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Old 02-19-2004, 02:17 PM
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Question Need IFS help on 1934 Plymouth

I recently started working on a 1934 Plymouth 4 door sedan street rod project. I'm a newbie to car building, this is my first project. I've been reading everything I can get my hands on for several months now, including this website, but I still have a few specific problems to deal with. The goal is to install a Mustang II IFS system with airbags. This year model was the first to get IFS from the factory, but the geometry is terrible. The lower control arms extend almost all the way to the center of the crossmember. I can just image the car leaning over in the turns. The main problem is that the frame rails are not straight. They bow outward where the original suspension mounts to it. I can't just buy a MII IFS kit, like a Heidt's Superide, because the frame is not perfectly straight and boxed. So my question is, has anyone ever figured out how to install nice looking, great handling, upper and lower control arms, with airbags on the original frame? I'm willing to do some minor fabrication work myself, but I don't have the experience to figure out the geometry for a custom built setup. The other option is to go with a new front frame clip, like one from Fat Man Fabrications. He has the entire front end assembled and ready to graft on, but it's $2,400, and I'm not too crazy about the upper airbag mounting bracket. Upgrades like Wilwood brakes on drilled and slotted rotors would probably jack the price way up. I'm also a little nervous about hacking the frame off, not to mention spending that much money. If you would like to see the frame rails, take a look at my website, www.RustToRod.com or more specifically, http://www.rusttorod.com/suspension/...tober17-03.htm
I know there's a lot of smart people here, so any help is tremendously appreciated! I expect it will be several months before I start working on this part of the project, just trying to plan ahead, so keep those comments coming! Thanks guys. -Shane

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Old 02-19-2004, 02:29 PM
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I would cut off the entire frame just behind the bulges, fabricate new straight frame horns, then install a STOCK MII X-member with the secondary X-member to support the strut rods like Ford originally designed. Much preferable to a big bulky clip on this relative petite car.

I sort of sounds like you are looking for a "simple and easy" fix but front end replacements are 'difficulty level 5' for the ubiquitous Ford frames using off the shelf kits, let alone for an odd-ball car like yours. You can do it and I encourage you to but don't think it will be easy!

Last edited by willys36@aol.com; 02-19-2004 at 09:32 PM.
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Old 02-19-2004, 07:33 PM
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RUSTTOROD
I don't know if this will help or not , I installed a
tci frontend on my 30 desoto, they were very good to work with and designed the crossmember to fit my car and were accurate enough to get it within 1/16th of an inch on my measurements of the out side and inside of the framerails, after the correct measurements it went together so fast that I was shocked at how easy it had been.
Hopefully I just put a picture of the frontend in here. And yes I know its not airbags but easy enough to install. And by the way I'm no expert and had never done this before, If I can do it anyone should be able to
Don't know if this helps but I have confidence in you and everyone here, will do what they can to help
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Old 02-19-2004, 09:31 PM
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Old 02-20-2004, 03:49 PM
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I know for sure the chassis work won't be easy. That's why I'm planning ahead. If I fab some straight frame rails, it would be much less difficult to mount an MII kit like TCI makes. It would also shave off a lot of weight. The stock cross member is freakin' huge. The problem is figuring out how to reattach the front fenders, radiator, and grill. Desoto, did you get a whole front clip, or just a cross member and suspension?

Would it be ok to try to carve a little out of the original bulge so that it is perfectly square, or more like rectangle, just where the new square cross member would mount up? Do you think TCI would be able to build a custom kit to mount to my car? All I see on their website is Ford and Chevy stuff.

Not to get away from the main subject here, but I'm also trying to figure out the rear suspension. I don't like the look of leaf springs. Air Ride's catalog has a great description of 4 link setups, both triangulated and parallel, and I learned a good bit from reading that. Can anyone offer any advice on the best type of rear suspension? Thanks guys.
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Old 02-20-2004, 05:28 PM
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FRONTEND

RUSTTOROD
There are numerous ways to add a frontend, you can remove your old setup completely, cut the bulge out of the frame rail and box it in with same thickness of metal, the average thickness is 1/8 th, you would also have to take your front center rail out, before you do this make sure the side rails are straight and level, mark center of cross member on top of your frame rails to keep the proper member in center, one thing to remember is you will have to modify mounts for your fenders, which will not change that much, and modify radiator mounts and how your cowling up front will mount, you can measure from the front cab and frame bolt holes for setting your new cross member and always measure more than twice before cutting and welding, if you can take lots of closeup pictures also, wish I was closer I would help on the install, and yes tci will adapte the cross member to your specs, but straight rails are easyer to draw measurements and keep your specs true, don't know if I'm forgeting anything but will keep in touch, It is a good experience to do and I believe you can do this.
my own opinion is fatmans may not give you any better ride than what you already have, by the way you can rebuild the frontend with parts from Butches Rod Shop if you like the frontend you already have and they can help on lowering it so it can handle better , you can also install a front and rear sway bar which can help the handling of the car also.
I know yadda yadda yadda, I hope this helps

30 desoto

RUSTTOROD
WAIT A MINUTE
I forgot to tell you that before you take the plunge andf start taking the cross member out after you mark center and before you start cutting and grinding you should weld in 2 temperary bar across the frame rail to keep the rails from flexing and will also keep them level.

Good Luck and nice ride

Last edited by 30desoto; 02-20-2004 at 05:28 PM.
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Old 06-26-2007, 03:41 PM
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1934 ply. IFS results

Hi, i am planning the exact front suspension change to a 34 Dodge. I would appreciate your input as to what was done and how the steering performs. Did you use pwr. steering? Thankyou. -----pistonsla@aol.com
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Old 06-26-2007, 06:29 PM
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I ended up getting an MII IFS frame clip from FatMan Fabrications with stainless control arms, adjustable coilovers, and MP Brakes. I debated long and hard about installing it myself. The guy from FatMan's talked to me at great length about how to do it, but in the end, I didn't feel comfortable welding on the frame with my rookie mig skills. I took the car to a nice local rod shop for the installation. Overall I am totally satisfied with it, and I would highly recommend a FatMan clip to anyone. I'll find some old pictures after dinner. Hope this helps!
-Shane
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Old 06-26-2007, 07:05 PM
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pistonslap

I have the one from TCI and I love it, now the car is in pieces and starting the prep work for paint, yes it rides great and I do not have power steering which makes it a little tight when parking but other wise I am very happy with it.

Rusttorod has the fatman one as he said and likes his I think it will be your own prefference as to which one you choose I believe they are both good units, Welcome its nice to see more Mopar

30dee
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Old 06-26-2007, 07:12 PM
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I checked with every major MII clip vendor, I don't think TCI had a whole clip for my car. They only had the weld-in crossmember kit. The Plymouth frame bows out widely where the crossmember goes, and it would have been way more work to do that vs. doing the whole clip.
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Old 06-26-2007, 07:21 PM
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Old 06-27-2007, 07:27 AM
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Just a quick question on removing the bulged part of the frame. Is anything lost that was once used as mounting points for the inner/outer fenders?
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Old 06-27-2007, 12:46 PM
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The front fenders mount to the frame by attaching a nut to the threaded studs on the side of the frame. I lost one stud right where the frame was cut off, and one more at the front close to the grill shell. It's no problem though, since there are 3 more left intact closer to the running boards. Just mount the fenders on those 3, then drill new holes and use bolts or studs.

The good thing about getting a full clip designed for you car is that the radiator bracket mounting location is in exactly the right spot. That's the big wing looking bracket that also holds up the fenders and headlights.
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Old 08-28-2007, 10:43 PM
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Hey shane, you are a braver man than me. By the way nice roof lifting assembly. I've got a 36 plymouth that I'm thinking about using a similar front end.

One thing...dont put the chevy in there, get a mopar 360!
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Old 08-29-2007, 10:10 PM
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Ha! Thanks!
I was moments away from buying a crate LS2 since my dad is an electrical engineer at the Corvette plant, but then used my engine fund as a down payment on a new house. Good thing too, because my new neighbor is a car guy, and he has talked me into getting a 6.1L Hemi instead!
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