54 Dodge Truck Suspension Options

Posted by: moparpollack

54 Dodge Truck Suspension Options - 12/10/17 11:04 PM

What options are available to change from the front leaf springs to independent front suspension on a 54 dodge truck? The cheaper the better as I did the dakota frame swap on but only because the frame was hacked on the last truck. Pictures if you have them build threads would be nice too.

Thank you! up
Posted by: Θάνατος

Re: 54 Dodge Truck Suspension Options - 12/11/17 09:37 AM

If it'll fit, the FOrd Crown Victoris front suspension swap is nice.

Posted by: Old Ray

Re: 54 Dodge Truck Suspension Options - 12/11/17 10:29 AM

Originally Posted By moparpollack
The cheaper the better


.....kind of reminds me of the old story, you can have a quick repair, a good repair, or a cheap repair but you only get to pick two.

The hands down cheapest is: find a old Pinto that hasn't caught fire yet, drill out about 10,000 spot rivets in the cross-member, use 5 bolt Granada rotors and build some strut rod frame brackets. Did one 20 years ago on '46 other make truck, its now sold but it is still on the road. smile

I'm thinking the Crown Vic is too wide but it can be narrowed at some expense, a tread/track width measurement compared with whats available will help the decision. I'm using a Dakota sub-frame in my '56 at around 60 inch's (I think) wheel mount to wheel mount.

My '51 other make big block shop truck has a MII kit for 32 inch (?) frame width, works good. Some pictures available if required.
Posted by: moparpollack

Re: 54 Dodge Truck Suspension Options - 12/11/17 08:01 PM

Yes the crown vic is cheap and plentiful but it's to wide.

Finding a pinto would be a miracle or even a mustang 2.

Might have to go to Craigslist to find a donor. up
Posted by: poorboy

Re: 54 Dodge Truck Suspension Options - 12/11/17 09:31 PM

Just looking at the Crown Vick crossmember, I know it won't bolt up to the 54 Dodge frame.
I doubt there is anything that will bolt on to the 54 Dodge pickup frame without a lot of frame modification. Both frame rails on the 64 frame curve towards the center at the crossmember, and you will have to remove the crossmember. to bolt something up, you need straight rails. For the most part, that means you will probably be better off clipping the Dodge frame, and the Dakota will be the best match up, short of building a front frame yourself and bolting something to it.

I'm sorry if you are under the mistaken impression that modifying the entire front suspension is cheap or easy, and that something else fits it perfectly. Gene
Posted by: moparpollack

Re: 54 Dodge Truck Suspension Options - 12/11/17 10:58 PM

Originally Posted By poorboy
Just looking at the Crown Vick crossmember, I know it won't bolt up to the 54 Dodge frame.
I doubt there is anything that will bolt on to the 54 Dodge pickup frame without a lot of frame modification. Both frame rails on the 64 frame curve towards the center at the crossmember, and you will have to remove the crossmember. to bolt something up, you need straight rails. For the most part, that means you will probably be better off clipping the Dodge frame, and the Dakota will be the best match up, short of building a front frame yourself and bolting something to it.

I'm sorry if you are under the mistaken impression that modifying the entire front suspension is cheap or easy, and that something else fits it perfectly. Gene


Probably will do a dakota frame swap. The last one was easy to me and cheap as the original frame and the dakota body went over the scales for the price of the dakota.

I noticed the frame pinched in when I bought the truck. Mustang II looks like an option as the brake sizes have improved from the original pine size. Thanks for the input, I know a nova clip will work too. devil
Posted by: Old Ray

Re: 54 Dodge Truck Suspension Options - 12/12/17 04:01 PM

Originally Posted By moparpollack
Probably will do a dakota frame swap.


Do you mean the complete Dakota frame? It has been said many times by smarter guys then me that the best frame to use is the original one and I think they are right, heavily modified of course. Why would you go to the effort of constructing body mount brackets and mating the body to a dissimilar frame when you could do a front sub-frame transplant and have all the body mounts already done? cool
Posted by: moparpollack

Re: 54 Dodge Truck Suspension Options - 12/12/17 07:15 PM


You asked.... grin

When I did the last one all the fuel and brake were run never even rebled the master. The rear end was modern, the leaf springs were modern, shocks were factory fit for replacement. The dakota frame is pretty stout. It has the retractable spare tire feature that tucked away nicely. I used the mounting of the metal bed to the frame and just welded the sides on from the old truck (will do this again as the wood is gone). The emergency brake cables were run and it really sped up the process. Building the body mounts were quick and easy.

So if you do the clip I would sill have to the steering shaft, front radiator support mount, and have to configure the frame to frame so it's kinda wash in my book.

I still have plenty of sawzall blades from the last venture. up
Posted by: savoy64

Re: 54 Dodge Truck Suspension Options - 12/24/17 05:32 PM

that mustang II stuff is ok but they even upgrade to granada stuff----you can buy all the weld on stuff on speedway--built for the circle track guys---it isnt that expensive.......or just cut the front off a 56 dodge car (plymouth or chrysler) and weld it onto your truck frame....springs and a cheap disc brake kit....
Posted by: moparpollack

Re: 54 Dodge Truck Suspension Options Update - 12/24/17 09:01 PM

Found a local donor that was reasonably priced. up
Posted by: moparpollack

Re: 54 Dodge Truck Suspension Options Update - 12/24/17 09:06 PM

more Anyone need a 216 flat six?
Posted by: moparpollack

Re: 54 Dodge Truck Suspension Options Update - 12/24/17 09:08 PM

My support team.
Posted by: moparpollack

Re: 54 Dodge Truck Suspension Options Update - 12/24/17 09:15 PM

That's it for now but doing the swap my tank is hung and plumbed, the brakes are plumbed, wiring is done out to the rear, so I'm doing well. Next week I'll be hitting the metal store to get the material for the radiator support. Hopefully get rid of the old frame and the dakota remains. By the way I did this all with a sawzall and hand tools by myself. realcrazy laugh2
Posted by: moparpollack

Re: 54 Dodge Truck Suspension Options Update - 12/30/17 06:50 PM

Progress
Posted by: moparpollack

Re: 54 Dodge Truck Suspension Options Update - 12/30/17 06:51 PM

Time for a beer beer
Posted by: savoy64

Re: 54 Dodge Truck Suspension Options Update - 01/01/18 03:13 PM

check out the flywheel---should be an 8 bolt that works on a first gen hemi---and look at the prices on a new flywheel for the first gen---wont take up too much space under the bench.....
Posted by: JDMopar

Re: 54 Dodge Truck Suspension Options Update - 01/06/18 06:56 PM

Looks great! bow Are you going to have to shorten the frame a little behind the cab to get the bed and cab closer together, or is it just camera angle the makes it look way apart?
Posted by: moparpollack

Re: 54 Dodge Truck Suspension Options Update - 01/06/18 09:39 PM

I shortened the frame 3" on the rear and moved the bed closer to the cab. I will have to redo two be mounts and drill the frame for the rest. The sides are farmer specials beats to snot and one is even welded together out of two. Will probably make new sides but for mock up I will move the fenders where they need to be over the wheels on the old bed sides for now.

I'll post more pictures tomorrow when I get a chance to take some.