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Thread: 1937 Dodge coupe
          
   
   

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  1. #16
    rspears's Avatar
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    Car Year, Make, Model: '33 HiBoy Coupe
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    .... and if you decide to go the MII route take a hard look at the Fat Man Fab product. It gets great reviews for long time, trouble free service while others made of lighter stock tend towards cracking over time, and need added bracing.
    NTFDAY likes this.
    Roger
    Enjoy the little things in life, and you may look back one day and realize that they were really the BIG things.

  2. #17
    Easyrider's Avatar
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    Car Year, Make, Model: 37 Dodge Coupe
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    IMAG0844.jpg
    Here's my "new" Dodge! It's in really nice shape, really complete, with only a small amount of through rust.
    I have given quite a bit of thought to all of the excellent suggestions I have received, and I have decided to not decide anything about chassis until I get the body off the frame, and get it all measured up to see how straight and square it is. If it is good, then all things are possible. If not, then the possibilities are a bit more limited. If it's bent or twisted, then frame replacement starts to look a lot better.
    The wheelbase is 113". I tried to measure track width, but I'm unsure how the standard measurements are taken, but I assume wheel mounting plate to wheel mounting plate. If that is the case, then the front is 59", and the rear is 60", as the car sits right now. The wheelbase is very close to a number of Mopar models from the '70's and '80's, Volare, Aspen, Lebaron, etc. I have not yet been able to find track width measurements for any of these. Can anyone help me with that information? If not, I know a guy that has an '80's lebaron that I can go measure.
    I have not seriously looked at other brand suspensions, yet, for example Mustang 11. My preference is to keep the car all Mopar, or close, but that is by no means carved in stone, it just sort of appeals to me.

  3. #18
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    I just acquired a 73? charger 8 3/4 rear-the axle face to axle face width is right at 60" and spring pads 44"--------the 73 era cars had 1 7/8 pinion shaft and 8 3/4 ring gear

  4. #19
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    Your coupe is very nice! Are the cordobas too wide? It's been years since I had one but I think they are wider than a charger.
    Ryan
    1940 Ford Deluxe Tudor 354 Hemi 46RH Electric Blue w/multi-color flames, Ford 9" Residing in multiple pieces
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  5. #20
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    Car Year, Make, Model: 34 Ford 3W Coupe Replica
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    Thanks for sharing the pic. It looks like a great starting point and I hope you find "the ride" enjoyable..

    I'm one of those folks who finds the build far more enjoyable.. so I don't think I'll ever really finish my rod.. I don't think the wife is on to me yet!
    40FordDeluxe likes this.

  6. #21
    Mike P's Avatar
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    Nice starting point.

    "........ The wheelbase is very close to a number of Mopar models from the '70's and '80's, Volare, Aspen, Lebaron, etc......"


    Yeah, one minor problem with that......those are all unibody cars (no frame) Chrysler only used frames on truck from about 1960 on.

    As far as keeping it all Mopar most of what are sold as "Mustang II" suspensions are in reality Mustang II style suspensions. Aftermarket control arms, spindles, rotors etc leave very little Ford parts on them...... possibly calipers and hoses, but those can be upgraded too.

    .
    Last edited by Mike P; 06-20-2015 at 06:54 AM.
    I've NEVER seen a car come from the factory that couldn't be improved.....

  7. #22
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    Track is measured from the centerline of the left side tire to the centerline of the right side tire. Flange to flange measurements are fine if you're dealing with them on your vehicle and all the vehicles you're considering, but mixing flange to flange with track will be a mistake.

    .
    Mike P and NTFDAY like this.
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  8. #23
    Easyrider's Avatar
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    I didn't know that, Mike. As I mentioned earlier, I am not a long time Mopar guy. I have never looked underneath any of the Volare/Aspen cars, but I know what a unibody looks like. I was going to ask what to do if the frame on my 37 is bent, but there is no point in asking that until I find out whether it is. I am out of province on vacation at the moment so that will have to wait a few days.
    The truth is, that I don't have a lot of experience working on cars. I am a recently retired farmer, so I have a lifetime of experience fixing a wide variety of equipment, just not cars. If my car or pickup needed fixing, I usually got someone else to do it. I have a bit of a learning curve ahead of me, but that's a big part of the fun, for me. I totally get what 34-40 says, about the build being the fun part.

  9. #24
    Bob Parmenter's Avatar
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    You sir should have a good time with this stuff, I like your attitude/approach. Far too often we get the more typical thing from a "newb" to the hobby/build process who let their mind run wild with all manner of ideas that aren't reality based. In some cases that's fine, creativity is a beautiful thing. But more often it leads to the much more common thing called a stalled (or dead) project. Waiting to see what your existing frame condition is is a wise, wise move.

    Since your mind is open to learning I want to pursue the track width/flange to flange measurement concept some more. Both, as pointed out, are important. A big part of the "finished" hot rod is the look, but that look should cooperate with workable mechanicals. I recently completed a similar vintage car to yours that started in my mind with a specific set of wheels/tires as the objective and first in line styling choice. I then spec-ed a MII component package to make those wheels work/fit the overall theme of the car. That's somewhat of an "advanced" builder concept, but if an open minded person such as yourself is aware of it you might want to add that to your deliberations. A car can turn out nicely either way (choosing wheels first, or make your wheel choice fit the forced limitations), but it's another way to look at the process and resultant choices. Also, what to do with the suspension will depend on what your perception of "right" is. I've seen/felt leaf spring, beam/tube axle suspensions that were modified to be very compliant and comfortable.............by my terms/criteria, which not all would agree with. With some more tweaking they can even be made twisty road workable. But as mentioned above, I find merit in a double A arm, coil spring system as well. It just depends on your choices.

    Looking forward to seeing where you go with this.
    Mike P and techinspector1 like this.
    Your Uncle Bob, Senior Geezer Curmudgeon

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  10. #25
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    Car Year, Make, Model: 69 nomad, 73 charger, 74 vega
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    The frame can be pulled, if it is found to be bent. As nice as the body is, I'd expect you haven't got much (if any) frame damage.
    .
    Education is expensive. Keep that in mind, and you'll never be terribly upset when a project goes awry.
    EG

  11. #26
    Mike P's Avatar
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    I grew up on a farm myself, so I know about the whole fixing the equipment thing......that kind of evolved into the hot rod world for me.

    I have a looooooong term project I'm currently working on, a 37 Dodge pickup, there are a fair amount of suspension similarities between your coupe and my truck.

    Build thread 37 Dodge PU

    In my case the truck spent its entire life in the southwest so I has a solid (and fortunately straight) frame to begin with. I purchased the truck as a builder and someone had already installed the Mustang II front suspension, which I would have done anyway. I have done both Mustang II and Aspen/Volare conversions in the past, for what it’s worth, here are my thoughts.

    The Aspen/Volare type suspensions were used under several Chrysler products from the mid 70s thru the 80s. These are some times referred to as “Bent Torsion Bar” suspensions. As I mentioned previously these were unibody cars…..the reason for the popularity was that the front suspension is that rather than having long straight torsion bars that connected to the body back around the transmission crossmember, these had “L” shaped torsion bars and the whole front subframe could be dropped out as a unit. If the track width was right, it was a reasonably simple matter to graft the subframe to the existing frame and have upgraded suspension, brakes, steering etc. The key was having a body and frame wide enough for it to fit properly, which “usually” meant post WWII cars and trucks.

    The Mustang II style suspensions kits have the advantage in that they can be customized to a particular tread width and frame width. They also use a steering rack as opposed to a steering box which helps free up some room for exhaust etc.

    An alternative to using the original frame is sometimes to use a donor from something else, often small pickup trucks, however while it may sound good on paper to make it PROPERLY fit is often a ton of work too. A good example of this is this other 37 Dodge pickup build. The final product looks good, but it was NOT a simple merely drop the old body on a new frame.

    1937 Dodge Pickup

    Anyway the biggest thing is doing your research. Personally before I start a project I spend a LOT of time on Google researching what other people have come up with, both the good and bad.

    .
    Last edited by Mike P; 06-22-2015 at 07:33 AM.
    I've NEVER seen a car come from the factory that couldn't be improved.....

  12. #27
    Easyrider's Avatar
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    Car Year, Make, Model: 37 Dodge Coupe
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    I finally spent some time on the coupe yesterday. I got the wheels off, and up on stands, got hood, fenders, rad and shroud off. I pulled the plugs, and the engine isn't even seized! Is there a market for original engine and transmission for a car like this? The frame looks perfect, from the firewall forward, but that doesn't mean much. This is going to be fun! pics to follow...

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Easyrider View Post
    Is there a market for original engine and transmission for a car like this?
    When you get it all apart and have a pile of parts you don't want, subscribe to Hemmings Motor News and advertise them there. There's probably someone out there looking for those parts right now.

    .
    PLANET EARTH, INSANE ASYLUM FOR THE UNIVERSE.

  14. #29
    Bob Parmenter's Avatar
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    As Richard says, Hemmings is a great venue for those type parts, but don't limit yourself to just that. Whether we like to admit it or not, the audience for these parts is getting smaller each day (never was huge for Mopar stuff to start with).........but is still out there. You're going to have to work more to get rid of that stuff so advertise in Craigslist, on Mopar specific websites, and anywhere else you can think of/afford. You never know where your buyer is, or when he's looking. If you get in a hurry (for whatever reason) scrap prices are low today (at least where I am).......you might end up giving it away.
    Your Uncle Bob, Senior Geezer Curmudgeon

    It's much easier to promise someone a "free" ride on the wagon than to urge them to pull it.

    Luck occurs when preparation and opportunity converge.

  15. #30
    Easyrider's Avatar
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    Car Year, Make, Model: 37 Dodge Coupe
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    I have been looking at M11 front ends, and they look pretty good, but I am strongly thinking of a "Volare" clip. Well, actually a '82 Cordoba clip. The Cordoba has a track width of about 62", and my coupe is about 60", or a bit less. I can get the whole Cordoba for $250, delivered, including a 318 (don't know if it will run or not). I think I will buy the Cordoba, whether I use it or not, just to take it apart, and see how it compares to the '37. I am struggling to decide what to do, and this will help break the mental log jam. If I get the Cordoba apart, and the frame and clip look like it is something I want to use, Bob's your uncle. If not, $250 isn't a very expensive lesson.
    I was at a car show yesterday, and a guy whom I believe to be pretty knowledgeable, suggested going to a mid-2000's Chrysler 300, or such, with a 5.7litre Hemi. He recommended it because of good horsepower, small size (easy to fit into 37), and good fuel economy. This was not something I had considered, but it makes some sense. I am concerned about my ability to get it running in another body, because of the electronics, about which I am clueless. Another issue, is track width, which is 63". Can you make up for the extra track width with different rims, ie rims with different offset?
    As always, opinions are appreciated...
    Glen

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