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Rat Rod Rust Bucket K11 project

#1
Hey all,

I'm a few months away from actually starting this project but my mind has been on it a lot lately, a lot of plans and ideas and thought I might as well get some ideas from you lot before I go ahead.

Goal:

Rat Rod inspired, covered in rust, slammed with modern 'stance'. MAD MAX inspiration - lots of little details that tell story - practicality, up-cycling, lots of welding. I love details in something where you see it and go, 'ooh that's what that's for!' In film, details tell stories, they contribute to the main story in some way or tell something about the relative character. If you haven't seen MAD MAX fury road, hopefully you'll get what I mean... I've already got a backyard job roof rack made from steel rebar and others, which is rusting out real nicely. This project will not be about achieving power etc. 95% of these mods will be aesthetic. The main challenge here is to achieve the look without doing anything unsafe or illegal, which can be a big challenge sometimes.


here is the result of using the Dulux Rust Effect paint on the rear quarter - looks nice, but very flat - no drippage or inconsistencies which is the only thing I am not a fan of, but I'm thinking there should be a way of making some drippage using potentially some dust which comes from skimming brakes (Back when I used to work as a mechanic, we'd skim brakes and the dust would end up on the floor. within minutes, if there was water on the floor as well, the dust would turn into rust, as you can imagine is the same as when you wash your car and get water on your brake discs and start to develop rust just minutes after)



WHEELS:

So as we all know, there aren't as many options in 4x100 as others, especially in 13 and 14", and on top of that, NZ being a small island at the bottom of the pacific ocean, we don't have as much available as the rest of the world. So I am going with banded steelies.

The plan is to get the car on stands, take the SPRINGS out of the car, put a shock back in, put a wheel back on the hub, stick a jack under it and lift it up until I am happy with where the wheel sits, then I will measure how much of a drop that will be, and at the same time measure how much band I'll add to the steel wheel.

I'm looking for a way to make some BABY MOON HUBCAPS, if you don't know what those are, they are the chrome domes that are normally found on VW Combie vans. Thinking stainless steel mixing bowls from the local shops and fixed on to the wheel with some sort of clips...


WHEELS & TYRES

I was contemplating on 13 or 14 inch banded steelies, but based on the photos I've seen, I think I'm more a fan of 13". The goal is to be 100mm off the ground at the sills, and the idea is that 13s with maybe 155/55's will do the trick whilst keeping a decent amount of clearance at the front arches. (If you have photos of wide wheels with extreme low please comment!) We're not allowed to have stretch in NZ but I'm willing to risk having a little bit of stretch. Planning to paint the steelies some playful colour like baby blue or purple... or potentially a glossy brown with some sparkle... still not sure how wide the steel wheels will go, but I'm keen on stagger... slightly wider rear - the factory wheels seem to stick further in at the back.
 
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#2
I like the rat rod thing, it suits me better than a shiny paint job and means I'm not as precious about my car as I would otherwise be (don't get wrong Spot (mini) is beautiful and I love her) but there is something of a story about it, sort of like Mater and his dints.

That said Spot is an 'honest' rat rod, I've not promoted rust in fact the spots were some of my efforts to get rid of it!
I don't like the rust for rust's sake or rust as a paint job look, rather I think it should look like it happened naturally. A whole panel with no paint on it, just rust, doesn't do it for me. That said a more modern car is harder for the look to suit...

Here's a video on this guy's technique.

Spot's appearance has sort of happened by accident, and this I think was the start of the rat rod thing, people who wanted quick cars but didn't have a lot of money so they concentrated on the practical stuff not appearances.
IMO a 'rat' car looks best when it reflects this pragmatic approach.

You might be able to to do a bad boy bonnet on one side only, of have some bog or primer near the corner, like it got done but never got around to painting it.
I think a sense of fun with it adds to it, like bandaids on dints, or a chalk board bonnet with chalk scribbles, mine had a shopping list on it for a bit in chalk cause it amused me...

I think the widened steel wheels are a good idea, I've seen them each done a different fluro colour.

Re the panhard rod there are adjustable whiteline? and others, if you want a lower key solution perhaps add a threaded section to the standard item at least until you get the rest of the suspension dialed in then you could weld it up.
 
#3
I like the rat rod thing, it suits me better than a shiny paint job and means I'm not as precious about my car as I would otherwise be (don't get wrong Spot (mini) is beautiful and I love her) but there is something of a story about it, sort of like Mater and his dints.

That said Spot is an 'honest' rat rod, I've not promoted rust in fact the spots were some of my efforts to get rid of it!
I don't like the rust for rust's sake or rust as a paint job look, rather I think it should look like it happened naturally. A whole panel with no paint on it, just rust, doesn't do it for me. That said a more modern car is harder for the look to suit...

Here's a video on this guy's technique.

Spot's appearance has sort of happened by accident, and this I think was the start of the rat rod thing, people who wanted quick cars but didn't have a lot of money so they concentrated on the practical stuff not appearances.
IMO a 'rat' car looks best when it reflects this pragmatic approach.

You might be able to to do a bad boy bonnet on one side only, of have some bog or primer near the corner, like it got done but never got around to painting it.
I think a sense of fun with it adds to it, like bandaids on dints, or a chalk board bonnet with chalk scribbles, mine had a shopping list on it for a bit in chalk cause it amused me...

I think the widened steel wheels are a good idea, I've seen them each done a different fluro colour.

Re the panhard rod there are adjustable whiteline? and others, if you want a lower key solution perhaps add a threaded section to the standard item at least until you get the rest of the suspension dialed in then you could weld it up.

Hi Fuzzy Haired Man,

I agree, the details should tell stories. In set decorating in film and TV, every detail on set should tell a story, and the same goes for this project.

I do plan to leave spots of paint left behind, but because the car is currently silver, it wouldn't look so good in comparison to say, blue, red, etc. I do plan to paint spots on to look like it was the colour the car used to be, but I think I will go with some sort of baby blue, a colour that suits the body and co-ordinates with the brown rust colour. I also like the rust drippage and inconsistencies that make it look natural, hence why I don't like the flatness of the rust effect paint, but it's still a better option that real rust on the structural parts of the body. I love bandaids etc, but I think I'll take my time on the very small details - repairing dings, cable tie stitching, etc. for a more organic look to the details. I'm also thinking of doing a rear tow hook made of a piston rod welded to the rear existing tow hook. Maybe do the same on the front.

Paint:

I'm quite a big fan of the details found in war planes, I want to do the shark mouth found on the WWII P-51 fighter planes, the military look like the codes painted on the sides of the vehicles etc. and then sanding it down to look worn out and old. This might look a little aggressive on the baby faced K11 PFL, so I'm thinking of slightly changing the design to a D/C comic JOKER inspiration, or perhaps Barney the Dinosaur...

I've been researching the history of rat rods and I love the story of youngsters with no money, but with enough skill to pull something together. It reflects very much on my own life as well as NZ culture we call 'Number 8 wire'. I love upcycling, and I love working with 'what you got'. It's a humble morale...

Panhard rod: I'm not too knowledgable on adjustable parts available for the K11, my AE86 corolla had an adjustable panhard rod to correct the rear diff. I wouldn't imagine it be too difficult to shorten the factory one anyway.

Loads and loads and loads of ideas on this car, it's going to be difficult to know when to stop once it gets going.
 

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#6
A few things that I really enjoyed and got attention was the steps on the back, bull bars and the intake made from cat food tins

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Hey MadYax

Great build! I love it! love the upcycling!

I have a roof rack I fabricated out of steel angle and round bar, will upload pics soon. Quite rusty now as I didn't paint it but looks cool and super strong!

You must tell me about that bullbar!
 
#7
bull
Hey MadYax

Great build! I love it! love the upcycling!

I have a roof rack I fabricated out of steel angle and round bar, will upload pics soon. Quite rusty now as I didn't paint it but looks cool and super strong!

You must tell me about that bullbar!
the bullbar is 20mm steel conduit (same as roof rack) just bent the four corners and welded two supports to the bottom 90 degree bends. The tubing is drilled and bolted to the top of the chassis. by chance fit nicely though the bottom "vents" in the bumper. I wouldn't want to hit a deer with it but it was enough to hold the aux lamps and dry towels on.
 
#8
Right, so plans have changed a bit since last update. Not going for a complete rust look anymore, as much as I like the idea, I’m not too keen on spending the big bucks on the fake rust paint to go where our safety inspections won’t allow rust.

Neverthelesss, just as fun I’ll be going with a WW2 Curtiss P-40 RNZAF plane as far as colour and graphics.

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I went to the local tip-second hand shop and they had some paints. I bought all of the paints close to Brunswick green and mixed them all together. This is all acrylic paint, but I’m being optimistic that it will hold up on the car with some good prepping.

I did a test paint with a roller on plywood. Did some weathering by spraying dark brown watered down paint and dabbing with a rag around the edges.

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Looks pretty darn good. Right amount of saturation, tone and it’s light enough that the weathering will really show. Been watching lots of modelling videos on weathering and talking to the scenic painters at work.

Car is now sitting on chocks and wheel is at the engineer’s for widening. They are standard 5x13 +45 wheels, soon to be 7.5x13 +13 (if I did my maths correctly) with the 2.5” bands on.

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Measured up the shocks at the rear. The axle is sitting on chocks meaning the suspension is under load, so I measured up and it looks like there’s plenty of space for “re engineering” the shock so safetly re-engineer the second hand lowering springs I picked up

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Did some upholstery one fun Saturday.
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Car has been sanded down with 180grit. Managed to do 95% of the car with about 2 meters. Still gotta do the roof.

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Next is to sand the roof and rivet up edges of the bumpers, fenders, bonnet and doors. After that will be the olive drab paint with a roller...

Will probably strip the paint off the driver and passenger door for rust..
 

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