Nascar build-up...Smokey's Chevelle

72_Chevy_C10 Sunday, 11/16/2014

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Hi Guys

With the Nascar race coming up in the Spring and the Sedan race right around the corner, I thought I'd do a build-up of a car, just to show you what I'm currently doing to put these cars doesn't make it right, or the only's just what I've been up to.

The car that I'm going to build is a '67 Chevelle, based on the one built by Smokey Yunick. If you don't know who he is, do a quick google search. He is a hero of mine...a very creative builder, and the rule books of Nascar, Trans-Am and Indy Car racing are thicker because of Smokey.

So, where to start? Well, I guess, here is a pretty good place...

The car itself is the current Hot Wheels '67 Chevelle...the donor car is a 2005 Chrysler 300 fte (faster than ever), which I grabbed on ebay ($1.99 plus $3.00 shipping, so try to combine the shipping). And the JB Weld is the the plan, old kind, because I don't like the smell of the quick setting kind.

The first series fte wheels (circa 2005-2006) are really the way to go. They have nickel plated axles and the wheels are very light and spin very freely right out of the blister...but we are going to try to make them even better.

That's all for right now. I'll be taking pictures and writing up every step of this build...I hope it will help people and inspire them to come up with even better ways of building fast cars!

One of the first rules in building fast diecast racers is that, first, you need to build a bunch of slow ones! Don't get frustrated...learn from your mistakes...and have fun putting together cool stuff!


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redlinederby 11/17/14
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I did a custom paint on a Chevelle after seeing the Ricky Bobby movie...didn't realize that was even based on a real driver. Neat!

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72_Chevy_C10 11/17/14

Yeah, Smokey built gold and black cars that ran in Nascar, Trans-Am and at Indy as well. There are lots rumors about the 67 Chevelle...Smokey was playing with aerodynamics and weight distribution well before it became the science that it is today.

If you look close at his car, the wheelwells are moved forward to set the body back. And, supposedly, he did a lot of work to clean up the airflow under the car.

Cool stuff!

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72_Chevy_C10 11/18/14

This is the last time you'll see these cars in there stock configuration...

Time to drill some rivets

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72_Chevy_C10 11/18/14

I'm going to assume that most of you have taken Hot Wheels cars apart before...but, for those of you that haven't, I like to support the car in a vice (with plastic glued to the jaws) to drill the rivets...

Use a bit that is slightly larger than the head of the rivet and drill until you see plastic coming off to bit. Once you drill the head of the rivet, gently pry the chassis from the body. If it doesn't come apart, drill a little should just 'pop apart'

  • Some serious tools, right there, damn. I'm jealous — redlinederby
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72_Chevy_C10 11/18/14

The stock chassis and the donor chassis...

I was planning on fitting the Chrysler 300 chassis to the Chevelle body, but the 300 chassis is a little narrow and the wheelbase is just a little off...I could adjust both of these things, but I think it will be easier to just use the stock chassis and fit the fte wheels to it.

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72_Chevy_C10 11/18/14

There's a lot of things wrong here...

Check out the end play on those wheels! Wow! But, I'm not using those wheels, so I won't have to deal with that problem.

And, you'll notice that the Chevelle came with wide rear wheels, which look cool. But the problem is, with the wide wheels, the 'rear' is very narrow...and since you want your wheels out wide to make your car stable, I'll have to do something about that. And what I'll be doing, is installing axle tubes

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72_Chevy_C10 11/18/14

A quick and easy way to remove the axles is to use a knife with a stiff blade (a pocket knife will do), and nip off one of the three tabs that hold in the axle.

You might have to pry up the tabs a little and the axle will pop right out

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72_Chevy_C10 11/18/14

After removing your donor fte wheels, hold the axle and give them a test spin. Never assume that, just because they are fte's that they are okay...

This one has a wobble...going to have to grab another donor wheel

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72_Chevy_C10 11/18/14

I am very lucky have access to a Bridgeport Mill at work, so I am able to cut the grooves for the axle tubes using a Mill. This isn't necessary, and you can get creative making sure your axles are parallel. 

I used a 1/16" ball mill to cut a half-round groove in the chassis...

Here is the front groove...

And the rear...

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