Register now to get rid of these ads!

Technical 1934 Chevy Knee-action droping, need advise

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by oldbanger71, Feb 8, 2019.

  1. oldbanger71
    Joined: Nov 18, 2008
    Posts: 145

    oldbanger71
    Member

    Hi fellow HAMBER's, i'm planing to drop the suspension of my 1934 Chevy Master Knee-action .
    Does some of you chaps, have experiance how to, if possible with pic's. or is there a existing thread ?
    Any help gratley aprisiated.
    Bildschirmfoto 2019-02-08 um 21.21.57.png
    View attachment 4185014
     

    Attached Files:

  2. chev34ute
    Joined: Nov 13, 2011
    Posts: 958

    chev34ute
    Member

    I have not heard of anyone doing this before. Most people who own 34 Chev Masters, update the front end rather than modifying the original front ends. This front end came from a late sixties, early seventies Holden Kingswood. Holden was the Australian branch of General Motors, the equivelant for you would be an Opel. You will notice the heavy duty plates welded to each side that allow the front end to connect to the Master Frame. You are far better off sourcing a coil over front end like this, than trying to modify a knee action front end.
     
  3. chev34ute
    Joined: Nov 13, 2011
    Posts: 958

    chev34ute
    Member

  4. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 11,827

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    Suggest you give serious consideration to replacing that Dubonnet design front end assembly with something much simpler and more user friendly. There are options. Check with Heidts (they acquired Chassis Engineering who offered bolt in suspension conversions). They are but just one such possibility. There are many weld in units offered too. Even the alternate leaf spring beam axle GM used in some models at the time would be easier to work with than that Knee Action monstrosity.
     

  5. I had a 37 Chevy with the same front end, did a lot of research into lowering it, even took a dead one apart to figure something out, and gave it up as a bad idea. If you decide to go to the leaf spring option (as in a '34 leaf spring front end ), the Chevy had the axle below the spring, so you would have to make a different mount for it if you want to lower it. An independent front end would be the easiest , Jag XJ6 are about the right size for the early Chevy's.
     
    rClev and chev34ute like this.
  6. oldbanger71
    Joined: Nov 18, 2008
    Posts: 145

    oldbanger71
    Member

    Thank you chaps for your ideas and replay. I must keep it reversible in order to not destroy any original parts. I was just wondering if someone has done it and how. Here on the orgiginal pic's the hight looks good.
    i bought the car as a basket case with no history, first the coachwork as a heap of panels and wood and much later found the original chassis. Therefor i will keep the horrible knee-action but will convert it to modern lipseal, fit larger bearings , check for cracks and see that all moving parts fit perfect in the steering and suspension. Coachwork is one of a kind..... If it's not working i still can get back to your suggestions. 0026Chevrolet.jpg
     
  7. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 3,980

    s55mercury66
    Member
    from SW Wyoming

    Can you post some more pictures of and information about the car?
     
  8. abe lugo
    Joined: Nov 8, 2002
    Posts: 2,381

    abe lugo
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Put smaller tires on it. Channel the body over the frame. Z the frame?
    I would rebuild it as original and get over how high it is. If you need to keep it original for whatever reason. In fact the coach builders would have figured out a way to lower if it was part of the design.
     
  9. paul55
    Joined: Dec 1, 2010
    Posts: 3,374

    paul55
    Member
    from michigan

    If I remember that complete front assembly bolts in place. Why not remove it and C notch the frame so that the crossmember sets up into the frame. Should be able to get 1.5"-2".
     
    46international likes this.
  10. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 17,903

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I suggest this, as well.

    When you have the suspension off (or even if you are keeping it), carefully inspect the frame for cracks.

    Of all of these I have worked on, I have seen only one without cracks.
     
    rClev likes this.
  11. oldbanger71
    Joined: Nov 18, 2008
    Posts: 145

    oldbanger71
    Member

    @ All :Thanks for all your interest and replay.
    @gimpyshotrods : which areas are most to check for cracks ?
     
  12. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 17,903

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Check all areas around where the crossmember and frame rails intersect.

    This type of suspension puts a lot of strain on the frame rails.
     
    oldbanger71 likes this.
  13. oldbanger71
    Joined: Nov 18, 2008
    Posts: 145

    oldbanger71
    Member

    The car was build by Walter Blaser Coachwork in Burgdorf, Switzerland.
    Its a 1934 Chevrolet Master deluxe knee-action with a sightley streched chassis, 6 cylinder streight 207 cubic inch engine 3 Speed box. Its one-off and build for the 1935 Geneva Motorshow in Switzerland. It has two folding front seats for access the rear bench ( 5 Passengers total ) . It is registerd and build as convertible / pickup, since the customer was a butcher-shop-owner who wanted to deliver his goods during the week and travel in style on weekend and hollydays. The windowframes colapse when the door- and rearquater sidewindows are rolled down, The top desappears completly under the main lid and also the sideirons are coverd with a lid left and right, the topmechanisme is preloaded by a large spring so it can be raised/lowerd by one person from inside the car. There is this pickup-bed, that can be attached. W. Blaser coachwork has build only this and a similar convertible only, but on a 1934/35 Ford V 8 chassis for 1935 this Motorshow in Geneva. The wherabouts of the Ford convertible is unknown up to date. I have made contact latley, with the still existing Company W. Blaser, they are very much interested and made willingley original drawings and pic's available to me. I bought a pile of panels Coachwork without knowing what it was, i planed a unusual roadster on a differen chassis, i reseacherd the missing history for manny years and later traced the original Chassis. Once i knew what i was searching for. Since its united again and most of its History known to me, i can't tare it up for what i was going to build, that's why it has to remain as original as possible. I just would like to resolve known mistakes and designfaults to make it driveable. At the moment i gather information and ideas for this project.
    Though i still have other projects cars to finishe .... as much as they ever get finished.

    By the way, doese somebody recognizes the Headlights since i have different headlightshells with my car . 0027Chevrolet.jpg 0028Chevrolet.jpg 0076Reklameblatt.jpg 0077-orig-drawing-Blaser-Web.jpg Blaser Autosalon.png Blaser bodey.JPG IMGP2720.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2019
  14. oldbanger71
    Joined: Nov 18, 2008
    Posts: 145

    oldbanger71
    Member

    Thanks Gimpyhotrods
     
    gimpyshotrods likes this.
  15. I now see why you don't want to chop anything up! That looks much like a Benz until you get to the front.
    Rebuild the original shockers, they have a good ride when they are not leaking. There is a bit of info around about rebuilding them, or you could try the U.S. to find a rebuilder or a set of non-leaking ones.
     
  16. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 17,903

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Thankfully, the major roads in your fine country are in much better keep than the ones that this suspension system was designed for, and originally used on.
     
  17. RDR
    Joined: May 30, 2009
    Posts: 1,355

    RDR
    Member

    Don't you just Hate it when DESTINY gets involved in your plans ?!!
     
  18. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,445

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    This style of suspension was invented and patented by Andre Dubonnet the French aperitif heir who was also a sports car and racing fan. General Motors purchased a license and used it on their cars from 1934 to 1938. They were complicated and prone to wear and leaks in everyday service.
    Apple Hydraulics offers rebuilt units, a rebuild service for your shocks, and a rebuild kit to allow you to rebuild your own. $685 to rebuild your shock, $165 for the kit.
    https://www.applehydraulicsonline.c...absorbers-yours-rebuilt-master-deluxe-1934-38
     
    Stogy likes this.
  19. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 3,980

    s55mercury66
    Member
    from SW Wyoming

    That is an extremely interesting Chevy, @oldbanger71, thank you for all of the information and pictures. The attachment had me wondering what it was. I hope you will keep posting your progress here, and wish you good luck.
     
  20. oldbanger71
    Joined: Nov 18, 2008
    Posts: 145

    oldbanger71
    Member

    Thanks to all for sharing your knowledge and information, Rusty O'toole, do you have experiance with that company and thair products ?

    Bildschirmfoto 2019-02-10 um 00.35.34.png
    This was the beginning.... bought it when internt was not yet invented...
    told my girl to marry here when finished restored, The car not the girl... Bildschirmfoto 2019-02-10 um 00.50.01.png
    ..Eleven years of hard work later, marryed her and still happy married some nearly 20 years later.. Bildschirmfoto 2019-02-10 um 00.37.24.png
    Car at the end of army time when sold to farmer 1963. Bildschirmfoto 2019-02-10 um 00.31.24.png
    Last pic is my car on the right and the one on the left that i found by chance .... or DESTINY, sold to a us resident collector. Woldwide there are only 4 of these 1939 Chevy master 85 Touring Phaeton left, build by GM Suisse SA, Biel/bienne Switzerland for the swiss army.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2019
    Hnstray and RMR&C like this.
  21. paul55
    Joined: Dec 1, 2010
    Posts: 3,374

    paul55
    Member
    from michigan

    The headlites are org.'34 Master.
     
  22. oldbanger71
    Joined: Nov 18, 2008
    Posts: 145

    oldbanger71
    Member

    Onec i'm back in the shop i'll take a pic of the headlights i have and post it.. thanks paul55
     
  23. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,445

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    I have not done business with Apple but I hear they are a long established, reputable company.
    Your illustration shows a spring adjustment at the top of the spring housing. If your springs have sagged over the years you can get back to stock ride height by adding a shim. The ratio of spring arm to wheel support arm appears to be 3.5:1 so you should be able to raise the car 3.5mm for every 1mm of shim thickness.
    Any questions about your car should be directed to the AACA Forums. There are many specialists who can answer questions about your car.
    AACA Forums
     
  24. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 7,807

    junkyardjeff
    Member

    They might like to see that car on the VCCA forums and someone there could help you with the front suspension but I would not say you want to lower it,they and the AACA like them all original.
     
  25. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,445

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    I think he is concerned that the suspension has sagged and wants to get it back up.
     
  26. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 18,660

    Stogy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    @oldbanger71...I applaud your going out of your way to modify this vintage suspension in a period mechanical way. That's very Traditional...;)

    Have you considered doing a form of frame mod that raises the whole forward suspension...amounting to a drop...I know it's easy to suggest...reality may be somewhat challenging. Perhaps an altered spindle...what you are thinking?...can't be much more than 2 to 3"...

    That top pic is a little tough to decipher...I'm not completely technically daft but the drum spindle is sorta tough to make out..
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2019
  27. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 18,660

    Stogy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    knee2.jpg

    dubonnetkneeactionsuspension.jpg

    post-98383-143142344121.jpg


    I still think a frame notch would leave the geometry of most of the suspension in OEM positions...obviously sheetmetal and other mechanical structure may need adjustment but that is in essence all part of the vintage past nodding the already done...and there is no doubt no limit to where a thinking mind might improve and modify what your tackling.

    One more non chassis guy thinking out loud could you re-clock the twin arms attached to the spindle to adjust height?...
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2019

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!

Archive

Copyright © 1995-2020 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.