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Wadeamca 11-28-2007 01:23 PM

'36 Hudson Terraplane Front Suspension Question
5 Attachment(s)
I asked this before but didnt get any responses so I figured Id try again before I jump in with all two feet and possibly really screw up or have something that's really unsafe.

I have a 36 Hudson Terraplane 2-Door Sedan Im putting together. To get away from the original I-beam solid front axle, I have a front suspension/cross member from a '76 Toyota pickup that bolted onto the original Toyota chassis - I didn't have to cut it out. In the attached photos, it's 'C' clamped to the frame rails of my Terraplane to check the fit and get it exact as it will mount in the Terraplane frame. As you can see, the A arms/control arms are NOT sitting straight in line with the chassis they are at an angle. However, without making any tie rod adjustments at all, the tires sit straight - as they should. Looking at the photos I've attached, will this work or not?

The Toyota chassis went straight to the front and then both frame rails turned out where this cross member bolted on. Because of the mounting of my front fenders, I can't spread my Terraplane frame rails to match the Toyota cross member mounting angle.

If it will work, I know I have to weld some bracing on it so that I can bolt and weld it under my Terraplane chassis - after I box the rails. I also want to weld some 1/2-inch pipe sleeves inside the frame rails for the bolts to go through to keep the frame from squeezing down from the pressure of the bolts (or is this just overkill?).

The engine is a 3.8L V6 Ford with automatic transmission. I also have to modify the inner fenders so the smog pump and power steering pump will fit.

Any and all help will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks muches,


Deuce 11-29-2007 03:10 PM

Without looking more closely ... I would say no.

I have clicked on the photos and cannot get them to enlarge up. I suggest you start a a photo journal here ( it's free ) and then move the enlarged photos to this post.

Deuce Moderator

powerrodsmike 11-29-2007 04:03 PM

If you hold your control key down, and roll your mouse's scroller wheel you can get the pics (and post) to get really BIG...or really small.

I'll say that I am not a fan of clips installed like that, but...

When I get the pics large, it looks like the suspension will fit in the frame, I don't see why you couldn't build a boxed extension onto the sides of the frame and bolt the C member on using the existing Toyota mounting holes.. I would put the throughbolt support tubes through the frame, to keep from crushing it. And box the frame rails on the inside as well. As long as you have clearance for the upper control arms, and can maintain the original anti dive angles, I think you'd be ok.

I worked on a 40 ford pickup that had a complete Toyota frame under it, with a SBC/th350...All of the suspension looked very stout and it drove really nice.

Later, mikey

Wadeamca 11-30-2007 09:25 PM

I went back and changed the photo size to allow everyone to see what I'm talking about. Since the Toyota cross member isn't changing and the wheels/etc are staying in the same position now as they were when inside the Toyota fenders (same control arm/a-frame angles), in my mind I don't see any problem.

HOWEVER, I could be wrong. Someone told me, although it has been quite a long time ago, that I have been wrong before (but I dont' remember it).

Any and all help and guidance will be greatly appreciated.


35terraplane 09-14-2010 06:05 PM

36 Terraplane
Wayne I go by 35terraplane. I put a Toyota P/U front end in my 35 Terraplane, it was really quite easy. First I stripped every thing off of the Terraplane, after taking all the measurements off the 35 frame I had the fenders on it and axle and wheel, I checked it from several points, both sides so I knew Where the center of the hub was. I checked it from the front and also from the center of the front hub to the center of the back hub. After I had checked both sides every which way but upside down, I took the 35 apart until all I had left was the frame and the cross member. Then I found the center of the cross member of the P/U cross member, now this is the hard part, if when you set your new crossmember under your 36 frame, where the 36 hub center is the same as your P/U hub center is, and the frame of your 36 is still sitting on the cross member of the P/u it should work the same as what I did on my 35. What I did is cut the P/U cross member so the frame of the Terraplane would slide into the cross member, I just slid the cross member back until I had the right wheel base, took a piece of 1/4" steel, put it under the frame rails, that went all the way across then 1/4" steel on both sides of the frame rail and welded it up the wheel base was perfect they had no problem when they put it on the wheel rack drives like a champ. If you read this I do Have pictures I can send. You do know that fatman makes a mustang kit for a 36, I do not know if your frame is the same as mine or not I think it might not be the same but not sure. And it is hard to explain when you are not looking at it. So get a hold of me before you cut your feet off.

Later 35terraplane

Ray Bell 09-14-2010 08:24 PM

Does Mitsubishi sell their L300 vans and L200 pickups there?

If so, their front crossmembers from the eighties are tailor-made for this type of conversion. Also have Ford/Mopar stud pattern and disc brakes.

35terraplane 09-14-2010 10:05 PM

front ends
I have no idea what you are talking about, selling what where, When I put my front end on my terraplane, no one made after market front ends for Terraplane, they didn't make them for most Fords let alone anything else, maybe you were too young when that started. Now days I would put a after market mustang on a car Fatman makes them for about anything.

35 terraplane

Ray Bell 09-14-2010 10:19 PM

Not talking about aftermarket front ends...

I'm talking about the pickups and vans made by Mitsubishi in the eighties, they had a neat front end (similar to the Toymota front end pictured above, but with easier mounting prospects) that is very popular in hot-rods and other conversions here in Australia.

ericnova72 09-14-2010 10:32 PM

Ray, I've seen pics of the Mitsu front suspension you guys Down Under use, I don't think it is sold here in the US. Shame though, it looks like a really easily adaptable set-up from what I have seen.

Ray Bell 09-14-2010 10:45 PM

It is... what a pity you don't have it...

And the one from the earlier Toymota Hi-Ace vans would probably have been good too, though it was a drum brake thing.

35terraplane 09-15-2010 12:40 PM

front ends
Ray: I'm sorry , I didn't understand what you were asking, I don't know about the other front ends. I'm the only one around here that I know of that has used the Toyota front end and we just run into it at the junk yard when we were looking for something to put on the Terraplane. I wasn't sure that a Mustang was heavey enough. You have to know I did this over 20 years ago. I don't know if I were to do it today if I would go to the yard and get one or buy a new after market one. I don't go to the yards much anymore to get my parts, I would rather pay more and have a new peice for pease of mind when going down the road, when it comes to the moving parts, using sheetmetal to design something into the car or something like that is another story although being a guy that likes 30's cars they don't need much changeing. Again sorry about the mixup and you have a good da

35 Terraplane

Ray Bell 09-15-2010 03:57 PM

Not a problem...

One thing that strikes me about it all, of all US cars of the period, the Terraplane was the fastest lightweight around. I remember someone pointing out to me years ago how flimsy the original front end was.

35terraplane 09-15-2010 04:25 PM

front ends
You know Ray they might have been talking about the axle or steering because the frame seams pretty stout, and the cross member looks like it was built for a tank. Now I know as far as the 34-35 Terraplane and Hudson they were the same except for the grille insert and the hood ornament. I do not know if the frames were different for the 6 or 8 engine, but I doubt it . The Terraplanes were 6 cyl., and the one I have is the short one with a flatback, I was told there are less than 100 give or take, in the world.
It might be quite rare , but at the same time it was quite rough, the Hudson Terraplane club turn it down to build. Street rodders they will try anything. A guy from the club got me some fenders and he knew it was the car they had turn down, but said nothing. Later on I went to a show with it, in primer, seen the guy that got me the fenders, so I took him out to show him what I had did to the car, he sat down as soon as he saw it shook his head and told me that when he saw what car I was putting the fenders on , he said he thought I was either drunk or on drugs to try and fix that car up. Street rodders get her done

35 terraplane

Ray Bell 09-15-2010 04:45 PM

Yes, the hubs and brakes were part of what was being pointed out to me...

Terraplanes were very popular here in Australia. Many people raced them, I have an article somewhere about all the Terraplanes that were raced back in the day.

I actually drove one of them, it was based on a '35 IIRC and was one of the most-raced cars in all of Australia for years. I competed in a hillclimb back in 1977 driving it, great fun, it had a canvas single seat body on it and a couple of carbies, open exhausts and a lot of old Terraplane stuff down there doing its thing. The cork clutch was hard to master at the starts!

To keep the old Hudson engines alive at the revs they used to run, they ran low-pressure oil pumps driven by the fanbelt with a copper tube up the side of the crankcase. Little holes in the copper tube aimed squirts of oil at the differs on the con-rods and put oil into the bearings which wouldn't have been there otherwise because the trough in the oil caused by the rod going through it at 6,000rpm couldn't close over before the rod came around the next time.

That car I drove went through a bunch of metamorpheses. It started its racing life with a canvas roadster body, then had a neat steel body built with a later grille, then that was replaced with another canvas one. Through the fifties it remained like that, but in the sixties the steel body went back on, along with cycle guards, and a Y-block was stuck into it to race it as a sports car. Finally it was returned to its 1948-57 shape for Historic racing and that's how I drove it.

Today it's covered in dust, but Peter assures me that he's found another block and he'll get it running again soon.

35terraplane 09-16-2010 09:00 AM

I do know that Hudson did ship a lot of cars down under, also to England, and to our friends to the north of us. I was told once that if I needed parts get a hold of one of you guys there were lots of parts , but I don't know if that holds true now. They stopped making Terraplanes in 1938 here, although I myself only like the 33-35 years, as I think they are the best looking, and have lots of body lines. Next to a 1933-34 Ford and a 1926-27 model T, they would be my favorite cars, everyone has there own and they made many brands back in the day, I just glad to say I had seen them for real when they were still being driven as everyday cars.

Later bob

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