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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 10-30-2008, 12:23 AM
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New to building a street rod but.......

I have worked on pimarily muscle cars from the 60's, and 90's, now I just got into building a street rod, everyone I talk to says that you need to replace the independent front end first. I understand that the ride of a 1930's car is terrible, and that I will need to replace the front springs/shocks/a arms etc., but why do you need to replace the cross member along with everything else? The cross member on my 36 Olds looks twice as strong as the one on my 69'camaro, so I don't see strength as the issue. And motor mounts won't be an issue, they make plenty of different steering knuckles to adjust the steering box location, so I am just a little confused as to why all of the work, and chance that something doesn't line up correctly in the end, not to mention the body/fender mounts that will have to be changed/realigned later. Can anyone help me understand-I must be missing something I guess.

Also, why do you "box" a frame? Is it for added strength, or more for appearance? Thanks for any info, I appreciate it!

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Old 10-30-2008, 05:26 AM
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You box a frame for strength. The "C" channel on a frame is not as strong as a complete box.
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Old 10-30-2008, 05:42 AM
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front suspension

There is a wici in early gm suspensions which you should read- this will
explain the GM front end better than anything else I have seen- just follow the Tech article wiki link above. Jim
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Old 10-30-2008, 07:25 AM
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I am not sure if your 36 olds is similar to the 37-57 cars that are looked at in this wiki article, but it can't hurt to take a look.

http://www.crankshaftcoalition.com/w...ension_upgrade


There are other reasons for suspension upgrades besides strength.
Suspension and steering geometry has come a long way since 1936.

Parts for some of the older suspensions and steering are hard to come by and expensive if you can find them. Driving a car that you have to herd back in the lane , especially at the speeds we drive at today, is flat dangerous.

Power steering is not easily adaptable to many of the old designs,, with fat tires and a bigblock, it becomes almost a necessity.

For many years, no one made the brake adapters that are available , so it was a natural choice to just swap in a whole new front end, rather than upgrade what you could using the old suspension.

Parts do fatigue over time, so building a car around a 72 year old suspension makes the same sense as electing a 72 year old president.... (I'm not turning this into a political thread, just using the example...point is, a part could fail at any time, given the new added stresses the suspension will have to endure)

Boxing a frame does not add so much strength, as it does torsional rigidity. Frames that twist under the added loads of big motors, sticky tires, better brakes are sometimes spooky to drive in the twisty back roads. Adding a plate longways down the inside of each rail adds stiffness and the handling becomes much more predictible.

Maybe some pics of your 36 olds suspension would help us give you some better input.


Later, mikey
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Old 10-30-2008, 11:59 AM
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Right with Powerrodsmike!

I don't think your '36 Olds is much different from the early chevy. However, I have seen some of those old Oldsmobiles that had a more modern control arm set-up. Does your have a straight axle or not? Knee-action shocks? I have built several early '30s Chevies and found the Pinto/Mustang II front suspension well worth it. You don't have to buy the expensive kits if on a tight budget. I find a donor car and cut the entire front suspension saddle out of it and trim it up nicely. You don't have to reinvent any geometry - it's right there. You even have rack & pinion. I modify the frame and the saddle to match. You need fenders on the car to position things. You can put wheels and tires on the saddle and roll it right under the car! Speedway Motors sells 5-lug conversion rotors and they are very affordable. I think you are a lucky dog to find a '36 Olds! Let's see some pictures! Powerrodsmike doesn't sound like it is his first rodeo either.
Pat
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Old 10-30-2008, 06:38 PM
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need help with front end on 51 ford f1 pick up

I have a 51 ford f1 pick up with a
flathead V8 in it & 3 speed on the column.
It is all stock{alt.12 volt & duals} I was
thinking of puting a 302 & a C4 in it{ I already have this}
I would like to know what to use for the front end ?
Mustang 11-I also heard that a front end from a
ford aerostar works good.I dont know how to do
this so i will have to pay someone to do this for me.
Any info on this sure would help.I dont want to go with
any chrysler product front end.Has anyone out there
done this before? Please help. BOB
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Old 10-30-2008, 11:02 PM
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My Olds has what I think are knee action shocks. I will try and get a few pictures tomorrow but it has unequal length a arms, coil springs, and no-new style shocks. Hopefully helps clarify a little. thanks
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Old 10-31-2008, 08:00 AM
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Hey, Mercury Man

I am currently working on a '51 Ford pickup for a friend. It has a 460 and a C-6. We used the Pinto/Mustang II kit with tubular control arms and coil overs. This is available from Speedway Motors at a reasonable price. It really makes a great installation. With the rack and pinion steering you dont have interference problems with steering box/exhaust. I built another one of these trucks for a guy a few years back and we grafted a Camaro subframe under it and used a 500 cu.in. Cadillac with TH400. It really worked out nice. It had the late model suspension with disc brakes and drove like a new car. Anybody that wants to build a car has to "pay their dues" or be at the mercy of someone else. Paying dues means accumulating all the tools and equipment it takes like a welder (mig), compressor, etc. You also need common sense and good measuring skills and the courage to just get into it. Anything screwed up can be fixed! Don't be afraid to do it. My good friend, Don Garlits, was first an accountant at a Tampa department store. He quit that job and took one sanding cars!! His mother was livid and he lost his girlfriend! A year later, he married Pat, the love of his life. The rest is history! Go for it!
Pat
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Old 10-31-2008, 10:31 AM
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I did an independent front suspension and have a four- bar with coil-overs in the rear and a fully boxed frame......I also have four wheel discs and front & rear sway bars. I wanted my car to handle well and be comfortable because it is a "driver".

There is nothing worse than an old car with 400 horsepower that doesn't handle or stop well.
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Old 10-31-2008, 10:05 PM
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Hey Pat

Thanks for the info.I have heard of a couple of guys using the front of a
ford aerostar,it is supposed to be an easy installition & a good one too.
I have a 53 mercury ragtop with a 5.0 & A.O.D in it.I had replaced
the whole front end {tie rod ends-drag link-springs-shocks-replaced drum brakes with power disc} I wanted p/s so I got a p/s box from a 1988
ISUZU TROOPER 4X4 & boy did that ever fit nice even the pitman arm
fit the ford draglink.I know a guy that bought his p/s from GEARHEAD
he said that he paid $300 for the box & $500 to have it installed &
they had a lot of trouble.I bought my ISUZU box from a junk yard
for $35 & had no trouble.I just thought that some people would
like to know this information. BOB
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Old 11-01-2008, 01:54 AM
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original ivs

I have still the original spring and a arms . I did up grade with rack and pinion with a gm rack. Fatman can set you up with needed upgrades. My front end is tight and easy to handle at highway speeds , don't give up on the original.My 40 dodge business coupe handles good drove it to Washington state from Ohio .
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Old 11-03-2008, 09:51 AM
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some pics of the old style front end

I added to my photo album a few pics of the front end on my 36 olds , does it look similar to anything else (chevy, buick, pontiac?) If so, what did you guys do to get a more modern ride. economically (shallow pockets) I would have posted them here but the images are big to post I guess. Any help or suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks
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Old 11-03-2008, 10:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigloser5
I added to my photo album a few pics of the front end on my 36 olds

I would have posted them here but the images are big to post I guess. Any help or suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks


Now that you have them in your project journal ... you can cut and paste the photo address here and see them ...
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Old 11-03-2008, 10:25 AM
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Good picture!

That old girl looks like you won't be forever doing body work! You just have to make a decision on how you want to do that front chassis. You are probably going to put a small block Chevy in it with an automatic. Do yourself a favor and find a Camaro or Nova to measure treadwidth on. I'm sure a front subframe would allow tire clearance on those fat fenders. It worked great on the '41 Chevy I did. You have to do some work on the inner fender panels to clear the control arms and you have to modify the radiator corre support. The frame horns need work too. It really isn't that hard to do.
Pat Fogel
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Old 11-03-2008, 10:41 AM
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here are the pics of the front end

http://www.hotrodders.com/gallery/sh.../page/1http://
http://www.hotrodders.com/gallery/sh...hp/photo/37901
http://www.hotrodders.com/gallery/sh...hp/photo/37902

Last edited by bigloser5; 11-03-2008 at 10:50 AM.
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