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Projects 1926 Chevy Update, advice needed.

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by David Luttrull, Jul 31, 2018.

  1. David Luttrull
    Joined: Nov 11, 2015
    Posts: 27

    David Luttrull
    Member

    I have a 26 Chevy Touring that my father and I restored, after he found it in storage in Columbus Ohio in 1996. He has since passed, but shortly before he left this earth, it developed a rod knock. Being an old school hot rodder, he suggested I just put a SB Chevy in it "and be done with it!" I knew it wouldn't fit, and told him. I will never sell this car, and nor would my kids who will get it when I pass, so I'm updating the drive train front to rear. I will state my plans and then ask for some advice.

    I already have and will be using a 1978 "Iron Duke" from a Chevy Monza coupled to a powerglide. I will be using an S-10 rear end, 4.10 gears, the axles redrilled, adapters made, and the spring perches already re fabricated. I will retain the stock wood spoke wheels. My dad also built a car from scratch, and used this drivetrain, so I know exactly what to expect performance wise. I'm not looking to cruise at 70 mph. I and my wife and I love to cruise in this car, and want to do it for years to come, so all these parts are already being rebuilt. I am 62 and want to drive this car for a long long while, so I need some advice.

    STEERING: The original steering box is shot, and I am debating on exactly which direction to go on upgrade. I have considered the Vega box, the power Vega box, (cross steer) or a rack and pinion, or even a reverse Corvair box and old drag link. I have no problem fabricating so that is not an issue. My question is will a manual Vega box get to be too much effort, the original steering was a handful in tight situations.
    BRAKES: I will be using the drum brakes from the S-10, the vehicle will not have front brakes. Should I use a power brake set up, or just go with manual brakes?

    One goal I have is that if an untrained eye comes across this car, they will see it as an old piece. "Old 4 cyl engine," wood spoke wheels, old dash...etc. Any advice on the brakes and steering questions/recommendations will be appreciated.
    Dave 1926 ch.jpg
     
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  2. chriseakin
    Joined: Jan 21, 2009
    Posts: 304

    chriseakin
    Member

    If it was me, I would be looking for a way to put front brakes on it, maybe with an axle from a slightly newer Chev. The steering effort is mostly related to the gearing but also to wear on the gear box. I have no idea what the gearing would be on a manual Vega box, but power steering would probably be a nice addition for a cruiser.
     
  3. Very nice Chevy. Glad to see it's staying in the family. Another site you could ask for advice is www.rustybowtie.com
    Tom
     
  4. tb33anda3rd
    Joined: Oct 8, 2010
    Posts: 13,637

    tb33anda3rd
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    1. Connecticut HAMB'ers

    if you don't want the look of front brakes, then to compensate for the lack of stopping power and to achieve the proper look, replace the power glide with a stick transmission. even a clunky truck 4 speed would work and allow down shifting to slow the vehicle.
     
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  5. goldmountain
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 359

    goldmountain

    Nice looking car. Something that light shouldn't need power steering. Maybe look at small front disc brakes from motorcycles or a quad that won't be that obtrusive.

    Sent from my SM-T350 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
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  6. drtrcrV-8
    Joined: Jan 6, 2013
    Posts: 854

    drtrcrV-8
    Member

    With today's drivers & speeds YOU REALLY NEED AS MUCH BRAKE AS POSSIBLE!!!! In today's culture, no matter how careful you are, some one's "spoiled little princess" who feels entitled to use her cellphone "whenever" will eventually spoil your day, so why make it easy for her??
     
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  7. rtomss
    Joined: Jan 9, 2009
    Posts: 210

    rtomss
    Member

    A Tri five chevy truck steering box would work good. They are relatively small and should have a good feel.
     
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  8. David Luttrull
    Joined: Nov 11, 2015
    Posts: 27

    David Luttrull
    Member

    Would that box be a traditional thru the frame drag link? The car has new king pins, but the steering is sloppy. I will be fighting space for a cross steer box and motor mounts.
     
  9. David Luttrull
    Joined: Nov 11, 2015
    Posts: 27

    David Luttrull
    Member

    Someone mentioned a slightly newer axle, what year did they go to hydraulic brakes on the old Chevy's? While I love the wooden spoke wheels, I have a set of early 30's 19 inch wire wheels I could use if I have to.
     
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  10. rtomss
    Joined: Jan 9, 2009
    Posts: 210

    rtomss
    Member

    Yes, that box is through the frame. I believe late 35'/36's when to juice brakes.
     
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  11. Skinny antique car tires+much higher top speed+no front brakes??? Do you want to see 63?
     
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  12. David Luttrull
    Joined: Nov 11, 2015
    Posts: 27

    David Luttrull
    Member

    Ok, can someone suggest an useable front axle... maybe from a advance design 48-54 Pickup? I'd want to keep the original springs. I understand what is being said, I was thinking I would be happy with the upgrade from mechanical go-kart brakes.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2018
  13. Roger O'Dell
    Joined: Jan 21, 2008
    Posts: 931

    Roger O'Dell
    Member

    I looked at your page trying to find out your location. Agree with above. When I was a kid I drove a 56 Pontiac with just an emergency brake , now it would be about 5 minutes before my death. I. Have driven a 68 surburban for at least 20 years , in traffic I constantly had to watch stopping distances, I added front disc brakes,it’s always had a booster still sucked. I noticed electric power on one of my old cars , was an improvement over other vacuum boosters, then I discovered hydro boost. Nothing comes close to it. You could have a powers steering pump just for the brakes, should be easy.
     
  14. This might not be a traditional hot rod thought but, if it were mine, I'd rebuild the engine, freshen up the steering box and enjoy the old Chev. It's a little too nice to butcher up IMHO. An AD axle will be way too wide. There is just no way to update the engine and trans without a ton of extra work, time and $$$$. The rear end won't hold up. As stated, the brakes are woefully inadequate, the steering ain't gonna cut it, wiring will need to be redone, etc., etc, etc.
     
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  15. 2935ford
    Joined: Jan 6, 2006
    Posts: 2,808

    2935ford
    Member

    I have my '19 Dort converted over to what you have in mind with the exception of your engine choice. I went SBC V8, auto, Vega box, stock steering wheel and '48 - '53 truck dropped front axle, S10 rear both axles using the stock parallel spring setup. It is now a very enjoyable and fun car to drive.
    ac 004a.jpg
     
  16. David Luttrull
    Joined: Nov 11, 2015
    Posts: 27

    David Luttrull
    Member

    The engine, Iron Duke, is half rebuilt, and I have the s-10 rear end already under the car. I'm not interested in the old powerplant, which is a 1928 btw. I was mainly looking for advice on setting up new steering (power?) when we got off on four wheel brakes. :) , and if I should use vacuum assisted power brakes?
     
  17. David Luttrull
    Joined: Nov 11, 2015
    Posts: 27

    David Luttrull
    Member

    Does your car steer easy enough. Your SBC would be much heavier tgan my four cyl. I don't want to wrestle the wheel for thirty more years!
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2018
  18. My toy is ‘28 Chevy. Orig steering is sound especially for the narrow tires and 4 cyl engine. You might consider changing to ‘28 front axle, same suspension but first year of 4 wheel brakes. Convert to hydraulic and you’d have much more brakes,not as much as every other care around you, but better than no fronts... I’d also add shocks. Good luck and have fun.


    Sent from my iPad using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
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  19. Torana68
    Joined: Jan 28, 2008
    Posts: 917

    Torana68
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Australia

    What sort of wheel bearing on the front of these? If it’s similar to Buick same year ( Buick being the only vintage cars I know inside and out) , I don’t think they will take well to higher speed and cornering forces your going to get. Once the engine is upgraded you really have to do front brakes wheels and suspension.
    2935fords car would look 100% stock to most people.
     
  20. 2935ford
    Joined: Jan 6, 2006
    Posts: 2,808

    2935ford
    Member

    I'm 71 and the Vega steering is not an issue with me. So with your 4 cyl, you should be just fine if you go that route.
    I like oldn_rusty's idea.
    And yes Torana68, very few have any idea what a Dort is or what it looked like stock. That's part of the fun! :)

    IMHO, good 4 wheel hydraulic brakes these days are a must have.
     
  21. Blade58
    Joined: Mar 5, 2012
    Posts: 264

    Blade58
    Member
    from apopka ,Fl

    Here is an idea, how about adding adding a disc brake between the drive shaft and the rear end? they work good on a Monster trucks, they have 2 one for the front axle and one for the rear axle , I'm no expert but from what I have seen, seen the wheels off of them and no brakes ,just an idea
     
  22. David Luttrull
    Joined: Nov 11, 2015
    Posts: 27

    David Luttrull
    Member

    I appreciate all the idea of the drive shaft disc brake, but i believe I'll have plenty of brakes for the rear axle, more than enough to over power the grip of the tires.
    Blade: Not having to add a PS pump to the engine compartment would sure help. It's kinda tight already. I can get a 22:1 Vega box and go cross steer.
     
  23. 6inarow
    Joined: Jan 24, 2007
    Posts: 2,068

    6inarow
    Member

    If you dont add front brakes, what if you get a master cylinder failure? Or wooden wheel failure?
     
  24. You won’t have to worry about brakes if a wooden wheel fails! You mentioned you have a set of wire wheels. I’d use them. I get a lot of comments with my mix, wires front, wood spokes in rear but 40 is about my max speed. They stopped using wood for a reason! Just stick with period sized tires. May have an impact on rear ratio but you’ll have plenty of spunk either way. Check the supply of 18” tires, though. I use motor cycle tires.
     
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  25. David Luttrull
    Joined: Nov 11, 2015
    Posts: 27

    David Luttrull
    Member

    My wires are 19 inch. I have five, and two 18 inch. Found them for a steal on eBay, because they were pick up only. Speedway has some spendles I've looked at, use my axle...
     
  26. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 8,461

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    Another one bites the dust. O well there must be 5 or 6 originals left. It would be easier and cheaper to rebuild the original engine. Then drive it within its design capabilities . If you want to go faster get a bicycle.
     
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  27. tb33anda3rd
    Joined: Oct 8, 2010
    Posts: 13,637

    tb33anda3rd
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    1. Connecticut HAMB'ers

    when i look at,...... well......anything, i look for uniformity. things that really "work" and are successful are usually built uniformly . look at a mcdonalds menu, inexpensive cheap food . they try being fancy with a mclobster, and mcrib it didn't work. think of the super model who can't cook and keep a house and is a beotch compared to the plain girl next door that can. uniformity. imagine a huge bridge with really small pylons.....won't work. a tie with a pair of shorts and flip flops doesn't work and neither does a brick house with a thatch roof.
    what ever you decide to do, look at the big picture and try to keep it uniform.
     
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  28. David Luttrull
    Joined: Nov 11, 2015
    Posts: 27

    David Luttrull
    Member

    See, that's the thing, I really don't want to drive it that much faster! I just want to drive it, and steer it, and stop it. It was already wasn't "original" in that it had a 28 engine in a 26 car. The two wheel mechanical brakes were terrible, the steering was unsafe, the car was limited in every imaginable mechanical way. I expect these upgrades to make the car roadworth by today's standards, while keeping the look of the old Chevy intact.
     
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  29. 6inarow
    Joined: Jan 24, 2007
    Posts: 2,068

    6inarow
    Member

    IMO "roadworthy by todays standards" doesnt include wooden wheels, rear brakes only, shitty old tires with an iron duke 4 cylinder and vega steering. Yeah, and what tb33.. and rusty said. But then again its your car. Do what you want. Who are we to criticize??
     
  30. goldmountain
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 359

    goldmountain

    Do any of these armchair structural engineers really know how much stress wooden wheels and skinny tires are capable of sustaining? I know that I don't, but they might be good enough.
     

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