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1955 Dodge Pickup Rat Rod Build.

Discussion in 'Project Cars' started by Chad, Feb 15, 2013.

  1. Chad

    Chad New Member

    Well here is the build thread for my Dodge pickup. I actually just finished it but since I just found this place I thought I would post up what the truck has been through.

    So, here we go.......


    I bought it in October 2011. Here is it in my driveway the day I brought it home.

    [​IMG]


    When I brought it home the rear brakes were seized, the engine was seized, but it was complete and had a title.

    I sprayed PB Blaster into the cylinders and let it soak a day, then I broke the engine loose. Here are some videos of breaking it loose and attempting to get it running.

    [video]http://youtu.be/qtgqecuA97A[/video]

    [video]http://youtu.be/b6aTNDOLb3E[/video]

    Turns out the carb was junk and needed a rebuild. So I pulled it off and this happened.

    [video]http://youtu.be/SEAjkMvvzB4[/video]

    [video]http://youtu.be/QIDVQRu3VxQ[/video]


    I installed the freshly rebuilt carb, default settings, and the motor that was seized just started right up and idled smooth!

    [video]http://youtu.be/sttmuoDJmSU[/video]

    And here was the smokescreen when I got it running. ATF, PB Blaster, and oil in the cylinders to get the motor free all burning off.

    [video]http://youtu.be/7U9NlDWVtwI[/video]

    I'll post more in a bit.
     
  2. Straitup D

    Straitup D dope

    sup dude! i can not wait to see this thing after the work that i have been seeing on FB
     
  3. Chad

    Chad New Member

    After I got the original motor running I went through and redid the whole brake system. I replaced every single part of the braking system except for the drums. Then I threw a set of tires on it.

    This was the summer of 2012. The truck was original and in running order. I drove it a bit took it to a few shows.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    As I drove it a bit last summer I was having fun with it but all I could do was think about what a chore it was to drive. It wandered all over the road, it had no sway bars so it leaned through every turn. It had no power and it was geared so low it topped out at 60MPH. The rear main seal leaked like mad and I went through a quart of oil every 100 miles.

    So this winter I decided to do this truck up rat rod style.......
     
  4. Chad

    Chad New Member

    First thing I did was secured a place to work on it. My friend up in Sturgeon Lake that resotres cars for a living offered up his shop. So I drove my truck up there. That was the longest drive to Duluth ever and the other cars on 35 probably didn't care for me only going 60, but that was all I could do... lol

    The first purchase to get this project going was the frame. I found a 2000 S-10 Extreme rolling from for sale for $200. This frame was complete, the brakes were good, and it even had a new steering box on it.

    The next thing I did was drove up to Thunder Bay to see my rat rod friends. While I was up there they gave me a working TH350 auto trans, and a 307 cubic inch small block out of a 1972 Camaro.

    Then I went and bought front brake parts, brake line, a starter, alternator, and all kinds of other misc parts needed for the build. And now it was time to get started.

    I am a busy guy and a single dad so I was only free to work on this project every other weekend. The first weekend I rounded up some friends and we attacked this thing. There was 4 of us so we split up into teams. Bryan and I cut up the S-10 frame and welded it back together to shorten the wheelbase 6" to match the Dodge. While we were doing this my friends Novy and Pastor David tore apart the Dodge, removed the body from the frame, and rolled that frame outside.

    Here are a few pics. The whole build can be seen in the link at the bottom of this post.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Yes, we just clamped the chop saw to the frame. lol
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Here I am welding in the patches. I have never really welded much before this. Bryan showed me how to weld and let me go at it. I boogered up some of the welds, but even though they didn't look pretty I was getting full penetration and achieving a structural weld.
    [​IMG]

    Pastor David was getting antsy and needed some weld time.
    [​IMG]

    Frame shortening is all done.
    [​IMG]

    Here goes the cab onto the newish frame.
    [​IMG]

    Almost there.
    [​IMG]

    BOOM!
    [​IMG]


    All that occured in one weekend and about 20 hours of labor. We were on fire.

    Here is a link to the whole build on flickr.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/ctruss53/sets/72157632166516688/with/8317054232/
     
  5. Grappler

    Grappler <font color="#EF77A6">Super Moderator</font>

    This is awesome.

    I am trying to remember what other forum I have seen your truck on?

    I am excited to see your progress.
     
  6. derp

    derp New Member

    he's on eurowerks.
     
  7. Chad

    Chad New Member

    Yeah, I was over on Eurowerks, but I just showed the getting it running part over there. I'll share the rat rod build here.
     
  8. Chad

    Chad New Member

    The second build weekend was a blur. My friends came down from Thunder Bay, Ontario and the beer flowed like water. The 7 of us drank 5 cases of beer over that weekend.

    Again, we got quite a bit of stuff done. Novy and Christian replaced the front brakes, and ran all new brake lines front and rear. Patrick and Mouse got to work on the engine and transmission, replacing vital seals and mating the two together.

    The 307 V8 given to me by the Canadians needed to many little pieces to make it complete and was nickle and diming me to death. So I took it to my friends at French Lake Auto Parts and used it as a core towards a working running engine. I got my hands on a 400 cubic inch small block for only $200 plus the free engine I was given.

    Got back to the shop and got to work.... here are a few photos of the progress from that weekend.

    Big block 6 pack. Get it? :rollseyes:
    [​IMG]

    Here I am grinding the metal clean in the spots I am welding a reinforcement.
    [​IMG]

    Test fitting the motor. Checking out motor mounts and making sure the headers fit.
    [​IMG]

    Break time.
    [​IMG]

    Getting ready to test fit the bed.
    [​IMG]

    Here we are all doing the sign for "Rat Rod" for my deaf friend Ken.
    [​IMG]

    Novy making some home made body washers for bolting the cab down to the frame.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Chad

    Chad New Member

    Just a few more from Canadian build weekend.

    Bolting cab to the frame.
    [​IMG]

    After the cab was in it's proper location we dropped the engine and trans back in. Found that we needed to cut a huge hole in the firewall for engine clearance. Here we are trying to figure out how big of a hole to cut out.
    [​IMG]

    My friend Brent is the man when it comes to the cutting wheel.
    [​IMG]

    Engine is in now. Here is a shot of me jumping up and down on the frame to be sure the headers fit. They were super close to the front a-arms.
    [​IMG]

    Brent cutting out the inner fenderwells and my French-Canadian friend, Christian, doing what he does best..... drink.
    [​IMG]

    Front clip test fit.
    [​IMG]

    Trimming the frame ends so the front clip fits.
    [​IMG]

    And the front clip fits. And my friend Bryan looks nuts.
    [​IMG]

    Here I am taking a saws all to the inner fenders on the bed.
    [​IMG]

    Stood back to look and see how it sits and how it fits.
    [​IMG]



    Silly French-Canadian. Go home, you're drunk. (we also call him the fat Vince Vaughn)
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Chad

    Chad New Member

    Build weekend 3.

    Here I am working on putting some square tubing in under the floor of the bed so we had a place to run bolts through for mounting. In this image I was cutting out the leftover hardware from the wood floor that was in it years ago.
    [​IMG]

    Bryan is AWESOME with the sheet metal. He formed the new trans hump, boxed in the hole in the firewall for engine clearance, and laid down some sheet metal on the passenger floor where the bad rust holes were.
    [​IMG]

    Another shot of the sheetmetal work in the cab.
    [​IMG]

    Here we got the front bed mounts on the frame, and by now I have welded in the square tube under the front of the bed so we can bolt that all together and then make rear mounts. In this photo we are getting ready to put the bed on.
    [​IMG]

    In this photo the front end of the bed is loosely bolted in with the new mounts. Bryan is jacking up the rear of the bed until we get the right look and then we will weld in the rear mounts.
    [​IMG]

    Proper bed alignment figured out, here you can see the rectangular tubing we will weld in at the rear of the frame. The tubing will get welded to the bed sides and then we will drill holes through it at the frame and run bolts through.
    [​IMG]

    Welding.
    [​IMG]

    Here we are putting in another rectangular tube. This is to get a few more mounting points to be sure the bed isn't going anywhere.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Now here we put in a series of smaller square tubes to set the actual bed floor on. We had to go so high over the axle here because the S-10 rear axle is narrow enough that the tires actually stick into the bed a little. Since we had to raise the floor to clear the frame anyways, I decided to just run this extra high part all the way across instead of tubbing the fear fenders.
    [​IMG]

    Boxing it in.
    [​IMG]

    While Bryan and I were working on the bed floor. I was cutting metal and taking pics, he was welding the pieces in.... my friend Troy was working on the doors. I absolutely HATE working on doors. You can never see anything, the space is tight, and it all SUCKS! So my man Troy stepped up as an auto body expert to do the work. He pulled out both wing windows t get more room to work in the door in the window crank and the door handle. The exterior door handle didn't work on the drivers door and none of the handles were very good. So he pulled them all out and reworked them so they all are operational and function well to boot.

    While he was in there I had some door glass made and he threw those in. This truck hasn't had door glass in over 30 years... lol
    [​IMG]

    Damn doors.
    [​IMG]

    Here is Troy actually making an improvement to the way the windows operate.
    [​IMG]

    Bed floor coming together.
    [​IMG]

    Ben floor framework done.
    [​IMG]

    Floor work begins.
    [​IMG]

    Front part formed.
    [​IMG]

    First quarter of the floor welded in. To weld in the floors we drilled a million little holes in the panel along where the framework below would be present. Then Bryan came in and filled each hole with weld.
    [​IMG]

    2nd quarter going in.
    [​IMG]

    3rd quarter going in.
    [​IMG]


    In the next build weekend we finish the bed floor and work on the front end again. Steering, pluming, and what not.
     
  11. Straitup D

    Straitup D dope

    damn this thing is so cool!!!
     
  12. Grappler

    Grappler <font color="#EF77A6">Super Moderator</font>

    omg I love it if I were to own an old domestic it would have to be like this
     
  13. Chad

    Chad New Member

    Thanks guys.

    I test drove the truck when I finished it up about a week and a half ago. I was able to find a section of relatively clear road so I stopped, stuck it in low and tried hard launching it. The windshield is old and cracked already, but when I launched the torque from that V8 put a couple more cracks in the windshield.... lol

    The exhaust sounds awesome and V8y as well. It's just straight duals with cherry bombs.

    Enough about how it sits now, let me post up some more progress shit. :)
     
  14. Chad

    Chad New Member

    The fourth build weekend......

    Bed floor panel number 3 in and welds being ground clean.
    [​IMG]

    Steering column u-joint. It's slightly too small for my steering column so it's clamped here in preparation for me to hog it out.
    [​IMG]

    Hogged.
    [​IMG]

    Meanwhile, fourth panel going into the bed.
    [​IMG]

    Tag indicates my engine is from a 1978 Chevy Truck. It's a 400 cubic inch (6.6L) small block.
    [​IMG]

    This is the original instrument panel. It had a sheet of glass on top and the gauges were behind it.
    [​IMG]

    Hogging out the holes for working and modern gauges.
    [​IMG]

    Random front clip pic.
    [​IMG]

    Me hogging out those instrument cluster holes.
    [​IMG]

    Done and painted matte black like it was originally.
    [​IMG]

    Bed floor done.
    [​IMG]

    Novy changing the trans filter and fluid, then he mounted up the torque converter and mated the trans and engine.
    [​IMG]

    All the parts from the old instrument cluster and the new gauges.... ready for assembly.
    [​IMG]

    2 gauges in.
    [​IMG]

    All 3 in.
    [​IMG]

    The old glass trim piece mounted up.
    [​IMG]

    Instrument cluster assembled, bed floor finished, and keg gas tank installed. That rebar handle thing next to the pizza box is going to be my shifter. :)
    [​IMG]

    Trans serviced. I think this is the last time we installed the engine and trans. They only went in and out a dozen times or so. lol
    [​IMG]

    Novy on the left replacing the fuel pump. Justin on the right building the steering column.
    [​IMG]

    Troy, the door man looking at how to do the throttle and kickdown cable linkages.
    [​IMG]

    Master cylinder installed. Steering column complete (see it running through the header), and Troy hooking up the loud pedal.
    [​IMG]

    New alternator installed. Fuel and brake lines run. Front end is nearly buttoned up.
    [​IMG]

    Power steering bypassed. :)
    [​IMG]

    Bryan cutting a hole in the hump for the shifter cable.
    [​IMG]

    Shifter test fit.
    [​IMG]

    "New" shifter handle.
    [​IMG]

    Shifter cut and welded up.
    [​IMG]

    Shifter bent to match the shape of the part I cut off.
    [​IMG]

    Shifter "base"
    [​IMG]

    Me cutting rectangular tubing to make mounts for the front clip.
    [​IMG]

    Test fitting front clip.
    [​IMG]

    Me welding up the frame ends and front clip mounts.
    [​IMG]

    Welding.
    [​IMG]

    Welding.
    [​IMG]

    Frame ends stiffened. There are 3 layers of tubing there to act as boxed frame ends and to get low enough to run a tube across between the two frame ends (tube not pictured) and under the core support on the front clip.
    [​IMG]

    Cross tube mentioned above getting welded in.
    [​IMG]

    Front clip mounted.
    [​IMG]

    Hood set on to be sure everything lines up.
    [​IMG]

    Ok, I think thats the end of the 4th weekend. :)
     
  15. Rewedmiata

    Rewedmiata <font color="#EF77A6">Super Moderator</font>

    Nice job on the photos, its something I normally forget about.
     
  16. derrian

    derrian Administrator Staff Member

    very awesome looking. I love the full progress shots :) Can't wait to see it someday!
     
  17. cmspaz

    cmspaz New Member

    I always forget progress shots as well...

    I still can't wait to see this thing out and about.
     
  18. MrUgly

    MrUgly New Member

  19. Chad

    Chad New Member

    I have heard of Automotion for several years now, but I have never been. Is it a good show?

    Thanks for the compliments guys. This build was a first for me. I have been bolting shit on, tuning, and doing minor cosmetic shit on cars for 20 years now. This is the first time I have ever really been able to fabricate and build something so involved and I had a blast doing it.

    You should have seen my face every other weekend when I went up there to my friends shop. I was grinning from ear to ear when Bryan had be cut something apart, weld something together, bend shit, or any of that stuff. He buided me through the build in addition to doing a lot of work himself.

    I can't even express what a great experience it was to build this thing. In fact, I would recommend a build like this to any car nut. I mean how many of you are going to hit the road this spring in a car that is more than 75% hand built? Yeah, we had a frame, but we had to cut it apart and weld it back together. Yeah the engine was already together, but we had to make mounts for it. We had to make a steering column, the transmission crossmember was a custom fit thing. I had to have a shop build a driveshaft, I had custom wheels built to fit the rear better.... i can't wait to drive it!

    Oh, and I should be at many of the C&C events with it this summer. :)

    I would attend the Garage Geeks Wed meets, but I have my daughter that night so they won't be easy to get too.
     
  20. MrUgly

    MrUgly New Member

    If anyone is a car person, they should make plans to attend this every year. Not only is the show/swap meet INCREDIBLE, the weekend attracts all sorts of cars. From rods, to lambos, to bikes and imports. And tons of stuff in between. We usually go with a large group and all stay at the same hotel right on the strip.

    Check out my groups vid from a couple years ago. I'll post in the events forum when AM gets closer. Its a BLAST. This year is #8 for us.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hdZ_paA1iIY&list=UUkWWKP69Uai5QcJ3EkMjDzA&index=26
     

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