Project Frog Princess

Members Restorations

  1. Idaho

    Idaho Well-Known Member

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    She's green and ugly but with a lot of TLC she will be transformed into something better.

    Her heritage is humble. Custom model, 225 slant and 904. Her bones are good. No serious rust. She sat for years abandoned in central Washington state, in a lake area that required ferry access. Apart from the last owner who rescued her, she had only one prior owner. She still runs smoothly but the plan includes a wakeup call with a junkyard 5.9 upgraded with RHS heads etc, and an 833 OD 4 speed.

    The look will be pro-touring with 18s, mini-tubbed, moderately lowered. The front suspension will be upgraded to 74 V8 K-member with 1.03" bars. The power will be transferred to ground with an 8.8 limited slip with 4:10 gears. Frame rigidity will be enhanced with torque boxes, subframe connectors and a rad support brace.

    The interior was rotted out by the sun and will need all upholstery re-done. I've decided to go custom, and have started out by installing Cadillac CTS front seats. I'll put up some pics of that work in another post.

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  2. fishmens67

    fishmens67 Well-Known Member

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    nice project.hope to see this roaming the palouse in the future.
     
  3. Idaho

    Idaho Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. I'm north of the Palouse near Rathdrum.

    Here's the seat rail installation. These seats do not fold forward, but work because they have a long forward and aft travel. I chose them based on integral shoulder belts, comfort and availability (ebay).

    A primary focus in the install is to have very strong mounting, especially the outer rails which have to withstand crash forces transmitted through the shoulder mounts. I used steel tubing split and rewelded to make one side match the rocker panel angles and welded the outer rails to the rockers. The ends were welded shut. The rails will be tied in to subframe connectors as well. The inner rails will be tied together by a fabbed driveshaft loop.

    The front of the seats have claws that mount into slots. The rear mounts to angle iron welded to the tubing. On one side, the existing bracket was removed. On the passenger side you see red paint on patched in metal. I got a little smarter on the driver side and managed to massage the existing metal into place without patches.

    Wiring them was simple thanks to member tincup for a diagram showing which wire to connect. The passenger side just needed one positive wire and a ground. The driver side needs positive to two connections. I am not connecting the heat.

    Next I'll see what's needed to make the rear seat fit. The picture is with it in the Caddy. I believe it's an inch or two less in width than the factory seats so I'll have to fill in a gap.



    Happy thanksgiving everyone.

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    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 11, 2020
  4. Abodybomber

    Abodybomber Breaking street machines , since 1983.....:) Legendary Member

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    Hello,Idaho.Nice detective work,ahead of starting on it. I look forward,to seeing this one done.
     
  5. Martythetrimmer

    Martythetrimmer Well-Known Member

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    the upgrade to late seats is a great start point...can't see why more people don't do it!....just because it's old doesn't mean it has to be grappy!! looking forward to following this build

    Marty
     
  6. Idaho

    Idaho Well-Known Member

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    Thanks guys.
    After I get the rear seat figured out ill start rebuilding a V8 K member from a 74 Duster. I'm thinking ill use the Moog offset bushings to go with a lowered stance.
     
  7. MoparDemon

    MoparDemon Well-Known Member

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    Looking good so far buddy! more pics please :happy1:
     
  8. Arco440

    Arco440 Well-Known Member

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    that was very nice choice for interior.
     
  9. chryslerman6772

    chryslerman6772 Banned

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    should have done it factory lookin it looks better.
     
  10. Idaho

    Idaho Well-Known Member

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    Finally got a little time get the rear seat in the frog. Lots of pics to entertain everyone.

    First off the back is too tall. I started by slicing open the tunnel just to see if it was feasible at all. It will get welded shut. Even dropped as far as possible the back will sit above the package tray but I decided this is OK. I'll make a filler piece when I upholster the package tray.

    I reinforced the seat back frame so I could cut out the area hitting the tunnel.

    I drilled holes for the bolts securing the upper, and sliced off the locating "pins".

    Retainers were fabricated in simple fashion to fit the clips on the bottom of the seat. To locate them on the floor, I placed them in the clips and marked with a sharpie. Then I cut slots in flat metal and used the slots to locate them to the marks while tack welding. The slots helped hold the retainers while welding them in place.

    The base needed modification to accommodate the lowered back. The vertical filler sections were trimmed. The wire support in the center was retained and bent back to maintain support. This wire ties the sides together. The wires in the side sections were snipped out since this did not weaken the base structure. The electric knife is the ticket for a smooth cut through foam.

    To take up the slack after removing foam, I used lacing with some denim pieces sewn in for reinforcement.

    The retaining clips function better than I could have hoped for - perfect. They pop up with a firm tug. That was a nice surprise. I tacked them down half expecting to have to move them.

    It was a fair job to do but I'm pleased with the final result. I always like an excuse to weld.

    Not sure yet if I'll use the rear headrests.

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    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 11, 2020
  11. Idaho

    Idaho Well-Known Member

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    First time I've used all the pic space in a post!

    Here's one with the cover laced down, and then in the car.

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    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 11, 2020
  12. rlevs

    rlevs Well-Known Member

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    nice car hay what are the seats out of?
     
  13. 1968dartman

    1968dartman life is getting better!!

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    I'm digging those seats!!!
     
  14. 67Dart273

    67Dart273 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    Way too fancy fer me, LOL!!

    Too bad you couldn't incorporate frame connectors with the seat mounts.
     
  15. gdrill

    gdrill If you drink, think, before you type...... Staff Member FABO Gold Member

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    It's looking relly good. That is definately bringing the interior ahead a few years. I think the style of seats you chose works well. The "square", boxish shape matches the body style. I like it, looks comfortable....and the cup holders, well.............:D
     
  16. Idaho

    Idaho Well-Known Member

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    You guys have officially been outvoted :D
    I like the factory look too. But my over 50 body likes these :) Just turned 50 on Pearl Harbor day which was also my grandfathers birthday. Maybe being over 50 is why I chose to start with seats.

    I plan to build subframe connectors that will be tied in along with a driveshaft loop. Perhaps I've gone about it backwards, but metal is not so hard to piece together. More opportunity to weld! I might even NEED a bigger mig tank :idea1:


    I may have overdone it :) I know I love seeing the pics of the work.

    Thanks.


    Cadillac CTS, 2005 model.


    Thanks for outvoting the nay sayers :cheers:
    I think they may change their view if they could sit in them.
    My butt says \\:D/

    Didn't even think about the shape thing - I guess I can pretend I thought about that :) Now that they're in, I should be thinking of how to tie the look together. All input appreciated.
     
  17. 1968dartman

    1968dartman life is getting better!!

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    The rear cup holders would be great for the drive in!! LOL
     
  18. Idaho

    Idaho Well-Known Member

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    It's also a trunk pass through. Not sure what to use it for??
     
  19. marksmopars

    marksmopars Well-Known Member

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    Nice project - love the seats myself also and they have gotten me to thinkin!
     
  20. Idaho

    Idaho Well-Known Member

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    Thanks.

    I'm busy now working on overhauling a V8 K member from a 74 Dart Sport. Got the Moog offset bushings in. Almost done replacing the lower arm bushings. Found a 1 3/8" tap on EBAY that made getting the shells out a snap.

    I plan to do the re-inforecements on the K member and lower arms. The the powertrain will come out so I can install the rebuilt parts and figure what wheels will fit and how low I can make it with the factory suspension.

    I've been trying to determine what offset for the front wheels. I think on an 8" wide wheel it needs about 5.2" minimum. This part is a pain. I think I'll have to order one wheel mount one tire and check fit so I don't run into excessive return charges. A potential problem is ability to return a wheel that has had a tire mounted :banghead:
     
  21. Idaho

    Idaho Well-Known Member

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    The 1 3/8" tap for $15 on ebay is one of the better tool purchases I can recall. It made removal of the lower control arm bushing shells quick and easy. :cheers:

    frog 21-1.jpg
     
  22. Idaho

    Idaho Well-Known Member

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    Did some work on the K member. I'm no pro with the mig but its fun. The first pic is with the plate ready to be welded in.

    There's one more area on the steering box area I could box in. It's where you can see the nut.

    Thanks to mad dart for posting pics of his K member work.

    Next I'll reinforce the lower control arms.

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  23. rlevs

    rlevs Well-Known Member

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    thanks keep up the good work
     
  24. Idaho

    Idaho Well-Known Member

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    More welding fun. Ya I know kinda boring stuff but better than nothing right?

    I did Bad Darts tow hook method (thanks again). I had no way to bend the 3/16 steel for the skid plate so I slit it into bendable widths and welded them shut. I'll feel better jacking on the k member now. In stock form it kinda dents it up.

    Lots of flammable crud trapped inside the K member makes things fun.

    Next the lower control arms.

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  25. goldfish65

    goldfish65 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    I "Like" the seats and everything too.
     
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