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Thread: Aussie Prefect

  1. #1

    Aussie Prefect

    I had found this forum whilst looking for ideas about my own project, as there is not a lot of them getting around in Australia, and thought I would share my ideas as well. I have been working away on it for a year so there is a few pics to share and hopefully it isn't too much information?
    The car I am starting with is a 1949 E493A Prefect and due to our regulations it is too complicated to register it as a modified vehicle. Luckily for me though as the chassis was the same as earlier years I can build it as a Hot Rod if I register it as a 1948 Model, so that is the direction I am going in.

    The car has not been on the road since 1984 and was already attached to a frame when I got it. I actually swapped it for an old Chev 350 V8 that was left behind in an Uncles rental house, so at the cost of the tow fee it was a bargain.



    Our registration authorities will not allow an original chassis to be used with any engine upgrade so a new internal chassis needs to be built to support all of the running gear and the original chassis is then attached to this. To get approval plans need to be submitted first and this is what I sent them.

    The front rails were intended to be straight as a few people had suggested I weld in my front end but I chose to bolt my front end in the same as the donor vehicle, so it was necessary to step the rails up and will be shown later on.

    My original plan was to put an SR20 Turbo and five speed manual in it and I even measured up a friends engine to make a mock up



    The first step of the build was to brace the body and then remove it from the chassis so that the new frame could be built. I have to say that there was no way this body was coming off the frame given the number of rivets and spots welds I found. In some places there was even a group of 3 or 4 spot welds in one place









    The front end that i chose is a self contained bolt in unit with Rack and pinion steering from a Holden Torana, which is believe is a similar vehicle to a Vaxhall Viva?? There are only six bolts that hold it in and even though it is from the 70's there are still lots of spares available to rebuild them.



    The chassis was then fabricated from 75mm x 50mm x 3mm box section and fish plates attached at all joints. The fish plates I had cut at a local fabrication shop and saved weeks of work if I had tried to cut them by hand.









    The front end then sits under the rails like this



    It is getting a little late at the bottom of the world so will leave it there for now but if people are interested I will keep updating as the rolling chassis is basically finished now.

  2. #2
    NSRA Committee Hannah's Avatar
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    Great build progress Simon, thanks for taking the time to share with us 🖒

    Sent from my SM-G930F using NSRA mobile app

  3. #3
    Yes, we like build threads Interesting to see/hear how the regs wrk over there too - it's getting much tighter over here of late.

  4. #4
    NSRA member rem's Avatar
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    Good stuff. I like the cardboard engine!
    Sent from my Kitchen Table using a little box full of smoke and dangerous radio waves


    Shine is Fine

  5. #5
    Hi Simon, welcome, lot's of smart people on here. You are making great progress, keep posting the updates. Has the engineer inspected it yet?

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Steveg View Post
    Hi Simon, welcome, lot's of smart people on here. You are making great progress, keep posting the updates. Has the engineer inspected it yet?
    We have 3 inspections and the first is when the rolling chassis is complete, so all of the running gear and brakes needs to be completed. With the process in Queensland you submit your build plan to the hot rod association and once you have approval to build you get sent out their guidelines and then have it inspected by local approved inspectors upon completion of each stage. I have changed some things from my original proposal and when I spoke to the authorities they said that it was all ok as it stayed within the guidelines and would be updated when the first inspection is completed.

    The engine worked at first Rem but turned out to be too small, will show more later, as it was missing 4 cylinders

    I will definitely keep updating as it is nice to get different ideas

  7. #7
    I am probably skipping around a bit but thought it was easier to show just the mounting of front end. I had to make a sleeve to weld into the rails and then a crush tube as there is rubbers top and bottom. There is also locating washer that needed to be made and lucky for me I have a father in-law who is retired but still has a huge lathe in his home shed to turn up little things that I need.







    The original sleeves were too big and would have meant that too much material was drilled out from the rails so they were turned down and welded in.













    Then it was finally all bolted to the rails



    Once the main mounts were completes it was only two extra brackets to mount the rear out riggers









    Now it is fully completed and mounted exactly as you would find in a donor vehicle so it means that in case of an accident or if I wanted to upgrade to an aftermarket tubular front end it will bolt straight in. You will notice the yellow chalk marks in the pic above which show where others cut the crossmember and weld the rail directly to the cross member. After all is said And done I fell happy that I spent the extra time to rubber mount the front end.
    That is all from me tonight but when I get a chance I will show the rear diff and chassis next.

  8. #8
    NSRA member v8pop's Avatar
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    Nice build thread Simon, we're a wee bit short of those at the moment mate. Looks like it's going to be a nice project mate, good luck and keep posting.

    Cheers. Tim W.
    They say "life's a Crap Shoot" - Sure would be nice to have some Shoot for a change !!

    My Pop My Intro

  9. #9
    Thanks Tim,

    I am happy to keep posting so will keep updating.

  10. #10
    The next part would be the diff and it originally came out of a local Ford Falcon. It is a Borg Warner diff that is very common and comes with disc brakes and a 4 link setup with watts link. It was too wide so I had a local fabrication shop take out around 100mm each side of the diff and by shortening in the middle and not the ends it meant that all of the original suspension links could be utilised. I originally thought they may drill out the plug welds on the diff but the easiest way is to cut out a section and rejoin on their jig.







    I then needed new axles and it turns out that these are very similar to early mustang, so I ordered them the length advised and they fitted perfectly. The only thing they didn't have was the sensor for the ABS, which I am not using anyway.





    With the diff narrowed it was then a matter of using the original arms and making some mounts for the chassis.

    The top arm was simply a matter of drilling the hole and welding in a crush tube




    The bottom arm needed a mount fabricated







    As the lower spring buckets were in the right position I fabricated a top one and for now just cut the original spring to mount. The original donor car weighs about 1800kg so is double the weight, and will hunt down new springs later.











    The original donor vehicle had shocks that went up inside the coils and it looks like i can get away with using some front shocks from a mini, but time will tell. The watts link brackets still need to be worked out but this gave me a rolling chassis.





    That is all for tonight and next time I will show what I did with the wheels to get the sizes that I wanted on a budget.

  11. #11
    NSRA member v8pop's Avatar
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    Nice work Simon.

    Cheers. Tim W.
    They say "life's a Crap Shoot" - Sure would be nice to have some Shoot for a change !!

    My Pop My Intro

  12. #12
    The next part of the process is to mount the original chassis to the new one. My intention is to be able to unbolt and remove the body easily so to do this the body will be welded back to the original modified chassis and then bolted as a unit to the new one. The first step was to cut the front and all of the crossmembers out so that I was left with 2 bare rails:









    The body was then attached back to the original chassis to check that everything cleared:





    The next job was to make up some brackets to be to attach the old frame to the new chassis easily:
    First the front















    Then the rear













    I have also started adding some extra bracing to the side but is only tacked on for now, but will eventually be fully welded to the old chassis and some holes drilled and tapped into the side of the new rails:









    That is all from me for now but I hope it inspires someone to get out and work on their car the same way I do when looking at other peoples projects

  13. #13
    Hay looks great, thanks for putting it up always good to see what other folks are building, looks like your doing a top job cant wait to see more photos as you progress..

  14. #14
    Thanks for the positive comments rocker and yes I will keep updating as still have a few things to add before I catch up to my current state of progress

  15. #15
    NSRA member v8pop's Avatar
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    Aye, looking good Simon, that's going to be a really strong chassis when it's finished mate.

    Cheers. Tim W.
    They say "life's a Crap Shoot" - Sure would be nice to have some Shoot for a change !!

    My Pop My Intro

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by SimonG View Post
    Thanks for the positive comments rocker and yes I will keep updating as still have a few things to add before I catch up to my current state of progress


    look forward to seeing them...

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by v8pop View Post
    Aye, looking good Simon, that's going to be a really strong chassis when it's finished mate.

    Cheers. Tim W.
    That is my intention as there is going to be a lot more power than the original

  18. #18
    Time to build some wheels....
    The vehicle I had taken the diff from also came with some matching front brakes, but they need a 16" wheel for clearance and come standard with a 16" x 6.5" steel wheel.
    After shortening the diff the track with standard wheels was narrower than the front so I wanted to widen the track, as well as have a rim to fit some wider rubber. The front I needed to bring in a little and have a narrower tyre to avoid having to widen the front wings too much and better match the original donor vehicle.
    I was hoping to have 6" on the front and 7" on the rear but a set of steel smoothies was going to cost over $1,000 so I figured there had to be a cheaper option. As the centres are only welded in and I have access to a large lathe we could machine them out but to get the outers I was able to find some 6" and 7" rims from some dual cab 4WD's, which only cost me a carton of beer ($50).

    The original ford wheel is in the middle and the 6" on the left and 7" on the right




    The welds were then machined off the rims, given a few gentle taps with a hammer and drift and all cleaned up with a flap disc on the angle grinder





    The 5 stud centres were then pressed into the 4wd outers, with the 7" ones mounted in reverse to give a bigger dish to the wheel



    Compared to the original wheel..


    All they need now is final welding on the rear and painting but turned out very good and I now have the offsets I needed to keep the rear track wider then the front and not have to widen the front guards too much.

    You can see here that I don't have to widen the front wings too much and the rear track is now wider than the front.

  19. #19
    NSRA member v8pop's Avatar
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    Coming on well Simon, I have fond memories of doing something similar to make my 4.5" front rims from a pair of space savers mate.

    Cheers. Tim W.
    They say "life's a Crap Shoot" - Sure would be nice to have some Shoot for a change !!

    My Pop My Intro

  20. #20
    Thanks Tim, I think I am enjoying the challenge more of having to find creative ways to save money rather than just buying everything new out of a catalogue.

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