"PATCHES", my '55 Chevy 4 door "gasser" is a daily driver, and is seen regularly cruising around Maui. I've put a '49 Ford truck axle under the front end, and a Ford 9" rear axle in back. The motor is a 6/71 blown '67 Olds 425, with an old Doug Nash five speed tranny. It is a "project in progress", so there are changes constantly going on....

"PATCHES"

2Loose Willy's '55 Chevy 4 door Gasser Project....... Some history here, but you can scroll down further if you want to see the latest updates....

Like I need another project, but when I saw this '55 4 door, the price was right, it was basically solid, couple of rust holes, but doors, hood, trunk all solid, nothing wimpy about this car, she's just old, but Old Gold as far as I can see, and had been a local guy's fishing car for a lot of years, before he parked it in a pasture for 16 years! Well, my initial thinking was that I'd keep th 235 six and 3 speed, she wouldn't be fast, but there's been so much horsepower around my place lately, it will be fun to sort out a six, haven't done that for at least 45 years.....

But then the "Gasser" bug hit, watched "2 Lane Blacktop", then watched it again, and just got drawn in that direction.....

Then my buddies got together and got me my own personal copy of "2 Lane Blacktop" that resides in the DVD player in my shop, where I can crank it up from time to time if I need some encouragement.....

OK, now that the "Gasser" bug has bit me, and as I have some willing buddies around that are available to help; and a whole lotta parts scattered/stashed around here and there, it looks like this five-five "more-door" is gonna get a solid front axle, and the blown Olds motor I've been working on occasionally, when I can find a few "spare" minutes....

'55 gasser drawing courtesy of Bill Stinson.

The grandkids convinced me that the car should be named "all patched up", in hawaiian pohopoho, as when they patched up a beat up old wooden canoe, it was the "pohopoho canoe".... But hard to put that on a license plate, so it became "PATCHS"....

With one of these hula dolls shaking away on the rear package shelf....

"Shakey Puddin' ", a '55 Chevy gasser very nicely done (I particularly like the injector stacks sticking up through the hood...) is an inspiration for me. I've been in contact with the owner/builder, a really nice guy. He put a nice build thread on the "HAMB", the photos below are links to that thread if you're interested.....

LINK TO THE SHAKEY PUDDIN' 55 GASSER BUILD

Car runs a 9.80 at 132, Impressive!

The Latest Updates on the "2Loose Gasser Project" start here:

In 2010 I had all these parts layin' around the shop to build up a 6-71 blown Olds 425 motor,, I also had a Doug Nash (nowadays Richmond Gear) five speed tranny left over from another project, and a 35 spline Strange 9" rear end with a Detroit Locker that came out of a wrecked race Chevelle on Oahu. A perfect start to build up an old style street gasser of some sort, now I just needed a body....

Then a buddy of mine, who runs a tow service, got a call from an older woman who's husband had just died in his late 80's, and wanted this "old piece of junk" out if the back yard! It was a '55 four door that had been parked there for over 20 years. The title was in good order, my buddy got the title signed off by the woman, and called me to see if I was interested! We hauled it to my place and I started cleaning it up and stripping it to make a "gasser" out if it....

Here's links to many pages on this fun and challenging project:

Both the photos and the text are links to the other pages, please click on either to open them up. I will update them as often as I can:



UPDATE, January 2014:

The Doug Nash 4+1 (5 speed) tranny lost second gear, so had to pull it apart and rebuild it....

Doug Nash 4+1 Gets A Rebuild, pg 1

Doug Nash 4+1 Gets A Rebuild, pg 2

UPDATE, April 2013:

As I want to tow the car to the track with the slicks, floor jack and tools in my '58 truck, I decided to install a hitch on the '58....

First Trip To The Maui Track.....

UPDATE: April, 2013....

Ran some 12.2 second runs at our local track in Feb, at 118 mph, slipping hard off the line, and on each shift, so decided it was time for slicks. A buddy was selling some ford 9" r&p's, 4.11, 4.33 and 4.56 gears, bought them and calcs showed me I needed tall tires to make them work. Bought a set of 33" tall Mickey Thompson's, mounted on 10" wide rims setup to fit my car, 10.5" wide tread on those tires, but they were so tall that they hit the fender openings at the front and rear of the tires!

I don't particularly care for the radiused fender well cutouts some like to use to get tire clearance, so I raised and widened the stock '55 rear wheel well openings to fit the tires, then spent some time on the spreadsheet looking at tire sizes, gear ratios, rpm vs mph, trying to find a good fit for both street and track....

Tires, Gears.... Gears, Tires..... What Will Work Best???

Raisin' n Widen' The Rear Fender Lip

UPDATE, Jan, 2013: Got a new clutch in, a McLeod RXT twin disk ceramic setup, took it for a test drive yesterday, it drives great, I love it. Public roads, narrow and winding, some traffic, but I still found a few spots to open up the elec. cutouts and get on it a little, but not too hard, it's still a brand new clutch....

LINK to first portion of the run

LINK to second portion of the run

LINK to third portion of the run

There's more details on the new clutch setup below.

UPDATE, Dec. 2012: The car has been on the road for most of the year, off and on. Pulled the motor for a disassembly and rebalance job, removing 400 grams internally, that cleaned up an internal vibration in the motor. Had another vibration in the driveline, adjusting the pinion angle at the rear end down an additional 4 degrees using the adjustments on the end of the ladder bars cleaned that up. The 3.50 gears in the rear end were replaced with 3.0, which match the Doug Nash 3.28 ratio low gear much better out on the street, and do not seem to affect the quarter mile runs much. The tires still are breaking loose excessively on those runs, giving me mid 12 second runs at 114 mph.

CLUTCH FAILURE: On the last visit to our local Maui track in November, I did 5 passes, and on the last couple of passes noticed the clutch was starting to slip on shifts, on the 6th burnout the clutch let go in the wet box, and it was time to go home! Here are pix of the failed Centerforce DFX clutch setup:

LINK TO VID: of some of my passes at the local Maui track. Test and Tune only. You can see the clutch strting to slip in some of these passes.

LINK TO PAGE: The Centerforce DFX Clutch Setup Falls Apart....

MOTOR REBUILD: The motor had a bad vibration, it got worse as the rpm's increased, and was there consitently whether the car was moving or sitting still. So the motor got pulled and torn down, and the internals have been balanced and the motor is coming together.....

Final Build, Page 4, Vibration Gone, Hopefully, But It Back Together....

Link To Final Build, Page 3.....

The car now has a new name, "PATCHES", or in Hawaiian, "POHOPOHO", as the car is a patched up collection of mostly spare parts, and the body will be patched up and left with all the patches showing, that's just the way it's gonna be....

The plan is to paint or glue on bright, Hawaiian cloth over each steel patch, and paint stitching around each patch, just like it was sewed on, we'll see how well that works out.....

The NHRA rules require a restraint on the front of the ladder bars, just in case the heim joint breaks, to keep the ladder bars somewhat in place and keep the car under some level of control until it can be stopped....

UPDATE LINK: Added Some Ladder Bar Restraints....

For various reasons I needed to change out the front axle. The original one I installed was narrowed and welded to fit the 29" centers on the leaf springs (there is a link on that process near the bottom on this page), but does not meet the tech. standards at our local NHRA track. So I located and am installing a '48-'52 series Ford F1 front axle, which meets my front spring spacing exactly without any modification.

UPDATE LINK: New Front Axle Install.....

UPDATE LINK: More Mods On The Front Suspension

Put Some Mufflers On To Quiet Down This Beast!

Did Some Smokey Burnouts!

LINK to youtube video 1 : STARTIN' THIS MOTOR UP!!!

LINK to youtube video 2 : LET'S DRIVE THIS BABY AROUND A BIT !!!!

LINK to youtube video 3 : STILL DRIVE'N THIS BABY AROUND !!!!

LINK to youtube video 4 : WARMING IT UP FOR A TUNING SESSION !!!!

Installing the four sets of race harnesses. The driver's side is new, freshly dated, good for two years: the other three sets are out of date, and donated by my race buddies here on Maui for this project. Thanks guys....

Final Build, Let's Get This Car On The Road (page 2).....

UPDATE: side glass in the four doors needed replacement, so working on that, and the cooling fan motors were way too close to the blower drive belt, so moved them as far apart as I could on the radiator....

Final Build, Let's Get This Car On The Road (page 1).....

The motor and tranny are together and in the car,now hooking up all the vitals.....

Olds 425 Motor Final Build (Page 5)

Olds 425 Final Build (Page 4)

Olds 425 Final Build (Page 3)

Assembling The Blower Motor (Page 2)

Reworking an Olds 425 to take a 6-71 huffin on it. (Page 1)

Trying to get the wiring done on my ol' gal here....

Putting In the Gages and Electrical System......

Working On The Fuel System

Gettin The Front Brakes to Work .......

More Patches, More Patches (page 2).......

Pulling the old upholstery off the front and rear seats, wire brushing, and hand painting POR15 on the seat springs, Nasty Stuff, and covering them with some tasty vinyl.....

Interior Views, Seats Modified and Upholstered!!!

Fabbing A Pair Of Drive Shaft Safety Hoops

Patching Up All The Sheet Metal Holes (page 1).....

Building A Set Of Fenderwell Headers....

Adding A Front Sway Bar......

Twelve Point Cage Build Coming Along, Finally Done....

Setting up the Tilt Front End

Dog Dish Hubcaps? Air Filter Rain Covers? Looks Good To Me........

Setting Up The Rear Axle and Suspension page 2

Setting Up The Rear Axle and Suspension page 1

Cutting A Hole In The Hood, and Setting The Fenders....

Bunch more updates here, adding new pix as the project progresses:

Installing The Radiator

Setting up the suspension and steering page 2

Setting up the suspension and steering page 1

Fabbing spring supports, welding it all in place:

Fitting the New Front Frame and Setting Up the Axle

The Mad Frame Whacker Attacks......

Starting to Fit Parts Here and There

OK, so I just had to play with this photo a bit.....

"Cut and Paste" the Front Axle, It Was Too Wide !!!

When I Found This '59 Ford F100 Front Axle, The Price Was Right....

Trial fit for the 6-71, a Don Hampton special.

Pulled apart a '67 Olds 400 motor for spare parts.....

Did Some Porting Work on some Edelbrock Olds Heads

Page Two, Started Thinking Restoration...... But Only At First.....

Page One, this is how I found this ol' sweetie....

Here's a Road Worthy Cherry Picker, great for moving motors around over rough ground....

I don't know who makes this trifive chassis, but it shows some great features.....

Back to the 2Loose Home Page

More later..... Willy















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