembled a 84 300ZX doner car. I need to borrow a welder so I can start welding on my rear suspension brackets and get the engine set up in the frame, thats the next step. Here's the pics, enjoy.




This is my 1/12 scale mock up frame I built out of balsa wood. I then transfered the measurements to 1/1 scale and drew it out on the floor, everything worked out great with this method, i would highly recomend it, it could save you alot of trouble in the long run.




Whooaaa... thats alot of scrap. Thats what I didn't use of the body, it was at least half of what I started with. This is the back of our shop at home, if you know anything about 18 wheeler trucks, you can tell that's what the shop is really used for, it's littered with truck parts, brake drums, shocks, clutches, and even a blown up L10 Cummins deisel, don't worry I already snagged the turbo and piping. (Hmmmmm maybe I'll use that on...:burnout: )




Here's the rod in my old storage shed. I just had the body sitting on top of the frame rails in this picture. I wasn't very happy how it looked, but I fixed that.




There's a bunch of stuff going on in this pic. The body is now channelled, I have aquired a uhhhhhh.... floor, and made a seat template.




Ahhhhhhh, here she is in my new garage, look at all the room I have this is heaven. This is the third shop of the build in three months. The body looks much better lower on the frame, it's a hair under three inches off the ground. The paint on the wheels is still wet in this picture, I think they look much better black. It actually looks like a car, sweeet.




Check that out, I have a floor. This thing just about wore my drill out, 100+ rivets times two for the holes, my arm hurts thinking about it.




Here's the donor car. It is (was) a slicktop 84 300ZX, $400 with a running engine and good five speed tranny, brand new tires too, the body was super rusty but I didn't care, I couldn't pass it up. Here's a list of the parts Ill be using: Engine, tranny, wiring harness, clutch, brake and gas pedals, half of the driveshaft, and many other small peices. If you need some parts PM me, everything I'm not using is for sale, it's in my way.




There's the heart of the beast. I just lined it up to get a look how it would fit, It looks like it's gonna fit perfect, but hey I built it for the VG so it should fit perfect right?


That's it for now, be sure to check back for an interesting video of the disasembly of the donor car. Remember, if you need any 84 300ZX parts let me know, I have everything, even the roof, help fund the project, my goal is under $1000 for the whole car and I'm at about $600 now so I need to recoup some of my expenses. Till next time.



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  • 2 months later...

Update #2 1/3/07


Boy does time fly, it feels like just yesterday I finished disassembly of the donor car, but in reality that was almost two months ago. The project was put on hold for the holidays as I returned home for my winter break from school. Santa was good to me this year and I got a MIG welder, which is awesome because I desperately needed one for this project.


Well now I'm back at school so work on the VG30 hot rod can resume. For now enjoy the video I promised >>>>>>>>> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdy_3H5t058


I should be back with an update shortly.



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  • 3 weeks later...

Update #3 1/20/07



What's up everyone, back again with another update of the VG30 rod.


Today I woke up to find it snowing like crazy, it didn't stop either. The snow didn't stop me from getting something accomplished though. I picked up my front suspension today and now I have just about all of the major components of the car. I also finished up my rear spring install. Next I need to get a protractor and start welding up some spring perches and get the rear suspension done. Well, enjoy the pics.




I finally got my welder this week which has really let me acomplish some things. I got a Miller 140, this thing is awesome, it makes me look like I actually know what I'm doing.






Here's the beginings of a rear suspension. I cut holes with a hole saw and welded a pipe inside for my rubber shackle bushings to ride in.




This is how it looked after I bent my shackles to shape.




Here's the front spring eye brackets and template.




For the front mounts, I cut another hole with the hole saw on the outer part of the kick-up only. This is so I can put my bolt and washer on only one half of the tube, so it doesn't crush it. Then I welded a washer on the inside of the kick-up and ground it down on an angle to compensate for the lateral angle on the springs. Then I bolted it up with some nylon washers in between the spring and brackets and tacked it in.




Here's a finished front spring eye bracket, sweet!




I also picked up my front axle today, and I didn't even let the snow melt off it before I had to snap a picture of my prize. It's a Ford Model A I beam with a transverse spring. This is going to be a project in itself, 80 years of use has taken it's toll.




I had to do a quick mock up now that I had the axle. I can just about picture how it might turn out. B!tch!n.


Thats it for now folks, thanks for stopping by.



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Update #4 1/25/07


Hey everyone,


I've been working my tail off on this thing lately. Things are going smoothly, the only hickup was when I ran out of wire in my welder, but I'll be off to the welding shop tommorow to pick up a new spool and get back to work. As it sits at this moment the rear suspension is 95% done, I just need to do some welding and finishing, then I can bolt it together. Anyway, enjoy the pics.





I got lazy and bought these brackets from Tractor Supply, after some minor cleanup they were ready to go on the axle.




After I finished up the spring install, and while I was waiting for a protractor, I cut out some wedges and welded up some gussets for the kick-up. The next day I went to work on the axle install. This picture is just prior to tacking the brackets in place. I did about 100 measurements to make sure the axle was centered and straight, then I set the pinion angle to -2 degrees.




After I tacked the brackets in place I pulled the rear and welded em up.




At about 4 A.M. central time on January 22, 2007 the car supported it's own weight for the first time, (notice the blocks are not under the frame). After gawking at my handiwork and jumping up and down on the frame for an hour or so I figured it was time for bed.




Here you can see my rediculously over complicated lower spring plate, and my wood spacer block, ( don't worry it's only temporary).




The wheelbase is going to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 100" give or take an inch or two.




Shock mount on rediculously over complicated spring plate.




Here we have the upper shock mounts. I'm running a fore and aft placement to help with spring deflection and axle wrap-up. I got the idea from my 69 Camaro, it should work nicely.


The rear end should be easily finished tommorow and then it's engine mounting time. Thats the end of this installment, hope you enjoyed it.


So long.



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Update #5 1/28/07




Well, my week long of thrashing is winding down, it's a good thing too because I'm getting burnt out. I've been working untill the wee hours of the morning, though productive, it has atracted some unwanted attention. Last night I was pulled over after leaving my garage in the early morning because I showed "suspicious activity", and tonight two cops knocked on my door. The cop says "what are you doing in here?", I said "I'm building a hot rod." He then says, "Why?", some people just don't get it. I guess they think I'm running a meth lab, or maybe they just don't like kids from Jersey, who knows.


Anyway, back to the update. The rear suspension is done. I picked up an 11 lb spool of wire so that should last the duration of the project. After I finished up the back end I moved to the front, and realized I needed to raise the front of the frame so I didn't end up with a mile high front sring perch. So needless to say I cut the frame in half, but don't worry, it's all back together now. I guess I'll just let the pictures speak for themselves, enjoy.




There's the finished rear suspension. The shocks are Ford Ranger, springs are trailer springs, and the axle is '87 Pathfinder, LSD 4.63.1 6 lug.




I finally found a decent grinding wheel and cutting disc. These are SAIT brand. I picked them up at a welding shop, they're good quality and weren't any more expensive than junk discs. The cutting disc is super thin and lasts forever, I've been cutting everything with them. Try a pair of these bad boys out If you get the chance or do alot of cutting and grinding.








The front end now shoots up at an 11 degree angle. I did it this way because I could get the distant front higher with this method, any other way the starter and alternator were touching the frame.




They say WD-40 has 1001 uses, well I just found # 1002, an engine hoist. I went real ghetto and used some plate doused in WD to slide my engine in the rails, do what ya gotta do.




Finally cut my tranny hole in the firewall. This thing is tiny, it's times like these I wish I wasn't 6'2".




The body will sit about an inch and a half lower once the frame is off the ground.




After I decided that my new frame design was going to work I welded her up, being carefull to keep everything in line, then ground it smooth. Then, I cut out some gussets for the top side and welded them in slowly.




Then, I made these plates out of 3/16 sheet.




Finally, I welded them up on the inner side of the rail where I welded the tubes back together. 3/16" is the max thickness my welder can weld, I think it did a pretty darn good job, I'm impressed.


Things are going to start slowing down now, spring semester starts monday so I'll be busy with school, but hopefully I can have a rolling chassis within a month or so. Thanks for checking in, the next update should include a mounted engine, so keep your eyes open.





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Update #6 1/31/07


How's it going everyone,


Well I was able to get out into the garage last night and tonight, and besides the fact that I didn't have an engine hoist, the engine is in the chassis. Check out the pics below...




This is my mount template. Once I was sure the engine was aligned in the frame I made some measurements and then started cutting up snack boxes. It was a little tricky because the engine mounts stick out past the frame rails and the frame is on an incline, but about an hour later this is what I ended up with. Too bad cardboard isn't strong enough to support an engine, I would have been done long ago.




The template in action.




After what seemed like hours of cutting and grinding, I ended up with eight peices, and three lop-sided bats.




I set the engine in the rails and started tacking peices together, after a zillion measurements and many burnt fingertips later this is how it looked.




All welded up.




Oooooohhhhh aaaaahhhhhhhh...




It's in!!! The engine is actually about an inch higher than the body, it's still only about half way up my thigh though. It has about 4.5" of ground clearance, but a "bash-pan" is going to be fabbed.




Front shot. They even look symmetrical, sweet.


Next project to tackle is the front suspension, unfortunelly I need to rebuild the axle and decide on my wheel and tire package first so I can set the ride height. There is a chassis rebuilding class here at my college so I was thinking about just giving it to them for a project, but I kinda want to keep everything "in house". Either way I need different spindles and brakes because the thing is so old it has mechanical brakes. Thanks for checking in.


Untill we meet again.



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  • 3 weeks later...

Update #7 2/21/07


Hello Everyone,


Well, big changes are afoot, don't worry they're for the best. I had a revalation late one night while I was staring at the little roadster. All I saw was hundreds of rivits, wood I found on the side of the road, and rust holes and patches everywhere. I figured all the work I had put into this thing and it looked like I pulled it from a lake. So I decided to start from scratch and rebuild the body, and fab my own cowl that doesn't make the car look so fat.


So, after I tore everything apart, and wondered what the hell I was doing, things started to come together. The rear section and "doors" are all one peice now with a frame work of half inch tube. I'm still waiting on the sheet metal for the cowl so I'm not sure how that will turn out.


I also decided that I'm going to paint it, I had originally planned to leave it because of the lettering on the doors, but its just too rusty and ugly.


As for the front suspension, me and a friend spent three hours with a torch and a hammer to get the king pins out. The spindles turned out to be junk, now I need more parts so I set that aside and turned to the body which can be done rather cheaply.


Hang in there, pictures are coming soon, thanks for stopping by.

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Update #8 2/26/07


Greetings to all,


There hasn't been much progress lately due to much figuring and indecision. I have never built a hot rod before, let alone a car from scratch so this is a serious learning experience on both accounts, and the process can be slow at times. I basically have the blue print of the body in my head, and now I'm just waiting on more 1/2" tube and some sheet steel. I figure within a week I should maybe have a body, we'll see. I'm still pondering my options on the front axle and trying to scrape up some money to buy what I need to get it together, I'll probably sand-blast and detail what I have in the meantime. Sadly, for now all I have are three measly pictures...




This is how she looks at the moment, notice there's no more wood, rivits, or green paint. You can see the beginnings of the 1/2" tube frame, when finished it will cross the floor and incorporate the cowl all in one welded unit.




The last couple of days I was really searching for something to do, so I decided to fab up my oil pan bash guard. It's just some 1/16" plate and 3/4" tube, and to all the eagle eyed readers, yes it is offset on purpose.




Guard tacked in place, this should even provide some chassis stiffening also.


That's all folks, be sure to check back for updates.


So long.



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Update #9 3/6/07


Good day everyone,


Well Monday has come, the body isn't finished, but progress has been made. It has consumed about 60 ft. of 1/2 square tube in roughly two days, it doesn't go as far as one might think. However, it is starting to look like something, even though it's just a skeleton, you can see the finished product emerging. Did I mention this thing is tiny? The seat width for two people and a d-shaft tunnell is only about 42", good thing I'm skinny. I'm thinking another 48 ft. of tubing should be enough to finish the cowl skeleton and floor, then I need to make some sort of fastening system for the body. Another project coming up is the pedal assembly. I'm planning on using the 300ZX pedals out of my donor car, though, by time I'm finished with them they most likely will not be recognizable anymore. Enough with the chit-chat already, check out the pics...




My dad sent me some goodies from home last week, which included the Pathfinder rear d-shaft yoke. Here you can see the difference in size compared to the 300ZX R200 yoke. For the time being, I cobbled the two shafts together for mock up of the body.




Check it out... structure.




The old cowl was still good for something. This is how I fabbed the radiused bars for my new cowl, after cutting slits through three of the four sides of the tube every half inch for about eight inches I could bend it to the shape I needed. It was a little tricky getting matched pairs, but it's not a bad way to go about it. Once welded and ground smooth you'll never know.








Now that's more like it. To get to this point I tacked the front hoop (for lack of a better name) right to the frame, it leans back at a five degree angle. The rear hoop was tacked to the rear section of the body at the desired height. Then, I just connected them with some lengths of straight tube, then proceeded to run out of tubing right as I was getting into the swing of things.




Side view.




They turned out very symmetrical. The green bar is a street sign post I found on the side of the road (okay, so I ripped it out of the ground, I needed it) it's tacked in place to keep everything stable and square. The rear section of the body is also tacked to the frame so nothing can move.


So that's where it stands at the moment. The body shouldn't take too much longer to complete, but when it's done, I'm going to need help taking it off the frame. Spring break is coming up in a couple of weeks and instead of driving south and partying for the week I'm staying in the shop, and the old man's coming out to give me a hand, so stuff is really gonna start to come together. My goal is to have it driveable by May 5, which is a car show here at my college. It's ussually freaquented by some super high dollar cars like; Maybach's, Mercedes, Lamborghini's, Ferrari's, Lotus', and others, I'm looking forward to pulling in with open pipes on the VG and stealing all the attention haha, I can't wait.


Thanks for the visit, till next time.






Some of you may be wondering what a hot rod has to do with a Z forum, or why I'm posting all this stuff. Besides the fact that the car has many Z and Nissan related components in it, I wanted to show this project so that maybe someone can learn something from it. In the process of building this car I have come across many obstacles and I've ended up doing things twice many times. By showing what I have done and the processes that are involved, I hope to eliminate that for the people that may be doing the same general project. Besides, fabrication is fabrication, and I just thought you guys might want to see what is possible with a welder, a right angle grinder, and a colorfull imagination. So to anyone wondering, there's why. I hope you guys and gals are enjoying this project and if you have any questions, comments, or criticism feel free to PM me. Thanks.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Update #10 3/18/07


Hello all,


First things first, please, I'm begging you, take a minute to read over this thread and answer my question if you can>>> http://forums.hybridz.org/showthread.php?t=120161


Well, I've been busy in the garage all week, the front axle is finished and came out quite well. I spent three hours searching through piles of tires in a local JY to find a pair of matching 16" steel wheels with the funky 5 on 5 1/2" bolt pattern, but it was worth it cause I think they look much better than the wires. I havn't touched the body in a couple weeks due to lack of supplies. I have this entire week off because of spring break so alot should get done. My goal is to have a rolling chassis and a finished body, and maybe a set of headers also. Progress pics below...




I pressed new bronze bushings in my freshly aquired $20 spindles with my cheapo vice. Then, a local old timer used a wrist pin hone to fit my kingpins. I was supposed to get help from a professor here at my college, but he was going to make me wait untill the end of the week, I was done Monday afternoon, sometimes you just have to do it yourself.






I got an order of parts on Wednesday. What you see here are the rods that locate the front axle. If you refer to the before pictures of the axle above you'll see that originally they were connected in a triangle with a ball mount. I split them and welded on some bungs and fitted the ends with tie rods, which is common practice.




All finished up, just like new again.




Here it is mocked up with my "radiator" and new wheels.




3/4 view


Thanks for stopping by. Again, please check out the thread posted above and see if you can answer my question. Stay tuned, lots of progress should be made over my break. Have a good one.



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Update #11 3/24/07


Greetings HybridZers,


Well its been a long week of long days, but we've gotten alot done. We picked up all kinds of parts and even set the car on all fours temporarily. The frame for the cowl is almost finished and is coming out real nice. Bunch of new progress pictures below, enjoy...




That there is my header flange template. Since the VG30 manifold gaskets are seperate pieces I had to make my own. I cleaned up the manifold mating surface and sprayed some paint on it, then I stamped it on some card board, and finally just filled in the lines and cut it out.




And there's the real deal. The ports were cut with a 1.5" hole saw. We made it out of 3/8" plate, there may be a turbo in the future.




That's me cutting something up.




Me again, welding on the body.




Body progress.




Here you can see my new radiator, which is an early Mustang unit, and my front spring perch template.




Perch cut out in 1/4" plate. You may notice that the curved part of the perch sticks out farther, that's because we forgot to leave space for the bolts to go through, but that's why you make templates, cardboard is way easier to cut.




She's actually sitting on the ground in this picture. we tacked the perch in and set it down to check the ride height, we got lucky and it was about a half inch higher than what I had planned, should end up perfect with more weight.




There's my steering box and column, it's from a 61 Mercury Comet. I'll have to run it on it's side, but it should work perfectly.


Well, that's it for now. Hopefully tomorrow we can get the front suspension finished and move on the steering column and box. I should be posting another update soon so keep your eyes open. Thanks for checking in, have a good one.



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Update #12 3/31/07


Back again,


Whew I'm beat, been working on this thing every chance I get and I'm just plain worn out, progress is good though. Spring break is long over and my helper is gone, but we got a lot accomplished during the break. The front suspension is basically finished, except for steering linkages. We pushed the car out into the sun light to get a good look at it, check it out...




That's my dad posing for the camera. He came out for spring break to give me a hand with my project. This pic really shows how small and low this thing is.














We finished up the steering box mount and combined it with the link arm mount.










Made my steering wheel. I used the Comet wheel. I just knocked all of the plastic off and started cutting. It's about 13.5". I'm going to cover it in hose, then wrap it with hockey stick tape.




Stock Z31 pedals




Swing pedal bracket




Clutch and brake master plate.






That's what I ended up with. I took a page from the first generation Camaro and copied it's swing pedal design. Originaly the clutch and brake were on seperate brackets. I took the bolt for the brake pedal and welded it to the clutch pedal. Then, I made a bracket for the brake pedal and then just slid it all together. The brake pedal needed extensive modifications to be comfortable, the top has been flipped backwards, three inches has been cut out and it ended up in four different peices.




All mounted up, gas pedal too.




I made a set of headers last night, this is what I started with, a ten dollar set of SBC headers I bought a couple years ago at a swap meet.




As i decided which peices I was going to use I cleaned them up on my wire wheel.




D-side was tricky, I had to snake it over the steering box and leave enough room for the pitman arm. Not bad for my first ever header.




Front view. They dump right before the body. I can't wait to fire this thing up, it's going to be LOUD.




D- side is finished, pass is just tacked. #6 shoots down and forwards to keep away from the master cylinders. All in all not a bad looking set of headers for about $15.


*****I've got another question/problem with the elctrical system concerning fuel injectors and the fact that I'm not getting any fuel, check out this thread and help if you can, thanks.



That's all for now folks. I'm going to try to fire this engine up in the coming week, so wiring is in my future. I'll keep you updated.


One more thing, I decided to show the people over at the HAMB what I was up to, the responce was rather interesting, check it out>>>



Thanks for stopping by, till next time.



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  • 4 weeks later...

Update #13 4/23/07


Well, it's been a while. I guess you could say I've hit the "wall" on this project, I'm pretty burnt out, and things are slowing down. I'm never going to make the car show I mentioned earlier, but no worries, there's always next year, and she'll be finished by then. Inspite of my new found lack of enthusiasm, things are still getting accomplished and i've got some pictures bellow, check em out.




I decided what I wanted to do with my headers and there's the finished product, still got the D-side to do yet.




I had been dreading this job for months. I had to do some serious frame mods to make everything work. The biggest problem was that the center of the X happened to fall right under the mount on the tranny, no good.




My plan was to brace the frame with all the new pieces that were to be added, then cut the X out. As you can see it turned out to resemble a truss.




This is how she sits at the moment. Another problem with the prior frame design was the fact that I couldn't remove the drive shaft, so I modified the rear cross member to remedy that. I still have to put some cross braces between the rails, I plan to include a couple D-shaft loops as well.




I made my transmission crossmember now that I had the room. I just cut out the center of the original and added some mounting tabs, fits like a glove.




I went to a local truck junk yard a few weeks ago and scored some SW gauges, ignition switch, and a turn signal setup. All I need is a tack to complete the instrumentation.




As I was trying to finish the fabrication on the frame I got to the gas tank mounting brackets, then I realized I needed a tank to make brackets. So I started with a gear oil drum I got from a truck repair shop. I cut about ten inches out, then smashed it a little and called it good for now.




What I came up with for gas tank mounts.




I sacrificed my belt to test it out, looks good so far.


That's all for now folks. I'm going to try and build my drivshaft this week, and try to get some sheet metal for the body. Keep your eyes pealed.


So long



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  • 2 weeks later...

Update # 14 5/7/07




Well, I have about one week untill I'm back on native soil in New Jersey, don't worry, the rod is coming home with me. I havn't been doing much lately due to the closing semester, gotta stay up with the school work. Even though I said the car wasn't going to the show at my school, it did. After a bunch of classmates asked me about if I was bringing it or not I decided to. A budy of mine let me use his truck and trailer which was a god sent, and the school let me store it in their shop over night so I could just push it out the morning of the show. The forecast was gloomey with forecasted chance of hail and thunderstorms, but the show turned out decent with almost 100 cars. The VG rod got some good publicity, some people loved it, some people had no clue what to think, and others didn't like it because it wasn't their style I guess. But I got some pictures so check em' out.






This is out side my shop, I pushed it out to get some more pictures with the new parts. I ended up talking to a guy that saw it from the street ,while driving by, for an hour.






There she is at the show, notice the beaten down grass around the car, it drew quite a crowd. Of course no one knew what the engine was. Sweet little Porsche across the way, and the vette convertable had a 427 with three two barrels.




This was also at the show. This car is very similar to mine by coincidence. It's running a quad four GM four cylinder with a model T body, nice car.


Thats all folks, my next update will most likely be from home, so keep your eyes open for more progress. I'd also like to thank everyone for the comments.

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  • 1 month later...

Update # 15 8/30/07


Hello everyone,


Talk about a drought in updates, it's been way too long. Alot has gone on since last spring. Over the past few months I have gotten a considerable amount of work done on the hot rod, though not as much as I would have liked. I've been spending alot of time working and working on other projects, but now that I'm back at school already progress should pick up once again.




We towed the hot rod home at the end of the school year. The truck pulled it like it wasn't even there.




As soon as I got home I started building this engine run stand so I could break my new engine in for my Camaro. Then we finally put that together after a year with a half built engine. Here's a video of the break in - - - - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEEeNS5VRbo




I spent at least a month and a half working with my dad and his heavy machinery service business.






I did alot of final welding on the bodie's frame since every tube was just tacked together, not very fun. I also mounted the computer in a hidden location.








Over the summer I swapped out the stock Model A spindles and hubs for 36 Ford pick up hubs and spindles because they have a steering arm attached. The new parts actually are a mate to the body, we found them about 50 feet apart both with green paint. I modified the hubs by cutting off the drum since I'll never use it anyway, then I used slightly modified Dodge truck wheel studs and transfered the bearings and races. Bam just like new.






I also did some work on the frame. Since I had an engine hoist handy I figured it was a good time to pull the motor and do some welding. I flipped her on her side and cut six holes for the body mount bolts. I also lowered the skid plate a quarter inch since it was rubbing and I welded in a new crossmember under the front of the engine. Its not done yet but its getting there.


Thats all for now, it will be a couple weeks untill I get back into the swing of things here and then I'll be getting some more work done so keep your eyes open for updates.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Update #16 9/8/07




Back again with yet another update to the saga that is the VG hot rod. Just lately I've been getting back to working on the rod regularly and it's been quite productive. Some friends and I took the ride up to KC last weekend to check out the Goodguys car show. I've never been to one and it was interesting to say the least, it gave me some motivation and most importantly ideas. Check out the progress below.




This was the most prominent idea I got from the show, a U bolt steering arm. I had been wondering how Iwas going to fab up an arm and my plan was to bend some round bar and weld some threaded studs to the end, but no matter how thick the bar was the weak ling would be the welded small diameter studs.




After I welded on some stop nuts, a plate gusset, and the tapered bung for the tie rod this is what it looked like. Should be plenty strong and it saved me some time, like they say; work smarter not harder.




I had to scower the ends of the earth to find a pair of matching 16" 6 lug steel wheels to fit the Pathfinder rear, as you can see by the tire, these are old as dirt. Me and my room mate took a trip to a nearby junk yard and found these, among other things.




This is one of the other things I bought from the junk yard, it's a 30's Chevy grill shell.




As soon as we got back I tried to pop my new grill shell over the Mustang radiator, but it was too narrow, so I broke out the cutting wheel and chopped it up.




After exploring my options I ended up with this configuration mainly because it was the easiest not to screw up. All I had to do to make this look right was fill in the pie shaped section and make some relief cuts and angle the sides down.




This is how it looked after I tacked it together after bending the sides straight.




After doing some trimming I threw it on there to check fit, looks good so far.




Cut myself a slice of steel pie to fill in the gaps and tacked it in place.




Once I was done welding, bending, trimming, hammering, and grinding it came out like this.




Stand back and appreciate. I still have to mount it but I saved that for another night.


That's all I got for now, but steering proggress should be coming up next, check back later for more updates. Till next time. Thanks for looking.



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  • 5 weeks later...

Update #17 10/8/07


Greetings all,


I'm back with another update, the truth is l wrote this about two weeks ago, hit submit, and poof it disapeard. Thats what you get when your school has crappy internet. So I finally finished welding the tubes on the body and I did some other stuff too, it's really starting to take shape. Pictures bellow tell the story.




I really was getting tired of seeing a chunk out of the drivers side door area, so I decided it was time to fix it. I clamped this aluminum up and ground it straight.




That looks much better.




Then I made my patch panel and clamped it in place.




This is it after many many tack welds, looks ugly as hell but it works.




Ground down and painted, looks much better.




I got real bored one day and I didn't have any cutting discs, so I turned to the lower radiator hose. I used the 300ZX pipe, which I shortened with a hacksaw, and part of the bracket. You can see the giant chain link I used to extend the bracket, use what you got.




Then I started to think how tight the shoulder area was so I decided to make a little more room. I moved the upper door bar out about an inch on each side and trimmed the door pillar.




Here you can see the before shot.












This is what I cut out from that modification. Less and less of the original body is making it into the final product.




Then I got really bored and covered the cowl with cereal boxes to see how it would look. I'm pretty happy with it, it seems to flow.




Glamour shots




Looking good so far.


Well that's all folks. Right now I'm working on the firewall, I'm using the original just narrowed. I'll be posting more pics soon so stay tuned. Thanks for looking.



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Update #18 10/14/07


Good day everyone,


I'm finally starting to get back into the groove of working on the rod. It's really starting to look like a real hot rod. In this issue I did some work on the fire wall and the grill and the grill mounting. There are a ton of pictures so be ready. Check bellow for pics...




I decided one night, why not try and use as much original sheet metal as possible? So I started drilling rivets untill I seperated the fire wall from the rest of the cowl.




Since my firewall is flat, and the original was not, I had to cut it up.




The original was also wider than my home made version, so more cutting was required.




After cutting out about three inches I welded it back together.




It's hard to see, but the flange edge of the firewall was rusted through, so I fabbed up this simple patch from some other original metal.




Patch done.




Here it is setting on the body, luckily the curves match which happened totally by coincidence since using this peice was never in my plan.




I tacked the partial firewall on and set the body back on the frame.




I then turned my atention to mounting the grill shell. I made four brackets that mount the shell to the radiator. Then, I used two Mercury Comet hood prop rods and made stabilizer bars.




Check it out, looks authentic. It helps give the car some shape.




Looking sharp.




Notice the radiator cap hole placement on my grill shell.




Now notice where the radiator fill hole is located on my Mustang radiator, I asume this was one of Ford's better ideas.




So it was chop chop time.




My plan was to just flip the removed peice, but because I was stupid and didn't measure correctly the hole didn't end up in the right place.




So more cutting ensued.




And then welding. This looks hella ugly.




This is after I was done welding, looks like I got some good penetration.




After some grindage. Not the most perfect job, but it's in one peice, I can open my radiator cap, and it still fits, what more can I ask for.


That's it for now. My next project is to finish the firewall so keep your eyes open for my next update. Have a good one. Thanks for checking in.



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  • 3 months later...

Update #19 2/12/08


Hello all,


It has been forever since I have posted an update. I guess alot has happened since last time. It looks more and more like a hot rod every day, and it keeps getting nicer than I thought it would be. I have done a little bit of everything over the last few months and redone alot also. Designs have been changed and better ones substituted. This process is taking way longer than I thought it would, but if all gos as planned this should be a real quality car. Well, on to the pictures.




Here you can see my qauges and mock up dash panel. You can also see the tape hood, I made this so I could get a measurment off the weird shape.




Front shot. The distributor sticks out above the hood line by two inches, I hate that, but its just too much work to lower the motor.




I made front shock mounts out of an old headlight bar and welded two small brackets right to the axle.




Alot is going on in this picture. Here is the finished firewall, it is now part of the body, I think it turned out good. I also removed the lower intake because my plan is to use an old Pathfiner intake with a throttle body to keep everything inder the hood line.




Here you can see my emblem I casted out of bronze in school. Its just my initials, it turned out ok, but I made another one out of aluminum that looks better.




I had to make a new pitman arm because it needed to point straight up so I had the same steering ratio from left to right. You can also see the steering column coming through the firewall.




Here is a better picture of it. I used the Comet stamped steel suround and it turned out nice.




I also had to lengthen my steering arm to correct the ratios and to clear the tire when turned to full left lock.


That's it for now, but stay tuned because I plan to do alot of wark on this in the near future. Thanks for looking.



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