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1963 Hardtop Drag Car

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IceLane
Senior Member


Joined: 01 Mar 2008
Posts: 114
Location: Independence Twp, MI
1963 Hardtop Drag Car

Having shot myself down on cutting up the Glacier Blue survivor I continued my search and purchased this (originally) Rangoon Red Fairlane 500 Hardtop for a steal in Warren, MI about a year ago.



It was originally a L-code 221 V8 but the engine is long gone. The PO bought it from his friend who had parted it out to fix another car. He was building it as a drag car for his son, who suddenly decided he was a Chevy guy. Rolling Eyes My initial assessment of the car has fallen since purchase (some knowledgable racers have given me their advice), but I'm still doing well for the price I paid.

It's currently equipped with ladder bars, a 2"x2" tube chassis, and a 6 point roll bar.



The specific criticism that has been leveled at the car is that the roll bar isn't complete, is poorly welded and appears to be made of low carbon steel; the tube chassis isn't tied to the floor pans, doesn't include a driveshaft loop and should be larger (because I'm looking at a 385-series big block); and the "shocks" on the rear suspension aren't any good.

So, I'm at a turning point and I've got to decide what to do with the car. I'm going to start with getting the roll bar sonic tested and I'll post it up when I know where I'm going from there!
_________________
Kyle Lehrmann

Post Mon Aug 24, 2009 8:38 am 
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mygirls63
Senior Member


Joined: 09 Mar 2006
Posts: 416
Location: Kansas

Some pictures of the roll cage and the "poor" welds would be nice. The welds at the shock mound look to be iffy, maybe "cold".

I would call this a stock floor car with subframe connectors. I would prefer that the ladder bar crossmember be welded directly to the rockers, and directly above and in front of the rear torque boxes, but this would require the floor to be cut out. Then you fall into a slightly different set of tech rules concerning the roll bar mounting.

The cage needs to be a minimum of (I believe) .124 wall thickness EWS tubing (electric welded seam), not structural tubing. 1 3/4" for an 8 point cage, and 1 5/8" for a 10 point cage. Almost all kits are made of .134 thick wall tubing to allow for inconsistancies in the tubing and the mandrel bends.

DOM is better but is still a EWS tube drawn over a mandrel. Chrome moly is the strongest, and is lighter as the extra strength allows you to run a thinner wall tube.

Pick up a current copy of the NHRA rule book. There 10 bucks and clearly layout the requirements. All NHRA sanctioned tracks follow these rules.

You want to use 6" square plates on the floor to mount the bar or cage. The inner diagonal roll bar braces can (and in this case should) run through the floor and weld to the ladder bar crossmember. You could also cut a slot through the floor from the rockers inward to the subframe connectors and tie all of this together, welding the roll bar to these bars. Check with a chassis shop or your local track tech to make sure they will allow this.

Welding these frame rails to the floor, someone is pulling your leg on that one. Just look at any super gas door car. Most have aluminum floors riveted or installed with dzus fasteners. It is more important to tie the frame rails, rockers, torque boxes and roll cage all together to the front and rear factory subframes.

This is saveable. I would like to see more to be certain, but with thought, effort and $$$, anything can happen. Just tie everything together. Make sure you have a legal cage/bar. You will be fine.

I do not have much more in my car, and I would not hesitate to run 545+ CI in it.
_________________
Scott
1963 Fairlane Mini tub 10pt cage New 408" C4 Canfield 195CC heads Comp solid roller Victor Jr. 9" w/4.11? gears Moser spool & 35 spline axles. www.marksullense85carburetors.com

Post Tue Aug 25, 2009 1:06 am 
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IceLane
Senior Member


Joined: 01 Mar 2008
Posts: 114
Location: Independence Twp, MI

Scott,

Here are the photos I have of the welds, pretty boogery.

Driver's Front Roll Bar Attachment


Drvier's B-Pillar Roll Bar Attachment


Driver's Rear Roll Bar Attachment


Passenger's Front Roll Bar Attachment


Passenger's B-Pillar Roll Bar Attachment (sorry, this really is the best I have)


Passenger's Rear Roll Bar Attachment


Ladder Bars



I just ordered the NHRA rulebook, I'll read it over once I get it.

I'd heard about the 6"x6" plates, That seems like a relatively simple fix compared with the rest of it!

All of the roll bar attachments (except the ones in the trunk) currently attach to the subframe connectors. The subframe connectors do attach to the rockers/torque boxes, but to the bottom.



I called 7 or 8 places in my area yesterday and I didn't find anyone who did sonic testing or knew of anyone who did sonic testing.

I'm sure the structure will be strong enough to take the torque of the big block. Now my biggest concern is what class I'd fit into (and what kind of competition I'd be up against).

I think the point in attaching the connectors to the floor was that it's a unibody car, so if the subframe connectors attach to the floor you're going to better maintain the geometry of the original structure.
_________________
Kyle Lehrmann

Post Tue Aug 25, 2009 9:01 am 
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mygirls63
Senior Member


Joined: 09 Mar 2006
Posts: 416
Location: Kansas

You do have some issues there, I'm sorry.

You probably should decide on a goal of how fast you want to go and how much you want to spend.

How much of the work are you able to do yourself?

First the safety issues need addressed.

The roll bar may be a legal bar, but it is poorly welded. I would cut it out and start over. The NHRA does not allow grinding of welds to make them look good, so they must be ground out and rewelded at the least. If you are not sure of the wall thickness, cut it out and replace it.

On a unibody vehicle with stock floors the bar or cage may be welded to 6" x 6" .125 thick plates that are welded or bolted to the floor. The plates in your car do not meet that rule in size or thickness and MUST be replaced.

The roll bar can be welded to the frame rails, however where both the subframe rails and the ladder bar crossmember weld onto the floor and rear torque boxes, those welds are suspect in the photos. If you mount the bar or cage to these frame rails, you want them secure. At the least, grind the old welds out and reweld.

The tubes that span from the rocker panels to the 2" x 2" frame rails, should (I say must) be welded to a .125" thick plate that is welded to the rocker, and should be as large as the rocker panel will allow. This spreads the load out at the rocker panel joint. This should be dobe anywhere a tube is welded to sheetmetal. The rear upper shock mount should be mounted this way as well. You do not want to tear that joint apart.

With the ladder bar crossmember welded to the bottom of the torque box like it is, this will require that the car sit up too high in the rear. This will screw up the instant center (geometry) and the car will never launch or 60 foot hard. I would cut out the entire rear of the car, replace it with a rear clip and attach the crossmember as high up on the rockers as possible. Remember the .125" thick plates? Use them here.

The ladder bar mounts at the crossmember look home made and poorly welded. There is not enough adjustment in these brackets.

The front safety loops for the front heim ends on the ladder bars are missing. There is nothing to stop you from loosing the rear axle out from under the car completely if the rod end breaks. This is another reason why the brackets must be properly welded to the crossmember.

The problem with the coil overs you have is that they are basicly a standard shock (that is replacable) and the spring is not adjustable on the shock. It is a fixed spring. A good shock has a threaded body which allows for height and rate adjustments. To change the height on your setup, you reposition it higher or lower in the lower mount. The shock will work, but there is no fine adjustment. It is a street style coil over.

The more adjustable you make the car, the more you can fine tune it to different tracks and conditions. This also makes it easier to screw up if you do not understand suspension geometry. If this is your first serious drag car, keep it simple. If you have been there, done that, then i apologize.

At this point you could build something along the lines of what I have done, still run leaf springs, Calvert Racing split leaf mono springs and Cal Trac bars. You will hook every bit as good or even better than with the ladder bars, and a fairly simple suspension to set up and very adjsutable. Or you could put in a back half kit as I described above for a little bit more money. Best would be a full tube chassis.

Either way, consider the costs of new floor panels. I replaced the entire right side from the toe boards back to the rear seat, the front 2 sections of the left side and both rear frame rails. The floor pans and frame rails cost me what a chassis kit would have. Then I had to hand fabricate the entire left front frame rail from the steering box forward. I am able to handle this kind of fabrication. I wish I would have done this, however my project started out as a mini tubbed street car for my daughter. At the time that is what her & I wanted. So I purchased all of the panels and replaced them. I mini tubbed the car and about that time she lost interest. I then decided to turn it into a dedicated drag car. I already spent about $1000.00 on repair panels and who knows how much time for installation. So I held the course and built around what I already had. This was the only compromise that I have made. The rest is exactly what I wanted and could afford (hah!). The rear axle is stout (read too expensive) and big block ready. The rear suspension is all Calvert with aluminum bushings. Everything I have done since has been with the idea of big cubic inches later.

A thought about the sub frame connectors being welded to the floor, don't fret that. The strength gained is next to nothing. The floor fills a hole in the car. I have done a couple of Mustangs with the subframes welded through the floor. I cut a notch in the floor, dropped the rail into the top of the front subframe rear extensions and welded the floor to the frame rails. The purpose of welding the floor to the rails was to make the floor solid, nothing else. This increases ground clearance under the car, but makes carpet installation a bitch. This was easy to do on a Mustang and it works well.

The only thing I do not like about mine being under the car is that they are too far outward for my taste.

My advice, start over and do exactly what you want to & need to do. Do it right ONCE. Set a plan first and STICK to it. You can see how my change in direction implimented a compromise and what I had to do to over come.

My best advice, buy a car ready to run!

I hope I did not discourage you or worse yet anger/belittle you with these observations. I wanted to share my prospective on the issues I saw. I believe you are already aware. Safety first.

If there is any way I can help, just ask. Too bad you are not closer, we could get together and share ideas!
_________________
Scott
1963 Fairlane Mini tub 10pt cage New 408" C4 Canfield 195CC heads Comp solid roller Victor Jr. 9" w/4.11? gears Moser spool & 35 spline axles. www.marksullense85carburetors.com

Post Wed Aug 26, 2009 10:21 pm 
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IceLane
Senior Member


Joined: 01 Mar 2008
Posts: 114
Location: Independence Twp, MI

Long message, see my responsese in bold below.

quote:
Originally posted by mygirls63:
You do have some issues there, I'm sorry.

You probably should decide on a goal of how fast you want to go and how much you want to spend.

I don't really have a frame of reference for choosing an ET (if I had to put a number on it I'd say 10s, eventually ). I am more interested in determining a class to compete in. Most of the nostalgia classes seem to be model-based for engines or cost prohibitive. I'm not really interested in getting into FEs, so I'm really hurting for information there.

How much of the work are you able to do yourself?

As much as I have to. I have the shop (24'x24' single car workshop) and at least some of the equipment. I'm proficient with TIG and MIG. I own a TIG welder and the MIG will be added to the shop once the epoxy floor dries.

First the safety issues need addressed.

The roll bar may be a legal bar, but it is poorly welded. I would cut it out and start over. The NHRA does not allow grinding of welds to make them look good, so they must be ground out and rewelded at the least. If you are not sure of the wall thickness, cut it out and replace it.

I'd like to just cut it out and start over, but I'm frankly not willing to get into the car for that much if I don't have to. Unless it's illegal by NHRA requirements I just really don't see what benefit I'd get from cutting it out and replacing it.

On a unibody vehicle with stock floors the bar or cage may be welded to 6" x 6" .125 thick plates that are welded or bolted to the floor. The plates in your car do not meet that rule in size or thickness and MUST be replaced.

The roll bar can be welded to the frame rails, however where both the subframe rails and the ladder bar crossmember weld onto the floor and rear torque boxes, those welds are suspect in the photos. If you mount the bar or cage to these frame rails, you want them secure. At the least, grind the old welds out and reweld.

Is welding the roll bar to the rails in lieu of or in addition to the 6"x6"x1/8" plate?

Are you referring to the plates in the trunk?

Judging by the quality of the installation I will likely have to at least grind out and reweld the subframe connectors and ladderbar crossmember, if not cut them out completely and correctly position them.


The tubes that span from the rocker panels to the 2" x 2" frame rails, should (I say must) be welded to a .125" thick plate that is welded to the rocker, and should be as large as the rocker panel will allow. This spreads the load out at the rocker panel joint. This should be dobe anywhere a tube is welded to sheetmetal. The rear upper shock mount should be mounted this way as well. You do not want to tear that joint apart.

Let me make sure I understand what you're saying about the "subframe connector connectors": A piece of 1/8" plate should be welded to the end of the tube (creating a 'T') and that plate should be welded to the rocker, correct?

With the ladder bar crossmember welded to the bottom of the torque box like it is, this will require that the car sit up too high in the rear. This will screw up the instant center (geometry) and the car will never launch or 60 foot hard. I would cut out the entire rear of the car, replace it with a rear clip and attach the crossmember as high up on the rockers as possible. Remember the .125" thick plates? Use them here.

If I understand what you're saying above correctly, you're advocating cutting out the torque boxes and rear floor pans in order to move the ladder bar mount further up in car, is that correct?

The ladder bar mounts at the crossmember look home made and poorly welded. There is not enough adjustment in these brackets.

I agree, the ladder bar and shock attachemnts were among the parts I planned on replacing.

The front safety loops for the front heim ends on the ladder bars are missing. There is nothing to stop you from loosing the rear axle out from under the car completely if the rod end breaks. This is another reason why the brackets must be properly welded to the crossmember.

The guys at www.429-460.com mentioned th is. I don't see it as a difficult fix, replace the brackets and buy new safety rings.

The problem with the coil overs you have is that they are basicly a standard shock (that is replacable) and the spring is not adjustable on the shock. It is a fixed spring. A good shock has a threaded body which allows for height and rate adjustments. To change the height on your setup, you reposition it higher or lower in the lower mount. The shock will work, but there is no fine adjustment. It is a street style coil over.

The more adjustable you make the car, the more you can fine tune it to different tracks and conditions. This also makes it easier to screw up if you do not understand suspension geometry. If this is your first serious drag car, keep it simple. If you have been there, done that, then i apologize.

This is my first drag car (that's a large part of why I don't want to get into it for too much money) but I have a pretty good theoretical understanding of suspension function having worked on FSAE cars and interned at a suspension design/evaluation company (they had fun required reading Cool ). Plus, being in the Detroit area, it's not like I'm starving for more experienced gearhead neighbors!

At this point you could build something along the lines of what I have done, still run leaf springs, Calvert Racing split leaf mono springs and Cal Trac bars. You will hook every bit as good or even better than with the ladder bars, and a fairly simple suspension to set up and very adjsutable. Or you could put in a back half kit as I described above for a little bit more money. Best would be a full tube chassis.

I think this car is past the point of no return. It would be more expensive and complex to replace everything that has been cut out and go back to leafs than it would be to fix what has been done.

Most of the materials used are serviceable but the installation is sub-par.


Either way, consider the costs of new floor panels. I replaced the entire right side from the toe boards back to the rear seat, the front 2 sections of the left side and both rear frame rails. The floor pans and frame rails cost me what a chassis kit would have. Then I had to hand fabricate the entire left front frame rail from the steering box forward. I am able to handle this kind of fabrication. I wish I would have done this, however my project started out as a mini tubbed street car for my daughter. At the time that is what her & I wanted. So I purchased all of the panels and replaced them. I mini tubbed the car and about that time she lost interest. I then decided to turn it into a dedicated drag car. I already spent about $1000.00 on repair panels and who knows how much time for installation. So I held the course and built around what I already had. This was the only compromise that I have made. The rest is exactly what I wanted and could afford (hah!). The rear axle is stout (read too expensive) and big block ready. The rear suspension is all Calvert with aluminum bushings. Everything I have done since has been with the idea of big cubic inches later.

While the car does need some floor work it's not intended to be a show car. If I wanted to make a nice street-strip car that I could show as well I'd be ahead tossing this shell and finding something different. No, I think some 18 or 20 gauge sheet metal will do just fine for the floors. Smile

A thought about the sub frame connectors being welded to the floor, don't fret that. The strength gained is next to nothing. The floor fills a hole in the car. I have done a couple of Mustangs with the subframes welded through the floor. I cut a notch in the floor, dropped the rail into the top of the front subframe rear extensions and welded the floor to the frame rails. The purpose of welding the floor to the rails was to make the floor solid, nothing else. This increases ground clearance under the car, but makes carpet installation a bitch. This was easy to do on a Mustang and it works well.

The only thing I do not like about mine being under the car is that they are too far outward for my taste.

My advice, start over and do exactly what you want to & need to do. Do it right ONCE. Set a plan first and STICK to it. You can see how my change in direction implimented a compromise and what I had to do to over come.

I'm following that mantra as far as the "base" is considered. I want the car's structure to be robust enough to take significant improvements. However, I don't want to get into it for $10k then decide that I actually don't enjoy drag racing.

My best advice, buy a car ready to run!

I prefer to build them myself. Plus, I don't have the scratch for that.

I hope I did not discourage you or worse yet anger/belittle you with these observations. I wanted to share my prospective on the issues I saw. I believe you are already aware. Safety first.

If there is any way I can help, just ask. Too bad you are not closer, we could get together and share ideas!

My philosophy with the car is more about experience. I built my Torino and enjoyed it immensely. I've never built a drag car, it's something new and constructive to do.

To use the example of the roll bar. I could go ahead and install a CM roll cage, but if I decide I don't want to drag race it anymore then I'm out $6000+. Alternatively, if the material turns out to be legal then I can add the missing crossbrace and redo the welds for ~$100 and my time and it will still be up to the task of a big block (not a radical one, but a big block nonetheless).
_________________
Kyle Lehrmann

Post Thu Aug 27, 2009 3:43 pm 
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mygirls63
Senior Member


Joined: 09 Mar 2006
Posts: 416
Location: Kansas

quote:
Originally posted by IceLane:
Long message, see my responsese in bold below.

quote:
Originally posted by mygirls63:
You do have some issues there, I'm sorry.

You probably should decide on a goal of how fast you want to go and how much you want to spend.

I don't really have a frame of reference for choosing an ET (if I had to put a number on it I'd say 10s, eventually ). I am more interested in determining a class to compete in. Most of the nostalgia classes seem to be model-based for engines or cost prohibitive. I'm not really interested in getting into FEs, so I'm really hurting for information there.

The Nostalgia classes can be expensive to run in as some take this as serious as the heads up classes.
My best advice here is to build the car with that goal in mind and build a mild motor that you can afford. Bracket race it locally to get used to racing. See if you like it. Grow from there.

How much of the work are you able to do yourself?

As much as I have to. I have the shop (24'x24' single car workshop) and at least some of the equipment. I'm proficient with TIG and MIG. I own a TIG welder and the MIG will be added to the shop once the epoxy floor dries.

That is always good. The less you have to pay someone, the more you can afford to spend elsewhere.

First the safety issues need addressed.

The roll bar may be a legal bar, but it is poorly welded. I would cut it out and start over. The NHRA does not allow grinding of welds to make them look good, so they must be ground out and rewelded at the least. If you are not sure of the wall thickness, cut it out and replace it.

I'd like to just cut it out and start over, but I'm frankly not willing to get into the car for that much if I don't have to. Unless it's illegal by NHRA requirements I just really don't see what benefit I'd get from cutting it out and replacing it.

A EWS 10 point cage is $250.00 from S & W Race Cars. (plus freight). Safety is ABSOLUTELY one area you CAN AFFORD.

On a unibody vehicle with stock floors the bar or cage may be welded to 6" x 6" .125 thick plates that are welded or bolted to the floor. The plates in your car do not meet that rule in size or thickness and MUST be replaced.

The roll bar can be welded to the frame rails, however where both the subframe rails and the ladder bar crossmember weld onto the floor and rear torque boxes, those welds are suspect in the photos. If you mount the bar or cage to these frame rails, you want them secure. At the least, grind the old welds out and reweld.

Is welding the roll bar to the rails in lieu of or in addition to the 6"x6"x1/8" plate?
In lieu of.

Are you referring to the plates in the trunk?
Yes, or anywhere the bar is attached to the floor.

Judging by the quality of the installation I will likely have to at least grind out and reweld the subframe connectors and ladderbar crossmember, if not cut them out completely and correctly position them.

Correct.

The tubes that span from the rocker panels to the 2" x 2" frame rails, should (I say must) be welded to a .125" thick plate that is welded to the rocker, and should be as large as the rocker panel will allow. This spreads the load out at the rocker panel joint. This should be dobe anywhere a tube is welded to sheetmetal. The rear upper shock mount should be mounted this way as well. You do not want to tear that joint apart.

Let me make sure I understand what you're saying about the "subframe connector connectors": A piece of 1/8" plate should be welded to the end of the tube (creating a 'T') and that plate should be welded to the rocker, correct?
Yes. This "spreads the load".

With the ladder bar crossmember welded to the bottom of the torque box like it is, this will require that the car sit up too high in the rear. This will screw up the instant center (geometry) and the car will never launch or 60 foot hard. I would cut out the entire rear of the car, replace it with a rear clip and attach the crossmember as high up on the rockers as possible. Remember the .125" thick plates? Use them here.

If I understand what you're saying above correctly, you're advocating cutting out the torque boxes and rear floor pans in order to move the ladder bar mount further up in car, is that correct?

If I were to run a ladder bar car, yes. They tend to sit higher. This would require new 2" x 3" rear frame rails to be installed. Plus side of this is you can set your rear frame width for whatever size tires you desire to run.

The ladder bar mounts at the crossmember look home made and poorly welded. There is not enough adjustment in these brackets.

I agree, the ladder bar and shock attachemnts were among the parts I planned on replacing.

The front safety loops for the front heim ends on the ladder bars are missing. There is nothing to stop you from loosing the rear axle out from under the car completely if the rod end breaks. This is another reason why the brackets must be properly welded to the crossmember.

The guys at www.429-460.com mentioned th is. I don't see it as a difficult fix, replace the brackets and buy new safety rings.
Correct.

The problem with the coil overs you have is that they are basicly a standard shock (that is replacable) and the spring is not adjustable on the shock. It is a fixed spring. A good shock has a threaded body which allows for height and rate adjustments. To change the height on your setup, you reposition it higher or lower in the lower mount. The shock will work, but there is no fine adjustment. It is a street style coil over.

The more adjustable you make the car, the more you can fine tune it to different tracks and conditions. This also makes it easier to screw up if you do not understand suspension geometry. If this is your first serious drag car, keep it simple. If you have been there, done that, then i apologize.

This is my first drag car (that's a large part of why I don't want to get into it for too much money) but I have a pretty good theoretical understanding of suspension function having worked on FSAE cars and interned at a suspension design/evaluation company (they had fun required reading Cool ). Plus, being in the Detroit area, it's not like I'm starving for more experienced gearhead neighbors!

Look at the local track. Ask questions. Many people will help if asked.

At this point you could build something along the lines of what I have done, still run leaf springs, Calvert Racing split leaf mono springs and Cal Trac bars. You will hook every bit as good or even better than with the ladder bars, and a fairly simple suspension to set up and very adjsutable. Or you could put in a back half kit as I described above for a little bit more money. Best would be a full tube chassis.

I think this car is past the point of no return. It would be more expensive and complex to replace everything that has been cut out and go back to leafs than it would be to fix what has been done.

Most of the materials used are serviceable but the installation is sub-par.


Did you say earlier that you were going to replace the ladder bars & coilovers? Price those and price the Calvert parts. Nothing has been cutout here on your car. The front spring perches bolt onto the torque boxes. The Calvert spring is 1/4" wider than stock and requires their spring mount. Their entire setup will be cost comparable to new ladder bars & coil overs. The A Stock Eliminator stick shift cars are running 9.80's on Calvert's setup and 9" slicks.

Either way, consider the costs of new floor panels. I replaced the entire right side from the toe boards back to the rear seat, the front 2 sections of the left side and both rear frame rails. The floor pans and frame rails cost me what a chassis kit would have. Then I had to hand fabricate the entire left front frame rail from the steering box forward. I am able to handle this kind of fabrication. I wish I would have done this, however my project started out as a mini tubbed street car for my daughter. At the time that is what her & I wanted. So I purchased all of the panels and replaced them. I mini tubbed the car and about that time she lost interest. I then decided to turn it into a dedicated drag car. I already spent about $1000.00 on repair panels and who knows how much time for installation. So I held the course and built around what I already had. This was the only compromise that I have made. The rest is exactly what I wanted and could afford (hah!). The rear axle is stout (read too expensive) and big block ready. The rear suspension is all Calvert with aluminum bushings. Everything I have done since has been with the idea of big cubic inches later.

While the car does need some floor work it's not intended to be a show car. If I wanted to make a nice street-strip car that I could show as well I'd be ahead tossing this shell and finding something different. No, I think some 18 or 20 gauge sheet metal will do just fine for the floors. Smile

Any attachment point of the roll bar or cage will require stock floor boards and 6" plates or they must be mounted to a frame rail. Otherwise make any patch panels you need. Carpet covers many sins.

A thought about the sub frame connectors being welded to the floor, don't fret that. The strength gained is next to nothing. The floor fills a hole in the car. I have done a couple of Mustangs with the subframes welded through the floor. I cut a notch in the floor, dropped the rail into the top of the front subframe rear extensions and welded the floor to the frame rails. The purpose of welding the floor to the rails was to make the floor solid, nothing else. This increases ground clearance under the car, but makes carpet installation a bitch. This was easy to do on a Mustang and it works well.

The only thing I do not like about mine being under the car is that they are too far outward for my taste.

My advice, start over and do exactly what you want to & need to do. Do it right ONCE. Set a plan first and STICK to it. You can see how my change in direction implimented a compromise and what I had to do to over come.

I'm following that mantra as far as the "base" is considered. I want the car's structure to be robust enough to take significant improvements. However, I don't want to get into it for $10k then decide that I actually don't enjoy drag racing.

I wish I could have stopped at $10K! This sport is $$$. I feel I did not get carried away. The drive line and fuel systems will suprise you!

My best advice, buy a car ready to run!

I prefer to build them myself. Plus, I don't have the scratch for that.

I do to. I have built a few. I had this idea to be different! Had I bought a car, I would have been racing 2 years ago, and probably for less money. Buying a built roller lets the other guy take the depreciation hit. The down side is finding a car exactly like you would want.

I hope I did not discourage you or worse yet anger/belittle you with these observations. I wanted to share my prospective on the issues I saw. I believe you are already aware. Safety first.

If there is any way I can help, just ask. Too bad you are not closer, we could get together and share ideas!

My philosophy with the car is more about experience. I built my Torino and enjoyed it immensely. I've never built a drag car, it's something new and constructive to do.

To use the example of the roll bar. I could go ahead and install a CM roll cage, but if I decide I don't want to drag race it anymore then I'm out $6000+. Alternatively, if the material turns out to be legal then I can add the missing crossbrace and redo the welds for ~$100 and my time and it will still be up to the task of a big block (not a radical one, but a big block nonetheless).
[b]

I am still confused about $6000 for a CM roll cage. A CM cage from S & W is $500, $250 for EWS & $500 for DOM. You have a TIG. I went EWS as I only have MIG. Either will work. Look at their web site, they offer bars & cages for our car.
_________________
Scott
1963 Fairlane Mini tub 10pt cage New 408" C4 Canfield 195CC heads Comp solid roller Victor Jr. 9" w/4.11? gears Moser spool & 35 spline axles. www.marksullense85carburetors.com

Post Thu Aug 27, 2009 5:36 pm 
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1320lane
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Mar 2006
Posts: 270
Location: Central Oklahoma

Kyle, if you don't have the front spring perches and want to go spring, you can have mine as I won't be using them (also at least part of my car will be going down a track somewhere between your and Scott's cars. Wink )
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Larry Hampton
______________________________________________

'63 Fairlane 2-dr post. Race car since at least '67. In the process of turning it into a proto-clone Nostalgia Super Stock car with FE power and three pedals.

Post Thu Aug 27, 2009 11:54 pm 
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IceLane
Senior Member


Joined: 01 Mar 2008
Posts: 114
Location: Independence Twp, MI

Scott,

I misquoted that, sorry, I was rushing out of work. $6000 was the estimate for everything.

I'm not planning on replacing the ladder bars themselves, just the mounting brackets and coilovers.

Larry,

Thanks for the offer. I don't remember the forward mounts being there but I never really looked for them. I need to get the floor sealed so I can get the shell in the garage and check it out in more detail.
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Kyle Lehrmann

Post Fri Aug 28, 2009 1:18 pm 
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1320lane
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Mar 2006
Posts: 270
Location: Central Oklahoma

You can kinda see them here.



I posted a bunch more photos on Supermotors of the Fairlane. They're from May '06, I just never added them.

http://www.supermotors.net/registry/8138/30160
_________________
Larry Hampton
______________________________________________

'63 Fairlane 2-dr post. Race car since at least '67. In the process of turning it into a proto-clone Nostalgia Super Stock car with FE power and three pedals.

Post Fri Aug 28, 2009 9:32 pm 
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