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Old 04-19-2008, 03:27 AM   #1
muddpile
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Project Tornado: A Natural Disaster

Since my 72 Long Fleet "Fast Orange" is complete, I figured I should tune all of you into my newest project. I bought it as an unfinished hot rod project off a friend of mine. It started life as a tool-hauler short fleet, then was bought and pieced together with a few other trucks to create a mismatched but nicely preserved unit. Next segment of it's life it received drop springs and spindles, rack and pinion steering, and a full 2x6 tube frame front to back with a healthy Z at each end. It was built as a pro street, but from what I've been told it didn't stay this way that long before it was parted out as a rolling chassis.

This is where it gets interesting. The new owner had this truck, and had an Olds 455 and TH425 transaxle mounted to a tube frame sitting around. The two were mated together in the bed area of the truck, some cables and hoses run, and a series of other additions done to make it semi-driveable. It was driven a couple times after that, but never did work quite right and wasn't what the owner was looking for, so it went up for sale again. That's when I took possesion...

To make this truck work right has taken a ton of work and money already, and more to come I'm sure. Nothing is readily available, and lots of parts aren't even special order, but rather custom fab. If you liked Fast Orange, feast your eyes on this, Tornado.







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Old 04-19-2008, 03:54 AM   #2
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Re: Project Tornado: A Natural Disaster

It begs the question................whats under the hood now?
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Old 04-19-2008, 05:08 AM   #3
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Re: Project Tornado: A Natural Disaster

^ just what I was thinking!
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Old 04-19-2008, 05:15 AM   #4
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Re: Project Tornado: A Natural Disaster

It will be a truck with a trunk!
Looks cool, I was wondering why the rear axle looked so wide... Toranado! cool.
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Old 04-19-2008, 05:39 AM   #5
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Re: Project Tornado: A Natural Disaster

I think some zoomies and a nice burnout is in order....

Cool project man....any pics of the underside ??
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Old 04-19-2008, 05:59 AM   #6
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Re: Project Tornado: A Natural Disaster

Now that's different! Now what you need is some kind of tonneau cover and you can surprise the heck out of people when you lift the hood. Does that steering wheel like kind of Fordish to anyone else?

For the ultimate, mount another Toranado drivetrain at the front end, and you've got a 16 cylinder 4x4. Just don't ask about the gas mileage....
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Old 04-19-2008, 07:01 AM   #7
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Re: Project Tornado: A Natural Disaster

Hmmm...
Fast airbag system+alot of weight in the rear+high horse power=...
WHEELIES!!!!!

I'd really like to see what is under the hood, without that engine there you could stuff a 4x4 solid axle way up under the truck, and have an all wheel drive donut machine!
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Old 04-19-2008, 07:13 AM   #8
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Re: Project Tornado: A Natural Disaster

The fuel filler next to the battery is a recipe for disaster. Man, you have a lot of work ahead of you.
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Old 04-19-2008, 07:35 AM   #9
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Re: Project Tornado: A Natural Disaster

Cool!....looks like it has potential.

Just a thought, but you could mount a fuel cell up front under the hood. That is unless there is something already in there....besides the radiator.
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Old 04-19-2008, 11:44 AM   #10
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Re: Project Tornado: A Natural Disaster

now thats cool!!! i would love to have something like that. i like the idea of a fuel cell under the hood. could we see whats under the hood?
looks good...
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Old 04-19-2008, 11:59 AM   #11
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Re: Project Tornado: A Natural Disaster

Different...
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Old 04-19-2008, 12:28 PM   #12
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Re: Project Tornado: A Natural Disaster

hmmm like it I do!!!
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Old 04-19-2008, 05:19 PM   #13
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Re: Project Tornado: A Natural Disaster

I figured it would be a FWD truck, thats certainly different.
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Old 04-19-2008, 08:43 PM   #14
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Re: Project Tornado: A Natural Disaster

To answer a few questions: There is a stock 6 cylinder rad with a high-speed electric fan under the hood right now, and the exhaust tubing/radiator hose that runs to it. It cools it, but not that well....

There is also the rack and pinion out of a Ford Aerostar under there, and that explains the column and wheel. The rack will stay, the column and wheel are going. There are hydraulic hoses that run from the pump to the rack under the truck. I have no underside shots, but will get some along with underhood shots.

The truck won't do a burnout, it just skids the front tires, or bounces them

The fuel tank will stay in the back, but it will be a different tank, battery and arrangement.
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Old 04-20-2008, 01:08 AM   #15
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Re: Project Tornado: A Natural Disaster

It must feel strange having the mass of the engine/tranny in the rear while driving....Although all my early VW's never felt weird to me.

Does it feel torquey ?? How do the brakes work ??

Just curious on the overall feel of it.
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Old 04-20-2008, 07:00 AM   #16
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Re: Project Tornado: A Natural Disaster

Sounds like you need to do everything you can to add weight to the front. Unless you're going to put on huge slicks and make a wheely truck.
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Old 04-21-2008, 08:42 AM   #17
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Re: Project Tornado: A Natural Disaster

wow, it is different
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Old 04-21-2008, 10:45 PM   #18
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Re: Project Tornado: A Natural Disaster

Under normal driving, the front does not feel light at all. When you get on it, the massive torque obviously does show you that there isn't much weight up there, but it's not uncontrollable by any means. On the highway, it feels like a regular truck with a load on the back, that's about it. The frame is full 2x6 tubing, so it weighs A LOT more than stock and is a lot stiffer which helps.

The brakes and suspension are insane. It has 4 wheel power disc, 11 inch rotors all around and 4 wheel independent suspension all on control arms, coils on the front and coilovers on the rear. To give you a comparison, I also drive a C4 corvette lowered with full poly bushings. This truck out-brakes it like nothing else, absolutley hands it to it. It's never had a wheel alignment yet, so I can't comment on the handling, but I bet once I get it all worked out it will compare to the vette. It's very well-built and engineered, just unfinished.
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Old 04-21-2008, 11:35 PM   #19
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Re: Project Tornado: A Natural Disaster

wow! that rocks!!!
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Old 04-22-2008, 12:26 AM   #20
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Re: Project Tornado: A Natural Disaster

I saw a cad 500/425 in a 911 once. I'd rather have yours And zoomies are a must!
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Old 04-22-2008, 02:29 AM   #21
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Re: Project Tornado: A Natural Disaster

that's toooo col
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Old 04-22-2008, 08:24 AM   #22
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Re: Project Tornado: A Natural Disaster

I've got the gas tank removed and the remaining plywood bedfloor gone as well. The interior is hollowed clean, and the tranny tunnel is cut out and ready to be welded in. The Flaming River column and Lokar shifter are ready for mock-up, so it's coming right along. It won't be done this year, but I want to be driving it safely and reliably in about a month.
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Old 04-22-2008, 07:24 PM   #23
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Re: Project Tornado: A Natural Disaster

You gonna weld up the tunnel flat? It would be another just-because-you-can type thing that would go with the whole theme.
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Old 04-22-2008, 08:23 PM   #24
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Re: Project Tornado: A Natural Disaster

Yep. The floor and firewall will be 100% flat. Lots of leg room then, and easy to lay carpet.
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Old 04-22-2008, 09:38 PM   #25
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Re: Project Tornado: A Natural Disaster

What a great looking project!
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