Just want my own simple car I can work on

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  • #72479
    AGnoTich
    Participant

    I can’t stand new cars with stuff I don’t need.  I want a simple car with an AC, a cassette player, and that’s it.  No branding, no electronics.  And no tin foil body.  I also prefer for it to be accessible so I can work on all aspects of it, like a HumVee or something.  I’m tall so I need headroom.  Most cars are for girls they’re so short inside.

    Can I just buy an old car and gut it, and then put my own simple dash in and just what I need and drop in a crate engine I see for sale on Ford’s website?  Does it cost that much to do something like that?

    I mean I don’t care if the body is smashed or anything, as long as the doors open.

    #72480
    Tony
    Participant

    People do it all the time. Some people do it better than others.

    Quality of work, cost and  and end result depend on your equipment level and/or skill set.

    #72481
    Dave Tartaglia
    Participant

    Can I just buy an old car and gut it, and then put my own simple dash in and just what I need and drop in a crate engine I see for sale on Ford’s website? Does it cost that much to do something like that? I mean I don’t care if the body is smashed or anything, as long as the doors open.

    Can you do it? Sure, if you know what you are doing. But it sounds like you’ve never done this before. If that is the case, then start with a manageable project.

    If you are tall, start looking for a big American car, maybe from the seventies.  That should give you all the room you need, plus have relatively easy parts availability (and come with a cassette deck already installed!).

    Figure out how much money you have to purchase the car. Go to your local Craigslist (or whatever) automotive section and plug in a date range of cars for sale. Say 1965-1980, just to start. See anything that catches your eye? Shop for the very best condition car your budget will allow. Any repairs will cost 2-3x more than what you expect and take longer than you expect, if you’re a beginner.

    Give this a try and let us know what you find before you buy and we can offer suggestions. Good Luck!

     

    #72482
    AGnoTich
    Participant

    @ Dave Tartaglia Right, I’ve never done anything like this before, but I am so open to learning.  At the same time, I do want something reliable and efficient which is why I thought a new crate engine might be smart.

    I’ve been in a late 70s Impala but I thought that was too big.  I’ve been in a friends 1984 Ford Escort hatchback and believe it or not I thought it was nearly perfect.  But I think it broke down a lot.  Maybe a new crate engine in something like that?

    I do like the look and construction of late 70s/early 80s Chevy and Ford pickups – even work models I’ve seen with lock boxes all over the back – but I imagine them to be too inefficient.

    I would spring for something like an early 90s Corolla but that is so small inside I’d feel so restricted.  I can’t stand not having leg room.

    I guess I was imaging removing all the switches and electronics I don’t want and greatly simplifying.

    I’ll report back with cars/trucks I’m considering.

    #72483
    Dave Tartaglia
    Participant

    Before we get any further, I should let you know that the Custom Car Chronicle is forum for discussing car design and custom body work, not the sort of thing you are talking about.

    Removing switches and electronics is a very bad idea. You’ll be left with a car that will have eternal electrical problems and might not ever start again. Putting a crate engine in an old car is a job for the pros. Assuming you are talking about a V8, don’t even think of dropping it in a car with a 4 cylinder engine.

    You need to focus on that car you want, then find a forum dedicated to that car, then spend a few months learning everything you can before you start altering the car. You may find that a simple tune up, or maybe some hop-up parts is all you need.

    #72485
    Tony
    Participant

    Buy a late 60’s car such as a Fairlane, Chevelle or Dart. Basic, simple, have room and you can get parts. Re -do everything mechanical that needs servicing and move on. They are as basic as it gets. No point trying to re invent the wheel.

    BTW, how old are you?

    #72486
    AGnoTich
    Participant

    BTW, how old are you?

    25 and excited.

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