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Old 04-26-2007, 09:07 AM
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38 desoto project of the week ?????

I saw that Mr Gross was building a 38 Desoto 4 door using 70 model camero running gear. I was wondering if he had run into any issues with his suspension being to wide. I have a 38 Desoto 2door and have the same running gear but my dad thinks that it is to wide for the fenders, also how did he overcome the spring length issues in the rear? does anyone know?
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Old 04-26-2007, 01:03 PM
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Mr. Gross goes by the handle of 38 special. Send a private message to him and ask him directly. Ask him to respond in this thread so others who may be interested can see his answers.
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Old 04-26-2007, 06:49 PM
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I have a 39 Plymouth 2 door sedan and using Nova front clip 68-72. At first I thought it was a Camaro, but found out Nova is a couple of inches smaller, it fits perfect. The 10 bolt rear works good, the original builder welded some brackets out the back as hangers due to the length. I cut it all off and am going with a bag set up and panhard bar. I'll have some pix by next week if it will help.
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Old 04-27-2007, 07:48 AM
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thanks some pics before you cut it off would really help, My dad orginally did the sub framing and he thinks its to wide and he said he messed up in the rear and he is also thinking the springs, in the rear, are too long. I was thinking about using some rear springs from an '84 mercury capri or a late 70s early 80s Ford Courier pu. I currently have these laying around. I was also told that an S-10 pu frame is a perfect fit for these old cars. I even thought about using the rear coil suspension out of an 84-85 Trans am. Any thoughts?
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Old 04-28-2007, 08:35 AM
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Hey CFNut, Glad to help. I finally found your thread. As you can see by 68Ratvt's post there is sometimes more than one way to do things. He is right the Nova clip will be a slightly better fit but Camaro and Firebird will also work. Do you have the clip on yet. I did a frame off with mine so if your doing a frame on it will be a little more difficult to measure. I measured the original from the center (hub) of the wheels to the back hub. Write this down and keep it somewhere safe, you'll need it. This measurement will keep your new suspension centered in your wheel well when you install it. Then I measured to the center width of the tires (front end) of the DeSoto and Camaro suspension to see if they were relatively close, they were. You shouldn't have to do this it should work but check it anyhow, okay? I also measured (with the body off) from the front left to the rear right back tire and the left back tire to the front right tire. This needs to be square (the same) when you install both the front and rear ends so the vehicle doesn't dog track going down the highway. Who wants to see the back end of your car looking like its trying to pass the front end? If your doing a frame on you may have to find a different way to measure to make sure it's square. After you asked I went out to look at mine. The tire is at the very edge of the wheel well. You can just barely see it and I was not directly behind it when I took the pic so it's all in the well but not by much. I can live with that. Here's a pic for you.
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Old 04-28-2007, 09:34 AM
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Well CFN I typed out a whole page on doing your (cars) rear end but it dissappeared on me when I tired to post a pic. Argghhh! I hate when that happens. So here's a shortended version. Any questions don't be afraid to ask. Most of us are more than willing to help a fellow rodder.
Yes I did run into issues with the 10 bolt Camaro rear end so I (for lack of a better word) hyridized it. I used the springs from the DeSoto and got rid of the ones form the Camaro. The DeSoto ones would bolt right back up to the frame. I rebuilt the shackles using new parts from Andy Bernbaums. You may want to get his catalog it may be invaluable to you and your dad. Go to www.oldmoparts.com or cal 1-617-244-1118. He's not real personable but he really knows his stuff. After installing (don't forget your measurements) the rear end will need new shock mounts. You just have to figure where they will fit your application the best and weld some on. I went to my Napa store and told them how far my new mounts we apart and tehy would give me some shocks to try and see what would fit teh best. It took a couple of trips to the store to get the right ones but they know me by now are willing to help (cause they know I'll need more parts.) I bought new U bolts and used some of the old bolts from the DeSoto. It's a hodegepodge of whatever works to get it back together (nuts and bolts wise). The old rubber pads were very worn so I used heavy truck matt rubber (mudd flaps) to make new ones. After all that make sure you get the springs back on the same side they came off of. My body wanted to lean but when I changed sides with the springs the body sat straight. I repainted and greased the springs before installing. I had one broke spring but it was a small one so I took on out of the opposite side to keep them even. It worked. After all that my rear end sat up higher than I liked so I made a 2" lowering block out of a pice of steel bar stock. It was much cheaper than buying a set. I drilled a hole in it so it would not come out and painted it black to match the springs. Of course check you brakes and rebuild if neccessary. Keep all your part boxes or part numbers in case you ever have to replace them somewhere down the line. You can't just go in and ask for shocks for a 38 street rod and get the right ones.LOL! Well after all that it was still a long post. Whew! Here's pics one of the rebuilt shackles and one of the lowering block. Keep us posted on you ride.
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Old 04-28-2007, 09:48 AM
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For the longer based 38 DeSoto 4 door an extended cab s-10 is about the same wheel base. So a regular s-10 may fit the 2 door. I've heard it will but I've never tried it. Measure the wheel base to see if it will work.
If you have any local street rodders close by ask them for help also. I did! It was interesting what you can learn from them and on here.
Hope I was of some help. I don't normally cruise this section of the board but I may have to start. Pm me anytime if you need something. Here's the lowering block pic.
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Old 04-28-2007, 10:57 PM
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well the original rear springs are long gone, the got mistakenly/purposely hauled off by a cousin...you know take this stuff this stuff but leave that stuff....well he took it all, so the original springs are goners. So maybe i will play with them. Do you have a measurement for the spring length? you know eye hole to eye hole?
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Old 05-01-2007, 03:04 PM
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Yes, my springs measuer 53 1/2 inches that's from the front center of the front mount to the back center of the bottom hole in the shackle (see pic of shackle) That's what worked easiest for me maybe someone else has a better idea if you can't get your springs and shackles back.
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Old 05-01-2007, 03:07 PM
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You can get the shackles and bushings from Andy Bernbaum if you go this route.
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Old 05-02-2007, 11:59 AM
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thanks again for the info i will have to check and see how close i am to that. if not then i will have to source a pair out to make it work. Slowly getting this car build on paper then i can finish where my dad left off
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Old 05-03-2007, 01:58 PM
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I don't have any pictures of the before spring hangers, it was a simple thick flat plate welded off the back corners, hung out about 4 inches, the hangers were welded underneath at the far back. I'm waiting for a couple of brackets from powder coat and I'll hang the new rear set up, soon as I do, I'll post the pix..
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Old 05-03-2007, 02:11 PM
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cool thanks 68ratvt i dont mind if they hang down i just dont want them (hangers) hanging out like a bumper...once i get there i want a smooth rear
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Old 05-05-2007, 11:31 AM
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Way to go Rat! I'd like to see those pics myself. If I ever run across that problem with my next ride it might come in handy. Two heads are always better than one.
Keep us posted with your progress. What part did you think your dad might have messed up?
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Old 05-05-2007, 10:34 PM
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I believe he messed up the rear shackles. the mounting points where they connect to the frame. and the springs are too long. But i will find some that fit and just box the rear and refab the shackles. the front i think i will just run it and if it is to wide then i will try to adjust by either smaller tires or adjusting the backspacing. at least that is my thinking at the moment.
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