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Old 08-29-2013, 05:11 PM
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Cross member from 1995 Roadmaster in 37

I'm exploring another option for the front suspension & steering for my 1937 Roadmaster.
I have a 1995 Roadmaster donor car and I'm considering cutting the front cross member out of that car and grafting it into my 1937.
Virtually all the 95 steering, brakes, and suspension could then be used.
I'm already using the power train and rear axle out of this 95, so this would make all replacement parts from the same model car and will also save money.
This would change the 37 to a front steer set-up.
I would not be able to use the 95 steer box because it normally resides where the 37 frame passes through and supports the front bumper.
I have a 77 Scout 2 box that may work because the box sits on top of the frame and the pitman shaft goes down to the bottom of the frame.
The first picture shows the cross member I would cut from the 95. The other pictures show the cross member installed in the 37 frame.
My question for anyone who has grafted cross members:
1) Will it work for me to cut rectangular slots half way up from the bottom of the 37 frame and half way down from top of the 95 cross member so it can be slid up into the frame?
I could then have the cross member welded to the frame.
Thanks
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Old 08-30-2013, 09:58 AM
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You can use any steering gear you like as long as the pitman arm is the exact same length as the original Buick unit and moves on the same plane. It must run exactly parallel to the idler arm or bumpsteer will be the result. Some of those older steering gears have a much slower ratio than modern units, so be aware that the steering may be slower than with the original Buick gear.

As for mounting the crossmember, it certainly can be notched into the original frame, but make sure to mock the chassis up at ride final ride height and rake and then mock up the front suspension, level it and set it at ride height. Utilizing the radius of the tire/wheel combination you plan to use you will then see how high the suspension will need to be when installed in the frame. It is vital to set everything up accurately so it all will be correct when the car finally hits the road!

Regards,

Andy
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Old 08-30-2013, 10:55 AM
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Thanks for your help.
I plan on using the 95 pitman arm with the 95 spindles and idler, so everything will be matched. The 95 pitman arm will fit on the 77 Scout 2 gearbox because they are both saginaw.
1) Would it be better to:
a) knotch the 95 cross member and the 37 frame and then weld in a piece of angle that would become the mating surface (like an aftermarket crossmember), or
b) would it be better cut slots in each part so the pieces slide up into each other and the weld every slot?
2) Does anyone have pictures of a grafted crossmember similar to this?
Thanks
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Old 08-30-2013, 11:23 AM
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suspension swap

I have looked at putting in a jag IFS in the 36 olds and 37 pontiac. on those I would have to cut off the original spring pockets and adding flat plate to the side of the frame, then put the jag Crossmember under the rails. It depends on how much of the original frame you have to cut to get the new crosmember in place. sometimes you need to make a temporary bolt on bird cage locating fixture for keeping the front sheetmetal-bumper clip mounting locations.
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Old 08-30-2013, 11:55 AM
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The 95 cross member would actually reside for the most part behind the 37 cross member.
The 37 spring pockets may interfere a little bit and I could remove them for a better finished look. May leave the 37 cross member in place to support the radiator. The 95 frame will actually fit on the outside of the 37 frame so I plan on cutting the 95 frame in front of the anti-sway mount and behind the spring pockets.
I think I will have to notch both the cross member and the 37 frame to get the car to ride at the desired height which is lower than stock. See the attached cross section that shows the interferance between green 95 crossmember and grey 37 frame.
Thanks
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Old 08-30-2013, 05:13 PM
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I have done many installations such as you describe, and my inclination is to leave as much of the new crossmember intact as you can to protect the integrity of the geometry. I would notch the frame until you can tack the crossmember in place, then make filler plates and gussets as required to make it structural. Sounds like you have it well in hand, and with the cad drawings, that makes the process much clearer.

Good luck,

Andy
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Old 08-30-2013, 05:26 PM
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new trend

You may be starting a new trend, replacing jag and mustang Ii swaps. keep us informed and picts.
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Old 08-30-2013, 06:06 PM
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Thanks both for your words of encouragement.
The most similar process I have found so far is the process for installing a volare ifs. Found several sites with detailed info on this:
NOTES ON A VOLARE FRONT CLIP INSTALL
Pilothouse Truck Knowledge
The installation they show seems pretty similar to what I would like to do with the 95 Roadmaster crossmember.
Mutt
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Old 08-31-2013, 01:44 PM
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Over the years I have installed Volare, Pacer, Mustang II, Corvette and countless aftermarket IFS and straight axle front ends. What I have discovered as the key to success is that if you take your time and ACCURATELY mock up all components at your desired ride height and rake and have the tire and wheel combination figured out before anything is welded in place, you will be successful.

Also, make certain that the frame you are grafting onto is square, level (not twisted), and true to a centerline.

My last bit of advice is that unless you really know what you are doing, don't alter the factory geometry of the crossmember, control arms or the steering. The factory geometry is usually pretty good for a car that is used for cruising. You can play with spring rates, shocks and alignment settings later to fine tune your car.

Regards,

Andy
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Old 08-31-2013, 10:02 PM
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Thanks for sharing your experience
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Old 08-31-2013, 10:18 PM
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Andy,
I apologize if these seem like simple questions, but this is the first project car I've built:
1) I assume I will set up the front suspensionwith the engine and frontmetal removed.
If so, then how to you take into account the weight removed weight when setting up the height of the front cross member in the frame?
2) I have been told it is preferred to remove the body to weld in the rear suspension in the frame. Similarly, how do you take into account the weight of the body when setting the height of the rear suspension?
3) Do you set up the front suspension, or rear suspension, first or do you set up them together?
Thanks
Mutt
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Old 09-01-2013, 07:15 AM
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compare weights.

compare the weights of both cars, and try to check the lower a arm angle and spring compressed length a the new car on its wheels.. then either remove the spring and make a spacer bar to set up the new suspension or compress the new suspension with a long piece of 3/4 all thread. when you have the new crossmember blocked at the right heigth you can determine where your frame should be to get the ride heigt you want. If it rides too high with the new suspension you can go for different springs.
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Old 01-08-2014, 09:33 AM
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Heres an update on some added info I found.
A gentleman named Ralph Sauceda described how he and friends have done this swap on three early 50's Chevy trucks.
1951 front end swap | The HiPo Shop | The Stovebolt Forums
Here are some pictures.
Ralph Sauceda's (rnsauceda)'s Library | Photobucket
Looks pretty close to what I planned except I would like to keep more of the original frame intact for radiator and fender support.
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Old 01-08-2014, 10:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutt's37Buick View Post
Looks pretty close to what I planned except I would like to keep more of the original frame intact for radiator and fender support.
Thanks


Oh puhleeeze do not copy this. This has to be one of the scariest front clip swaps I have ever seen. All I can say is that as an aerospace engineer who has designed and flown a bunch of structures, this is wrong on so many levels that I can't even begin to list them.
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Old 01-09-2014, 04:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe_padavano View Post


Oh puhleeeze do not copy this. This has to be one of the scariest front clip swaps I have ever seen. All I can say is that as an aerospace engineer who has designed and flown a bunch of structures, this is wrong on so many levels that I can't even begin to list them.
Now that's a graft! Looks more like horticulture...

Russ
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