From the Ground Up

Jun 15, 2018

The thoughts and ideas around the chassis of the car are another item that has changed over time. When I first acquired the car, the thought was a simple rebuild of the stock suspension, a back-half job with a 9″ Ford and some wide meats. Along with the back-half, a 6-point roll bar would be part of the package too. A bit later, the stock front suspension build moved to a 2″ lowered spindle deal with a stocker style disc brake setup on the front. Things were making good sense, we lower the front of the car a touch and get some decent brakes on the front of it. I then found a disk brake kit for the rear for little more than the price of the caliper mounting brackets so now we had disc brakes on all four corners.
And of course, this is not the end of it yet either. The next step was replacing the upper and lower A-Arms with tubular ones to lighten things up a bit. It was at this point that things changed up a bit. I had been looking at the chassis kits that Chris Alston offers and while I wasn’t interested in doing the whole deal, the idea of lightening things a bit more by going to a 2×3 chassis along with improving the roll bar to a roll cage had a lot of appeal. Unfortunately, the shipping cost on the kit was killing the deal – I couldn’t see spending almost the same amount for shipping as what the kit cost. I then found out that the kit Jegs sells as the Jegster is actually the Alston kit – interesting. But the problem was still the same, the shipping was crazy. That’s when I found Jegs selling Jegster chassis kits on eBay with free shipping. But the kit I needed wasn’t listed so I called them to find out if I could get the same deal and as it turned out, it took a bit of talking but I got free shipping too.

So with this, we are getting closer to a full race car but part of me doesn’t really want to go there. I have some mixed feelings about not putting the car on the street as that was the original plan. I think a few other things that have happened are really the deciding factor for me. As they say, you get dealt some lemons, best to go with the lemonade. I have a race car, a nice dragster but I do want to race the ’55 at times in the Modified class, footbrake style. So there has to be a small compromise. I have decided at this point that the car will have a combination of the back-half, the chassis rails will be 2×3 tubing, the full roll cage and I will graft the stock front clip to the rails. Now the front end will get some serious modifications but will retain the mounting for the A-Arms but the center section under the engine pan will disappear as will all of the stock steering stuff. The new steering will be a Ford Mustang manual rack and pinion mounted in front of a new cross-member. My idea and hope are that I will be able to flip the stock steering arms and tie the rack and pinion to it. If not then it’s Plan B time although I have no idea of what that one is at the moment.

Rear tires are going to be something around 32×15-15 and the fronts will be a narrow tire about 28-30 inches tall. Wheels are a basic Weld Wheel, Pro-Star type – sort of old but brand new in the box. The fuel tank is a narrowed early Mustang unit with a fuel sump added to aid fuel pickup by the pump. Most of the fuel system will be equipped with Magna Fuel items and will be capable of handling both regular fuel and methanol.
That about wraps up the chassis layout, at least until something else changes.

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