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58 Chevy Rear Suspension

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Scotch Buzzard King, Jan 24, 2010.

  1. Okay. Someone educate me on this issue. What is different about the 58 chevy rear suspension that separates it from the 59-64 chevy rear suspension? Can it be converted to work with the 59-64 chevy stuff?
  2. 58 has a "clamshell" looking upper control arm, that attaches on both sides of the frame & one down to the rear end. It's one year only!
  3. KrisKustomPaint
    Joined: Apr 20, 2007
    Posts: 1,107


    58 has a three link? thats pretty awesome.
  4. here's a pic..


  5. Are the bottom links the same though as on the 59-64? Are they the same length?
  6. torchmann
    Joined: Feb 26, 2009
    Posts: 787

    from Omaha, Ne

    I think i remember seeing a thread last year where a hamber on a cross country run broke his rear control arm and had to have it cobbled to get home. It was either a chevy or a cadillac. It's real fuzzy. i wasn't too interested in the thread other than it was an oddball setup the guy was trying to find
  7. KrisKustomPaint
    Joined: Apr 20, 2007
    Posts: 1,107


    ya i think the caddy's had a 3 link setup as well.
  8. '58 Pontiac rear suspension was very similar.

    Attached Files:

  9. Chevy had a poor design on the 3 link in 58. Where the upper clamshell bracket attaches to the frame crossmember there was a weak weld on the brackets. The brackets would tear out of the crossmember. I had this occur on my 58 Impala, to correct i made stronger brackets. That is why they changed design of 3 link in 59.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2010
  10. KrisKustomPaint
    Joined: Apr 20, 2007
    Posts: 1,107


    generally speaking the three link is a great rear suspension set up. I think the new mustangs went to a three link, but I'm not for sure.
  11. DrJ
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 9,418


    Just some observations....
    That high link would give it an equally high roll center in the rear.
    Combine that with a ground level roll center in front and you've got some potentially weird handling.
    The later Panhard bar setup lowers the roll center to the height of the bar mount on the frame.
  12. KrisKustomPaint
    Joined: Apr 20, 2007
    Posts: 1,107


    You can put the center link on the bottom as well.
    Correct me if I'm wrong but the roll center height for a panhard bar is the average of the mounting points. Thats a bit simplified but for a general idea of where it is thats pretty close.
  13. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 49,560


    59 chevy parts book says 58-59 use different lower arms.
  14. stlouisgasser
    Joined: Sep 4, 2005
    Posts: 671


    '58 Chevys really do have an interesting rear suspension. New 500 horsepower Shelby GT500 Mustangs have a very similar arrangement and Dick Jesse's Altered Wheelbase MatchBash '65 GTO also had a '58 Chevy rear suspension. Back in the Nineties I can recall even seeing a Pro Mod Drag car that had a single Triangulated upper arm that attached to the rear axle housing at one central pivot point at the very top center of the housing. Add some gussets for strength and I've always thought that there might be some great potential in that rear suspension.
  15. dbradley
    Joined: Jan 6, 2007
    Posts: 1,036


    I just put Global West rear arms on my '62. They are listed for '58-'64 on the lowers. The upper is '59-'64 of course. So GM may list a different # for lowers, the aftermarket arms interchange.
  16. If the lower arms are the same length, then I have no problem reinforcing the top arm to get it all to work. I just need to know for sure that I can use 59-64 lower arms on a 58 chevy.

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