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51 Moredoor


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I found this on the local CL and couldnt say no; 51 Plymouth Cambridge with a great solid body and decent paint. It had been in a garage the last 15 years and preserved nicely. It needs some floor work and interior but overall it's in great shape. I think Im going to change directions on the 49 and swith all my parts over to this one. I had gathered up parts to do a 5-speed conversion and four wheel disc brakes so that'll all go on here.





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Nice looking Plymouth. Enjoy it.

Was this car ever a fleet vehicle? The spotlight and extra antenna, along with the car being a Cambridge, make me wonder if it was ever a taxi cab or patrol car. Are there any filled light holes in the roof?

It doesn't look like it, Harold. It's been painted; was originally tan. I dont see any evidence of a filled hole in the roof. The spotlight is a dummy, i'm not sure if I'm going to keep it or not. It's pretty ragged looking. I I have one I'd rather have a functioning one.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Time for the tear down! Im really happy with how solid this thing is. All the fenderwells and hidden spots where my green car is rusted look great on here. Most of the factory undercoating is even still there. I pulled apart everything under the hood and got the motor ready to pull. Also pulled all the shift, accelerator, and clutch linkage, driveshaft and trans, all the exhaust and the fuel tank. My replacement rockers came in and I decided to go ahead and make the tunnel cover removeable like the earlier models to ease in the five speed swap. Floors and rockers are the worst spots but it shouldnt be too bad to fix. Im just going to use flat 16ga like I did on the other car.






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I made a killer Craigslist score tonight; a complete 54 Plymouth Savoy dash for $50! The original dash looks really rough so this should be a big improvement; I like the styling much better.




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  • 3 weeks later...

Ok, the 49 has been dismantled and disposed of other than several parts I sold, saved to sell, or saved for this project. The only bummer is I'm letting a friend use my spare garage bay for another month so my car is stuck outside in the 100 degree heat for now. So I figured I might as well start on it where it's at for now. I pulled the rearend and springs tonight. The springs are headed to St Louis spring for freshening up and I'm going to start getting the Explorer 8.8 ready for transplant. I think I'll hit the underside with the powerwasher and some POR-15 while I've got access.



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Yeah, I like to keep my projects moving. My brother in law is just the opposite; he'll buy a project, work on it sporatically for a few months, then sell it off, buy something else and start over. I've known him 8 years and he's yet to get one on the road; it drives me crazy. Each to his own, I guess.

Tim, I guess someone already repainted this as it is glossy paint on top. After further investigation it looks like It's going to require some metal surgery to make it fit anyway.

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The green one is gone, Cass. I sold several parts off of it, saved a bunch for this car, and had the carcass hauled off last night. The motor I got from you is going in this one. Are you ready to road test that 48 yet? It looks like you're coming along pretty nicely on it.

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Yesterday I cleaned up the rear of the frame from in front of the spring perches all the way to the back with an air grinder and hit it with a coat of POR-15. Access was easy at this point so I figured I'd do it for future rust prevention. Today I spent most of the day cutting off the old spring, sway bar, and upper control arm mounts from the Explorer rear; and cleaning it up for a test fit. I dont have my springs back from the spring shop yet but from mocking it up on a floor jack, centering it, and taking a few measurments; it looks like it'll be a pretty good fit. Once I have my springs back and get it set up permanantly, I'll paint the whole works before it goes back in.






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I got the rearend temporarily mounted with my rebuilt springs, new bushings, and 2" lowering blocks. It's got a nice squat in the rear now; I'm planning on dropping the front to match. Next step is to get the floors in shape; I cut out the old inner and outer rockers along with one side of the floor. First is to build new inner rockers with 16 ga and repair the floor braces. Once I've got both sides done, I'll go back and put in the floorpans and the outer rockers.






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Did you brace the door opening when you cut out the rocker panel?

No, it's pretty easy to line up before you weld the bottom of the center post down. Just hold the bottom of the post down tight with a good welding clamp, open and close the doors a few times to make sure you'rer straight and tack it down.

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I got the front part of the passenger side mostly done today. The braces looked really rusted but one you hit them with a big wire wheel, they still are solid. I got the inner rocker made, a little patching done and repaired one brace so Im about 3/4 of the way there.





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  • 2 weeks later...

Im a happy camper now; my buddy finished his Camaro and moved it out so I've got my garage space back! I pulled the 51 in last night after some cleaning and spent a few hours tonight cutting out the last of the old rocker and floor, cleaning up the braces, and starting to trim where the replacement floorpan is going in. Still 100 degrees today but a lot nicer working out of the direct sun.





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