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Building a front axle - need to know how to

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by HILLBILLY HOT RODS, Jan 17, 2012.

  1. HILLBILLY HOT RODS
    Joined: Sep 12, 2011
    Posts: 162

    HILLBILLY HOT RODS
    Member

    Anyone on here ever build there own tube front dropped axle that can share some info on what metal tube to use and how to make the radius rods or wishbone rods from the axle back to the frame and what leaf spring is best to use.

    Thanks
     
  2. BCCHOPIT
    Joined: Aug 10, 2008
    Posts: 2,597

    BCCHOPIT
    Member

    PM or email me I might have some info you can use.
     

    Attached Files:

  3. HILLBILLY HOT RODS
    Joined: Sep 12, 2011
    Posts: 162

    HILLBILLY HOT RODS
    Member



    Thanks , pm sent with email
     
  4. designs that work
    Joined: Aug 29, 2005
    Posts: 411

    designs that work
    Member

    Not trying to rain on your parade but by the questions you asked I don't think building a axle is the right thing for you to do. Your life and others is on the line. Your previous post about twin leaf springs and gasser front ends also show your desire. Why don't you use your existing axle and just change the front spring to raise the front of the truck. Put a disc brake conversion on your spindles, put a panhard bar on, change your shock mounts and save quite a few dollars and a huge amount of labor. Good luck
     


  5. While I understand you are coming from the "Safety" side of this whole thing. It comes off as "Don't ask questions and learn about things you don't already know about."
     
  6. Ned Ludd
    Joined: May 15, 2009
    Posts: 4,218

    Ned Ludd
    Member

    Also, talk to exwestracer and CoolHand. Theirs are good brains to pick.
     
  7. designs that work
    Joined: Aug 29, 2005
    Posts: 411

    designs that work
    Member

    We all have to learn and hopefully continue to learn as we age. I do not post just to rattle my jaw. If Hillbilly was in Seattle or Cape Town or Fresno where he could be helped or guided I might feel different. If I offended I apollagize, but building a axle for a first project is a little scary from view. Sorry to offend.
     
  8. No offense taken man and I do agree with you on him being over his head..from his original post. But i think there is more to the story. I Just remember a time when my Dad told me similiar things. "I don't think you should....." "are you sure that's safe?".... etc. I know he had my best interest in mind, but it was discouraging from a support stand point and just made me work at my goals ten times harder. I don't know if the OP is capable of building what he wants. But I want to encourage him to explore the possibility.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2012
  9. I agree on everything but the disk brakes. Get hydraulic drums and you'll be period correct, and it will stop just FINE. Don't believe the bullshit that it won't. My '65 Buick weighs 4200 lbs., stops fine with drums.
     
  10. Give the guy a break!
    We can see he's a HAMB FNG, but if you would have looked a bit at his ride he's more than capable, http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=626649 Once he gets a bit more familiar with the ancient stuff we love I'm sure the lingo will follow. Over his head, hardly! Unfamiliar with the ancient is more appropriate.

    Its a great built that shows plenty of thought & skill and also as it sits is off topic for the HAMB as a whole.
    A more traditional front axle for this thing would be great and something id want to do too.

    There's zero reasons why its a "must" - that a rodder must not build his own axle. Some research, correct material choices, careful measuring & with the proper skill set that includes understanding suspension and design principals, anybody's capable of building an axle just the same as they are doing for you in China. Can anybody do it? ; anybody with the above-mentioned criteria certainly can. Who the hell do you think made them before you could buy them ?
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2012
  11. HILLBILLY HOT RODS
    Joined: Sep 12, 2011
    Posts: 162

    HILLBILLY HOT RODS
    Member




    Thanks , i am more than capable of making my own front dropped axle i just wanted some info and tips before i start the project .

    This was going to be a street and drag truck but i have changed my mind and want to make a hot rod out of it just to cruise the streets.

    I also will be going back to a carburated small block chevy for the street.
     
  12. There's a few guys who have built their own.
    Most of the dropped tubes are for light weight cars, like T buckets. The tube itself, because of its inherent rigidity doesn't do well when subject to torsional movement. it can cause other things to break that leads to a failure. The strange one is the oval shaped V8-60 axle from Ford. Mystery as to its construction and very desirable. The beam configuration seems to be the best.

    There are several spring arrangements to choose from. Transverse spring, single pack in various locations, spring in front, spring on top, spring behind. Twin parallel leaf springs, but these require longer frame horns out front. The twin quarter eliptical is a little less common. Torsion bars are a bit less common yet but boy what a clean set up that is. There's even an air ride set up available(see HAMB classified ads) there are also exotic setups brought from indy cars that utilize horizontally mounted inboard coilovers and bellcranks.

    Once you choose a spring arrangement, then you'll have a better idea of suspension attachment as in 4 bar, wishbones, radius rods, hairpins, the type of bracketry you'll need like bat wings, perch pins, spring pads, crossmembers ect.

    The absolute best axle arrangement is going to be one that uses Ford design and Ford parts especially the axle itself.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2012
  13. ray-jay
    Joined: Feb 23, 2008
    Posts: 200

    ray-jay
    Member
    from Buford GA

    I think Speedway used to sell dropped ends and all you needed was the center tube. I made a straight axle for a dirt midget one time but that's a whole different ball of wax.
     
  14. dreracecar
    Joined: Aug 27, 2009
    Posts: 3,140

    dreracecar
    Member
    from so-cal

    Ask as many questions as you can[​IMG]
     
  15. Exactly,
    I have asked abut a lot of things that I have never done nor do I intend to but I know how it is done and it makes my understanding of things a little broader. I have an article on building a swing axle that Ryan sent me. I'll probably never build a swing axle but I still asked for the article and have read it over more than once.

    I don't recall but it was either popular hot rodding or hot rod that published an article in the late '60s about how to make a tube axle. It showed how to build the fixture, bend the material, etc.

    Maybe someone else remembers and has the article stuck away someplace.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2012
  16. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 28,831

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I think he read the same thing I did into it and that is that that the OP doesn't have a lot of knowledge in this field.

    It is cool that a guy wants to build his own stuff but the guys that do successfully usually already have a fair amount of knowledge about what type of metal you build certain things with and has a good idea of the steps involved including setting up a jig to build the axle.
    This time around he might be better off getting a price from BCCHOPIT for a complete axle and get creative on some other part of the ride.
     
  17. Or they could make a lot of mistakes along the way. I still think that the guy that has screwed up the most has learned the most, or not.

    That said it probably doesn't hurt to be a somewhat accomplished machinist/fabricator prior to building your first suspension component.
     
  18. HILLBILLY HOT RODS
    Joined: Sep 12, 2011
    Posts: 162

    HILLBILLY HOT RODS
    Member

    Guys i am a welder fitter (fabricator) for just over 30 yrs. i have built many ground up pro street and drag cars , i have built my truck from the ground up and it was going to be a pro street drag truck but i have changed my mind and want it to be a hot rod street cruiser .

    Here ist the truck ... http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=626649


    Building an axle won't be a problem i just wanted some insite before i go ahead , i like to do some research before i jump head first into a project and make mistakes , i like to measure twice and cut once.

    Thanks for all the info on this to everyone
     
  19. dreracecar
    Joined: Aug 27, 2009
    Posts: 3,140

    dreracecar
    Member
    from so-cal

    Maybe you should have started with your last post first and then asked your question. But 30 years as a builder and you dont know how to build radious rods or wishbones????
     
  20. screwshiney
    Joined: Jan 2, 2009
    Posts: 96

    screwshiney
    Member

    Why does he need to explain his credentials before he asks for help? I see way too much of these now-a-days and it turns people away from asking questions. He didn't ask if he should do it. He simply asked for a little insight from someone that maybe has some experience in building one, maybe that person has found that perfect tube to use as to avoid any issues that they have run into.

    I'm building my own axle as well (not out of tube though).

    To the op, think outside the box a little, remember it doesn't have to be tube... you could always build it out of "I" beam then work your drop right into the cut. A plasma cutter and some 1/4 or 3/8" plate would be all you need.
     
  21. He builds late model is my guess and I think he is wondering about spindle bung angles and radius rod bung locations. At least that is my guess.

    I got a '37 drop tube axle I could take dims off of I guess. I'll have to climb over some stuff.
     
  22. hammeredabone
    Joined: Apr 18, 2001
    Posts: 735

    hammeredabone
    Member

    HillBilly, I would use 4130 quarter wall for a street axle, bent the amount you want, machine in the kingpin inclination depending on the spindels used. I would use 3/8 cold roll plate for the radious attachmnet brackets. I would use DOM 7/8 seamless tubing for the radiuos rods. Crap, back to work, I'll be back.
     
  23. I knew there was more to the story. That's why I didn't assume you didn't know what you were doing even though your first post came off that way. carry on sir. I look forward to seeing what you put together.
     
  24. HILLBILLY HOT RODS
    Joined: Sep 12, 2011
    Posts: 162

    HILLBILLY HOT RODS
    Member

    I would like to say thank you to everyone for all the info provided to me on this thread .

    I still have to do some more research on spindals that will work with disc. brakes , i know drums will work but it just what i prefer to have .


    What is a good steering box to use with this kind of set up

    Mike
     
  25. MO_JUNK
    Joined: Jan 22, 2006
    Posts: 1,065

    MO_JUNK
    Member
    from Rolla, Mo.

    Find a set of the California Custom Roadster T-bucket plans. The plans take you through each step of building a tube axle. Good Luck, Sam
     
  26. Early Ford spindles have lots of disc kits available for them.

    BTW please show pictures when you build this axle. :)
     
  27. 1st gen F-100 works real well. Unless you want cross steer then I would suggest vega or Corvair box.
     
  28. "Spindles" not "spindals". Might have better luck searching if spelled correctly. Still makes me sad when I see disks on a vintage car.:(
     
  29. Actually F-1 is a bit more compact than F-100, I believe. Vern Tardell has a good booklet on choosing and rebuilding them. You really should also get his book, "How to Build a Traditional Ford Hot Rod".
     
  30. oldtom69
    Joined: Dec 6, 2009
    Posts: 538

    oldtom69
    Member
    from grandin nd

    I've found the best jig for making an axle is another axle-use the kingpins through your original axle to hold you new slugs at the correct angle.if you use the topside of your old axle[works best to build a straight axle] the new axle will be slightly shorter,if you use the bottom side of the old axle[works best for a dropped axle] new one will be slightly longer
     

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