Rear Suspension & Underbody:
I have decided to slightly widen the wheel wells and relocate the springs with MP's kit. The stock wheel wells don't take much tire, and I don't want the "jacked up" look. Wider tires are not really necessary for traction, it's mainly for the look.
I switched from the stock 6-cylinder leaf springs to a pair of super stock springs from Mopar Performance. Got a better deal from my local dealer than from mail order (no shipping). The spring part numbers are P3690456 and P3690457 The right side spring is heavier and has more leaves than the left side. These are supposed to be good for 3400 pound cars. Also bought Mopar Performance's spring relocation kit. There's not much to it, really. It's a welded box for the front mount, a pair of rear shackles, and new spring perches for the rear end.
Here's the frame rails before any cutting.
Here, I have cut the frame rails to accept the boxes. I have the stock spring mounts in place - you can see one just behind the ground clamp for the welder. A piece of 5/8" threaded rod makes sure the holes in the boxes line up with the holes in the stock spring mounts.
I also drilled a hole 1" above the stock location for adjustability.
Here they are welded in place. Thank you, Craig. I didn't have enough faith in my welding to do a highly stressed structural weld. I later cut the boxes to approximate the curve of the frame rail.
Here are the shackle tubes welded in place. I put them in the location of a factory hole in the frame rail. This was a mistake. I should have waited to see where the spring eye ended up when the back of the car was resting on the ground with some weight on it. The shackles are at too much of an angle now. When you bounce the car up and down, the spring eye hits the frame rail. I got some longer shackles which might be ok. At this point, I'll wait and see what happens when the car is driven.
I removed the floor hump, cut the opening in the floor to match the hump, and welded it in. Still need to finish the edges up and apply some sealer. Lousy picture here, I had the camera on the wrong setting.
So I thought a nice body-color undercarriage would be nice... I heated and scraped off the undercoating. I started off with a heat gun and putty knife, but stepped up to a propane torch and putty knife. It's a lot faster. I've got the inside of the frame rails coated with Eastwood's Rust Encapsulator. It's supposed to be similar to POR15, but easier to topcoat.
I wire brushed the underbody for an eternity, it seemed. Then I wiped it down several times with lacquer thinner and brushed on some Eastwood Rust Encapsulator. Next, I sprayed a coat of Rust Encapsulator and while it was tacky, I misted on some epoxy primer. Then I let it cure 24 hours. Then I sprayed two coats of epoxy primer and finally, some color. Not "perfect", but I'm pleased with it. It certainly turned out better than what I originally intended.
Side of car - just after welding spring mounts - I know, I know, it looks "jacked up". The springs I bought are for a 3400 pound stick shift car. It seems everybody with an A body runs the 3200 lb springs and they're a LOT lighter. There is a lot of weight to add to the car, though. So I'll wait and see... I might have to switch to the lighter springs and save the heavy ones for another project. Hmmmmm...