IndyJoe's TBird TurboCoupe -Merkur Chris Gibbs Scratch Build
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Author:  IndyJoe [ November 24, 2008, 10:42 pm ]
Post subject:  IndyJoe's TBird TurboCoupe -Merkur Chris Gibbs Scratch Build

Welcome to my Build Log.

I plan to keep this thing simple. And this is my first scratch build, so I wanted to follow a recipe, others have called it "cook book" building. Oh, and by the way, I'm very frugal -read cheap SOB- so this thing will be a low budget build, and therefore it will take me awhile to finish.

Alright, now here's the build specifics:

My donor car is a 1987 Thunderbid TurboCoupe, Five speed manual (Borg Warner T-5). The car comes with an 8.8 Solid Rear Axle with disk brakes. I bought the car off of Craigslist and drove it home. It was important to me to get a car that I KNOW runs to start with. Only after I bought the car, did I discover that the passenger side rear axle shaft was bend. ( oh so that's why the car wobbles down the road while squeaking ! ! ! Grrrrrr !!!! ) And I found out from Jim (locostV8) that the front spindles are less than ideal with the strut replacement adapter. So I started looking into getting a Merkur for it's suspension pieces and going with the Haynes Roadster (that's what they call the Chris Gibbs car.... aka the 'new book' frame)

Below are the pics the car was advertised with, followed by some of my own shots.

Oh, and I love it when the other builders put a lot of pictures in their build logs, so that will be my course of action too. Pictures really do say a 1000 words and maybe looking at some of my pics will help you as much as the pics of other builders have helped me.

-Indy " I'm a builder now " Joe

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Author:  IndyJoe [ November 24, 2008, 10:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Donor Pics

Here are some more donor pics

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Author:  IndyJoe [ November 24, 2008, 10:46 pm ]
Post subject:  more pics


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Author:  IndyJoe [ November 24, 2008, 10:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Build SCORES ! !

Being on a TIGHT budget motivates you to scronge for deals. And these two are some good ones.

I got the Hobart Handler 135 MIG with the bottle and gages you see for $150 bucks off Craigslist.

I got the engine hoist shown ( and an engine stand ) for only $65 off C-list too. Note: the engine hoist needed one of the casters replaced... no big deal to a Locoster.

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Author:  a.moore [ November 24, 2008, 11:08 pm ]
Post subject: 

Looks like you're off to a good start.

That donor appears to be in pretty solid shape aside from the front grill and axle. Any chance of reselling parts?

Author:  IndyJoe [ November 24, 2008, 11:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Yeah & thanks

Andrew, Thanks for the sticky.

I've sold $120 worth of stuff already. I think I'll be able to get about half the cost of the donor back with selling parts, maybe more.


Author:  IndyJoe [ November 24, 2008, 11:14 pm ]
Post subject:  nightmare

My biggest fear with the entire build is the ELECTRICAL. You might even say it's my Nightmare.

See Pic below.....

Author:  IndyJoe [ November 24, 2008, 11:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Stripping

Stripping the Donor is Easier when you've got help. . . . .

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Author:  IndyJoe [ November 24, 2008, 11:20 pm ]
Post subject:  pulling the engine

And I got the engine pulled out too. I had to go REAL high with it, since I don't have a proper 'leveling bar' that I see most other builders using.

And yeah I shouldn't have put the hook in there where the turbo down pipe goes . . . but when you read the next post you'll understand why.

-Indy " I got her outta there " Joe

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Author:  IndyJoe [ November 24, 2008, 11:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Ok, maybe this IS a heavy engine . . .

Yeah.. . . . .

OK, so maybe this IS a heavy engine. When I started to pull up on this thing, the rear engine lifting tab broke off. Sheared the metal right around the bolt.

BOY ! was I glad that didn't happen with the assembly up in the air. The good Lord was watchin' out for me.

-Indy "thank you God" Joe

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Author:  IndyJoe [ November 24, 2008, 11:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Going to School

Ok, So now I have to get the tank on the welder filled up and actually learn to weld. Maybe I'll take a class here locally or something. Some of the guys I work with are professional welders, maybe they'll give me some pointers.....

-Indy "let's make sparks" Joe

Author:  IndyJoe [ November 24, 2008, 11:41 pm ]
Post subject:  leveling

Here's the engine out and poor man's leveling system.

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Author:  IndyJoe [ November 24, 2008, 11:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Toast


The Clutch Pressure Plate is Toast. It's got some BAD scortch marks on it. So this will be one item that I need to replace with new. By the way. I plan to put the engine in just like it is, and get the car drivable, then look into performance mods. ( gotta have something to do during the winter here in Indianapolis )

-Indy "that clutch is toast" Joe

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Author:  IndyJoe [ November 24, 2008, 11:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Fun

It sure was fun cutting the front end of the car off. It was so liberating and had a 'Duke's of Hazard' feel to it.

-Indy "feelin' like a red neck" Joe

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Author:  IndyJoe [ November 24, 2008, 11:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Heat

This will keep me warm in the garage this winter. I think every Midwesterner / Northerner should have one. It's a Kerosene Heater for those of you in the South.

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