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48 Dodge Business Coupe Chassis/Drive Train

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 48 Dodge Coupe, Apr 14, 2005.

  1. 48 Dodge Coupe
    Joined: Jan 3, 2005
    Posts: 19

    48 Dodge Coupe

    Hello All,

    I haven't been posting because I haven't done much work on the car. I don't have a garage and working outside in the New England weather sucks.

    I've been talking to people at work and they tell me that my flathead six in my 48 Dodge won't be any good for towing my teardrop trailer long distances; brakes, power, lousy ride, etc.

    I want to keep the car 100% Dodge but is there a modern, or newer, Dodge chassis that I can drop the body onto? A slant six would be ok, or V-6. I'm more interested in a safe, economical drive as opposed to a hot rod, but it still has to be cool, obviously. I know where I can get a Dakota in decent condition at a good price. Would that work?

    I really appreciate your help on this. Before I head off on my own and go down the wrong road I want to ask the experts.

    John B.
  2. Henry Floored
    Joined: Sep 18, 2004
    Posts: 1,370

    Henry Floored

    I'm inclined to think that flat 6 in your Dodge will be just fine. Don't listen to the guys that say you need a 350/350 to go down the road. You'll kill the flavor of the Dodge if you stray to far from it's major components. If you wanted to build a rip snorting hot rod that would be one thing. For a nice little mild custom cruiser I say stay with the original 6 and make it perfect.
  3. primerden
    Joined: Mar 1, 2004
    Posts: 41



    I had a 48 D-24 Dodge 4 door with the flathead 6. Most flathead 6's have enough torque to pull a house down. The main problem I had was that the car had a 4.10 rear end gear and when I got above 55 on the freeway it sounded like something inside the engine was trying to get out. These cars have an 8 3/4 rear end but it's the old taper axle shaft type. I couldn't find any other gear ratio's for it. I was going to swap in a late model 8 3/4 rear end out of a Cuda and then I would wind up with a ratio in the low 3's so I could wind it up on the freeway. The brakes were typical drum style and stopped just fine. They were mechanical adjust but weren't that hard to adjust. The front suspension is coil spring and has a very nice ride.

    You can find aluminum high compression heads or you can mill the stock one about 90 thousands to raise the compression. Dual one barrel manifolds are available and you can get your stock cam reground.

    You will have more than enough horsepower a nice ride and a minimum investment.

  4. 48 Dodge Coupe
    Joined: Jan 3, 2005
    Posts: 19

    48 Dodge Coupe

    Well, that was kind of my thoughts too but the people I talked too think I'm wrong. I'm still leaning towards the original.


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  5. 48 Dodge Coupe
    Joined: Jan 3, 2005
    Posts: 19

    48 Dodge Coupe

    Two out of two replies say keep it original.

    Did you wind up doing anything with the rear end? I really would like to use the car to haul my teardrop trailer long distances, long distances being RI to CA and back, at my interstate speed, which is 65.

    As for the brakes I hear lots of horror stories about them. I was under the impression though that there are plenty of conversion kits to go to disc. Do you know anything about that?

    Thanks for the info. You are helping me keep the car as the factory intended.

    John B.

    Joined: Jan 2, 2003
    Posts: 3,363

    1. HAMB Old Farts' Club

    Make it 3 out of 3! If the original frame is good, why shit can it? The biggest problem will be the rear ratio, as stated, but you could change the tranny for an overdrive box.

    The flat six has potential, unless you want to race it. There are a couple guys on here with some bitchin' flat sixes.

    You could always buy a wrecked late model and just rape parts off it as needed.-MIKE:D

    By the way, good luck either way and remember, pics!:)
  7. 48 Dodge Coupe
    Joined: Jan 3, 2005
    Posts: 19

    48 Dodge Coupe

    Ok, tell me about trannies. Is there a tranny out there that will bolt right on? The car has the factory fluid drive. Would it be easier to go automatic or standard? My thought is that with a standard I can keep the original linkage on the column.

    Thanks Mike,

    John B.

  8. tootallrodder
    Joined: Jan 7, 2003
    Posts: 404

    Member Emeritus

    John, here is a link to a disc Brake Kit. These Guys are very Stand up.

    As far as a bolt in replacement for the fluid drive, I don't know, but you could get the engine, transmission, and rearend out of a Dakota Pick up to give you a better highway gear. But adapter mounts might be a case of fabricate them yourself. If you lived closer, I would be glad to give you some assistance.
  9. moose
    Joined: Jan 11, 2005
    Posts: 347


    Another vote for original.

    As for trannies, there were aftermarket OD units that could be installed behind a stock 3 speed. These are hard to find though. I'd say find a drivetrain from a late fifties Plymouth (3.73 gears, 3 speed not fluid, higher compression stock) then put tall tires on it. Then have me make an intake and headers for it.

    Mine(55) with two carbs, stock 3 speed, and a hot cam, will cruise all day at 75. With a mild cam and the same set-up you should be ready to go.

    Oh yeah, I've towed a race car with mine too. A light teardrop should be easy for that dodge.
  10. 46mopar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2002
    Posts: 1,005


    Check out there is alot of good info on that site and there Message board will be great help for what you want to do. I want to palce my vote for anything mopar.
  11. katzenhammer
    Joined: Aug 26, 2002
    Posts: 398


    Count me in as one of the "keep the six" guys. I have been running a rebuilt flat six in my 50 business coupe for two years now and have no problems with it being a pooch. Not the most high revving motor, (found that out the hard way when I blew a head gasket). but there are now adaptor kits so you can run a T5 transmission. The Inliners board has the info on who is making em.

    If you need inspiration on what to do with your flat six check out Blue Skies page.

    Good luck!


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