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49 chevy truck question

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by hoodlumkurt, Mar 27, 2010.

  1. hoodlumkurt
    Joined: Jan 5, 2010
    Posts: 23

    hoodlumkurt
    Member

    I'm sure this has been discussed here before but i did a search and didn't come up with much.

    so, my buddy just picked up a pretty clean 49 chevy truck but we want to update all the original suspension thats on there with power disc brakes and all that good stuff. my question is, is there any later model chevy front end suspension that will bolt up or is this gonna be a total fab job? we are trying to keep this on a tight budget. thank you in advance for any help.

    kurt.
     
  2. SpeedAddict001
    Joined: Mar 25, 2010
    Posts: 105

    SpeedAddict001
    Member
    from Alaska

    Hoodlumkurt,

    I am not sure is anything will bolt up directly to it, but my brother did his with a Camaro front subframe off an early 70's Camaro. It was not too hard to fab up, but you have to make sure that you measure well and cut straight. Perhaps someone else on here knows of a different, easier way to do it.

    SpeedAddict001
     
  3. hoodlumkurt
    Joined: Jan 5, 2010
    Posts: 23

    hoodlumkurt
    Member

    yeah we thought about grafting a front sub-frame from a camaro or a later model chevy truck but to be honest neither of us feel that comfortable doing structural frame welds. ha
     
  4. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 8,000

    Rickybop
    Member
    from Michigan

    Hi Kurt. Sorry to say...there is no later independant suspension that's gonna "bolt up" to the '49. And any route you take to accomplish the I.S. swap is gonna require some extensive welding, whether it's a subframe or aftermarket installation. The subframe is probably the most inexpensive, but you have to be aware that the track width is a common problem...too wide. Shorter A-arms can help, but as you see, there are always more hurdles to overcome than usually expected. The aftermarket kits are good, and some are less expensive than others. A Mustang 2 kit with original suspension parts salvaged from a parts-car is probably the least expensive of all...but still requires some welding. Finding someone who is willing to do your welding, and you doing everything else could be good. But still...there are steering issues to deal with, etc. What I'm leading to here, is that especially for guys that haven't a lot of experience or access to special equipment, or have budget concerns, staying with the original equipment makes things much easier. Just because switching to an independant suspension seems to be what everybody does, doesn't mean it's the way to go. Your friend should seriously consider staying with the original front suspension. It'll work fine after having been serviced correctly. I know that lowering the vehicle is probably desired, and there is at least one company that can drop that original axle to bring the truck closer to the earth. I forget the name of the company. I'm sure somebody here knows. If your friend goes this route, the original steering can remain. But with original steering in those trucks, there are clearance issues between the driver's-side exhaust, and the steering-box when trying to install a V8. For that reason, sticking with an inline six makes things easier. A later trans, driveshaft and rear axle is very viable, and can allow the use of over-drive for better highway travel. But even there... more time and expense and skill is needed. Again...staying with basically original equipment makes a lot of sense for many reasons. A dropped front axle, a couple of leaves out of the rear suspension, and maybe a late '50s/early '60s Chevy 235 Chevy six with a dual exhaust and possibly dual carbs would give the truck a mild hot rod flavor without breaking the bank, and requiring lots of time and skills. Patrick's and other companies have lots of stuff for this. Patrick's has differential-gears for the rear axle with a highway-friendly ratio, that will fit into the original axle-housing. Insatallation of the ring and pinion gears is best left to professionals...not to expensive to have done. Just trying to give you some heads-up on difficulties, and different routes to take. You have to look at the entire picture of what will be required, because of the "domino effect". You change one thing, and it requires that you change something else, and so on. Do your research, and be sure of what you're getting into. The worst thing is to end up with a vehicle that never gets finished, due to unexpected expenses and engineering problems. Welcome to the hamb, and good luck to you and your friend with the truck.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2010

  5. hoodlumkurt
    Joined: Jan 5, 2010
    Posts: 23

    hoodlumkurt
    Member

    rickybop, thank you very much for all the information and advice. i really appreciate it. i have owned and built a few 60-69 chevy trucks but the 49 is a little older than im used to. and i can weld and WAS a certified welder for building trades but i guess i just dont have the confidence. are there any good articles or threads i can read on doing a sub frame? ill do a search. thanks again.
     
  6. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 8,000

    Rickybop
    Member
    from Michigan

    Kurt. Never searched for subframe swaps here, but I'm sure there's something. Be sure to vary your search terms and spelling. Such as sub frame vs. subframe vs. sub-frame vs. frame-stub, etc. Try using the advanced search option also.

    If you can weld...that makes a lot of difference. Practice up, and get some confidence and go for it. Measure ten times...cut once. Position and tack-weld into place. Remeasure another ten times, and finish welding that sucker in! LOL. Good luck. - Rick
     
  7. jcmarz
    Joined: Jan 10, 2010
    Posts: 4,633

    jcmarz
    Member
    from Chino, Ca

    Check out www.brotherstrucks.com they have a disc brake conversion kit that bolts onto the stock suspension.
     
  8. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 8,000

    Rickybop
    Member
    from Michigan

    jcmarz...good man. I forgot to mention that. jcmarz is right, Kurt. A disc-brake conversion makes good sense. It'll of course give you better braking, and you get a 5 lug pattern as a bonus, so you can mount other wheels if desired. (The originals are six lug.) Though again...there's a little more to it than just installing the rotor and caliper. Disc brakes usually work in conjunction with a power-brake system. There's that domino effect again. Though I've heard of them being installed without. There are aftermarket power brake systems available that mount directly in place of the original master cylinder. For safety reasons, replacing the original single-reservoir master cylinder with a dual reservoir unit is always a good idea though, whether going to power brakes or not.
     
  9. hoodlumkurt
    Joined: Jan 5, 2010
    Posts: 23

    hoodlumkurt
    Member

    yeah we definitely want to go with power disc brakes and 5 lug, so the disc brake conversion kit is a great idea. thanks jcmarz. we also want to lower the truck so maybe a dropped axle will be the safest economical way to go. thanks again ricky.
     
  10. Jack Luther
    Joined: Oct 24, 2005
    Posts: 531

    Jack Luther
    Member

    THudson is correct. If you want disc brakes and lower stance, contact Patrick's for information about bolt-on parts. Good luck with your project.
     
  11. Dave K
    Joined: Jan 31, 2006
    Posts: 344

    Dave K
    Member

    If you want to make it modern (yuck) it is really easy to put an chevy S-10 frame under that truck. A search should turn up plenty of info
     
  12. Rickybop, didn't them there teachers ever teach you how to make paragraphs?
     
  13. Mor-Drop is the company that can drop your axle. They may even be able to swap yours with one that has already been dropped, if they have one in stock. I think they're in Oakland.
    Check out the AD Truckers group, here on the HAMB. Lot's of info there.
    Also check the "Defintive S-10 Frame Swap" thread. If you want to go that route, there is a lot of good stuff there.
    Mine is on an S-10 frame, and it's like night & day compared to the stock chassis. When I did mine, my main concern was cost. Donor S-10's can be found pretty cheap, & have power steering & disc brakes already. My original frame was tweaked as well, so I didn't want to make any mods to it.
     
  14. I'd recommend Nostalgia Sids for the dropped axle. His website is www.droppedaxles.com. He's in Oklahoma.

    He can do 3-4" dropped axles. He also fabs modified steering arms to address the "bump steer" that results when you install a dropped axle. He's a great guy. The dropped axles are $350 w a $50 core back. The steering arms are like another $120ish. Really all it does is flip the tie rods over under the arms.

    He has a ton of info on his site and even a step by step install. His handle on here is 55 mercury.

    Ive got one of his 3" axles I'm about to install in my truck.

    If you don't want to spend that much on a dropped axle and don't mind a rough ride I've got monoleafs that dropped my front 3". I got them from Patricks Antique Cars in Arizona. They work great but ride rougher than I'd like. But I've had them on the truck for probably 10 years.

    There are tons of guys selling disk brake kits too. Check out brothers truck parts, classic parts of america, and CPP (I think that's right). They have a step by step instructions on their website too.
     
  15. chevyshack
    Joined: Dec 28, 2008
    Posts: 950

    chevyshack
    Member

    You beat me to it! This is the kit i want to get for my 52 chevy. Its alittle more for a bolt in but i think its worth it.
     
  16. chevyshack
    Joined: Dec 28, 2008
    Posts: 950

    chevyshack
    Member

    Damn. I just noticed the date. oh well.
     
  17. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 31,069

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    One of Sid's dropped axles and a disk brake kit would drop the truck down and get the brakes upgraded with all bolt on stuff.

    I took a serious look at the Chassis engineering bolt on MII front end at a Goodguys event a few years ago and it is truly a bolt on that two guys can do in one day real easy.
    Some of the guys here and some over on http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/forumdisplay.php?s=&daysprune=&f=13 are going to the Jag XJ6 crossmember that while not a bolt in unit isn't all that expensive and is a fairly simple install.

    Years ago Howdy Ledbetter (sp?) did an article in one of the magazines on his 60/early 70"s C-10 crossmber swap. I don't know off the top of my head where to dig up info on that but a guy would probably be limited on wheel choice as those setups are somewhat wider tread width than the AD series pickups.

    I'm going with a Mustang II style aftermarket crossmember and tube A frames on the 48 but it does require a lot of work to get it on as it is a universal crossmember and along with the welding takes a lot of measuring and fitting. It isn't rocket science but I'll probably have better than eight hours in getting things fitted up right before I ever start the finish welding.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2011
  18. A quick check on eBay revealed a complete disc brake conversion kit for about $350. The stock straight axle will be more than you will need if you are running a "Dipper" 216. We used to set the front axle on top of the springs to lower. I do not know how safe this is but it worked for us in the 60's.
     
  19. D-man313
    Joined: Mar 17, 2011
    Posts: 1,163

    D-man313
    Member

    My 49 is on a s-10 frame and as posted before is very cheap and easy to come by. The only welding i did on mine was cab, bed, and core suppport/radiator mounts. The radiator mount was really the only thing that took some thinking everything else was pretty straight forward.

    PM me if you want some more details.
     
  20. tjet
    Joined: Mar 16, 2009
    Posts: 1,294

    tjet
    Member
    1. Early Hemi Tech

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