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Jag front end under a ’51 Chevy hardtop?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Evil Wicked Mean & Nasty, Mar 25, 2009.

  1. Is the Jag front end too wide for a '51 Chevy hardtop? Has anybody done this swap on a '49-'54? I have to make a decision, I have a bolt in Mustang II cross member I can use, and get Pinto parts and rebuild to go on it, buy dropped spindles and a big brake kit, etc... Seems like it'll get relatively expensive by the time it's a roller.

    Or, I can get a complete Jag front end for a couple hundred bucks or less. I'm wondering about things like fender clearance problems, stering shaft, exhaust and oil pan (400 SBC or 400 Pontiac for an engine), clearance etc.. Or any other problem you may have had installing the Jag IFS.

    I have zero knowledge about the Jag front end other than it looks like it would be a pretty straight forward install so any info would be appreciated.
     
  2. Pir8Darryl
    Joined: Jan 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,490

    Pir8Darryl
    Member

  3. zman
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,559

    zman
    Member
    from Garner, NC

    As much as I like the Jag stuff if you have a bolt in crossmember that is going to by far be the path of least resistance. Cost wise it will probably be a wash as you should rebuild the Jag stuff as well. I'm thinking just off the top of my head that the Jag may be a bit wide for the 51 as well. I don't have the measurements handy though so that's just a gut feeling.
     
  4. tmf
    Joined: Jan 17, 2006
    Posts: 205

    tmf
    Member

    Here is one with a XJ6 frnt end with the stock Jag wheels. Width is fine. Sorry this is the best piccy i have at the moment.
    [​IMG]
     
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  5. atomickustom
    Joined: Aug 30, 2005
    Posts: 3,285

    atomickustom
    Member

    If you can do the Jag for less money that's what I'd do.
    The MkII crossmember isn't an RBs Obsolete, is it? I have one on my '53 Chevy and it did not fit the frame very well and it located the wheels about an inch too far forward. And the motor mounts are a joke. I'll never buy their stuff again. If I knew then what I know now I'd be riding on a Jaguar suspension. And the rebuild parts are not all that pricey nowadays (because they used the same design for so many years).
     
  6. Pir8Darryl
    Joined: Jan 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,490

    Pir8Darryl
    Member

    Just checked the price sheet for the Jag stuff...

    Rotors- $77 each
    Pads- $23 set
    ball joints
    Upper- $73 ea
    Lower- $68 ea
    Control arm bushings- $23 ea, total of 8
    Rack n pinion- $228 [plus core charge of $120]
    Tie rods- $24 ea
     
  7. zman
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,559

    zman
    Member
    from Garner, NC

    I can get most of that stuff for less than that from my local parts store. Hell the Rack is $170 with a core. But yeah it adds up.
     
  8. zman, I had totally forgotten about your Buick, thanks for the insight.

    Thanks for the info guy's. I think the Jag in question only has about 80k miles on it and all the bushings look good and the rack feels tight. I need to jack it up and pry up a wheel and look for ball joint problems yet.

    atomickustom, unfortunately that's exactly what it is, RB's Obsolete. Were your issues correctable, what did you have to do to get the wheel back where it goes?

    I won the MII cross member at the Louisville Nats a couple of years ago in the drawing. Now that the '51 is moving ever so slightly closer to the front of the stove I want to make sure I don't end up spending twice as much time and money as I need to just so I can use the "free" part. I don't like doing things 2 or 3 times.

    Anybody else?
     
  9. Bump for the evening crowd. I was hoping for some more first hand expieriance. aldixie, you out there?
     
  10. zman
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,559

    zman
    Member
    from Garner, NC

    well I can say this, the Jag front end is nowhere close to being a bolt in.
     
  11. Pir8Darryl
    Joined: Jan 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,490

    Pir8Darryl
    Member

    Actually, those prices came right off the autozone web site.

    I looked up for an '84 model, but I was under the impression that most parts interchange across the years......... Did I look up a one off bastard year or something? :confused:
     
  12. caseyrod
    Joined: Feb 9, 2008
    Posts: 138

    caseyrod
    Member

    I did it for friend on a53 an it was
     
  13. zman
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,559

    zman
    Member
    from Garner, NC

    no bastard year, but my local place gets them cheaper. I think it's a "bumper to bumper", I also see cheaper on rockauto (a reman rack from them is $152) as well. mid 70's all the way through 85 or so is good...
     
  14. RHOPPER
    Joined: Mar 12, 2006
    Posts: 263

    RHOPPER
    Member

    I bought all my jag parts from ebay vendors, usually in kit form. The prices were not much more than domestic parts. Jags are well supported by clubs and owners groups, so availability should be good for years to come.
     
    OneOffMotors likes this.
  15. atomickustom
    Joined: Aug 30, 2005
    Posts: 3,285

    atomickustom
    Member

    It's just not a very good design. The frame has something like 16 holes in it, and the jerks who designed the RBs piece could only manage to use TWO of them!? You you drill MORE holes in your frame to bolt the thing on and in some cases (like mine) it's too far forward on the frame. My wheels just sit that way. I'm used to it now, but it looked wrong to me at first. Lowering the front an inch helped because they apparently travel a bit toward the rear as they go up.
    My real complaint isn't the wheel placement issue, though, it's the fit and design of the thing. Yes, it bolted in. Yes, it accepted all the stock MkII parts I had from a donor car. But while puting it on I had the feeling that I'd been taken. The frame had a nice gentle curve to it and their parts had two straight lines with an angle in the middle. You bend the bottom rail of the frame as you tighten down the parts. And when I called them it took them about 5 minutes to figure out how tight I should torque the nuts down. (I guess no one every used a torque wrench on them before? They just kept saying "about as tight as you can go with a regular hand wrench"!)

    At that time (5 or 6 years ago) I had no fabrication experience and even then I was saying out loud to myself "I could have designed this thing better!" The strut bar mounts are great, but the crossmember itself blows.
    If I won one for free I would sell it on eBay and buy one from Chassis Engineering. I've heard nothing but good stuff about their bolt-in crossmember. (Only drawback is you have to use their lower arms. That's what stopped me the first time around. My bad.)

    Now, to be fair, the car drives fine and I've had no problems at all. But it still annoys me just thinking about the pain in the butt of installing it.
     
    OneOffMotors likes this.
  16. dodgord
    Joined: May 23, 2007
    Posts: 78

    dodgord
    Member

    just finished fitting a jag in my 54. easy job. removed the front crossmember under the rad, welded in a section of box with some brackets for the front mounts on the jag, a pair of pads on the rails for the rear mounts and bolted it in with its original rubber mounts! note: there are two racks in them, one has a shorter pinion and clears the rail better.
     
  17. Definitely go with the Jag.
    I put one under my '49 Lincoln without too much trouble.
    And have just spent the day dismantling 2 other Jag front ends I have.
    They are easy to work on.

    .
     
  18. I was researching this a while back myself. Over to Chevytalk.org buried in the 49-54 section there are some photos showing one being installed. You basically have to weld a couple of plates to the Jag crossmember to make it work, like one pair of the holes on it will line up, the rest you need to add that piece of metal to use the stock Chevy bolt holes.

    I honestly don't know why someone hasn't tooled up a ready-made kit to make this swap, it's pretty slick and solves a lot of problems. I plan to scarf a front end from one a friend has so I can put one in mine sooner or later.
     
  19. fleetline49
    Joined: Apr 10, 2009
    Posts: 2

    fleetline49
    Member
    from Ohio

  20. '68 to '92.
    Jag series 1, 2 or 3.
    Google it.
    Plenty of info and many combinations to choose from.
     

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