Article Categories Automotive Classic-Cars

Building Your Rat Rod - Some Crazy, Custom Ideas


By: Art Tupaczewski


Now that you have your Rat Rod, you want some ideas to set you apart from everyone else. Not just different paint schemes or wheel types. Lets go a bit more in depth in the custom areas.

Airbags - There are many myths to airbags. Too expensive, too much work to put them in, etc. The truth and reality of them is that they have come down in price considerably, and although there is some thought involved, installation is not that bad. Most Rat Rods have straight front axles, so you should leave them be, but the rear ends can be easily changed even if they have leaf or coil springs. You need to make sure that you have at least four links to the rear of your Rat Rod to keep it centered in the wheel well area. And for the most part, the airbag sits in the coil spring perch. Or you have a leaf spring rear, you can easily add one. Plumbing is straightforward. At least if can lower the rear of your Rat Rod and not the front, it will make a tremendous difference in ride and especially stance. Nothing looks better than a parked Rat Rod with it's rear sitting on the ground. Very Cool!

Flames - You've seen them done many times, but what's the right way to do them? You can go easy and weld in a spark plug in your exhaust of your Rat Rod, pump the pedal before you start, almost flooding the motor and then spark it up, wham...big flame, but temporary. Going the propane route, you can run a line into your exhaust and crack open the bottle to control your amount of flame. Be sure to use your brain as your are involving flammables with more flammables. Don't blow up your ride!

Chopping - Roof chops is what makes a Rat Rod. Chopping them off completely is easy. Chopping and taking a couple of inches out involves some thought, and should be done by someone with some metal experience, not to mention you need to know how to weld! Depending on how much you chop out, you will lose visibility, and that in turn means drive-ability. If you are building a Rat Rod to do some bar hopping, then it really doesn't matter. But if your intentions are to do a couple hundred miles a weekend, then strongly consider mild chops.

Take the ideas and run with them. And remember, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Let your imagination determine how cool your Rat Rod really can be.

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