Chassis Chop Job

Published on 10 January 2023 at 15:39

Chassis Chop Job

The oooriginal front chassis for my Ford Prefect dating from 1951

One of my first tasks was to look for a suitable front suspension for the beast, a visit to Newark autojumble provided my solution. I had purchased a complete front end from  1960's Triumph Herald but it was drum brake and would have been expensive to convert to disc, it was also not in the finest condition. fortunately while wandering around aimlessly I stumbled across a chap that had the complete front end from a Triumph Spitfire 1500 of a similar age to the Herald but it had disc brakes and looked to be in almost immaculate condition. The seller explained that it had been owned by a college since the 60's and had been used as a teaching aid until the 80's. When it ceased to be of use due to changing engineering practices he took it home and kept it until that very morning where I found it. He only wanted 80 quid so I bought it without hesitation, I would have paid at least that just for a pair of new old stock calipers. The original chassis had been badly modified for a Vauxhall Viva front end, as can be seen in the photo above, nice it was not. As it was completely wrong for the Spitfire I cut the whole thing off and fabricated a new frame that replicated the Spitfire front end but would take the Rover v8.

Triuomh spitfire suspension in my ford prefect hot rod project

I have to say I was rather pleased with the results, although things would be changed later, I am writing this bit in retrospect.

the next job was to somehow attach the rear axle, which had no mounting points on it at all at the time of purchase. I decided on a 4 link triangulated rear suspension so had to make all the links and brackets and then weld them in to place. The advantage of a triangulated set up is that it is very stable and holds the axle so it can only move up and down and not side to side. It's all built from heavy gauge material, the car will be very light but I hope to drive it fairly enthusiastically so  I am building it strong. Below you can see the assembled kit of parts comprising of the radius arms and the brackets ready for welding up and on to the axle.

4 bar link suspension parts for a ford prefect v8 hot rod project

I had decided I wanted to use adjustable shocks, I found a pair at Stickney auto jumble for a measly 30 quid - I couldn't believe my luck. they had different size / weight springs on them but they are very easy to get, indeed another 15 quid got me 2 brand new ones rated at 250lb - perfect. It took a lot of measuring and planning but actually all went together rather smoothly and so I now have a car that sits on all 4 wheels, bounces up and down and rolls backwards and forwards. no brakes yet but that will come soon.


The Volvo 244 rear axle on my ford prefect hot rod project

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