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Discussion Starter #1
So after almost 10 years of this thing sitting in the garage, I am tired of not having my toy on the road or not working on it. My ultimate plan was, and still is, to put a Mustang II front suspention on it and lots of other goodies that for the moment I am going to keep secret. Lets just say, some of it hasn't been done, and I am still trying to figure out if it can be done. Either way, with the economy is in the state that it is , I can't afford to build it the way I want at this time. So since it may be a few more years before I am making what I was making 3 years ago, I am going to build it on a budget, but keeping in mind of what I have planned for later. Meaning, as I do things, I will make sure that it will either coincide with future plans, or with be easy to change. I already have just about eveything to put it together, just need to buy some small stuff here and there. I will be going through and fixing stuff that some dumbass 20 year old without the proper tools did *raises hand*. I now have much more experience under my belt and most of the tools I need. I plan on fabbing a lot of custom pieces, and will be looking for input and ideas as well. For now the plans are to weld up all the holes under the hood and getting the engine bay looking nice. Need to wire the car from scratch. Build the engine. Do some minor body work. And get the car in black primer to give it that rat look. So here are some pictures of how she sits now. the only thing I have done this weekend was take some boxes off it and get my work space a little more organized. Please feel free to give feedback, or even call me a complete idiot at times if you feel necessary.










 

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Mike looks like you have a nice solid start. I hear ya on the cash flow situation. I was hoping to have my engine built and finished over a year ago. And it's still not done yet either. Then I have the rest of the car to do as well. Anyway good luck with the project.
 

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Is that a 4 speed console I see? One way to make a little bit of money would be to practically give me the 4 speed console.......
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It is a solid car, I guess I got lucky being on the east coast and ended up with a rust free car. The only rust was in the back door corners, but the doors are off a different car. It was garaged for the last 30 years that I know of, so I guess the 2400 I paid for it in 97 wasn't too bad. That was my plan Andy, chip away at it a little at a time, though I doubt I will be putting any trim that isn't necessary on it for now. Woodsnake, not a 4 speed console, just a shadow I think, the only difference on them is the insert anyway. When I bought the car it was running. Had a built up cleveland and sounded great, which is why I bought it. I used it as my daily driver for the next 3 years (and went through 3 engines at the time), until I bought my truck and then parked it. I tore it apart to build it bigger and better and paint it, but life gets in the way. Hence the reason I am craving a drive in my old hot rod.

Well today she got a bath. I may work on some welding tonight once dinner with the family is done and put the little one to bed. I just can't wait to get this thing goin'.

 

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I hear you about getting started on a project and then just hoping to finish it any way you can. I am SOOOO close to getting my 383 Jimmy on the road but funds are getting mighty sparse. It is forcing me to cut corners I don't necessarily want to cut. Nothing that will be a safety or do irreparable harm but stuff I will have to go back and fix later. Things like a better starter, 6 gun accessories and the like. I'll still have 425 rwhp and a tach with the replacement stock gauge panel. I'll just call it the end of Stage I and the beginning of Stage II. :icon16:
 

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make it pretty 1st! get it cleaned up and primed/edged so you can assemble it , the rest is relavitly easy after that!
 

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Doing "something" every day is the way to get it done, even if you just polish a piece of trim or something.
X2, Clean an recondition the parts you going to put back on the car, chrome, plastic, lights, knobs,switches, and bodywork.

Don't let one high $ piece stall the whole project.

Getting started is half the battle. Clean it up, get it back on the road, and enjoy it sooner. Do the expensive things later.

Love the flames on the post :flamer:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
X2, Clean an recondition the parts you going to put back on the car, chrome, plastic, lights, knobs,switches, and bodywork.

Don't let one high $ piece stall the whole project.

Getting started is half the battle. Clean it up, get it back on the road, and enjoy it sooner. Do the expensive things later.

Love the flames on the post :flamer:

Haha, thanks, I had almost forgot I painted those, was my practice for laying out flames for when I do my bike.

As of right now, the only big item that is going to cost me money is going to be the machine work for the block and heads. Other than that, I either have what I need, or won't cost too much. The real expensive stuff, like the turbos and piping, will come later down the road. The last couple of nights I have been working on welding up the holes in the engine bay. Tonight I got the steering column and brake booster out of my way. I have a short day of work tomorrow so I will probably work on patching the bigger holes and cutting the lip just below the cowl off. I will post pics of progress once it actually looks like I got something done.
 

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I totally agree with the other guys-- just try to do one thing, even if it's small, every day... Getting something done and being able to cross it off the list can be a powerful motivator to keep going too.

I'm new to Cougars, but I've done a few 60's Thunderbirds, Lincolns & Mercedes. It's probably natural to go through waves of higher & lower ambitiousness for all of us. But it all comes down to a law of physics: An object at rest tends to stay at rest; An object in motion tends to stay in motion. I think that goes for people as well. If you want to see results you have to stay in motion....

I'm doing the same thing myself right now with my '67,,, I bought it in October (Ebay - I was told it was done except for 2 minor things; I did not want a project), had it delivered, drove it 1 mile, made a list of 22 items that need to be done, redone, or fixed, and put it in the garage & started taking it apart.... found more things to fix... like the cowl... If not for the small pleasure I get from crossing items off the list I would be so disgusted I would not look at the car. My goal right now is to take it for a drive on January 1st.

By the way, I'm right here in East Cobb, it's good to know there's another one of us nearby!
 

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I bought mine out of the blue

I have been struggling with these very issues. I was supposed to build a muscle car when I retired, or so I figured it would go. Then the opportunity arose and I bought my cat (20 years early and I am glad I did). I didn't have a plan for how to pay for the restoration and we all know what happened to the economy. Bye bye overtime. I did the first necessary project on my car and dropped nearly $900 of "family" funds rebuilding the cooling system. Bye Bye good will from my wife. I could see I was going to have to figure something out, or by the time (long time away) it was finished, I would be retired, my wife would hate the car and me a little bit too.

It came with a few boxes of parts I didn't need. I started selling the extra parts on ebay. Those parts alone got me half of the $3000 purchase price. I was shopping ebay everyday for my car, looking for a stock shifter cheap etc. and I would see a good deal. Maybe someone described an item poorly, misidentified it by the wrong year, overestimated shipping driving away bidders, took bad pictures of items that hold up well, etc. I would buy it clean it up, take a decent picture and sell it for more. I bought some lots of Cougar parts off of craigslist because I needed one particular part and sold the rest on ebay. I did this for a while and eventually bought some large lots.

Now my car project is trudging along and picking up steam. I do spend about an hour a day on the computer and shipping etc. Point is, you can make a little coin for your project selling your extra parts, knowing what things are worth and looking for deals on craigslist or at swapmeets when the vendors are packing up. There are a lot of guys here that do it. I know it can seem like a lot of work but I still feel like I am working on my ride albeit indirect work.

I have gone back and forth dreaming about 4 speeds, 9 inch rears, aod transmissions, the new crate boss 302, you name it. But now I guess I feel like you do, I am making a push to get this baby on the road because that is the goal. Craigslist is full of cars that broke their owner slowly, I don't want to be in that sad but real situation. We have all read this one "I have over $25,000 worth of new parts with receipts ready to go on the car but unfortunately, the economy, the divorce, the kids got into college (didn't see that one coming), the mother in law has glaucoma and a $100 a day weed habit" Meanwhile the picture is of a car that couldn't be worth $5k.

And lets face it, these cars were super cool in the base model and they still are today!

I sat down and wrote out a plan. I looked at my original notes and ideas. It was clear they had mushroomed out of control. I made a list with 3 columns. Must, should, want.

What MUST you do to get this car on the road in a way you will be proud to drive it? Fix the cooling problems, mechanical, get decent wheels, paint etc

What SHOULD you do when you can so you don't end up with problems? This is things like wiring while the car is apart, etc. Might not be necessary but nice to do before I button everything up. Who wants to track a power draw or some other electrical gremlins in the lot of the local Dairy Queen.

WANT = can wait! Power windows, transmissions swaps, crate motors, Nasa developed sound deadeners, etc.

Here is the rule, MUST has to be completed/paid for before SHOULD and SHOULD before WANT. I realized the WANT column was friggin paralyzing my project from the neck down. I kept dipping into the WANT list buying those parts first. WANTS don't get you any closer to rolling out.

Who am I, friggin Chip Foose? Barry White? Nope, but this car will still be cool.

This was a tough process but I trimmed or postponed about $12-15k of fat from the project. What is that in time, a year? probably more!

I am not out of the woods yet, but I keep looking at the fine cars here for inspiration and plugging away. It will be a one of a kind muscle car. Maybe not a feat of modern engineering laden with the best money has to offer but it will ride again.
 

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Amen brother, these thoughts are in my head as I read alot of posts and stand in my own garage daydreaming about my own ride. This post should be re-posted every few months just to keep us on track. Thanks
 

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The last couple of nights I have been working on welding up the holes in the engine bay. Tonight I got the steering column and brake booster out of my way. I have a short day of work tomorrow so I will probably work on patching the bigger holes
Thats what I'm talking about, one hole at a time.
And make it the best dam hole that used to be, then move to the next one.

Keep it up, and you'll be gassing it up at the pump, and taking that furry 4 legged fella for a ride by spring.:jump3:
 

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I love it! Rat-Rods are the best fun. I love my Rat creation. You can really enjoy them. You can sit on the fenders, sweat in them, eat junk food in them and let the dog bark at non-believers that scoff at the red-necking-guy in the Rat......all while you bang the gears with glee. A perfect car is like a good-looking-girlfriend/wife: you're always worried about someone dinging it or stealing it---the car owns you. I'd leave it in the old red with the primer spots for that 1970s hot-rodder patina. Work in process Rat! Put on that Eliminator scoop with ram air working and a hot 351 Windsor or Cleveland with at least 3.50 gears. Make it more mechanics than looks like I think you want. Driver quality chrome. Nice carpet. No radio, just exhaust. Good tires. Yep: make it stop good, make it go fast and maybe, maybe make it prettier.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks for all the inspiration guys, and that was a great post Catmando.

I am still debating on all the exterior details. I know the scoop and spoiler are going back on, but I am not sure if I want to put any trim on that isn't necessary. Either way I do know the drivetrain details. It will be a Cleveland, even though I know there are a lot of haters out there. It will be built out of parts that I have left over from the cougars drag racing days. Desktop Dyno says that it will put out 535 hp at the flywheel, but I know Desktop Dyno is not dead accurate. I will be happy with 450 to the tires, will find out after it is on the road. I have a neighbor at my shop that builds turbo cars and has a dyno, so he said he would hook me up. The trans is a C-4 that has been built to hell and back, kevlar clutches, packed with a couple extra, Ford motorsport reverse manual valve body, 3,000 stall, and a bunch of other goodies. It has 0 miles on it, but has been sitting around for 9 years, so I am taking it to my trans guy to go through it and check it out. The rear is freshly built and has only about 5 miles on it. I built it just before I parked it. 3.89 gears with a 4 pinion traction lock unit, chatters like hell. Once I get the engine bay done I will work on getting the interior together while the block and heads are at the machine shop. One of my metal suppliers gave me a 4'x4' sheet of brushed stainless today (yes, gave) that I am going to make the cluster and passenger dash panel and console insert out of. Yesterday turned out to be not so short of a day, the rain killed me, so I only got to work on it a little last night. I will be doing more welding tonight for as long as I can, at least until I run out of cutting wheels. Maybe I will be able to get a big chunk of it done this weekend.
 

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i agree to on the need and not want part, my 2 cars were in such bad shape every corner needs touched. one day at a time , one thing at a time !
 
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