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Technical 1937 Chevy Coupe Front Axle Swap question

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Mike1937, Mar 9, 2020.

  1. Mike1937
    Joined: Feb 23, 2020
    Posts: 3


    Hi Everyone,

    I'm replacing my knee-action front end on a 1937 Chevy Coupe with a straight axle. I found a 1956 Chevy/GMC front axle assembly (axle, steering arm, brakes, leafs) for $50.00. However I'm not sure it will fit. From what I learned, a 1937 Chevy car kingpin to kingpin distance is 50.5 inches, and 24 3/4 inches spring center to spring center. The 1956 Chevy Truck axle I'm considering buying is 55 inches (kingpin to kingpin) and 32 inches leaf spring center to center. (I believe these specs are for the 3/4 ton Chevy?)

    Question: Whatever year axle assembly I go with, do these two specs have to match in order for it to fit?
    Question: Can anyone provide a range of years of make/model of straight axle assemblies that will fit in a 1937 Chevy Coupe?

    Thanks so much!

  2. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 15,875


    So, right off the bat the axle is 5 inches wider, and the springs will sit 8 inches farther apart. Doesn't sound like that's the axle for you. I would bet if you had a little patience and asked around you could find a street rodder removing the axle and springs from his 37-38 Chevy to install a Mustang II IFS. You could probably get the frame bracketry too if he knew you needed it and didn't use a torch.
    Hnstray and dana barlow like this.
  3. Penetrator
    Joined: Aug 25, 2011
    Posts: 439

    from SK CAN

    First of all, where are you from? I could find you several axles in fairly short order, but it does you no good if you're 1000 miles away.
    dana barlow likes this.
  4. Mike1937
    Joined: Feb 23, 2020
    Posts: 3


    Thanks so much for the quick response! I've messed around with cars, but still fairly new at all thanks for confirming my assumption this wouldn't fit.

    I'm in Arlington Washington, just North of Seattle...

    Again, thanks!
    dana barlow likes this.

  5. deathrowdave
    Joined: May 27, 2014
    Posts: 2,252

    from NKy

    Don’t do the truck axle trade ! I had a friend that bought a 37 that had a truck axles swap . It was a butchered up mess x 10 . They just do no work correctly . Steering box had to be relocated and just about anything you could possible think of . The 37 - 38 car frames taper to the front . The correct spring hangers stick out from the front of the frame and correct this taper , they really need to be located and used , I have never had any luck using , springs that did not run parallel . The axle is not an issue , you can purchase a tube axle and attach , pads where ever you like . 50-54 brakes with 63 -68 hubs will give you nice old style brakes or there are tons of disc swaps out there .
  6. Mike1937
    Joined: Feb 23, 2020
    Posts: 3


  7. I take my 38 Chevy Coupe to the Arlington car show every Sep. Maybe I'll see you there.
  8. Joe H
    Joined: Feb 10, 2008
    Posts: 948

    Joe H

  9. uncleandy 65
    Joined: Jan 14, 2013
    Posts: 3,166

    uncleandy 65

    If you didn't like the knee action, Your not going to like the straight axle. I had the original axle on my 38 coupe years ago and everything was rebuilt and it still was hard to drive. There are better ideas out there
  10. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 5,203

    from Oregon

    I was thinking a lot of people used Econoline or Van axles ?
  11. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 11,584

    from Quincy, IL

    @Mike1937 I have what you need....PM sent

  12. thirtytwo
    Joined: Dec 19, 2003
    Posts: 2,629


    I used a econoline in my 37 but I narrowed it quite a bit I got it cheap and had good brakes, the econo only has about 2” of drop which I liked better also

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