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Old 01-21-2017, 09:43 PM
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'51 Dodge Coronet - slow build

I joined this forum in 2015, when I started this build and haven't made much progress in that time. I am starting this thread in the hope that it will keep me motivated and focused.
In December 2015, I purchased a 1951 Dodge Coronet because the price was right and immediately planned to get it on the road within the year... that didn't happen. Late last year, two friends and myself have started meeting at each others houses and helping with each of our builds. We keep each other motivated and of course, there are times when extra hands and muscles are needed! Their primary builds are a 1950 Chevy Fleetline and 1965 Chevy C10. Each of us have at least 2 builds going on along with life's other projects, which makes the funding spread thin, hence "slow" in the thread title.
Here is my progress so far.

Loading it up to bring it home, some gentlemen at the store helped with push power:


And at home and off the trailer:


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Old 01-21-2017, 09:55 PM
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The head, carburetor and several other items are missing from the engine. The dash appears to be in good shape. The interior panels have some damage, primarily the bottom of the panels appear to have some water damage. After removing the seats and cleaning debris, the floor appears to be in descent shape, some rust through in the driver and passenger floorboards up front. The floor was covered in a rubber coating of some sort, this may have been used for sound deadening? After cleaning out the trunk area, it appears pretty solid, with some rust through in the spare tire well. Underneath, the gas tank was not to be found. The body has some rust though and thin areas, but for the most part, it is a solid car to start with.



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Old 01-21-2017, 10:04 PM
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A friend and I removed the front clip one afternoon. This would allow easy access for removing the engine and transmission several days later.

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Old 01-21-2017, 10:11 PM
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I removed the engine and transmission on a Saturday. I could not get the transmission to fit between the cross-member and the body, so I lifted the body off the frame to provide the needed clearance to get it out.


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Old 01-21-2017, 10:40 PM
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The original plan was and may still be, to swap in a 3.9L V6 and automatic from a late '90's Dakota (pictured beside the Coronet in some of the pictures here). I was given the remains of the Dakota after helping my brother-in-law complete an engine swap in his truck. The 3.9L would help the Coronet remain Dodge powered while gaining EFI in the process. I also toyed with moving the Dakota suspension over to the Coronet, but the Dakota track width is too wide, not to mention the hassle of changing the Dakota components from 6 lug over to 5 lug to match the original Coronet bolt pattern.
Why EFI and why a V6? Well, to be honest... mostly because I have it already. Currently, I am considering a 4.0L I6 and auto from a 90's Jeep Cherokee 2wd, still Mopar and has good aftermarket support.
The problem I see with either engine is clearance of the steering shaft, this is why I am undecided about keeping the original suspension system or changing to something else.

With the body off the chassis, I decided to roll the frame out from under the car. This would allow me to clean and prep the frame and hopefully, make it easier to fit the newer engine and transmission into the chassis.

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Old 01-21-2017, 11:04 PM
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Correction to a previous error, I purchased the Coronet in December of 2014 (NOT 2015 and previously mentioned).

I am somewhat at a standstill until I decide on what to do for the front suspension. I like the idea of keeping the stock stuff, and upgrading to disc brakes and moving the upper shock mounts to frame mounted brackets (not the upper control arm) and rebuilding all the components. But I do not like the factory steering setup because a V-engine exhaust manifold will contact, or at least sit very close to the steering shaft. The intake and exhaust header on a Jeep 4.0L I6 will likely have the same problems. I like tubular Mustang II suspension and have been installing one on my '67 Mustang (another SLOW progress project) but would prefer the stock suspension on the car.
I would like to install airbags in place of coils so that I can easily adjust the ride height front and rear, along with a 4-link rear suspension and a Ford 8.8 axle.
Well, these are my thoughts for now. I am really not sure which direction to take from here and need to write out a build sheet to give this project some direction and keep me on track! Yeah, I procrastinate.

The latest update: This past fall, friends and I cleaned the frame using wire wheels and applied several coats of black paint.
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Old 03-28-2017, 10:28 PM
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i have a similar car with similar goals, but v8 power!
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Old 03-28-2017, 11:54 PM
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Read the notes regarding an offset option,this will solve the exhaust issue also the oil filter being on the passenger side is a big plus. 42/52 Plymouth, 41/52 Dodge SB Chrysler Engine/Transmission mount kit 2188CP
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