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1963 Chevy II straight axle questions

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by racerdaddy1, Aug 8, 2012.

  1. racerdaddy1
    Joined: Dec 30, 2008
    Posts: 137

    racerdaddy1
    Member

    I just bought a 1963 Chevy II and it has what appears to be a Chevy van straight axle and springs under the front of it. Whoever set it up used the stock steering box and tie rod. Can you guys tell from the pics if this is an early van axle and how will this thing drive? I do have a new bolt on clip from Bz Rods. It is made to take a Speedway axle and vega steering box. I wouldnt mind staying with the stock axle if it will drive okay. Any thoughts?
     

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  2. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 6,786

    1971BB427
    Member
    from Oregon

    I don't think that's a Chevy van axle. Pretty sure they all had finned drums, and that looks like a truck axle form the 55-59 range. The way they reused the stock tie rods from the Chevy II is unusual. I would have used the truck tie rod and built a drag link to connect it to the stock box if I was doing it, or to a new box.
    I can't guess for sure how it will work, but with the angles on the tie rods I'm not certain there might not be some bump steer with normal travel. As the axle moves up in travel it will cause toe in with that setup.
    Here's a pic fo my buddy's '56 with a van axle in it. As you can see the van axle had a hole through it near the outside end for a shock mount:
    [​IMG]

    This one has been drilled, but other than that it has the stock drums, etc.
     
  3. Chevy55
    Joined: Nov 6, 2008
    Posts: 409

    Chevy55
    Member
    from Nebraska

    71bb417 is absolutely right. The only way I would attempt to reuse this setup is to go to cross steer and have a tie rod that attaches the steering arms together. That setup is going to have toe in, toe out variations every time the springs move. If I already had a new clip for this car I think I would go all new and get disc brakes and new parts throughout.
     
  4. BCCHOPIT
    Joined: Aug 10, 2008
    Posts: 2,597

    BCCHOPIT
    Member

    Use the new front clip you have.
     

  5. I totally agree.

    I used a straight axle from a early Ford truck under a 63 Falcon back in the late 60's and the car didn't drive very good and it was my daily driver.

    I would go with all new suspension. HRP
     
  6. racerdaddy1
    Joined: Dec 30, 2008
    Posts: 137

    racerdaddy1
    Member

    Anyone happen to have a Speedway axle kit laying around? When I bought this, I hadnt planned on having to replace the axle, but as per the advice here, it would prob be the best. This front end is set up to use a Vega steering box as well.
    I need to I.D. the spindles for sure so i get the right axle. Thanks for the feedback guys.
     
  7. Chevy55
    Joined: Nov 6, 2008
    Posts: 409

    Chevy55
    Member
    from Nebraska

    Speedway just sent me a cheap shipping offer this morning. $7 shipping on orders over $100. It says use promo code FRS0812 at checkout. I think they would also offer the $7 shipping if you call your order in also. It worked for me before. Just make sure you get the axle width correct or your wheels will hang outside the fenders!!!
     
  8. Jeff J
    Joined: Mar 15, 2007
    Posts: 958

    Jeff J
    Member

    Speedway is making a straight axle kit for the nova . They had it on display at the show in Louisville ,Ky. A complete bolt in kit !
     
  9. Randy in Oklahoma
    Joined: Sep 18, 2008
    Posts: 301

    Randy in Oklahoma
    Member
    from Oklahoma

    Dont understand how the springs have anything to do with toe in/toe out variations. Isnt that set by the tie rod between the two spindles?
    Thanks
     
  10. rascal55
    Joined: Aug 24, 2009
    Posts: 154

    rascal55
    Member

    When the springs compress it will force both steering arms
    outward ( toe in ) . With cross steer the steering arms are tied
    ( tie rod ) to each other so toe in - out is set .
    The drag link goes across the chassis from box to steering arm on right
    The drag link and tie rod both need to be as parallel with the axle
    as you can get them.
     
  11. racerdaddy1
    Joined: Dec 30, 2008
    Posts: 137

    racerdaddy1
    Member

    I am considering using this axle and springs since they are already mounted nice and clean. I want to take the advice given here and install a Vega steering box out in the front like my new clip has. If I can find the correct steering arms, I can run cross steer and maybe make this thing drive pretty good.Does Speedway or someone offer a disc brake set up for this type of spindle?
     
  12. Chevy55
    Joined: Nov 6, 2008
    Posts: 409

    Chevy55
    Member
    from Nebraska

    I wouldnt be afraid to use the stock Chevy2 steering box and avoid complication with the column etc. Drill out the pitman arm on the steering box and you can use a rod end on it. You might have to come up with a steering arm for the passenger side so you can attach both your tie rod and your steering rod on that side. PM me if you want more pics, details on the last one I did.
     
  13. gfbracing
    Joined: Nov 14, 2011
    Posts: 81

    gfbracing
    Member
    from Rome Ga.

    what about pros and cons of using the stock frame rails as in the pictures? I have a turnkey 65 Im wanting to straight axle but I dont want to diassemble the entire front sheetmetal and pull the engine and trans to do it.
     
  14. SmokinBill
    Joined: Sep 18, 2009
    Posts: 761

    SmokinBill
    Member

    Check into that complete kit from Speedway, Cause Bz Rods uses all speedway parts to complete. so if you have the clip just buy the designed parts for this application, or you will have a difficult path to complete. these front clips are held by twelve bolts and the garbage is gone,Not that costly for the little parts,You already have the expensive stuff(car,motor,and clip) bolt on the bz's clip and assemble as needed. the car will drive right, No bump steer, and nice to look at instead of thinking..... is that safe? 48" axle in mine from speedway

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  15. dblgun
    Joined: Oct 24, 2009
    Posts: 348

    dblgun
    Member

    I agree, if you are going to use the axle in the car the steering has go to be revamped. You could use a Jeep tie rod end at the right side and that would link the two sides to the steering box.
     
  16. leghorn
    Joined: Jun 4, 2008
    Posts: 20

    leghorn
    Member

    I'm using a Chevy Van I-Beam (narrowed) in a '63 Nova. The I-beam in your pictures, don't look like the Chevy Van I-beam to me, but I just can't tell. I've also got a 67 Chevy Van, so I'm familiar with the Van I-beam. I'm using the Nova steering box with the Nova Pitman Arm. The Pitman arm is bent down a little to clear the Small Block Oil pan. All the ball-joints including the Cross-Steer tie-rod end, and tie-rods are from Speedway. The steering feels fine at slow speeds, but I've only driven the car around my yard, and haven't got it on the streets yet.
    Having seen a couple of Nova's set up this way, I just copied it to save $$$$. Recently I've installed a motor and transmission, and so far seem to be happy with ride height.
     

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  17. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,598

    Atwater Mike
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    The axle in your Chevy ll is out of an early Chevy passenger car, or pickup: '37-'40.
     
  18. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 6,786

    1971BB427
    Member
    from Oregon

    If it's an early Chevy axle, then converting to discs will be harder. The 50's Chev trucks and '49-'54 Chev cars have kits to convert to disc brakes.
     

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