High Performance Big Block Cadillacs
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Author Topic: Wanted: Project design help....  (Read 3420 times)
jeff c
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Posts: 2


« on: July 02, 2009, 05:29:53 PM »

Hey guys,  I'm jeff and just found this site. All that's left of a 71 Eldorado that I tore up the streets with for 10 days is the 500/TH425 sitting in the frame (cut at firewall) and front chassis/suspension components. I'm hoping to fabricate a rear engine/rear drive man toy that easily pulls wheel stands with my stock torque monster but have very little engineering/design knowledge and a low budget. I do have an S-10 4x4 Blazer frame at my disposal and it's boxed in most areas. I'd really appreciate some suggestions on how to proceed building a rolling assembly that I can add an original design lightweight body to later...
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~JM~
Shop Keeper
C5
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Posts: 1853


« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2009, 10:24:18 AM »

Hey guys,  I'm jeff and just found this site. All that's left of a 71 Eldorado that I tore up the streets with for 10 days is the 500/TH425 sitting in the frame (cut at firewall) and front chassis/suspension components. I'm hoping to fabricate a rear engine/rear drive man toy that easily pulls wheel stands with my stock torque monster but have very little engineering/design knowledge and a low budget. I do have an S-10 4x4 Blazer frame at my disposal and it's boxed in most areas. I'd really appreciate some suggestions on how to proceed building a rolling assembly that I can add an original design lightweight body to later...

Welcome to the site Jeff. I hope you enjoy your time here.

Your question(s) are a bit broad to nail down an answer. You wrote the following... "but have very little engineering/design knowledge and a low budget."  This is not a great start to such a grand scheme. You may want to consider toning down your project a bit to insure that you can complete it. The few wheelie machines that I've seen where fairly specialized. They were designed to wheelie & they weren't very good at anything else. You really have to be into the whole wheelie thing, or I would think that the vehicle would get boring rather quickly.

If you have your heart set on draggin’ tail down the strip then I think I would look at some form of a pick-up truck or maybe even a van type vehicle. You want something that has enough body height to get the front up before the back hits the ground. You may also want to see what could be done to reconfigure your drive-train to have the engine behind the rear axle like a VW instead of in front of the axle. I don’t know very much about the TH-425 & what all can be done with it. I do believe that there isn’t very much after market support for it, which I see as a problem for you. The gear ratio is fairly high for freeway cruising. That is not going to help you get the front off the ground.

One of the easiest to build wheelie machines that I can recall seeing was a VW bus that had the center section cut out of it & then welded back together. It looked pretty cool, but the wheel-base was so short that I don’t think it was safe at freeway speeds.

I see that you found the article on the Eldorado/Porche swap. I think if I were you, I would look at that car & think about how much fun it would be to drive something like that full time, instead of just having a wheelie machine. Then I would start re-searching what type of cars of that general configuration are out there that you could afford to get into & go from there. Some Porche car’s are not that expensive actually. Plus there are the Corvairs, Fiero’s, & a multitude of VW powered rear engine kit cars to play with. Grand schemes are great & everyone has them to some degree or another. It’s what Hot-Rodding is all about. What’s more important though, is to be realistic about what you are truly capable of completing. If your engineering & fabricating skills are limited you will have to pay someone else to do this work for you. That’s big $$$’s!!!  Plus that arena is full of “Fly-By-Night” flakes that will not only take your cash, but often your project also. For every successful Hot-Rod project you see… There are untold numbers of failed projects out there that just end up being a pile of junk. Successful projects are what we all want to see. That’s what keeps the Hot-Rod industry alive.
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PS. You don't have enough cam. Grin

...Summit has a kit for $99.... Shocked
~JM~
Shop Keeper
C5
*****
Posts: 1853


« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2009, 10:57:04 AM »

Hey Jeff,

I want to apologize for what may be a "buzz-kill" to your first post. It's just that the long time members of the various Caddy forums & myself, see these big project posts quite often & they rarely get off the ground. It's the more modest projects that are usually successful. Kind of a small bites type of thing if you know what I mean.

Good luck
~JM~
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PS. You don't have enough cam. Grin

...Summit has a kit for $99.... Shocked
CadVetteStang
Eldorado Autocross Racer
C2
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Posts: 52


"BattleCar Cadillactica" at home in the pylons


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« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2009, 11:12:41 AM »

I lost three Cadillac big block powered project cars due to not having the money to finish them and part of that reason was due to the complexity of modifications involved. I can get a 6 point roll cage for a Mustang and sub frame connectors for less than $300.00, but I’m getting quotes of $1,000 labor to put it in. Another problem was in trying to put things together that needed some fabrication of brackets or modification of parts that would require welding. Race car builders around here want $40 to $50 per hour do the work. My projects would have been cheaper to complete and had a higher degree of success if I paid for welding school and bought a welder.

That being said, the Eldorado front suspension is very good and I have heard of several projects other than the Porsche 911. I had a friend of a friend who put a Corvette 327 on a TH425 in the back of a VW bus. The story was that thing would do wheelie stands from traffic lights when trying to drive normally and was a real pain to drive. Another friend of a friend had the Olds 455 on a TH425 in the back of a Pinto, and another had it in the back of an S-10. There is also a Delorean out there some where with a 500 in it on an Eldo front suspension mounted in the rear. What you want to do can be done, has been done, and will be done again. There are many possibilities. But please spend the time to plan it all out first and count the cost. Due to my income level, I have become an expert at bargain shopping. Even If you do 90% of the work, it is still going to cost 3 times as much as you think.

Make sure a wheelie stand car is what you want; The G forces of a Caddy powered drag car can be a bigger thrill (and you can drive it to work and back every day if you keep your foot out of it.)

Be creative, pay attention to details when it comes to safety, and have it all planned out before you begin. Plenty of help is here.

The only thing I do not like about this hobby, is my income. Automotive re-engineering is an art form that I love. Those two things don’t mix well.

Cody
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“Battlecar Cadillactica” 70 Eldo that raced SCCA autocross in 1985 & 1986

“The Cadinator” 82 Eldo w/ TBI injected 472 and autocross handling pkg.

“CadVetteStang” 72 Fastback Mustang w/ Caddy 500; awaiting a cage & C4 Vette front suspension when the guy storing it- sold it w/o permission
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