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Old 03-03-2020, 10:48 AM   #1
35FORDOR
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Default Thoughts on 1946 Ford running gear

i have a 27 t coupe i am building. Looking for thoughts on 1948 front and rear end and possibly the trans as a driveline? the trans is column shift right now and curious if thie 1948 front and rear are desireable to run in a warmed up Merc flathead??? Thansk in advance

Shane
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Old 03-03-2020, 11:11 AM   #2
JSeery
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Default Re: Thoughts on 1946 Ford running gear

curious if thie 1948 front and rear are desireable to run in a warmed up Merc flathead???

The front end is not much of an issue as far as design goes. It does need to be in good shape as far as the bushing, shackles, bearings, tie rod ends, etc goes.

The drive train is more a factor of how it is driven than the power out of a mildly modified flathead. You and break it with a stock engine and they have been driven for years with OHV conversions. The rear axle is not going to like "dropping" the clutch and spinning the rear tires! And the transmission isn't a fan of "speed" shifting.

If you are wanting to drive it a little harder and keep the look of the original rear end, there are modifications that can be made that greatly increase it's durability. Might take a look at Hot Rod Works https://www.hotrodworks.com/product-...e-conversions/

The original brakes are Lockheed. They can work fine, but are a bit difficult to adjust. If you can afford the upgrade, I would suggest going to Bendix brakes. This is what Ford did in later model years. There are complete conversation kits that are close to bolt on.

Steering is the same as the front end, it works great IF it is in good condition. And not so good if it is worn out and/or out of adjustment. They are fairly easy to rebuild and to have rebuilt.

Last edited by JSeery; 03-03-2020 at 11:24 AM.
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Old 03-03-2020, 11:37 AM   #3
supereal
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Default Re: Thoughts on 1946 Ford running gear

We recently built an engine for a customer who planned to use mid 40's running gear in a "resto-mod"project. After considerable deliberation, he decided it was a more efficient idea to use the later chassis and install the early body on the frame.
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Old 03-03-2020, 11:50 AM   #4
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Default Re: Thoughts on 1946 Ford running gear

Mechanically everything (if in decent shape) should work fine. Esthetically, "spring in front" suspensions generally don't look good on early hot rods. It is more of an "East Coast" sort of thing. I think you would like the "West Coast" look better. You can use most of the components from the '46 (axles, spindles, hubs, maybe the wishbone (split), but consider getting the parts to convert it to "spring-over" or maybe even "spring-behind". Get a "Street Rod" catalog from Speedway Motors and check out all of the options open to you.

This is especially important if you plan on running fenders; while an un-fendered rod with a "spring-ahead" looks awkward, a full-fendered rod with the wheels not centered in the wheel wells and fenders looks just plain stupid.

My apologies to the "East Coast" guys, but the O/P is in Colorado.
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Old 03-03-2020, 11:53 AM   #5
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Default Re: Thoughts on 1946 Ford running gear

gotta agree with tubman, plus, the 48 rear is a wide one, may look goofy on a T
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Old 03-03-2020, 12:05 PM   #6
tubman
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Default Re: Thoughts on 1946 Ford running gear

One other minor detail. You can get a floor shift conversion kit for the '46 transmission. However, with a narrow car like a "T", they can cut into seating and leg room because they are mounted on the side of the transmission, not on top. On my "T" tub, I had to get creative to get the stick where I wanted it. Both the shifter mounts and the stick itself needed to be modified. This was further complicated by the fact I am running an overdrive transmission.

One last thing about the front suspension. a "spring-over" is much easier to do than a "spring-behind". However the latter makes changing the ride height and wheel base easier.

Depending on how far you want to go with this, the "H.A.M.B." might be a more productive place to get information on a build like this.
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Old 03-03-2020, 02:31 PM   #7
Mart
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Default Re: Thoughts on 1946 Ford running gear

The later stuff is ok as donor material but not ideal if that is all you have.

The brakes are the best part, they will adapt to anything from an A up to 48. The trans might yield up a good gearset that can be fitted to a top loader box but you'd need the correct top. The steering box can be used in anything 35 up. The spindles may be able to be used but the roundbacks are more popular.

I wouldn't use the axles, radius rods, springs, rear end on an early rod where that stuff is exposed because it just looks goofy. It looks like it has been put together by someone that does not have "the eye".

The centre section of the rearend may be useful if it has a more desirable ratio that one you might already have. A nice set of 16" steels is also a bonus, especially if rings and caps are there, depending on if you want the patinated look.

Mart.
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Old 03-03-2020, 02:37 PM   #8
Ol' Ron
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Default Re: Thoughts on 1946 Ford running gear

Unless your doing a restoration, go with modern stuff, axles, transmissiond and suspensions. saves money in the long run, is more reliable ans safer..
I;m building a 27T roadster, and have widened the body ^ inches and it's still a tight fit. the T 5 helps.
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Old 03-04-2020, 04:11 PM   #9
Robz51
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Default Re: Thoughts on 1946 Ford running gear

Go to youtube and search "Iron Trap Garage" . If you go to their homepage look up "Free T" project. They are guys in their 30s and build traditional hot rods in their garage. Lots of good info.
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Old 03-04-2020, 11:34 PM   #10
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Default Re: Thoughts on 1946 Ford running gear

The '48 axles are both too wide. The spindles, brakes, and wishbone can be split and used (if you don't mind the dog-leg in them.

The rear brakes are usable along with the shorter rear wishbones. Maybe the '48 rear will have a better ratio and you can swap out parts in an earlier '38-'40 rear.

The '48 box can be used for cross-steer with a little work.

Probably more things can be re-purposed with a little figuring.
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