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Hot Rods 53 Chevy gasser question

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Toqwik, Feb 8, 2017.

  1. Toqwik
    Joined: Feb 1, 2003
    Posts: 1,306

    Toqwik
    Member

    I have built cars from the 20's, 30's, 40's and 60's, never the 50's. I found a 53 Bel Air one owner car that has floor and trunk rust that I plan to replace with sheet metal and not the original style floor pans and want to build a low budget gasser. I have read about a spacer in the original front suspension to get it up in the air. Is it safe and how do you do it. Does anyone have pictures of how to do it?


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  2. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,694

    squirrel
    Member

  3. 0NE BAD 51 MERC
    Joined: Nov 12, 2010
    Posts: 1,330

    0NE BAD 51 MERC
    Member

    Big Jon's Corvette from the early sixties was a prime example of that. It had 4" blocks between the k member and the frame. I would assume some kind of modification was done to the pitman arm/ steering linkage . I read where his were oak blocks , I would use steel. Would be as safe as long as the correct steering geometry is used . probly safer than some of the straight axle jobs I have seen .
     
  4. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 25,149

    Jalopy Joker
    Member

    search here for thread here: 1953/1954 Chevy Gassers
     

  5. Kurt
    Joined: Nov 18, 2003
    Posts: 699

    Kurt
    Member

    4" I beam drilled to fit. Very easy to do and cheap. Drove just like normal at 80 mph+. I think all I did was adjust the drag link longer when it dropped down.
     

    Attached Files:

  6. Kurt
    Joined: Nov 18, 2003
    Posts: 699

    Kurt
    Member

    Or go all out and sit the rearend under the rear springs.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. D.N.D.
    Joined: Aug 15, 2012
    Posts: 1,385

    D.N.D.
    Member Emeritus

    real safe looking right ?
     
  8. Toqwik
    Joined: Feb 1, 2003
    Posts: 1,306

    Toqwik
    Member

    I don't see a safety concern here. Maybe weld a plate on each end for lateral movement but that would be it. Can you do 4 or 5 inches without any modifications? I dont want to build a hiway cruiser, something to run around town is what I am looking for.
     
  9. If only a Tri-Five was so easy. Tall springs and upper ball joint spaces either between the A-frame or the spindle it's self is scary and changes the geometry. Here it's just drop the assembly and all geometry stays the same. Beside, how much force is there on the lift blocks and u-bolts for a rear end verses a front end that has no torque to it ?
     
  10. Poh
    Joined: Apr 17, 2007
    Posts: 266

    Poh
    Member
    from Quincy,Ca.

    Lol, the I beam version above definitely does not look to safe. You pound on them enough, it will flex, then hopefully only skew one way or the other. Kinda like a lopsided I.


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  11. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,293

    56sedandelivery
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Those I-beams are industrial steel. Maybe IF they were cut to length using an O/A cutting torch, and heat damaging the structure of the steel, it "might" be unsafe. I've seen them used before, but it looks "out-of-place" (JMO). When the nephew and I raised the 51 Chevrolet Business Coupe, we used 16 longer grade 8 bolts, nuts, and washers, along with some 2 inch spacers to go between the frame and suspension crossmember. Then I side welded in an extra side support plate. Looked better than an I-beam; but I'm sure both methods were plenty strong. Still sorry I sold the 51 Bus Coupe a year ago.
    I am Butch/56sedandelivery.
     
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  12. Toqwik
    Joined: Feb 1, 2003
    Posts: 1,306

    Toqwik
    Member

    Butch, any pictures of your 51?


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  13. Poh
    Joined: Apr 17, 2007
    Posts: 266

    Poh
    Member
    from Quincy,Ca.

    Butch I agree, they Structural steel, but with a
    .188" web thickness and a sideways load, as built,they will in time fail. Now had he put some flange to flange gussets at the pick up points , that would be a different story.i wouldn't 'expect' it to fail at all. I also agree, it does look out of place, in my opinion I beam, h beam, channel iron, just does not belong on a hotrod.


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  14. southcross2631
    Joined: Jan 20, 2013
    Posts: 3,890

    southcross2631
    Member

    A friend did his 53 Chevy with spacers and drove for years with no issues.
     
  15. High5
    Joined: Jul 2, 2012
    Posts: 185

    High5
    Member

    1. Lifting it 4" with spacer blocks is safe. Any higher, and you will need to alter the pitman arm. Guys ran 4" blocks throughout the 60's and 70's without problems. My '49 Chevy you see in the link Squirrel provided was lifted 4".
     
  16. Toqwik
    Joined: Feb 1, 2003
    Posts: 1,306

    Toqwik
    Member

    Thanks squirrel for your post. It sounds like 4" is the most you can go without any suspension changes. I understand those who say to go straight axle but this is a low dollar build. I wish the body was nicer but it is not worth the resto expense to make it right and I want to build a fun car for me. I have lived here since 2008 and never seen a gasser. Does anyone have pictures of spacer lifts they have seen or done?
     
  17. This car had 2" square tube spacers over the front suspension. You can't see them but you can see the grade 8 through bolts. I just wanted it up a bit for the 60's look, but I still wanted full suspension travel at the track. I just heated and bent the pitman arm and idler arm down a bit. 100_2855.JPG 100_2855.JPG 100_3082.JPG
     
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  18. Toqwik
    Joined: Feb 1, 2003
    Posts: 1,306

    Toqwik
    Member

    This project was put on the back burner for a while but it is back to the top now. It looks like 4in is the number to not have to change any steering geometry. Would you recommend the I beam, square tubing, or aluminum spacers?
     
  19. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,293

    56sedandelivery
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    ^^^^^High5^^^^^ has photos of his setup, and that car is really blocked up. I'm not sure how much, but it's higher up that any other 49-54 Chevrolet I've seen. Seems he also has a swap bar up front too. His car's a 53 or 54, and he's also on ChevyTalk.Org, like a LOT of us are (just looked at his profile, his is a 54 with SEVEN inches lift!). At least those cars still have a somewhat soft ride, and not bouncy/harsh due to spring lift kits, or conversion to I-beam or straight axles. Now, I know some of those converted cars are not what I just described, but for the average guy, working under a tree or in the driveway..................................... PM High5; maybe he'll e-mail you some photos.
    I am Butch/56sedandelivery.
     
  20. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 10,232

    saltflats
    Member
    from Missouri

    I would use square tubing with sleeves in the holes and cap the ends.
     
    Chavezk21 likes this.

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