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Old 07-01-2012, 03:31 PM
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47Ford coupe body/01 Dakota complete

I am so tempted . Coupe rough but all there minus frame running gear. $700, Dakota 2WD almost runs $600
. All on CG list. What a great project. Would u?

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Old 07-01-2012, 03:57 PM
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No. I just helped a friend of mine do a Dakota/38 Plymouth.. MoPar stuff is just strange.. TONS of work/time/fabrication..

Better to go more traditional frame/aftermkt suspension parts route and spare a classic coupe. That would have better chance of getting finished..
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Old 07-01-2012, 08:35 PM
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When ever I see these frame "swaps" I always wonder, what does the guy want a new car or an old one? If you simply want a car that drives like a Dakota drive the Dakota it's a lot less work.

Brian
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Old 07-02-2012, 08:41 PM
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I am going to disagree with you a little bit on this one Brian. I don't know about the Dakota frame but I grafted a '49 Mercury to a '69 Buick Skylark frame, floor pan and firewall. Ran a BB402 and muncie 4 speed. The car was an absolute dream to drive and had all the style of an old school custom. I sold the car to a gentleman in Avon indiana 20 years ago. He still owns it and drives the wheels off of it. Saw him and it at the Good-Guys last year in Nashville. There is one rule I don't want to break. A car has to be fun to drive as well as look at.

John L
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Old 07-02-2012, 11:34 PM
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I am all for full modified frames with nothing original on them but there is something about swapping the frame that rubs against my grain.


Brian
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Old 07-03-2012, 05:03 AM
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i hear what you are saying Brian, I think you will agree that if we all wanted to do it the same way it would not be nearly as interesting. The individuality is what makes hot rodding so cool. Either way it's built, I like hot rods

John L
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Old 07-03-2012, 06:40 AM
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Very few work.

From what I've seen Very few Frame swaps work, Wheelbase Tire locations widths Frame contours, ETc. WE put a 48 Jeepster on a 78 Blazer Chassis , Lots and Lots of Work, I wouldn't do another one. A buddy did a 49 Merc on a Monte carlo frame and he said it was a very easy swap. I would want to look carefully at one someone had done to see how hard it would be. 50 plus years ago we put a 31 chrysler Roadster on a 36 Chevy chassis that we had previously done an Olds full swap, engine trans , rear end, trimmed instrument panel wiring , WE left the chevy floor and firewall, and channeled the roadster body. There is a Tarus Wagon sitting on a 4 X 4 Toyota down by the farm and It doesn't fit or look right.
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Old 07-03-2012, 06:48 AM
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Frame swaps are a lot of work for sure. The Merc to Monte Carlo is basicly the same as the one I did. Frame swaps are like hair pieces. You only see the bad ones. If it is done well it is great but if the car ends up to high, wheels sticking out or not centered in wheel well, it just looks stupid.

John L
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Old 07-03-2012, 11:16 AM
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Here is an example of a succesful frame swap. It least I feel like it was. In this case I swapped floor pans and firewall. Had to lengthen the wheel base a little but that was easy done. These are copied pictures so I apologize for the quality.




By grafting the floor pans to the body all factory body mounts remained.

John L
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Old 07-03-2012, 05:49 PM
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bumper mounts

When My buddy did the monte" swap he mounted front and rear bumpers 3 or 4 inches lower, made new sheet metal gravel pans, It really looks low now, front flamed Moon hubcaps don't turn, It looks like it just floats along. He was a game designer at Atari, Some of the old Video games have a purple slammed 49 merc in the background, , the games were done before the car was completed.
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Old 07-03-2012, 06:44 PM
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You did a heck of a job John, very well done. The problem is this is NOT how it is usually done. It's so often done by some poor schmuck who has asked on some forum "What frame bolts under my 1950 Dodge Ambulance"? And someone says "Oh a 1985 Impala has the same wheel base it's work". And it ends up in some swap meet 1/4 done and ruined. I have seen so many and I only go to a few meets a year, and there is ALWAYS one there!

It takes an incredible amount of skills to pull it off what you did. Some will say "How are you going to learn if you don't try". That is all well and good as long as the guy trying KNOWS his options and what he is diving into. Often some guy with rose colored glasses asks what frame will fit under his car and then another guy with apparently darker rose colored glasses tells him to go for it without a single question to find out what the guys skills are.

I can replace the floor and frame rails and quarters on a 2009 Mercedes CL63 and not think a thing of it, but if some guy asks on a forum about doing it in his garage with his new Harbor Freight mig welder I am going to do everything in my power to talk him out of it. THAT is my responsibility as someone who knows a little about it, to warn the un-knowing as to what they are thinking about as much as it is to help them do it.

Same thing with chopping a 59 Chevy's top, someone asks and I am going to make damn sure they know what they are getting into.

Honestly, if someone even asks the question "What frame fits under my 1948 Wizbang"? He is just by the asking of the question not capable of doing it. If he said what frame could be made to fit, by just asking it that way I could entertain the thought that he may just be capable to pull it off. But it is never asked that way, "What frame will swap with mine"? Like it's bolting in a small block where a big block was or something.

It is a HUGE undertaking and I will continue to warn others of what a huge undertaking it is.

Brian
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Old 07-03-2012, 08:35 PM
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I agree with every word you said Brian. It is not an easy task and anyone who tries it must know what they are getting into upfront and be sure they have the skill set to pull it off.

JohnL
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Old 07-03-2012, 10:25 PM
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frame swap

We saw a jeep pickup at a show on a blazer chassis, I asked the guy how hard it was and he said Easy, just front cab mounts. I had put a jeepster on a 4 X 4 jeep pickup chassis and it was easy the frame shape was the same , the pickup was just longer behind the rear axle and had more front frame, but easy mount for the old winch. The problem was the jeepster rear floor foot area, The pickup box cleared the blazer shock -crosmember, jeepster had interference Etc ETc. gas tanks, steering engine, location. like Brian says not as easy as some people say. We have a gantry crane in the shop, a 2 post lift, and a Rotisserrie, Backhoe for heavy lifting. not a shade tree job. Mig Tig stick lathe Mille etc etc,
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Old 07-04-2012, 09:22 AM
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Just sub framing a car is a ton of work,everyone always has to do it once though (like me) but I did learn a lot about suspensions...so it wasn't all bad...But the next time I'm going to make the whole frame ...
BTW...love that merc,John ,one of my all time favorites...
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Old 07-05-2012, 09:31 AM
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john's swap

If the floor is rotted out on your project and you have a donor car with matching wheelbase, tire-track width I would rather do what John did., and if you want you could channel the body or do and easy section, cut off the rusted lower qyarters, door bottoms, drop the body. that's what we did 50 + years ago with the chrysler roadster. You save the instrument panel wiring steering and brake pedal M cyl. I saw a 49 Ford coupe on the 90's swoopy T bird floor-chassis a couple years before the fiberglass fenders hood Kits came out for the bird- shoebox kits .
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