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1940 chevy suspension swap question

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 50bomb, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. 50bomb
    Joined: Jan 1, 2009
    Posts: 797

    50bomb
    Member
    from Lodi CA

    I got a 40 chevy coupe recently and the front suspension was missing. To gt it home I through a chevy truck straight axle in it. My question is, what ifs from end can I put under it for a small price? I heard a 49-54 chevy car may bolt in it??
     
  2. mj40's
    Joined: Dec 11, 2008
    Posts: 3,301

    mj40's
    Member

    I put a 54 Chevy front end in my 38 Chevy. Works great and has the same wheel base as my 38 at 112"
     

    Attached Files:

  3. Get a 51-54 Chevy car, they have the better Bendix brakes, if you're planning to go discs then any 49-54 will work. The frame is the same design for these years and it should bolt right up without any issues. And yes, you should be able to find one for about scrap price. What works to convert the master on a 49-54 to a dual chamber design will also bolt right in.

    You can also try the Jaguar 85 and older XJ sedans, they may be a tad wide but can also be picked up cheap and adapt without too much trouble. I'm not sure how much narrower, if any, a '40 is over a '49-'54. That will give you IFS with rack & pinion and disc brakes, and it does have the same wheel bolt pattern as 49-up Chevy car.
     
  4. 50bomb
    Joined: Jan 1, 2009
    Posts: 797

    50bomb
    Member
    from Lodi CA

    Great! I found a 54 front end with disc brakes for cheap! Will the swap get the stance alot lower?
     

  5. If it does it will be 1 to 2 inches at most.
     
  6. mj40's
    Joined: Dec 11, 2008
    Posts: 3,301

    mj40's
    Member

    Not quite a bolt up. I had to reshape the original 54 frame mounts to allow for the correct alignments. I used a rear mounted rack-n-pinion for steering. I had to take 1/2 coil out to get a good stance and ride.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 18,057

    49ratfink
    Member
    from California

    don't forget those front ends have goofy steering which may cause problems. I'd splurge and Mustang II it
     
  8. RDR
    Joined: May 30, 2009
    Posts: 1,355

    RDR
    Member

    A friend building a '52 Chev at this time...notched the crossmember,boxed it and setting the frame lower in suspension to achieve a lower stance without cutting coils or lowering spindles...will also have a rack and pinion added.
     
  9. cooger
    Joined: Nov 5, 2008
    Posts: 233

    cooger
    Member

    I've got a 40 master delux coupe, put an original pinto front end under it-i.e. mustang 2. A little cutting/welding but the thing lined up perfect at the front end shop and the ride and handling is great. Been in there about 20 years now, w/ p/s, discs, great stance (took out 1 coil I think), and no problems-ever.
    cooger
     
  10. 50bomb
    Joined: Jan 1, 2009
    Posts: 797

    50bomb
    Member
    from Lodi CA

    i did a pinto front end on another car with a new disc brake/drop spindle kit and it rode well but the spring pockets were so small i couldnt put an airbag in it..i know the 49-54 pockets are a bit larger so i wanted to go that route. i think the 54 front end i found will be the winning ticket!
     
  11. Tim G
    Joined: Jan 3, 2009
    Posts: 548

    Tim G
    Member

    I'm carrying out pretty much the same mod, 54 front with drop spindles onto my 40, i've had it mocked up and done some cutting to get it to sit right, just need to finish the crossmember mods and fab the mounts, you pics will be useful thanks. good to see it's been done and works :)

    [​IMG]
     
  12. R Pope
    Joined: Jan 23, 2006
    Posts: 3,309

    R Pope
    Member

    '53-'54 uprights put the front an inch lower than the earlier ones.
    A Cavalier R&P gets rid of the "goofy" steering.
     
  13. Tim G
    Joined: Jan 3, 2009
    Posts: 548

    Tim G
    Member

    You mean on the 40 suspension? i tried that, it doesn't work as the top shock arms are about 1" too long...
     
  14. darkk
    Joined: Sep 2, 2010
    Posts: 456

    darkk
    Member

    I did a Camaro front sub frame clip on my 39 Olds coupe. Once the nose was off, it took about 3 hours to complete the swap without any help. Of course there were a few more hours necessary to make motor mounts and make mounts for the nose to go back on. But the basic front frame clip was easy...
     
  15. aaggie
    Joined: Nov 21, 2009
    Posts: 2,531

    aaggie
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I used a front end from Jim Meyer Racing under my '40 Sedan. It is a thing of beauty to look at and the height is adjustable up and down 4". It handles great and they use late model Chevelle suspension parts.

    Bad news is they cost $3500 with shipping.
     
  16. Tim G
    Joined: Jan 3, 2009
    Posts: 548

    Tim G
    Member

    This bad boy...

    http://www.jimmeyerracing.com/37-54_Chevy_Bolt-in_IFS.html

    [​IMG]
     
  17. 53sled
    Joined: Jul 5, 2005
    Posts: 5,820

    53sled
    Member
    from KCMO

    the 49-52 uprights sit higher (or lower depending on your perspective). 53-54 upright lower a 49-52.
     
  18. Tim G
    Joined: Jan 3, 2009
    Posts: 548

    Tim G
    Member

    Ok thanks, i wondered if that's what you meant too, just wasn't sure. i've a had a couple of people ask to buy my original 54 spindles to lower there 49-52 for that reason.
     
  19. Tim G
    Joined: Jan 3, 2009
    Posts: 548

    Tim G
    Member

    how does this compare to other bolt on or weld on kits? i have fitted a Fatman fab IFS on the 54 Chevy i used to own because people advised me it was the best kit to go for but damn it takes a lot of time to get everything in the right position and weld it all in plus i don't really like the way the top arm adjusts. i'd rather pay and extra few hundred dollars for a decent bolt on kit to save on time...
     
  20. aaggie
    Joined: Nov 21, 2009
    Posts: 2,531

    aaggie
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Other than welding a small tab to the top frame rails it was all bolt in. I think two of the mounting holes in my frame were slightly off but running a drill bit through the frame and crossmember took care of it. Old car frames are never the same from car to car but the aftermarket stuff is jig built and each unit is the same.

    I opted for manual steering and they supply the new Flaming River unit. All hardware is grade eight and everything is labled and complete.
     
  21. alex211
    Joined: May 20, 2010
    Posts: 39

    alex211
    Member
    from NW PA

    What's with the single shear a-arm bolts? You'd think for the price that they could come up with a better design.
     
  22. Tim G
    Joined: Jan 3, 2009
    Posts: 548

    Tim G
    Member

    Do you have any pics of your car you can post aaggie?
     
  23. motorossi
    Joined: Jul 4, 2011
    Posts: 18

    motorossi
    Member
    from jackson ca

    i have a 40 chevy pickup, any one recommend drop axel with coilovers?
    just trying to figure out what susp to run
     
  24. Dyce
    Joined: Sep 12, 2006
    Posts: 1,913

    Dyce
    Member

    I really like the camaro subfames under the 40's. It's alot of work, but boy they handle. If done right it's not even that much work. Nova sibs work good too but they are harder to come by. I'd drop a straight axle from a master 85 before I'd go with the 49-54 suspension.
     

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