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Looking for dropped axle help- '39 Ford

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Alienbaby17, Mar 4, 2009.

  1. Alienbaby17
    Joined: Sep 13, 2005
    Posts: 918

    Alienbaby17
    Member

    I've tried searching but I am looking for more specifics than I'm finding.

    I've got a '39 Ford Standard Tudor Sedan. At this point the car is ALL stock except for the brakes and wheels. Last summer I put disc brakes on the front of the car using a Speedway kit and am now running 80's F150 rotors and GM calipers. I also have 15 X 6" Wheel Vintiques Gennie wheels with 3 3/4" back spacing. So far everything is fine with that set-up. I am still running an original un-split wishbone and would like to keep it that way.

    I'm thinking about installing a dropped axle.

    When I searched I found a really good tech article on here about options but I still had a few questions.
    The author of the tech article said he'd had good luck with the Magnum 4" drop axle and that it was practically a "bolt in".

    So here are my questions...

    1) IF I ordered the Magnum 4" dropped axle what else would I have to change/ need to order?

    2) It sounds like I would need to order new steering arms and from what I can tell it sounds like I should get those from Magnum also. I see the Hot Rod Company sells two different versions of these- one is a 1 3/4" dropped arm and the other is 4" dropped arm. How would I know which I need?

    3) Would I also have to replace the front spring at the same time as I changed the axle?

    4) I've read that running disc brakes pushes the wheels out an extra inch or so in the wheel wells. WOuld I have remedied this by switching the wheel or should I be concerned about tire clearance with the dropped axle? I've heard some people run a narrower axle to help compensate for discs brakes. Anyone running a simillar setup (with discs) that has installed a dropped axle?

    Thanks in advance.
    Jay
     
  2. i've installed several Magnum axles into `39- `40 Fords with stock unsplit wishbones. they have one with 38-1/2" perch centers..that's the one you what so you can leave your bones unsplit. the king pin center to center is shorter than stock , so it will pull you wheels/tires in a bit .

    you can use you stock spring if you wish

    get the deep drop bolt on steering arms and run your tie rod below the bones as original

    Pete & Jake's actually stocks this axle , so you can get it from them
     
  3. jetmek
    Joined: Jan 12, 2006
    Posts: 1,846

    jetmek
    Member

    you mite want to consider just a posies spring. that one change made a big differnce on a 39 i worked on last summer
     
  4. Alienbaby17
    Joined: Sep 13, 2005
    Posts: 918

    Alienbaby17
    Member

    Thanks 36-3window that's very helpful.

    Jetmek- that had crossed my mind also. The Posies spring says it only gives a 1" drop over stock. Did you find that the drop was actually more?
    If I put in the Posies spring first and still wanted more of a drop would I be able to run this spring with a dropped axle?

    Jay
     
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  5. Weedburner 40
    Joined: Jan 26, 2006
    Posts: 723

    Weedburner 40
    Member

    As 36 3window says, the Magnum axle is designed for the 37-41 Ford as a direct replacement. Use their deep drop steering arms with it. If you don't want to cut the steering arms off of your original spindles, they make forged spindles too. All of this will work with the stock spring and wishbone. I would change the spring shackles and clean the original spring and put liner in it. That is an excellent combo. I am just putting together a package to go under a 40 Convert that uses those same parts.
     
  6. jetmek
    Joined: Jan 12, 2006
    Posts: 1,846

    jetmek
    Member

    it dropped a lot more than 1 " i had to clearance the axle to crossmember slightly so it wouldnt hit
     
  7. [​IMG]

    Magnum axle, Magnum deep drop steering arms, Posies spring, & Chassis Engineering shock kit. Perfect.

    Only doing the spring probably won't drop it like you want with those 15" wheels & short tires.

    JH
     
  8. bonesy
    Joined: Aug 14, 2005
    Posts: 2,999

    bonesy
    Member

    That is the perfect front stance. How does it ride?
     
  9. 19Fordy
    Joined: May 17, 2003
    Posts: 6,860

    19Fordy
    Member

    When I replaced only the stock 40 front spring with the Posie # 2040 reversed eye spring and Posie #2056 replacement shackles it dropped the stock front end 1 inch. Wasn't low enough so I installed Magnum 4 inch dropped axle (Tell them you want the axle that is narrower than the stock 40 axle) along with Magnum dropped steering arms made for the 4 in. dropped axle. I had to saw off the stock steering arms and bolt on the dropped ones.That dropped the car down another 2 in. for a total drop of 3 in. Then I installed 5:60 x15 Coker wide whites on the front and BF Goodrich 7:60x15 wide whites (from Coker) on the stock rear. Front rims are 15 x 5 1/2" early Ford truck rims (Total width of rim is 6 1/2 in). Reinstalled stock 40 sway bar. Did not split wish bones. Rear rims are 15 x6 in. with 4 in. back space from SOLIDS. My Posie axle was about 3/4 in. narrower than stock for better fender clearance and I also had to shorten the tie rod by about 3/4 inch and make the drag link about 3/4 in longer. While you have front end all apart you might as well install new king pins, bearings and bushings. You can also buy round shims to
    reduce the space between the axle and the wish bone where the perch bolt goes, but I can't recall who makes them. If you have a lathe you can make your own. PS: Now I need two jacks to change a tire - one to first raise the frame -and one to raise the front axle so I can remove the tire. Using one jack can result in your front sheet metal being crushed
    as the car sits soooooo low.
     

    Attached Files:

  10. Alienbaby17
    Joined: Sep 13, 2005
    Posts: 918

    Alienbaby17
    Member

    Sheesh 19 Fordy- that car is gorgeous!
    And Harrison- I have pictures of your car saved on my computer. I thought the wheel color was different (so I decided to copy it:rolleyes:...almost on my '39).

    Thanks for the advice.

    When I started pricing this out in my head with a new axle and steering arms I'd be looking at close to $500. With a new spring and king pins I could tack an extra $200 on there.
    I'm not sure it's in the budget for this summer since I just bought new wheels, caps and trim rings for the car.

    If I was going to start with just the Posies reverse-eye spring up front for right now would I need anything else? I see some vendors recommend you replace the shackles at the same time. Why would that need to be done?

    I realize just doing the spring won't give me the total drop I'm eventually looking for but for right now I wouldn't mind it coming down a little and the improved ride.
    Then when I could afford the dropped axle I could just re-use that spring then.

    Jay
     
  11. 19Fordy
    Joined: May 17, 2003
    Posts: 6,860

    19Fordy
    Member

    Getting the Posie spring and shackles first is a good idea as you can always do more when $$ and time permits. In 2002 Posie shackles cost me $25 and the #2040 reversed eye Posie 39 in. spring cost $125 + shipping. Plus you can alsways sell your stock axle and spring (if it's good). I sold my 40 axle for $50 in Nov.2002. I think they are popular with guys building Model A's. If you start with just the Posie spring and shackles you won't need anything else unless you need to replace the rubber ball on the end of the wishbone or the bumpstops on your frame. See if Posie is an Alliance vendor. If not buy from a HAMB member who has a shop and buys parts and gives a discount to HAMBers. Thanks for the "Sheesh". I've owned it 46 years.
     
  12. My car rode pretty good after the front suspension swap.

    If you just do the spring I'd highly recommend going ahead & doing the front shocks/shackles at that time too. Pete & Jakes & Chassis Engineering both offer bolt on kits for right around $100 with shackles included. The CE kit is a beefier piece. I'd recommend it.

    Sounds like you have a $500 budget. Lemme do some 'cipherin' real quick...

    Axle - $225
    Spring - $125
    Shock Kit - $100
    Steering Arms - $100
    Kingpin Kit - $50

    That's about $600. Join the Alliance, shop with Eric @ Riley Automotive, sell your stock axle, & I bet you can get it bought & shipped for $500.

    JH
     
  13. THE SPEED ADDICT
    Joined: Mar 31, 2007
    Posts: 356

    THE SPEED ADDICT
    Member

    The Hod Rod Company out of Wisconsin is good to deal with! They carry Magnum and SuperBell. They're also an Alliance Member and you'll get a discount and free shipping with them!

    Reids Rods Parts out of Cali are great to deal with for magnum parts and have low prices even with shipping large items.

    My experiances with low drop axles is, set up the front end with the axle and spring, then check your ride height then order your steering arms and other parts, it helps avoids the the extra hassles of returns!

    Keep'r Cool! :rolleyes:
     
  14. THE SPEED ADDICT
    Joined: Mar 31, 2007
    Posts: 356

    THE SPEED ADDICT
    Member

    Extra note: Magnum axles have taped holes for your shock mounts.

    :eek::eek::eek::D
     
  15. If Alienbaby is new to this you may be confusing the conversation here....

    The only Magnum I know of with holes for shock mounts is their 5" model.... & I don't believe Alienbaby is wanting to go that nuts with this car.

    Also, AB can feel confident in ordering those steering arms along with the axle. They are what he needs.

    JH
     
  16. I have a Durant monoleaf spring under frt. of my 37 Ford it rides much better than the Posies spring and dropped it 2 1/2"
     
  17. StrickV8
    Joined: Dec 20, 2005
    Posts: 1,002

    StrickV8
    Member

    Contact TAYLOR here on the Hamb. He recently added a dropped axle to his '39 Standard.
     
  18. the 5" dropped Magnum has perch centers that are too narrow for his application. stay with the 4" with 38-1/2" perch centers
     
  19. Posie's offers the correct Super Bell (Pete & Jakes) axles their "In Da Dirt" kits but they include the stuff for splitting the wishbones but not the dropped steering arms. Maybe they would tailor a kit to the your needs if ordered through a HAMB Alliance vendor too. Here's their online catalog for lots of good information.

    http://www.posiesrodsandcustoms.com/posies-catalog/
     
  20. If I'm not mistaken, the Magnum axle is the only one that will work with an UNSPLIT wishbone. I could be wrong though.

    With an unsplit wishbone, the measurement between the spring perch holes is critical.

    JH
     
  21. I believe this is the same as the Magnum. Pete & Jakes is the maker of the Super Bell axle and have offered this for some time. I'm curious why they don't offer the dropped steering arms in their "In Da Dirt" kit. That makes me think the stock arms might still work but probably not. I would just drop them with the torch/heat/ bend method It would be worth a phone call to see what they say.

    Here's the info from the catalog and the link to that page:

    http://www.posiesrodsandcustoms.com/images/pages1631.pdf

    1935-48 FORD 4" DROP NARROW I-BEAM

    '35-48 Ford Front Axles
    Our experience has shown that these axle sizes keep the wheels inside
    the fenders. Keeping the wheels tucked in the fenders allows for a
    lower ride height with adequate tire clearance.

    This axle is perfect for 1935-40 Fords with un-split wishbones. Perch
    dimensions are the same as stock. Can also be used with split kits

    Dim “A” Dim “B “ Recommended Super Slide Spring
    47-1/2" 38-1/2" #2040 (35-40 with unsplit wishbones)


    Part# 4003 2-1/4" Boss Part# 4003-2 2" Boss
    4003C 2-1/4" Boss-Chrome 4003-2C 2" Boss-Chrome
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2009
  22. TAYLOR
    Joined: Jan 21, 2007
    Posts: 591

    TAYLOR
    Member
    from DALLAS,GA.

    I dropped the front on my 39 a few months ago. We decided to drop the original axel and went with a posie reversed eye spring.
    There is a article in the tech section of the HAMB on this subject by Modifieddriver that is very helpful.
    Harrison and Modifieddriver were alot of help to me when I was about to drop my car.
     
  23. Flea
    Joined: Apr 17, 2008
    Posts: 126

    Flea
    Member

    I was thinking about dropping an original as well. From what I understand a 4" drop isn't dropped 4 inches more than stock, it is dropped 4 inches from perfectly straight. 19Fordy pointed out that his 4" drop axle dropped his car by 2". I know you all understand this.
    It just seems to me that a dropped original would be as good an option as a 4" dropped magnum if you were planning on running an un-split wishbone.
     
  24. Hard to argue with that. I didn't know SuperBell offered anything that would work.

    Thanks, Jim
     
  25. There is lots of info out there, it's hard to know everything!

    I like the idea of dropping a stock Ford axle too because they are forged and very tough although I have never seen an aftermarket I beam give anyone trouble. The only bad thing would be the width of the stocker because if the drop is pulled in to decrease the track width, you can have clearance problems with the steering arms and the tires may hit the wishbones when you are at full lock too.

    Here's a good link to Nostalgia Sid's from Guthrie, OK that drops stock axles (does anyone know if he's a HAMBER?):

    http://www.droppedaxles.com/FORD_AXLES.html

    He gets $200 exchange or $250 outright for the '37-'41 axle. If anyone has had there's done by Sid, tell us about it. I think I might have seen him at the swap meets and he has nice stuff. He even has a '36 3W for sale there for $7500.

    He has a lot of other neat things like fabbed Hemi manifolds and stuff too.

    http://www.droppedaxles.com/FOR_SALE.html

    There are HAMBER's here that drop axles too.
     
  26. aleinbaby , if you decide to drop an original axle...i have a very good core from a `40 you can have. that way you could send that one out for dropping and not have to tear your's out and wait for it to return. you can keep your car assembled and on the road until you have all the parts ready. you should be able to install in a day or 2 if you have all the parts. in that link that vintagehotrods posted they get $50 for a core
     
  27. Since we covered the front end pretty well, I'm curious to see what you guys did to drop the rear an equal (or almost) amount?
     
  28. Alienbaby17
    Joined: Sep 13, 2005
    Posts: 918

    Alienbaby17
    Member

    Thanks for all of the help guys! Also thanks 36 for the offer of the axle core. I'm just a little concerned about track width of dropping a stocker since the brakes are no longer stock and the wheels are now two inches wider than the originals.

    I think from everything I've read when it comes time to do this I will probably get the Magnum 4" axle and the matched Magnum brand steering arms. It sounds like buying both from the same company yields the best results.

    Right now, I think I'm going to start with getting the Posies reverse eye Super Slider and their spring shackles up front. Between this and my F100 "project money" is a little tight right now so I might have to hold off on anything else 'til maybe next summer. We'll see how much the spring helps and how much the high ride height bugs me once the car comes out of winter hibernation.:)

    Vintagehotrods- when I was doing my research I think I read about people using the Posies spring in the rear combined with longer shackles (possibly available from Vern Tardel?) to drop the rear. It sounds like using too long a shacle can effect the way the car handles, tho.

    Jay
     
  29. 19Fordy
    Joined: May 17, 2003
    Posts: 6,860

    19Fordy
    Member

    3/6/09 I left mine stock, but the easiest way is to reverse the main leaf spring eyes and then remove spring leafs. How many = how many inches of drop? I don't know.
     

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