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Hot Rods Front suspension id / 38 ford

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 38nailhead, Jan 18, 2020.

  1. 38nailhead
    Joined: Aug 17, 2014
    Posts: 166

    38nailhead
    Member
    from England

    Hello everyone, just started to strip down my 38 ford panel truck and as it’s my first build I’m wanting to make sure of exactly what I have got , as the truck isn’t 100% stock and would appreciate it if some people could help me out Id the front suspension please.

    1CB9B56D-3528-423E-A37E-8377D1AEAB79.jpeg 34ECF993-2316-4039-B0DD-BED4A36F7774.jpeg 458DE8A4-2CDB-4980-AF2C-5A75BCC74B07.jpeg

    15D696BB-060D-4310-BFB6-6151B92468FB.jpeg 67EE70AD-3AD8-4D9F-BD61-706166106B2B.jpeg

    I hope the images help , I’m wanting to know if it’s just a standard 38 ford suspension with a dropped 4” front axle.

    Also to get my proportions correct as I’m building it with a 38 deluxe front I’m going to need to move the front suspension forward 4 inches , will this cause me any issues at all ?

    many thanks to anyone who reads / gives any advice .
     

    Attached Files:

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  2. 40FORDPU
    Joined: Mar 15, 2009
    Posts: 2,620

    40FORDPU
    Member
    from Yelm, Wa
    1. Northwest HAMBers

    Yes, appears to be a 4" dropped axle, hydraulic shock conversion kit installed, roller bearings-most likely with the disc brake conversion judging by the bracket which would hold the disc brake caliper.
     
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  3. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 15,776

    Moriarity
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    also has a reversed spring eye, that gives you about an inch more drop. and bolt on steering arms
     
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  4. Fordors
    Joined: Sep 22, 2016
    Posts: 2,351

    Fordors
    Member

    The second photo shows VCW embossed on the axle, Vintage Chassis Works is out of business but still, your axle is a quality, forged steel item.
    Take an inner wheel bearing off the spindle and get the number on it, your spindles have bearing adapters for the disc brake kit. That will allow you to identify what disc brake rotors will fit. They will be either Chevelle with 4 3/4” bolt pattern or Aspen for 4 1/2” pattern.
     
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  5. Vintage Chassis Works forged dropped axle along with Chassis Eng bolt on steering arms, sway bar set-up, and shock mounts. The spring is probably a special width due to the perch centers on the axle. Looks like a GM 605 power steering box. While you don't show the calipers and rotors, the brackets appear to be the style that use '70s GM calipers and either GM or Mopar rotors depending on bolt circle.
     
  6. 38nailhead
    Joined: Aug 17, 2014
    Posts: 166

    38nailhead
    Member
    from England

    thanks guys . The steering box will be going and replaced. The bolt circle was 5 on 4 3/4 Chevy. I will be stripping this all done and will be rebuilding once stripped and painted. So for replacement parts can I just get like for like ford parts ?
     
  7. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 14,693

    alchemy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    The majority of what you have there is aftermarket, so no, a stock Ford part won't just bolt in. What do you think you need to replace?

    As said, if you need new bearings, read the number off the current bearing and buy a like replacement. If you want to replace something else, let us know which part and we can recommend a replacement.
     
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  8. 31Apickup
    Joined: Nov 8, 2005
    Posts: 1,918

    31Apickup
    Member

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  9. 38nailhead
    Joined: Aug 17, 2014
    Posts: 166

    38nailhead
    Member
    from England

    Thanks alchemy . Most of the parts when stripped down should clean up after blasting and painting so will be using most again. The only parts I want to replace are the shocks and the discs which were on their , no callipers were included.

    http://www.duksville.com/?/product/37-48-ford-spindle-disc-brake-kit-ford-gm1

    as I’m in England shipping from your side can be expensive, would the brake set from above be ok to use ? As are my spindles stock ford ?

    thanks
     
  10. You have essentially the same thing I have under my truck except my axle is not dropped and I don't have a sway bar. Ford added the sway bar on '40 Deluxe cars, yours could be a '40 part or aftermarket, in either case it's a good addition. The disc brake kit looks like the ECI kit I used on my truck. There is a bearing spacer pressed onto the spindle that lets you use the bearings that come with the Chevelle (or Aspen/Volare) rotor and hub assembly. The bearings are the same for either one, it's a matter of whether you want the 5 on 4.5 or 5 on 4.75 bolt pattern.
     
  11. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 16,497

    gimpyshotrods
    Member

    If you already figured out what the discs were, and they are generally Chevrolet Camaro (5" on 4-3/4"), or Plymouth Volare (5" on 4-1/2"), then you just need to figure out the caliper.

    From the bracket design, that takes a GM caliper, of one of two flavors. These can be discerned by the pin spacing.

    The earlier caliper, up to about 1977, is larger, and has a pin spacing of a touch over 7".

    The later "Metric" caliper is a little smaller, and has a pin spacing of 5-1/2".

    All of you hoses, banjo bolts, crush washers, etc., can come from a donor of the same caliper, or new equivalents.
     
  12. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 16,497

    gimpyshotrods
    Member

    If you really want 5-on-5-1/2", I seem to remember there being a kit that use F100 rotors, but you'd have to replace the whole kit.
     
  13. I don't understand why you think you need to move the suspension forward 4"? Was it not installed in the stock location? I'm building a '38 deluxe cabriolet and moved the crossmember forward about 1.25" just for aesthetics but many have been built without this modification.
     
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  14. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 16,497

    gimpyshotrods
    Member

    Yup. It just needs a little love, and some fresh paint.

    Why can't I find stuff like this?! He's in England, no less.
     
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  15. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 10,962

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    I used such a kit from Speedway about ten years ago and it worked great. The 12 rotors with big GM calipers and ‘67 era Mustang master cylinder were really effective without the need for a booster.
    Ray
     
  16. Moving the front suspension forward 4.5 inches is going to have serious challenges. If you move the crossmember forward your radiator is going to be way out of place and youll never get a hood on there. Why the need to move forward? If your putting deluxe car front sheet metal on (which I highly support) are you lining the fenders up on the cab and seeing the need there to center the wheel in the fender opening? Car and truck fenders are different. You may need to use the rear portion of some truck fenders to mate up to the cab and graft them into the car fenders. It can be done. I saw a 39 truck with 39 car front sheet metal on it last year and it looked amazing. I would start by putting the hood on and mocking up parts to see where the fenders need to be, so you can modify the sheet metal to suit. The car and truck frames are the same, which means they have the same wheel base. There should be no need to move the suspension forward, only the need to modify the sheet metal to fit the truck/panel body.
     
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  17. 38nailhead
    Joined: Aug 17, 2014
    Posts: 166

    38nailhead
    Member
    from England

    Thanks , this is some really good info , I will be staying with the 5 on 4.75, the rear is a Chevy 10 bolt 8.5 rear that I will be rebuilding .
     
  18. 38nailhead
    Joined: Aug 17, 2014
    Posts: 166

    38nailhead
    Member
    from England

    E86A1970-1F54-4E07-9D55-28245A1CF4B0.jpeg
    This is it all mocked up but when I sat the fenders with the hood sides and the hood in place the front wheels sat further back in the fender and needed to come forward
     
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  19. CD80CFAD-D893-4847-823D-E4991A817DE3.jpeg One for inspiration
     
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  20. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 16,497

    gimpyshotrods
    Member

    Just wow. That is so nice!

    Do you have a picture of it from the side, to show the wheel position in the fender?

    The aforementioned swap from truck to car fenders would seem to dictate that the fix is in bodywork, not in the chassis.
     
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  21. 38nailhead
    Joined: Aug 17, 2014
    Posts: 166

    38nailhead
    Member
    from England

    9A6F0062-480F-4F07-9963-D53099182345.jpeg
    the wheel wasn’t 100% straight but it does need to come forward. This is a 1/2 ton panel truck, the back sits really high . I will be fitting a ladder bar set up to the rear .

    any other ideas would be appreciated
     
  22. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 10,962

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    This all familiar. I recall the photo above and the problem with wheel position in another thread about a year ago or so. There ensued a discussion of possible chassis differences between the larger body panel trucks and pickups/cars /sedan deliveries.

    Ray
     
  23. Studying pictures of yours and the one one I posted, looks like it’s a combination of truck and car sheet metal. The rear portion of truck hood sides, and the rear portion of the truck hood judging by the body lines. A truck hood is much shorter than a car hood. I think what would have to be done to make this work would all be in sheet metal manipulation between truck sheet metal and car sheet metal.
     
  24. 38nailhead
    Joined: Aug 17, 2014
    Posts: 166

    38nailhead
    Member
    from England

    That’s correct it started that and then the project got put on hold. The chassis on the 1/2 ton panel truck is the same as the 35-40 car chassis with the 112” wheel base center to center.
     
  25. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 16,497

    gimpyshotrods
    Member

    As long as that is a triangulated, Pete and Jakes style ladder bar setup, that should be good. Parallel ladder bars do not belong on the street, just the drag strip.

    From the grind marks on the front fender, it appears that someone already identified where car and truck fenders would need to be spliced together to make this work.

    Finding any fenders on your side of the pond may be a challenge, but this is a sheet metal fix, not a chassis one.

    I would focus on getting everything done, except the fenders, while you work out a solution.
     
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  26. 38nailhead
    Joined: Aug 17, 2014
    Posts: 166

    38nailhead
    Member
    from England

    That’s correct , exactly like the P&J setup.
    They were my old front fenders just to mock up , I have a set of original 38 deluxe fenders now. This year for me is getting the chassis sorted and the 351w all in place , and then the body work next year started
     
  27. 38nailhead
    Joined: Aug 17, 2014
    Posts: 166

    38nailhead
    Member
    from England

    A0C101E6-B645-4E03-BF40-75247F99EC67.jpeg One difference I have noticed is that the thickness from the doors to the hood sides / front fenders is a lot thicker on the panel truck . Does anyone think a possible solution would be to find a complete cowl from a 38 deluxe to attempt to graft in with the panel truck 1898C134-1288-49C3-9D6B-E0D8E05345DB.png
     
  28. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 15,776

    Moriarity
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    I think I would lean toward moving the wheel opening on the fender the same way the altered wheelbase drag car guys did. cut the opening out, move it where it needs to be and fill in the rest.....moving the crossmember forward is going to create all kinds of headaches...you could have someone photoshop it first if you think you may not like the look....
     
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  29. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 16,497

    gimpyshotrods
    Member

    I would cut the wheel arches out, with about 2" of surrounding metal, and continue the cut, all the way to the grille.

    I would leave a lip around the bumper hole, and leave the hole intact.

    I would then cut perpendicular to the wheel arch, on the leading side, just before it turns under the car, and heads for the grille, where the lip is as straight as possible, and set that piece aside.

    Then I would re-attach the wheel arch where it looks best.

    As for the leftover piece, I would make a filler panel that continues the curve on the front of the whole fender, under the bumper bracket hole, next to the grille, and one that extends the newly relocated wheel arch down, that same distance, both made enough so the removed piece can be reattached, lower, and more rearward, remaining on all of the major curves.

    I'd probably put a filler strip under the grille, too.
     
  30. Probably the best way to approach this would be with the back Hal of a truck hood, the back half if the hood sides and some truck fenders that havea decent wheel opening. The lay the car parts over the truck pieces bolted in place and see where it needs spliced together. A car cowl won’t help much. Its completely different and won’t change the fender location much if any.
     

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