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Hey guys, I'm planning out a gasser and I was wanting some advice. So far I have a 41 Plymouth body on a 53 Ford frame and a Hemi from the Willy Borsch Winged Express kit. Slicks and deep dish steelies in the back (53 Chevy kit) and thinner Firestones with steelies in the front. I can scratchbuild some stuff. The idea is a dirty, rougher home-grown effort with attitude. 

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I don't see any questions. Looks like you have the parts and the plan. What exactly do you need help with?

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The rules changed and tightened up over time. 10% engine setback was the maximum allowed to even the weight-distribution playing field among vehicles with swapped engines. At one point, a 24" height from the pavement to the center of the crankshaft rule was also instituted, as well as a requirement that the cars sit reasonably close to level...NOT the stupid nose-high attitude some guys (real and model) seem to favor. In the early days, there were also requirements as to functional street equipment, seats, bumpers, etc.

To build accurate, you need to pick a time period of a year or two, then research what would have been legal.

Start here...   http://gassermadness.us/Gas_Classes/index.htm

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Just making sure I was on the right track. I still need to source a rear end. and correct shocks in front. Also wondering what you guys use for blower belts aside from aftermarket items.

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Again, if you're interested in accuracy, pay attention to the width and design of the slicks you're using for the time period you want to represent. Wheels too. There's tons and tons of period photographs to allow anyone to become reasonably well informed on what looks right for when.

Putting the Plymouth body shell on the heavy Ford chassis is something that could certainly have been done by a budget builder with limited fabrication skills and junk parts to choose from, but the trick setup was always to build as light a car as possible. 

For early cars, pickup truck rear ends were popular for their strength. Many had six-bolt axle ends requiring six-bolt wheels. Light cars often ran quick-change rears. The Ford 9" came out in 1957 and is very popular, as were Oldsmobile and Pontiac rears from '57 onward...loved also for their strength.

One of the best home-made blower belts I ever saw was made from laminating two strips of ribbon. The inner strip had cross-ribs and the outer strip was smooth, then all of it painted flat black.

Edited by Ace-Garageguy

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Great feedback Bill, thanks.

I'm pretty confident that my wheel / tire choice is accurate, but I'll be researching more for sure.

Maybe weight could be lost elsewhere to compensate for the heavier frame. Definitely want to keep the junkyard build vibe going.

Great tip on the blower belt!

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you have a great start on the parts as far as a true gasser look, you can buy the rat packer 65 Chevy two funny car kit and it haa a great ford nine inch and a pretty spot on front straight axle, for further detail you could you use the st right axle from the kit and maybe buy an after market shock set from futurattraction. can't wait to see the pics!!!😃

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Yeah, If I had a gasser kit I would be all set. Trying to source what I have on hand, but thanks for the tip. If I see that kit I'll pick one up. 

Once things come together I'll get some pics up.

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I read on another forum that there seems some confusion with cars classed as Gassers  They were saying that some of them were/are actually A/FX class cars. I am still trying to find out what determines which class is which I plan building a 64 Plymouth with a straight axle, blown Hemi and wide slicks and was trying to figure out what class it would be.  

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Also, although the straight axle was the preferred front suspension, a budget racer might have used ball joint spacers to get the front end up a bit and run in the gasser class with the stock independent suspension. I asked about this a number of years ago.

http://www.modelcarsmag.com/forums/topic/50041-gassers-all-straight-axle/ 

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Jon,

So far, my research tells me that the FX class allowed for more mods. the engine could be set back further, less stock items required etc. Others with more experience may want to chime in.

http://nostalgiagassers.com/category/nhra-rules/

http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/60s-drag-racing-class-and-termanolgy-assistance-needed.381436/

http://gassermadness.us/Gas_Classes/index.htm

 

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Jon,

So far, my research tells me that the FX class allowed for more mods. the engine could be set back further, less stock items required etc. Others with more experience may want to chime in.

http://nostalgiagassers.com/category/nhra-rules/

http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/60s-drag-racing-class-and-termanolgy-assistance-needed.381436/

http://gassermadness.us/Gas_Classes/index.htm

 

True, but FX, "Factory Experimental," was always a late-model class, usually only a couple or three years old at the oldest, so, no FX '41 Plymouth. If you want to go wilder than Gas class, you can go into Altered and dispense with the street equipment, engine setback limitations, and so forth.

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My two cents......leave the Borsch hemi out of it. Few gasser folks ran 426s, as most were 392s. I'd also look into reinforcing the Plymouth frame instead of the truck frame. More than likely if it is going to have a blown motor, it would have aftermarket wheels. I totally agree with the comments about the slicks. These cars ran in the 60's. Wide tires were an invention of the 70's. 

A better kit to steal from is the Revell Miss Deal......a whole lot there can be stolen for your build.

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True, but FX, "Factory Experimental," was always a late-model class, usually only a couple or three years old at the oldest, so, no FX '41 Plymouth. If you want to go wilder than Gas class, you can go into Altered and dispense with the street equipment, engine setback limitations, and so forth.

Correct. :D

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Hey Mike,

Got an extra Miss Deal kit to trade? I get your point, I'm just trying to make something out of what I already have.

 

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My two cents......leave the Borsch hemi out of it. Few gasser folks ran 426s, as most were 392s. I'd also look into reinforcing the Plymouth frame instead of the truck frame. More than likely if it is going to have a blown motor, it would have aftermarket wheels. I totally agree with the comments about the slicks. These cars ran in the 60's. Wide tires were an invention of the 70's. 

A better kit to steal from is the Revell Miss Deal......a whole lot there can be stolen for your build.

I believe the Willy Borsch car ran the old-design 392 hemi.  e69b84735dbbb31659976a60eb9f32c2.jpg

The 426 Hemi is the later design with a front-mounted distributor. It would have been an expensive piece, even junkyard sourced. The 392 is the old design, used in all kinds of stuff. Heavy but very effective, and found in a lot of gassers. 

iBorg has a good point about using the Revell Miss Deal as a chassis-engine starting point too. It's a good generic chassis, has a truck rear axle under it, has a decent front straight axle, and also has a very nice blown 392 Hemi. 

 

Edited by Ace-Garageguy

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Hey Mike,

Got an extra Miss Deal kit to trade? I get your point, I'm just trying to make something out of what I already have.

 

What you have is completely adequate to build a very cool budget gasser that could have been real. An excellent place to save chassis weight is to take the front suspension and heavy crossmember out and source or fabricate a tubular or I-beam straight front axle on leaf springs.

Edited by Ace-Garageguy

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The rear wheels and tires are coming from this kit. They seem thinner than the bigger modern slicks, and the chrome steelies are pretty neat. (chrome will be dulled and weathered0

url.jpg

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What you have is completely adequate to build a very cool budget gasser that could have been real. An excellent place to save chassis weight is to take the front suspension and heavy crossmember out and source or fabricate a tubular or I-beam straight front axle on leaf springs.

That's the plan Bill, The 53 truck frame seems easier to work with and modify that the 41 Plymouth. Both are AMT kits but the truck frame has less stuff molded in place. I'll probably need to scratch build ladder bars unless the parts box gods are with me.

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After thinking it over, would a shade tree racer have the budget for fuel injection? was it expensive in 64? That would be the easy route since thats the motor i have. Just wondering if a beater would look funny with an injected hemi. 

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If you're using the engine from this kit, which you referenced in the OP, Image result for revell winged express

it's got a GMC 6-71 blower and Hilborn 4-stack fuel injection. Neither the blower and drive or the FI were cheap in '64, but a smart builder, even a "shade tree" guy, is going to put his money into making big power, and put his effort into engine reliability and removing weight.

Hot-rodders would actually "save up" to buy more exotic equipment in the days before widely available easy-credit, so it's entirely possible that a somewhat junkyard-dog looking race car could have a pretty expensive engine, relatively speaking.

If you want it to look cheaper, you can always put a couple of 4-barrel carbs on top of the blower, or even three two-barrels.

Edited by Ace-Garageguy

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First of all Travis, best of luck and skill with this.

Secondly,

One of the best home-made blower belts I ever saw was made from laminating two strips of ribbon. The inner strip had cross-ribs and the outer strip was smooth, then all of it painted flat black.

What a great tip Bill. Better yet, it's Aces!

Got me to wondering if masking tape would hold up as the outer layer if you simply applied the ribbed ribbon to it. Hmmmmmmm.

Had to go write that down before I replied. Old guy stuff.

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I've made nice blower belts by cutting a long strip of black vinyl tape to the correct width and then wrapping it around the pulley several layers until I got the thickness I wanted. I cut the tape at the bottom of the lower pulley so the end is as hidden as possible.

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Hey Bill, Yeah I'll probably keep the injectors on the 6-71. I like the idea of a junkyard dog being super mean and fast. Junkyard Dog may be a good name too. Curious though, if carbs are used, is the fuel pump on the lower passenger side front of the block?

Once I get to the craft store I can collect supplies for the blower belt. The vinyl tape on the outside and the ribbed ribbon on the inside may work. I also found some very small ribbed caps from a tube of my wife's makeup that may work for pulleys. Something like this Blistex tube. Hopefully the size will be right. 

tube-of-blistex-cold-sore-cream-DRJ32A.jpg

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Very cool idea about using the Blistex-type cap for Gilmer-belt pulleys. Let us know if the diameter is right. :D

Far as carbs on the blower go, a blown racing engine is going to need more fuel than a stock-type fuel pump can deliver. What you'd most likely see is a big electric pump mounted at or near the tank, and the stock fuel pump location on the engine blocked off with a blanking-plate. 

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