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'56 Dodge/Mopar Owners...Need some insight!

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by WICKEDJOHN, May 1, 2009.

  1. Hey guys,
    My wife was on her way home from shopping today and came across a very nice looking original '56 Dodge Coronet 4dr.....She was able to take a bunch of pics...She never did get a chance to look at the motor...It is 3 on the tree w/single exhaust...could be a six or v8....My question to you Dodge guys is I am going to look at this '56 tomorrow......What to look for...problem rust areas...or motors to stay away from?....any insight would be appreciated?...I do not know much about these mid 50's mopars...Thanks, John
     

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  2. Revhead
    Joined: Mar 19, 2001
    Posts: 3,027

    Revhead
    Member
    from Dallas, TX

    '56 is the first year for 12v, so that is good. engine can be either a 6cyl, 270 poly V8 or 270 hemi V8. The Poly and Hemi share a lot of stuff. They also share a bit with the more modern LA series engines like the 318 and 340. My 270 poly only ahd a single exhaust, but I think the Hemis had duals.

    Engine parts are relatively easy to come by. Brake stuff, not so much. Brakes are the Dual leading shoes style with 4 wheel cylinders up front. The cylinders are available at about $29 a piece. The shoes (on '55s at least) are a pain to find. They are also a pain to adjust. Disc brake kits are available if you want to rid yourself of the complicated drums.

    If it is not power brakes you can swap a later ('68 charger or so) dual master cylinder. It is a bolt-in swap and all you need to do is remove undo the line going the the junction block, which is right under the master cylinder on the frame, and plug the hole and run a short section of new line to the 2nd reservoir.

    Front shocks are no longer available, but '67-'68 camaro front shocks fit with some minor grinding to the bolt slots on the shocks.
     
  3. Thanks for the info Revhead....Hope to get more feedback before I look at it!
     
  4. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 6,310

    73RR
    Member

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  5. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 14,361

    Squablow
    Member

    Stick shift is a huge plus as far as I'm concerned, because the automatics don't have park and rely completely on the parking brake. It works, but makes me nervous with my '55.

    The flat 6 isn't a bad motor, but not much power. Most of the '56 Coronets I've seen have the 270 poly V8 in them, kind of a leftover from '55 where the '56 Royals got a 315.

    Rust spots to look at are rockers inside and out, including just below the sill plates. That and right behind the stone guards on the rear quarters. These cars aren't all that prone to rust, surprisingly.
     
  6. Definitely check the rockers and over the headlights. Like Squablow said, these are relatively rust-resistant cars, especially when compared to a '56 GM car, Ford, Hudson, or Stude.

    That '56 you are considering looks pretty nice in the pics!
     
  7. Thanks guys, I'am on my way to look at the '56....Hope it is a good car!
     
  8. Gr8ballsofir
    Joined: Apr 21, 2001
    Posts: 768

    Gr8ballsofir
    Member

    What all those guys said. Only down side I see is that its a 4 door sedan. Mopars don't make a lot of money and this one would be at the lower end for resale value.
     
  9. We have a 56 with auto solid builder in Mo. $1500
     
  10. Well I got to look at the '56 today.....Happy to see a V8 under the hood....It's a 270 C.I. poly motor.....looks like it had some rocker and quarter panel work..He said it was painted 15 yrs. ago..everything worked on the car....trans shifted nice and clutch grabbed good as well.....The motor started up great with no smoke...although after it was running awhile I did notice some faint lifter noise ...61,000 original miles and overall clean car and it is all there.....He said $5,500.00 will buy it.....not sure what I want to do!!
     

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    Last edited: May 5, 2009
  11. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 14,361

    Squablow
    Member

    The price sounds about right for that car. Not overpriced but not an unbelievable steal either. V8 with a stick is very cool. Are the seats nice? Does it have carpeting? I would have to put WWW's on it, or make those tires into WWW's, but then it'd be perfect.

    This is my '55 with '56 Coronet side trim on it, needs the wide whitewalls to have the look IMO.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    If I put this one up for sale, I'll be asking $5995, so me and the guy selling your '56 Coronet are on the same page for value. I actually prefer the '56 because I like the bigger tailfins and the stick is a plus.
     
  12. Gotgas
    Joined: Jul 22, 2004
    Posts: 6,821

    Gotgas
    Member
    from DFW USA

    That is a lot of money for a sedan. :eek: However it is optioned "right" and of course you already know the wife likes it. ;)
     
  13. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 6,310

    73RR
    Member

    Ok, here is a question for you guys that perform miracles with sheet metal...there have been several threads regarding conversion of 4-dr into 2-dr, What would be required to do it with a 55-56 ??
    Please enlighten those of us living in the drive train department...


    .
     
  14. Gotgas
    Joined: Jul 22, 2004
    Posts: 6,821

    Gotgas
    Member
    from DFW USA

    Weld up the back doors and voila! :D

    Mopar is famous for sharing basic architecture between 2dr and 4dr sedans. I'm not 100% certain, but I would bet a set of 2dr sedan doors, center door posts, and quarter panels is what it would take to make the conversion.

    Apparently it works for '55-57 Chevrolets and '60 Plymouths. :D
     
  15. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 14,361

    Squablow
    Member

    Yup, you would need a pair of 2 door sedan doors, door jambs and rear quarter panel sections including the rear quarter window surround, and the seats. A junk 2 door post parts car donor would be the easiest way to go.

    Problem is, 55-56 Dodge 2 door sedans are fairly rare. If I could have found one in time my green and black '55 pictured above would be a 2 door post. To make it a 2 door hardtop would be a shitload more work.

    Apparently 55-56 Plymouth 2 door sedan doors are the same but the rear quarter windows are shorter. So if you were using a Plymouth donor, you could make use of the seats, doors, and door pillars, but the top of the rear quarter window frames would have to be recycled from the old 4 door back doors. Either that, or you could use the whole Plymouth roof and make a Dodge business coupe. Then you're getting into major surgery though.
     
  16. Revhead
    Joined: Mar 19, 2001
    Posts: 3,027

    Revhead
    Member
    from Dallas, TX

    Well to put it in perspective I bought a running '55 2dr Hdtp for $4500 a couple of months ago. Almost completely rust free and decent paint. The brakes didn't work and I've had to work on that plus, trans seals and power steering. Oh and my interior was shot.
     
  17. MoonshineRoyal
    Joined: Apr 5, 2009
    Posts: 73

    MoonshineRoyal
    Member

    That is a nice looking '56. That is quite a bit of money for a sedan, but it is running and driveable, plus the interior looks to be decent. I paid $1500 for my '55 Royal more door, but the engine isn't running, the brakes are frozen and the headliner and door panels are shot. Plus things tend to be more expensive up North.
     

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