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Old 07-28-2011, 06:30 PM
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What is best front suspension set up for 53 Catalina

I have a 53 Pontiac Catalina Custom 2dr Hrtp. I want to sub frame the front and install 400 Pont engine and 350 turbo. Any advise on what would be best to use, TCI , Fatman, Camaro, Mustang ll ? Thanks

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Old 07-28-2011, 07:18 PM
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Just my 2 sense, that car is heavy and has a big frame, the front end more then likely will handle a 400, heck it has a 389 now correct, just bump the front spring rate up some and give the front end a good rebuild, bushing, ball joints. These TCI , Fatman, Camaro, Mustang ll clips are puny, there could be a 1000 pounds of weight difference between the pony and a camaro or mustake, probably more. I am after all not an expert, but I do know the size of that pony you want to slide a 400 into and it is no camaro/mustake.

Just somethings to consider, nice car they were good looking in 53 and are even better today.
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Old 07-28-2011, 09:10 PM
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pontiac suspensions

I think your front end is still a king pin spindle design. I saw a post a while back where someone modified the stock lower arm with an adaptor and used chevy astro van spindles, brakes and upper a arms. There is a wiki article here on HR about using various Gm suspension parts from the 30's thru 60's to upgrade but I think the required parts would be very hard to find, some were only for one year.
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Old 07-28-2011, 09:52 PM
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The '53 Catalina came with a 239 inch 6 or 268 inch straight 8 cylinder, 118-122 h.p. depending on what trans it came with. The 389 made it's debut in 1959.
When I die I want to go peacefully - in my sleep, not yelling and screaming like passengers in my car...

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Old 07-30-2011, 06:08 PM
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I've got a 54 2dr post car I need to do fairly soon so I hope you get some good information as I'll be doing the same. Anything thats been done to a 50-54 chev should work as the cars are not that different. I've got a frame clip off a firebird I'am looking at.
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Old 08-03-2011, 08:47 AM
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if your gonna clip it go with a 70s camaro /firebird subframe much stronger than a mustang set up and alot cheaper to do
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Old 08-05-2011, 08:59 PM
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Unless you really want power steering, a good rebuild would do wonders. Bolt on disc brakes are available also from Scarebird. It also upgrades to tapered wheel bearings on factory spindles.

If clipping I would use a rear steer 67-69 Camero/Firebird or 68-74 Nova/Ventura subframe since yours is rear steer-gearbox behind axle centerline . The front steer subframes would be alot more work plus the steering gearbox would be about the spot of the factory radiator. Plus the front steer frames have a wider track width than stock where the earlier rear steer frames are about the same.
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