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Old 04-06-2006, 08:16 PM
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Frame Mod question

I hit a bit of a snag on my project. i have a 47 plymouth 4dr with a sloped back (see avatar). I am mounting this on a '88 dakota frame and i've already channeled the body about 6".

the problem is in the trunk area. the dakota frame rails really kick up at the back and are in the way back there. they are basically in the trunk, if i had a trunk. i'm thinking about how i'm going to mount my bumper brackets to the frame. the rear of the body is about 14" off the ground. the top of the frame rails is almost 25" off the ground. So i need to get my rails down 10" and under the body.

the dakota frame rails are a 'C' frame and are about 6" tall. i have some 2x4 1/8" steel and was thinking of cutting the rails above the axle and then mitering the 2x4 to get it below the body. i'm sure i can do the work but i'm worried about keeping the rails absolutely straight and also wondering about any problems i might run into when i eventually get the car safetied.

any advice appreciated.

thanks,

JB

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Old 04-06-2006, 08:36 PM
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If your springs are mounted on top of the axle...you can cut your spring pads off of your axle and weld them on the other side of the axle and mount your springs under the axle...that will lower the back a good bit.
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Old 04-07-2006, 04:48 PM
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thanks Henry but i've already done that. i went to shorter, flatter leafs to get the frame down but because it's a truck frame it really sits high. this is my first project and when i started i couldn't see this far ahead so now i'm trying to come up with something.

thanks,

JB
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Old 04-07-2006, 08:35 PM
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Johnnymopar
Question on the kick up at the rearend, is this sticking up too high into the car or will this part be OK and you just wish to lower the rails at the back of the car? You can get your rear rail height for the new rails if the kick up is OK, by measuring the body and marking your height on the old rails, there you should be able to cut the old rails with a ZZZZZ cut and mount your new rails with matching cuts then put plates on the cuts for more strength and put a couple of new braces across the back stretch for more support, then you can build the mounts required for the body and the bumper brackets. There should not be to much problem getting them straight and if behind the rear kick up you will not actually effect the main frame strength, if you have to build the rear kick up to get everything to fit right then you have more to do for strength. Pictures would be nice and I am sure others will have more ideas.

30dee
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Old 04-07-2006, 10:42 PM
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Frame Mod question

The problem you have is two fold. The first problem is that you are using a truck frame which was designed to sit high for ground clearance and carry weight. You will have to get it closer to the ground. You have channeled the body and flattened the leaf springs but your frame is still to high. You could change where your springs mount by moving them inboard and mounting them higher up on the frame. Even after you do this the back of the frame will still be way up in what was your trunk. Here you will have to cut this out and build a subframe which will allow you to regain some of your trunk space and someplace to mount your bumpers. Your 2X4 material will work just fine for this as there is very little weight on this part of the frame and the twisting forces of the drivetrain happen before this part of the frame. You might want to do a search for rear subframe to see how these are used to allow for bigger tires in the rear. Just think of your subframe as coming after the rear end instead of before. Hopes this helps.
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Old 04-08-2006, 08:47 AM
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Check out Alston or some other subframe pro street type of manufacturer for ideas. Good luck Dan
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Old 04-08-2006, 05:11 PM
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thanks for the info guys, i just added a pic to my album to show what i'm up against.

i hear what you guys are saying about the frame riding too high etc. i'm thinking about getting some dropped spindles for the front but i want to see how much lower the frame rides after i drop in the motor.

i could use blocks in the back to drop it another inch or two. the frame does ride pretty high. as i said before this is my first project and at the time of moving the rearend ahead i wasn't comfortable cutting up the frame and i did do a lot of work to relocate the leafs and leaf brackets. i really don't want to do that again.

at the this point i'm almost thinking of boxing the frame in front of the rear axle and putting a 4-link in. i could really lower it then and then figure out what to do over the axle.

anyways, i've still got lots to do before i get the back in shape.

any more replies welcome.

thanks,

JB
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Old 04-08-2006, 05:56 PM
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Frame Mod question

Now that I see the pictures in your journal I understand your problem more. I have a few more suggestions. Lowering blocks like you say will get it down lower. Channeling the body more will get it down lower but you lose your trunk. Moving the shock bracket in front of the axle would give more trunk space. Redoing your springs would also help(I know you don't want to do that) S10 frame swap guys are moving there spring mounts to the inside of the frame, boxing that location and moving them up to the top edge of the frame. Makes you wonder if you should have used the original frame I bet. Good luck and don't give up. Being creative will help solve your problems.
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Old 04-09-2006, 02:26 PM
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thanks, homebrew,

my original frame was pretty rough and i didn't want to bother with disc upgrades, p/s upgrades and there was hardly any room in there for a V8. i figured to buy all the kits to convert everything i probably would have spent at least $1500. i bought the whole truck for $600 and made $750 in parts.

the original frame rode pretty much like a truck anyway so i'm not too worried about getting the main part of the frame closer to the ground. but the area in the back is too high and i will have to cut it off.

when i moved my rearend ahead i got shorter leafs because the original dakotas really swoop up, and i reversed my leaf brackets from front to rear to level out the springs. this actually got the frame down about 4" at the back.

thanks for the help guys.

JB
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Old 04-10-2006, 10:32 AM
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I mounted a 38 Plymouth body on a 93 Dakota chassis. I ran into the same problem. I dearched the springs, relocated the rear spring mounts as high as I could on the frame. "C" notched the frame, and raised the floor in the trunk. I also installed air suspension. The car can get pertty low. The car has got 2 Goodguys picks.
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Old 04-10-2006, 10:32 AM
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Cutting the frame behind the rear spring shackles won't be a problem. Cutting in front of the shackles would be, unless you can figure out how to keep the shackle mounting point at the same height. I can't tell where the rear spring shackles mount in the photo, but it appears that they have to mount on something that extends down from the frame. You can box the frame and weld a piece of tubing THROUGH it so that half the shackle mounts on each side, or move the location, or to the inside or outside of the frame. The shackle can be shortened a good bit, but you still need at least 3". If you could cut the frame then underlap the rear part you'd be about where you need to be. You can switch to a slider to replace the shackle also (http://store.summitracing.com/egnsea...&autoview=sku). This mounts flat on the bottom of the frame rail and can be at the level of the rear spring eye. This is assuming there's enough arch in the spring or in the frame to prevent the spring from contacting the frame. As long as there is some clearance for normal suspension movement you should be fine. If the spring contacts the frame under extreme loads or travel that's not a big problem -- consider it an "overload stop"...
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Old 04-10-2006, 06:58 PM
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thanks for the info, farna but your link didn't work.

you can't see it in my pic, but the rear leaf mount is only about 6" from the end of the frame rails and flush at the top. this mount is pretty tall so i'm thinking i'd like to cut the rail over the axle and then mitre it down and back under the body. i should be able to use my rear mounts now if i cut some material off the top and then drill some new holes to bolt to the new 2x4 rails - theoretically anyway. or i could look for another type of mount that is shorter and bolts onto the side of the rail and use that.

thanks again everybody.

JB
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Old 04-11-2006, 09:32 AM
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Well, just go to the Summit site (or Google) and search for "leaf spring sliders". Just ignore the trailer spring references.

Another link that might work: http://www.speedwaymotors.com/xq/asp...splayGroup.htm
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Old 04-11-2006, 11:23 AM
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I have a set of dropped sipndles I will sell, after I instaled the air bags I didn't need them.
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Old 04-11-2006, 10:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 38mag
I have a set of dropped sipndles I will sell, after I instaled the air bags I didn't need them.
thanks 38mag, but i don't think your spindles will work with my frame. mine is an '88, one of the first years, and i know there's only a couple suppliers of dropped spindles for that year. unless i'm wrong. thanks anyway.

JB
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