How to build a rat rod front end? What’s the process?

It’s not what you buy, it’s what you built that matters. This saying is so true for car enthusiasts who prefer building and customizing their vehicles rather than sticking to what manufacturers have offered them. A rat rod is a fascination among car enthusiasts but most of them are looking for an answer to the question of how to build a rat rod front end to make it look aesthetically pleasing. We won’t lie and tell you that the process is simple and easy. It’s a painstaking process but with the right strategy and tools, you can surely build one. Now starting the process How to build a rat rod front end.

Things you need to consider before you start making a rat rod:

Basic mechanical knowledge

Unless you are not aware of the work you’re doing, surely, you’re going to mess up things. Building a rat rod is not an easy task. Having the basic knowledge regarding how to set it up is necessary.

Things you need to consider before you start making a rat rod
Source: https://www.hemmings.com/

Tools and workshop access

You cannot work without having access to tools. They are the key components for any car-related work. Moreover, you cannot do everything on your own. Sometimes, taking in the suggestion from the professional becomes necessary. So, you surely need to have access to a trusted mechanic as well.

Starting from the frame

Every major component of a vehicle is attached to the frame. Whether it is the rear or front suspension, the engine, or the transmission, all have their alignment set with the frame.

Starting with the basic framework will be a good step for you. Turning the car upside down will be a bigger task later on. Instead of working without any specific knowledge about a rad rot, first consider which rod you want to build.

Once you are over that step, start detaching every component from the car. Once every mount and bracket is removed, you can start cutting the frame to give your look to it.

Make sure to work on a smooth surface as the frame shouldn’t be affected by its surrounding. Moreover, in case you want to design the frame according to your preference or want to add more load to it, you might need to add more mounts and brackets to it.

rat rod
Source: http://www.speedhunters.com/

The engine

One of the major elements of a car on which you cannot compromise at all is its engine. You can either put a basic motor to run your vehicle or take the aid of a professional regarding which engine to be installed in your car. Either, you could recondition or rebuild your current engine and design it according to your needs.

Let’s understand the difference between a big block and a small block v8?

The basic difference between the big block and small block V8 is the size of the vehicle. A big block is usually found in a bigger size car that carries a massive load on its back. For example, an oil tanker would be using a big block due to the load it carries. Moreover, smaller blocks have in-line valves. On the other hand, big blocks are running with canted valves.

However, the production of big blocks has stopped now as no such bigger vehicles are being manufactured. Engine position usually matters with the size of the car. Inline engines are seen as the easiest solution which fits with every vehicle.

Do you know you can fit the engine wherever you want to? Well, that’s the truth. There are rad rods attached to tractors and big truck engines as well.

Let’s understand the difference between a big block and a small block v8
Source: chevrolet

However, the availability of the components matters the most. Instead of complicating things for yourself with the most important element of the car, keep things straightforward. No one would like to replace the original part with a fabricated one. The vehicle will surely lose its essence.

Are you thinking of reconditioning your current engine? Make sure you go through these factors:

  • Valves and seats
  • Re-sleeve
  • Blueprinting
  • Cylinder rebore

If you aren’t aware of how engines work, please consult a professional. Moreover, if you want to do it on your own, then make sure your research is top-notch. One free piece of advice: You can purchase rotted engines from the market and start repairing them in your free days.

You might think that is the most time-consuming and unattractive part of the process, however, the building of the rod would be incomplete without it. If the engine is not placed properly, eventually your car would start creating major problems for you.

Suspension

Another integral part of the vehicle is suspension. No one wants to touch the suspension as they know how much cost is attached to it. Either you can do nothing with the suspension or you could just sell one of your valuable items to make it work for you. However, the plan or the task of building a rat rod becomes easy with suspensions. There are several ways of setting up the suspension.

Front suspension

In most vehicles, two kinds of front suspensions are being used. A straight axle parallel spring leaf is installed in cars upfront; giving a deadly look to the car. Moreover, the second type is independent suspension.

front suspension
Source: https://www.factoryfive.com/

This suspension is considered better than the spring leaf. On the other hand, installing it is the bigger task.  Have you ever come across a rat rod that lies squarely on the ground? Well, those are the airbags. There’s an option of installing airbags in your car’s suspension. This would create a good height of the vehicle and make your ride smoother. You can lift your car to 24 centimeters.

Rear suspension

Different configurations can be incorporated with the rear suspensions. The types of rear suspensions are:

  • Three-link
  • Four link
  • Triangulated four-link
  • Watt’s or Panhard system

Any kind of suspension can be placed in any part of the vehicle. However, you need to make sure the components are weld in the right place and are not hindering the functions of other elements of the car. However, there are several problems encountered by the drivers who have installed rear suspensions. The common problems are; unnecessary vibration, wheel hop, and axle wrap.

rear suspension rat rod front end.
Source: Rat Rod Bob Builds

Vibration in a car is seen as the most dangerous thing. There are several causes attached to it:

  • Bearings are damaged
  • Driveshafts are not placed properly
  • Mounts are not weld at the right place

The body

A pure representation of a good car is the body. You can chop, channel and section it according to your preference and how you want your car to look. According to experts, you need to start stripping the body from the chassis as it is considered a valuable part.

You might need to trim the body from the front, back, and near the wheels. It entirely depends on you, how you want your rat rod to look. Once you are done with the trimming process, place the body in its right position, before you start with the sectioning and chopping procedure.

Many people ask this frequently whether we have to place the body before we start chopping and sectioning? A very simple explanation for it is, that there’s no room for mistakes while you chop and section the rat rod. There are chances of things moving while you cut and weld. So, to make sure everything is cut accordingly and nothing moves, the body is positioned before.

process of rat rod
Source: https://www.enginelabs.com/

Once you’re on the part of chopping and sectioning, seating position matters a lot. You don’t want your car’s appearance to look bad. Other than seats, there are other components too:

  • Flooring
  • Steering position
  • Gauges and switches
  • Window shape and sizes
  • Pedal positioning

Lights

Once you reach the lights, you will notice that the rat rod has started taking its place. The further step would be the wiring process of the lights. Sometimes, lights are affected due to several reasons, so firstly you need to fix the damaged wires.

The appearance of the car majorly matters in the shape of the headlights. Previously, the cars didn’t have front lights with halogen bulbs, as we have now. For example, back in the days if the light of your car stopped working so either you needed to get it replaced, or sealed the specific light.

According to experts, it is essential to make your headlights waterproof. As water is one of the main reasons why most of the headlights are damaged severely. Moreover, you can place the indicators inside of the headlights. It makes the look cooler.

Conclusion

How to build a rat rod front end? Only the true lover of the car world will think of making something like this. This kind of machine is built not bought. Are you ready to get your hands dirty? If yes, so you’re ready to build the machine.

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