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Technical 1940 Ford Pickup Too Low in Front

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by BEM, Jul 30, 2018.

  1. BEM
    Joined: Sep 9, 2013
    Posts: 101

    BEM
    Member

    All, I'm looking for suggestions and alternatives and what other people have done.

    I have a 1940 Ford Pickup. The build thread is around here somewhere....

    The front has a 4" stock width dropped width axle and Posies spring with reverse eye (about 2-2.5" more drop, for about 4-4.5" total). Wheels are 16x4" originals with 550X16 firestone wide white bias tires.

    The ride height is perfect. It's low, but has enough ground clearance to get in my driveway, on/off trailer, etc. Perfect rake with the rear. No problems.

    The problem is in steering. I don't have the stops and box fully adjusted, but I have almost no range of motion in the steering before interference with the fender on the front side of the tire. Back side does not get contacted before the front. Travel doesn't seem to be a problem nor does inner fender clearance. I know these tires are tall at about 27". I'm using a GM 525 steering box.

    Going to a narrower/shorter tire (450X16 which are 26" tall) gets me probably a .5" of additional clearance. I'm not sure that's enough.

    I could go to a 15" wheel and even shorter tire. A 550-15 is about 26" tall. That'd be about the same as a 450-16 though.

    Or, I could get a posie or other spring with a standard eyelet and pick up about 2" of ride height.

    I have to do some measuring to see just how much I need. I want to get as low as possible but have decent steering obviously.

    What are others running? How did you make it work? THANKS!
     
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  2. BEM
    Joined: Sep 9, 2013
    Posts: 101

    BEM
    Member

  3. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 25,429

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I'd see if Posies would sell me a standard main leaf for that spring. That might save part of the cost and all you would have to do is pull the spring, swap leaves and put it back together and go again. It won't look as sweet but that is the simple solution as you don't have wide or reverse wheels to be able to change.
     
    lothiandon1940 and LOU WELLS like this.
  4. scrap metal 48
    Joined: Sep 6, 2009
    Posts: 5,627

    scrap metal 48
    Member

    Cool truck and stance is perfect.. If it were mine, I'd put a narrower front axle on it( 46" wide) to bring tires further inside the fender.. A lot of work, but worth it to keep that killer stance....
     
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  5. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 25,429

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Swapping axles is what it really needs I'd have to agree, not the easy of inexpensive fix but looking at several photos of other 40 trucks with the same wheels it looks like the wheels set in more. For some reason the whitewalls make those tires look cartoon big on that truck though. That may be because there is no center cap and that is a lot of red wheel showing.
     
  6. I used the narrowed 47" axle from Chassis Engineering, no steering problems at all. I was running 500/525 16's but 550s would have been fine too. I know that's more involved than what you want to do, but that's how you get them low AND turning. I chose this pic so you could see the fender gap side to side. 40var.jpg
     
  7. These guys are telling you the straight scoop. You need a narrow axle to get the wheels tucked in under the crown of the fender.
     
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  8. BEM
    Joined: Sep 9, 2013
    Posts: 101

    BEM
    Member

    Yeah, not going through that hassle at this point! But probably true. Do you have to split the wishbone with the narrower axle? Also, CE doesn't make them anymore, right? Who does?

    If math works, you pick up an extra 3/4" or so of clearance that route. I'm thinking picking it up just a bit and going to a 450-16 might do the same thing while keeping it low overall.

    It will have caps and rings for the cartoon fans. Just haven't got that far!
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2018
  9. Hope you can work it out 'cause it's a sweet looking truck and looks great now.......until you take a turn.:eek:
     
    scrap metal 48 likes this.
  10. If I were you I'd go to the trouble of changing the axle, you nailed the stance on it, and it would be a shame to raise it up... STANCE IS EVERYTHING!
     
    Surf City, Tim, Chris and 1 other person like this.
  11. I know someone else makes a similar axle, I just can't tell you who. I wanna say Magnum maybe? But measurement wise, you're looking for a 47" axle KP to KP with 34-35" perch width. Posies makes a spring to fit these axles too, that's what I ran.

    Yes, you would have to split the bones to use this axle, and heat/bend the perches to align with the spring once you suck in the perch width, if that makes sense.

    EDIT: Here ya go. I know you probably won't go this route, but in case anyone else reads this. https://www.est1946.com/forgedaxles.aspx
     
  12. Sorry, another thing and then I'll shut up.. you might hate those tires if you go to a 450. I really didn't like my 500/525s because the contact patch was so small, the brakes would lock up way too easy, and in wet weather, it was squirrelly. I turned onto my street at 15 MPH and it pushed straight towards the other curb when the road was wet. Scared me a bit.
     
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  13. BEM
    Joined: Sep 9, 2013
    Posts: 101

    BEM
    Member

    I'm using a super bell axle that is 47 3/4" KP to KP. I'm not sure that's going to solve the problem.
     
  14. oldolds
    Joined: Oct 18, 2010
    Posts: 2,725

    oldolds
    Member

    Personally I would raise it. I like to see all of the whitewall and maybe 1/4" of black above that. That would make the truck near level. So then maybe the smaller tire for a little drop in the front. I am not the biggest fan of everything being super low.
     
    F&J likes this.
  15. scrap metal 48
    Joined: Sep 6, 2009
    Posts: 5,627

    scrap metal 48
    Member

    There's 46" axles out there if you look.. Speedway for one.. It might be to narrow but you could even go lower if you want.. With all the 40's out there someone would have that information but Dan's ride does look great with the 47" axle...
     
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  16. 40FORDPU
    Joined: Mar 15, 2009
    Posts: 2,505

    40FORDPU
    Member
    from Yelm, Wa
    1. Northwest HAMBers

    Nice pick up, nice stance.
    Narrower axle seems to be the solution for you.
    Heidts are producing the Chassis Engineering products now.
     
  17. BEM
    Joined: Sep 9, 2013
    Posts: 101

    BEM
    Member

    Thanks. I appreciate everyone's response even if I don't like the answer. Grrrr.

    I was hoping someone would stop in and say "hey, I have the same setup, and here's what I did," but alas, that would be too easy!
     
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  18. BEM
    Joined: Sep 9, 2013
    Posts: 101

    BEM
    Member

    I'm thinking an inch will do it. I've got to measure it up. I don't think it'll change too much with another inch.
     
  19. the-rodster
    Joined: Jul 2, 2003
    Posts: 6,542

    the-rodster
    Member

    Man, what a nice truck!

    Suck it up and swap that axle.

    It's the right thing to do...

    Rich
     
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  20. verde742
    Joined: Aug 11, 2010
    Posts: 5,131

    verde742
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I NEVER advocate raising a vehicle up, 'cept this time, also might save yer chin under the grille.. great looking truck.

    You COULD prepare another front end put it in,
    then sell this one intact..

    ONE INCH UP!!! TRUCK WILL STILL LOOK SUPER.
    IMO
     
  21. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,177

    F&J
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    ^^ what he said^^

    No offence, but it looks like shit to me with the front too low. It looks like "a broken suspension" to the casual observer.

    Badly mismatched whitewall widths doesn't help the eyes either..

    Build stuff to drive, >> anywhere...without concerns of not enough turning circle, or clearances when not just sitting in a car show "layin' board"

    Pics all from yesterday.....this was the good part of this cornfield... a long time friend that never has had a rod, but wants one bad, wanted a ride...so we were out for 2-3 hours :) ...and parallel parking in a very tight spot is needed at times. too...he bought lunch too...lol
    DSCN1144.JPG
    DSCN1153.JPG

    Below...the 7 year old girl in the car posing like John Milner, told her grandma that "the seat is really soft"..So I told them it is a 1931 Cadillac V-12 seat... some people spend time on just the looks too much...lol
    DSCN1147.JPG
     
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  22. buck 32
    Joined: Oct 16, 2014
    Posts: 178

    buck 32
    Member
    from Maryland

    DSC_0453.JPG Not as low as you, but 15" out back and 14" up front. Nice stance no rubbing. Plus the whites are the same size.
     
    PONTNAK123, 47ragtop and Hamtown Al like this.
  23. the-rodster
    Joined: Jul 2, 2003
    Posts: 6,542

    the-rodster
    Member

    Caps and rings will look completely different....

    Low....

    wide7-jpg.3232017.jpeg

    Lower...

    41pickup13-jpg.3226911.jpeg
     
  24. Another vote for raising it, personally I think fender lip to rim lip height should be equal front to back no matter the different height of the tires, something you'll notice on a lot of the top builds.
     
  25. Buckster
    Joined: May 3, 2010
    Posts: 222

    Buckster
    Member

    What about getting front wheels with a greater back spacing to move the tire closer to the frame.
     
  26. The 39 guy
    Joined: Nov 5, 2010
    Posts: 2,657

    The 39 guy
    Member

    Just curious...What brakes are you running on the front?
     
    RICH B likes this.
  27. 19Fordy
    Joined: May 17, 2003
    Posts: 6,388

    19Fordy
    Member

    Copy (2) of 40 ford side view0001 (Small).jpg Magnum makes a 4 in. dropped 40 axle that's 3/4 in. narrower than stock.
    I know folks get nervous because it's cast but I've had no problems. Tires are 15 in. Front are 5:60. Rears are 7:60. Also has Posie reversed eye spring.
     
  28. BEM
    Joined: Sep 9, 2013
    Posts: 101

    BEM
    Member

    I see what you mean. I think it actually needs to come up for looks purposes itself. It seems to sit too low on the whites now that I compare to others.
     
  29. BEM
    Joined: Sep 9, 2013
    Posts: 101

    BEM
    Member

    See, now that top one is about what I think it'll look like an inch or so up. And that looks really balanced, still low, and some rake. Thanks!
     
  30. BEM
    Joined: Sep 9, 2013
    Posts: 101

    BEM
    Member

    Beautiful! Mine seems to sit lower on the tires, but yours looks like it sits lower overall to the ground. I know the matching whites is ideal for some, but I don't think it's necessary. Looks sweet on your truck though.
     

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