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57 chevy leaf spring relocation?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by oneratfink57, Nov 6, 2008.

  1. oneratfink57
    Joined:
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    Fox Valley

    oneratfink57 Member

    hey guys! you might remember me, the 15 year old kid who used to be begging for your insight and for you to offer some cheap parts for my 57 chevy 2 door hardtop. well im 18 now and its on the road with a tunnel rammed 425 horse 355 (soon to be a 283) fenderwell headers witha 4 speed. however. i think my welded together spider gear original 57 chevy rearend has had enough! so im about ready to install my 9 inch ford. now while the rearend was out i was thinking i might as well push the leaf springs in.. now im not a man with a big budget so the kit to put the spring up inside my frame is out of the question. so i was wondering, is it smarter to either swap the pass. spring and mounts to the inner drivers side and visa versa?(which means ill have to take out my spare tire hump and a couple body mounts) OR is it smarter to piece together some generic mounts and just mount them directly under the frame. OR to just suck it up and buy the 580 dollar kit.. your input is greatly appreciated. hope to hear from some of you old school guys because im trying to make it more into a car a kid may have built back in the mid 60's?

    thanks,

    Nick:cool:
  2. Ratmotor
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    Ratmotor
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    I mounted a bracket under the frame at the front and used a holesaw to put a hole through the frame at the rear. I then put round tube through the holes,welded it and installed bushings into the tubes. I ended up using the original shackles to mount the springs at the rear. I used a Ford 9 inch from a 59 Ford and welded on new perches at the needed points.Didn,t have to move the tank.....
  3. DollaBill
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    Bakersfield

    DollaBill Member

    Consider this:

    Moving the stock spring mounts inboard on the frame not only interferes with the spare tire hump and body mounts, it puts the springs too close together.

    Moving the spring mount to the bottom of the frame (in my opinion) mounts the spring too low (or high, depending on your perspective), significantly raising the rear of the car.

    The thing is...you can replicate that $580 kit very easily. In essence, it is a pair of boxes that fit up inside the frame (you cut away the bottom of the frame, obviously)...the sides of the boxes are profiled...tapered, if you will, to match the countour of the frame...and the boxes have a hole in them that corresponds with a reference hole in the frame.

    In the rear, you fabricate a pair of shackle hangers that weld to the TOP of the frame, relieve ("c-notch") the bottom of the frame to allow the shackles to swing, and then you use shackles that are long enough to capture the spring UNDERNEATH the frame.

    In this picture, you are looking at the boxes (upside down) to the left, and the above-frame rear shckle hangers, to the right. The folded brackets at the top right are the rear spring/shackle clearance "c-notches".
  4. Panneton Bros. Racing
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    Panneton Bros. Racing Member

    This car had spring perches swithched to the inside
    frame rails 56 @Pond-2.jpg

    56 smokers-1.jpg
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  5. primed55
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    primed55 Member

    In the 90&#8217;s Hot Rod Magazine did a build called &#8220;Son of Green Machine&#8221; that was a 57 chevy. All they did was grind out the rivets for the front leaf spring mount and remount them on the opposite side, then pocketed the rears. Seemed pretty basic. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Not sure why you&#8217;re concerned about removing the spare tire hole? It&#8217;s super easy to fill (I did it on mine) but I don&#8217;t think it&#8217;s even in the way? The harder part is widening your inner wheel wells the 2 inch&#8217;s. <o:p></o:p>
  6. Ratmotor
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    Ratmotor
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    My inner wheel wells also are moved in flush with the frame.....
  7. oneratfink57
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    oneratfink57 Member

    primed55,

    im not worried about actually being able to fill in the spare tire hole. i just didnt know if id regret it later on... but i can always just save it for a rainy day. thanks alot for the input. i think im gonna go ahead and try rat motor's approach with the tube in the back and then maybe recessing the frame at the front . that was actually kind of the idea i was looking for which is pretty sick. thanks.

    rat motor, by mounting the bracket just regular under the frame at the front jack up the ass end too much? or did it turn out alright?

    but dollabill, just playing devils advocate, why would moving the springs inboard (thus being "too close" together) be a bad thing??? just wondering.

    thanks

    -nick-
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2008
  8. 567trishop
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    Australia

    567trishop Member

    If you want to do on the cheap for in line springs you make it yourself, there are two ways I have the somthing like the $580 kit drawn up. or you can make the front front on the kit (use box tube) and then use 55 chev rear shackles (because there in line), drill a hole and put a sleeve in the centre of the chassis where the rear spring eye would normaly be. If the car sits to high, I have got the eyes turn on the spring at a spring works.

    Attached Files:

  9. 567trishop
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    567trishop Member

    This is a car I did with the springs inlined and the eyes turned. The chassis drill and sleeved and still used the factory rear spring shackles.
    If you have trouble reading the dimensions are in mm and if its hard to see I can PM it to you.

    Attached Files:

  10. Ratmotor
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    Ratmotor
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    Not too high.....just right![​IMG]
  11. oneratfink57
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    oneratfink57 Member

    567trishop, im trying to follow your description of the cheap way. now what im getting out of it is that i drill the hole and insert the tube where the spring eye is factory on the car, then put the 55 chevy inline shackle there and the rear is taken care of. now on the front i just make the pocket out of box tubing that matches the width measurements of the frame and then just simply throw a bolt through the eye of the spring through the frame and pocket???

    thanks, nick
  12. 567trishop
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    567trishop Member

    Yer sounds rite, that curved part that 357mm by by 100mm is the box tube(the box has to fit inside the chassis). You cut this out first then mark out on the bottom of the chassis where this is going to fit, which is where the front eye hole would be. I line the holes up with the old spring brackets before cutting them off. So you only have to cut a rectangle out of the bottom of the chassis and then side the curved part in. You may have to grind the curve to match in to the chassis, then weld it together.
    When doing the back spring eye hole I take the centre hole of the factory braket, centre punch and line on the chasssis so you get the rite, mark the centre of the chassis and drill and weld a sleeve in. Hope I have made this easy to follow.
  13. scrape
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    scrape Member

    heres some pics of how my old 55 was done.............

    Attached Files:

  14. oneratfink57
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    oneratfink57 Member

    alright. cool that kinda pushed me in the right direction.i just wanted to make sure that i wasnt going to regret how i did it in the long run. my original rear is already out. ive also got some brand new 55 bushings in the stockpile somewhere. im going to a local swap in bristol connecticut sunday so ill snatch up some factory 55 shackles from the tri five guy. and my perches are on my way. i made all the measurements for the square tubing and pipe so ill get that tomorrow or mon. ill have to send pics andlet you know how its going thnks again 567trishop. and thanks for the pics scrape.
  15. Steves32
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    Steves32 Member

    I'd swap the hangers side to side & install the leafs inboard. Cost? Nearly nothing.
    Mine was that way for 10 years before we backhalfed the car & 4 link'd it.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
  16. Dukeofbluz
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    Dukeofbluz Member

  17. scrape
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    scrape Member

    you might have to use 56-57 chevy shackles..... because the width of the frame is wider that the width of the spring....... on 55 shackles the top spring mount is the same width as the spring....
  18. Terry
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    Terry
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    Moving them inside, or switching sides, however you want to say it is how I did it as well. For me it's the way I'd do it again.
  19. dragrcr50
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    dragrcr50 Member

    sam here, man we just did a 57 that way , moved them side to side , at the rear where the mt goes back on the frame it is flat and the frame is curved a bit, it needs to be cut and made flat is all. it gets the springs i think 32 inches apart worked great 12 inch tire in the rear afterwards, we did move the tub to the frame and cut out the spare tire mt which we didnt need anyway, glad to see your makin headway, say hey to dean for me
  20. 57tony31
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    57tony31 Member

    Heres the way my 57 was done hope it helps.

    Attached Files:

  21. AcadianKid
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    AcadianKid Member

    I have done this both ways. I prefer to "swap" the perches side to side. Reason being that if you have the car lowered in some way, blocks or de-arched leafs, they tend to slap inside the frame boxes. If it is a stock height car this wont be an issue. It is something to consider if you are planning to lower the car, if it isnt already. Everyone has made great comments, I just thought I'd give my 2 cents.
  22. 56sedandelivery
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    56sedandelivery Member

    My Delivery is going the side-to-side swap. I have extra spring mounts and hangers; will probably just leave the original pair in the car so it can be put back easily. The body mount closest to the "new" front hanger does'nt have to be removed, just modified some. I think you should also go to a cross piece for the upper shock mounts, takes all the stress out of the trunk floor pan that way. Butch/56sedandelivery.
  23. oneratfink57
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    oneratfink57 Member

    thanks for everyones input! its really helped. i think ive decided to actually still go ahead and go under the frame. i picked up a set of 55 chevy brand new 5 leaf h.d. springs and new shackles for 150 bucks. at the local swap today. ive got a couple of days left to think about it. im ripping the springs and mounts down tomorrow and try to get some headway on it. the rear end is already out but we'll see!

    thanks
    -nick-
  24. Big Block Bill
    Joined:
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    Islip Terrace,LI, NY

    Big Block Bill Member

    _______________________________________________________________

    Relocating the factory mounts from side to opposite side is the way it was done for many years. It does cause a bit of body roll, I think mounting HD shocks on the proper angle and adding a rear sway bar would eliminate all that. I myself would do the home grown frame pockets if wou have a connection with a fabricator. If you do your own welding, not hard or expensive to do. You can check out how they did it on the Project X 57, they if I remember didn't use a frame pocket, and made a mount in the chassis for the rear and used longer shackles..........Good luck.......
  25. scrape
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    scrape Member

    do you know what year/month this was in???
  26. jeffrob
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    Charleston SC

    jeffrob Member

    scan & post up that project x 57 if possible, it would be interesting to see.....
  27. NHBandit
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    NHBandit Member

    Where in NH ? Here's mine that we picked up in Hollis last spring. Haven't done anything to it yet except collect parts.

    Attached Files:

  28. oneratfink57
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    oneratfink57 Member

    Hey nh bandit. I'm actually right near concord how about yourself?
  29. NHBandit
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    formerly NH now East Tennessee

    NHBandit Member

    Hopkinton. Is that pic taken outside Northeast Performance in Bow ?
  30. 325w
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    325w
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    i installed two of the kits that you cut into the frame. on other peoples frames. they just didnt drive right after all that work. iguess if your going stright ahead for a 1/4 mile it would not matter. my two cents worth and opinion.

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