How to make your own Rat Rod – what are the important things to pay attention to

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How to make your own Rat Rod

If you’re interested in making your own rat rod, you’re in for a unique and exciting project. A rat rod is a type of custom car that has been intentionally left unfinished or made to look weathered and worn. These rugged vehicles are known for their unique look and custom features, and they can be a lot of fun to build. However, there are a few important things to keep in mind if you’re planning to make your own rat rod. In this article, we’ll cover some of the most important things to pay attention to when building your own rat rod.

Choose the Right Base Vehicle

The first step in building a rat rod is to choose the right base vehicle. While any vehicle can be turned into a rat rod, some are better suited to the task than others. Look for a vehicle that has a strong frame and a simple, easy-to-modify design. Popular base vehicles for rat rods include classic cars from the 1920s, ’30s, and ’40s, as well as trucks and other utility vehicles.

Create a Plan

Before you start building your rat rod, it’s important to create a plan. Decide on the overall look and feel you want for your vehicle, and make a list of the modifications you’ll need to make to achieve that look. Consider factors like the type of engine you’ll use, the suspension system, and the overall aesthetic of the vehicle.

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Choose the Right Engine

The engine is one of the most important components of any rat rod. Choose an engine that is powerful enough to give your vehicle the performance you want, whether that means speed, torque, or both. Consider using a rebuilt or refurbished engine, as this can be a cost-effective way to get the power you need without breaking the bank.

Focus on Safety

While rat rods are known for their unique look and custom features, it’s important not to sacrifice safety for style. Make sure your vehicle is equipped with proper safety features, such as seat belts, airbags, and a strong roll cage. Consider upgrading the brakes and suspension system to ensure your vehicle can handle the power of your engine.

Pay Attention to Detail

The devil is in the details when it comes to building a rat rod. Pay attention to every aspect of your vehicle’s design, from the paint job to the upholstery. Consider adding custom features like pinstriping, chrome accents, and unique lighting systems to give your rat rod a one-of-a-kind look.

What are some good resources for finding parts and materials?

When it comes to finding parts and materials for your rat rod build, there are a variety of resources available. Here are a few options to consider:

Junkyards and Salvage Yards

These can be great places to find parts for your rat rod, especially if you’re working with an older base vehicle. You can often find parts at a fraction of the cost of buying them new.

Online Marketplaces: Websites like eBay, Craigslist, and Facebook Marketplace can be great places to find both new and used parts for your rat rod. Be sure to read reviews and check the seller’s ratings before making a purchase.

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Specialty Parts Suppliers

There are many specialty suppliers that cater specifically to the rat rod community. These suppliers can be a great resource for hard-to-find parts and materials. Some popular suppliers include Speedway Motors, Summit Racing, and Jegs.

Local Auto Parts Stores

Your local auto parts store can also be a great resource for finding parts for your rat rod. They may not have everything you need, but they can often order parts for you and provide expert advice.

Friends and Fellow Enthusiasts

Don’t underestimate the power of networking in the rat rod community. Connect with other enthusiasts online or in person at car shows and swap meets. You may be able to find parts through these connections or get recommendations for good suppliers.

No matter where you source your parts and materials, be sure to do your research and compare prices to get the best deal. And don’t forget to factor in shipping costs and any necessary modifications or repairs to the parts you find.


In conclusion, building your own rat rod is a challenging and rewarding project that requires a lot of planning and attention to detail. By choosing the right base vehicle, creating a plan, choosing the right engine, focusing on safety, and paying attention to detail, you can build a unique and impressive rat rod that will turn heads wherever you go.


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