1929 Willys Whippet SRT-4

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kberjian
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1929 Willys Whippet SRT-4

Post by kberjian » Sun Dec 12, 2010 5:48 am

I copied my build over from another site, so disregard the references to Today or Tommorrow, the project started in April 2010 and the posts I copied over brings it up to the current time. I will post updates as they happen.



Wanted to do this for a while now and finally got the chance.

Started with this totaled 2004 Dodge Neon SRT-4, which has a 2.4l turbo engine that makes about 250hp stock and will make about 400 when I am done.
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And this, a 1929 Willys Whippet Coupe that will be a convertible.
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Loaded it all into a trailer from my parents farm and pulled it back home.
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Last edited by kberjian on Sun Dec 12, 2010 6:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1929 Willys Whippet SRT-4

Post by kberjian » Sun Dec 12, 2010 5:49 am

Started by mocking the body up to get some height dimension and just looks cool.
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Stripped all the sheetmetal/extras off the engine/transmission/suspension setup.
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Last edited by kberjian on Sun Dec 12, 2010 5:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1929 Willys Whippet SRT-4

Post by kberjian » Sun Dec 12, 2010 5:49 am

Did some trial fits of the bodywork over top of the engine setup.
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Had to cut the inner fenderwell out to get the coilovers and other items to fit.
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Re: 1929 Willys Whippet SRT-4

Post by kberjian » Sun Dec 12, 2010 5:50 am

Cut and fit the rear frame rails along with the transmission mount.
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[IMG]http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t64/ ... C03431.jpg[/IMG

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Re: 1929 Willys Whippet SRT-4

Post by kberjian » Sun Dec 12, 2010 5:50 am

Tied the two frame pieces togther tonight. Started by burying a 2x5 tube into the stock frame, I will be adding internal plates to strengthen the frame tommorrow hopefully. I had to do something like that because the rear frame is all 90 degrees, but the front tapers in. Also, the two rails are not the same distance from the centerline. Finished putting the two rails down and tacked into place. Tommorrow I am hunting for some 16mm nuts for 2 bolts that hold the back control arms in place and are hidden under where the frame rail comes down on the drivers side.

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Re: 1929 Willys Whippet SRT-4

Post by kberjian » Sun Dec 12, 2010 5:51 am

Attached some brackets to hold the drivers side strut and tacked it on. That side can hold it's own weight with the engine now just on those tacks so I am feeling pretty good about it.
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The fender also fit over it perfectly and I will be mounting some tabs on the fender/quarter panel to mount at the front, back and on either side of the strut brackets I added.
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Re: 1929 Willys Whippet SRT-4

Post by kberjian » Sun Dec 12, 2010 5:51 am

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The back is now a roller.
All tacked up waiting the professional welder who is coming this week to seal it up.
I know it looks rough right now but the plan is to grind it up nice, round some cormers, seal the ends of the tube, add some lightening holes, and paint it after it is structurally welded.

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Re: 1929 Willys Whippet SRT-4

Post by kberjian » Sun Dec 12, 2010 5:52 am

Had Dean come in and do the complete welds. The welds look a little better than mine I guess :roll:. We are waiting for a mig machine to finish the more gappy welds from my poor fitup....
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Re: 1929 Willys Whippet SRT-4

Post by kberjian » Sun Dec 12, 2010 5:52 am

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Had the welder come today and finish all the welds. Missing 2 bolts or else I would have the entire back half togther with engine and suspension now 8)

My new mig welder is going to be here this Wednesday so I will be mounting the rear body panels and framing in the trunk hinges. After that the cowl will be mounted, it is framed already.

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Re: 1929 Willys Whippet SRT-4

Post by kberjian » Sun Dec 12, 2010 5:53 am

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Mounted the engine and did a test. I put jack stands in front of the frame I designed and built and ballasted the front of the frame. It held with barely any deflection when I let the weight of the engine down so I am confident that the welds and the design are sound. I had it all sitting there ready to mount the K member but thought, it is time to head in as it is after 9 and realized I had it sitting about a foot too far forward and I couldn;t close the garage door...

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Re: 1929 Willys Whippet SRT-4

Post by kberjian » Sun Dec 12, 2010 5:53 am

Finished installing the whole rear suspension. It all fit perfectly! The scrub line to the running board is just under 3" loaded with the low tires. The front of frame can be lifted with 1 finger it is so light.
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I did screw up a little when I was putting in the bolts that hold the K member on. I was pounding the bolt up through the rubber bushings, but I hit it too hard and broke off the hidden welded on nut I had put on inside the frame rail...... I had to cut a section out of the side and fix it....
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Re: 1929 Willys Whippet SRT-4

Post by kberjian » Sun Dec 12, 2010 5:54 am

Fitting the bodywork....
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Re: 1929 Willys Whippet SRT-4

Post by kberjian » Sun Dec 12, 2010 5:55 am

I decided to have the entire back half lift off in 1 piece. So I started welding the trunk to the outside body. I started at the top and tacked and aligned as I moved my way down. It all fit and looks pretty good. I am struggling at the top corners of the trunk lid where they put in lead to fill the seams from the factory. I have tried welding around it and find it just spits and is a pain. I used a torch and melted most of it out and started filling it back with small tack welds. It made it easy to lift the back half on now and it fit perfectly over the now shortened strut mounts. I will be framing it with 1x1" square tube and using 4 bolts with body mounts to attach it. Learning to weld on 80 year old sheet metal is fun :lol:
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Stiffened the rear half. Bent some flat bar along the contour, and used some 1x2 tube along the top and bottom. The main mounts will be based from the 1x2 tube, that is why they are wider. I will be putting the 1" tube along the 3" flatbar after get better at bending it..... I am still trying to decide if it should rotate forwards, backwards, or just be lift off.
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Re: 1929 Willys Whippet SRT-4

Post by kberjian » Sun Dec 12, 2010 5:56 am

The new coilovers arrived and they look great! The difference in diameter of the springs will make the bodywork fit better and allow taller tires. They are height, camber and spring rate adjustable.

I am still fitting the new plates where the coilovers mount. My new plasma cutter will be here shortly and I can make the hole for the center easier.

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I bought some hinges at Princess auto and mounted them to the back end sheet metal. You may notice that I had to jack the back up a little because the tips of the fenders hit the ground as it came around. I guess I either have to shorten the tips or raise the ride height by about 1". I have ordered some electric linear actuators to motorize it.
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Re: 1929 Willys Whippet SRT-4

Post by sketchman » Sun Dec 12, 2010 5:57 am

That is so awesome. :shock:
:good: :good: :good: :good:
Any difference that makes no difference is no difference.
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Re: 1929 Willys Whippet SRT-4

Post by kberjian » Sun Dec 12, 2010 6:21 am

Finished the inner frame for the back half of the body. I squared the body using tie down straps and the fitted the frame which held it together. I removed the hinge pins and took it off to finish the welds. I also added stiffeners to the upper hinges to make them more rigid.

The last picture is the seam between the fender and the rear quarter panel. Which side would you weld this from? MIG or should I get someone to TIG it together? There is only about 1/4" of overlap of the 2 panels, the metal seems quite solid.

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I have the linkage pretty much figured out, I have to modify the shifter a little, but it is should be straight forward.

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Re: 1929 Willys Whippet SRT-4

Post by kberjian » Sun Dec 12, 2010 6:21 am

Went and picked up some 4x8 sheets of 16 ga steel for the firewall and floor. You don't realize how small your garage is until you work with a sheet that big. The piece for the firewall is trimmed to fit the space and will be bent to the contour of the bodywork at the top. The plan is to have it flip back with the body work. I am picking up some rubber body mounts tommorrow morning and fit them under the plates I cut out for the mounts.

Last picture is a tool box I picked up at Sears for 50$... you can tell it is not very good quality, but it keeps the rarely used tools neat and clean.

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Re: 1929 Willys Whippet SRT-4

Post by kberjian » Sun Dec 12, 2010 6:22 am

Recieved the brake and clutch assembly, It is very well built, and I am very happy with it. It will get mounted to the frame after I get the seats in so I can adjust it for my size. Also started the mounting of the intercooler. The intercooler pictured is the stock SRT-4 one but was in the totaled donor car and has a hole at the bottom near the dent so I am torn with fixing it or getting another srt-4 one or something completely different.

Progress is slow due to be also being in charge of my 4 month old daughter who didn't want her nap.....
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The back half was not perfectly square which made measuring for new doors and fitting other stuff impossible so I bit the bullet and cut it all apart and squared it properly. I then realized I had no gas left for the MIG so I couldn't actually weld anything back together.... I did tack in the framework for the firewall and also mocked up the body mount locations. There is a major frame crossmember right underneath I will be bolting into. The black rubber piece is one from PA that I will cut down into the shape I need.
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Picked up the seats and put them in and love how they look. A few small problems though. They were about 1" overall so I just compressed them together in the middle with some ratchet straps and am happy with how they fit now. Also, they are so tight in the middle I will have to mount the shifter in front of them and have the handle offset back to a comfortable position. The e-brake actuator will also have to be under the dash somewhere....
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Sitting in the car was a huge boost to ambition so I mocked up the steering wheel and column as well.
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Re: 1929 Willys Whippet SRT-4

Post by kberjian » Sun Dec 12, 2010 6:28 am

Planning on leaving the hood on... I think the rad shell will need the support. It does look cool without it though.
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Re: 1929 Willys Whippet SRT-4

Post by PurpleNeon » Sun Dec 12, 2010 7:12 am

Very cool... thanks for sharing!
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Re: 1929 Willys Whippet SRT-4

Post by esteinmaier » Sun Dec 12, 2010 8:10 am

That is easily top 5 awesome-est projects ever on this website. Rat rods have needed to mate with turbo neons for a while.
http://www.aspturbo.com/store

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Re: 1929 Willys Whippet SRT-4

Post by TheGreenMachine » Sun Dec 12, 2010 8:15 am

Ok, you have impressed me. Though, I would like to see you prep the weld area a bit better.

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Re: 1929 Willys Whippet SRT-4

Post by NPelletier » Sun Dec 12, 2010 8:31 am

badass... :good:
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Re: 1929 Willys Whippet SRT-4

Post by Tony_B » Sun Dec 12, 2010 8:41 am

:shock: Awesome!!! Can't wait to see more!!! :good:
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Re: 1929 Willys Whippet SRT-4

Post by kberjian » Sun Dec 12, 2010 9:17 am

TheGreenMachine wrote:Ok, you have impressed me. Though, I would like to see you prep the weld area a bit better.

Rust FTL.
I pay attention extra attention to the welds on the frame to ensure it was clean before it gets the final weld, but on the body panels I usually just flapper disc it a little as it is not that stress critical and the existing metal is pretty thin....

Oh yeah, I have a complete stage 3 turbo kit going in it as well along with a few other upgrades... Should be good for over 330 hp on pump gas in a car that will weight around 1500 lbs. It should move!

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Re: 1929 Willys Whippet SRT-4

Post by dmonday » Sun Dec 12, 2010 9:35 am

Very cool. Good luck with the build! :good:
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Re: 1929 Willys Whippet SRT-4

Post by srt4eh » Sun Dec 12, 2010 9:39 am

Awesome...can't wait to see more progress! If you ever decide to sell it...I call dibs :)
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Re: 1929 Willys Whippet SRT-4

Post by ian guilly » Sun Dec 12, 2010 9:41 am

So could this come to N2k11? :lol:
Awesome build keep up the good work can't wait to see it done.
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Re: 1929 Willys Whippet SRT-4

Post by jdt18 » Sun Dec 12, 2010 9:48 am

Holy peanut peanut thats cool :shock: :shock: :shock:
How much you think it'll weigh when done?

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Re: 1929 Willys Whippet SRT-4

Post by RicksNeon » Sun Dec 12, 2010 9:51 am

Take the time to box in the Willy's frame rails...?

At least the back half

What are you going to do for front suspension? BRAKES?
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Re: 1929 Willys Whippet SRT-4

Post by black96coupe » Sun Dec 12, 2010 10:34 am

Kick peanut! subscribed!
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Re: 1929 Willys Whippet SRT-4

Post by kberjian » Sun Dec 12, 2010 11:38 am

RicksNeon wrote:Take the time to box in the Willy's frame rails...?

At least the back half

What are you going to do for front suspension? BRAKES?
I will be boxing the frame, but after I put the coolant, brake and fuellines running inside the rails to there spots near the front.

The front suspension is a mustang 2 kit with coilovers with a really low spring rate. The brakes are stock SRT-4 brakes on the back, 11" discs on the front, and a secondary E-brake caliper on the rear.

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Re: 1929 Willys Whippet SRT-4

Post by plainrt » Sun Dec 12, 2010 11:44 am

Very sweet.Think it will pull front wheels lol?
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Re: 1929 Willys Whippet SRT-4

Post by [email protected] » Sun Dec 12, 2010 12:14 pm

this thing will turn heads its BADASS
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Re: 1929 Willys Whippet SRT-4

Post by RicksNeon » Sun Dec 12, 2010 12:19 pm

kberjian wrote:
RicksNeon wrote:Take the time to box in the Willy's frame rails...?

At least the back half

What are you going to do for front suspension? BRAKES?
I will be boxing the frame, but after I put the coolant, brake and fuellines running inside the rails to there spots near the front.

The front suspension is a mustang 2 kit with coilovers with a really low spring rate. The brakes are stock SRT-4 brakes on the back, 11" discs on the front, and a secondary E-brake caliper on the rear.
That will work.
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Re: 1929 Willys Whippet SRT-4

Post by kberjian » Sun Dec 12, 2010 1:10 pm

Performance wise, I am hoping for low 11's on slicks, lift the front wheels, and be able to brake and hold corners like an Ariel Atom but we will see how it goes.

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Re: 1929 Willys Whippet SRT-4

Post by Pettersen » Sun Dec 12, 2010 4:41 pm

kberjian wrote:Performance wise, I am hoping for low 11's on slicks, lift the front wheels, and be able to brake and hold corners like an Ariel Atom but we will see how it goes.
What are you planning in the way of chassis improvements and what kind of front to back weight ratio are going to have? I doubt lifting the front tires and good cornering goes hand in hand.

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Re: 1929 Willys Whippet SRT-4

Post by INVUJerry » Sun Dec 12, 2010 9:04 pm

Glad you posted this over here! I was just putting it on the off-topic section!
Pettersen wrote:
kberjian wrote:Performance wise, I am hoping for low 11's on slicks, lift the front wheels, and be able to brake and hold corners like an Ariel Atom but we will see how it goes.
What are you planning in the way of chassis improvements and what kind of front to back weight ratio are going to have? I doubt lifting the front tires and good cornering goes hand in hand.
I'm sure they're not mutually exclusive. It's def doable to lift the front tires on a IRS.
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Re: 1929 Willys Whippet SRT-4

Post by BigGuyLittleNeon » Sun Dec 12, 2010 9:44 pm

subscribed :good:
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Re: 1929 Willys Whippet SRT-4

Post by mrmopar16 » Sun Dec 12, 2010 9:52 pm

Very Ambitious! :good: Subscribed!
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