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Old 12-18-2011, 05:05 AM
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35 Plymouth Coupe Steering / Suspension

Good morning, to bring you up to speed (so to speak) my build is a 35 Plymouth 5 window coupe. Currently I've completed all work on the frame including repairs, narrowed 9", 3" drop Posi leaf springs,all blasted and painted. I've also decided and am building a 1955 DeSoto Hemi. Time for steering and front suspension. It has been suggested doing a M2 front end but I'd like to consider reuseing the straight axle with a rack and pinion steering, leaf springs and modern shocks. I'd like thoughts / suggestions on this idea. (What rack and pinion, things to consider, potential problems)? I've got pictures of a mock up with the original straight axle moved to the top of the leaf springs to lower the ride.
Thoughts, suggestions, or ideas? Thank you, John

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Old 12-18-2011, 07:28 AM
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plydo parts

My son's 36 plymouth had a disc brake conversion on the tube axle, He didn't like it The caliper brackets were not designed with caliper stops. all the braking force went thru the bolts. It had a rack and pinion attatched to the axle. that added more unsprung weight. and it requires a slip telescoping steering shaft. That all came out and we have the parts to install a Mustang II. The 36 frame rails are curved and stock spindles will have the car lowered and a reasonable ground clearaance. The car came with SBC motor mount brackets. WE had a pumped 351W and C 5 But He tried fitting it but required too much hacking. Some one gave him a Buick V 6 and he has a core buick and trans setting in for fitting ,,His latest thinking is to go Mopar. Even though We have 4 SBC engine-trans in the shop for projects. Tex Smith wrote a book How to build Chrysler Plymouth Dodge Hotrods. My son has it, lots of info & picts. The Mustanag II swap is in the book. If you google it and go to the amazon site, click on the book cover, You can " preview " most of the book. Just hold down the ctrl key and click the plus key to enlarge it so you can read it. You can "preview" a lot of books on book selling sites. moving the springs usually doesn't give enough clearance for bumps.

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Old 12-18-2011, 04:03 PM
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I did one a couple years ago. I used the stock axle and springs, moved the springs to the outside of the frame, and raised them up about 4" For the steering I used a one sided rack from unisteer that intended as a replacement for a Vega cross steer in a 28 to 32 Ford. It requred a new mounting bracket that used the stock steering box holes in the frame, and shortening the kit drag link a bit. The right tie rod end is from speedway and has a boss for mounting the drag link end built in.

For brakes, I used the stock hubs, 11" rotors from a late GM front drive, along with the calipers, and GM factory bracket, with an adapter bracket to fit the Plymouth spindle
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Old 12-19-2011, 03:46 AM
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Thank you for the information. Always helps to get input from those who "tried it"
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Old 12-19-2011, 06:42 AM
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I'm doing a 37 Dodge Truck with a 331 Chrysler Hemi and Mustang II suspension. I know it's kind of apples and oranges, but I here are a couple of thoughts.

The first thing I would do is mock everything together. Even though the De Sotos are "Baby Hemi's" size wise they are still pretty wide especially if you add headers.

The 2 areas that I suspect you might run into clearance problems are:

Where the steering shaft will have to be routed. Remember the shaft will have to slide as the axel moves up and down so that will have to be a fairly long straight section attached to the rack

The other potential problem I can see is interference with the front of the oil pan. That rack bolted to the axel will add quite a bit if width if it's mounted to the back of the rack (more so if its a power rack).
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Old 12-19-2011, 06:34 PM
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thankx for the ideas and things to consider. Means a lot to me. I'll be doing some "mocking" for a little while then be back!
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Old 03-16-2012, 10:32 PM
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The 36 Plymouth was back today, here are some pictures of how it sets with a stock axle, stock spindles, Pontiac rotors and calipers on stock hubs. It has a Unisteer rack and pinion cross steer rack on it. Springs are moved out 2 1/2" per side.
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