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Rear End swap


Crisjr14
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Hello I am new to the mopar world and was wondering if anyone could help me I am trying to find what newer year and model rearend will interchange with my '53 Dodge Meadowbrook and with drum brakes and also with the less modifying if there is such a thing that has to be done I would like to keep it I believe mine is the 5 x 4.5 pattern and also how do I identify my model as to the A,B,C, etc. Body is my meadowbrook please any help and info would be greatly appreciated thank you 

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51 minutes ago, Crisjr14 said:

Hello I am new to the mopar world and was wondering if anyone could help me I am trying to find what newer year and model rearend will interchange with my '53 Dodge Meadowbrook and with drum brakes and also with the less modifying if there is such a thing that has to be done I would like to keep it I believe mine is the 5 x 4.5 pattern and also how do I identify my model as to the A,B,C, etc. Body is my meadowbrook please any help and info would be greatly appreciated thank you

For what reason? To achieve what purpose ?

Replace like for like?

Is there a problem with the existing diff?

I note the car is lowered and has non standard side exhaust.

 

https://forums.aaca.org/topic/357811-1953-dodge-meadowbrook/?tab=comments#comment-2169336

 

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1939 Buick so here is my problem I tried to replace all the brakes on car problem I ran into was taking the rear drums off and totally messed them up bad so I was told since I cannot find any replacement drums for that car under $400 that it would probably be best to do a rearend swap and was also told the older ford ranger,explorer,early dakota jeep Cherokee Chrysler B body cars from the 70s etc. But I am looking to see if anyone out there can give me specific year with least modifications I have to make the better if this makes any sense

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 Is $400 each or $400 for a pair for drums?

You don't get much for $400.   Hoping for 100% drop in diff, without any modifications (which cost money) is being hopeful. 

I would be looking for a diff and/or brake drums from a similar era Dodge-Plymouth-DeSoto. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dodge_Meadowbrook

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dodge_Coronet

 

Will be people on the internet who will know this

https://www.allpar.com/forums/

 

I suspect Mopar did not use A, B C designation in the late 40/ealy 50's

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by 1939_Buick (see edit history)
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1939 Buick that is $400 a piece and that is what I'm trying to do is get some help as to what to look for as I am totally new to this and dont want to be spending unnecessary money I dont have to so the more specific info I can get from anyone would be better 

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2 hours ago, Crisjr14 said:

And TerryB I do know my model is the D46 I am trying to find out the body type e.i. A,B,C etc body please

A body, B body etc is for newer MoPars from the 1960s.  
For more than 20 years the A Body Mopar reigned as the premiere Muscle Car. Today they are Classics sought after by many! 1960-1976 Plymouth Valiant - 1963-1976 Dodge Dart - 1964-1969 Plymouth Barracuda. 1971-1976 Plymouth Scamp 1970-1976 Plymouth Duster - 1961-1962 Dodge Lancer.

Edited by TerryB (see edit history)
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You should be able to get drums for a lot less than that. You need a real big hub puller to get the hubs off. If the hubs are not damaged the drums can be removed, they are rivetted on. Or maybe you can find a used set with hubs attached. I would try to find drums first. It might be some later model car uses drums of the same width and diameter that will interchange. Try scrolling down and asking on the Dodge board.

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1939 Buick that is $400 a piece and that is what I'm trying to do is get some help as to what to look for as I am totally new to this and dont want to be spending unnecessary money I dont have to so the more specific info I can get from anyone would be better 

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I would forget about the Mopar A B C E body designations altogether, that came along in later years. You have a 1953 Dodge Meadowbrook D46, that's all you need to know. I would also forget about replacing the rear end with something like a Ranger, Explorer, Jeep etc. as that will just create more problems. If I were you I would start looking for a 1953-1954 Dodge that's similar to yours in an area junkyard or possibly find a rusty parts car somewhere with an intact rear end. Also get yourself a 23rd Edition Hollander interchange Manual (used, they turn up cheap on Ebay) and research exactly what brake drums & rear end parts fit your Dodge. Do a little legwork & research in the beginning before you spend any $$$$ on anything to be absolutely sure you are buying the right parts to fix your car. I'd be interested to know exactly what in your rear end you "messed up bad" trying to remove your rear brake drums when you were using the proper tool. 

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The 55er thank you for your help and I will check into that hollander manual but I must ask why the 23rd edition is that the edition my Meadowbrook falls under as I have checked and I have seen all sorts of manuals but the 23rd I did find a reprint on ebay of the 23rd edition for $55 does that sound about right?

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Working on a MoPar of your vintage takes diligence, they are not the type of car that has catalogs full of spare parts and easy access to replacements for most parts as you are finding.  The good thing is Chrysler did use the same parts across several models and years.  Good luck with your search!

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10 hours ago, Crisjr14 said:

The 55er thank you for your help and I will check into that hollander manual but I must ask why the 23rd edition is that the edition my Meadowbrook falls under as I have checked and I have seen all sorts of manuals but the 23rd I did find a reprint on ebay of the 23rd edition for $55 does that sound about right?

There are different edition Hollanders that cover various years. Other editions might work but the 23rd edition covers 1942-1956 and it appears that would be the book with the best parts coverage for a 1953 Dodge. If reprints cost $55 then that's what you'll have to pay for one. I've seen used ones go for as little as $10 at auctions or swap meets. 

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Kanter claims to have new rear drums for about $141 apiece. Contact them directly for confirmation, as I have no experience with their Mopar parts, only their GM parts. I guarantee that new drums will be MUCH less expensive than swapping the rear end. Also, I would STRONGLY recommend that you invest in one of these before busting up more hard-to-replace parts. Brute force is rarely the best choice in situations like this. Good luck.

 

 

 

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Edited by joe_padavano (see edit history)
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I had a 53 Chrysler back in the day that I put a rear end from a Challenger in.

The reason was I had changed the running gear and needed a rear end that had a parking brake.

 

Also I am sitting on a 48 Chrysler parts car that has a rear end, but would like to sell the whole car. (for less than the drums you are talking about).

Couldn't say if it would fit your Dodge, but it wouldn't surprise me.

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Ok so can someone please tell me what this part is called circled in red in picture I think it is #15 axle drive pinion flange ( shape of flange may vary) can someone please confirm that and I checked into kanter.com and this is what I found if someone with knowledge as to which ones I can get for my '53 either in the dodge section or the Plymouth section and I do have the 11" x 2" please and thank you all for your help I probably would have already spent alot of money doing the swap 

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Edited by Crisjr14
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Your complete brake drum is MoPar part # 1118 850 for right side and 1118 851 for left side due to the difference in threads used for the lug nuts.  Brake drums are part of Group 22 in the MoPar parts books.

 

There is a guy named Craig out of NY on this forum that is a long time parts vendor.  His forum name is mobileparts.  If you send him a personal message he might be able to help you.

 

Just found his phone number 516-485-1935.

Edited by TerryB (see edit history)
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  • 1 year later...

I have a 1954 meadowbrook and I can not find drums either. Bought some from Craig mobile parts but they did not fit and he wasn't willing to take them back. He said I was wrong and they do fit but the hub was about 7 hundredths to big. Long story short I spend close to $900 on two drums that don't work and now I'm stuck with them. I'm thinking I'll have to get a different rear end but not sure what

Edited by alex54dodge (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, alex54dodge said:

I have a 1954 meadowbrook and I can not find drums either. Bought some from Craig mobile parts but they did not fit and he wasn't willing to take them back. He said I was wrong and they do fit but the hub was about 7 hundredths to big. Long story short I spend close to $900 on two drums that don't work and now I'm stuck with them. I'm thinking I'll have to get a different rear end but not sure what

Hopefully other members see this and stay away from him.

 

On the rear end swap, I would avoid swapping it unless you also wanted a better/modern era gear ratio.  

On your wrong drums:  If you measure every possible dimension and compare these with your old drums, and if they are exactly the same except for the hub hole.... A guy with a bigger lathe or a horizontal milling machine like a Bridgeport, that hole would be easy to bore to correct size.

 

but, you must look at every possible measurement, in case the drum center plate is offset differently to then have your shoes not ride in the correct place on the re-bored drums.  Take time to compare it all before trying to get them re-bored. A machine shop will charge set up time, etc, so it might be pricey, but if you found a local car guy hobbyist with a home shop, it would/should be an inexpensive fix.  

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I've heard others have had good luck with him but I won't be getting anything from him again. But on the topic of drums, the mopar drums in this era are a taper fit so boring them out would be a little more difficult but still possible. But... the ones I got are to big sadly. If they were small I would try to getting them machined but the hub bore is to big and the hub sits lower in the drum then the original, I measured everything and they won't work. Have any suggestions as to where or who I can get some? Or worst case scenario what rear end I would need? 

Edited by alex54dodge (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, alex54dodge said:

the mopar drums in this era are a taper fit

 

i did not know that the drum was not removable from the tapered axle hub.    Some car brands, the drum was riveted to the hub to be replaceable and re-use the old hub.  

 

i've done a lot of rear end swaps and most all needed spring perches relocated by cutting and welding.  Then, very often the driveshaft needs to be altered.  Not a job I would suggest if you don't do this kind of car stuff.

 

Probably quite a few years of 50s Mopars would have a rear end that is the right width, and some may have the right spring perches, but a very old rear end from a donor car might likely need new drums too. 

 

I guess if it was me doing that car, I would not swap an old rear back in.  I would go semi modern Mopar or Ford that use the same 4.5 bolt circle.  Then I'd be prepared to move the spring perches and deal with making a driveshaft work.  Modern rear end gets you away from tapered axles, and easy to find new inexpensive brake drums, shoes etc.  But It's not for everyone if you never did one or don't have the tools and welder, etc

 

Maybe somebody else here can help you find drums or make a plan to figure out what rear end might fit. 

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The drum is actually separate from the hub but the hub is attached with the studs that are pressed through the drum and the hub. My issue was a few broken studs but I could not for the life of me press them out even with heat and a 20 ton press, I eventually bent the drum trying to get them out. So now I'll need a new drum but I had no idea it would be so difficult finding some. 

Yeah a rear end swap sounds like a lot of work, more then I can handle. I'll keep looking and see what I can find for drums. I have found some that are supposed to fit and but they all seem to be the same ones that I got from Craig mobile parts, at least the looks. I'm now skeptical because I don't want to spend $400 on a drum again that doesn't work. 

Also, here's a picture of the original, you can see what I mean about the two peace hub and drum thingPXL_20220802_202343872_MP.jpg.29464daa0ffd72e857171e1722330509.jpgThanks a ton for your feedback!

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Mopar studs are swaged in place, even much much later long after the tapered hubs were no longer used. The bit right at the bottom where the threads meet the flange (or where the threads meet the drum on a later Mopar where the flange is inside) is pressed and swelled into a slightly tapered hole. There is a cutter tool that fits over the threads and allows you to cut that part away before pressing out the stud. Model A Fords are made like this too, but unfortunately the studs are bigger and so is the cutter.

 

On the later Mopars people who don't know this often successfully push the stud out, but have inadvertently made the hole too big by doing so, and made the hub (or axle) unusable. If you can't get hold of a cutter like that somewhere you can drill a broken stud out from the back side until the head is gone, and then tap or push whatever is left on through the hole. Or you can drill through the broken stud until the swaged part is thin and weak and then bend whatever is left in towad the center of the hole with a punch.

 

One final note: You probably already know this, but Mopar studs on the left side of the car are laft hand thread. ALL versions of these, and there are several, are out of production. The last company to make any of the versions was Dorman, and I believe they quit over 10 years ago. Replacements are hard to find and expensive. I would do everything in my power to cut the swage on the left side drum in some way that the studs would still be usable.

 

 

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)
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On 8/4/2022 at 8:57 PM, Bloo said:

I would do everything in my power to cut the swage on the left side drum in some way that the studs would still be usable.

Many cars used LH studs at one time, however, today no cars (that I'm aware of) use LH studs.  So, originality aside, can't the old LH studs be replaced with RH ones as a functional replacement?  I agree it would be preferable to replace as original, but if parts are unavailable I'd rather be able to drive the car...

 

Edited by EmTee (see edit history)
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5 hours ago, EmTee said:

Many cars used LH studs at one time, however, today no cars (that I'm aware of) use LH studs.  So, originality aside, can't the old LH studs be replaced with RH ones as a functional replacement?  I agree it would be preferable to replace as original, but if parts are unavailable I'd rather be able to drive the car...

 

I have done this.

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6 hours ago, EmTee said:

Many cars used LH studs at one time, however, today no cars (that I'm aware of) use LH studs.  So, originality aside, can't the old LH studs be replaced with RH ones as a functional replacement?  I agree it would be preferable to replace as original, but if parts are unavailable I'd rather be able to drive the car...

 

 

Yes, you could do that. What I definitely wouldn't want is a combination of left hand and right hand on one wheel, or one way on the front and the other on the back. These studs are a gigantic PITA, and if was in the midst of fixing a problem like the one @alex54dodge is there is no way I would want to tackle the front at the same time, unless it also had broken studs. On the good side, you wouldn't have to warn people at tire shops about the left hand threads anymore to keep them from breaking your studs. It seems that the "left hand threads on the left" rule for Chrysler products is not widely known anymore.

 

 

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