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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just bought a 55 Fairlane pretty much stock, I have never done a gasser before and thought this body style would make a neat gasser. Does anyone know if there are any mods that need to be done to the frame or if it is even possible with this? Thanks for any help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, just picked up a chevy straight axle for it, Ill mess with it this week to see how much work is needed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well, axle didn't fit, way to short. looks like I will try and replace the 3" drop coils with some heavy duty coils and try and raise the front that way. Now the challenge will be to find the coils!!
 

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Well, axle didn't fit, way to short. looks like I will try and replace the 3" drop coils with some heavy duty coils and try and raise the front that way. Now the challenge will be to find the coils!!
BuMMer!!!!!! Mine didn't fit either..... It didn't fit into my budget that is. So for now, I am going to pass on the straight axle conversion.

So I am forced to go with option #2..... After some serious laying under the Opel time, tape measure in hand checking out the front suspension there is a lot of little things that can be improved. Especially the front part of the stock frame where none of the 2x3 sub frame was added. I guess the reasoning was the engine is setback so far that the 2x3 did not need to be extended for the entire length of the original frame.

My original option #2 was something the previous owner wanted to do (in addition to swapping in a 4 speed tranny) was to place a 3-4" spacer block between the mounting brackets of the rack & pinion. Amazingly, the entire front suspension is held to the frame by only 4 BOLTS!!!!


After doing quite a bit of measuring & thinking ..... and thinking & measuring ..... I can extend the 2x3 sub frame which will effectively be the same as using a spacer block..... with NO change to the front suspension geometry while at the same time raising the front of the car 3" while also beefing up the front part of the frame at the same time..... :)
 

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Hey that's too easy John! You gotta find a way to make it harder or more expensive! ;)
Haaaaa!!!!! Hey Vall.... I read you reply/post at just after 4am & I cracked-up. Gina looked at me like "what was that all about????"

From the day the Opel arrived in the driveway of our home I planned to raise the front end of the car. The previous owner pointed out the "4 bolts" and his plans to raise the front of the car without using a straight front axle to me that day. Of course, my plan at that time was to raise the Opel's front end using a straight axle kit from Speedway.

As time went on and especially after the unexpected expense of replacing the engine any thoughts of installing a straight axle.

So as I started cutting up the existing floor and firewall so I can "do it right" this time I have been reconsidering raising the front end using a spacer block instead. Then yesterday, after staring, measuring & thinking about what is going on with the front of the Opel's frame/suspension . Fortunately the sub frame that was added to Opel's uni-body construction to support the weight and torque of the V-8 - turbo 350 tranny & 8.8 Mustang rear end is not only in alignment with the frame where the original engine used to be but is also in a position where a 2x3 extension of the sub frame could be added and no spacer would be needed. :)

The only things that would need to be modified is to lengthen both the steering shaft & brake lines. So all I need to do is find some "longer bolts" for it all to work.

I wish "everything" could work out in such an economical and simplistic way.

After what seemed like years instead of months it feels GOOD to actually be "working" on the Opel instead of workshop's door-widening project which took much longer to do than planned.
 

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Only thing I might do is once it's bolted in place I'd tack weld the spacer to the frame to make it less dependent on just the bolts for the top side of the spacer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Found an axle from a 31 chevy pick up that looks like it should fit and it has disc brakes on it. Now it's time to start measuring. Since this is my first Gasser project, does anyone know where i can find Gasser for Dummies? If not there will be alot of trial and error with this project.
 

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Found an axle from a 31 chevy pick up that looks like it should fit. Now it's time to start measuring. Since this is my first Gasser project, does anyone know where i can find Gasser for Dummies? If not there will be alot of trial and error with this project.
Yeah, it's right here! Many of these guys have been doing it for lots of years, and learned the hard way how NOT to do it. Don't hesitate to ask a question as you start each step in the gasser.
One thing about that '31 Chevy axle is the 6 hole drums, and mechanical brakes. Make sure you can get a 5 hole drum or disc setup to swap on that axle, or it might not be fun having to use strange looking 6 hole wheels.
You may also want to match the rear bolt pattern also, and if so you'll want to choose an axle with that bolt pattern. Old Econoline straight axles, late 60's Chevy and Dodge van axles all had 5 bolt patterns and make a great choice for gassers. 50's Chevy trucks work well, but need to be converted to either 5 bolt drums, or a disc brake setup.

One thing I'd highly reccommend is a "to do" list. Make a general outline of what you want in your gasser, and then once you've decided on engine, trans, rear, suspension front/rear, then start a list. I start each project with a list, then make a material list of what I need to purchase, and what my options are for sources of new or used parts. I built my car from mostly good used parts, except where it had to be new, or was not much more for new.
I usually start a project with suspension, but the engine is important to have on hand to get things set up right. You'll need to load the suspension to determine if the stance and height is correct. The engine can be just sitting in there with wood blocks holding it to get the weight you need. Once it's mocked up it will be easier to do the axle with no engine in the way anyhow. Tires and wheels don't have to be what you'll run, as long as you know how the mockup tires/wheels compare to the final combo.
Take a look around the internet and see if you can find a similar car with the stance you like. That might help in deciding how you'll do your setup.
 

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Only thing I might do is once it's bolted in place I'd tack weld the spacer to the frame to make it less dependent on just the bolts for the top side of the spacer.
Another good idea from Vall..... sure wish you and others on this forum lived in the neighborhood.

Tacking the spacer in place allowing for more stability yet easy removal (for when I would install a straight front axle) ..... after measuring and staring at things for quite awhile it looks as though by extending the 2x3 sub frame (there is no 2x3 in the front part of the frame) it would align up with the Opel's stock frame thus making the area where rack & pinion mounts to 3" thicker thus eliminating the need for a spacer.

If you look to bottom of the frame left of the top bolt you can just see where the sub frame ends and how the 2x3 can be added to the bottom of the original frame rail. Then I will box in both old & new for added strength & also a cleaner look.

I'll take & post a better picture today.


Feels so good to be finally working on the Opel. Most of the workshop's door widening project is completed and interior painting done finally!!!! So in between doing seasonal yard work work on the Opel has been started.

Being I have to remove the engine I am using this time to upgrade suspension & interior/firewall sheetmetal in an effort to make the Opel more driver/passenger friendly and thus more streetable. :)
 
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