60 Plymouth steering conversion
ttotired
Posted 2022-11-18 4:39 PM (#625726)
Subject: 60 Plymouth steering conversion



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For those that dont know, I have had this car for around 11 years and in that time, there has been times of great activity and
times of no activity at all with it. We are now in an activity stage again

Briefly, when I bought this car, it was right hand drive. The conversion had been started, but it didnt look right. I
had it checked by an engineer and he pretty much laughed at how they were trying to do it and told me it would never pass the way it was done. This was very
disappointing because being
right hand drive was a big part of why I bought the car. I ended up going down the road of making it left hand drive again. I ran into issues with missing
parts that were hard to find and exceptionally expensive (considering the exchange rate etc). So back to right hand drive it goes.

This conversion has to pass government approved engineering scrutiny initially, then pass government vehicle inspections as well before it can be
licenced to drive on the road. In consultation with the engineer I have engaged I have started the process of doing the conversion. I have a time limit of 2 years
to get this done. It can be extended, but it might get new added steps if it is.

The basis of the conversion is to use Australian built 1960 Dodge Phoenix parts. I accumulated these parts when I had and built the Phoenix I had. I also took many
pictures of the dodge while it was apart to learn how the factory did it. One thing the factory did which I wont is to shorten the plenum chamber where the heater goes. (The
Australian dodge used a mopar truck heater mounted in the left footwell). The reason for that was to make space for the pedal box. I think there is just enough room for it without
having to do that.

So thats the background, so here is where it is at...
The cars is well and truly apart to get access to everything. What needs to be done is this, starting with the actual steering conversion itself, removal of all LHD
steering components.
Then cut off the bracket for the idler arm and weld it to the left hand frame rail (there are small rectangular slots in the rail to show where to locate the
bracket). Fit crush tubes into factory holes in the right hand frame rail to bolt the RHD steering box from the dodge. The drag link is the same as the RHD
one but the idler arm is not, it is basically a mirror image of the LHD one. This was one of the parts I was missing to do the LHD conversion. Thats all that needs to be done there. I
have to have the welds tested for the idler arm bracket to be checked off for engineering.

Now to the firewall. This is harder than I thought. Working out the position and cutting the hole for the steering column wasnt hard because of the pictures I took of the
dodge, but what has turned out to be hard is the pedal box mounting. I was initially going to use spacing blocks on the inside and outside of the firewall to take up the shape of the
brace that the master cylinder bolts onto. The engineer said no to that, mostly because I wanted to do away with the brace. A plate had been made by the previous owner
of the car that covered the heater plenum and the fan hole. It was just a flat 2mm thick plate and the MC was bolted on through that.
The Australian factory firewall has the steps in the firewall that the reinforcing plate sits on on both sides of the firewall. I assume they got 2 firewalls when the cars were sent
over to cut a section out to duplicate the left side of the firewall, but not sure about that. I dont have another firewall, so I have now made a new plate to cover the heater
plenum and another plate to copy the left hand brake master cylinder mounting area. This plate took me 2 days and hooefully today I will get it welded in.



(steering6.jpg)



(Steering1.jpg)



(steering3.jpg)



(steering9.jpg)



(steering8.jpg)



(steering7.jpg)



Attachments
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Attachments steering6.jpg (96KB - 823 downloads)
Attachments Steering1.jpg (98KB - 103 downloads)
Attachments steering3.jpg (74KB - 97 downloads)
Attachments steering9.jpg (74KB - 90 downloads)
Attachments steering8.jpg (76KB - 93 downloads)
Attachments steering7.jpg (88KB - 95 downloads)
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60 dart
Posted 2022-11-18 5:34 PM (#625730 - in reply to #625726)
Subject: Re: 60 Plymouth steering conversion



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good to see you're back at it -----------------------------------------later
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ttotired
Posted 2022-11-21 5:02 PM (#625795 - in reply to #625726)
Subject: Re: 60 Plymouth steering conversion



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Thanks Chuck

I will keep posting as it goes

The bracket is in now



(Steering10.jpg)



Attachments
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Attachments Steering10.jpg (106KB - 100 downloads)
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Powerflite
Posted 2022-11-21 7:04 PM (#625799 - in reply to #625726)
Subject: Re: 60 Plymouth steering conversion



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Very impressive panel beating to make that firewall mount. Looks like you welded the sides on it. That's how I would have made it too. Firewalls are the least likely part to be used on a parts car so there are typically plenty available at BigM and other people parting these cars out. That could have saved you some work, but 2 days isn't bad, and you got it quicker than waiting for it to ship across the ocean.
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ttotired
Posted 2022-11-29 5:10 PM (#625961 - in reply to #625726)
Subject: Re: 60 Plymouth steering conversion



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I could have made it easier on myself by using steel that was 1/2 as thick, but I have to impress an engineer, so
making it anti tank gun proof seemed like a good idea.

I asked around the mopar sites here in Australia for anyone with a wrecked rhd dodge of the era buy they are really rare here now
and even wrecks like the one I built are being saved now.

I should get some more done over the next week

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Ray Bell
Posted 2022-12-06 12:46 PM (#626142 - in reply to #625726)
Subject: Re: 60 Plymouth steering conversion



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Now I know you're going to hate me...

There are several in a backyard in Lockington, Victoria. Crashed ones and straight ones. They were owned by a man I considered to be 'old' almost twenty years ago, he had one convertible and about ten other (local) cars in varying states of disrepair. 19 Pannoo Street is the address.
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ttotired
Posted 2022-12-08 7:36 PM (#626213 - in reply to #625726)
Subject: Re: 60 Plymouth steering conversion



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No hate here.

From building my phoenix, it is interesting that they shortened the plenum chamber, I guess to make room for the brake set up, but I dont know why
they bothered. The pedal box fits fine without doing what they (the factory) did.

So to do a "proper" factory conversion, you need to replace the cowl or shorten the plenum like they did.





(rhd firewall detail.jpg)



Attachments
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Attachments rhd firewall detail.jpg (133KB - 90 downloads)
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