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63 Econoline lowering...Help!

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Grumpy, Nov 4, 2007.

  1. nmbuellist
    Joined: Feb 3, 2007
    Posts: 462

    nmbuellist
    Member

    When I last built my econoline(1992) I was more concerned about driveability. I was living in the mountains and using it for a work truck. lots of fast mountain roads. I lowered the whole drivetrain ( 302 and c-6) 3 inches. This really helped the center of gravity, made the old truck go around corners good. The headers are so low that I have overloaded the truck and it was dragging the headers.
    When overloaded it would lower the whole truck evenly on all 4 corners, and the front tires would touch in a tight turn.
     

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  2. erock805
    Joined: Jul 30, 2006
    Posts: 1,246

    erock805
    Member

    I have just lowered my 61. First I static dropped with with a MAS axle and flipped the rear springs. I went with a 5 inch dropped axle, narrowed an inch on each side. This is super important as it helps your tire rub issue on the small inner fender. Which btw would be best to be popped in or cutt out. I can say that I would recommend a MAS axle. Its very beefy and fit as it should.

    The truck looked great but was not very drivable unless your a hard ass, or you lift it up a bit. Also, before I started I measured with re arched springs that had settled for 6 months. If I were to keep the static drop I would have to have raised the front up at least an inch and stiffened it up quit a bit.

    Heres the issues you will run into.

    Steering, we had to cutt and reshape the steering arm. Some tire clearance, I used a 26 inch tall tire and rim but its a skinny drag wheel.

    We had only four inches of travel before the axle would bounce of the shift arms. (3 spd). Maybe 5 inches to the oil pan and the bottom radiator hose.

    By flipping the axle over the spring in the back, ud have to beef up the spring. It bottomed out to easily...I only had 3 to 4 inches of travel before it bounce off the pumpkin.

    My friend at LOWBOY in Mesa put two four links in it and bagged it with full heim joint steering. We are working all the buggs out of it as we speak. I will say that sway bars are a must.

    I will put out a bunch a pix and a tech article about the whole thing once I get it cleaned up. You can see pics of it static dropped in one of the web sites in my signature.
     
  3. erock805
    Joined: Jul 30, 2006
    Posts: 1,246

    erock805
    Member

    BTW....Its lower than that now.
     
  4. Gas Huffer
    Joined: Feb 26, 2007
    Posts: 272

    Gas Huffer

    Here's a thought, but since I've never been underneath one of these, I might be talking completely out of my ass...

    What's preventing a person from doing a body drop on one of these? It seems like it would be the easiest way to drop one and PLUS, you would still maintain the original steering geometery, wheelwell clearance, etc.

    It just seems like going through the trouble of completely redoing the suspension/undercarrage would be a lot more work than is neccessary just to lower one of these. But if it were truly that simple, I'm sure this would be the most obvious way to lower one. Someone who knows better than me, please feel free to school me.
     
  5. thunderbirdesq
    Joined: Feb 15, 2006
    Posts: 6,621

    thunderbirdesq
    Member

    They're unibody construction, the frame is the floor...
     
  6. What about a frame donor?? Lots of work, but something like a Safari van frame might work?? Steering should be in the right place, and setting back the engine shouldn't be a big deal. Not sure about the track width either but this might be an option.
     
  7. AcadianKid
    Joined: Dec 5, 2005
    Posts: 202

    AcadianKid
    Member

    I found this. Dont know if it helps. I do know there was lots if work involved.

    http://www.shadoworksart.com/doorway.htm

    Click on "The Artist" and then click "here" on his biggest project yet, it's toward the top, before the ink pics.
     
  8. novatattoo
    Joined: Oct 6, 2005
    Posts: 2,030

    novatattoo
    Member
    from Canton,OH

    Cory, Yes this van will be bad ass. Later,Bill
    [​IMG]
     
  9. LiveWire64
    Joined: Dec 10, 2006
    Posts: 108

    LiveWire64
    Member

  10. ray
    Joined: Jun 25, 2001
    Posts: 3,753

    ray
    Member

    naturally, i ended up lowering mine.

    :rolleyes:
     
  11. DrewDay
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 249

    DrewDay
    Member
    from Austin, Tx

    Lets see some pix
     
  12. dante81_98
    Joined: Sep 26, 2005
    Posts: 505

    dante81_98
    Member
    1. A-D Truckers

    Yes, stats and pics please.
     
  13. i like the looks of my pickup but ....
     
  14. Hellfish
    Joined: Jun 19, 2002
    Posts: 6,391

    Hellfish
    Member

    They can be lowered and done well, but it's a serious amount of fabrication if you want to keep it driveable and not just a show truck. Everyone does it a little differently, so how did you do it, Ray?
     
  15. ray
    Joined: Jun 25, 2001
    Posts: 3,753

    ray
    Member

    i don't have any good pics really. my dog ate my camera or something. i'll get around to getting some soon.

    i really only half lowered it. i dropped the front only so far, and with tall rear tires, has a cartoonish rake right now. i made some custom saddles to mount the stock axle over the leaf springs. about a 4" drop. it sits it a bit low, i'm probably going to add another leaf to the spring packs, it hits the bumpstops on small bumps. also needs some good shocks. i haven't trimmed the bumpstops yet either, so it's nowhere near "done". i just installed a speedway 7/8 dia tie rod to gain some clearance at the oil pan, the old one was bent and needed to be replaced anyway along with the tie rod ends, and the entire speedway assembly was only about $50.
     
  16. Hellfish
    Joined: Jun 19, 2002
    Posts: 6,391

    Hellfish
    Member

    I replaced my tie rod, too. Much lighter!

    I forgot about moving the axle to the top of the springs. That's a common lowering technique and the only one you can do relatively easily. It gains you a couple of inches, but I want to say it interferes with a few things, too.
     
  17. ray
    Joined: Jun 25, 2001
    Posts: 3,753

    ray
    Member

    yeah, i ripped off your idea on the speedway parts!
     
  18. Hellfish
    Joined: Jun 19, 2002
    Posts: 6,391

    Hellfish
    Member

    That was someone else's advice here on the HAMB. I just heded it!
     
  19. ray
    Joined: Jun 25, 2001
    Posts: 3,753

    ray
    Member

    well i ripped somebody off!:D
     
  20. I did the flip on the front axle on mine. Tires would hit the inner fender wells on bigger bumps and it had a bit of bump steer. Left it with the cartoon rake, looked pretty cool. Got tired of that and flipped it back and added a block for a gasser look. Then got bored with it and it now lives in England!
    [​IMG]
     
  21. dante81_98
    Joined: Sep 26, 2005
    Posts: 505

    dante81_98
    Member
    1. A-D Truckers

    Any pics of it with the front flipped?
     
  22. wacko
    Joined: Dec 10, 2008
    Posts: 23

    wacko
    Member
    from Canada

    Planning on flipping the axles on my 66 Chevy Van. Just looking for as much info as I can before i start.

    [​IMG]
     
  23. Can't find any. I'll keep looking
     
  24. dante81_98
    Joined: Sep 26, 2005
    Posts: 505

    dante81_98
    Member
    1. A-D Truckers

    Thanks man. I appreciate it.
     
  25. socalmerc
    Joined: Feb 24, 2008
    Posts: 475

    socalmerc
    Member
    from socal

    Larry Watson had one back in the day, it was his shop truck. he told me he had the axle dropped. it was also, according to him was his first complete metal flake job. the water company had one over here for sale all original it sold for $1,500. i fell asleep on that one. it was there surveyor truck.
     
  26. Hellfish
    Joined: Jun 19, 2002
    Posts: 6,391

    Hellfish
    Member

    I'd LOVE to see that! Anyone have any pics of Watson's Econo?

    I'd love to hear how he configured the front, too. A friend of mine shortened an aftermarket dropped tubular Model A(?) axle and it dropped his 64 very low, but it messed up the steering geometry, and all sorts of other things. It took a lot of re-engineering to make it work, and then it drove like crap. He lost a lot of the steering radius, the tires rubbed, and it rode like crap.
     
  27. mopar6040
    Joined: Nov 3, 2008
    Posts: 3

    mopar6040
    Member
    from Las Vegass

    That's a cool van. It's good to see other van lovers out there. I was doing the same thing in my A-100 till I blew out the rear end.
     
  28. seventeenseconds
    Joined: Mar 21, 2007
    Posts: 241

    seventeenseconds
    Member

    HELL YES someone's got to have a picture... BUMP
     
  29. seventeenseconds
    Joined: Mar 21, 2007
    Posts: 241

    seventeenseconds
    Member

    Still interested in seeing pics if anyones got some of Watson's Van. I'm going to think it's BS until I see some... prove me wrong :)

    I made all the bracketry and whatnot to flip my axles, I'll post pictures if it ever comes to fruition.
     
  30. 52lomofo
    Joined: Jan 29, 2005
    Posts: 632

    52lomofo
    Member
    from edmonton

    what about Eaton Spring i know they make a lot for all kinds of cars ???and trucks:)
     

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