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    1. #1
      Join Date
      Mar 2012
      Location
      Marianna, FL
      Posts
      394
      Country Flag: United States

      '53 Plymouth Belvedere Build

      Start here:

      Here's the link for the photobucket account with all of the pics. I don't know what happened but some of the pics are gone.

      http://s372.photobucket.com/user/marsforlife/library/


      So I'm sure that some people might not take interest in this build but I saved a car that was headed to the scrap heap. I started with a Belvedere and searched for some sort of upgrades to make the perform a bit better like a brake swap or better suspension stuff. I ended up swapping the suspension with C4 Corvette stuff front and rear. To top it off I found a Gen 1 Viper motor on craigslist for $600. I'm not passing this off as a traditional build by any means, however, I want to leave the car as original looking on the outside as possible. I guess this falls into the "restomod" category. I've been making time lapses of progress.

      Time Lapses-











      Attached Images Attached Images      


    2. #2
      Join Date
      Dec 2007
      Location
      Salem, OR
      Posts
      226
      Welcome to the site. Very cool build. It's fun seeing all of the "alternative" cars on here lately. BTW, C4 'Vette suspension and a Viper engine qualify as PT in my book.
      Mike R
      '66 Olds Cutlass Convertible
      '15 Challenger SRT 392 (DD)
      '72 Pontiac LeMans (wife's toy)

    3. #3
      Join Date
      Mar 2012
      Location
      Marianna, FL
      Posts
      394
      Country Flag: United States
      I ended up not using the original dash, I couldn't stand the thought of cutting it up. I just used 1/4" round bar and some 22 ga. metal to cover it with. The dash took me a few days and there is still a lot of little stuff I have to finish on it. Eventually, I'll cover it in suede and body work/paint the rest. I pretty much did the same thing on the trans tunnel which will be removable. The Gen 1 motors have the thermostat housing on the back of the motor so in the case of needing to service I can get to it. The swap was pretty straight forward, oddly enough the Viper motors use Dodge truck motor mounts which car easily adaptable to almost anything. It should be noted the viper motors are uniquely large. Also, some of the parts interchange, I currently have a Gen 3 intake on a Gen 1 motor with Gen 2 tube headers. You can get most of these parts cheap on eBay.
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    4. #4
      Join Date
      Mar 2012
      Location
      Marianna, FL
      Posts
      394
      Country Flag: United States
      I finished the passenger side floors, unfortunately my real job will be consuming my life for the next few months. So don't expect updates until like March/April. However, I can still answer questions if you have any. I leave you with these last pics until my return. What you can expect to see after the next few months is the rest of the parts I need to continue with this project. To continue I'll need to find a fuel cell and pump, steering column, brake pedals(might end up making some), seats and harnesses, shockwave's and air management, finally is an I.S.I.S power system. I want to do this as well... http://www.hotrod.com/techarticles/h...s/viewall.html I figured since I already have a bunch of high tech stuff going on I might as well make it as safe and stable of a platform as possible. I tend to get carried away with these projects so it might end up being a full on race car that I drive on the street. We shall see.
      Thanks for reading
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    5. #5
      Join Date
      Jun 2010
      Location
      Townsend Ma
      Posts
      42
      I love it! Keep it going.

    6. #6
      Join Date
      Mar 2012
      Location
      Marianna, FL
      Posts
      394
      Country Flag: United States
      This week I received my steering column in the mail so I could press on with the pedal placement and the seating configuration. It's an tilt/telescopic unit out of a C5 Corvette. Eventually I'd like integrate the ABS/Active Handling unit from a similar car into this project.

      To start I had to cut the firewall/floor out of the car to make room for the Tilton pedals. I had an issue with the placement of components, to include the seats, pedals and steering wheel, the problem was the with how the car "fit" me I guess. I had to mess with it for a while but I figured everything out. After all that I had to make a few brackets and mounts to hold everything in place, it was really straight forward. Overall, I think the setup is really comfortable, but it's an odd feeling sitting so high up. I really have no choice in the matter because of the height and length of the windshield and hood respectively. All that is left is finish welding everything and build a small set of gussets for the upper support that connects to the body.

      A side note also.. I've finally got my CNC Plasma table working, but I still like the satisfaction that comes from making parts by hand. I'll save the table for when I need to make a bunch of the same parts, like the seat brackets.

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    7. #7
      Join Date
      Mar 2012
      Location
      Marianna, FL
      Posts
      394
      Country Flag: United States
      I spent the day doing the center console... It took me a while to just get this far. I had to clean and organize the shop today, it never seems to fail that after only a few hours of working the place looks a bomb went off. I really didn't know what I wanted to do with this console I kind of just free formed it. All I wanted was something visually stimulating. After a few more hours of working with it I should be able to get it looking way better.

      I'll briefly explain the process I went through to get the basic design. I measured everything like ten times and tried to visualize how I wanted it to look. I was shooting for something that was simple but had the circa 1950s futuristic feel with out over powering the dash. So that seems like a lot more than what you really see here, but hey everyone needs some inspiration! Anyways, I don't have a brake right now so I used my slip form roller to add a radius to the console.. which makes another set of problems. The roller is only 37" long and I need a console that was about 41" long thus the splice piece. Since all of this will be removable to service the rear of the motor ( i.e. the thermostat housing and rear spark plugs) and various other components I had to make it in several interlock and overlapping parts. In some of the photos you'll notice that the rear of the console has a gap between the body brace, yet the front "tubes" touch the upper rear engine cover. The plan is to be able to lift and slide the console back to remove it. Also, it's going to function as a main support between the two sections of flooring. I'll build some hidden braces that are constructed similar to an aircraft rib. I suspect that this will be more than rigid enough since it's constructed out of 18 ga steel plus the addition on the internal supports should yield plenty of strength. The remainder will be filled in sheet metal which you should see in the coming days or at least by the weekend.

      Thanks for reading!


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    8. #8
      Join Date
      Apr 2008
      Location
      Lakeland, FL
      Posts
      516
      Country Flag: United States
      Wow, unbelievable work. I scanned through the pictures before i read, i knew instantly by how far back that engine was set back (and the transmission) that it had to be a viper v10 haha.. I love the idea of trying to keep it stock appearing from the outside, great fab work with the tunnels and the floor, cant wait to see more. Good luck on the build!

      Ps: i just started watching the time lapses, very cool!
      Tim
      71' Demon-408, efi, 'viper spec' T56, Dana 60 w/ triangulated 4 link

    9. #9
      Join Date
      Mar 2012
      Location
      Marianna, FL
      Posts
      394
      Country Flag: United States
      I should probably include a few pictures of the outside of the car and the suspension swap. It might help since a little fancy metal work on the inside doesn't really make cars go fast and handle well on the track. I've spent the last few months doing as little as possible to the outside. The only real mods I've done are a roll pan which will continue into a full belly pan later on. The front and rear suspension was a learning experience for sure. The rear subframe was pretty simple however, it was a challenge to try and fit those wide ass wheels under the car. I ended up cutting the inner fender wells and liners out so I could make room. Luckily, the trunk was all rusted out so it wasn't a totally loss when I had to cut it out for the rear end. With the front I just made new stubs out of 2x4 box tubing. Right now they are a little long, I wanted them long so I could connect them to the core support and have something to mount the swap bar to. Eventually this car will get a full set of Shockwaves and I'll dump the 'vette springs and shock set ups.

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    10. #10
      Join Date
      Mar 2012
      Location
      Marianna, FL
      Posts
      394
      Country Flag: United States
      The other forum this is on didn't go over well with them... I figured you guys would like it more. Thanks for the support too!

    11. #11
      Join Date
      Mar 2012
      Location
      Marianna, FL
      Posts
      394
      Country Flag: United States
      Quote Originally Posted by 662door View Post
      I love it! Keep it going.
      I've been at this for a while so I have a ton of pics from the past progress I hope you have enjoyed the build so far.

    12. #12
      Join Date
      Mar 2012
      Location
      Marianna, FL
      Posts
      394
      Country Flag: United States
      Quote Originally Posted by ALLstrokedOUT View Post
      Wow, unbelievable work. I scanned through the pictures before i read, i knew instantly by how far back that engine was set back (and the transmission) that it had to be a viper v10 haha.. I love the idea of trying to keep it stock appearing from the outside, great fab work with the tunnels and the floor, cant wait to see more. Good luck on the build!

      Ps: i just started watching the time lapses, very cool!
      I didn't realize early on how far back it was really going to be until I cut the firewall and set it in. That was the first "Oh ****!" moment we had on the project after that it started to get challenging in a fun way. I just hope it is fun to drive! Thanks for watching and there will be more to come soon.

      Sorry for your loss. That sucks someone smashed your Mopar.. I'll be reading that thread tomorrow at work now!

    13. #13
      Join Date
      Jan 2009
      Location
      Lawrenceville, Ga.
      Posts
      440
      Country Flag: United States
      Nice fab work!
      There are 2 factors in Autocross, Tires and the loose nut behind the wheel.

      Paul Grala
      69 Mach 1 project (For Sale)
      78 Cobra
      87 GT
      98 Expedition

    14. #14
      Join Date
      Dec 2010
      Location
      Lynchburg Va
      Posts
      15
      Country Flag: United States
      Very nice I like this alot. Interesting combination of parts and unique car to start with. Keep the updates coming.

    15. #15
      Join Date
      Jul 2009
      Location
      Grand Rapids, MI
      Posts
      1,559
      Country Flag: United States
      Quote Originally Posted by 53Vipette View Post
      I didn't realize early on how far back it was really going to be until I cut the firewall and set it in. That was the first "Oh ****!" moment...
      I know that all too well. Seems we think a little bit alike. I'm using Gen 3 Viper suspension, Gen 2 eng/trans, Gen 4 hood skin, Gen 3 buckets and pedal assembly (planning something from each generation in the build, even the new one), ridetech, ISIS, MiModHP, ... I can relate to the fun challenges. I'm still working through a steering rack challenge on my build. Requires some creative engineering but we'll get there. I really like this build though and will definitely be following along.

      I like to Gen 3 intake swap. I'm going to swap the entire upper half to Gen 4, change the cam, boom, 600 HP. Love the motor though, but yeah, it's HUGE!

      Good luck with your build.
      Will Ellis
      1969 Dodge Dart Swinger, 1/2 Dart / 1/2 Viper...
      Build Thread

    16. #16
      Join Date
      May 2011
      Location
      Spokane, Washington
      Posts
      125
      I love it! Awesome build! Can't wait to see more!
      My 65' Impala SS
      6.2 L L92
      4L80E
      13" Disc Brakes
      18/20 Wheels

    17. #17
      Join Date
      Sep 2011
      Location
      calgary, alberta
      Posts
      100
      Country Flag: Canada
      WOW that is going to be badass!!!
      Rob

      61 t bird (sold)
      72 Nova 496bbc
      85 capri rs (sold)
      84 mustang lx "coupri" (sold)
      64 Beaumont SD
      65 Beaumont SD

    18. #18
      Join Date
      Aug 2007
      Location
      Albemarle, NC
      Posts
      1,132
      Country Flag: United States
      so, so righteous.

      dont paint it. or prime it. or anything else. its just right the way it is.

      michael
      Michael Crawford

      1970 plymouth Duster back under construction:
      https://www.pro-touring.com/showthre...uring-makeover

      1987 GMC S15 https://www.pro-touring.com/showthre...ct-drivabeater

    19. #19
      Join Date
      May 2011
      Location
      Northwest, MO
      Posts
      101
      Country Flag: United States
      Sweet project and great fab work!
      Tyler Gibson

      There's nothing like building up an old automobile from scratch and wiping out one of these Detroit machines... That'll give you a set of emotions that will stay with you... Know what I mean? Those satisfactions are permanent...

    20. #20
      Join Date
      Jun 2011
      Location
      St. George, Utah
      Posts
      1,629
      Country Flag: United States
      Very very cool. Keep it coming...
      -Ben, Your friendly neighborhood Rendering dude

      SRD on Facebook

      79 Cutlass wagon build


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