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Projects 47 Plymouth Build

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by ThunderRoad Garage, Feb 3, 2009.

  1. ThunderRoad Garage
    Joined: Jun 8, 2007
    Posts: 172

    ThunderRoad Garage
    Member
    from missouri

    well here it goes. I have this posted on another forum but i like and more so, need the feedback as this is my first go at anything like this. a year and a half ago i decided to rebuild a car with my daughter who was 13 at the time. score some cool dad points in the process.

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    so we drug home a 47 Plymouth Special Deluxe from a nearby salvage yard. Clear title and a clear indication of sitting in a salvage yard for 30 years. But still a pretty good place to start.

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    Humbling from the beginning, i broke the first bolt off shoving my hand into the door. Car 1, Dad 0. But slowly we moved forward.

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    The first on a long list of things i learned is that i didnt have a very good facility nor proper tools. So that mixed with the lack of knowledge for proper ingenuity, made for some comedic moments to say the least.

    Early on i realized that i didnt really want to rebuild the original flathead, nothing personal, just wanted to drop a V8 in it, or at least something i could repair easily since it will be a daily driver for a teenager. so i found for a couple hundred bucks a 360 out of an 83 Dodge pickup. Got to drive the truck around the parkign lot and check oil pressure and had good compression. Nothing like pulling a motor in the parking lot of the local bowling alley in december.

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    The guy threw in a 727 Torqueflight he had so all was good. So back to the car and jump to several months later we are finally pulling the body off the frame.

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    And yes we used a tractor to lift the body off the frame. Probably couldnt do that with a newer car without ending up with a large metal taco but being a farm boy with more acclimation to farm equipment it was really easy. And since we had the tractor handy:

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    Let me say they didnt spare any metal at all in making these old flatheads. Definitely some sort of declaration for having just won a World War. I should have weighed the pig while we had it swinging but didnt think of it.

    And so heres where we ended up. The frame all exposed.

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    Luckily the guy who ran the salvage yard kept the frame off the ground so it was in really good shape. So we opted rather than stub on a new front end or anything we would work with the original frame.

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    now we begin blasting...
     
  2. ThunderRoad Garage
    Joined: Jun 8, 2007
    Posts: 172

    ThunderRoad Garage
    Member
    from missouri

    so after a couple of days of blasting she is starting to look like new:

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    And after a little epoxy primer just to get us through the winter she is looking really good.

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    I knew full well we would be doing some cutting and grinding and it seemed a little silly to prime it at this point but it sure made for a great starting point. My first worry was the stock rear end in these were geared really low. But as luck would have it when the guy at the salvage yard bough it the car had a broken axle so he threw a 1965 8 1/4" Mopar rear end under it. Not a sure grip, but definitely an improvement that i didnt have to buy. so the gods of all things rusty were smiling upon me.

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    So since we already had sand in our teeth from the frame we blasted the rear end as well.

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    Now the fun begins. The Four link rear suspension...
     
  3. Nice project, especially like the father/daughter team. Keep up the good work and post more pics as you go. Bud
     
  4. ThunderRoad Garage
    Joined: Jun 8, 2007
    Posts: 172

    ThunderRoad Garage
    Member
    from missouri

    And somewhere else on that long list of stuff i learned was the challenge of leveling a frame and rear end.

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    I wanted to take a stab at an air suspension i established what i thought was a good ride height. so then after a spell of not thinking all that well and constantly bumping everything and accidentally moving the rear end i got smart and welding an upright between the frame and rear end.

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    I decided since they are close by and i know someone who works there, to use Pete and Jakes rear suspension components. this took a little trial and error but we ended up with a system that almost seemed to work perfect with the frame.

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    In measuring up from the bottom bag brackets i discover that the top plate is going to barely be on the frame so i did a little engineering to make a place for the bridge to meet the frame better. So i cut out a couple of pieces to build up the frame rails a little bit:

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    here is what they look like before i capped them off:

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    Picture is a little out of focus but... She is bagged!

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    Shocks and a couple of bridge gussets to come later. But i got excited and jumped up front to see if i couldnt figure out how much i would have to Z the frame. I bolted the front end back in place quickly to see where i stood.

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    So i discover that i am completely bottomed out at the ride height i wanted, so it will be a pretty major Z coming up.

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    SO i think i am going for an angled cut right in front the body mount bracket. Since i dont want to do a cut and then go "UH OH I really shouldnt have done that" i planned it out a little in photoshop so i am hoping to do something like this:

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    Ideally i will have to space them out an inch to get plenty of clearance for the bags so i am planning to lay so 1" square stock down and then lay in a fish plate on the outside and inside of the frame just to be safe.

    But i am hoping to get the Z done and maybe, just maybe put some air to and see if she goes up and down nicely. we will see.
     

  5. low-lincoln
    Joined: Oct 28, 2008
    Posts: 220

    low-lincoln
    Member

    Looks real good so far...keep the pics coming.
     
  6. ThunderRoad Garage
    Joined: Jun 8, 2007
    Posts: 172

    ThunderRoad Garage
    Member
    from missouri

    Since i am on a roll here i will toss out some ideas for the end product. i found the cover of a manual for the car which was good fodder to chop up in photoshop. So here it is stock...

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    Probably wont be green in the end. thats my daughters call. but here is waht we are thinking for at least the overall shape...

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    More than likely we will be laying on a very dark blue or dark purple with maybe some ghost flames. Something subtle and classy. and i really dig those 59 Plymouth hubcaps so i will be looking for some of those.

    I played around with ideas for the grille to see if i wanted to change it from the original and i came up with this approach using some 51 ford grille teeth and a 51 caddy bumper.

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    still mulling it over for now. may not change it at all but i figure i better start planning now. and i really dig this look for the back end...

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    that smoothed out big bottomed look does something for me. But like i said i have a long way to go before all of that but i like to daydream when i sit at a computer all day.

    hopefully more progress pictures to come after the weekend.
     
  7. 64krusty
    Joined: Feb 16, 2008
    Posts: 261

    64krusty
    Member

    good for you getting your daughter involved in the project,my oldest daughter has helped me out for years and is going to university,she says as soon as she is done her education me and her are building her first custom.My younger one is more into ricers and new mustangs.
     
  8. ThunderRoad Garage
    Joined: Jun 8, 2007
    Posts: 172

    ThunderRoad Garage
    Member
    from missouri

    My kids are doomed to be hooked on old stuff and my kids are a little weird in a good way. I lucked out that my kids think a tuner is whats on the radio. she may change her ways yet. i am a big fan of brainwashing. right now my son thinks Harley Davidson is the only motorcycle made and i wont rest until they are convinced they quit making cars in 1963. so far so good. My daughter actually loves running the sandblaster and the grinder now. We are going to work on welding next weekend.

    my overall goal is turn my daughter into that girl that will intimidate most hormone filled boys. Purely selfish reason on my part. Just saying any young fella that thinks he can step up to a girl driving a car like that after helping build the car will have to have his act together.
     
  9. Big Dad
    Joined: Dec 20, 2005
    Posts: 4,611

    Big Dad
    Member

    Here is a couple pics of the 46 Desoto I put together, just for comparisons
     
  10. Racewriter
    Joined: Nov 14, 2008
    Posts: 780

    Racewriter
    Member

    Good for you in a lot of ways. My dad got me turning wrenches early, and I've made it 40 years without ever doing any kind of drugs, becoming an alcoholic, or ever getting arrested for anything. If the choice was "buy something to get in trouble with or buy car parts," the answer was always car parts. Looks like you have a hell of a nice start on the car, and you're doing a great job with the build. 1 more Mopar on the street is a good thing all around...
     
  11. RodStRace
    Joined: Dec 7, 2007
    Posts: 2,752

    RodStRace
    Member

    Very nice work! I was looking for a Plymouth 2 Door sedan, but the few I saw were too much. Ended up with my Chrysler 4 Door.
    I'd suggest figuring out the radiator mount/frame crossmember height before cutting the frame. In the Tex Smith How to Hod Rod Mopars book, one guy built a small frame that bolted to the firewall and reached to those 2 holes. It was triangulated, so the point was fixed. When you Z the frame, it's going to move that point, and that's where ALL the front sheetmetal mounts. Having something that locates that area will help in rebuilding so everything aligns. In your case, it might be better to have it locate the top of the radiator mount, and section that. Just thinking...

    I've always liked the stock look, but your plans, ecpecially the grille look great. The chop is going to be tough, but I'm rooting for you! Try finding a donor for the extra metal needed. The only thing that may not work is the door may end up too long. In a tight space, you won't be able to open it very much, and have to step back to get out.
     
  12. Circus Bear
    Joined: Aug 10, 2004
    Posts: 3,238

    Circus Bear
    Member

    Sweet. I'll following this one. And probably PMing you with 4 link questions.

    Question about the front. How low of a ride height are you looking for. I bagged my 47 dodge (same suspension) with Slam Specialties RE6 bags using modified S10 cups. Mine is bottomed out like your at parking height, but should have plenty of travel at ride height. Here are some front pics of it up and down. Another alternative to get a lower ride height without messing with core support, etc would be drop spindles from fatman fab. For me though I don't wont my front lower than this in an aired out situation. I'm already a bit concerned about scrub line. Right now unless I have a bag AND a tire blow out I'm in trouble. With a Z'ed frame you wouldn't have to worry so much about the the crossmember, but the actual frame may be an issue.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 4, 2009
  13. Circus Bear
    Joined: Aug 10, 2004
    Posts: 3,238

    Circus Bear
    Member


    Is that aired out? do you have build pics?
     
  14. cuda man
    Joined: Jan 4, 2009
    Posts: 13

    cuda man
    Member

    Cool!

    I have always loved this model of Plymouth. Good luck!
     
  15. ThunderRoad Garage
    Joined: Jun 8, 2007
    Posts: 172

    ThunderRoad Garage
    Member
    from missouri

    i am going try a 6 inch ride height from the bottom f the frame right behind the front wheel. so yeah that put the cross member a little close to the ground so i am hoping the Z will cure that. it may not be for the right reasons but the drop upright and spindles were so expensive. i just couldnt swing it. so it was either put the project on hold or adapt and overcome so we will see. as for the bags and cups yeah i pretty much did the same thing. those cups fit perfectly up in the old coil spring seat. just going to get a couple of 1" pieces of the same stock for the lower A arm to set over the bottom spring seat and then weld the bottom plate to that. You havent had any trouble with the bag folding out at all have you? Doesnt look like the angles are steep enough for that to be a concern, i just wanted to be sure.
     
  16. Ned_Gob
    Joined: Jan 12, 2007
    Posts: 539

    Ned_Gob
    Member

    Very cool project , I like what I see so far. Some good ideas for sure, Good Luck !
     
  17. ThunderRoad Garage
    Joined: Jun 8, 2007
    Posts: 172

    ThunderRoad Garage
    Member
    from missouri

    for anyone interested on an article on chopping a fastback, the most recent issue of Rod & Kulture Oz did a chop on a chevy fastback. Pretty interesting approach and more of what i was hoping for for the end roofline shape. and i figure of Oz and world renowned car builder then i surely can. Right?
     
  18. Big Dad
    Joined: Dec 20, 2005
    Posts: 4,611

    Big Dad
    Member

    Mine was not on air .. I used a front from www.jimweimerrodgarge.com
    and a triangulated rear from there as well

    I have a few build pics but, quality is poor ..See if you can see anything in them
     
  19. Circus Bear
    Joined: Aug 10, 2004
    Posts: 3,238

    Circus Bear
    Member

    I agree with the comments about the chop. What about a coupe door? find a donor 5 window coupe and you would have a slanted b pillar parts too.

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  20. Props for getting your daughter involved, mine daughters are only 3 and 1, but I am starting them early! :D The car is coming along nicely! I a can't wait to see more of the build. And more props for putting a mopar in a mopar, so much better than a SBC! :mad: Can't wait to see more!
     
  21. ThunderRoad Garage
    Joined: Jun 8, 2007
    Posts: 172

    ThunderRoad Garage
    Member
    from missouri

    hey Big Dad did you use rack and pinion on yours? i am assuming so since i didnt see the stock steering box in there anymore. which rack did you use? Mustang II or the cavalier rack? and how well did it work?
     
  22. Big Dad
    Joined: Dec 20, 2005
    Posts: 4,611

    Big Dad
    Member

    I never finished the car, I got burnt out on the project, sold it to a member here , its living a nice life in italy now
    The rack came in the kit, not sure which one it fit anymore , want to say it was for a tbird ?

    I used the 2 inch drop spindles on it , it was / is low .....

    He has it painted , last couple pics I have seen of it
     
  23. Circus Bear
    Joined: Aug 10, 2004
    Posts: 3,238

    Circus Bear
    Member

    I have a Cav R&P setup that I fabbed up for mine. The 383 didn't leave much room for the stocker. Unfortunately the car is a slow moving project so I have not finished the suspension or steering yet so I can't comment on how drivebility or ride comfort. PM if you have any question on the R&P I built everything from steel stock, rather thatn spend $350+ for the FAtman kit. I scored the rebuilt R&P iteself on ebay for $40.
     
  24. 41Plymouth4dr
    Joined: Jun 13, 2006
    Posts: 80

    41Plymouth4dr
    Member
    from Tioga, PA

    OK, quick question, you guys all seem to have all the tools & such to be doing all this, but what about a guy like me that only has 110 in the garage,a 110 mig welder,a small 20gal? compressor,and nobody to help lifting things around, and i'm disabled(several heart attacks/bad heart).

    What do you suggest?

    I have a '41 Ply 4dr & i also have the front frame/K-frame from an '85 Dodge Diplomat that i was hoping on putting on the '41
    How would you suggest doing it?
     
  25. My 2cents for a rather easier to do chop FWIW...

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  26. ThunderRoad Garage
    Joined: Jun 8, 2007
    Posts: 172

    ThunderRoad Garage
    Member
    from missouri

    Honestly i think if you had a torch, patience and help from folks on this site, you would have all the tools you need with what you have. maybe a cherry picker to help do the lifting. let the machines do the work.

    as for putting a frame stub on, i havent had the experience yet. probably should have. the frame i had was just in too good of shape to cut a part. the only advice i can feel comfortable giving is level the frame on jack stands at about ride height and measure everything.... write it down and measure everything again. but you will want to ask other folks on here who have had more experience than me. trust me... if you saw how i tried to Z the frame this weekend... (shutters).

     
  27. ThunderRoad Garage
    Joined: Jun 8, 2007
    Posts: 172

    ThunderRoad Garage
    Member
    from missouri

    So for those of you who didnt see my post that was a cry for help after i had screwed up the Z in the frame. here is how it all happened ladies and gentlemen of the jury. so i thought i needed a Z to make room for the front air bags. so i saw this type of Z done on a 49 chevy and thought hey why not. so i drew a line and cut an angled line...

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    so saturday night it is pointed out to me that i will have some trouble puttign the body back and why didnt i just cut the hole on the upper spring pocket bigger and maybe a change on the lower A arm and i would have plenty of room...

    insert dumb look here.

    so now i will be back tracking and doing ma 2 or 3 inch Z. i have my escape route planned. still might consider a sub frame from a later model of vehicle. but for now i may tray and use the original pieces. if i cant then i guess i can cut whatever cobbled mess i end up with off and look into a diplomat, aspen, volare or dakota frame stub.

    so tune in next week to see whatever else i mess as i veer off the learning curve and hit a tree. luckily i havent put a final weld anywhere on the chassis for this very reason. so yeah there it is.
     
  28. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 6,653

    73RR
    Member


    Your 'cry for help' will likely receive more attention if you start your own thread. Some of the guys here will beat on you for hijacking another post. They will also be the first to help out.....

    .
     
  29. This is his thread!
     
  30. Circus Bear
    Joined: Aug 10, 2004
    Posts: 3,238

    Circus Bear
    Member


    You beat me to it.

    Bump for buddy.

    Good luck. i wish had an idea for ya.
     

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