During the course of building a street rod there are a number of memorable points where you can stop and appreciate the progress that's been made. For us it's when our project is up on four wheels and becomes a roller-that's where we are with RamRodder.

Building a gasser has been a departure from the type of car we're familiar with, so some creativity was required to set up the suspension. When construction began, the car put on a hoist, and reference marks indicating the centerline of the front wheels were made, then Fatman frame stubs were installed. In the rear the stock rear springs were used to locate the Currie axle housing and Morrison ladder bars fore and aft (see the July, '09 issue of SR for details on both). With diameter of the rear rubber, determined ride height in back was established very scientifically-we leaned the rear tires against the fenders, took a couple steps back then moved the car up and down on jackstands until it looked right.

We wanted Ramrodder to have the classic slightly nose-high stance, so with the rear ride height determined attention was turned towards the bow of our Mayflower. We're using a Gasser frontend kit with a straight axle, Chevy spindles, and dual semi-elliptic springs from Speedway Motors so the only ride height adjustments would be spacers between the axle and the springs if necessary. Installation began by mounting the front springs with the center-bolts aligned with the front wheel centerline/wheelbase marks made previously (the spring brackets were just tack-welded in place so the position of the front wheels in the fender openings could be altered if necessary). It was just an educated guess, but we figured the front springs would drop at least 2 inches form the weight of the Hemi, which meant in this case the axle would have to go on top of the springs, but that was okay as there was plenty of room below the pan. With all the suspension components in place the Plymouth was up on all fours and it sat perfectly.

With the stance established, the next challenge was to figure out steering. We opted for Chevy spindles because they offer the greatest flexibility when it comes to mounting steering arms. The Speedway flat steel steering arms can be bolted to the top or bottom ears of the spindle and can they be mounted with the attachment tabs facing up or down, which provides a number of options for routing the drag link and tie rod. Of course, the steering gear was another consideration. With the axle as far away from the framerail as it is, a box with long sector shaft was needed to avoid a steep draglink angle or having to mount the box on a bracket hanging off the bottom of the 'rail. What we settled on was a '63 to '68 Corvette steering gear from Flaming River. A mount was fabricated from flat steel plate, and by notching the top of the 'rail the steering was positioned under the header, the steering column connection is a straight shot, and the drag link will be level.

At this point most of the suspension and steering components are positioned-now we have to go back and add a gusset or two and do lots of finish welding to clean everything up and make it all pretty. That will be the next memorable moment in RamRodder's construction.