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47 plymouth update chassis

47 special deluxe

36 replies to this topic

#1 OldBill

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Posted September 5, 2011 at 05:46 am

My newest project is a 1947 Plymouth Special Deluxe Coupe. I was going to restore it original but my wife wants an automatic with A/C. Soooo plans are changing. I am purchasing a 1975 Cordoba as a donor car. I wonder if I can remove the entire front end; engine, front suspension, brakes, subframe and build mounts under the 47 to accept the whole enchilada?

#2 tazdevil

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Posted September 5, 2011 at 08:29 am

I helped build a '49 biz coupe much like you are contemplating. We attached a Volare/Aspen front frame section. This gave us torsion bars and disc brakes, plus good handling. For power, we mounted a salvage yard low miles new Hemi and truck five speed auto transmission.
The whole combo works really well, and the car is now for sale. The owner can be reached at
gmail.com"]addedpower.pearson[at]gmail.com.
This is really a nice car. If you contact him, mention "Ron" told you to write him.

Edited by tazdevil, September 5, 2011 at 08:30 am.


#3 Dodgeboy49

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Posted September 5, 2011 at 05:07 pm

Wouldn't the Cordoba chassis be an awful lot wider? I'm sure the parts can be made to work (heck, anything can be made to work) but you might find yourself fabricating more than you expect. Besides, you might enjoy driving the Cordoba too much to dismantle it.

The flathead 6 is not a real high-speed engine stock, although people have done very impressive things with them. They run very smooth, are reliable, and have a lot of torque in addition to getting reasonable gas mileage. Adapters are available to hook them up to GM automatic transmissions for not much money, and I know that power brake kits are available too. A/C brackets are easily fabricated, as are power steering brackets although you may find that power steering isn't really necessary. Switching to radial tires helps a ton with handling and stopping. In short, you could probably get the things you want more easily in a nearly-stock restoration with a lot less fabrication. If you put a few hop-up parts in the engine and choose an overdrive automatic you can easily cruise at freeway speeds while still having a very original car.

#4 OldBill

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Posted September 7, 2011 at 04:55 am

The rear track appears to be the same 60". I am not sure about the front track on the 47. It measures about* 56" and I think the Cordoba is about 60"? I will check again on this site. * say "about" because the 47 front end is so worn that I can't be sure where to take a measurement. The flat head that came with the 47 has one dead hole and the marking on the block does not relate to the numbers given here on allpar. I am wondering if it may be an industrial flathead that was poked in the car years ago? As for the speed parts for the flat-head, the ones I saw on e-Bay were astronomical $.

#5 Dodgeboy49

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Posted September 7, 2011 at 11:17 pm

Not having the original engine makes using the flathead a little less interesting, though not worthless. The engines are super-easy to rebuild, and the fact that they were used in everything from boats to forklifts makes the parts availability pretty good. Ebay isn't the best place to find speed parts, one of the better suppliers that I have found is actually a Chevy parts place called Langdon's Stovebolt. He carries manifolds and ignition parts for Dodge flatheads.

All that being said, your Cordoba chassis would be a great source of parts if your dimensions turn out right. I'd measure from hub-to-hub personally, if they come out the same or within an inch or two, I'd say you have a winner. If your measurements are right, that says that your tires will sit 2 inches closer to the edge of the fender. You may be able to compensate for this by choosing rims and tires with 2 inches more offset to them. I always thought of the Cordoba as a car the width of an aircraft carrier (not complaining- I love riding in them) and figured that everything underneath would be far too wide for a '47. But then again...

#6 OldBill

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Posted September 8, 2011 at 04:39 am

Going to p/u the Cordoba tomorrow! Took 1/2 day with three men to get the Plymouth off the trailer. Brakes locked up on 3 wheels... The measured WB on the Plymouth is 117" the Cordoba 115" the Track is a little less obvious with a tape measure. The serial # on the flathead engine is P25*90I504* which I have found no info except that it Might be from a 1954 model something.. I wonder if the "i" in the serial # is indicating industrial?

#7 OldBill

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Posted September 11, 2011 at 05:33 am

Picked up the Cordoba Friday. My chinese electric wench pooped out first (Smitty Built XR-8) after only 3 uses! - Don't buy one! Had to use a come-along to pull the 4100 lb beast up on the trailer! Dodgeboy was right about the width, 62" front and back! The rear will not be a problem but the front is going to require a rethink. I still hope to use the torsion bar front suspension. I wish I had taken more measurements on the 47 before I disassembled body.

#8 Dodgeboy49

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Posted September 11, 2011 at 10:11 am

This is purely a shot in the dark, but you might measure the width of the frames. If the Cordoba frame is wider, you might be able to remove the torsion bar suspension and attach it to the '47 frame, with appropriate bracing. If the Cordoba frame is the same width, you might have a difficulty (but not an impossibility) since the added width would come from longer arms. I'm sure it is possible to shorten the arms, or perhaps adapt the torsion bars to the factory arms. There has to be a solution!

#9 dana44

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Posted September 11, 2011 at 01:52 pm

It will fit fine, normal grafting procedures to make the two join together. Trying to remember, without looking at the books, if the torsion bars attached to the subframe on the Cordoba, or if they attach independently like the B bodies earlier, part of the unit body construciton. I know the Cordoba has body rubber mounting points but can't remember the ends of the torsion bars. If part of the subframe, easy grafting to existing frame, if part of the unitbody construction, tie their location into the frame so one full box piece ties both torsion bars together for strength, don't weld or bolt to the sides of the frame, notch and box for driveline/transmission tailshaft clearance, but keep it one whole unit, much stronger that way, .125 walled 2X3 would give good support for the torsion bar end. As far as the width goes, youi say the 'doba is four inches too wide, right? Offset tires will fix that on the front side. If that doesn't feel right, section the center of the K member three inches, readjust engine mounts at the K member, you have enough room inside the engine bay to do that, and although it sounds like a bunch of work, it really isn't, and moving the motor mounts outward won't be difficult, some of the Cordobas had big blocks in there, so that should ease the fear of the upper control arms interfering with the engine itself.

#10 OldBill

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Posted September 11, 2011 at 04:15 pm

Thanks for the help. Right now I am removing as much excess as I can from the Cordoba so I can haul it to the Southwest Swap Meet in Decatur, TX next weekend. I have to keep a couple cars in remote storage in order to stay married.. Running back and forth from home to storage eats up a lot of time. I am planning to take the P25 flathead motor along to the sale... I am not sure I want to part with it yet? It was not a "numbers match" motor in the first place and the compression checks ran from zero in number 2 to 60lbs in a couple of cylinders....but it is taking up space here so I think if someone at the meet wants it more than me it will go along with the 3speed manual tranny. I just hope I sell more stuff than I end up buying..

#11 dana44

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Posted September 11, 2011 at 04:37 pm

Yeah, there are enough flatheads out there that you could find a better one from the sounds of it, parts engines and transmissions are always a fairly decent seller even in this economy. This should be a fairly straight forward graft with very little actual fabrication, it has been done before, just a matter of proper matching of the two components, then she will handle good.

#12 OldBill

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Posted September 11, 2011 at 06:20 pm

This Cordoba is too darn low! As near as I can tell the Torsion Bars are connected to a crossmember that is part of the unibody (not the front subframe). Oh Joy! The cordoba front subframe width is 31" inside to inside at the front of the engine (under the water pump). The front rail on the 47 is supposed* to be 34" outside to outside of the frame rails at the front... but it is not linear, looks more like a snake. *according to the 47's manual.. in other words, at some point they are both "about the same...

#13 dana44

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Posted September 11, 2011 at 07:07 pm

Every time I have seen a similar graft, the frame is cut about where the firewall is and the front suspension is then attached to the frame (depending on the amount of subrame you have). Forget about the rails going all the way forward, near impossible to make that work. In your case, ears/brackets should attach to the sides of the frame and then the subframe will attach to the frame.The ears will be rather short, but it gives you four points of attachment using the stock isolator bushings and then build a crossmember for the torsion bar mounting points in back. If the '47 frame is in the way, simply make steel tube tunnels for them to pass to the back end of the torsion bars, which will also give extra strength to the frame design when everything is welded together. First thing to do is adjust the width of the wheels, then connect as much subrame to original frame for strength, and at this point determine whether or not you want to use the isolation bushings to tie them together or plate weld them together, both ways are acceptable.

#14 OldBill

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Posted September 16, 2011 at 05:24 am

At the southwest swap meet for next 3 days.. Lots of interest in the the old flathead 6. I dont really know how to price it. the flat head has a rebuild tag; .020 on rods, .010 mains and .040 pistons. I guess 40 over on the old flatheads was no big deal? . No interest in the Cordoba parts as yet. Need to sell something. Wonder what the old engine is worth and should I keep it all together; starter, carb, generator, oil bath air cleaner or just separate? Wife says don't bring back more than you left with! this is going to be hard..

#15 dana44

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Posted September 16, 2011 at 09:47 am

All within reason as far as the machining goes, at least you know it in advance and won' t have any surprises when opened up or ordering rings or bearings. I don't know what to sell her for, but as far as parts together or separate goes, air cleaner separate from the rest, or do it as a first come first serve parts for sale off the whole unit, sell it complete missing this or that as a price, but the starter is this much, generator is much, until the whole thing sells. Scrap-wise is around $50-55, a rotating engine should be worth more than that.

#16 OldBill

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Posted September 20, 2011 at 07:24 am

The old flat head was the star of the show! Except, the thing was rotating fine when I pulled it out 2 weeks ago. When I got it to the sale the darn thing had locked up tight! Pulled the head, the pan, the distributor... finally gave up could not see a problem. Sold the darn thing for $50 to get it out of my sight. The nice man who bought it felt sorry for me.. I gave him all the parts; starter, generator, carb, breather, ect... He gave me Another $100! Made my day! Absolutely no market for the Cordoba body parts... everyone wanted the 360 motor, no body wanted the body... Too bad lots of nice straight Texas sheet metal is headed to the scrap yard. Will start work as soon as I get the trailer unloaded.

#17 dana44

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Posted September 20, 2011 at 10:03 am

Is it possible that in taking the engine out of the '47 that a bolt may have gotten stuck somewhere that was preventing it from turning? I have done that before. Strange about the Cordoba parts, would figure someone would need them.

#18 OldBill

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Posted September 24, 2011 at 03:45 am

The bellhousing was removed, so the flywheel was free, when the head and pan were removed there was no evidence of anything in the wrong place.. its old history now. Working on the compressor/sandblaster now. It had not been run in several years. It is a Buick V6 powered by 3 cylinders and 3 for air compression. Changed the oil, filter, air filter and getting ready to dump the old gas and get it operational. Lots of parts to sandblast on the 47 body. Ran a compression check on the Cordoba 360 motor. 90-95lbs in 7 cylinders, 70 lbs in #5... Guess I better pop the heads off and see what is going on there? Bought an air chizel... That Cordoba body better loosen up and "drop its drawers" or I will rip it open like a hot knife in butter. Hope to get some help in the teardown this weekend...

#19 dana44

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Posted September 24, 2011 at 10:41 am

That compression sounds a little on the low side, I would hope for something closer to 120lbs each. Rings and valve grind is probably in order, hard to know what condition the engine is really in, normal surface rust from sitting could be the culprit, and like you said, hard to tell until the heads are plulled off.

#20 OldBill

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Posted October 19, 2011 at 09:24 am

Cut the body off the 75 Cordoba donor. Putting in frame connectors. Not as easy as I hoped. Not much to weld to without covering up access to the front of the rear spring hangers. Front Subframe was an easy connect, just had to remove the e-brake cable connection. Need to get this done so I can get on with sandblasting the 47 sheetmetal before it gets cold outside!


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