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Old 10-14-2011, 07:57 AM
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power steering 49 plymouth

Can anyone tell me how best to tackle upgrading my steering in my 49 Plymouth Deluxe to power steering. it is currently original and I am looking to upgrade the entire front suspension to something that handles better. Any help with these jobs would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

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Old 10-14-2011, 01:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmileGuy49
Can anyone tell me how best to tackle upgrading my steering in my 49 Plymouth Deluxe to power steering. it is currently original and I am looking to upgrade the entire front suspension to something that handles better. Any help with these jobs would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
Well you didn't give us a lot to work with. Were you planning on changing engines also, besides front suspension, if so what engine. I don't know what pump would work the best with what you have. A Mustang II front would work, you could get a kit that would fit your car. Then you could get a power steering R&P from speedway, and from there it's what engine. That's just one front suspension you could put on. there are others.

Bob
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Old 10-14-2011, 01:55 PM
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Yes I suppose it might help for me to tell you what I have!
I am going to be keeping the original 218 flathead 6. I am hoping to find a front suspension that is for the most part able to bolt up. I can do some cutting and welding, but I am no master. Like many, money is holding me back too, so I need to find something not too expensive. Thanks
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Old 10-14-2011, 02:49 PM
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Plymouth

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Originally Posted by SmileGuy49
Yes I suppose it might help for me to tell you what I have!
I am going to be keeping the original 218 flathead 6. I am hoping to find a front suspension that is for the most part able to bolt up. I can do some cutting and welding, but I am no master. Like many, money is holding me back too, so I need to find something not too expensive. Thanks
I think you will look long and hard before you find anything that will bolt up. The other car builders, including Plymouth didn't build their cars with bolt in cross members, or the 49 Plymouth in mind, when they built them. Putting a front suspension in a car is not a bolt in project. I will say that Toyota did have a bolt in cross member in one of there pickups, because I put it in my Terraplane, a long time ago. I think they called it a Hilux or some thing like that. I did not bolt it in the Terraplane though, I welded it. I still had to use the cross steer in it.

You will have to get a pump that would work in your car, which now makes it harder as you want a front I don't think you will find, And are keeping the 6.
I'm not trying to change your mind here, but you would be farther ahead by rebuilding the front you have and forget power steering.

I will tell you now, and you will learn this yourself, building cars is not cheap, even if you do it the cheapest way you can. It is a hobby you will need a lot of tools for, a place to work on them and store parts when you have them apart. And maybe the saddest thing is, a big percentage of the cars started are not finished by the guy that started, or they are never finished.

I'm just letting you know before you take that car apart get your ducks in a row. The first time is the hardest for some people, you have to understand where you what to take this car, do you want to street rod it, or make it like it just came from the factory. We sure can help you either way, but it does cost money, anyway you go. If you are young and single that helps, but if you are young and just starting a family, and have a tight budget, you will have a little harder time, and life will most certainly get in the way.

Bob
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Old 10-14-2011, 03:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 35terraplane
I think you will look long and hard before you find anything that will bolt up. The other car builders, including Plymouth didn't build their cars with bolt in cross members, or the 49 Plymouth in mind, when they built them. Putting a front suspension in a car is not a bolt in project. I will say that Toyota did have a bolt in cross member in one of there pickups, because I put it in my Terraplane, a long time ago. I think they called it a Hilux or some thing like that. I did not bolt it in the Terraplane though, I welded it. I still had to use the cross steer in it.

You will have to get a pump that would work in your car, which now makes it harder as you want a front I don't think you will find, And are keeping the 6.
I'm not trying to change your mind here, but you would be farther ahead by rebuilding the front you have and forget power steering.

I will tell you now, and you will learn this yourself, building cars is not cheap, even if you do it the cheapest way you can. It is a hobby you will need a lot of tools for, a place to work on them and store parts when you have them apart. And maybe the saddest thing is, a big percentage of the cars started are not finished by the guy that started, or they are never finished.

I'm just letting you know before you take that car apart get your ducks in a row. The first time is the hardest for some people, you have to understand where you what to take this car, do you want to street rod it, or make it like it just came from the factory. We sure can help you either way, but it does cost money, anyway you go. If you are young and single that helps, but if you are young and just starting a family, and have a tight budget, you will have a little harder time, and life will most certainly get in the way.

Bob
I definitely understand that building cars is not cheap! I have built quite a few cars in the past, but they were all GM muscle cars. I have never worked with any mopar, and this is my first time ever working on a car pre 1960. My father used to do all my welding jobs, but I have moved across the country and really dont know anyone in my new area to help me. As for steering, that has never been a strong area of mine because most of my builds were only needing to go strait down the 1/4 mile
I am still in the planning stage with much of the car so I am very open to ideas. Here is where I am so far...
The motor is the original and only has 4000 original miles. I have been talked into keeping because it is in really good condition, and the flatheads are fairly rare to see. I am not needing a speed machine, that is what my chevelle is for
I have pulled the interior which is getting a full custom build, and all the wiring has been updated with a new 18 circuit harness and all is converted to a 12 volt system. The exterior is in really good condition and I am planning to fix the minor dents and give it new paint, but leave it looking fairly original on the outside. I will put on custom wheels and rubber and possibly lower the car 1 or 2". I would like update the steering and suspension so that it doesnt drive like its 60+ years old. My wife is petite and hates the difficulty of cranking the wheel without power steering. Is there a way of rebuilding or update my current steering to make much easier to turn without adding power steering to it? As for my current front end, is it better for me to do the Mustang II setup, or can I work with what I have and just update it a bit. Thanks for the help!
-Jason
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Old 10-14-2011, 10:49 PM
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Plymouth

Quote:
Originally Posted by SmileGuy49
I definitely understand that building cars is not cheap! I have built quite a few cars in the past, but they were all GM muscle cars. I have never worked with any mopar, and this is my first time ever working on a car pre 1960. My father used to do all my welding jobs, but I have moved across the country and really dont know anyone in my new area to help me. As for steering, that has never been a strong area of mine because most of my builds were only needing to go strait down the 1/4 mile
I am still in the planning stage with much of the car so I am very open to ideas. Here is where I am so far...
The motor is the original and only has 4000 original miles. I have been talked into keeping because it is in really good condition, and the flatheads are fairly rare to see. I am not needing a speed machine, that is what my chevelle is for
I have pulled the interior which is getting a full custom build, and all the wiring has been updated with a new 18 circuit harness and all is converted to a 12 volt system. The exterior is in really good condition and I am planning to fix the minor dents and give it new paint, but leave it looking fairly original on the outside. I will put on custom wheels and rubber and possibly lower the car 1 or 2". I would like update the steering and suspension so that it doesnt drive like its 60+ years old. My wife is petite and hates the difficulty of cranking the wheel without power steering. Is there a way of rebuilding or update my current steering to make much easier to turn without adding power steering to it? As for my current front end, is it better for me to do the Mustang II setup, or can I work with what I have and just update it a bit. Thanks for the help!
-Jason
I would think that rebuilding what you have would make it better, but I don't know if you can make it good enough for your wife.
They use to have some speed equipment for those but I don't know if you can get it.

I guess if it were me I would put a Mustang II on it. You can decide what you want for a engine, but if you leave the 6 in it you will have to get a pulley so you can run the pump.

Bob
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Old 10-16-2011, 08:58 PM
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smileguy,

Let me suggest that you look into keeping the stock front suspension. The early Mopar's were light years ahead of their competition in front suspension design. They already have independent front suspension. The only real drawback to the suspension is that for some reason they place the shock between the upper and lower suspension. There are kits that for relocating the top shock mount to the frame which will solve this issue.

After that, there are kits on the market to add disc brakes. Check out rustyhope.com he has the kits for both shock relocation and disc brakes. The shock relocation requires minimal welding and the discs are a straight bolt on other than drilling the 3 spindle mounting holes larger and tapping to the correct thread.

Last is a kit from Fatman's Engineering that will mount a Cavallier rack and pinion to your stock front crossmember. The you can fab a bracket to mount the Cavallier pump or something a little cooler for you flathead would be to find a 54 or so Plymouth generator/power steering pump. with this setup the pump is mounted to the back of the generator. Check out This Thread from the P15-D24 site. It has an example of both methods.

There is no need to cut up your frame or front suspension to get better ride. I have a 48 Plymouth with rebuilt stock front end and the mods listed above (other than the rack/power steering) and it drives/rides great. This is my second 48 Plymouth, the first I had a Nova subframe professionally installed by a guy who built some quality cars so it was done right. It did not drive or ride much if any better than my stock suspension.

You will have to rebuild the suspension which ever way you go unless you buy a completey new Mustang 2 of aftermarket set up. Check out NAPA, Roberts Motor Parts, Andy Bernbaum for stock rebuild parts.
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Old 10-19-2011, 08:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkestes
smileguy,

Let me suggest that you look into keeping the stock front suspension. The early Mopar's were light years ahead of their competition in front suspension design. They already have independent front suspension. The only real drawback to the suspension is that for some reason they place the shock between the upper and lower suspension. There are kits that for relocating the top shock mount to the frame which will solve this issue.

After that, there are kits on the market to add disc brakes. Check out rustyhope.com he has the kits for both shock relocation and disc brakes. The shock relocation requires minimal welding and the discs are a straight bolt on other than drilling the 3 spindle mounting holes larger and tapping to the correct thread.

Last is a kit from Fatman's Engineering that will mount a Cavallier rack and pinion to your stock front crossmember. The you can fab a bracket to mount the Cavallier pump or something a little cooler for you flathead would be to find a 54 or so Plymouth generator/power steering pump. with this setup the pump is mounted to the back of the generator. Check out This Thread from the P15-D24 site. It has an example of both methods.

There is no need to cut up your frame or front suspension to get better ride. I have a 48 Plymouth with rebuilt stock front end and the mods listed above (other than the rack/power steering) and it drives/rides great. This is my second 48 Plymouth, the first I had a Nova subframe professionally installed by a guy who built some quality cars so it was done right. It did not drive or ride much if any better than my stock suspension.

You will have to rebuild the suspension which ever way you go unless you buy a completey new Mustang 2 of aftermarket set up. Check out NAPA, Roberts Motor Parts, Andy Bernbaum for stock rebuild parts.
Thanks a ton for the info. This is exactly what I am looking for. In your Plymouth(s) what motor? If the flathead, did you do any mods? Thanks!
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Old 10-19-2011, 11:04 AM
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Converting a car to power steering...without a conversion kit already done...can be a handful. I did a conversion on my Pantera. Many have converted their Pantera and talk about how bad the conversion is. They are bad because the details are not dealt with.

One problem with the Pantera's is they had bump steer from the stock set up. The pivot point on the tie rod ends is at the wrong spot. When the wheel compresses it changes direction.

The first thing I did was build a jig which bolted into the suspension points, measured the location and put it in a suspension program. Obviously if the existing raq is good you would not need to do anything of the sort; you just need to copy the existing geometry.

What will be critical is the width between the pivot points on the raq, the height of the raq and the distance forward and back. Depending on how perfect you want the geometry. I spent many hours getting it dead on. y checking bump steer you can determin if your raq is too high, too low, too short, too long. I even went through the trouble to fine tune it with a threaded end on the steering raq to change the inner distance.

Suffice to say, it is a project to do it right. If you do it wrong, it will never drive well.








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Old 10-22-2011, 10:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmileGuy49
Thanks a ton for the info. This is exactly what I am looking for. In your Plymouth(s) what motor? If the flathead, did you do any mods? Thanks!
My first 48 with the Nova subframe had a very stout 383/727 combo. My latest has a 57 model 230 flathead, 0.030 overbore, electronic ignition, Offenhauser intake, dual Carter Webber 2 BBLs, repop Fenton cast iron headers, new Edgy finned aluminum head all running through a 53 model Borg Warner R10 OD transmission.
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Old 10-28-2011, 10:19 AM
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Thanks everyone for the info. I have decided to first rebuild the original front end. I have heard people talk about a different gearbox to ease and reduce turning which I will look into more. I figure why not give the original a try. If my wife cant handle the manual steering then I will look into the mustang II with power steering. That mod may take me a while, I guess during the time it takes me to decide, plan, and buy all the new parts for power steering, my wife will have to get used to being passenger.
Once again, thanks for all the posts.
-Jason
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