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D^3 Dad's Down and Dirty 1955 Pickup, Nerd Rods C4 on the Cheep

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D^3 Dad's Down and Dangerous 1955 Pickup, Nerd Rods C4 on the Cheep

Updated 2015.Sept.30

This is the running total that we’ll keep updated, So I’ll come back and edit this as we go to reflect the build cost in real numbers. Stuff I get dealer discounts on I’ll list at retail prices as well so you’ll know what to expect in reality

Body $1,638.27
* $500.00 - Our "Pile" Of Parts, This is an arbitrary price for this pile of loot
* Cab, Doors, Hood, Front Fender, Bed, Rear Fenders, and Glass
$391.49 - Front Fender, New Drivers Side
$103.90 - Cab Corner Patches
* $50.00 - Sheet metal For Custom Patches, Door reconstruction, Custom Firewall and tunnel modifications.
* $15.00 - 6" 14 gauge tubing for drive shaft hump
$157.96 - Primer, House of Color KD3000 (one gallon)
$419.92 - Hot Rod Flatz Charcoal Metallic (two gallons, lets just call me paranoid)

Drive Train $7,168.30
$800.00 - 5.3L LM7 and 4L60E Transmission
$(650.00) - 4L60E Sold
* - Upgraded to 6.0 (I had this laying around)
* $725.00 - Texas Speed Cam Swap Kit
* $1,000.00 - T56 Manual Transmission (2000 Camaro)
* $312.00 - LS1 Clutch
* $300.00 - LS1 Flywheel
* $975.00 - Nerd Rods Fuel Tank Stage 1 Kit
$188.17 - Griffin Radiator Part # 1-25201-X + Shipping
$85.94 Summit Racing Cooling Fans, Quantity 2, Part # SUM-G4901 42.97 Each
$120.00 - PRC AC Condenser + Shipping
* $2,782.20 - STS Single Turbo Kit, BB Turbo Upgrade, Waste gate, Blow off valve and Oiling system
* $479.99 - Turbo Smart Boost Controller
* $50.00 - Aluminum Sheet for Fan Shrouds

Chassis / Suspension $8,797.97
* $3,495.00 - Stage 1 Kit Frame
* $1,600.00 - C4 Corvette Suspension, Front and Rear
* $1,600.00 - Dana 44 with 4:10 gear upgrade
* $1,352.00 - QA1 Coil Over Shocks and Springs
* $75.97 - C4 Front A Frame Bushings
* $175.00 - Nerd Rods Motor Mount Kit
* $500.00 - C6 Corvette Wheels (craigslist find)

Interior $4,443.30
* $200.00 - Corbeau Adjustable Racing Seats, Used to be cut and modified,
* $25.00 - 1" Steel tubing for seat frame work
$525.00 - LS1 / T56 Wiring Harness - BP Automotive
* $69.93 - Wilwood Clutch Pedal 340-1290
* $42.50 - Clutch Master Cylinder
$325.00 - Booster Master Cylinder Firewall Pedal Bracket
$45.75 - T56 LS1 Slave Cylinder
$29.99 - Remote Bleeder Kit for T56 Slave, Speedway Part # 5151399
$13.99 - LS1 & LT1 T56 Release Bearing to AN3 Line Fitting, Speedway Part # 5151396
* $1,552.50 - Infinity Box 3 Cell System,
* $237.85 - Infinity Box Remote
$435.85 - Infinity Box inVIRONMENT AC controller
$819.97 - Vintage Air 4th Gen Evaporator Kit Part # 751155
$119.97 - Vintage Air AC Hose Kit Part # 31700

Total $22,047.84

What We've Actually Spent $3,932.90
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So it’s been an interesting few years for our little shop, once also known as Hot Rod Jim’s now Nerd Rods to better reflect what’s actually going on here. Dad, My little Brother Billy and I are the bulk of the work force with a few friends doing some part time work for us. To sum it up Dad had cancer, Mom had cancer, Little brother messed his back up pretty bad, Dad broke his leg and that upset his already messed up back resulting in back surgery followed shortly after that. Cross that all with spending way too much money going to the SEMA show that ultimately flopped and the bad economy and you’ll get a basic understanding as to why we’ve not had a finished shop car in quite some time. Everyone is good now and the kit frames have been a real hit with the DIY guys but we are tight on space in our little shop with all the projects going on and a real high quality build take up space we don’t have so we brain stormed what would be the best thing to do and we started looking at our collection in the front yard.

Photo Gallery 01

Turns out from our pile of crap out front we are only one finder shy of a complete 1955-56 truck. So with Dad’s Subaru on the frits and we want to show what someone can do on a budget we going to build Dad’s Down and Dirty 1955 Pickup, loving shortened to the D^3 project. I want to keep a running total on everything for guys to get an idea of what this actually takes

The Goal, no frills daily driver for dad on the cheap.
• 5.3L LS and 4L60E (800.00) but we can sell the transmission and make some of that back
• C4 Corvette Suspension (1200.00)
• QA1 Coil Over shocks (1352.00)
• C6 Corvette Wheels (450.00)

I do have some goodies that we’ve been stock piling and will be installing in dad’s project just to make it a bit more fun that would normally blow the budget up on a project like this but the way I see it this stuff it just taking up space at the moment so why not use it.
• Dana 44 with 4.10 Gears (+1800.00)
• T56 – 2002 Camaro Transmission (+1200.00)
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Russ, I like that red cab should make for a good builder. It seems your family has been thru a lot the last couple years. best wishes and good luck on D3 build.
will be looking forward to this. :anim_25:
This is gonna be interesting and fun to watch ... :anim_25:
Cowboy :flag6:
Will be fun to watch as you build. Mike
Thanks for posting. Keep those updates coming in. :anim_25: :shakehands: :tu :tu
Looking forward to this. What is your ideal time frame on completion?
I will sure keep an eye on this build.
Well you cant say your not starting from scratch on this one :tu
Looking forward to this. What is your ideal time frame on completion?
Before the end of the summer is the plan for running and driving. Done? Real Hot Rods are never done :p but this winter for finishing the interior, sorting the climate system, and maybe some engine upgrades (cam and heads) if the money is there.
First we wanted to show customers thinking about their own low body chassis what modifications are required to make their cars fit and look good. So we used a customers completed chassis to check and show the firewall clearance. This shows the minimum you need to remove to make that happen and the basic patch work on the cab.

-Russell @ Nerd Rods
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Firewall out, Master cylinder and booster with firewall mount and clutch pedal in.

-Russell @ Nerd Rods
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This will be a fun one to watch. Keep us posted! :tu

All the photos are here and then a few extras

The Drives doors are a bit of a mess. We're trying to save it but we cut the best parts of 3 different doors together and the skin is still a bit worrying and we might have to break down and replace it.

The Cab Firewall is also mostly done, I wish I had more photos of the process but I've had my own pile of stuff to do.

The Floor is roughed in and there are several things to note on this.
1) This is the lowest the body can sit on the chassis.
2) The Engine is higher because of the Truck oil pan so we clear the ground but still have room under the car without having to buy a new oil pan. Not good for CG but hey its a truck not a sports car.
3) The drive-shaft only hit the body by a 1/4 inch so the 6" tunnel is over kill but it was easy and looks good. We might start offering all these sheet-metal parts for guys wanting to do their own slammed stance and you can use a live axle and still make it all fit and clear with this same body.

We also started piece milling our suspension from the pile, notice the 96 and 89 knuckles.

And we've got location figured out for the fuel neck through the body. I'll be right along the floor.

That's got to go.

And finally, DANG Shes going to be low. With the Suspension loaded the center of the wheel will be in the center of the lower door hinge.

More soon, I've got one frame to wrap up and ship out before I can finish up the D3's frame. Also for your guys who ask about mig welding a frame, I'll MIG and time lapse as much as possible on this frame.

-Russell @ Nerd Rods
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Good progress ... I'm enjoying this ... :shakehands:
Cowboy :flag6:
Good progress ... I'm enjoying this ... :shakehands:
Cowboy :flag6:
Me too, the finished product should look awesome.
Just a quick FYI for some guys who've asked questions about the project, the goal is cheap not crap. So while we are reworking and saving things we would other wise tell someone to toss when the D3 is said and done I hope for it to be a 40-50k dollar truck for no where near that much in it and a project that most guys at home can look at and think "I can do that" for most of the project.

New photo gallery,

We picked up a NICE set of 2011 Mustang seats from a local guy who pulled them for race seats. These would have worked very well if they were not as thick in the back. If we were running the automatic we would have used these guys for sure but with the stick there just wasn't any room to work the pedals comfortably. I'm 6'2" with a 36" inseam so I'm the measuring stick for this stuff.

So I had this set of Corbeau racing seats that were to narrow for us fat boys (I'm 250 38 waist and Jim's 210 with a 34 waist so not that bad) and so Jim took the skin off and bent the bolsters out. We're also going to cut it down a bit and make it more shapely for the truck but the key thing is that this moved the driver back just under 6 inches and this will be Dad's new daily driver so it needs to be comfortable.

Aerodynamics and heat reduction mods!

We're blocking off the vents inside the truck and by opening this whole slot up along the dash the vent will now function as a heat exit for the truck giving a high rear location for the under hood to escape. This will stop air from going in the radiator and out under the truck where it will create lift. Next dad's also going to add a lip so that any water coming in will run off the sides instead of onto the motor.

And he's cutting an a smooth section of dash to clean the insides up a bit.

More soon,
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My buddy Tyler did a cartoon rendering for Dad's truck, she's going to be so evil when she's done!

-Russell @ Nerd Rods
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I would like to address the latter part of post 23. your not likely to get much hot air out of the cowl like you think. this is a high pressure area at speeds above 40mph. remember the cowl induction on Chevelle's and Camaro's it forced air back down the hood to the carb. I don't think the engine compartment will vent like you think. the air pressure under the cab from airflow thru the radiator is not enough to create lift either. you will get more lift from the frontal area of the truck and air passing under the bumper than anything else. AlsoI really dig your build.
1 - 20 of 58 Posts
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