Author: DW

Dear Welder Series… 1936 Plymouth Mustang II?

Dear Welder Series…

I have included a couple pics so you can see what we have. The crossmember installed will be removed to install your unit. A gentleman started it with his own design and gave up so I appreciate your help on this. The white line is our wheel base of 113″ and that is your Z correct? I will get what you need from that.
Thank you so much.
Jeff

Dear Jeff…Jeff, the stock wheelbase dimension will usually give the “Z” location. Sometimes the look is better when the wheel/tire is ahead or back slightly from the stock location. This is because of the vehicle rake or even the stock “look” of the wheel and tire in the fender opening that changes with the new ride height. If you have the luxury of putting a fender in place and mocking the tire, it could give  some relief to know the line you have was right all along. Or …

Thanks for the pictures.
I’ll try to get cut line info back to you quickly so you can get on with the build.
Paul
Dear Welder Series…

Hi Paul
We removed the engine and the other cross member to get more accurate measurements for your work sheets. I sent a pic of front frame also. Let me know if you need anything else and thank you for all your help.
Take care
Jeff

Dear Jeff…Jeff, this series of Plymouths gave us issues back in the 80’s when we had the first one to do. I think we were involved with another builder since then. He made new frame rails from the firewall forward.

The high frame arch makes it very difficult to install an independent front end.
The frame width is where the upper a-arm cross shafts will be and the frame arch is also there.
The work-around is to add to the bottom of the frame and remove from the top.
I can do some basic drawings that will show the height of the new bottom and top of the frame using the dropped spindles that you have I can do similar drawings for stock MII spindles.
Would you also please confirm the dimensions from ground to top of frame at CR and TR?
I’ll watch for your reply.
Paul
Dear Welder Series…

Hi Paul
Let me know when your free for a call again please. The plan is to install 2×4 at 13 1/8″ high and the same width as the inside of the existing rails and it should be more than 14 in in length of clean flat surface to work with on the top. I just want to talk before I cut it up.
Thanks
Jeff
Dear Jeff…
My drawings are all based on dropped spindles and 13” ground to the bottom of the 2×4.
Dear Welder Series…
Hi Paul
I have attached some pics of the Plymouth for you to have a look at. I got at it this week and it really went well and I thank you so much for all your help and engineering. I left the inner upper rails in as fillers for when the fenders are installed. We have some more finish work to do but we are really happy with the results.
Take care
Jeff

Dear Welder Series… Splined sway bars vs Pinned

Dear Welder Series…

Good morning. I’m just curious as to the purpose of the one splines end option on the sway bar kits vs. the pinned both ends option. What would the benefit be from the splined end or having both ends splined vs. Pinned. Thank you! Dear Kevin…
Good morning, Kevin.

At one time (mid 90’s) our sway bars were made in 2” length increments with 1” of spline on each end. This required a lot of inventory (we had bars from 18” – 36”) and we always ran out of something before we needed a large, cost effective quantity to run replacement stock. I think splining one end, making the bars in just 2 lengths (3/4” bars at 36” and 45”), and pinning the second end was a collaboration idea with one of our pro builder customers who used a lot of odd length bars and had to cut off one splined end anyway (… that had been paid for). Recently, the cost to spline the one end increased dramatically and we were not able to find a suitable alternate splining shop. The pinned ends have never given any problem that we are aware of so the decision was made offer both ends pinned until the one-end splined bars are gone.

The splined end allows the arm to be removed more easily than the pinned end. It also allows the arm to be “clocked” on the bar, but only in 10 degree increments. (The 3/4” bars have 36 splines.)

When the sleeves get pinned to the bar before the arms are attached, the arms can be tacked so they are aligned and the pins can be positioned to be most easily removed. Then the sleeves can be removed and the arms can be finish welded.

The pinned kits cost less than the splined kits.

I hope this answers your (very thoughtful) questions.

Thanks for looking at Welder Series’ parts.
Paul Horton

Dear Welder Series… 1977 F100 MII?

Dear Welder Series,

I have a 1977 F100 that I’m currently trying to fit a 7.3 Godzilla into. The oil pan of the Godzilla along with the twin I-beam suspension are creating some challenges. 

The primary issue is the drag link at the rear of the crossmember. To fix this I’m considering putting in an ifs kit, however I’m weird – I don’t want to lower the truck and I’m perfectly happy to keep the 5-5.5” lug spacing for the wheels.  I know, I know that is weird but I like the stance and wheels I have now. I’ve got some sentimental attachments to this truck as I bought when I was 14 years old – 30 years ago!  The problem is all of the ifs kits that I have run across all claim 3-5” drop. 

I’m looking at the wealth of knowledge on your website and from my thinking it would be completely doable to have the upper a-arm outside the frame rail and still have a close to stock track width of ~65.75” hub to hub. This would allow the frame to ‘rise up’ relative to the suspension geometry allowing for stock ride height. 

My frame rails are 33.5” measured outside to outside. From what I have found so far, this would require a different steering rack that is longer than originally offered (or is normally ran on a Mustang II style suspension). 

Is this in fact possible or am I missing some key detail?  Any guidance to crossmembers/ a-arm kits from you guys that I could do this myself would be great!

Thanks in advance for you help!

Hi Paul,

It was great talking to you the other day; it was super helpful to get me going. 

For my specific situation, I’ve drawn up a 4” square crossmember that the lower control arm and steering rack will mount to. The positions will push the control arms out such that the upper control arm will be outside my frame rail allowing the frame to rise above the standard position of most Mustang II IFS that provide 3”-5” drop (which I don’t want).   Using dimensions of control arms and an MII spindle it will still be within the current hub-to-hub dimensions I have today. 

Based on the outside-the-frame-rail upper control arm, first and foremost, I want to first make sure my assumptions/math is correct – the horizontal separation between the upper and lower control arm pivots (passing a vertical line through each point) should be 3.625”. ((29.5 – 22.25)/2). 

Of course, I also have some other questions…

Does the center of the crossmember coincide with the center of the spindle (i.e. wheel center)?  I realize this is based on the assumption that the crossmember in a Mustang II is 4” as I’m planning to use(?).  Reason I ask is it seems all the Mustang II IFS kits position the crossmember centered on the original wheel centerline. I know the lower control arm mounts directly to the front of the crossmember with the rear needing a tubular support and gusset – pushing it rearward so I assume the lower control arm geometry in effect makes the spindle centered with the crossmember but wanted to confirm. 

What is the angle of the spring hat viewed from the front?  Also it’s relationship fore to aft with the crossmember?

The steering rack tab mounts – what would be their relative position to each other and should it be centered on my crossmember, or biased?

Paul, I know I’ve asked a lot of questions. If you prefer a phone call to talk through this versus email I’m absolutely fine with that in fact, almost prefer it.

Best Regards,

Ken

Dear Ken…
Ken, you are basically on the right track.

Please send dimensions for the attached drawings.  

‘Z’ is spindle location, front-to-rear.

In MII C1, I need inside and outside measurements at each point.

In MII C2, the frame must be blocked at the finished ride height and rake you want. At each point, dimensions should be from the ground to the bottom and to the top of the frame rail.

Dimensions to the nearest 1/16” is great; to the nearest 1/8” will be ok.

I’ll get back to you with a drawing showing, I hope, how our 60-1/2” crossmember can be used to give you what you want. Or I’ll have notes explaining how the frame has to be modified.

Thanks for working with me.

Paul

Dear Welder Series…
Hi Paul,

I got some measurements however, I still have the original suspension in the truck and the steering gear so it made getting dimensions somewhat tricky. 

For MII C1:
As accurately as I can measure at this time the outside frame width for all points TF, CF, Z, CR, TR, & TC is 33.5”. 

Inside measurements:
TF – 28.875“
CF – 28.875“
Z – 28.875”
CR – 28.875“
TR – 29.625“
TC – 29.625”

For MII C2:

Frame is nearly completely flat in the range of these measurements. With the lower crossmember and twin I-beam brackets in the way made getting very precise measurements difficult. It is at the correct ride height front and rear though. 

At all points, the dimension to the lower frame rail was 16.75” while the dimension from the floor to the upper measured 22.625”

Look forward to your suggestions about how to make this work. 

Best Regards,
Ken

Dear Ken…

Hi, Ken.

Thanks for the dimensions. I’ve put them in my CAD template for a 60-1/2” track width kit.

I have based my thoughts on a stock ’77 F100 tire size of 225/75/R15 which is about 28-1/4” diameter.

Using your ground to bottom of frame ride height dimension of 16-3/4”, the bottom of the frame would be 3-1/8” higher than the spindle. We allow for about 1/2” of tire “squat.

With a 60-1/2” kit, the nominal upper arm center-to-center would be 33-1/2”. The frame will not give the arms the clearance needed. The arms would be part way down the outside of the rails, too.

When we have this condition, a solution is to add to the bottom of the frame and cut away the stock frame above it (except for support ahead and behind). A section of 2x4x1/8” wall tubing, about 18” long would work. The tube would center on ‘Z. The stock frame would be cut away 6” ahead and behind ‘Z’. With a little planning, the front and rear of the 2×4 can be angled to blend into the stock frame and not look “scabbed” on.

That done, the upper arms would have clearance.

The bottom of the 2×4 would need a small c-notch for rack bellows clearance.

Your F100’s stance would then be as you have now mocked it up. I could give you cut lines information that you could use on our crossmember and upper towers. 

The general idea is as shown in the attached pdf. In this example the bottom of the frame is not straight so the customer has to allow for that. The shaded area is stock frame that would be removed. There should probably be more weld length between the bottom of the stock frame and the top of the added section. This is just a concept drawing.

Let me know if this is the way you would like to go or if you have questions/comments.

Paul

Dear Welder Series…

Hi Paul,

Thanks for the information. Your numbers are spot on with what I’ve measured and assumed. I was using ~3” below the bottom of my frame rail as the location of my spindle center. 

I sketched up a concept (attached) of a tubular cross member that will basically cradle my current frame rails making room for, as you said, the upper control arm pivot because it wants to go thru the frame in order to raise the chassis up. My sketch moves to a hub to hub of 64.75” (current TIB is 65.75”). I know this will require a lengthen steering rack (or at least spacers – I don’t know if all racks have threaded joints or not though. If so, it seems like a rather easy way to lengthen to get the pivot to coincide with the upper and lower control arm pivot.). 

My thought is it would be easier to make this assembly on a bench and install than to cut and modify my frame(?). Not sure if that is a correct assumption or not…

Forgive my rather crude model and hope it gets my thoughts across. 

image0.jpeg

Thank you!

Ken

Dear Ken…
Ken, it’s probably easier to do on the bench.

Paul

Dear Welder Series…
Would your 62.5” kit get the upper control arm out beyond my 33.5” frame rails?

Dear Ken…
The nominal cross shaft c-c would be 35-1/2”.  Clearance would depend on the control arm and the adjustment that might be required.

Dear Welder Series… 1962 Studebaker Lark Mustang II

Dear Welder Series…

Good day aye,

I would like to purchase your cross member for my 1962 Studebaker Lark station wagon. Running into issues with frame measurements. The “Z” mark is running through the shock tower preventing me from getting accurate measurements. Also, the frame goes in and out, up and down around the “Z” mark. Checking to see if you have run across this before I start cutting out the cross member and shock towers. Attaching a few pics. If you need more or have any questions, please let me know.  The “4” mark is 4 inches behind “Z”. “Z” mark starts at crossmember.

Dear Dan…
Good morning, Dan.

I only see one picture, but from your description, it sounds like you will need to make a new front frame clip using 4x2x.125 wall HSS tubing. Check the pictures at https://welderseries.ecwid.com/Mustang-II-Crossmember-Kit-for-Coil-Springs-p51209443 and https://welderseries.ecwid.com/Mustang-II-Crossmember-Kit-for-Coil-Overs-Shockwaves-p51209593 and read the info in the Product Details and inthe links in those sections.
This is not an easy swap but a Welder Series’ Mustang II was designed to be used in applications like yours. Probably the 56-1/2” track width will be right.
Thanks for looking at Welder Series’ parts.
Paul Horton
Dear Welder Series…

Thanks for the reply Paul,

Ordered my 2×4 tubing. I have a question though. You state that the 56 ½ kit likes outside frame dimensions of 26-30 inches. My frame rails will be about 30 ½. Is this going to cause a problem?

Dear Dan…
Dan, that should be fine.

I’ve attached cut line drawings. This “assumes” 2×4 rails, parallel to each other and level. The bottom of the frame would be at the same height as a stock Mustang II spindle. The front would be 2” lower with dropped spindles but the cut lines would be the same.
Drawing 1 is not attached because it laid out the rails and that’s info you gave me.
I hope this helps you see the installation more clearly.
Paul Horton
Dear Welder Series…
Have a quick question for you. I ordered 5/8″ shorter control arms for my project. After receiving them I realized that the 5/8″ difference was not going to allow enough clearance for the Shock Wave air bags. So, planning on switching to coil over’s for now. My question is, Can I still mount the coil over plates at TF/TR and then use spacers for the Shock Wave Coil overs? ( Just incase I ever switch control arms to use Shock Wave air bags).

Dear Dan…
Dan, you can do this.

It might help to order our ShockWave upper mounting kit, https://welderseries.ecwid.com/ShockWave-upper-mounting-kit-p466997276 .
Paul

Dear Welder Series… Mustang II cut line help (2×4 frame)

Dear Welder Series…
Paul,

Kevin here, sorry I missed your call earlier. As I said previously, I’m doing a custom front end using your mustang ii crossmember kit for coil springs. I am using 2×4 channel for the main frame rail and am looking for either the cut diagram, or just the dimensions I need to trim both the cross member and the shock tower mounts. To give you an idea, I will be doing something that looks a lot like the build linked below. I am available in the morning Monday and Tuesday next week if it would be easier to discuss on the phone.

Kevin

Dear Kevin…

I think this is what you want. If you want to talk about it, please send me another email and I’ll call you.

Thanks for using Welder Series’ parts.
Paul

MII CUT LINES CUSTOM 4X2 FRAME 56 kit

Dear Welder Series…
I do believe that is what I need. Thank you very much. Based on the drawings, does the bottom of the tower bracket line up with the notch on the inside of the crossmember?

Dear Kevin…
Yes, it does, Kevin. And, that’s also where the stock spindle will be with all the weight on the front end. (Ride height)

Paul

Dear Welder Series…
Paul,

I accidentally gave you the wrong dimension for the frame. It’s 2×3, not 2×4. I should just add back an inch on the upper tower cutout to make it line up with the notch and it should be good, correct?

Kevin

Dear Kevin…
Kevin, you are correct. On the towers, use 3” instead of 4”.

Paul

1953 Studebaker Pickup with a Welder Series Mustang II Crossmember

Dear Welder Series… 1953 Studebaker PU Mustang II

Dear Welder Series…
I want to purchase a coil spring front cross member kit. It is going into a 53 International with a stock tread width of 60-1/2″. Questions …. I have Granada rotors on MII spindles … do I need the 58″ or 60″ x-member? The frame width is 28-1/4″ out to out  …. which size will work best?I have seen the Swartz build, but can find no reference to which width he used.

Dear Rich…
Rich, I’m checking with Grant Schwartz now.
To decide the track width kit to use, position the wheels and tires that you’ll use in the fender opening and measure wheel mounting surface to surface.
28-1/4” outside dimension might require a work-around, but let’s take one step at a time.
Thanks for looking at Welder Series’ parts. Paul Horton

Dear Welder Series…
Here are the measurements for the frame. The outside measurement is 28-1/4″ from 6″ ahead of Z to 1″ behind Z then tapers to 28-7/8″ at 6″ behind Z.

Dear Rich…
Installation tips and cut lines drawings are attached.
Paul

Dear Welder Series…
I will take pictures as I go and will send you a file when the frame is done…. might be a month or so at the rate this old fart works….. and have to keep the house projects going to keep the boss happy. A Jag rear is the next stage of the project.
This project is replacing my daily driver as it has seen 12 years and a lot of abuse.  Engine is 5 cylinder M/B turbo and is still going strong. 

Dear Welder Series: 1929 Essex Mustang II Install

Welder Series offers a service where we can guide you where to cut the crossmember after you provide some key dimensions. Here’s how it works…

Mustang II Crossmember Trim Lines Worksheet

Dear Welder Series…

Hi Paul. Prior to me cutting the notches in my clip, could you have a quick look and see if it will work. I think this ok but….. Its on a 29 Essex no fender, with 2″ drop spindles. Frame width is 24″ inside and 28″ out side, Frame is 2″ wide and 2-3/4 ” high

Thanks John

Dear John… Good morning, John.

I’m working on your Mustang II cut lines and realized I didn’t ask some questions yesterday:

Are the frame rails parallel?  (28” & 24” from 5” ahead to 5” back from centerline)  If not, what are the dimensions at those points?

You said the rails are 2-3/4” high at axle centerline.  What is the frame rail height 5” ahead and 5” back from c/l?

Thanks.

Paul

Dear Welder Series…

Hi Paul
The frame rails are parallel. The frame rail height 5″ ahead is c/l is 2-3/4″ and 5″ back of c/l is 3-1/8″.
When fitting the cross member last night I had to grind a little more get it to fit . In my picture to you I had the depth of the cut at 2.5″, when it is now 2-3/4 ”

Thanks so much for your help !!!!

Cheers John

Dear John…

Hi, John.

Here are the cut lines to put the bottom of your frame 10-1/2” from the ground with dropped spindles and a 26” diameter tire.

Please send pictures when you get the kit installed.
Thanks for using Welder Series’ parts.
Paul Horton

Dear Welder Series…

Hi Paul
Please see attached pictures of the 1929 Three Window Essex Coupe 🙂
Thanks for all your help !!! Soon to be chopped and channeled.
Kind regards John

Mustang II Crossmember Trim Lines Worksheet

Welder Series has a free service to help builders lay out the crossmember and upper tower cut lines. If you fill them out, take pictures of them, and email the pages back to us, we will give you drawings showing the sections to be removed. These worksheets can also give us the info we need to provide you with boxing plates. We’d give you a price for the plates and you can decide if you want to order them or make your own.

MII frame dimension tech sheet

Mustang II crossmember excess material

Dear Welder Series… trimming excess off crossmember

Dear Welder Series…
Hi DW I’m pleased to say I have the main section of my mustang 2 kit installed in my frame rails, the instructions were clear as a bell and it is a beautiful piece of work. I was just curious if it is recommended to remove any excess metal on the outer edges of the crossmember or not to give it a cleaner look. I’ve attached a picture to show you what I plan to remove. Thanks again and hope to hear back soon.

Anthony

Mustang II crossmember excess material

Dear Anthony…
You can trim the area indicated. But it feels like there’s another problem coming regarding the towers. It looks like the frame is too narrow to attach them. Have you got past this issue or should we talk? Please call 888-648-2150 if you want to discuss it. Leave a message and I get back to you.
Paul Horton

Dear Welder Series…
Oh thanks Paul. I did end up getting everything mounted onto the frame and all the measurements checked out so here’s an attached picture with the lower crossmembers and the upper control arms mounts all tacked in place. If this doesn’t look right let me know.

Dear Anthony…
Anthony, it’s hard for me to get a perspective on the tower and crossmember but maybe this sketch will help.
The front upper-inner corner of the tower should be very close to 9-3/4” higher than the lower pivot hole center. The rear should be very close to 9-1/4”.
The vertical edge of the tower should be 1-7/8” inches out from the lower arm hole.
I hope that helps.

Paul

Overdrive!

I wanted to give a little shout-out, as they say, for the kit that controls my overdrive and torque converter lockup. Here’s the link: https://www.transdepot.net/A518-Lock-Up-Wiring-Instructions-46RH-Only_c_279.html

I was whining to a customer a couple years ago about how high my D100 was revving on the highway. I could barely get to 55 mph and it sounded like an indy car. Maybe I’m exaggerating.

He told me I could add an overdrive transmission to the back of my 318 with “very little work”. Those three words often accompany a lot of work, so I was skeptical. A local transmission shop (Tri City Transmissions in Kitchener) sourced the A518 out of a pre-1995 Dodge pickup, and I got to work installing it. This was happening right before my annual trip to Syracuse, and I found out by doing the swap on my own that transmissions are heavy. You’ll need to move the transmission mount somewhat, but we have some parts for that. Check out the link for a kit that will let you control the overdrive and lockup without a computer. It’s been working flawlessly for a couple years now. Make sure you have consistent vacuum (I had an arcing spark plug wire and it caused a lot of frustration during my first trip).

Let me know if you have any questions about the swap! I’ll see what I can do to remember an answer.

Dear Welder Series… Triangulated 4 bar with Buggy Spring?

Dear Welder Series…
I am currently building a model a coupe and working on the rear suspension. I have a couple of questions. I’m going to use a buggy spring and was planning on using a 40 Ford wish bone but I’m having my doubts as to weather it will hold up under the power of a nailhead. My questions are can I run a triangulated 4 bar with the buggy spring? I’m also leaning towards ladder bars. Can these be modified and scrap the clevis fittings on the rear mount in favor of urethane on all the joints or would it make it too stiff of a ride.
Thanks for any help,
Kevin

Dear Kevin…
Sounds like a neat project, Kevin. The triangulated rear 4-link can be used with the buggy spring if the spring is mounted behind the housing. If the spring is on top, it might interfere with the upper bar brackets.

If you decide to use the ladder bars, it will be much easier to stay with the clevises. The front-mounted urethane bushings isolate the whole assembly, so the ride will be pretty much equal.

Thanks for looking at Welder Series parts.