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Dodgefran

Info please on mustang 2 installation

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I am I plan on using the original steering to do the patch panels on you 38 Dodge Humpback Panel truck (RC).  I will be using this as my daily driver for as long as I last.   I plan on using the original steering that it came with.   I will be using the original 25" Desoto flathead six  with a gm T5 tranny to a 93 Dakota rear end.  I will be saving the original rear end as well as the 3 speed tranny that came with it.  My question is about using a Mustang 2 front set up.  Has anyone done this using the flathead  six? I've been searching for info but have come up short.  I'm setting this build up so the truck can safely keep up with highway speed.  I would appreciate pros and cons on the subject.   Thank you all.

Fran

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Do they even make something for your truck at least the correct track width and frame width??

 

If you do a search when on the truck forum ( search function on top of that forum) using the words- Fatmanfab or just fatman you read all posts regarding them and  see if others have posted anything about their suspensions on this forum about them.

 

DJ

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I have a mustang 2 front end on my 50 Ford. I have never seen one for a Dodge and don't believe it exists. There is tons of information on this site about swapping for a modern front end (although your RC may be a little unusual). I am sure if you post your dimensions, someone will have an idea about a good, safe front end.

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Has anyone tried a beam front axle from a 2wd Jeep XJ Cherokee?  Since the XJ rear axle is such a clean fit in many of these vintage Mopar trucks, perhaps the front might work as well?  You would of course have to torch off all the coil spring mounting stuff but that's easy enough.  I'm thinking you could weld perches on it and keep the stock leaf spring front suspension.  Obviously the ride height and steering would need to be worked out, but it might be a way to modernize steering and brakes without irreversible mods to the original chassis and suspension.  It should be more suited to a truck GVW than a passenger car IFS as well.

 

Just a thought...

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The original steering item has me perplexed. That age truck chassis should have a steering gear on the lh frame rail. And, a drag link parallel to that same frame rail. I’ve never seen a independent suspension adapted to that. It may be possible. But I think you may be making some ‘one off’ parts and improvising as you go.   

Depending on your driving conditions and expectations you may be better served with a full rebuild of the original parts. 

I’m taking a hybrid approach. Using an early Toyota 4wd power gear.  Mounts ver similar to my 56 1/2t. New king pin bushings, tie rod ends and a custom toy to dodge connection should do it. 

 

Lower steering effort, low or no wear on the gear and tight linkage should make for a good driver.  At least for my speeds, roads, traffic and distance. 

 

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I have a mustang 2 in my 40 pt105

they sell univeral front kits. You just have to trim to fit your frame then weld it up. The front crossmember has to come out. You have to fab radiator support and engine mounts. I like the heidts style which surrounds the frame better than fatmans

 

Brian

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I always wondered about throwing a light duty 4wd axle in there. Seems like the Dak stuff would drop in with new perches? 

 

It would probably be cheaper to hit the junkyard with a cordless sawzall, some extra batteries and a hand truck, even after buying all new wear items from rockauto.

 

If you’re looking for bolt-in the stock setup works great if you can get the steering tight. It was the brakes and steering that got me in the weeds with mine. I did the ‘rusty hope’ disc kit but my steering box was super thrashed and even after new kingpins and tie rods it was not great over 35mph. Other folks on here with tight stock setups swap in lower gears and take long highway trips no problem.

 

My 2¢...

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Thank you all for your information.  I am doing my research before I tangle with my project.  I'm on a limited budget, being retired.  I have also bought the Rusty Hope kit about 5 years ago.  I have not used it due to pauses in time to do the work.  Sometimes life gets in the way.  I want to stay as close to original but able to keep up with traffic speeds.  I am not a hot rodder,  so I won't be getting too wild on this build.  At this point I'm researching others experience with the many choices out there.  Info like "I did the ‘rusty hope’ disc kit but my steering box was super thrashed and even after new kingpins and tie rods it was not great over 35mph. Other folks on here with tight stock setups swap in lower gears and take long highway trips no problem." from Radarsonwheels and all of you that took the time to help me with my problem.  I'm also looking into a strong sway bar, but I need to know if someone else has tried it and what were the results.  This forum has been the most valuable information that anyone could get.  So keep up the good work.  Thank you all.

 

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21 minutes ago, Dodgefran said:

Thank you all for your information.  I am doing my research before I tangle with my project.  I'm on a limited budget, being retired.  I have also bought the Rusty Hope kit about 5 years ago.  I have not used it due to pauses in time to do the work.  Sometimes life gets in the way.  I want to stay as close to original but able to keep up with traffic speeds.  I am not a hot rodder,  so I won't be getting too wild on this build.  At this point I'm researching others experience with the many choices out there.  Info like "I did the ‘rusty hope’ disc kit but my steering box was super thrashed and even after new kingpins and tie rods it was not great over 35mph. Other folks on here with tight stock setups swap in lower gears and take long highway trips no problem." from Radarsonwheels and all of you that took the time to help me with my problem.  I'm also looking into a strong sway bar, but I need to know if someone else has tried it and what were the results.  This forum has been the most valuable information that anyone could get.  So keep up the good work.  Thank you all.

 

 

I also am not a hot rodder but by all means I will do upgrades using more modern pieces parts as it suit my build.....I do not like when folks try to lump my build as a rod....when it in fact nothing but a PERSONALIZED vehicle.....I don't try to correct them for the most aprt, they are convinced in their mind a modern engine is automatically a rod and has nothing to do with the goal of RMA

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I did a Welder Series MII  on my B3B.  The manufacturer provides these in kits in three different widths, based on frame width with individual pieces that need to be trimmed  to fit your frame and desired ride height.  Your truck may have more distance between the pan  and axle than the MII so there may be some conflict there.  the bigger problem is matching your box to an IFS or your column to a r& p system.   Instructions are pretty good but you do have to understand the basics of steering geometry, understand the instructions before you go cutting, be able to measure accurately and be proficient in welding I THINK I used the middle width option combined with a Thunderbird power R & P, Tbird outer tie rod ends and a '84 F250 tilt steering column that's been shortened.  Column has the wheellock and key switch built in, 4 ways, and I grabbed the wiper switch ( 2 speed w/ intermittent) and light switch(adjustable inst panel brightness)  while I was pulling it from the donor, all for about 20 bucks.

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I have my opinions on how  to do things just like anyone does and i know there are many different ways to accomplish a goal. I normally dont chime in of these types of threads. That being said I have purchased a four link rear with coilovers setup from JW Rod Garage and an M2 IFS from Fatman, both of which im almost certain make a mustang 2 style IFS for your truck. I would call them to confirm that but i feel like both companies are producing high quality products. I want my truck to ride, stop, and handle like a modern vehicle.

 

Something that i didnt see mentioned above is the oil pan. on my 218 the oil pick up is in the front, im not sure how yours is and that might be something they switched to on a pilothouse to decrease its turning radius but youre going to want a rear sump pan to work with any kind of modern IFS.

 

I talked to plymouthy adams a couple years ago before i made my final decision to go the route i did. he mentioned even chopping the whole front frame half from a junk dakota and grafting the 2 frames together. While i liked the idea i couldnt find a decent price on something that wasnt complete junk around me.

 

My truck is going into a shop sometime in january to have all mentioned parts welded in but here was why i felt the advantage went to the FATMAN ifs. It has a fixed price of 2k. everything is 100% new and they put the engineering into getting the cross member and suspension angles right to work with my stock frame. For the record the shop is charging me $1100 to weld the IFS in. when its done the wheels will be centered in the openings and i dont have to figure out how to fabricate anything. it rolls out ready for what ever engine i want.

 

So $3100 might seam like a large chunk of money to lay out up front and i agree that it is. i saw the valve in not rebuilding an old dakota frame which odds are probably isnt the right wheel base (it wasnt in my case). It also doesnt have the correct angles (my stock frame is straight, the dakota isnt) or locations for body mounts. if i got even 1 mount off by an 1/8" that might make an interesting time trying to line up body panels and get gaps correct.

 

Thats my opinion for what its worth.

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1 hour ago, Ram Man 02 said:

 

 

I talked to plymouthy adams a couple years ago before i made my final decision to go the route i did. he mentioned even chopping the whole front frame half from a junk dakota and grafting the 2 frames together. While i liked the idea i couldnt find a decent price on something that wasnt complete junk around me.

 

 

wow..what is scrap prices in your area...even a totally shot Dakota suspension is less than 150.00 to rebuild.  I got a running V8 Dakotas with  5 speed, low mileage blowing cold air, new tires, good battery with damage due to side swipe for 900.00 drives like a champ.......this is not a fluke...got a second one with automatic for 350.00  this includes Posi trac rear gear and rear sway bars...the Dakota is a square frame from where any subframe cut will be done....while you chose another route and that is all well and fine and your call, I just think a few things were overlooked.....I also bought a couple early Dakota which are great for later square frame cars...one for 100.00 with excellent front tires and brakes like new.....and the other for 350, they wanted a bit more for the rear axle include in this package...as they wished to sell all or none...

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10 hours ago, Plymouthy Adams said:

 

wow..what is scrap prices in your area...even a totally shot Dakota suspension is less than 150.00 to rebuild.  I got a running V8 Dakotas with  5 speed, low mileage blowing cold air, new tires, good battery with damage due to side swipe for 900.00 drives like a champ.......this is not a fluke...got a second one with automatic for 350.00  this includes Posi trac rear gear and rear sway bars...the Dakota is a square frame from where any subframe cut will be done....while you chose another route and that is all well and fine and your call, I just think a few things were overlooked.....I also bought a couple early Dakota which are great for later square frame cars...one for 100.00 with excellent front tires and brakes like new.....and the other for 350, they wanted a bit more for the rear axle include in this package...as they wished to sell all or none...

What years are you purchasing? I was looking at a B2B rolling chassis in good shape and thinking about a Dakota frame. I have seen one of these conversions and it didn't look like a great fit, but i think the build in general was pretty half assed.

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the year of choice depends on you and what you want...the later models will involve 6 lug wheels and as a truck that is not a problem..looks out of place on cars though...I have dealt with a 89, 91, 94, 01, 03 and 04 models.....you just cannot buy one and run with it as there are going to be some trade offs in what can be kept looking original (wheels and hubcaps is main item) and what is modern.....when you get to the later models with the larger 12 inch rotors, abs brakes and such which is an easy transfer....rims are going to come into play....early years had smaller rotor, 5 lug pattern...but in my opinion, the ease of the overall job, the fact that repair parts are inexpensive, all the modern pluses of R&P, discs, better shocks, sway bar etc etc...this to me is the way to go....you also do not have to worry of the welding of the components as they are factory and all you are doing is frame coupling...which I have found is not an issue at all even for a base fabricator.....

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On 12/31/2018 at 1:11 AM, Plymouthy Adams said:

 

wow..what is scrap prices in your area...even a totally shot Dakota suspension is less than 150.00 to rebuild.  I got a running V8 Dakotas with  5 speed, low mileage blowing cold air, new tires, good battery with damage due to side swipe for 900.00 drives like a champ.......this is not a fluke...got a second one with automatic for 350.00  this includes Posi trac rear gear and rear sway bars...the Dakota is a square frame from where any subframe cut will be done....while you chose another route and that is all well and fine and your call, I just think a few things were overlooked.....I also bought a couple early Dakota which are great for later square frame cars...one for 100.00 with excellent front tires and brakes like new.....and the other for 350, they wanted a bit more for the rear axle include in this package...as they wished to sell all or none...

Scrap prices are low here just like everywhere i assume. When i was researching this i was trying to compare apple to apples as close as i could. Rust is a huge factor around here and a $500 dakota wont have a v8 plus needs a ton of work. Since the fatman kit comes with everything i needed and its all new parts, to keep things on a level playing field i would have wound up with $1500 dollars in a dakota. which is still cheaper! However one thing that i wanted was to keep the stock bolt pattern which i know i could have switched over but my time in all this is worth something. Specially when running around looking at craigslist trucks that arent worth what people are asking. I chose to buy something that i knew was going to work and fit all my requirements at the same time. Yes it costs a little more. Thats what i chose to do and it might not be what others choose to do.

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The ‘89 dakota I got for a donor was $700 and needed a radiator, fuel pump, and condensor. The front was bashed in but the panel gaps were all good and the frame turned out to measure pretty square. The front frame graft is not exactly what I did but it is as easy as the fatman etc. 

 

All plymouthy’s advice is solid! 

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Good call Ram Man 02.....go with what keeps you in the game AND safe. Sounds like your ride is getting a cool make over......you really should get a thread going before its done.

 

Dodgefran: How bout some pictures??? How far down is your frame? What builds are you comparing it to? What is the intended use? I'd really suggest that you find a build you like and try to "copy" it so as not to get to caught up in reinventing the wheel. Its just my opinion of course, but it can save  lot of heartache and keep your ride from spending to many years under the tarp.

 

48D :)

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I'm thinking of doing the Dakota swap on my 58 Dodge truck.; swap the front frame stub and rearend. There's several trucks around here with either bad engines or transmissions for less than $500.

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falconvan, fellow st Louisan here.  would welcome the chance to talk with you about the Dakota frame swap.  I have a 50 1/2 ton.  Ive already rebuilt the front end, disc brakes, but Im leary of the steering box.   Mark

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Yes, Yes, Yes,...………………….  That's why I love the people in this forum.  When I research, I have gotten in the habit of reading all sides of the story.  Then as was suggested, I do what I feel comfortable with.  I am NOT an experienced car restorer, But, so far, the pieces of metal fabrication are going "fine".  Next is the welding.  There is a great talent in this forum.  Ideas that you all come up with are what gives us the nerve to go ahead with the work.  I am always looking for a variety to choose from.  Then if I get into trouble I have another option and don't panic or quit.  Keep up the great work on your advice.  Options are "where it's at" for me.   Thank you all.   Have a great New Year.

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