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Hot Rods Lowering problems on the Okie Apache 55-59

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Roothawg, Jan 15, 2020.

  1. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 19,023

    Roothawg
    Member

    So, we had done an axle flip on the Okie Apache (55-59 Chevy Apache 3100) and it was REALLY low in the rear. Almost too low. Rear bumper was like 10" off the ground. I think he would get a thumbs up from the bomber crowd, but we need to space to route exhaust.

    So we spent 4 hours reversing it tonight. Now it looks like a tow truck. I'm pretty frustrated to say the least. If I pull the 3 lower springs, how much would that gain me?

    There may be an obvious solution, but sometimes we get so frustrated we can't see it.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks,

    Root
     
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  2. treb11
    Joined: Jan 21, 2006
    Posts: 3,301

    treb11
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    taller wheel / tire?
     
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  3. lumpy 63
    Joined: Aug 2, 2010
    Posts: 1,068

    lumpy 63
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Pull three leafs and use 2" longer rear shackles Root.
     
  4. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 19,023

    Roothawg
    Member

    The rear shackles are the original ones BTW.
     
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  5. lumpy 63
    Joined: Aug 2, 2010
    Posts: 1,068

    lumpy 63
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    2" longer will lower it 2" and get it lower but not as low as a flip. A flip is usually a 5" drop.
     
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  6. I'm not real familiar with the 55-59 rear spring hangers. But if you can pop out the rivets and then reinstall higher up on the frame you can get lower without a flip. Longer shackles also.

    Sent from dumb operator on a smart phone
     
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  7. Pete Eastwood
    Joined: Jul 27, 2011
    Posts: 828

    Pete Eastwood
    Member
    from california

    After the axle flip, you could have had the springs arched to set the ride height.
    I've had good results doing that .
     
  8. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 19,023

    Roothawg
    Member

    As far as the hangers go, they are a big forged piece. I don't think relocation is really an option. There are 3 small helper springs in the pack. I don't know how much they would effect the ride height with longer shackles.

    Re-arching would work also. The problem is, we don't have a good spring shop anymore, they moved them up to Tulsa.

    I have brand new 225 -75/15's on it, pretty tall tires already.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2020
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  9. On my 58, I reversed the spring eyes, made longer shackles and removed one leaf if I remember right. It was about as low as I could get it without a flip that was too much like you mention. I have a set of longer shackles somewhere...

    And, re-arching is easy...Sid has a roller which is also what I use to reverse the eyes.
     
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  10. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 19,023

    Roothawg
    Member

    Oh really?
     
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  11. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 44,286

    squirrel
    Member

    how I did mine was to use the front spring hangars on the rear (under the frame, not outboard of the frame), and then put the axle over the springs. Worked perfect, mostly.

    57montys.jpg
     
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  12. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 2,681

    Budget36
    Member

    Move the hangers up.
     
  13. Hot Rods Ta Hell
    Joined: Apr 20, 2008
    Posts: 3,934

    Hot Rods Ta Hell
    Member

    Flip kit = 6"
    Shackles = 2"
    Shackles + moving front hangers up = 4"
    Lowering springs come in 3" and 4".

    If the 6" flip is too much, you probably want about 4".
    Easiest 4", is a set of 4" lowering springs. Around $300
    Cheapest 4" is shackles and dearched springs. $50 shackles + labor of reworking springs.
     
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  14. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 2,681

    Budget36
    Member


    I'm sure I saw i
    Is there no room above them? Think grasshopper.
     
  15. beater40
    Joined: Sep 19, 2006
    Posts: 65

    beater40
    Member

    I did a truck recently, flipped the axle, used the original standard spring but did reverse the the rear brackets, swapped side to side upside down, and bolted back through the rivet holes. A bit of work but little cost, also put later shackles with rubber bushings for a better ride.

    Sent from my VFD 710 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
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  16. Mimilan
    Joined: Jun 13, 2019
    Posts: 313

    Mimilan
    Member

    No it won't. 2" longer shackles only lower one end of the spring 2" , The axle is slightly in front of the centre of the spring [if it was exactly halfway it would only lower it 1"]

    2" longer shackles AND move the front hanger up 2" will lower it 2"
     
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  17. Exactly
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2020
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  18. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 15,786

    Moriarity
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    you can de arch springs yourself if you have a press (or a big hammer and an anvil) Take them apart, trace them on the floor with chalk so you know the starting point. measure and draw lines on the springs maybe 2-4 inches apart and press them like in this video...

     
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  19. stubbsrodandcustom
    Joined: Dec 28, 2010
    Posts: 1,171

    stubbsrodandcustom
    Member
    from Spring tx

    Your going at exhaust all wrong bud... At flip low on a truck, you need to run exhaust under the rear end, and have a breakout flange right in front of rear axle for removal if you ever need to remove axle. Simple and easy, if you want it low then that is the work around, now to get the front down to match and your golden...

    If that's not where you want to be, then Id say to do as others mentioned above, A relocate hangers, B re arch with shackles... I know mines not a chevy, but I have 1 leaf removed, and flipped, netted almost 7" of drop on my old gal. Has front end done with 2 leafs removed, and 3" drop axle... Drives and rides like a dream.......

    IMG_0565.JPG
     
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  20. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 19,023

    Roothawg
    Member

    Right now, with the axle under the spring, the rear bumper height sits at 19”. He could throw 800 lbs in the bed and it might look ok.
     
  21. Black_Sheep
    Joined: May 22, 2010
    Posts: 1,071

    Black_Sheep
    Member

    The problem with doing a flip with stock components is how close the axle ends up to the frame. When I first did my ‘58 there was maybe 1.5” of travel before it would bottom out. I ended up using a TCI flip kit which has fewer leaves in the spring pack and hangers which were taller, to position the axle farther from the frame. It got the rear down as far as you can go without needing a c notch. Removing leaves and re-arching the springs can get you there too, but might involve some trial and error.
     
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  22. Hot Rods Ta Hell
    Joined: Apr 20, 2008
    Posts: 3,934

    Hot Rods Ta Hell
    Member

    Correct- 2" longer shackles wouldn't lower the truck 2", but lowering shackles would as they're actually about 4" longer than stock.
    In lowering terms, "dropped shackles" usually drop the vehicle 2" (some late model truck drop shackles such as Bell Tech have two sets of mounting holes giving you the choice of 1" or 2" drop).
    Add; Relocating hangers up 2" or using dropped hangers = 2", totaling 4".

    I have an o/t Chevy pickup with a 6" flip kit. I just added 2" dropped shackles and it truly lowered the truck another 2".

    Pics of stock vs. dropped 55-59 shackles.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  23. lumpy 63
    Joined: Aug 2, 2010
    Posts: 1,068

    lumpy 63
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I stand corrected about the amount of drop with 2" shackles. Although I truly believe they offer more that just 1" in drop. Here is my daily driver, 2" longer rear shackles 3 leaves removed, with a tall 255 70 15 rear tire.
    20150620_144820.jpg
    20190629_075428.jpg
    Here it is loaded :cool:
     
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  24. This is how mine sat with all the things I mentioned above. I think the shackles I made were right at 2-1/2" longer than stock and then the reversed spring eyes got it another 2" or so. So, I think I was around 3-1/2" total lower than stock considering what has been discussed about longer shackles above using really only longer shackles as far as new parts. To reverse the eyes, we did basically the same thing mentioned above about sketching the arch of the main leaf to know where we were, but then ran it through a roller to reverse the arch ultimately reversing the spring eyes if that makes sense.

    After all that...
    IMG_7162.JPG
    Before:
    IMG_5996.JPG
     
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  25. hotrodharry2
    Joined: Nov 19, 2008
    Posts: 608

    hotrodharry2
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

  26. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 19,023

    Roothawg
    Member

    Thanks for all the good info. I may try and fab up some longer shackles and remove some leaves, to see how that turns out. Worst case, I can always flip the axle back and add a set of helper bags to sort of level it up. The truck has a c notch that we installed, just in case we needed it.
     
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  27. lumpy 63
    Joined: Aug 2, 2010
    Posts: 1,068

    lumpy 63
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Here is a couple more to look at Root. This is my orange truck with stock shackles and mono leaf springs. I didn't like the ride of the mono leafs.
    20160403_152032.jpg
    Here is the one I built for my friend Holly. The rear axle is flipped and it has been C notched.
    vmatxsls06_1128145644566-1-20191025_131334.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

  28. Here's mine with Posies 3 inch lowering springs, everything else stock, 235/75/15 20190825_184300.jpg
     
  29. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 19,023

    Roothawg
    Member

    Thanks for all the help. I went with Lumpy’s and Guthriesmiths suggestion. Guthriesmith sent me a drawing of his shackles that he built. We went to a local steel supplier and had them shear us a piece of 3/8 strap long enough to make 4 pieces. I removed the lower 3 leaves.

    It ended up taking all day, because we got into a deal where the shackles were shot and we had to put in all new bushings etc.

    I wanted to let you guys know how much drop it actually gives you.
    5929E447-D176-4D02-AFDC-B299FEB34366.jpeg EB83EA1E-CC2C-46E7-A471-1E52D73D845A.jpeg 56C2385E-EE67-46E4-B3BE-4C90A0D620B4.jpeg
    After the 3 leaves were removed and a 6.60” long shackle was installed. We ended up with 3.500” drop. It looks like the shackles will hit the wood, but it clears with 3/4” to spare.
     
  30. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 19,023

    Roothawg
    Member

    15D4D2B3-A00F-4745-B6EF-60A33ACDE074.jpeg
    Here is the stance we ended up with. This is a 225-75R15 on the rear.
    The hardest part was hand reaming the shackles to fit the taper required fir the crush on the new shackle pins.

    We ended up buying a set of shackles/repair kit for a first series 47-55 Chevy. Only because no one had the sets for the 55-59 locally.
    The bolts are a little longer, but it worked out, since we stepped up the shackle material from 5/16" to 3/8". That ended up working perfectly.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2020

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