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Projects The pressure's on! My '52 Plymouth build thread...

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by don-vee, Dec 22, 2012.

  1. I have a low-mileage 318 originally out of an 80s Diplomat cop car. The car had only 20k on the odometer before being wrecked, so I pulled the motor and popped it in my van, and put maybe another 30k on it before scrapping the van. I'm kicking around the idea of a cam, but the engine is so fresh, I may just leave well enough alone.
    I have a V8 K-frame from an A-body Mopar that I may use in the fab work for the mounts. If that doesn't work, it's easy enough to fab mounts for these smallblocks.
    I picked up the trans yesterday from the boneyard, it's a lockout 904 from a low-mileage '84 Chrysler 5th Ave. That will be getting a B&M Transpak shift kit and a shifter from American Shifter.
     
  2. n847
    Joined: Apr 22, 2010
    Posts: 2,695

    n847
    Member

    Have you run any brake hoses yet? I need to get mine I know the original thread said to use Mazda 3 but I can't narrow it down. I guess its gonna be a trip to the parts house!
     
  3. I used the thinner wall 1 3/4 square tubing for my lowering blocks... But I slid an equal length of 1 3/4 angle through it and welded it up. It was what I had on hand. I plan on keeping an eye on it and replacing it with 1 3/4 solid aluminum bar when I get the chance. So to get these springs out of these cars you don't need a compressor?? Get the from on jack stands, use the floor jack to take the load off the lower a arm and pull the bolt out??
     
  4. thanks buddy but it's not mine any more.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. n847
    Joined: Apr 22, 2010
    Posts: 2,695

    n847
    Member

    So hows it going?
     
  6. Been a while. Obviously, the goal of Viva was not met, not even close. The winter certainly didn't help, especially with a few weeks of the coldest damned weather, with one week being solidly below zero every night, definitely hampered my motivation. Even besides the car not being done, we had other time constraints in play with our house and family stuff, so it just wasn't meant to be this time around. We booked our room for next year already, though!
    So, this weekend I spent my time at the Englishtown Spring Swap and loaded up big-time. My wife handed me a wad of spendin' loot and said, "Do what you need to do!" Yup, I got me a good one!
    Today was spent finishing up on the front suspension that was abandoned back when it was stupid cold. Felt good to finally wrap up something. I scored a pair of Aerostar springs from an ebay seller, couldn't pass up the deal - 35 bucks, free shipping, Moog brand, made in the US. Done!
    I relocated the spring plate to the bottom of the arms and went with both welding and bolting with grade 8 hardware just for added assurance. All in all, looks like I'll be getting about a 3 1/2" to 4" drop with a way better ride.

    [​IMG]

    The pic makes my weld look all boogered up, but it ain't. I know what I'm doing, I promise!
    Anyway, here's something that I didn't see mentioned in any of the other Aerostar swap threads - when you install these springs, they're short enough that if the suspension were ever topped out, like if you hit a bump hard enough to catch a little air or close, the spring will be completely loose in its pocket, and can potentially become dislodged. To prevent this, the top snubber must be relocated further up. I made these little brackets out of leftover square tubing and threaded a hole like the original brackets so I could use the stock snubber.

    [​IMG]

    I'll be hittin' up the junkyard this week for the steering goodies and some other miscellaneous krapoli to toss this thing together. Most of the other work done lately has been engine and trans stuff. Nothing exciting enough to show pics. Maybe soon, though. Until that day...
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2013
    martin53 likes this.
  7. 49Dodgeboy
    Joined: Aug 17, 2006
    Posts: 637

    49Dodgeboy
    Member

    Looking good, looking forward to the engine swap info
     
  8. slicknapier
    Joined: Sep 29, 2008
    Posts: 109

    slicknapier
    Member
    from Tucson, AZ

    Sweet build looks like its coming out nice. Funny what a camera can make a weld look like. I laid the sweetest bead ever and i took a picture with my phone to send to a buddy and it looked terrible in the picture!
     
  9. falconvan
    Joined: Apr 2, 2008
    Posts: 1,016

    falconvan
    Member
    from festus, Mo

    Great project! As far as your old driveline parts; i've done several of these cars and always end up giving away the trans and rearend, even when they've been in good condition. I guess the damn things never go bad so no body ever needs replacements!
     
  10. Sorry for the delays! I spent the summer working on our house and going to shows on the weekends - Race of Gentlemen, Mobtown Greaseball, Jalopy Drags, among others. I kept way busy, and didn't have time for too much wrenching. But, all that has changed, and with the end of show season, now begins the winter thrash.
    I started it off with a bang and got the motor mounts in. I looked at all the ways people over the years have done it, and in usual Don fashion, decided to chuck it all out the window and go a completely different route to add to my aggravation. This time, I think it paid off in spades. Please excuse my usual lousy pictures. I still didn't get decent lighting in the garage. Also, yes, the engine I'm putting in is much prettier. This old 318 block was just used for mockup.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Rather than the common 1.5"\2" offset that most people do to clear the stock steering, since I'm doing the Cavalier rack & pinion, I determined that I had plenty of room, even if the engine was centered. So, that's what I went with. I made the frame side tabs with pieces of a heavy duty Jeep bumper made of 3/16 that I had laying around, and it worked perfectly. For the engine side, I just took the stock mounts, and cut/redrilled them so the mount pad surface sat horizontally, rather than at the stock angle.
    In between them, I searched through a parts book at my local auto parts shop and ordered up what I thought looked like a good fit. They ended up being Volvo mounts, and they worked perfect. I plan on adding a dogbone torque strap since these are older style non-captive mounts.

    [​IMG]

    As you can see from the pics, the engine sits up a bit higher than most other installs, for several reasons. First, the car is lowered, Wilkes-Barre has notoriously shitty streets, and this thing will be driven quite a bit. I figured it'd be a wise decision to not have the oil pan hangin' low, waiting to be lovingly smooched by a pothole.

    [​IMG]

    Second, it leaves tons of clearance for the rack & pinion, the steering column and joints, low-mounted alternator and steering pump, and the exhaust. I have a set of shorty block-hugger headers which fit wonderfully, and the mockup of the steering components look like they were meant to belong there.

    [​IMG]

    Third, maintenance and repair is made easier. Spark plugs are readily accessible without a contortionist's agility, belts aren't held prisoner by a tight-fitting crank pulley, and even the oil pan can be taken down without major surgery.
    Lastly, aesthetics. I checked out a few other Mopar V8 swaps on these cars, and it just seems like the V8 in there looks dwarfed by the engine bay. Everything sits way low and doesn't really need to be that way. The original flathead sixes in these cars are right around a full two feet high from the bottom of the crank pulley to the top of the carb throat. There is gobs of room to play around with here, so it all made sense to me and my tape measure.
    Anyway, last night I was working on the tabs to install the r&p and sway bar, so that'll be the next thread installment. I'll try to get it done this week, in between painting the bedroom, helping fellow HAMBer Fatback Homer install the 350 in his '50 Fleetline, and putting together my ghastly Halloween torture chamber display!
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2013
  11. 49Dodgeboy
    Joined: Aug 17, 2006
    Posts: 637

    49Dodgeboy
    Member

    Looks good. Can't wait to see the rack & pinion setup
     
  12. n847
    Joined: Apr 22, 2010
    Posts: 2,695

    n847
    Member

    I wish my SBC sat that high...the fire wall would have to be cut and the trans tunnel would need some more work but theres tons of room under the hood for the engine to move up!

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I747 using H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  13. The trans tunnel definitely is gonna need to be completely redone, but the engine sits comfortably in front of the firewall with no massaging at all. The closest it gets is the driver's side valve cover, and it's still about 2 inches away.
     
  14. Ed.Boyle
    Joined: Oct 25, 2013
    Posts: 25

    Ed.Boyle
    Member

    Awesome work! Subscribed... Thanks for the links!
     
  15. Bugsy
    Joined: Dec 27, 2008
    Posts: 1,280

    Bugsy
    Member
    from Kansas

    Any updates on this?? Winter is here and maybe you're buried again!!!! Love the build so far!! GREAT WORK!!!!!!!
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2013
  16. Thanks for the kind words! Update coming VERY soon, I promise! I have been working on fine-tuning the steering rack placement, I didn't want to post something that would end up not working exactly right. I'm hoping to get it sorted out in the next week or so.
    Also, I have the engine just about done. I'm waiting for some cosmetic bits-n-pieces to come in the mail.
     
  17. Raven53
    Joined: Jan 12, 2009
    Posts: 442

    Raven53
    Member
    from Irwin Pa

    Watching this one, picked up a 51 2 dr Cambridge tons of ideas....will have a blast following this one
     
  18. LostHope
    Joined: Jul 9, 2008
    Posts: 687

    LostHope
    Member

    hey you running stock 15" mopar steelies on your car?if so have you tried bolting a wheel on yet? Just wondering what your using for wheel with the ford explorer front disc setup because I have everything bolted together and having clearance issues with the caliper , so much clearance issue that I had to grind the caliper down, install a 3/16" wheel spacer ,and clearance some off the rim where the inner and outer parts are riveted together to get wheel to clear....
     
  19. yetiskustoms
    Joined: May 22, 2009
    Posts: 1,932

    yetiskustoms
    Member

  20. I did try stock 15" steelies, and I didn't have any clearance issues. However, I'm going to be running 16" Ford Crown Vic steelies. I know, not exactly old-school, but they fit perfect, and I wanted to run those tires with the white stripe, and I happened to have a set. Just using what's available and cheap to me.
     
  21. BurlyMan
    Joined: Mar 13, 2014
    Posts: 11

    BurlyMan

    Nice chop. Looks like the right amount to suit my taste. Is that 3"? You plan to do away with vent glass?




    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
     
  22. fstfish66
    Joined: May 28, 2005
    Posts: 376

    fstfish66
    Member
    from eastern pa

    subscribed kool project
     
  23. Ulu
    Joined: Feb 26, 2014
    Posts: 1,732

    Ulu
    Member
    from CenCal

    Those 3/8" dia grade-8 bolts are worth almost 12,000 lbs each in tension. That's 70,000 lbs each side or 140,000 lbs on a car that weighs under 4000 lbs.

    Yeah I think it'll hold. ;)

    (Looking again...are those bolts 1/2"???)

    I saw a lowered ('39?) Chevy once which had similar upper arms, and they were inverted. (For clearance? I dunno...)

    I am planning to do that to mine so they hit the stops.
     
  24. navyboy
    Joined: Mar 11, 2013
    Posts: 278

    navyboy
    Member

    ^^^this mod makes sense but if you are getting her airborne you have other issues LOL!
     
  25. whtbaron
    Joined: Sep 12, 2012
    Posts: 552

    whtbaron
    Member
    from manitoba

    ...air happens.
     
  26. Ulu
    Joined: Feb 26, 2014
    Posts: 1,732

    Ulu
    Member
    from CenCal

    I have been known to get off the asphalt on occasion.

    Anyhow I got my front suspension all exposed last night & started looking into the design again.

    Hard to say about inverting the arms without trying it. Sure looks like it could work. Impossible to tell if it will.
     
  27. ALTAFR
    Joined: Jun 20, 2010
    Posts: 13

    ALTAFR
    Member
    from Enon Ohio

    I chopped it 3 1/2" at the windshield. Yes I got rid of the vent glass. Here is the finished deal. See attachment.
     

    Attached Files:

    48 PLYMOUTH HEMI likes this.
  28. Ulu
    Joined: Feb 26, 2014
    Posts: 1,732

    Ulu
    Member
    from CenCal

    That's a nice chop. The wheels work too.
     
  29. fstfish66
    Joined: May 28, 2005
    Posts: 376

    fstfish66
    Member
    from eastern pa

    chop is kool,,,,, what did you have to do inside the door,to eliminate the vent window,? thanks
     
  30. You're right, I DO have other issues...like the fact that I live in the state with the worst f-in' roads! I'm surrounded by potholes big enough to hide a small house. It's like driving on the moon around here!
     

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