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1965 Dodge M37 Suspension & Steering - The Dumpster, Part 2

Posted in Project Vehicles on June 1, 2010 Comment (0)
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The Dumpster is my '65 Dodge M37 project truck named after its ugly looks and treasure trove of goodies hidden inside. Showing how to swap in a complete drivetrain and build a suspension no matter what vehicle you start with is the goal of this truck. I'm sure many of you won't be building M37s, but many of the steps apply to your own custom wheeler. In the end I should have a great riding on- and off-road machine that can drive cross-country or across the countryside while keeping the ugly old truck patina it earned over the past 45 years.

In our March issue I started the front link suspension and followed up on the GMC 6.0L truck V-8 engine we're installing at Pacific Fabrication in Morgan Hill, California (see this story online in the Project Trucks section of This month I'll go into further detail of getting the front suspension and steering to fit whether the suspension is at full droop, ride height, articulated, or completely compressed after coming off a too-much-throttle/not-enough-brains jump.

1. When designing a suspension it is important to determine the ride height as well as full-stuff and droop positions. I am using 11-inch-travel Ford Super Duty coilover shocks from Icon Vehicle Dynamics, and I want the axle to have 51/4 inches of uptravel and 53/4 inches of downtravel. This nearly equal amounts of travel should make the suspension work well all around.

Come back in a few months when I'll show you more of our geartrain, which should stuff plenty of options (and shifters) within reach of the driver's seat, and how to correctly install rear leaf springs.

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Icon Vehicle Dynamics
Corona, CA 92880
Pacific Fabrication
Morgan Hill, CA 95037
Poly Performance
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
PSC Motorsports
Azle, TX 76020
Parts Mike


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