36 Chevy 5 window coupe real deal vintage gasser
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Thread: 36 Chevy 5 window coupe real deal vintage gasser

  1. #1
    Junior Member TNBandit's Avatar
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    36 Chevy 5 window coupe real deal vintage gasser

    New project for this old guy after I told myself I was too old, too broke & too tired to take on any rough projects. I actually tried for 3 days NOT to make a deal on this car. The guy selling it kept pestering me with lower & lower price and throwing in more & more parts to the point where he even delivered it to my shop. And I have a soft spot for vintage drag cars that ran back in the day when I was a young pup going to Lebanon Valley and Connecticut Dragway and watching them run. First a bit of history on the car. I'm searching for more info and pictures of it from back then but so far no luck. It ran at Maryville Dragway here in East Tennessee with a Chevy V8 and a 4 speed and was parked and left to die in about 1970 when the track closed it's doors forever. Has a 57 Olds rear end with 5:38 gears. The biggest drawback of these 36 & older Chevys is the inner structure of the body & doors is wood and it's all rotten. That will get replaced with steel. Floor pans are pretty much non existent but the rest is surprisingly solid with the exception of one side of the chassis where the home built traction bar ripped out of the frame. Lots of vintage bits still in the car but they are all junk from sitting too long. I will try to locate good used replacements to keep the history of the car intact. My only concession to modern technology will be front disc brakes for safety but in my mind I justify it by the fact that disc brakes came out as an option on most cars in the mid 60s. And a T5 5 speed trans so I can keep some fairly steep rear end gears in it but that will be disguised by the addition of a vintage Hurst shifter handle. Enough rambling. Here are the pics beginning with the car as found and the progress I've made so far. Engine is an early 70s 350 disguised to look a bit older.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_0982.jpg   IMG_0986.jpg   IMG_0957.jpg   IMG_1020.jpg   110823541_1001595983608050_5087637599647601030_o.jpg  


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  3. #2
    Junior Member TNBandit's Avatar
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    Step 1.. taking stuff apart
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_1413.jpg   IMG_1411.jpg   IMG_1412.jpg  

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    Senior Member dsb's Avatar
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    That is gonna be cool when done!
    Dave

    I wish I was half the man my dog thinks I am!

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  6. #4
    Administrator 1946Austin's Avatar
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    Great looking car, and a classic body style. It will be a challenge, but looks like you've got the shop and tools to take it on. I couldn't help but smile when reading your description of how the seller kept pushing the car, and lowering the price until he finally delivered it to you. It sounded almost exactly like what I went through 18 months ago when I took a casual look at my '39 Chevy coupe, and the seller began at a higher price, but continued to reduce the price, and show me more and more parts that went with it. He finally offered to deliver it to my house, and I bought the rust bucket. Yours actually might be a little better shape, but pretty close to mine when I bought it. At least mine didn't have any wood to replace, so that was a bit easier.
    Vall

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    Junior Member TNBandit's Avatar
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    Step 2.. Making stuff pretty. Engine & trans temporarily installed for mockup to make sure everything fits. Engine finished minus rebuilding the carbs. It's a 350 .030 over with flat tops, Comp Cams Big Mutha Thumper cam, 462 double hump heads with Milodon guide plates, screw in studs, Comp Cams roller tip rockers & pushrods, vintage Edelbrock C26 intake modified for a PCV valve so I don't have to hack the original Corvette valve covers. Disc brake conversion made for 47-59 Chevy half ton pickup modified to fit the 36 straight axle because nobody makes a kit that fits the light duty 33-36 spindles. That's it for now. Currently de-rusting the chassis and repairing it as needed.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_1438.jpg   IMG_1441.jpg   IMG_1359.jpg  

  8. #6
    Junior Member TNBandit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1946Austin View Post
    Great looking car, and a classic body style. It will be a challenge, but looks like you've got the shop and tools to take it on. I couldn't help but smile when reading your description of how the seller kept pushing the car, and lowering the price until he finally delivered it to you. It sounded almost exactly like what I went through 18 months ago when I took a casual look at my '39 Chevy coupe, and the seller began at a higher price, but continued to reduce the price, and show me more and more parts that went with it. He finally offered to deliver it to my house, and I bought the rust bucket. Yours actually might be a little better shape, but pretty close to mine when I bought it. At least mine didn't have any wood to replace, so that was a bit easier.
    I hear that. One year newer and there wouldn't be any wood to deal with. The hardest part will be completely rebuilding the inner structure of the doors. Everything including the latches, window regulators, etc is screwed to rotten wood. It's easy to figure out why so many Fords from these years survived while many of the GM cars are gone.

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    So cool! Take one little step, then another, and you'll be happy (happier) you did! Disk brakes are a smart move. Rowing through the gears with the T5 will be fun! Cheers!!

  10. #8
    Junior Member TNBandit's Avatar
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    Thanks guys. And I agree doing something every day keeps up the motivation level. Especially when you begin to see progress. Today's adventure is the rear axle. 57-58 Olds 9.3 rear end. Man that thing is huge. Makes a Ford 9" look like the rear in my riding lawnmower.. Axles out and will need bearings, seals & new studs. ALL RH thread studs too since I broke 3 when I took the wheels off before I realized the drivers side was LH thread like an old Mopar. Center chuck out.. as expected from doing the turn the yoke & count thing, it's got 5:38 gears. And.. does anyone need one of these extremely rare posi units made by Bubba & Sons Welding Shop and Moonshine Distillery ? Got an unmolested one legger carrier to replace that because I haven't got an extra 2k laying around for an original posi unit. Anyone got a spare set of 4:10 or so gears they want to swap for some 5:38s ? This ain't gonna be a trailer queen. I plan to drive it. For the traction bars I'm thinking they can stay but adding another square tube bar from the top of the bracket on the rear housing to the end of the bar that's there with some cross bracing added like a true ladder bar. If anyone sees anything they would do different don't hesitate to comment. I tend to do my own thing but second opinions from guys who have been there are always welcome. For example I'm on the fence about adding a heim to the front of the traction bars. It might be more street worthy but then my brain starts asking if heims are "period correct".
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_1537.jpg   IMG_1538.jpg   IMG_1539.jpg   IMG_1540.jpg   IMG_1543.jpg  

    Last edited by TNBandit; 10-21-2020 at 03:10 PM.

  11. #9
    Administrator 1946Austin's Avatar
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    If you plan to drive it a lot, it's currently not set up to do so with ladder bars and leaf springs, and no floater brackets at the axle tubes. The springs will be in a bind with the ladder bars, which is likely why the one side was broken anyway. The other option is a shackle up front to allow the springs to work, and let the axle move rearward as the springs compress. I went the front shackle setup like 4x4's use on mine, as I've done this a couple previous times, and it works.
    As for heim ends, I'm not certain when they first saw use, but I use them often. A solid threaded rod end will do the same if you're against the look of heim ends. An adjuster on each tube at the axle end is a very good thing also, as you may find you need to adjust the ladder bar angle once the car is sitting on 4 tires. I've got adjustment on all 3 points, and it's a great help in setting the car up later. Mine are solid adjustable endss at the axle, and heim ends up front.
    Might also consider a safety loop around the front attachment bolt point too. If the bolt ever broke the front of a ladder bar will hit the ground and launch the car into the air. NHRA requires them, but I put them on regardless whether I ever run down a NHRA strip or not.
    These are mine I built and you can see the tabs up front where my bolt on safety loops go once they're on my car.



    Another pic with the safety loops bolted on.



    And the bars in place with front shackles angled back to allow spring/axle travel.

    Vall

  12. #10
    Junior Member TNBandit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1946Austin View Post
    If you plan to drive it a lot, it's currently not set up to do so with ladder bars and leaf springs, and no floater brackets at the axle tubes. The springs will be in a bind with the ladder bars, which is likely why the one side was broken anyway. The other option is a shackle up front to allow the springs to work, and let the axle move rearward as the springs compress. I went the front shackle setup like 4x4's use on mine, as I've done this a couple previous times, and it works.
    As for heim ends, I'm not certain when they first saw use, but I use them often. A solid threaded rod end will do the same if you're against the look of heim ends. An adjuster on each tube at the axle end is a very good thing also, as you may find you need to adjust the ladder bar angle once the car is sitting on 4 tires. I've got adjustment on all 3 points, and it's a great help in setting the car up later. Mine are solid adjustable endss at the axle, and heim ends up front.
    Might also consider a safety loop around the front attachment bolt point too. If the bolt ever broke the front of a ladder bar will hit the ground and launch the car into the air. NHRA requires them, but I put them on regardless whether I ever run down a NHRA strip or not.
    These are mine I built and you can see the tabs up front where my bolt on safety loops go once they're on my car.



    Another pic with the safety loops bolted on.



    And the bars in place with front shackles angled back to allow spring/axle travel.

    Great advice. Thanks ! I actually was aware of the trick of using short shackles on the front of the ladder bars. Speedway sells some that are inexpensive. The safety loop is a great idea and something I hadn't considered. Much appreciated.

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