Darksider's Realm

(this is not a place for lazy video game freaks. We Darksiders have been around doing our thing for decades before the mindless couch blobs latched onto the term Darksider)



DARKSIDER In the world of automotive hobbyists a Darksider is one who modifies and or customizes any and all sorts of vehicles. The Darksiders are in a class of their own simply because they endeavor to be different and do things that others would not attempt for a number of reasons mostly being related to a lack of ability and fear of non conformity.

This is a forum for people who think outside the box in everything they do. It doesn’t matter if you are modifying or building from scratch. It doesn’t matter what brand or brands of vehicles or components you are using. It doesn’t matter if you are working on a mini car or a bus.

We will not be asking you for donations or any kind of monetary payments. We will be asking for help in terms moderators and encouraging you to spread the word and add to our membership.

Darksider's Realm

A message board & forum for automotive builders, fabricators and customizers who think outside the box.


    First '53 Build Thread

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    Darkside Dave
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    First '53 Build Thread

    Post  Darkside Dave on Wed Oct 07, 2009 10:05 pm


    Hi Folks,

    Since I have officially started on my first of my two '53 F-100s, I decided to start a build thread. I am going to make this a STICKY. I would like to encourage others who are building to do the same. If you want to start one I will make it a STICKY here in this category, or what ever category you post it in.

    OK, first a little about the project. There will actually be very little left of the original truck in this project. Only the windshield, the title and the VIN plate from the glove box door will be used in this project. Those are precisely the parts I bought the truck for. The rest of it is either junked or sold. You can go to http://www.pvpmedia.com/53F100.htm and see some details about the trucks and my plans for them. Since that stuff was put online I have defined and more or less finalized plans for this first truck.

    How many of you Remember the Radio Flyer kid's wagons? Guess what, they are still in business. Anyway, I never had one as a kid and I have decided to have one now. Only my Radio Flyer is going to be this truck project. let me explain... I'm one of those guys with too many interests. One of those interests besides cars and trucks is Amateur Radio, commonly known as Ham Radio. One of the main problems with having too many interests is that they have to share time. So, I figured out a way to combine those two interests.

    I decided to build this truck as a cruiser and pack is with about four different types of Ham Radio gear. That gave me the idea to paint the truck bright red and put the Radio Flyer logo on it as well as white oak side racks in the stake pockets. I'm not a mudder but I do like 4WD trucks. That inspired me to start this build using the rolling chassis from a '99 Explorer as the base platform for this project. That's where the Explorer ends though. I will be using a supercharged 3.8L V-6 from a '90 Thunderbird Super Coupe and an M5R2 manual 5 speed transmission and a manual Borg Warner transfer case. I bought the '90 SC recently as a donor vehicle. Nothing radical, just enough to scare the hell outta those rice grinders.

    Below is a Concept picture made for me by one of our members. Here he is known as wired but some of you folks probably know him better as bobj over on the FTE. The man is a genius with PhotoShop. He used a '56 as the base model but there is no difference other than the back window and wrap around windshield. He really nailed my concept idea.

    Yeah Bob, that's what I'm talkin' 'bout!!! Thanks Man!!!




    Is this thing cool or what???



    So, in my next post in this thread I will start with pictures of the work and progress. Hopefully this will inspire some of you folks to start posting your build thread. You can also follow this project in more detail by CLICKING HEREto see my personal web site page for this project.

    Later Folks...



    Last edited by Darkside Dave on Sun May 16, 2010 11:37 am; edited 7 times in total


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    Re: First '53 Build Thread

    Post  Darkside Dave on Thu Oct 08, 2009 9:10 am


    Hi Folks,

    I’m starting with the basics here so don’t get too excited yet. Let me tell you, I HATE SANDBLASTING !!! Let’s see, where was I??? Oh yeah, the beginning… The base of my project is this ’99 Explorer rolling chassis. It is going to need a lot of mods and some boxing but before all that I gotta get it cleaned up. The P O must have spent his Winters looking for salt covered roads and his Summers driving through every tar pit and mud bog he could find. I’m pretty sure he never got near a car wash either. I have used 250 pounds of Black Diamond blasting media so far and I only have the front third done. I also spent a day with four different grinders with wire brushes on them as well as hours with scrapers and chipping hammer. I have been coating what part is done with a heavy coat of primer as it is outside and exposed to the elements.

    Don’t be laughing at the wheels. They are actually from a Mazda. I just wanted something to roll it around on and nothing of value to get messed up with welding, painting and sandblasting.






















    Above is the next big challenge. Ugh !!!

    Stay tuned, more to come...



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    Re: First '53 Build Thread

    Post  Darkside Dave on Thu Oct 08, 2009 7:57 pm


    Hey Carnut,
    You may not believe it but I do intend to drive it whenever I feel like it and rain is no exception. It won't be as nice as what you have. After its all blasted clean and covered with a thick coat of primer I will start to weld on it and make modifications. Of course that will mean more cleaning and primer in the places I do the mods but at least it won't rust while I'm working on it. When it's all done it will be painted gloss black. I will not abuse the thing but I do want to drive it. It won't be an every day driver but I won't stop for rain. If I can't drive it I might as well sell it because the fun is over after the build if I can't drive it.

    I am glad to hear you are inspired and will start a build thread. As for posting the pictures, go get a PhotoBucket account which is free. Post all your pictures there and then you just use a link to them to get them on here. Havi and Lowlid do something like that so if you have a problem I am sure they can help. If worst comes to worst I cab help you get them posted if you tell me where they are on PhotoBucket or any other hosting site.

    I'll be watching for your build thread.

    Later Man...


    Last edited by Darkside Dave on Sat Oct 10, 2009 7:31 pm; edited 1 time in total


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    Re: First '53 Build Thread

    Post  Darkside Dave on Mon Oct 12, 2009 10:19 am


    Hi Kevin,

    Yep, Bob captured the idea I had and nailed it. Of course it won't be quite the same but the color, the logo on the sides, the white oak side racks and the chrome roll bar are all part of the basic idea. I have also been playing with the idea of chrome stacks and I will have a winch on the front. Although mine is a '53 I am thinking of a chrome '54 grille in front. I don't know if it's just me or something Bob did with Photoshop but it looks to me like the roof has been exteded out to look like a visor over the windshield. If that is some kind of visor it sure blends in well.

    It will take me about five years to do the projecy so I think there will be lots of evolutionary changes from what we see here. I do really like those wheels though. I am going to have to keep my eyes open for some of those to come up on the used market as everyone seems to be going to the 20" and 22" with the really low profile tires. I still like the old school look. Maybe that's because I'm Old. Go figure...

    Later Man...


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    Just a note...

    Post  Darkside Dave on Thu Dec 03, 2009 3:11 pm


    Hi Folks,
    Just a note in the form of an update here... I haven't quit or given up on my build. I just got side tracked by a week long visit by my son and some other distractions like a refurb job on the turbocharger on my '03 F-350 6.0L diesel. I have also been busy with other things that tend to eat up my time. I want to get the rest of the sandblasting done on my chassis before the weather gets really nasty. I have been working on the Holly aluminum 4 barrel intake for my 351W. I have been cleaning it up in the bead blasting cabinet to get some annoying paint off of it and I have a few other minor modifications in mind that I will have to do on the Bridgeport mill.

    The next steps on the rolling chassis will be to get in the shop and make welding mods on it so the 351W and the manual tranny and transfer case will fit. The engine is a shoe in because the chassis was built to accommodate the 302. I will also be doing some boxing and extra beefing up on the cross members. That will probably be the next series of pictures to show up on this build thread. After that I will be testing the fit of the old Explorer floor pan and firewall. Then comes the real fun of grafting the '53 cab onto the Explorer pan and firewall. this has been done before but I have never seen any actual pictures of the build in progress. I wish I had some to go by but I don't. At least I will be able to post some here in this build thread. I do have a junk cab to practice with so that should help.

    Later Folks...



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    Re: First '53 Build Thread

    Post  Darkside Dave on Wed Jan 27, 2010 12:27 pm


    Hi Folks,

    No, I didn't die, I just have been covered up with other things lately. I am about to do a transport down to SW Florida. After delivery I will be pulling an empty trailer and so far I have nothing booked for the return trip. I was kind of hoping to find something to buy on my way back up. I'll be going through Atlanta and I have several routes I could take back to Ohio from Atlanta. I am always on the lookout for vehicles and parts I can use or resell. If any of you folks out there have stuff or know of something along my possible routes I would be interested in knowing about it. I am looking for a bed floor mounted chrome or SS combo roll & light bar for the project in this thread. Take a look at the picture here to get an idea what I am looking for. Of course I am also always interested in finding '53-'56 F-100 body parts. I need to find a set of F-800 or bigger front fenders for another project.

    I hope to very soon be working on the project in this thread again. Weather is now holding up my work on finishing the sandblasting on the rolling chassis.. Further work is all waiting on that process. All I can do presently work to acquire more parts and pieces for the project. Damn the weather...

    Later Folks...


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    MY LATEST EXCUSE...

    Post  Darkside Dave on Thu Feb 11, 2010 11:35 am


    Hi Folks,

    I recently sent out a letter to you guys trying to get some participation on the board going. Then I thought I was just as guilty as the rest of the members so I decided to present my excuse. Check out the picture.



    Yep, that's my project there under the tarps and all that snow. At this rate I won't get it out until late March. ARGH !!!

    In the foreground is my '99 Explorer rolling chassis covered with a tarp as is also my engine hoist holding up the chassis at about a 45 degree slant. In the background is my cab on a trailer along with the Explorer floor pan and firewall I will be using. It bugs me to see the stuff like this. However, in my defense, I have been working on shop equipment that will come in handy when work resumes.

    Later Folks...


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    Re: First '53 Build Thread

    Post  Darkside Dave on Tue Mar 16, 2010 6:15 pm


    Hey Folks,

    Just a little update today. All the snow is finally gone. I ventured out today where the rolling chassis is and it looks as though if it dries up for a week I should be back at the the project in some way or another. I just recently got back from a transporting trip to SW Florida and we also brought another one back to this area. We have posted pictures on the website. Go to www.Rides4Rides.com to see one of the best looking 22year old 560 SL's you are likely to see anywhere.

    As soon as I get some stuff done on the project I will be posting pictures. Of course with the weather breaking and a back log of work people are bringing in and the transport business picking up, I may not get too much done right away. The project will probably be filler work between the paying work.

    Later Folks...


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    Got a little done today...

    Post  Darkside Dave on Mon Apr 19, 2010 11:08 pm


    Hi Folks,

    My paying job in the shop is waiting for parts and it was really nice outside today. So I did a little work on the Explorer Floor Pan and Firewall. I stripped off the rest of the stuff that was under the dash and on the firewall. Now it's ready to set back on the chassis and start cutting and fitting the '53 cab over it. Here are some pictures.












    It's not much but it's a step in the right direction.

    Later Folks....


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    Another Big step forward...

    Post  Darkside Dave on Tue Apr 20, 2010 10:36 pm


    Hi Folks,

    Today was a good day... I finally finished blasting the rolling chassis and I also got it covered with a heavy coat of red primer. Tomorrow I will move it so I can fit the floor pan and fire wall section back on it. Hopefully I will get pictures posted tomorrow.

    As I pointed out previously, I am trying to decide if I want to use the supercharged engine from the Super Coupe instead of the 351 W I had planned on using. If I do decide to use it I will also be using the wish bone IRS and differential from the Super Coupe. If I do I will have to pull the limited slip set up from the 8.8" Explorer diff and put them in the Super Coupe diff. I think that will work but I'm not sure if there is an issue with the splines. The Explorer is a 31 spline set up. Hopefully so is the Super Coupe. This may not be a problem because both diffs are limited slip and it may just be a case of swapping the ring and pinion out and not messing with the diff gears with the splines.

    While I am deciding what to do I plan on starting to cut and fit the old rusty practice cab to the floor pan and fire wall section. That way I won't screw up my good cab. By the time i get the old rusty cab to fit I should be able to precisely cut the good cab to fit. Unfortunately I only have one floor pan and fire wall section so I will have to be careful what I cut on it. However, cutting it is the simpler task of the two parts and it is easier to fix if I mess it up.

    I plan on getting one or two days a week in on this project now and I will be posting progress pictures in this build thread. I hope you folks will find this build interesting and unique. In keeping with the spirit of the Darkside, I am working hard to do this build in a very unique way without spending lots of big bucks on overpriced catalog stuff. So far as I am concerned, that's a big part of what old school is all about. While I don't believe that everyone out there wants to do this build or even a truck, I do think there can be inspiration to be gained by seeing these things done. I believe there are lots of folks out there that have ideas they are hesitant to try. There has never been a better time to blend old school ways with new technology.

    OK folks, stay tuned, the fun is about to begin...

    Build it right, build it cheap and make it you.

    Later...





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    Re: First '53 Build Thread

    Post  charger on Wed Apr 21, 2010 5:49 pm

    looking at the explorer floor and the f100, it looks like it might be a easy job to blend in the two, are you using the heater/ac system off the explorer? i like the way your using what you got! mabe other people would build cars/trucks if they see how cheap we can build a truck using used parts.
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    Re: First '53 Build Thread

    Post  Darkside Dave on Wed Apr 21, 2010 9:31 pm

    charger wrote:looking at the explorer floor and the f100, it looks like it might be a easy job to blend in the two, are you using the heater/ac system off the explorer? i like the way your using what you got! mabe other people would build cars/trucks if they see how cheap we can build a truck using used parts.


    It is really surprising how well the floor and firewall section is going to fit with the cab. Yes I will be using all the heat and air conditioning from the Explorer. I am also going to be able to use the complete dash and controls. It looks a little tricky around the front cowling as the '53 is more rounded but I think I have it figured out so IO can use the old wipers and linkage with the Explorer motor. I will probably have to make some parts. I took more pictures today and maybe with luck I'll get them posted here by the end of tomorrow. I did a lot of measuring today and it's surprising how well the T-Bird IRS is going to fit into the Explorer frame. Now, if I can get an Explorer or Ranger manual transfer case to mate to the T-bird 5 speed OD tranny I will be able to use the super charged engine from the Super Coupe. It ought to be a real sleeper. A V6 with V8 attitude.

    I totally agree with you about using what you have and what is available at a reasonable price. It really bugs me that people who really can't afford the high dollar stuff in the first place are totally convinced that they just have to have that stuff. As you pointed out, hopefully having these build threads on the board will inspire others to do economic builds by making use of all the stuff that can be harvested from donors that have ended the service part of their life.

    Later Man...


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    Before & After...

    Post  Darkside Dave on Thu Apr 22, 2010 10:58 am


    Hi Folks,

    Remember this ???



    Could it look any worse ???

    Now it looks like this...



    Here are some more pictures...















    I think it's fair to say it's a definite improvement.

    Pardon the appearance of my Yard Mule, an old "91 Explorer that I use to drag all this stuff around with. It's ugly but it sure is handy.

    I have now temporarily put the floor pan & firewall section back on the chassis and I have my rusty old practice cab set up on the rear on a temporary wood frame where I can make cuts to fit it to the floor pan and fire wall section. When I am sure I have every cut figured out I will do it to my better cab. and then begin the process of welding it all together. Sometime I will also start working on putting the T-Bird Super Coupe IRS under the rear of the chassis. Of course I'll have to swap out the gears because the Explorer front end is a 3.73 and the T-Bird is a 2.73. They are both 8.8" diffs so it shouldn't be a problem. This project is now just starting to get interesting. Hopefully more pictures will follow tomorrow.

    Later Folks...



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    More pictures...

    Post  Darkside Dave on Thu Apr 22, 2010 9:39 pm


    Hi Again,

    Here are some pictures of the steps I took to prepare for the next step in the build. Here I have fastened the floor pan and firewall section to the mounts to position it. I fastened down a temporary support made of 2" X 4"s on which I placed my rusty old practice cab so it would be close by to cut on and easily move on and off of the floor pan and fire wall section. Also you will see there is another cab in the background that is mounted to a moving dolly. When I have determined what to cut and how withe the rusty practice cab I will move it to the support on the back and do the required cuts on it. You may also notice the old dash from the Explorer I got the rolling chassis from hanging in the good cab. I suspended it there to see what I would need to do to fit it into the cab. It looks as though all I need to do is cut out the old dash panel. Looks like a good job for a dear friend of mine, Mr. Plasma Cutter.


















    Let the cutting begin...

    Later Folks...


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    The First Cut is the Deepest...

    Post  Darkside Dave on Fri Apr 23, 2010 4:04 pm


    Hi Folks,

    Let the cutting begin... Today I braced up the practice cab to keep the dimensions right and started hacking away all the stuff I think I don't need. Tomorrow I'll have koth help me set it forward so I can start cutting on the fire wall & floor pan. Once I get a good fit I'll secure it with a few sheet metal screws and then do the cutting to fit the Explorer dash. I also have a practice dash S I won't be screwing up one of the good ones I have. So far, so good... Once I am satisfied that all my cuts are OK I will then move the good cab over and do all the cuts on it and then start welding. There are going to have to be a few pieces made and I will need cab corners.

    Here are some pictures of the cutting job on the practice cab:













    Later Folks...


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    Re: First '53 Build Thread

    Post  Darkside Dave on Sun Apr 25, 2010 8:21 pm


    Well, you may not have to do that. My plasma cutter crapped out on me today. It's still under warranty. I have to say that buying that thing was a mistake. It's a Thermal Dynamics and has a four year warranty. This is the second time I have had it crap out on me. I now wish I had bought a Lincoln instead. The last place that worked on it said there was nothing wrong with it and charged me $65.00. So much for factory authorized repairs... This time I am going to call the company and have them tel me where I can take as opposed to having a dealer send it in.

    I did manage to get most of the stuff cut away on the firewall and upper cowling. They're rough cuts and they will have to be trimmed and new pieces will have to be made to put the parts of the Explorer and the '53 together. I will post more pictures when I get the practice cab set in place on the Explorer floor pan and firewall. The trick is going to begetting the old to blend with the new. Imagine if you will, the old windshield wipers and linkage working with a modern motor, yet keeping most of the Explorer fire wall and all the heat and A/C systems of the Explorer. Hopefully I'll have something done and some pictures posted by the end of the week.

    Later Folks...


    Last edited by Darkside Dave on Mon Apr 26, 2010 9:58 am; edited 1 time in total


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    Re: First '53 Build Thread

    Post  Darkside Dave on Mon Apr 26, 2010 9:57 am

    55f350 wrote:i geuss i canput that voodoo doll of your plasma cutter and welders away now ................!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! lol!




    Well, you could have just asked me to slow down you know... It would have been a hell of a lot cheaper. Can you just undo your Voodoo shit and I will promise to go slower? It's about to happen anyway as soon as the parts arrive for the paying job that's in the shop right now. That will probably put the stops to things on the truck for a week or two at least.

    Later Man...


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    Thats Dad for you

    Post  FRANKENTRUCK on Mon Apr 26, 2010 5:30 pm

    Thats Dad for you, always maxing out the equipment
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    Re: First '53 Build Thread

    Post  Darkside Dave on Tue Apr 27, 2010 9:33 am

    FRANKENTRUCK wrote:Thats Dad for you, always maxing out the equipment






    Thanks Son,
    It's times like this that make me proud of you. You are not the least bit hesitant to take a shot at the old man...


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    Will it Fit ???

    Post  Darkside Dave on Tue Apr 27, 2010 12:33 pm


    In my dreams....





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    Maybe some good news...

    Post  Darkside Dave on Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:59 pm


    I did some more measuring in the SC today and just maybe the shifter on the SC tranny will fit up through the the hole provided for it in the Explorer tranny hump. It really depends on motor mount position as well but that may be something I can change. Of course now it remains to be seen if there is a way to get a transfer case on it.

    In other news, I just got off the phone with Thermal Dynamics and they are sending a complete new circuit board for the inside of the plasma cutter including free shipping and a label to send it back with. I have to do the work but that beats driving a hundred miles to take it to a service center and then waiting to get it back which means a total of 400 miles and a minimum of a week's wait. Maybe my first judgment was a little harsh on Thermal Dynamics... Now, if I can just keep Kevin from dragging out those voodoo dolls of my equipment...

    Later Folks...


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    I think this is what I need to know...

    Post  Darkside Dave on Tue Apr 27, 2010 3:31 pm


    Back Again....
    I found these pictures which pretty much explain the differences.




    This is the SC version


    The 2WD version


    The 4WD version...

    And it looks to me as though the top loader and the transfer case from the 4WD version will fit the SC 2WD version. Unless I'm really missing something here, that should be all there is to this. Now I need to look for the right Ford F-150s in the bone yards.

    Thanks guys, you helped me get here.

    Later...


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    Re: First '53 Build Thread

    Post  Darkside Dave on Wed Apr 28, 2010 8:09 pm

    55f350 wrote:see sometimes i knowz whatz i'm babbling on about dave ........... it's a little difficult sometimes due to the incoherent way in which it escapes from my mind , but .............. should be a drop in and away you go !!!!!!!!!!

    I found a complete rebuilt with transfer case for $700.00. Now I need to generate some cash. I just put the 351 with the big truck tranny and transfer case up for sale for $750.00 Maybe it will sell...

    Later Man...


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    On with the quest...

    Post  Darkside Dave on Thu Apr 29, 2010 10:21 am


    Hi Folks,
    Still planning and plotting here to get that tranny and transfer case I found on Craigslist. I also found a set of 3.8 headers that were for a Mustang. I'm thinkin' that they will work OK if they will fit both the super charged and regular version of the 3.8L. As for the exit angle and all that I am not worried because I can cut and TIG them to fit before I bead blast and ceramic coat them.

    The outside weather here is now getting back to prime working conditions outside where I am cutting and fitting the cab to the firewall and floor section of the Explorer. Unfortunately today i have to go out on a paying job and that will kill the day. I still need to get the plasma cutter back in service but the new board Thermal Dynamics is sending has not arrived yet. That will take at least an entire morning because there are about fifty connections to make on that thing. It doesn't just plug in.

    Kevin,
    If you are further interested in the SC tranny it would probably be a good idea to move that talk over here because as you know, the FTE board Nazis are really anal when you talk trades or sales in the forums. Over here I don't care about it. Really I don't see why they care. It's probably just a control freak thing. Most likely they are hen pecked and need the control thing to vent their frustration. I find it's just easier to avoid that shit by doing what we want over here.

    OK, that's all I have for now. Maybe I'll find something to add later.

    Later Folks...


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    Darkside Dave
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    Posts : 1018
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    Age : 72
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    Re: First '53 Build Thread

    Post  Darkside Dave on Tue May 04, 2010 10:54 am


    Yeah, I got a set of headers coming and it will be at least 2" pipes off of them going back to a rear turbocharger to pump air into the supercharger up front. Since it has an intercooler I might as well make use of it to cool the TC output. Mounting TC's to the rear makes for a lot less heat to dissipate.

    I have to look for a hood and some back fenders. the hood is the most important. It doesn't have to be perfect so long as it's repairable. I have all the hinges, braces and latches.

    Later Man...


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    Re: First '53 Build Thread

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