Steering Linkage, Suspension,
Frame Detailing are attended to in this chapter...
So the decision was made to take the 58
Plymouth body off the frame. This was an easy decision, since most everything
had been removed already. At right, you see the shell resting on the frame
| Here you see the frame
emerging from underneath the Plymouth's body. I devised a way of elevating the
body off the frame and balancing it on two planks - a 2x8x10 in the front,
right underneath the front body mounts
and in the back, a 2x10x10 board supporting the rear of the body. The boards
are, in turn, each supported on two heavy duty metal saw horses, which I
purchased at Home Depot. The potential problem of crushing the lower rear
quarter panels was solved by elevating the rear of the car above the boards,
using two spare car wheels resting on the board. This setup worked well because
now I could slide the frame in and out in a matter of seconds. By the way, the
three garages that you see is my latest 'shop'. The building that you see me
working in on previous pages was suddenly reclaimed by its owner in December,
2000. Fortunately, I was able to find these garages after doing some quick
scrambling. In the center garage is my 1970 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme
Convertible and at the far end is the new home for my 1959 Dodge Convertible.
At last all the critical parts were removed from
the frame. I hired a guy with a flatbed to bring the frame to Aquablast in
Bloomfield, CT, the same place that did the 59 Dodge frame five years ago.
A week later, they called to say that the frame had been power washed, grit
blasted and was ready to be picked up. Before bringing the frame back, I took
advantage of the weekend to coat the now rust and paint-free frame with a layer
of Corroless (the orange stuff you see in the picture), which is a paint that
will seal the metal from further rusting.The next day, I was back with five
cans of Rustoleum semi-gloss black to topcoat the frame.
Below you see Bob, the flatbed guy, picking up the already-painted frame to
bring it back to my 'shop'. We had to work quickly, as the sky was getting
darker and nastier by the minute. No sooner did we get on the road than a
thunderstorm passed thru, soaking everything. It became a challenge to unload
the frame and slide it back underneath the body.
For anyone getting ready to grit blast a frame, be aware that the media will
find it's way into everything. I had to completely disassemble and clean the
brake components because when I removed the drums, it looked like a desert in
there. The grit also found its way into the frame rails thru the larger,
factory-stamped holes. I had to make an attachment for my vacuum hose that
would fit inside the frame to remove all the sand that had lodged inside.
Here's an interesting angle(below) of the car body as seen thru the
completed frame. Note the newly-installed stainless-steel brake lines and
hoses. After installing the fuel line, the body was lowered back onto the
The photo on the left shows detail of the restored suspension and steering
components. First, the upper and lower control arms were removed along with the
steering knuckles. After sandblasting and painting, new bushings were installed
in the control arms. The incredibly loose ball joints were also replaced. The
steering knuckle was sandblasted and detailed as well. All the
steering linkage components (tie rods, center link, etc.) were still good from
their initial rebuild in 1989, so they only required paint to be restored. If
you look closely, you'll notice that the UCA bumper still needs replacement,
which will be purchased from Gary Goers.