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Projects 1961 Chrysler basket case, mild custom

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by safetythird, Sep 26, 2023.

  1. safetythird
    Joined: Feb 26, 2014
    Posts: 266

    safetythird
    Member

    Some old guy taught me.

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  2. williebill
    Joined: Mar 1, 2004
    Posts: 3,259

    williebill
    Member

    This is an awesome thread on every level! Thanks so much for taking us along.
    The part " I am not a reasonable man" should be a heading, or a sticky, or something that runs throughout the HAMB.
    Many of us identify as "not a reasonable man".
    Love the car. Neighbors down the street had a new roof put on a few years ago. One of the workers drove the exact same model, except his was flat black, sat low, and had a huge Batman sticker on the back window.
    I was in love with that car,too.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2023
  3. safetythird
    Joined: Feb 26, 2014
    Posts: 266

    safetythird
    Member

    While they were at it, Gambino's did the wheel wells, too. Possibly the first time they've been metal since I've been alive.

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    Nothing happened for a while after that, I wanted them to do the rockers and they were waiting on me for parts and something got lost in translation, and they ended up running out of space, so I went and got it.

    This was my old shop, which I miss.

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    That Falcon got done up all nicely for my better half.

    Then a tree fell on it. :(
     
  4. Greg Rogers
    Joined: Oct 11, 2016
    Posts: 794

    Greg Rogers
    Member

  5. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 6,091

    57JoeFoMoPar
    Member

    This is a great thread. Loving everything about it
     
  6. safetythird
    Joined: Feb 26, 2014
    Posts: 266

    safetythird
    Member

    Is it bad if one of the doors lines up perfect.....if the car is in the air? The gap widens when it's back on the ground.

    The front frame is rotten. What isn't?

    I found a spare. This car had no drivetrain or title.

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    This car has no front frame.

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    I gave the rest to a junkyard that does nothing but classic cars, in case anyone wanted something.

    Put it on half a lift and clean it up.

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    61Cruiser, LCGarage, scotty t and 8 others like this.
  7. Los_Control
    Joined: Oct 7, 2016
    Posts: 1,116

    Los_Control
    Member
    from TX

    I do not know the true answer to your question.
    My truck is a west Texas truck and my frame has zero rust and is straight.
    My doors open fine when on the ground. When it is sitting on jack stands the frame twist & can not open the passenger door .... I have to remember to open it before jacking it up.

    I think it is kinda normal to get some frame movement when jacking On a good frame.
    That does not mean your frame is not rusted or weak, just that movement is normal.
     
  8. caprockfabshop
    Joined: Dec 5, 2019
    Posts: 510

    caprockfabshop
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    His 1961 is a Unibody, so twisting body pretty much always means rusty/cracked metal. Your truck is body on frame and was designed from the factory to "flex" to minimize the damage and discomfort from rough roads.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2023
  9. safetythird
    Joined: Feb 26, 2014
    Posts: 266

    safetythird
    Member

    Both rockers and the floor were shot. The whole front end where the front frame connected kinda...changed angles it was so weak. Poking aorund, I found, of all things, an entire floor out in New Mexico.

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    This looks...complicated.
     
  10. safetythird
    Joined: Feb 26, 2014
    Posts: 266

    safetythird
    Member

    Luckily, I know a guy.

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    The trip to Winfield's Rod and Custom was a mess. The car loading went poorly. The winch broke. The come-a-long broke. My chain tightener broke. Bought five tires, same size as the original trailer tires. They rubbed on the trailer. Why wouldn't they fit? I got that sorted and got a flat on the way.

    Halfway there I got a call telling me they think the head honcho had a black widow bite, he was going to the hospital-can I make it before he goes?

    It was a mess.

    Anyway, Gene finally got a chance to look at it-told me he couldn't do the rockers properly without doing the floor, then he quoted both. I told him to do it. Discretion, valor.

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  11. safetythird
    Joined: Feb 26, 2014
    Posts: 266

    safetythird
    Member

    They do nice work. It's clearly not the first job they did like this. It would have been my last.

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  12. safetythird
    Joined: Feb 26, 2014
    Posts: 266

    safetythird
    Member

    And for those curious, I do my own work as well, just not that in depth. I did this one off and on while the Chrysler was at the shop.

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  13. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 17,323

    Squablow
    Member

    That's an incredible amount of work to do that floorpan. It appears to have been done exceptionally well, but was that really necessary? Were the floors and rocker boxes really that bad? Impressive amount of work going into saving this car, I can say that for sure.
     
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  14. safetythird
    Joined: Feb 26, 2014
    Posts: 266

    safetythird
    Member

    I figure if Gene Winfield personally tells me I'm better off doing the whole thing.....I'll concede the point.

    A man has got to know his limitations, or at least, have a helpful spouse that reminds them, like I have.

    I would have chopped up a Falcon and tried it, but I didn't want to risk this one.
     
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  15. Los_Control
    Joined: Oct 7, 2016
    Posts: 1,116

    Los_Control
    Member
    from TX

    You better save those seats!!! :p:p:p
     
  16. Rand Man
    Joined: Aug 23, 2004
    Posts: 4,851

    Rand Man
    Member

    When did Gene do the floor? I think he’s stopped working on customer cars.
     
  17. caprockfabshop
    Joined: Dec 5, 2019
    Posts: 510

    caprockfabshop
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I believe most of this work was done years ago, he's just finally getting it organized and posted now. Looks like the image metadata shows fall of 2016 was when Winfield had the car.
     
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  18. safetythird
    Joined: Feb 26, 2014
    Posts: 266

    safetythird
    Member

    He likes me better than everyone else, is all.

    Or he did it a few years back.

    Pretty sure it's the first one.
     
  19. safetythird
    Joined: Feb 26, 2014
    Posts: 266

    safetythird
    Member

    You have one of the finest avatars on this board, sir. Second only to @swade41
     
  20. 41 GMC K-18
    Joined: Jun 27, 2019
    Posts: 3,509

    41 GMC K-18
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    " PERFECTION, CANNOT BE RUSHED "
     
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  21. SS327
    Joined: Sep 11, 2017
    Posts: 2,410

    SS327

    I like this thread. It’s no secret that Chrysler corporation had rust issues back then. Even they knew it.
     
    safetythird likes this.
  22. safetythird
    Joined: Feb 26, 2014
    Posts: 266

    safetythird
    Member

    So...sometime later, I left that nice shop and California and ended up back in Mass. The car came along.

    I have a newer front frame, so I pulled the old one.

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    Now I can swap them. The uh, smart people would have put the car in with the front end facing the door. I didn't, so, some finagling happened. But, I was only planning on aligning the sheet metal. When we pulled the fenders I noticed the frame wasn't bolted onto the body at the front mounts.

    In fact, those holes didn't line up at all. 22 inches between those holes. On the body? 24".

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    Btw-did y'all know that a '61 300 and a '62 Newport, while basically looking identical, were not?

    The 300 was longer by 4" and had a different subframe.


    That floor I had installed was for a 300. The frame doesn't match it :mad:
     
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  23. safetythird
    Joined: Feb 26, 2014
    Posts: 266

    safetythird
    Member

    Take the new subframe.

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    I bolted up the rear mounts.

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    Here's how the front mount lines up:

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    Same mount, from the bottom:

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    And how the fender lines up with it in the current location:

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  24. safetythird
    Joined: Feb 26, 2014
    Posts: 266

    safetythird
    Member

    I also tried using the front mounts, because I imagine one set is more correct than the other.

    I put it down to ride height.

    The wheel placement looks about right.

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    My buddy came over and after some detective work we figured out that with the longer floor, the floor installation shop (having no reason to believe they had the wrong floor) modified the front mounts. Note the gap that totally should not be there.

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    This explains why the front mounts (when used) make everything line up wrong. The rear mounts give the correct wheelbase and steering column placement.

    So, using the rear mounts and going to simply extend the front frame bits to meet up with the current mounts because no way am I cutting all that stuff up to make something likely less strong than the pros.

    Lemme build a new frame horn.

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    It fits well-it looks wonky because the magnets were too weak to really hold it.

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  25. safetythird
    Joined: Feb 26, 2014
    Posts: 266

    safetythird
    Member

    Hey look, a frame mount.

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    Welded up.

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    The sheet metal has been giving me fits.

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  26. SS327
    Joined: Sep 11, 2017
    Posts: 2,410

    SS327

    Ouch, how did you fix it?
     
  27. caprockfabshop
    Joined: Dec 5, 2019
    Posts: 510

    caprockfabshop
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I've heard of a few guys who've bought Newport fenders and tried fitting onto their 300/NY only to run into the opposite end of this problem. Great solution to the front mount!
     
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  28. safetythird
    Joined: Feb 26, 2014
    Posts: 266

    safetythird
    Member

    I added a few more posts you may have missed. Scroll up.
     
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  29. safetythird
    Joined: Feb 26, 2014
    Posts: 266

    safetythird
    Member

    I appreciate it-I don't know if I've made it abundantly clear, but I have no idea what I'm doing. If anyone has suggestions, by all means, suggest.

    I got sick of playing with the sheet metal, so I decided to do something else while the weather was warm.

    I pulled the motor apart.

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    And for once, the hardware got packaged up and labeled.

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    I cleaned up ye olde 361.

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