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The color my 33 Ply will be
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am building a hot rod from a 33 Ply 4 door. I have a 360 magnum w/727 installed. This car has parallel leaf front suspension and a solid tube axle. To simulate the ride height I want in the front, I removed all 6 leafs on each except the main and of course it can't support the front and the frame will sit on the axle. I Supported the frame with jack stands at the desired height.
Let me first say "I do NOT want to install any IFS". I want the original suspension look. I want to drop the front 3 to 5".
Delima:
1. Can't put the axle on top of the spring because it hits the frame and no room for cross steering without modifying a bunch of other stuff.
2. A single leaf is not cost effective to support the almost 1600lb front @ $300 each side

Removing the leafs gave almost 2 inches, which is enough for now. In the future I may put in a dropped axle when they become available for a 33 Ply.
Suggested solution: leave the main leaf on each side to hold the axle correctly under the frame and add coil-over shocks to support the front.
Weld shock mounts on the tube axle and side of frame to locate the shock over the axle (well...almost over). With the fenders on, the coil-overs will be hard to see. I can get 2 coil-overs for approx. $280

My question is:
Has anyone ever done this and are there any cons to this solution?
Will the single leaf be enough to hold the axle straight?
Any idea on the spring rate for the coil-overs (I was thinking 250 or 275).

Any other suggestions would be appreciated.
Thanks
 

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Have you looked into moving your spring hangers up?
The front eye could be pocketed in the frame. A custom hanger on the back would work.
 

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The color my 33 Ply will be
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Interestingly the shackle end is reversed and the fixed end is not and to my amazement the main is actually 2 springs bolted in the center. Getting a solid single main spring would be optimal but at $300 a spring I am hesitant.
 

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I did one a few years ago. I relocated the spring saddles on the axle out about 2" on each side, and fabricated new hangers to set outside the frame that dropped it about 3". I also switched it to cross steer, using a Unisteer rack to eliminate bump steer. It drives great.
 

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You don't have enough room to move the springs outside the frame, and weld new perches on the axle. And I'm not sure that's a good option to do all the work and retain a stock axle. It would be better to pick up a dropped tube axle with more drop, and get the height you want, plus have better brakes, and new spindles, etc. I know it's a big step up on the budget, but might be the best way to really get the Plymouth down where you want it, and do it right.
 

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You don't have enough room to move the springs outside the frame, and weld new perches on the axle. And I'm not sure that's a good option to do all the work and retain a stock axle. It would be better to pick up a dropped tube axle with more drop, and get the height you want, plus have better brakes, and new spindles, etc. I know it's a big step up on the budget, but might be the best way to really get the Plymouth down where you want it, and do it right.
I wish I had know there was not enough room before I did it. I also found out after I did it there was no room for the Unisteer rack. I installed disc brakes on it too, can that be done?
 

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I wish I had know there was not enough room before I did it. I also found out after I did it there was no room for the Unisteer rack. I installed disc brakes on it too, can that be done?
How did you manage to move the spring perches outside the frame rails, and deal with that area being curved upwards to the spindle? Did you make perches with cuts to allow for the curvature of the axle tube? Doesn't this put the springs so close to the tires that it might interfere with turning radius, or do you just adjust stops so it doesn't turn a tightly?
 

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How did you manage to move the spring perches outside the frame rails, and deal with that area being curved upwards to the spindle? Did you make perches with cuts to allow for the curvature of the axle tube? Doesn't this put the springs so close to the tires that it might interfere with turning radius, or do you just adjust stops so it doesn't turn a tightly?
I used the original spring perches, I milled the angle into the perch so it fit the axle, and welded it in the new position. This moved the perch up about 1/2", but that was not an issue as the springs were remounted higher than stock. On a 33 the frame is pretty narrow, and the new tires were smaller in diameter than the originals, so there was plenty of room to turn the wheels all the way with no problem. The new spring hangers are underslung to the springs, coming up from the bottom so they will clear the fenders and brackets on the frame. I used modified F1 front shock brackets on the frame.

For the disc brakes, I used stock hubs, with button head Allen bolts for studs a Jeep rotor, GM metric calipers, and a plate bracket.
 

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The color my 33 Ply will be
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yea, I installed disc brakes. Its kinda hard to see in the pic. I found a website "RustyHope.com", that had the bushings and brake brackets. I had to get the rotor, caliper, and bearings but he gives you the list of needed parts. I got most parts for a 75 Diplomat with a chev caliper. Works real well but widens the trac about 2.5".
 

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The color my 33 Ply will be
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I did add one leaf back that had the u-clamp riveted to the leaf and was surprise that it held the axle off the frame bumpers. But of course this is with an empty block/heads/intake and complete 727 trans. I figured another 150lbs with crank/pistons/radiator. I talked to some local hot rod guys at a meet last weekend. Several had done the same thing I was trying and said the only issue they had was getting the right spring rate on the coil-overs. They suggested I start at 225 but I am concerned it may be to soft and might start at 250 based on my front end weighting-in around 1650.
 

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Hi Fordlover, Just want to tell you to please keep updating, this great info.
I finally got started on our '33 Plymouth Sedan, you build here should help me with a lot of my questions as well.
Please keep updating!! great stuff so far.

Enjenjo, please post a link to images or a thread on your build, your suggestions are interesting, I would like to see how it looks. Sound like it worked out for you. I would also love to see your car.

I don't think some people believe there is more than one way to skin a cat. It seems there is...

I may go the single spring route, but we'll see what happens.

great stuff guys!!

Keep it up.

Im pretty much building ground up, keeping the stock I-beam, 60's 8 3/4 Mopar rear end, '64 318 with 727 and Tri-power. May look into keeping the push-button tranny into a custom bezel.
I wanted to keep the stock steering but it looks like a unisteer is in my future as well.

The body will mostly stock.
I get to build this for my wife, but will be mostly for both of us.
 

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The color my 33 Ply will be
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I know its been a while, but to many projects. My '33 has been sitting except for getting the coil-overs mounted. I had a real time getting the to work right. Finally I turned them upside down (with the body /adjusters at the top). The shock would not compress with the body/adjusters at the bottom but will when at the top. That just sounds wrong but it works.

I just got my block back and will start putting the 360 magnum together after I get back from Carlisle, PA. I am going to find misc parts for the '33.

I added a couple of photos of a 40 Chevy ratrod, 350ci Chevy, turbo 350, and on a 2001 ford ranger frame with a 4:11 posi. It's a real fun drive...it will light-em up thru every shift.
 

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Turning the shocks upside down will only work if they are gas shocks. Sounds like something is wrong with your shocks.
I have coil overs on the front of my roadster w/225# springs. It is only 1100 on the front. Rides real nice. I'd say 225 is too light for your car. Probably 275 at least.
 

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If you love Fords so much, I would have thought that you would know how to deal with this dilemma...
What you do is purchase a Ford hot rod dropped front axle, transverse spring and a Ford model A 1929 front cross member and install the front cross member into your chassis where you want the axle to sit.

It has been numerous times before by guys building non Ford hot rods.
Take a step back and check it out what the hot rod guys do.
The best thing is your car will ride better, you will get the ride height you like and all the parts are available at reasonable prices.

Then depending on your engine and chassis fit you could have the choice of push/pull style steering or cross steering.
The other choice now is a single ended rack which can be used in place of cross steering that is quite popular with some sectors of the hot rod community.
You will also need to decide whether you would like to run front hairpin radius type rods or a 4 bar system.

Do it once do it properly I say...

You will love this setup and it will be done right and tried and proven.
 

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I would wait and see what it looks like after you get the front sheet metal and radiator in it.
You will be adding a lot of weight to the front, and it may sit low enough to get a few more leafs back into the pack.
 
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