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Technical Low but functional

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by p1yotaboy, Jan 9, 2020.

  1. p1yotaboy
    Joined: Mar 3, 2016
    Posts: 94

    p1yotaboy
    Member

    So I’m starting a build and was curious of input from the guys here. It’s going to be a custom late 50s early 60s style. I want it low as possible but still be able to drive it and as stated I want it to be as traditional as possible, so I really don’t want to bag it. Most everything I’ve built before has been 4x4 and most have been lifted so the low world is somewhat new to me. So tell me guys how low is too low and what’s that sweet spot where you still have the majority of functionality but still has that low look. More of a tail dragger look but again I’m going to try to stay away from the easy non traditional route of bags. It’s going to be a fat fender f1 on 41 car chassis, car front clip, custom bed. Below are some images to kinda get the height I like but let me know your opinions. Thanks in advance guys.
    [​IMG][​IMG]


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  2. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 15,673

    alchemy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Too low is a subjective term. I used to drive a car that I could roll a pop can down the street with the front crossmember. But I wouldn’t do that nowadays.
     
  3. The blue one must have bags because that is too low to be driveable, especially with more than the driver in the car. My Mercury is not super low (3 inches lowered), but when I drive with my wife and kids it sometimes scratches the ground (and we are a slim people).
    The second example (if it is a static drop) looks good and can be driven without too much hassle IMHO.
     
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  4. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 25,076

    Jalopy Joker
    Member

    DSCN8266.JPG yes, need to have reasonable clearances under your ride - oil pans,etc - need to be able to turn wheels from lock to lock without tires rubbing fenders - need to learn how to "bob'n'weave" irregular road surfaces, going in and out of driveways, etc - pic of my Wife's PU, which was driven a lot with no bags
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2020
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  5. straykatkustoms
    Joined: Oct 30, 2001
    Posts: 12,700

    straykatkustoms
    Member

    Jeff Myers built this '41 and it isn't bagged. Just run air shocks, if you need to you can raise it up for driving to the shows and adjusted it accordingly. Looking forward to the discussion.

    27332181_1437200606392305_8393720932765827303_n.jpg 35189851_1959408794072276_887080329112715264_o.jpg 35146433_1959403020739520_1670895638541238272_o.jpg 35229198_1959401550739667_3272588152669208576_o.jpg
     
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  6. 6sally6
    Joined: Feb 16, 2014
    Posts: 1,177

    6sally6
    Member

    My off topic hot rod HAD 3" clearance between the road and the long tube headers.....too low to be a DD. Maybe think about some sorta skid plate under the pan and tranny, that way you won't ruin something when hitting a man hole cover at 60+mph!
    6sally6
     
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  7. p1yotaboy
    Joined: Mar 3, 2016
    Posts: 94

    p1yotaboy
    Member

    That’s about the ride height I would like to achieve just wasn’t sure if it was plausible without bags and still be driveable. As far as turning by what I understand the 41 front has a slightly narrower track width vs the later fronts. I like the look of the 41 front but had thought about using a 46-48 front metal to maybe gain some inner fender space and do a custom grill with Desoto teeth or something of the nature. But back to the matter, engine side I’ll be running a y block and am going to have to custom make many parts so Probably just set the engine a little bit higher if need be. Also it’s going to be channeled a good bit so that will help with keeping members, pan, etc a little further off the ground. Driving characteristics are what concern me the most and getting used to being low. As stated I’ve owned almost exclusively 4x4s and am used to not worrying about theses things. But I’ll learn maybe the hard way. And I live in South Carolina and our roads are in most places pot holes and very bumpy.


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  8. p1yotaboy
    Joined: Mar 3, 2016
    Posts: 94

    p1yotaboy
    Member

    Yes sir that has crossed my mind as well. This won’t be a dd but would like to drive it a good bit and not just keep it hid for nice summer weekends.


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  9. We used to set a pack of Luckys under the front bumper and if the bumper didn't touch it was not low enough. We also used to put castors on the rear bumper for getting in and out of driveways. LOL

    Too low is when you high center on a speed bump. So I am going to guess that what you want is minimum of 7" under the rockers. That is just a guess and has no scientific data accumulated.
     
  10. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 5,924

    anthony myrick
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  11. Plus keep scrub line in mind. A flat tire should only result in the rim of the flat tire touching the ground as the worst case scenario.
     
  12. p1yotaboy
    Joined: Mar 3, 2016
    Posts: 94

    p1yotaboy
    Member

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  13. p1yotaboy
    Joined: Mar 3, 2016
    Posts: 94

    p1yotaboy
    Member

    That idea of caster wheels is genius. Haha


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  14. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 27,169

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    First I'd say that you need to know how hard core your state patrol (or what ever they are called in your state) is about scrub line. It isn't the issue it was here when I was getting stopped all the time and checked for scrub line infractions because the ricers are now lower than I was but with their huge hoops and low profiles they still pass.
    Second, actually being able to navigate the roads and driveways and driveway entrances you normally drive on. Getting hung up on a parking lot entrance ramp and having to have your wife and kids get out of the rig to get unstuck really isn't fun. Bountiful Utah isn't lowered car friendly by any stretch of the imagination though. It did happen at a store there.
    I'm not a fan of this laying frame nonsense with bags but plan to run the 48 with springs at static height and then have bags that will be used to maintain that height if I have something in the back or passengers or tow a trailer. My truck rode at just about the same height as Jalopy Joker's wife's truck when it was subframed. The nose may have been up slightly in this shot at Puyallup when we had the trailer hooked on the back. I beam with too many leaves removed in the avatar shot.
    48 behind Puyallup fg.jpg
     
  15. The Shift Wizard
    Joined: Jan 10, 2017
    Posts: 2,004

    The Shift Wizard
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    A useful answer can't be given without knowing what type of roads you plan on driving. I used to live in a town up north that had potholes that must have been considered historical sites because the road department wouldn't touch 'em. Where I live now, the roads are okay but some of the parking lot aprons I have to visit have angles so steep even my OT with stock suspension can't pull in without scraping the front overhang. The same is true at the gas station I use. I can enter at one apron but not the other one. I guess if your driveway dumps out onto an interstate, you could lay low for a long trip with no problems.
    I'm not a suspension guy but I suspect that the lower you go, the firmer the suspension travel and the harder the stops have to be to resist smacking the asphalt. As I've gotten older, I've gotten more immune to fads and more into function. The designer in me likes a little drop with a tailored look and no large gaps to the wheel well to tire clearance. But that's as far as I'll be influenced by what others do. Compromising ride and suspension is not in my playbook. I don't look down my big nose at other owners who go that way. That's their right to do and enjoy to the fullest whatever they wish. I can say I do like seeing all the different takes on the subject when there's a large group of vehicles at a car show.

    Edit: That thread title, though. That's like asking "Can I find Santa at the South Pole?"
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2020
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  16. nochop
    Joined: Nov 13, 2005
    Posts: 1,645

    nochop
    Member
    from norcal

    Let the air out of the tires, nothing should be touching asphalt, go from there, if you don’t want bags
     
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  17. error404
    Joined: Dec 11, 2012
    Posts: 279

    error404
    Member
    from CA

    Hah, we had those "scenic byway" signs on some roads. Which basically meant they weren't kept up :eek:
     
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  18. goldmountain
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 1,944

    goldmountain

    Watch out for manhole covers. They can do nasty things on oil pans.
     
  19. atomickustom
    Joined: Aug 30, 2005
    Posts: 3,296

    atomickustom
    Member

    Speed bumps. They exist, and when you roll over them the car drops down a bit.
    I walked around at a kustom show once with a tape measure and the cars that looked "right" to me were all around 5-6 inches at the rocker panel. Anything lower looks great in photos but makes the car look heavy and/or broken up close in person.
    I have seen cars with only a couple inches of clearance. I have no idea how they drive anywhere without destroying their car? Maybe they go really slow all the time, never cross railroad tracks, and never go to the store, bank, or gas station?
     
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  20. p1yotaboy
    Joined: Mar 3, 2016
    Posts: 94

    p1yotaboy
    Member

    As stated I live in South Carolina and pot holes and bad roads are the norm around here. That being said I know a lot of people around here that cruise in cars that sit on the ground. I want low but as stated functional enough I can cruise “most places” there are certain routes around I know I won’t take but that’s to be expected. It’s not going to be a dd so I’m not too concerned with certain places being a little inaccessible.


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  21. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,959

    dana barlow
    Member
    from Miami Fla.
    1. Y-blocks

    4in. works fairly good if your roads are good,3in. will not clear speedbumps or some manhole covers humps
    in Miami Fla. If its a longer WB car=needs more room under.[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2020
  22. upspirate
    Joined: Apr 15, 2012
    Posts: 2,196

    upspirate
    Member

    I put lowered spindles on my old A and consistently hit the center crown in the paved road. Bought new springs and for about $500 total (lowered spindles and new springs) had it back up to the original ride height! Looking back, should have put the old spindles back on and sold the dropped spindles.
    This was in Fla and an area where the roads weren't too bad
    On my '36 Chev p/u , I had the ride height I liked and air shocks for when I pulled a trailer or load in the bed.
    Not a fan of in the weeds, drive-ability is where it's at for me
     
  23. 'Mo
    Joined: Sep 26, 2007
    Posts: 7,435

    'Mo
    Member

    I had caster wheels (from a HD handtruck) on my Shoebox Ford. They helped more than you might imagine.
     
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  24. was common in the '50s and '60s.
     
  25. nochop
    Joined: Nov 13, 2005
    Posts: 1,645

    nochop
    Member
    from norcal

    Not a 40s car but here is mine, drives anywhere but you got to pay attention 3516490E-B780-4020-8981-482ED8E8D7A0.jpeg
     
  26. 'Mo
    Joined: Sep 26, 2007
    Posts: 7,435

    'Mo
    Member

    Another factor to consider is overhang. (Keeping the bumpers tucked tight can make a big difference when entering/exiting steep driveways! ;))
     
  27. rocsas
    Joined: Dec 17, 2013
    Posts: 97

    rocsas
    Member
    from colorado

    Only sits 3.5 inches and scrapes like hell on speeds bumps
     

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  28. bill gruendeman
    Joined: Jun 18, 2019
    Posts: 330

    bill gruendeman
    Member

    I set mine the lowest I could go and still get in and out of my driveway, didn’t want to deal with blocks of wood or some kind of ramps every time I dove the car. And problems on the street.
     
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  29. p1yotaboy
    Joined: Mar 3, 2016
    Posts: 94

    p1yotaboy
    Member

    Is that the one you have as your avatar?


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  30. brokedownbiker
    Joined: Jun 7, 2016
    Posts: 538

    brokedownbiker
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    AirBagIt.com has air-shocks (I'm sure they aren't the only ones) that will raise or lower a total of 3" so you can set it up to have 3" minimum clearance and have the ability to raise it another 3", that should give you the look plus plenty of clearance for the road.
     

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