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Technical lowering a 1954 pontiac

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by RayMiller, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. RayMiller
    Joined: Aug 9, 2005
    Posts: 463

    RayMiller
    Member

    hi i had a question for the suspension gurus, i have a 1954 pontiac and i wanted to lower the front end on it. it has already been lowered in the rear by the previous owner and had at one point a bag setup in the rear. my question is would it be possible to swap the uprights, as in flip them over and switch sides? i know it will affect camber and caster but i can correct that just curious if anyone has done it on a potiac and if they have pics possible. any info would help and sorry if this is posted in the wrong spot. Ray
     

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  2. RayMiller
    Joined: Aug 9, 2005
    Posts: 463

    RayMiller
    Member

    the whitewalls that were on it were radials i have since swapped them with g-78 15s.
     
  3. RayMiller
    Joined: Aug 9, 2005
    Posts: 463

    RayMiller
    Member

    thanks man, the body and paint was done at bsg customs here in tucson. i got the car in trade for a 55 chevy i had, they had dumped the motor and tranny and pulled them so i made mounts for a sbc and auto to fit in there untill i can locate a pontiac mill to replace that. alot of stuff that i need to redo that previous owners fouled up.
     
  4. oldsrocket
    Joined: Oct 31, 2004
    Posts: 2,161

    oldsrocket
    Member

    I can't say for sure. I had a '50 Pontiac and I don't know if they are the same front suspension or not. But the first thing I would check would be the bolts that mount the spindles to the control arms. If I remember correct I think the bottom one is larger diameter than the top one.

    You'd also want to consider your steering and if the steering arms will still mount correctly and not interfere with anything.

    Lastly, I remember the lower control arms and front cross-member being an issue. I lowered mine 3 " by cutting the coils. If I'd have gone any further, I think the lower control arms would have made contact with the cross-membera nd beat the heck out of the cross-member. But with some added fab you could likely get past that issue.

    I cut one full coil out of my springs and it dropped the front 3". I did it with a grinding wheel while constantly keeping water pouring on the cut so as not to heat the springs and kill the hardening. It worked well for me and I didn't notice any adverse issues in the suspension aside from less shock travel (which could be cured with another set of shocks).

    Even 3" out of these cars doesn't look like much (at least on my '50). You'd probably have to go 5 or 6" lower than stock to get the scraper look.
     

  5. RayMiller
    Joined: Aug 9, 2005
    Posts: 463

    RayMiller
    Member

    thanks oldsrocket, thats actually the car i have in those pics, its only low there cause it has some lower profile radials on it. i will check the diameter of the mounting bolts/bushings and see what they are and go from there. the new tires i have on it put it up way high in the front end, may have to modify the lower control arms and make it work that way until i have enough money to give fatmans for a set of uprights.
     
  6. oldsrocket
    Joined: Oct 31, 2004
    Posts: 2,161

    oldsrocket
    Member

    My work computer won't let me open the pics to get a closer look.

    Are you keeping the lower profile tires? If so, you might want to check your rearend ratio. I had to actually increase the diameter of my tires to work with my stock rearend and TH-350 trans to keep it out of the red zone on mine. I also had a 1956 Pontiac that was the same way. I had an SBC in both of them.
     
  7. RayMiller
    Joined: Aug 9, 2005
    Posts: 463

    RayMiller
    Member

    the radials that were in the pics are gone, i put on some coker g-78 15s they are much taller. if i had the money i would have went with 670s but they look good. ill look into the diff ratio, i know the car was originally a straight 8 and a hydro-matic.
     
  8. oldsrocket
    Joined: Oct 31, 2004
    Posts: 2,161

    oldsrocket
    Member

    I think the G-78 is about the right size for the car. Mine originally came with 7.10-15 bias plys on them. G-78 is close to diameter I think. I ened up putting a radial on that was about 1" larger in diameter. I have no idea of the hydro-matics gears, and I'm sure there were many variations.

    You can do a google search on how to figure the ratio by turning a wheel and counting how many times the driveshaft turns in one revolution of the wheel. You can get pretty close that way. Then there are several calculators all over the net that you can use to calculate your RPM v. Speed using tire diameter, trans gears, and rearend ratio. When entering the tire diameter don't use advertised diameter. Measure the distance from the center of the hub to the ground when on the car and double that and use it as the diameter, it will be a better number because the advertised diameters don't take into account the deformation of the tire due to load.

    Anyway, that was quite the side bar. Hope this little bump gets you more info.
     
  9. Orn
    Joined: Jul 17, 2005
    Posts: 1,057

    Orn
    Member

  10. RayMiller
    Joined: Aug 9, 2005
    Posts: 463

    RayMiller
    Member

    I might have to try that per! Also thought about cutting and dropping my uprights myself.
     
  11. randy
    Joined: Nov 15, 2003
    Posts: 679

    randy
    Member

    You should step the lower A-arms. I just did this on a buddy's '55 pontiac and it worked out well...If you aren't confident in your welds, get someone with experience to weld it for you. Sorry for the shaky cell phone pics.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  12. RayMiller
    Joined: Aug 9, 2005
    Posts: 463

    RayMiller
    Member

    Thanks randy! I think that will be step one, I can weld pretty good but might have my brother in law tig them for me. I'm also contemplating dropping the uprights myself.
     
  13. Orn
    Joined: Jul 17, 2005
    Posts: 1,057

    Orn
    Member

    Ray, if you have an extra pair of uprights to use as a fixture together with a kingpin when weld I’m sure you can drop your own uprights. I have seen it done somewhere on the Internet but don’t remember where.
     
  14. RayMiller
    Joined: Aug 9, 2005
    Posts: 463

    RayMiller
    Member

    Yea I saw it done in a car craft from 1958 where they did it on a 51 chevy (same style upright)
     
  15. Royalshifter
    Joined: May 29, 2005
    Posts: 15,641

    Royalshifter
    Moderator
    from California

    Cleaned this thread up...Anyone else wants to recommend flame throwers and Mustang II suspensions go find another forum. Thank you
     
  16. RayMiller
    Joined: Aug 9, 2005
    Posts: 463

    RayMiller
    Member

    Sorry royalshifter I've tried to keep it on topic and not have any sort of non kustom info involved. I'm not into the flamethrower idea or mustang 2 front suspension mods. Want to maintain a proper approach to this car.


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  17. Toast
    Joined: Jan 6, 2007
    Posts: 3,885

    Toast
    Member
    from Jenks, OK

    I am in the process of lowering my 55 Pontiac. Fatman has dropped uprights and they are good for 2.5 inches. Then as I understand it if you cur one coil you will get another 2 inches. Thats what I am going to try first. You also have to heat and bend the steering arm to avoid bump steer.

    Gambino Customs on the hamb sells the uprights.
     
  18. RayMiller
    Joined: Aug 9, 2005
    Posts: 463

    RayMiller
    Member

    Right on toast, hey if it's cool how much did the uprights cost you?


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  19. bonustoolkit
    Joined: Aug 25, 2006
    Posts: 13

    bonustoolkit
    Member

    I have never done any lowering fab., but this is watch and learn for me.

    Does anyone have a picture of uprights, or a link to it.

    Thanks in advance.


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  20. Orn
    Joined: Jul 17, 2005
    Posts: 1,057

    Orn
    Member

    To the right a stock 48 Buick upright or spindle support and to the left a dropped upright from Fatman fabrication. Here you can see that the spindle mounts 2 1/2” higher then stock with Fatmans dropped uprights and the car will be 2 1/2” lower in front.

    [​IMG]
     
  21. RayMiller
    Joined: Aug 9, 2005
    Posts: 463

    RayMiller
    Member

    Yea per I don't see why I could make a jig and cut and weld the mount up higher.


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  22. bonustoolkit
    Joined: Aug 25, 2006
    Posts: 13

    bonustoolkit
    Member

    Thanks Orn.






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