Q.I have a '48 Pontiac Torpedo Silver Streak Eight two-door. I would like to update the drivetrain and suspension with disc brakes and a 350/400 combo, but don't want to cut up my original frame to apply a stub/sub-frame, nor do I want to apply Ford parts to my GM. Is there a '60s or '70s GM frame that'll match my Pontiac's frame dimensions, wheelbase, and width so that all I have to do is remove my body and slip it on to the other frame?
A.If you're prepared to swap the entire chassis, I can't see what is wrong with modifying the existing one! Both Chassis Engineering (www.chassisengineeringinc.com) and Fat Man Fabrications (www.fatmanfab.com) offer generic MII IFS front crossmembers that would workon your stock chassis, which would be your easiest solution. You could get around your Ford parts problem by using all-aftermarket control arms and spindles, and using GM brakes.
Your Torpedo's wheelbase measures 119 inches, with track widths of 58 at the front and 611/2 in the rear. The most common chassis swap we see these days is the S10 pickup frame, but at either 117 inches for the longbed or almost 123 for the extended cab, neither matches your Poncho, plus the track width is way too narrow at 48 inches. Any frame you swap is never going to be an exact fit, and you'll have to make all new body mounts, probably modify the floor, and even then will likely end up with the steering column not exactly where you'd like it. In your situation I'd keep the stock chassis and fit an IFS crossmember.
Q.I have a concern with the wheelbase of my '47 Buick Sedanette (56S) which is 124 inches according to all I can find. The front suspension is a MII IFS. My measurement and Fat Man's are from the same reference point. The rear suspension is the stock wishbone (detached from the stock rear) and the stock coils.
Every thing is in its place with threaded bar stock in place of the springs. The new rearend seems to be in the correct position using all the measurements. The problem is that the wheelbase is now 126 inches!
A. It's a little unclear from your letter whether you have the new rearend mounted or not, but if so I'd check that it's in the correct position on the wishbone.
My next course of action would be to mount the sheetmetal and check the wheel and tire position in the wheelarches. Just because the factory wheelbase is 124 inches, if it looks right at 126 I'd be inclined to leave it. Of course if it looks wrong at least you'll know which end of the car is incorrect, but my guess would be if you and Fat Man have the same dimensions for the IFS install (and you used a Fat Man crossmember!), you probably have the rear axle mounted too far back on the wishbone/trailing arms.
Pain in the Glass
Q. I have a custom '47 Ford long body coupe with a 31/2-inch chop. When I did the windows I eliminated the vent window and installed the glass with a Bosch electric window drive. I'm having a hard time getting the windows to work smoothly without binding. I realize with the glass that wide (37x12 inches plus 1 inch for lower channel) that it's quite heavy. When I disconnect the window from the crank tree the glass goes up and down quite easily. I'm thinking that the motor is simply not strong enough. One problem with such a wide window is stabilizing the window on the crank tree. A support arm for the lower channel hasn't helped. I'm thinking of two options: find a stronger motor, or go with a sturdy hand-crank.
A.Without seeing your application it's hard to give advice, but before you switch back to a hand crank, here are a few points to consider:
Your window is long (wide) but no more than many new production cars. Given the curved "ends" to your glass, especially at the front, do you have enough vertical glass in the channel inside the door? Too short a length here and the glass will try to "walk" up the channels rather than glide up smoothly. You may want to consider taller glass, the extra length hidden inside the door and running in the channels.
You say your glass is binding but not when it's disconnected from the tree. Is your tree perfectly aligned at the same angle as the window channels? Just a couple of degrees difference and the glass will bind in the channel, but will slide freely when disconnected from the tree.
You say you've fitted a support arm to no avail and it's hard to stabilize the window on the tree. I'm assuming you're using a single vertical channel regulator? If so swapping to a scissor type may help, or something like the EL2000 from Electric Life (800-548-2168 or www.electric-life.com) which is a single channel but with floating mounts for the glass.
If your Bosch motor was designed as an electric window motor and not for some other application, I'd be surprised if you need a stronger motor, and would suggest you explore these other avenues first. I'd also suggest spending a morning at your local wrecking yard and examining OEM electric window mechanisms on cars with long door glass. You may find exactly what you need right there, and given that your glass is probably fairly vertical, could possibly even utilize the whole inner door frame and weld this into the doors of your '47 to retain the factory alignment.