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Hot Rods 28 Essex front axle

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by bob cutler, May 2, 2018.

  1. bob cutler
    Joined: Jul 8, 2009
    Posts: 291

    bob cutler
    Member

    I just got a 28 Essex coupe body with the original frame all of it just in parts for now. What im wanting to do is keep the original front spring setup, is there any axle that would be a close bolt in replacement? Or can I replace the spindles on the original axle? Would like to keep it old school, I know I can buy new stuff.
     
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  2. oj
    Joined: Jul 27, 2008
    Posts: 6,247

    oj
    Member

    I can't say for sure but Nash might be the same and they may have been mfg'd by the Dodge Bros.. I might be wrong but it'll give a direction to look into, I had to rebuild a '34 Nash front axle and both Dodge and Essex all shared the same bits and pieces.
     
  3. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,291

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    If the spring mounts are the right distance apart another axle will bolt on. One of the last vehicles to use a beam axle was the Ford Econoline van up to 1968 or so, likewise Chev and Dodge vans of the early, cab forward design. They have fairly modern heavy duty front drum brakes. Ford pickups to 64 and Dodge to 71 also have a beam axle. I know the Dodge has 11" drums with 2 1/4 or 2 1/2" wide shoes, plenty to stop your hot rod.

    Essex was made by Hudson so if a Dodge or other axle fit it would be by coincidence.

    They did try to put the springs as far apart as possible for stability, at the same time had to have room for the wheels to steer. So different makers did tend to come up with similar answers to the spring width question.

    At the worst you could move the spring mount holes on the axle by welding and redrilling.

    If you could give us the width from center to center of the spring mounts that would help, if anyone has an old axle around to measure.

    I know Dodge used the same king pins and probably the same axle too, from 1941 to 1971. So if you find some old van or pickup has an axle that will fit you may have quite a few years to chose from.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2018
  4. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,291

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    The important point for spindle interchange is the king pin diameter and width of the axle end. And of course, king pin inclination. These things can be modified. Last vehicle to have this type spindle would be the Ford twin I beam front end used on pickups and vans up to what, the early 80s?
     

  5. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,291

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    It may be possible to keep the original axle and spindles. If you can find bearings that will allow you to fit a modern brake disc, and make a bracket to mount the caliper.

    A lot depends on how big a motor you plan to use, and how hard you plan to drive it.
     
  6. Post pics of the axle, spindles and hubs. Also some measurements of spring centers, etc.
    My avatar Plymouth is using a Chevy AD truck axle...
     
  7. 2935ford
    Joined: Jan 6, 2006
    Posts: 3,404

    2935ford
    Member

    On my 1919 Dort I used the original springs with a late 40's early 50's Chev pickup axle and had it dropped.
    So, there are options for you.
     
  8. bob cutler
    Joined: Jul 8, 2009
    Posts: 291

    bob cutler
    Member

    Thanks for all the info, I have the front axle stored at my brothers place right now so I cant get a pic, I do know its 26 inchs from center of spring perch to center, got a few shows and swap meets coming up at least I know what to start looking for.
     
  9. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,291

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    From another thread on putting disc brakes on an Econoline axle. I don't know why you couldn't do the same thing on other axles. Thanks to Willowbilly3

    "I built my own for cheap. I used those cheap weld on brackets the dirt track suppliers sell for the rear and modified them to bolt on (they now look just like the ones in the kit in the link above). Summit or Speedway should have them. Used GM metric calipers. If you have the econiline hubs, just knock out the studs and remove the drums. Crown vic rotors will fit right on those hubs. I used Aerostar rotors so I could run 14" wheels.
    With the brackets, new calipers, grade 8 bolts, hose kit from Speedway, I have around $100 into mine. I got used rotors for free."
     
  10. bob cutler
    Joined: Jul 8, 2009
    Posts: 291

    bob cutler
    Member

    Just got a 38 Dodge front end for free, looks like it will fit the build real nice!
     

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