AUSTRALIAN RATROD – update 2020 – LAZY Junior

Lazy Junior Rat Rod Update – Down Under

Would you believe it its been over two years since I went to Australia to help Mark with his Rat. Lots of stuff has happened since the the last visit house moves and job changes etc. the down side is that nothing has been done to the Rat since the last visit.

As I was visiting Mark and the Grandchildren for 6 weeks over the Christmas period some of the time would be allocated to the Rod. (when the grandchildren weren’t about). The plan this time was to start as much as possible and let Mark tidy up and finish what I had started.

First was to sort out the steering, we had the column from the original donor Mazda truck. As we were short of metal we made a trip to the local suppliers and raided their scrap bin. Connected the steering column to the steering box (already connected to the body) and  make an educated guess where to position the column, as the seats were still on order. Worked out well as the top bracket lined up with a section of box we had welded into the fire wall last time. An intermediate support had to be fabricated to support the middle section. The steering box was adjusted and all the joints were tightened.

Steering column Sorry not the best photo as this was the only one taken….ooops

While Mark was at work I had look at the carb (Holley) seemed to be only working on the primary side, sorted this out and  cut off the choke etc.

Holley Started to cut off the choke butterflies.. holley Not the best photo but does show the choke removed.

Prop-shaft, as I didn’t have access to a machine shop (lathe etc) the first plan was to get two prop-shafts from the breakers, holden yoke and ford xf ute . After a lot of phone calls it would take a lot less time and would be cheaper to get one made.Found a local guy on the Gold coast who made and supplied prop-shafts. Gave him a visit with a rough sketch and dimensions, he quoted us and had it made it for the next day (don’t think he was very busy)

ratrod Now the truck can be used in park…..


Gearshifter was next, already purchased previously. Didn’t have anything to mount it on so we decided to mount it onto the gearbox, very fiddly and time consuming.

ratrod ratrod shifter

Cable was on order at time of photo, was fitted on arrival.

The drivers seat. This should have been an easy one, but it took the most part of the day with lots of beers and thinking. Made a cardboard template of the seat to see roughly where it will fit, didn’t want to use the real seat as there was to many sharps that could possibly tear it. Then out of 35mm angle made a base to fit to the seat. Put the cardboard seat in to see how much leg room we had ooooooooops not a lot, cramped was the understatement  of the day. Time for another beer and give it a good looking at. The only thing we could come up with was to move the back of the cab. A grinder saw and hammer soon sorted out this problem. With the cab in its new position the seat was offered up, perfect loads of room.

roof   ratrod ratrod ratrod

With the seat mounted to the previously fabricated frame we offered it up. Big problem the seat was seating on top of the mazda chassis rail and we were unable to see out of the windscreen, yep you guessed it …time for another beer. Its amazing how a couple of beers make you think a lot clearer (well maybe not) although it did help with the heat of Australia.  We notched the frame of the seat over the rail and it sat down enough to see out of the screen….pheeeeew.  Only took a day…..


Brakes…Time to check the brakes, parts had been ordered before my visit. The plan was to replace all the discs and pads. The fronts were replaced in no time, the rears were a problem as we didn’t have a tool to wind back the pistons, so we reused the old pads. Will replace them next time.

discs brakes ratrod brakes discs brakes Discs and pads sorted.


Brake lines and hoses were next. All the old hoses and pipes were removed from the car and placed in the bin, the order of the day was to replace all the hoses and pipes.Replaced all the hoses front and rear, ran and flared most of the pipes, Mark will be finishing these. Apparently Mark is now the king of the double flare.

brake pipe All the pipes will be straightened and fixed at a later date, for now they will just hang around.

Brake servo and pedals. The plan was to use the servo and pedals from the Mazda so to keep the pedal ratio correct. The master cylinder was replaced with a nice new one, and the unit was offered up.Found the perfect position and mounted it using 100mm x 8mm plate (sourced earlier).

servo ratrod

Next the pedals, although we found the pedals from the Mazda, the support rod was missing. A trip to the nut and bolt shop sorted us out with two 14mm bolts. With a combination of 30 mm angle and the two bolts welded together we made a mount for the pedals that were drilled and mounted for easy removal.

ratrod ratrod

The servo bracket was fully welded and supported.. Solid as a rock…

The outer sills. The outer sills were absolutely rotten so the were cut out and replaced with box section supported and welded where necessary. Lots of welding only managed to weld the top three sides, will weld underneath next time……Jan…2022

sills sills sills


Just to finish off this update with a few random pictures of the Rat so far.

ratrod ratrod ratrod ratrod ratrod ratrod ratrod ratrod ratrod ratrod ratrod   ratrod ratrod ratrod ratrod ratrod ratrod ratrod ratrod

Will update shortly as some of the body work will be completed, the front wings bonnet and rear fenders to be fitted……………….