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Technical I-beam IFS and Banjo Transaxle

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by ThiBuilder, Jun 22, 2016.

  1. ThiBuilder
    Joined: Mar 24, 2013
    Posts: 30

    ThiBuilder
    Member

    Ok, picture this: the War just ended. It is now the late 40s early 50s and an engineer or heavy backyard tinkerer wants the latest and greatest in suspension design added to his late 30's Ford chassis, but can't afford anything new... What would he do?

    With that in mind, I have come up with a couple ideas that I think will work.

    First:
    Split the I beam for IFS. Yes, I have read all the posts on this beat-to-death-horse and have read into the handling problems of the Allard. BUT, PLEASE HEAR ME OUT. The now two independent sides of the axle would be lengthened and Z'd such that they cross each other and pivot about a low point on the opposite side of the chassis, akin to a Mallock U2 (which handled very well apparently). Now, usually there are some sort of trailing links or parallel bar setup which keeps the axle from moving forwards and aft, and this is where my thinking differs. Why not use parallel quarter elliptical springs as the suspension spring and the locating links? To my thinking, this could cause slight changes in toe due to the somewhat short length of the travel arc, which would pull the swing arm in slightly at full travel. When looking at pictures of the Ford IFS twin I-beam setup used in trucks though, the trailing arms is very short compared to the swing-arm length, so I am unsure if this actually would be of major concern.

    Second:
    Remove the top-loader 3 speed gearbox (or 4 speed from the junkyard), mount the torque tube to the bell housing and shaft to the clutch, bolt the tranny to the other end of the torque tube, and bolt it directly to the banjo housing. Also, machine some inserts such that the axle tubes can be cut and the drums move inboard for an IRS style housing. The rear end can then be set up DeDion style with dual quarter elliptical springs, just like the front end of the Millers, but in the rear. This way, weight is more evenly distributed with the 'transaxle' in the back and engine in the front, there is substantially reduced unsprung weight, and handling can be greatly improved over the live-axle setup.

    I have done quite a bit of research and digging in forums with some results, but nothing along exactly the lines of what I was thinking. I'd like to get your expert opinions on my ideas and also to see if anyone has done something approaching this setup before, using similar methods. Cheers.
     
    AHotRod, volvobrynk and Ned Ludd like this.
  2. wsdad
    Joined: Dec 31, 2005
    Posts: 1,252

    wsdad
    Member

    I think I understand, but a drawing or picture would be very helpful.
     
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  3. clem
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,860

    clem
    Member

    You will have to come up with a time machine so that we can go back in time....
    ......otherwise it will never be traditional......

    ( to be honest - I actually didn't understand a word of what you were saying ) :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2016
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  4. Ned Ludd
    Joined: May 15, 2009
    Posts: 4,004

    Ned Ludd
    Member

    By that reasoning not even a replica of an individual historic car would be traditional!
     
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  5. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 15,515

    alchemy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I bet somebody has done it. Dig through your collection of old Hot Rod mags and see.

    I know I've seen IRS's made from a banjo rearend. As a matter of fact a HAMBer has done it because I remember him asking another HAMBer about the particulars of an axle seen on their car to determine if it was the original old axle.
     
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  6. Ned Ludd
    Joined: May 15, 2009
    Posts: 4,004

    Ned Ludd
    Member

    I believe Winters make one?
     
  7. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 27,105

    The37Kid
    Member

    It's been done, have to find the photos of the first Oakland Roadster show that had a chassis with this setup, or the feature in Hot Rod. Bob
     
  8. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 15,515

    alchemy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    No, I mean an actual Henry Ford original banjo rearend. I think maybe the Cotton Werksman T has one. That may be the one that was originally made in the 50-60's by the other HAMBer.
     
  9. There were more than one swing axle banjos made. Not that rare
     
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  10. Rootie Kazoootie
    Joined: Nov 27, 2006
    Posts: 8,083

    Rootie Kazoootie
    Member
    from Colorado

    I think he is wanting to make a actual transaxle rather than just a irs. Something like this: Capture ta.JPG
     
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  11. $um Fun
    Joined: Dec 13, 2008
    Posts: 520

    $um Fun
    Member
    from Nor Cal

    Some of the late Miller Indy cars had this along with other Indy cars of the 1930's and '40's There is a write up on how to do swing axles with a Model A banjo in the 1954 Hot Rod annual
     
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  12. 1936 Stoewer

    Back bone style. IRS & IFS
    No transaxle though

    image.jpeg
     
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  13. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 13,437

    DDDenny
    Member
    from oregon

    Not a transaxle, but this one built by Richie Willett many years ago always comes to mind.
    Like Cottons car, this is pretty creative[​IMG]
     
  14. r2c1
    Joined: Mar 27, 2008
    Posts: 126

    r2c1
    Member

    Zipper roadster. IMG_20160618_185054605.jpg IMG_20160618_185105444.jpg
     
  15. Well I know that swing axles happened, not an IRS but they would have been the IRS of the time period.

    I haven't heard of someone trying to build a trans axle, I guess it is doable but I don't really see the point in it. The transmissions worked fine they way they were without the flexy flimsy linkage problems of a trans axle.

    I know that the knee action front suspension from a GM got used, it was heavy and didn't function well. The Dodge king pin suspension was far superior in my opinion, I don't doubt that someone used it at some point. Both were heavier than a common beam axle. in about '50 ( maybe earlier) Willys Overland had a king in suspension that used a cross leaf on the lower control arms. I would not be afraid to try one of those.

    I am not a fan of the twin I beam but lengthening the axles and crossing them helps control the geometry a bit. That is not to say that someone should not try it, it would be way heavier than a simple I beam axle, and coils could be used to soften the ride. of course getting back to the weight issue coils could also be used on a simple I beam as well.

    Inboard brakes are fun but they are a bitch to work on and I have a tendency to look at everything from a mechanic's standpoint.

    @Ryan has a nice blog today that would totally disagree with this whole concept. I am certainly not Mr. Flathead but his point is solid and profound. keep it simple.;)
     
  16. HOLLYWQQD
    Joined: Apr 23, 2006
    Posts: 678

    HOLLYWQQD
    Member
    from central NY

    There is a very capable hamber in the early stages of a similar concept Ardun powered 34 5 wdw with Original beam axle IFS and original banjo (Halibrand centered) IRS
     
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  17. ThiBuilder
    Joined: Mar 24, 2013
    Posts: 30

    ThiBuilder
    Member

    That was one of the examples I came across in my research. I believe it's a winter's quick change with a shorty powerglide?
    I've also seen the one below in the Corvair v8 forums where they bolted a 4 speed gearbox to a c5 corvette differential. Just haven't seen one bolted to a banjo rear to keep it "period".
    6603916_orig.jpg
    As far as explaining with pictures, the rear end setup should look something like this miller front end
    275826.jpg
    with the end goal being akin to a Porsche 924 driveline
    IMAG0089-1.jpg
    with the banjo transaxle in the rear. The front end would again be like the Miller above, but with swing axle IFS instead of the DeDion setup.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2016
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  18. ThiBuilder
    Joined: Mar 24, 2013
    Posts: 30

    ThiBuilder
    Member

    Do you know the hamber's ID or have a link to the build?
     
  19. That first pic is not a power slip looks like it may be a sag 4 speed.

    To bolt one to a quick change wouldn't be much different than to bolt one to a banjo. They are basically the same rear. I am guessing that there is a reason to spend all that time and money aside from wanting to be different? It won't change your unsprung weight. I suppose that it will change your weight distribution and I am guessing that is what you are after?
     
  20. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    A very significant justification here would be drastic reduction of sprung weight...real hotrods are light, and there just ain't no way to make the conventional running gear light enough. In comparison on a low rod with early Ford suspension, improvements from lowered unsprung weight would likely be more important than whatever the plan for wheel geometry brought to the table.
    On early Ford IRS...there was a period at Indy with rear-engine Offy cars and such using Halibrand QC (inherently Ford offshoots), some with crude 2-speed capability. The swing axle ones from about '52 are fully documented in the little magazines.
     
  21. ThiBuilder
    Joined: Mar 24, 2013
    Posts: 30

    ThiBuilder
    Member

    Indeed, the picture I posted is a saginaw 4 speed bolted to a c5 differential as mentioned. The powerglide was the one mentioned in the quote. Yes, looking to lower unsprung rear weight and better weight distribution.
     
  22. Kentz and Lesly were playing with swing axle prior to that I believe ( my history could be fuzzy),the swing axle I understand. the transmission is already sprung weight though.

    A transaxle makes perfect sense in a mid or rear engine car, and like I mentioned if it is for weight distribution I can understand it. Shifting them has always been a problem, logistically speaking. Not insurmountable but a headache that is certainly not necessary in an old hotrod. granted that is just opinion on my part, I certainly do things that are also a headache.
     
  23. Sorry completely missed that. My bad. ;)
     
  24. Rootie Kazoootie
    Joined: Nov 27, 2006
    Posts: 8,083

    Rootie Kazoootie
    Member
    from Colorado

    In the early days of the Can Am series, Bob McKee mated a B-W t-10 to the rear of a QC to make a transaxle. Capture mckee.JPG
     
  25. dentisaurus
    Joined: Dec 11, 2006
    Posts: 388

    dentisaurus
    Member
    from Boston

  26. ThiBuilder
    Joined: Mar 24, 2013
    Posts: 30

    ThiBuilder
    Member

    Right, relocating the transmission is solely for weight redistribution. Where sprung weight is removed is the relocation of the brakes and pumpkin to be solidly mounted to the chassis. Further, the DeDion tube can be made of a substantially thinner metal than the axle housing on a live axle rear.

    Yup, I stumbled across that one as well. Seems that the t10 was rotated 180 degrees and flipped almost upside-down to get that to work. From what I read the reverse gear was in the tail of the t10's, thus when the transaxle was built and the tail removed, it no longer included a reverse gear

    Something akin to this yes. It seems that it is a swing-axle rear with the banjo bolted to the rear tranny? it's hard to tell from the pictures.
     
  27. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    The well-known build of a lakester with Ford swing rear in Carcraft, maybe '53...anyone have that handy? Ingenious, it was conceptually very simple though it required a lot of machine work and welding.
     
  28. @ThiBuilder that was my question. I know that half shafts can be made substantially lighter then a stock axle tube and that the differential becomes sprung weight once it is mounted to the chassis.

    Like I said earlier inboard brakes are a pain in the butt to work on and if you drive it you will work on them eventually. I suppose that is the nature of the beast.

    We all do things differently and some of them become life long obsessions. We get around the obsession moniker by calling it our style. :D

    When you start your build be sure and make sure I know where to find it, I am interested in seeing it come to fruition. ;)
     
  29. RichFox
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 9,930

    RichFox
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    My roadster has a swing axle with a V8 QC. Pretty normal for a car of it's age. And any that were rear engined would have the transmission right up against the rear. But it would be a lot of effort for the weight distribution advantage. And if you did do it with a '39 top shifter trans, the top stick would be something to see.
     
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  30. 4wd1936
    Joined: Mar 16, 2009
    Posts: 821

    4wd1936
    Member
    from NY

    If my memory serves me correctly Allard made a set-up exactly like that in the late 40s in one of the J models, an open wheel item. I was just a punk kid at Clarkson College and saw one behind a garage in Norwood, NY. The front was simply a split axle with a spring similar to a later Flemke set-up where the transverse spring was split and there was a jacker for each side. The rear was a Ford banjo item with a QC center and swing axles like an old VW. Brakes were old Ford drums on the outside and I believe it still had a torque tube and transverse spring. It was a rolling chassis with a couple pieces of aluminum still on it, had a neat flathead in it with aluminum heads and a couple of carbs. At the time because then I knew everything there was to know I thought the tube chassis and all was something someone had built. At the time I was also driving a 34 sedan with a big Olds and a 4-speed. Swapped that up the road for a Manx dune buggy. Fifty years later I'm helping a guy with his Cad Allard and he gives me a clue. Wonder where it is and what it is worth today.
     

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