Axle-OtomyI wasn't there when the guys at Chrysler's Lynch Road assembly plant were hanging rear axle assemblies under Mopars going down the line, but it's a pretty good bet that they weren't spearing them between the leaf springs and the frame. More likely, the rear suspension, axle, and brakes were pre-assembled and the whole unit bolted in as the car rolled by. Once the ancillary connections are freed-up, pulling the entire assembly is a one shot deal, requiring only a floor jack to drag the whole mess out.
The Wheel DealOne of the problems with full disassembly is that hulking unit body left lying around. What do you do, drop it on a stack of old tires? Got a forklift handy for moving it across the shop or onto the trailer to various shops? Keeping it mobile is one of the reasons most home rebuilders are reluctant to dismantle beyond the rolling chassis. The trick is to wheel-up that bulky body for the utmost in mobility. We designed a set of bolt-on brackets and wheels which made maneuvering the bare body a snap.
Un-Motor-VatedProbably the most satisfying part of the whole job was dropping the engine. What's that, you say, don't you mean pulling the engine? No, it's dropping. The factory pre-assembled the drivetrain to the K-member and bolted the works under the car in one hit. Reversing that procedure saves mega time pulling the engine, trans, suspension, and steering out in one piece from under the chassis. Here's how we get it done with just the basic shop tools.
The frames are sturdy 11/44-inch steel plate. The tube sections are 2-inch and 251/416-inch heavy wall chrome moly. At the top left is the rear wheel, a fixed caster with a socket section, and a set screw to lock it to the riser section (top center). The mounting bracket (top right) is made of a steel plate with studs matching the spring hanger holes in the body. The mounting bracket is finished with a tube section socket and a set screw to accept the riser.
At the bottom is the front wheel assembly, made as a swivel caster by angling the tube 45 degrees. The mounting bracket is made of 11/44-inch plate to bolt to the front bumper mount holes, and has a tube section welded on to accept the riser. Set screw nuts are welded to the socket sections to lock off the risers as required. The socket sections of the front and rear mounting brackets have a stop (made from a short length of the riser tubing) welded to the top inside the I.D. to prevent the possibility of the riser tube sliding through. The socket section of the front caster also has a stop welded inside, to give the riser a square surface to slide against as the caster swivels (see photo).