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Midwest new guy


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Hello....I am obviously new here and want to learn more about T's. I have a 4 year old son and want a project car for us to build together. I currently have an 80 Pontiac Firebird that will be handed down to one of my kids(I also have a 7 year old girl).I am an 80s kid and love all cars, especially hot rods. I always have loved custom vans, but the wife isnt too thrilled about those(pervert):). I thought a T bucket would be the ticket.....simple, cool and fun. I already have a motor and tranny for one, and just need to build from there. I have a 73 Pontiac 400 and a TH350 tranny, and thought of putting that in the bucket frame. I have never seen a Pontiac powered T. Ours will be old school....fat tires on back with flames and chrome everywhere. I want it to look like a late 70s-early 80s style. I dont care for the big roofs on them...mine will be open all the time. I am open to suggestions, tips and any type of help of obtaining parts I will need. Like I said, all i have are the motor and tranny now. I am 5 11 and 170 lbs......I have heard these cars ride rough and are difficult to drive. Is this a good choice for a project? I have never sat in one or driven one....I just like them and thought it would be cool to build one with the boy.
Welcome aboard! Where abouts in the midwest are you? I'm in Kansas City.

My 15-year-old son has been helping me with my T. He thinks he's going to drive it to high school! :eek:

T-buckets can be hard to drive and/or rough-riding, but they don't hafta be!! With a properly designed and fabricated chassis and tuned suspension they can drive and ride as well as any muscle car out there.

Lots of knowledgeable folks on this forum. There are no dumb questions!!
welcome to the site. a project like this with your son will give him memories he'll carry to the grave.

are you builing from scratch or starting with a fabbed chassis?

I think it would be a good idea to get someones abandoned project that has most of the components. I'm not that good to scratch build, and dont know how to weld either. I'm willing to pay a few thousand for a good solid frame and body with complete suspension. I just basically want to finish what someone else started to get me familiar with these cars before buying a frame and piecing together the car. I know that I dont want a long wheelbase one where the front axle is way in front of the radiator. I like the short wheelbase T's with the shortened truck beds on the back...... Thats what I will look for.

I am in northern Indiana......Elkhart.
I am in northern Indiana.....Elkhart.

I think because I am inexperienced in building one of these, I will be looking for someones abandoned project that has a frame, body and complete suspension. I dont know how to weld, and cant afford new components. I like the short wheelbase cars with the shortened truck beds on them; thats what I will be looking for. Not a fan of the T's with the front axle way out in front of the radiator.
For though of you with son's that help with the work,they will never forget.
Keep them in the plan and you will always have a connection.
Enjoy the Ride. Dan
You might could get one of the guys who do that all the time to build u a frame. Nice weekrnd drive to pick it up. You need to decide 4 bar ,ford rearend, Chevy rearend, mine is a 96 s10 and worked great a good one will set u back 50-100 bucks. Your size is a plus so the traditional body will work great for u. This is a perfect time to manufacture some memories with your son good luck. As you will see by my grey hair this has no age limit this is my first drive in mine a few weeks ago.
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Cool ride.......I will probably want a rear end in the GM are cheap and they are easily upgradeable. Dont know what a four bar chassis is?? I want to keep it simple, yet reliable and fun. I have parted out a few 70-81 Trans Ams but never kept the rear ends for myself.
Those TA and camaro rearends are a bit wide for me but a bunch of guys here use them. One of you guys post your 4 bar setup for this fine fella.
if I can get this to work hehe 4 bar with Vega steering box and stock pitman arm...:sorry:
The Camaro and Trans Am rear ends are wider than a two wheel drive S-10 rear end. If I remember correctly there is a 4" difference.

Rooster asked for a posting of a four bar mount. What I have is "technically" not a four bar but an adjustable "four link" set up. The mounting to the rear end housing is the same as in a four bar but if you check the picture you will see where they are adjustable on the frame mounting points. This is done to allow adjustment on how you want the car to "hook up". Also in the picture is a "wishbone" rather than a panard bar to locate the rear end which is a '96 S-10 unit.


His attention to detail is something the rest of us can only attempt . The next time one of my customers in Orlando call i wana go myself and peek over the fence at his car.
Thanks for the kind words guys. Rooster, I would be more than glad to meet up with you if you are ever in the Orlando area. I really enjoy meeting and talking to other "car nuts", especially guys like you and Al that really care and do a great job on your builds.


P.S. I'm really pumped to see the build up on your latest acquisition Al.
Thanks for the pic...I think I know what a four bar setup is......I would like to just keep it simple and do the most common thing. If the s10 rears are a little narrower, I will go with that....I like how they keep the tires close to the body. Since my rear tires will be wide(I mean wide) a narrower rear is ideal.
If you plan on having WIDE tires on the rear a wider axle wouldn't be all bad. Your wheels could have the centers, well centered. This would take a lot of the stress off the wheel and the axle bearings.​
I got a question does anybody know of a 97 jeep rearend with disk brakes would work? Or is it the same thing as a ford rearend? You know amc,jeep,ramblers all used other parts from different manufacturers.
Let me know if anyone here has an idea so i dont let this one go by.

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