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1956 Chevy truck drop axle, steering, and suspension.

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Kruckyou, May 16, 2020.

  1. Kruckyou
    Joined: Dec 24, 2017
    Posts: 39

    Kruckyou
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I apologize if this is a bit long. For a while I have been lurking around on here. I’ve been doing as much research as I can before I decided to make this post. I have a 1956 Chevy truck with a 59 fleet side bed that I’ve gone through once. It has a 350, th350 and stock rear end. I do not anticipate on clipping the front end to achieve IFS. I have a son who is 1yr and 4mnths old so my time is limited. If I were to go as far as clipping the front end I’d build a whole new tube chassis in stead ( I highly enjoy fabricating, possibly too much). I plan on doing a 4” drop axle and possibly lowering leaf springs ( I’m aware of scrub line). Amongst this, I plan to do disk brakes, new brake booster, power steering, shocks, new needle bearing style for the hubs, sway bar. It recently dawned on me that I’d need a new brake booster if I chose to convert the rear to disks at a later time. Might as well do the rear end now to avoid that. Like everyone else I don’t like spending money twice! Here begins my questions.
    1-Any suggestions for a rear end swap that’s pretty direct other than new leaf perches and possibly relocating shock mounts ( I’d like to stick with 6 lug since I like my current wheel and tire combo)?

    2- Has anyone had issues with a stock front axle and steering components being heated bent and stretched?

    3- Does anyone know what material the front axle is made of? (I work for a heat treating company, I may heat treat the axle after getting it stretched if I can figure out the material it’s made from).

    4- Advantages and disadvantaged from power brakes or non power brakes? I’m clueless on this.

    5- What disk brake set up do you guys recommend?

    6- What power steering conversion would any of you recommend, and steering column?

    The truck currently runs and drives, I’d like modern amenities and make a bit more pleasurable to drive. I know it won’t handle like a car nor do I want it to. I drive a straight axle truck as my daily driver and I like it. Once I get the running gear completed I plan on pie cutting the hood and cut out the ‘ bullets’ in the bed to resemble a cameo bed, or install a 62-65 nova dashboard to match the ‘bullets’ on the bed.
    I’d highly appreciate any and all suggestions and recommendations.




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  2. sdrodder
    Joined: Feb 8, 2008
    Posts: 509

    sdrodder
    Member
    from Houston TX

    So i have a 58 fleetside truck. I run a cpp disc brake kit with their under floor booster and like it. Handles pretty good. There really isnt an issue with the axle being heated and stretched so long its done right. Sids dropped axles is the guy you want to talk to on that stuff. I personally dont have a dropped axle, i instead have mounted my front i beam above the springs to achieve my drop. I kept the stock rear end. They are pretty decent and rebuild parts are availible. No real reason to change it if it aint broken.
     
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  3. Kruckyou
    Joined: Dec 24, 2017
    Posts: 39

    Kruckyou
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Would you mind sharing a photo of your front flip kit?
    Thank you


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  4. Kruckyou
    Joined: Dec 24, 2017
    Posts: 39

    Kruckyou
    ALLIANCE MEMBER


  5. tjet
    Joined: Mar 16, 2009
    Posts: 1,272

    tjet
    Member
    1. Early Hemi Tech

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 17, 2020
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  6. Kruckyou
    Joined: Dec 24, 2017
    Posts: 39

    Kruckyou
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I plan on going with his 4” drop axle. I’ve been keeping an out for an axle to send in for a core or get reworked. I keep my truck at my fathers so I don’t care to leave on jack stands for a while. He use his garage like any of us would. I need to keep the truck mobile while I piece everything together. Did you have Sid rework any of the steering components? If so how was the bump steer after the fact?
    Thank you


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  7. I put one of Sid’s 3” axles in my 58 truck and we ended up bending the steering arms some if I remember right... although I think that was more for tire clearance now that I think about it... I would just suggest calling Sid to see what all you would need based on how low you want to go. He is about as helpful as anyone will be. Bump steer is never an issue as long as you get it all set up right. I have done lots of drop axle installs both in my own trucks as well as doing a couple for Sid’s customers and he is your best resource to make sure you get it right.
     
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  8. Kruckyou
    Joined: Dec 24, 2017
    Posts: 39

    Kruckyou
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I’m glad to hear all the good info about the guy. I emailed him yesterday. Hopefully I’ll get a response soon during normal business hours. Have you done any power steering and disk brake kits? If so any particular ones you suggest or recommend staying away from? I’ve done the ifs and air bag things. Time for something more period correct.


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  9. I have never actually done a disk brake kit other than the one on my sons 51. But, I bought that axle complete with the kit already on it from a guy swapping to MII. I do know Sid typically suggests the Speedway kits and I have heard good things about them. One thing I might suggest if you are swapping rearends anyway is going with 5 lug unless you already have some 6 lug wheels you like or something. The 5 lug disk brake kits are cheaper if I remember right and likely easier to find a matching rearend and wheels too.

    And, Sid is definitely a great guy and one of my longtime friends. One of my sons even works for him part time.
     
  10. Kruckyou
    Joined: Dec 24, 2017
    Posts: 39

    Kruckyou
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I’m currently torn on the idea of 5 lug wheels. I do like my wheel and tire set up at the moment. If I’m able to get a decent price on a rear end and wheels I’d consider swapping to a 5 lug. I’ll have to look in to it but I wonder if I’d be able to use the 6 lug speed way kit and swap to a 5lug rotor down the line. I’ve been reading nothing but great things about the guy. I’m glad to hear first hand experience about him. Years ago I heard of a place in Oakland named more drop. I was planning on going that route till I heard the old timer kicked the bucket several years back.
    Thank you for your time and first hand experience with Sid.


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  11. Kruckyou
    Joined: Dec 24, 2017
    Posts: 39

    Kruckyou
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I’m also considering the idea of upgrading the stock rear end if possible. Stronger internals and a limited slip. I’m not sure if that’s a financially reasonable idea!


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  12. Yea, we ended up putting a rearend from a 69 Camaro in my sons pickup. I’m guessing you could swap the rear for less money than upgrading that one. But, I’m not sure what all rearends work well for a task force either. Our motivation to change was to go to an open driveline. But, you don’t have that need.
     
  13. sdrodder
    Joined: Feb 8, 2008
    Posts: 509

    sdrodder
    Member
    from Houston TX

    I like my cpp kit. It stops good and no mods were required to get it in the truck. I think the only gripe i have about them is the fact that they dont tell you what the parts are off of and expect you to order any replacement parts from them(not particularly great when the truck is your daily driver and you need to fix it within a day or 2).

    For some reason, i cant seem to upload my photos. Essentially to flip the axle(im just gonna assume you have a inline 6 in the truck). i welded a plate to the bottom of the axle and a support from the leaf spring perch to the plate. Its sitting on top of the springs and im running 8 degree caster. I do have an extra leaf spring in the front to stiffen it up a bit. I did have to change over to an 57 oil pan for clearance. I have a shorter drag link on it also and the tie rod is right on top of the springs. Overall i love it and i got 6 inches of drop, not sure how other people would love it as it still rides like a truck and i dont have power steering. I will try and get new pictures and get them uploaded.

    As for you mentioning upgrading the stock rear, there isnt much upgrades available. Actually only a rebuild kit and a 3:38 gear. I have mine bone stock and no problems.
     
  14. I'd like to see the truck, I was thinking of the fleetside bed for my 57
     
  15. 01spirit750
    Joined: Oct 27, 2010
    Posts: 86

    01spirit750
    Member
    from Ohio

    For my 57 3100 and the rear end, I went with a 78-79 cadillac seville rear end from pick n pull here in San Jose.
    I like the seville rear end because it is almost the same width as the stock truck rearend and it has disc brakes with integrated emergency brakes. One issue is it uses the chevy truck bolt pattern 5 on 5"

    Of course I had to weld on new spring pads on the rear end and do some engineering on the emergency brake cables.

    They get about $100, the issue now is finding the 78-79 sevilles.
     
  16. Kruckyou
    Joined: Dec 24, 2017
    Posts: 39

    Kruckyou
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Heres a pic of the truck I’m working on. It’s the black fleet side. The other pic is a 55 step side that I bagged on a 73 1ton chassis. IMG_3908.JPG IMG_3909.JPG


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  17. Kruckyou
    Joined: Dec 24, 2017
    Posts: 39

    Kruckyou
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I too am in the Bay Area. Santa Clara to be exact. I hear they closed the one off of Monterey?


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  18. Kruckyou
    Joined: Dec 24, 2017
    Posts: 39

    Kruckyou
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

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