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Old 11-12-2005, 05:57 PM
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Feasibility of using an old '48 Plymouth?

Hello,

A guy close to me has a '48 Plymouth 2-door. It runs and drives. Looks quite good from the pics. Has a little rust and needs an interior overhaul. To an amateur, the paint and body look pretty good for a 57 yr old car. It has a 6-cylinder, original thin wheels with wheel covers, etc, etc. I've searched on the net for restoration parts, etc with not much luck so I have some questions for you...

1.) Where do you buy replacement suspension parts? Will the parts from a place like Kanter work? What If I wanted to lower the suspension and put much wider tires....is my only option to just cut the coil springs? How can I restore the ride, have it ride comfortable, and be lower and wider?

2.) Would a Chrysler/Dodge V8 bolt right in or require motor mount fabrication? My welding skills are zero so I don't want to get in over my head.

3.) What about the rear end that was originally for a V6? Would that also need to be replaced? Where would I find a replacement?

Since Plymouth's aren't nearly as popular as Ford/Chevy's, am I going to spend most of my time hunting/fabricating parts that will work since there doesn't seem to be much of an aftermarket?

I really like the car but don't want it to be a source of frustration when parts can't be found. Just wanted some advice.

Thanks.

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Old 11-12-2005, 06:16 PM
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parts for dodge/ plymouth are expensive. engine parts, suspension parts and things like that are available from a auto parts store, with there own brand name, Napa, carquest, parts plus ect. the motor mounts for a Mopar V8 are diffrent, they would need to be fitted and probably custom. if your talking an early Hemi, there mounts are also diffrent, but then the chance of using the original trans is a possibility. the parts are out there, it's limited suppliers but they do exist.
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Old 11-12-2005, 08:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jemo
Hello,

A guy close to me has a '48 Plymouth 2-door. It runs and drives. Looks quite good from the pics. Has a little rust and needs an interior overhaul. To an amateur, the paint and body look pretty good for a 57 yr old car. It has a 6-cylinder, original thin wheels with wheel covers, etc, etc. I've searched on the net for restoration parts, etc with not much luck so I have some questions for you...

1.) Where do you buy replacement suspension parts? Will the parts from a place like Kanter work? What If I wanted to lower the suspension and put much wider tires....is my only option to just cut the coil springs? How can I restore the ride, have it ride comfortable, and be lower and wider?

2.) Would a Chrysler/Dodge V8 bolt right in or require motor mount fabrication? My welding skills are zero so I don't want to get in over my head.

3.) What about the rear end that was originally for a V6? Would that also need to be replaced? Where would I find a replacement?

Since Plymouth's aren't nearly as popular as Ford/Chevy's, am I going to spend most of my time hunting/fabricating parts that will work since there doesn't seem to be much of an aftermarket?

I really like the car but don't want it to be a source of frustration when parts can't be found. Just wanted some advice.

Thanks.
1.) Kanters is good also try oldmoparparts.com
I cant find the other 2 but when I do I will post them. Their are companies that sell disc brake for your stock spindles and shorter shocks and springs. Look at the wheel opening some are not a true radius so your tires will rub in turns if its to low.


2.) No a V8 will not bolt right in old our new. Plymouth has the steering box mounted inside the frame. It did not change until 55. That is why only Chrysler,Dodge and Desoto had the early Hemis Plymouth did not get the Hemi until 66 or 67 sorry I cant remember when.


3.)No the rear end is good but after 40+ years I would replace it if you are putting a bigger motor in it. My car is a 54 Plymouth and my rear end came from a 78 fury It is about 3/4" wider than stock. I say measure from backing plate to backing plate then search on line for rear end lengths.


I bought a 78 fury and a 85 diplomat for 600 for both and took what I needed
front clip disc brakes, engine, trans, rearend and steering column . looking back I should have used the frame or looked for a Dakota or such and swapped that.

Last edited by 4lug39; 11-12-2005 at 09:28 PM.
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Old 11-13-2005, 09:31 AM
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Finding restoration parts is not a huge problem, BUT since you are considering a V8 swap I would caution against trying to "restore" the original front suspension.

If you have no welding skills I would strongly suggest you take a welding course and learn. There is no way you will be able to build this car without knowing how to weld. You'll have to fabricate motor mounts, trans mounts, and several other parts as well and welding is going to be an integral part of fabricating those parts.

I strongly suggest you read THIS post before you begin. The key to a successful build is organization and knowing what you want to do from the beginning.

When it comes to suspension you have several choices. You can install a Mustang II IFS which will give you rack and pinion steering and disk brakes, or you could go with a GM front clip (Nova would probably fit best) and that will give you power steering, disk brakes and ready made mounts for a Chevy engine. The other option would be a Volare clip. Any of these will require welding and fabrication skills but each will give you a good ride with easily available replacement parts.

Finally if the measurements work out you could, as has been mentioned earlier, swap to a complete Dakota frame. This would give you disk brakes a really good complete suspension system, ready made mounts for a Chrysler small block etc. The problems with frame swaps and clip installs is mounting the sheet metal. This takes a little time and again fabrication and welding skills.

Do yourself a big favor and read the post linked above and decide what you want the car to be and how you're going to use it before spending a dime. Then sign up for a welding course at your local tech school or community college and learn how to properly fabricate. Your chances of success will be much better if you do.
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Old 11-13-2005, 10:22 AM
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Using a 48 Plymouth.

Many years back, (1957) had a perfect 48tudor.Old 6 bangerdied. Local racer / wrecking yard owner came up with a plan. Snatched eng/ trans. from a 55 Plymouth with a V-8. Not a lot of surgery involved, but I was using original suspension, steering, etc. Took more then a couple of week ends to finish, but well worth it. Wish i still had it or could find the parts to do it again.
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Old 11-14-2005, 05:22 AM
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The old Plymouths are cool cars with just some dress-up parts. A buddy bought one cheap, had a lot of J.C. Whitney bolt ons, visor, lighted hood ornament, etc. It was a pretty cool car, he's had it for 20 years and hasn't changed a thing. Still has the original drive train, interior has been redone, a paint job, a very cool car. Sometimes the best thing to do with an older car is just leave it alone, especially if you have doubts about the skills you need to finish the job or funds. Nothing worse than getting in over your head when you could be cruising instead. Dan
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Old 12-07-2005, 12:35 PM
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Year and years ago, I helped a pal of mine put a 55 Olds engine and hydromatic into a 48. I recall that the rear end had to be changed because it used the old ball and trunion type U-Joints. I think that the rear that we put in there was a 48 or so Pontiac. I remember that the steering was a problem and I recall that we moved it back a couple of inches to get clearance. His car was featured in Hot Rod magazine and the story was titled "Plymouth Rock" as in Rocket Olds engine.
I also helped another pal with his 47. We put a 53 Chrysler 265 cubic inch 6 in there. It was bored and the head had been milled for higher compression. It had a couple of B&B carbs and some kind of "3/4" cam and dual exhausts. That was a fast 6...He regularly shut down OHV V8's
I think that a good start on yours, after interior work, would be to drop the front a couple of inches by chopping the coils when the front end is being rebuilt, putting some old school wheels and tires on it (Chrome with baby moons and 2" wide white walls..235's in back, 195's in front) and having dual exhausts put on with some 26" or so glass packs.
That combination would draw a crowd where ever you took it
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Old 12-21-2005, 06:23 PM
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48 Plymouth Woes....

I also own a 40 's era plymouth, a 47 convert.........great cars........however, if you are seriously considering anything shy of "restoring this car.......i.e.original motor trans etc, you need to do more than "take a course for welding , you are considering rolling down the road on 60 yr old spindles and brakes with a higher powered motor than it came with, you should seriously consider a sub frame swap, these cars are perfect candidates for gm stub swaps, or better yet do as I did, use a mopar front suspension unit out of a 77/78 volare aspen . diplomat car.......they are very compact, utilise self contained torsion bars that can adjust the front end from the 4x4 stance to in the weeds.........though not like airbags can be adjusted. They also have all the mounts for a motor and steering built in for a mopar late model v8....... these are really neat units, I have installed four in various cars and one 1950 ford 1/2 ton pickup.........with no probs what soever............and this is where your deal gets sticky.........you taking a welding class to install this is a bad idea! You need to find a shop that will weld it in for you........you do all the figuring work, notch the 48 frame, even tack weld it in, but if your skills arent anyhting but top notch get a pro to help you...........it's not that expensive and the safety and peace of mind is well worth the extra money spent, then as you get more proficiant you take on bigger jobs.........for now save your fabricating skills to body mods and repairs and minor projects like motor mounts, new core support brackets.....(read that.."non critical" pieces.
Good luck ..........and if you want any pics of some of these swaps , call me 414 687 2713...or write to lespaulplyr@yahoo
see ya
john
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