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41 Chevy Hotrod - The little things 2-9-17


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I'm participating in a same kit build off on Facebook that requires everyone to use the Revell 41 Chevy pickup as the base for their build. I've been looking for a reason to build this kit, so this was just the motivation I needed. I'm doing mine as a low, fenderless hot rod. It will be a real mix and match type of build, flat/satin black in color, but I don't really want to call it a rat due to lack of rust, or traditional due to the modern front suspension and brakes I will be using. What I'm hoping for, and I really mean hoping for, is a really low, mean looking Mopar powered rod that looks similar to the truck my former boss drives. Oh, I forgot to mention, I have one poorly taken pic of the real truck to use as a reference, so hopefully my memory serves me well lol. His happens to be a 35 Dodge anyway, so it won't be correct by default.

Well anyway, here's what I have done so far. I don't have many pics, so I'll try to explain what's going on to the best of my abilities. The frame is a Frankenstein in its own right, being the back half of the 41 Chevy frame mated with the front rails of a 32 Ford. Two small pieces of the scrapped front 41 rails were used to make the kick up for the rear, and the 32 rails were cut on a 45 degree angle just in front of the firewall for a surprisingly straight, double z'd frame. I forgot to mention I've never done extensive frame work, channeling, sectioning, or chopping, so any helpful advice for my next build will be very much appreciated. For now I'm just kinda winging it.

After that was done, the front suspension from the Revell 37 Ford Coupe was used to mimic the Mustang II front end on the 1:1. A lot of trimming on some pretty delicate parts was required to get the cross member/strut assembly wedged down between those narrow 32 rails. By the way, if anyone reading this wants to build said 37 kit, DON'T pay any mind to the instructions for the front suspension assembly. You'll be scratching your head for hours lol. The 37 kit is a 1/24 deal, but with the 41 being a truck kit, the wheel base is actually pretty spot on.

Surprisingly enough, even with the Frankenframe, new front end and stock rear end, when I mocked it up with the wheels/tires I plan on using from the Revell 32 Five Window kit, everything sat nice and level. Yay! 10% skill, 90% luck on that one is what I'm thinking. Even with the nice double z going on, it was painfully obvious the truck would need to be channeled quite a bit. Since I'm trying new things all across the board, why not? A really good chunk was taken out of the firewall and rear of the cab. that got it down where I wanted it.

After that, the box was sectioned (another new trick learned) and a few chunks taken out for frame/axle clearance. I still have to redo the motor mounts and grind out the firewall a bit to get that big 440 in there, but the bulk of the work is behind me.

Hopefully I didn't bore you guys too much. I promise to take more WIP pics. Now for the part I fear the most... taking 3 scale inches of headroom out of that cab. Wish me luck!

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Edited by Tyler62990
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Great idea for a build. I remember seeing one at the Good Guys with a similar build and suspension idea. He was tearing up the Autocross track. The engine looks like it is sitting very nose high, don't know if you have finalized the engine mount issues yet.

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Thanks guys.

Great idea for a build. I remember seeing one at the Good Guys with a similar build and suspension idea. He was tearing up the Autocross track. The engine looks like it is sitting very nose high, don't know if you have finalized the engine mount issues yet.

I'm still working on that one. I need to find a way to support the transmission without interfering with the floor to frame fit. The standard half-hoop cross member isn't working due to the engine sitting twice as high as it should because of the z'd frame. I'm thinking I'll have to make some sort of mount, then cut quite a bit of the floor out and make a tunnel for the tranny. Eh, I'll figure it out lol.

Anyway, I have a small update on this one. I went ahead with my chop top idea and actually got some ok results. 

 

 

First, I measured out what would be a 3 inch chop and made sure everything was square. After marking my cut lines, I ran a piece of tape around the cab and shot a little gray primer, leaving me with a nice bright, white section showing what needed to go. I know a razor saw is the preferred tool for this, but mine has a super thich handle that was actually making my lines go crooked after I cut so deep. The only solution I could think of was to break out the dremel and a cutting disk, pretend it was a 1:1, and go to town. The good - The thickness of the disk takes out almost a perfect 3 scale inches. The bad - chunks of melted plastic and some pretty jagged cut lines. After lining everything up, it was clear the roof would have to be sectioned and material added to line up with the posts.

 

 

After a bit more fitting, filing and sanding, the roof was braced from the inside along the sectioned pieces. The cut lines were then filled in using liquid cement and some plastic rod and shims. Some more trimming and filing produced some decent results. I'm especially happy with being able to kind of save the window lines and drip rails.

 

 

After a shot of some filler primer, it's evident that a little work is still required. At this point, it seems the cleanup is equal to or less than that of the resin cab I was thinking about buying, so I'm really not discouraged at all. Being my first chop, or first major body mod in general, I'm pretty happy with the results so far. I'm thinking another primer and cleanup session or two, and this one should be looking pretty decent.

 

 

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That top looks really nice. I think it looks like someone could even drive this if they were 1/25 our size. A thought on the engine mount. You might create an engine mount that drops down from the frame then curves to meet the side of the engine in the normal manor. Or if you want to use a mount like many race cars use, an engine plate that mount to the front of the engine and to the chassis. This way you could set the front of the engine at a height that would keep it level and the drive shaft would clear your floor boards. One problem you may run into is that now that the frame is Z'd the oil pan may be on the ground. Of course if you have an old NASCAR engine laying around you could always go with a dry sump oiling system. The old rule of thumb was that no part of the chassis or drive line could hang any lower than the outer edge of your wheel rims. The reasoning was that if you got a flat then nothing from under the car would strike the ground. The other alternative on the drive line is to run it level thru the cab and just make a very tall drive tunnel thru the interior, and that may be the easy way to do it.   

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That top looks really nice. I think it looks like someone could even drive this if they were 1/25 our size. A thought on the engine mount. You might create an engine mount that drops down from the frame then curves to meet the side of the engine in the normal manor. Or if you want to use a mount like many race cars use, an engine plate that mount to the front of the engine and to the chassis. This way you could set the front of the engine at a height that would keep it level and the drive shaft would clear your floor boards. One problem you may run into is that now that the frame is Z'd the oil pan may be on the ground. Of course if you have an old NASCAR engine laying around you could always go with a dry sump oiling system. The old rule of thumb was that no part of the chassis or drive line could hang any lower than the outer edge of your wheel rims. The reasoning was that if you got a flat then nothing from under the car would strike the ground. The other alternative on the drive line is to run it level thru the cab and just make a very tall drive tunnel thru the interior, and that may be the easy way to do it.   

I think I have it figured out. I decided to make a tranny mount out of a piece of plastic I beam that's keeping the engine sitting level and drive shaft going straight to the rear with no need for fancy U joints or anything. The negative is the floor needed to be cut in half, the seat will need to be cut as well, and a tunnel had to be built. I tried using styrene sheet to build the tunnel, but the tension was too strong to make a clean bend, or keep the floor halves level. Thinking that I just screwed myself, I happened to glance at my almost empty bottle of Loctite and it dawned on me. Cap! not only is it the perfect shape I'm going for, but it was also the perfect size and wouldn't interfere with the seat as bad. Crisis averted, but  doing this with a used, glued up cap was a bit of a challenge. First, it had to be cut in half with my dremel's cutting wheel. The fumes of burning superglue feel wonderful on the eyes, btw. After that, a grinding bit was used to get all of the gunk and solid plastic out of the center. After about an hour of work and fume-induced tears, it worked out. It needs to be filled a bit, but I plan on covering the imperfections with some flocking anyway.

I also decided to start work on the crazy dummy Hilborn sported by the 1:1. Even though the thought of a fake Hilborn is kinda lame, I always liked the high-rise look and understood that running a real one on the street isn't the most practical thing in the world. It started out with two pieces of the scrap front frame rails from the 41 kit. 

After the spacing was measured, a round file was used to carve out the indents for the lower tubes.

When the was done, some 1/8 tubing was cut to size and glued in place.

Now I'm working on the fuel block, manifold and injector stacks. The stacks are proving to be difficult, though. The flared ends are a pain to do with the tools I have. Maybe this weekend I'll get to Harbor Freight and pick up a cheap center punch kit. I know I'm jumping around on this build a lot, but it's keeping me moving lol.

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Great fabrication on the injectors. Good save on the transmission tunnel. I was going to suggest Plastruct round tubing.I have used this in the past and just used a saw blade to split in two. With your cap you get a taper from front to rear that looks more realistic.    

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ok, so after being laid up with the flu for a bit and having no desire whatsoever to work on anything, I got back to it this week. The first thing I accomplished was making the "injection" stacks out of some aluminum tubing. I've seen a post about using a vice to flare the tips, but I don't have one. Center punch? Nope, none of those either lol. I ended up having to resort to my Dremel to do the job, with three different tips used on each one to thin the metal and flare it appropriately. It was a pain, but totally worth it in the end.

I also got the visor mounted where I want it. If your familiar with this kit, you'll notice the clunky looking mounting bracket was trimmed down a bit. I think it looks much better this way, for a hotrod anyway.

I also scored a set of resin headers off ebay. They're not the best casting I've ever seen, but after a little cleanup and drilling out the tips, I think they look pretty good. As a bonus, the tube spacing looks appropriate for the 440 block that's going in it.

Just for fun (and because the 1:1 has one), I decided to make a gas pump nozzle shifter out of some plastic strip and rod, a small bead, and two pieces of wire. It looks kinda silly now, but after paint it should be fine.

I also got the final mockup put together. Now it's time for some paint

In the meantime, I finally found a reference pic of the 1:1 I'm trying to imitate. Mine seems to sit a tad bit lower, but I sort of like it that way.

 

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Ok, we're making some good progress now! That superglue cap tranny tunnel was really bothering me just sitting there, so I decided to get it looking like something. After a coat of flat red, some watered down craft glue was spread across the floor and some red embossing powder was used to mimic carpet.

After not being able to find suitable tuck and roll seats in the parts box, I decided to make my own pattern for the kit seats. This started off with the tonneau cover from the AMT 53 Ford pickup. A little white Liquitex Basics acrylic paint was built up in several coats over the pattern. I remember using this stuff in high school, and it always seemed to peel off anything you put it on in sheets that felt like vinyl. Not the best qualities for paint, but GREAT for this kind of work. After it dried, I got this nice sheet of virgin T&R material. The 53 Ford part is pictured at the top.

My stencil making abilities aren't top notch, nor are my cutting skills, but despite the sort of jagged cut lines, I'm pretty happy with it. As a bonus, I have enough left over material to do the door panels. I'm thinking the mistakes will be pretty hard to see through the chopped windows anyway. 

In the meantime, I painted the cab and other parts with Tamiya TS14 Black. The finish isn't great, but it's getting a coat of two of flat clear so that's fine. I just wanted to avoid the silvering issues the decals seem to face going over a flat paint job. After that dried, some decals were laid down. This is probably the most difficult decal job I've done to date, mostly because of the need to trim, overlap, layer, etc. The size of some of the parts didn't make it any easier, but more on that soon.

Unfortunately, I ran into a problem with one of my sheets I ordered specifically for this project. It seems to be the decals are either old, of there's a defect in the adhesive. Every one I tried from this particular sheet had this haze in the clear part. Not good for going over black. 

The headlights and grill shell were two of the most troublesome spots to decal. A lot of Micro Sol and Set had to be used, but man do I love how it looks.

I ended up removing the tailgate decal and resoaking it in warm water while rubbing it between my fingers. There's still a haze to it, but not nearly as bad. The dullcote should help even it out more.

After getting the decals out of the way, I decided to finish the engine.

I also got the dash painted up.

And here's a shot after the flat was applied. The finish looks nice and smooth, the decals now look like they're painted on and that haze on the tailgate seemed to disappear. Something has to go wrong now, that's just the rule lol.

 

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So the small details were the order of the day last night. First on the list was making up a tonneau cover. I was going to do this elaborate, multi-step process that would've taken up most of the night, but then spotted a piece of corrugated cardboard in my recyclables. After a little snip snip, a coat of satin black, and a whole ten minutes, it was done and looked very similar to the 1:1.

The full size version also has nifty little details like a gas pump nozzle for a shifter, and a pull chain style interior light, much like the one you'd find hanging in your basement. The light is a piece of plastic rod, a small bead, a piece of thread and a small piece of 30 gauge wire. The bulb was made by simply dabbing on a drop of UV cured glue and setting it up.

I also got the windshield and rear window cut and applied, wheels done up, and the spiderweb grill put in place. The wheels and brake rotors are from the Revell 32 5 Window kit, and while there not the deep steelies sported by the 1:1, they look just fine. I could've done a bit better painting the whitewalls, but they'll work as well. Painting was my last resort, but whoever came up with whitewall decals should be shot lol. The MCG web grill is also a bit inaccurate, being a little too intricate compared to the garage fashioned grill on the full size, but it takes A LOT of work off my hands by not having to try to scratch build one.

Well, that's it. I'm thinking one more post than this one's off to the Under Glass section.

 

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  • 2 months later...

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