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Technical 3w Larry’s suicide front axle

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by 65standard, Aug 4, 2020.

  1. i want to get my ‘32 style build similar to 3w Larry’s coupe. I want to go low without a drop axle and use the suicide technique by putting the front axle ahead of the spring.

    By doing this the wheel base will have to grow about 3 1/2” to about 109 1/2”. Im guessing that on Larry’s car he did something like this, but what did he do to get the radiator out farther? Lengthen the hood to make it all work.

    I also noticed that the hood side flow evenly with the frame rails. Again he must have pinched the frame a little to get that so perfect.

    My only concern is if a spring breaks, the frame will be on the ground. I have no idea how to add a safety measure to this issue. I’m sure Larry had something on his car. Does anyone know how his car was built with that suicide front setup?
     
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  2. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 8,700

    anthony myrick
    Member

    If the spring brakes it lives up to its name.
    But, no matter how ya mount it, a break of any kind is unhealthy
     
    rpm56 and chryslerfan55 like this.
  3. That is my only concern, other than the way the steering box and column are fixed to the frame rail. I’ll go with a franklin steering box to fix that issue. Maybe a skid pad at the bottom of the frame rail will keep the car from catapulting?
     
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  4. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 8,700

    anthony myrick
    Member

    Is it a rolling bones style you are after?
     
    sko_ford likes this.

  5. Yes, bare bones roller
     
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  6. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 18,751

    gimpyshotrods
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  7. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 8,700

    anthony myrick
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  8. Hackerbilt
    Joined: Aug 13, 2001
    Posts: 6,251

    Hackerbilt
    Member

  9. Shouldn't it be Spencer Style? DoaneSpencerRoadster8.jpg DoaneSpencerRoadster11.jpg
     
  10. Hackerbilt
    Joined: Aug 13, 2001
    Posts: 6,251

    Hackerbilt
    Member

    They based it on the Spencer style for sure but there are a lot of differences. Certainly not a copy.
    NICE pictures by the way!
    Don't think I saw those before!
     
  11. Wow, that’s perfect. Great pictures from that shop. Never heard of the rolling bones hot rod shop. I always just thought the phrase meant a fenderless bare bones hot rod.

    Maybe that little angle tab welded to the end of the frame rail is a safety catch for the axle if the spring breaks?
     
  12. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 8,700

    anthony myrick
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    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  13. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 8,700

    anthony myrick
    Member

    The only safety is quality parts and craftsmanship.
    However, do you ever think what might happen if a tie rod breaks on your daily rolling down the interstate?
     
    dirty old man and Hackerbilt like this.
  14. Hackerbilt
    Joined: Aug 13, 2001
    Posts: 6,251

    Hackerbilt
    Member

    They have made changes to how they do the frames since the pictures in Hot Rod. Do a google search on them and a lot of info will show up, inc newer stuff.
     
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  15. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 17,289

    alchemy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Usually the wheelbase is the same, they just move the crossmember backwards with the spring. Check out Walden in California. He makes a similar chassis that looks nice.
     
  16. Mat Thrasher
    Joined: Nov 5, 2007
    Posts: 1,166

    Mat Thrasher
    Member

    That’s how mine is. I made radiator mounts off the front of the frame heavy duty enough to catch the axle, if anything broke. Plus my set-up has tube shocks that would also catch it.

    I’ll post some pics if I can find some.




    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  17. There is a thread when Larry was alive that showed all the details of the frontend. I'm just too lazy to find it. I have all the pics saved somewhere and again I'm jus too lazy to post them. Ha!
     
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  18. Last edited: Aug 6, 2020
    lurker mick likes this.
  19. Here's my suicide front end - the top spring plate is in 10mm steel and has a "hook" that also supports the licence plate. It's intended to catch the axle but who knows if it would work in the real world. Better than nothing I suppose.

    If we wanted modern standards of safety we would be driving modern cars.

    13559016_1101480306578852_2423968188661570177_o.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2020
  20. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 17,289

    alchemy
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    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  21. Malcolm
    Joined: Feb 9, 2006
    Posts: 7,763

    Malcolm
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    from Nebraska

    You are correct.
     
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  22. Malcolm
    Joined: Feb 9, 2006
    Posts: 7,763

    Malcolm
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    from Nebraska

  23. Ratspit
    Joined: Dec 6, 2017
    Posts: 249

    Ratspit
    Member

    When I first looked at this picture I thought the forked brackets above the suicide axle were bumpers. Looking at it some more it appears that they might actually be there to limit travel in the event of a catastrophic failure.

    bare bones front detail.jpg bare bones full frontal.jpg
     
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  24. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 30,059

    Mr48chev
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    I can't find the photos of it but I just remember the 34 that had that style of front end that got totaled when something to do with the spring broke. Unless you have something to catch it on the axle you are going to have parts hit the ground and the results aren't gong to be good no matter how great it looks.
     
  25. ProtoTypeDesignFlauz
    Joined: Jul 29, 2007
    Posts: 1,194

    ProtoTypeDesignFlauz
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    This here information is a really good read. RIP Larry.
     
    lothiandon1940 and kidcampbell71 like this.
  26. trikejunkie
    Joined: Dec 2, 2011
    Posts: 98

    trikejunkie
    Member
    from Scotland

    I KNOW what happens when a tie rod end breaks on a "normal car" 365 yard long groove in the tarmac ( I was going "fast-ish")lucky for me the curve of the motorway drew me into the shoulder from the fast lane,I went to exit through the passenger door but it was stuck ,got out ,walked round to find my wheel ,strut and half the wing jammed against the passenger door-oops -all because a £15 part broke!
     
  27. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 5,953

    Blues4U
    Member
    from So Cal

    There is a thread here on the HAMB about a broken spring perch on a rod with this style front end, the result was catastrophic. The driver did survive the crash, but the car was pretty much a total loss.
     
    The37Kid likes this.
  28. Brad333
    Joined: Oct 18, 2017
    Posts: 33

    Brad333
    Member

    The biggest issue I’ve always seen with suicide style upper spring perch is welds in the wrong places. Having welds subjected to bending loads is never a good idea. Think of the drawbar of a trailer as an example. The top face of the drawbar is never welded to the trailer body for this reason as it exposes that weld to bending loads and can ultimately fail.

    Sometimes less is more when it comes to welds as welds in the wrong spots can create huge problems.

    Have seen many of these front end designs used and they have worked fine (without failure) provided the welding detail is correct. Some sort of pan hard bar or dead perch is essential for lateral restraint as well.


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  29. hotrodderhaag
    Joined: Jan 22, 2007
    Posts: 2,124

    hotrodderhaag
    Member

    i know a thing or two about these front ends. First off, the wheel base does not stay the same. aftermarket perches scare me to use, so id try to find really nice original ford pair to make due... They require machined tapered bushings welded in the wishbones, then modifying the perches to weld into the bushings and the wishbone at the same time. the proper welds and gussets to make it all safe. Posi spring sells the correct spring to run this front end. The Rolling bones have been running these for years, flawlessly. Im the one that broke one and totaled a car. which is how i figured out the best way to do it all. as far as Doane Spencer, or Rolling bones, or Walden as a title.. they are all different. hell i could call mine the HAAG front end if that was the case.
     
    TA22, 383deuce, clem and 8 others like this.

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