Chassis 2 -- Gas Tank, Axles, Bumpers, etc.

Gas Tanks
One day, Dan Shady asks me if I have "the gas tank" for this car.  I tell him, "I think I may have a couple, or maybe even three.  I stored them upstairs in the garden shed years ago.  I'll check."

Well, today (6-23-2012) I checked.  Here's what I found:

So now, I guess I'll take them down to Shady's this week.  We can determine which one is in the best shape.  I'll take the sending units out of the ones I don't use, clean up the tanks, and sell all of them on eBay over the next few weeks.  I promise you'll never see 5 Model PB Plymouth gas tanks in one location ever again!  And I have no clue where I got all 5 of these fairly rare items.

Rear Axle
9-6-2013  Today, while at the shop, I learned that I'm now the proud owner of an 8-inch Ford rear axle donated by a derelict Mustang (Yes, there'll be a few Ford components in this almost all-MOPAR build.).  There is a salvage yard near the shop and people are forever stopping to ask the Shady boys
directions to the salvage yard.  One fellow recently asked directions, explaining that he was clearing out a piece of property with dozens of old cars.  The ever-vigilant Deron asked if there were any mid-'60's Mustangs with five-bolt brake drums (The 6-cylinder cars had only four bolts.).  Today, when Deron came back from lunch, this had been deposited by the fence.  We think of ourselves as recyclers.  Before it is installed, it will be cleaned, inspected, and have all new bearings and seals.  Depending on what gear ratio it has (yet to be determined) it may get new gears as well.  The overdrive on the T-5 transmission may allow us to use a somewhat higher gear ratio in the rear end than the most common 3.00:1 that came on Mustangs and Falcons.  Yes, this axle dates to the time of Ford Falcons!

Front Axle
7-26-2014  Deron and I have often talked about the options we might have for the front axle.  Because I would like self-activating drum brakes on the front and have already purchased finned Buick drums, a relatively simple option might be to install a 1940 Ford front axle on the car.  Parts are readily available and this is a commonly-used hot rod option.  There is a fundamental difference in the design of the 1932 Plymouth axle that prevents me from simply adapting Ford brake drums and hubs to the
stock axle.  The king pin joint in a 1930's car consists of a central bushing surrounded on each end by the "knuckles" of the opposing part.  The king pin connects the whole assembly.  In the Ford axles of the period, the knuckles are part of the wheel hub assembly as shown here:

Note that the knuckles rotate and the central bushing remains stationary as the wheel is turned by the steering mechanism.   In the 1932 Chrysler products, the design was the reverse, as shown in this photograph of a Model PB Plymouth steering joint:

Note that on this joint, the central bushing rotates with the hub and wheel, while the knuckles remain stationary with the axle -- the exact opposite of the Ford design in 1940.  (Interestingly, the Model T Ford was designed like the 1932 Plymouth in this respect,  Go figure...)

One surprising drawback I have learned is that the Ford axle, while 8 years newer than the car, is about 4 inches narrower in the track (the distance between the hubs).  Another option is to substitute a tubular, rather than a forged, axle.  These are common in 1950's era hotrods, so it would be authentic to the period I'm trying to achieve.  In fact, the 1933 and '34 Plymouths used a tubular front axle that had a design similar to the 1940 Ford axle.  I have looked for one of these tubular axles for several years, to no avail.  Until today...
I saw the following ad on eBay:
“FOR SALE.........VINTAGE...... TUBULAR DOUBLE DIP  FRONT AXLE......1933 PLYMOUTH ( CHECK AND MAKE SURE)....WITH RIGHT AND LEFT FRONT SPINDLES........NO HARDWARE FOR THE SPINDLES....NO BUSHINGS,KING PINS OR GREASE FITTINGS........MY FATHER USED THESE FRONT AXLES ON HIS 1933 WILLYS   A/GASSER.........AXLE IS IN GOOD CONDITION......SOLD AS IS.................AXLE IS 50 INCHES FROM, SPINDLE HOLE TO SPINDLE HOLE.....WILL SHIP GROUND FREIGHT.......PLEASE ASK ANY QUESTIONS.;.........GREAT AXLE FOR A/GASSER........HOT ROD OR RAT ROD.”  The pictures that accompanied the ad were promising.  It should arrive late this week.  Unfortunately, I'll be out of town on business, but as soon as I return, the "new" axle shall be delivered to the Shady shop.

Front Bumper

11 March, 2013 -- Apparently Dan Shady got tired of waiting for me to bring out the front bumper mounting bracket.  On a recent visit, this is what greeted my eyes:

Related story, 10 August 2013   I looked high and low and couldn't find the front bumper bracket.  Then one day the latest issue of The Plymouth Bulletin arrived in the mail (the quarterly magazine of the Plymouth Owners Club).  In the classified ads was a listing for a huge variety of Model PB Plymouth parts, including bumper brackets!  I called the seller immediately and acquired the front one, which had already been completely restored.  It arrived 8-8-2013.  Here it is right after we had the "unveiling" at the Shady shop:

8-24-2014One idea I'm considering is using a non-stock front bumper.  As a tribute to Del Wilson's '32 Plymouth Model PB roadster that placed third in the "C" class open division of the 1954 Hot Rod Hill Climb in Georgetown, Colorado, I've thought about using a 1941 Lincoln-Zephyr bumper.  Here's the only picture of Del's car that I'm aware of:

The '41 Lincoln bumper is very hard to acquire.  It was constructed of several pieces and the center portion is both vulnerable and delicate -- a bad combination.  I'm trying to track one down that includes all the pieces, but it may be too expensive to include in this build.  Time will tell.  Here's a good picture of the '41 bumper on its original car: