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Boxing 57-59 Plymouth frame
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1960fury
Posted 2019-09-10 4:58 AM (#587324)
Subject: Boxing 57-59 Plymouth frame



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Saved a 59 Fury coupe in parts a couple of years ago. My first non-unibody car and I must say I was shocked how flimsy the rear section of the 57-59 Plymouth frame is.
When I was a kid I remember seeing a movie scene of a 59 Plymouth getting rear ended lightly by a 58 Chevy and I remember how surprised I was seeing the quarter panels of the 59 caving in. You can watch that scene on Yt (link below). Also in the movie "It's a mad mad world" you can see the same thing. Well, after seeing the frame close up I'm not surprised anymore.
There is a section between the rear shackle brackets and the rear axle that is just 3mm unwelded U-shaped sheet metal! And to make things even worse, they added a couple of holes in line there. This makes the body prone to damage in the lightest accidents.
I know how crumble zones work, but these usually start at the ends/bumpers getting gradually stiffer towards the passenger compartment. This flimsy U-shaped piece is inside, at the height of the fuel tank.
I wonder if anybody ever boxed that section and the rear piece, that is just as flimsy (very easy to box with a flat metal panel). My car has already a little damage there, even though the bumper looks like new.
Keep in mind, stiffening this will stiffen the whole frame from front to back, reducing stress for the body, this also will keep the rear suspension aligned.
I like to shape metal, would there be an interest in one-piece (same gauge as frame) weld-in box sections for the 57-59 frame?

2:31

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NmdgQ_a3z2k

Edited by 1960fury 2019-09-10 5:15 AM




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58coupe
Posted 2019-09-10 8:40 AM (#587325 - in reply to #587324)
Subject: Re: Boxing 57-59 Plymouth frame



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I am planning to do the same on my 58 frame. The full size cars (Chrysler, Desoto) are boxed in this area.
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LD3 Greg
Posted 2019-09-10 10:30 AM (#587328 - in reply to #587325)
Subject: Re: Boxing 57-59 Plymouth frame


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Some Dodges are and some not. Other than wagons there doesn't seem to be a system to it!
I have reinforced the side rails as well as the back channel for frame mounted equalizing trailer hitches.

Greg
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StillOutThere
Posted 2019-09-10 10:33 AM (#587329 - in reply to #587324)
Subject: Re: Boxing 57-59 Plymouth frame



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As you know Carl Kiekhaefer changed his '55-56 race cars (both Chrysler and Dodge) onto convertible frames. He ordered new frames and then changed them at the Oshkosh "race car plant". For '57 he ordered the 300C coupe "Road America competition models" to be built on convertible frames from the factory. They had three additional frame changes. 1. The front-most crossmember was boxed by someone at the factory with holes cut in the boxing to allow for attachment of the strut rods. 2. The rea-most crossmember (your concern) was fully boxed by the factory. 3. The engine compartment double channel frame which is "stitch-welded" (weld several inches, skip a section, weld, skip) was fully continuously welded. The use of the convert frame with its huge X-center member was the rigidity ECK was mostly after and additionally carrying that weight so low in the chassis further lowered the overall center of gravity of the car. I went over all these facts with Kiekhaefer's chief welder when he was still alive living in Oshkosh. I expected he had done the additional welding and he assured me it was all factory on the RA Comp Cars. I still own the surviving RA completed restoration.

That doesn't perfectly fit your question but it does support your idea of boxing the crossmembers. And then some.
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1960fury
Posted 2019-09-10 3:59 PM (#587334 - in reply to #587324)
Subject: Re: Boxing 57-59 Plymouth frame



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That was a very interesting story, Wayne. I didn't know that. Everybody should box that rear section, restoration or not. I planned to fix the stitch-welding too (and the other not so nice factory weld seams).
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Paul Hettick
Posted 2019-09-11 7:15 PM (#587399 - in reply to #587324)
Subject: Re: Boxing 57-59 Plymouth frame


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57 58 Furys had a full boxed frame. Probably the 59 sport fury as well but not sure. Also very early 57s. Had a 57 savoy sedan. I think it was the 49th car off the line at the LA plant. Fully boxed front to rear.
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Paul Hettick
Posted 2019-09-11 7:17 PM (#587400 - in reply to #587324)
Subject: Re: Boxing 57-59 Plymouth frame


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The imperial in mad world no doubt had the frame cut to maximize the damage from the hit. Imperials are outlawed in most demo derbies because of the strength of the chassis
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