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Author Topic: Challacuda - Hamtramck Assembly Follies  (Read 1101 times)

Online MopSquad

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Challacuda - Hamtramck Assembly Follies
« on: May 18, 2017 - 09:03:36 pm »
Reading Scott Ross' book on the Challenger and Cuda.  Because of the out-of-date Hamtramck plant's design, the E-bodies would be gate lifted to upper and lower floors during body assembly. At times, the gates would get out of sync without the the line workers knowledge.  Because the Barracudas and Challenger where built simultaneously,  you would sometimes have a situation where one side was a Cuda and one side was a Challenger.  The error wouldn't be discovered until they tried to fit the roof on!  :22yikes:  Hence, a true Challacuda!




Offline 69ChargerRT

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Re: Challacuda - Hamtramck Assembly Follies
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2017 - 11:16:53 pm »
ha id like to see a picture of that!

Offline drewcrane

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Re: Challacuda - Hamtramck Assembly Follies
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2017 - 10:45:09 am »
Humm that makes no sense, the wheel base is 2 inches different between the two, the 1/4s would not match up, so fake news :poopoke:


Offline Katfish

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Re: Challacuda - Hamtramck Assembly Follies
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2017 - 11:45:24 am »
I'd question that too, they would build in batches.
Hard to believe they would simultaneously alternate bodies down the same assembly line.

Online MopSquad

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Re: Challacuda - Hamtramck Assembly Follies
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2017 - 12:22:10 pm »
Direct from the authors book.  Pg 23.

"John Parsons, who worked at the Hamtramcks Production Department, describes the process involved in building Chryslers newest car line in its oldest plant, starting on its sixth floor. 'Major body framing for each body was done in two vertical fixtures, called 'gates' into which the workers clamped the A-pillar, the inner front fender, the quarter panel, the rocker panel and the roof rail, along with smaller parts. These gates traveled on rails until they were completed, at which point the pairs would be lowered to the fifth floor, where they would be clamped to the appropriate floorpan; the an inner and outer roof would be added and that would complete the uni-body.  Ocassionally, the gate fixtures would get out of sync and a 'Challacuda' would be constructed, comprised of a Challenger on one side and a Barracuda on the other.  Although the two cars had wheelbases that were 3 inches different, workers usually didn't notice the problem until they tried to weld on the outer roof' "       
 

« Last Edit: May 19, 2017 - 06:46:17 pm by MopSquad »

Offline jimynick

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Re: Challacuda - Hamtramck Assembly Follies
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2017 - 11:09:49 pm »
" Although the two cars had wheelbases that were 3 inches different, workers usually didn't notice the problem until they tried to weld on the outer roof' ""  And THAT boys and girls, is why Detroit is an industrial wasteland now. Realistically, there's only two reasons for them doing that and one is sheer stupidity and the other likely a drug/booze issue. Pathetic.  :nono:

Online MopSquad

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Re: Challacuda - Hamtramck Assembly Follies
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2017 - 06:23:27 pm »
When you're basically the only game in town, you feel foolishly over secure.  And that opens door for competition more easily.

Building the E-Body at the primordial Hamtramck plant was a quality control liability - you have more proverbial potholes (pardon the pun), someones going to twist an ankle.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2017 - 07:49:59 pm by MopSquad »

Offline 'Cuda Hunter

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Re: Challacuda - Hamtramck Assembly Follies
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2017 - 10:19:17 pm »
interesting. 

Would like to see the rail system he speaks of. 
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Offline TelisSE440

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Re: Challacuda - Hamtramck Assembly Follies
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2017 - 03:28:37 am »
The wheelbase of the 'cuda is 108" vs the Challenger's 110" that's a 2 inch difference. That tells us about some facts are not double-checked and makes you question about the other facts being displayed in the book. Anyway I believe the story, because the Dodge Main plant in Hamtramck was one of the most peculiar plants in history living for about 70 years. It developed unevenly and too fast expanding upwards (creating stores) instead of covering more ground territory. I got this book today and it is one of the few that covers a lot of historical facts...

Offline TelisSE440

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Re: Challacuda - Hamtramck Assembly Follies
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2017 - 03:40:21 am »
On a sidenote, it's pretty disappointing that there aren't photos of the assembly of Cudas or Challengers in the factories (Hamtramck or LA plant), although the Hamtramck plant did have a photo department...

Offline TelisSE440

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Re: Challacuda - Hamtramck Assembly Follies
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2017 - 03:41:21 am »
" Although the two cars had wheelbases that were 3 inches different, workers usually didn't notice the problem until they tried to weld on the outer roof' ""  And THAT boys and girls, is why Detroit is an industrial wasteland now. Realistically, there's only two reasons for them doing that and one is sheer stupidity and the other likely a drug/booze issue. Pathetic.  :nono:

Unfortunately  :iagree:

Online MopSquad

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Re: Challacuda - Hamtramck Assembly Follies
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2017 - 05:02:27 pm »
Overall the book is a great read and reference.  There are some annoying mistakes like mislabeled photos and mentioning a 420 Hemi   :sly:

Offline 73440

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Re: Challacuda - Hamtramck Assembly Follies
« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2017 - 05:31:30 pm »


Lynch rd Gate series and line, @cuda hunter , maybe this is part of what the rail line consisted of.
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Offline RzeroB

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Re: Challacuda - Hamtramck Assembly Follies
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2017 - 09:45:09 pm »
What exactly is that thing? :1zhelp: Hard to tell what it might be with no people or cars in the pic to give it some scale. Is that the jig they would use to hold the uni-body together for spot welding? :dunno:
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Offline AARTA340

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Re: Challacuda - Hamtramck Assembly Follies
« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2017 - 11:39:17 pm »
What exactly is that thing? :1zhelp: Hard to tell what it might be with no people or cars in the pic to give it some scale. Is that the jig they would use to hold the uni-body together for spot welding? :dunno:


Check out this link Tom.

http://maxwedge.com/articles/lynchroad-gate-line.php