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Help A Rookie --- Steering Questions '34 Pickup

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by match, Feb 25, 2014.

  1. match
    Joined: Apr 29, 2009
    Posts: 25

    match
    Member

    So, after nearly 4 years of other commitments in life, starting a family, etc., I'm ready to start on my 34 Ford pickup project. Brief history, the truck was bought by my grandad in 1951. He gradually built it into a typical rod of the time from 1951 to the early 60s. Search my user name for my two threads for more info. My first project is to remove the Corvair IFS and put a straight axle (magnum 4" drop) back under the front end. I'm not sure what type of steering setup I should use. Is the Vega cross steering strong enough for the heavy weight of the 394 Olds ? Should I go traditional with a F100 box through the frame ? The hardest part I believe will be getting the steering shaft around that huge 394. What options should I be looking at ? Thanks for any replies, and I'm really excited of the thought of getting "Grandad's old '34" back on the road after sitting since 1973. I've never seen this thing run, as I was born in late 1972....
     
  2. First thing to do is make up your mind what are you building, 40's 50's 60's era hot rod?

    Then study similar builds and talk to those who built them. ask them tricks they learned or things they wish they would have done differently. It is very important to have a idea of what your building, otherwise your just going to end up changing your mind a dosen times and that can get expensive.

    http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2405&highlight=32+34
     
  3. I used a 39 ford cross-steer box on my 33 pickup but I only had a flathead engine to clear. The cross steer always worked better than the side-ster for me.
     
  4. match
    Joined: Apr 29, 2009
    Posts: 25

    match
    Member

    Thanks for the input guys. I'm always looking at other builds trying to get ideas. I really like the vega cross steering, but most vendors say use on a car that's 2500 lbs or less. I have no idea what this pickup weighs, but there's probably quite a bit on the front axle with the heavy 394 up there.
     

  5. match
    Joined: Apr 29, 2009
    Posts: 25

    match
    Member

    I'll try to post some pics of the '34 in a few minutes.
     
  6. match
    Joined: Apr 29, 2009
    Posts: 25

    match
    Member

  7. Shaggy
    Joined: Mar 6, 2003
    Posts: 5,207

    Shaggy
    Member
    from Sultan, WA

    Honestly, I wouldn't change a thing, everything you buy out of a catalog is gunna hurt that car. Personally if I was gunna change the front end, I'd get a stock I-beam axle stretched and dropped, reversed eye springs, and either a stock or preferably a f-1 box. Depending on what was done you may need to replace the front end of the frame too. If it has a corvair box, that wouldn't be out of place either, but on a rig like that keep it simple.

    Honestly the vega stuff doesn't belong under a nice 1950's traditional car, it belongs under a 1970's vega.
     
  8. verde742
    Joined: Aug 11, 2010
    Posts: 5,829

    verde742
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Make a blueprint of yer build,, write it down,, You or a competent builder can read a blue print of what your final desire will be. Stick to yer plan, each item. Will go faster, rather than changing plans on a whim..


    "there's more to life than gas mileage...."..
     
  9. Mat Thrasher
    Joined: Nov 5, 2007
    Posts: 1,170

    Mat Thrasher
    Member

    I'm running a vega cross steer setup on my BBC powered 34. It's been working fine for a few years.


    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
     
  10. choppedsled
    Joined: Jun 2, 2007
    Posts: 301

    choppedsled
    Member
    from Spokane WA

    How about a shot of the drivers side engine to frame clearance? I've got an f-1 box in my 34 pickup with a 283. PM me if you'd like and I can send you some pics and measurements of my setup. Your lucky the engines already mounted in your chassis, it'll be obvious what you have to work around without guess work. And I'm with Shaggy, not sure if I'd fuss with it, especially being full fendered. Cool ol pickup!
     
  11. I'm running a Vega cross steer in mine. SBC though. Been a good set up.
     
  12. match
    Joined: Apr 29, 2009
    Posts: 25

    match
    Member

    Pics as requested.
     

    Attached Files:

  13. match
    Joined: Apr 29, 2009
    Posts: 25

    match
    Member

    I'm now know why grandad never could get the Corvair IFS steering sorted out. Look at the pic from the front of the engine. The steering links from the rack & pinion to the spindles are at a pretty steep angle. As soon as I jacked up the front of the pickup, the front wheels toed in about 2" per side. I imagine every bump he hit had the toe moving in and out through the travel of the suspension. The good news is it appears that the whole IFS setup is just bolted to the frame and should be easy to remove.
     
  14. match
    Joined: Apr 29, 2009
    Posts: 25

    match
    Member

    Pics of what I'm sure what was in the truck for a column and gearbox before the IFS setup.
     

    Attached Files:

  15. match
    Joined: Apr 29, 2009
    Posts: 25

    match
    Member

    A little off topic, but can anyone ID this bellhousing ? Looks like it might be for the Olds, seeing how shallow it is. It measures about 3.25" overall from the engine mounting face to the tranny mount face. The only markings are a casting "JC 26".
     

    Attached Files:

  16. Gary Addcox
    Joined: Aug 28, 2009
    Posts: 2,472

    Gary Addcox
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    match, the vega box is almost universal in rods up thru '34, but the GM 525 is recommended in fat fender cars, '35-48. It mounts on the same bracket as the vega, but is the next step up in strength, being a bit larger. Both of these are for cross steering, which works great with no bump steer. Left header/exhaust manifold should be in place, then some DD rod and a couple Borgeson u-joints ($75 ea.), and you are on your way. This style is not period '40s-'50s, but fairly modern.
     
  17. Gary Addcox
    Joined: Aug 28, 2009
    Posts: 2,472

    Gary Addcox
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    match, at $10 plus a lb, that "stuff "belongs in your scrap pile. I adds up fast.
     
  18. match
    Joined: Apr 29, 2009
    Posts: 25

    match
    Member

    Even though grandad started working on the truck in '51, it was continually being changed right up to 1969, so I'm not shooting for 50s or early 60s period correct. It just has to be done right and safe. I intend to keep the same look from the outside, and keep the 394 if I can get it running again (it does turn over with a breaker bar). I'm not going to be too picky about the chassis, steering, brakes, trans, rear end, etc. I know that before grandad passed away, he wanted to replace the Caddy / Lasalle 3 speed with a Muncie 4 speed, replace the generator with an Alternator, and put a 4" drop I beam axle back under the pickup. I'm still torn on leaving the body as is, as several people here have commented that I should leave it alone, but I assure you that grandad wouldn't have been caught dead driving it this way. He would have painted it again or at least put it in primer before it ever hit the street. He had already bought the drop axle, so I have it. I also have the original front axle and wishbone.
     
  19. Shaggy
    Joined: Mar 6, 2003
    Posts: 5,207

    Shaggy
    Member
    from Sultan, WA

    I think you should be able to fit a box in the stock place for push-pull steering, the only problem might be the starter location. There are bellhousing changeover bottoms for oldsmobiles to put the starter on the other side too, but i dont think they've been made for a while, they shouldnt be too hard to find, ive seen a few pop up on here from time to time
     

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