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Need Help, Lowering a 1954 Chevy 3100 Front End.

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by low50s, May 24, 2010.

  1. low50s
    Joined: Feb 2, 2009
    Posts: 129

    low50s
    Member

    I am starting on one of my rod projects, This is a very budget build I want to have less than $1500 into this entire project build I want to lower my 54 Chevy pickup 1/2 ton. the rears are going to be easy enough. I can just use blocks because the axle is over the springs. in the front the springs are mounted over the axle. Is there a way that I can lower the front end of the truck? I have thought about swaping the axle over the springs but I dont know if that would work?

    Thanks for anyones help in advance.
     
  2. 1928Fordman
    Joined: Apr 27, 2008
    Posts: 529

    1928Fordman
    Member

  3. OldSub
    Joined: Aug 27, 2003
    Posts: 1,064

    OldSub
    Member Emeritus

    Don't do that if you want to drive it. Dropped axle will eat a bunch of your budget but is the best approach in my opinion.
     
  4. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 31,009

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    That's the best way if you want it to drive right. There are also some shops selling custom leaf springs that will drop the truck several inches to go along with the axle.

    My truck is dropped by removing leaves from the springs and it drove like hell. I wouldn't recommend doing that to anyone if they really want to drive the truck. It looks good but the handling is gone and the thing bottoms out all the time.

    Also unless you are just hung up on tall tires, lower profile tires (I run 205x14) will get the front down a few inches. I've run 14x7 rims on the front with 195 or 205 tires and 15x8.5 on the back with 255x60x15 tires for a long time but will getting away from that the next time around.
    Not the best photo but here it sits with the 205x14 tires and missing leaves.
    Any lower and you would for sure have to have the dropped axle and maybe different springs.
    [​IMG]
     
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  5. low50s
    Joined: Feb 2, 2009
    Posts: 129

    low50s
    Member

    Dang thanks for the advise, I think the dropped axle up front is where I am going to have to go. It eats a major part of the budget but hopefuly I can salvage some other areas just so I can get this back on the road, how about for the rear I see that dropped axles has a rear lowering kit I may just put in, then some small tires so it can sit lower.

    now with the Dropped Axle, any tricks tips or hints when installing or is it very streight forward?
     
  6. Antny
    Joined: Aug 19, 2009
    Posts: 1,071

    Antny
    BANNED
    from Noo Yawk

    Dropping the rear by flipping the axle and blocks is fine, just make sure to respect the scrub line to keep it safe. It always amazes me to find so many lowered vehicles with suspension components hanging below the scrub line. :eek:
     
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  7. low50s
    Joined: Feb 2, 2009
    Posts: 129

    low50s
    Member

    Yes most likely I will be building the thing on the floor to begin with, no fancy equipment. like I said budget build lol. and its all being done in a small garage, so lack of space is a major part, so i will most likely be building it sitting on jackstands. I have alot of friends that are into mini trucks so they are good about makeing sure nothing sits too low
     
  8. TMoney
    Joined: Dec 27, 2006
    Posts: 804

    TMoney
    Member

    I did a drop axle and my springs are a little de-arched. It sits good and that axle goes in really easy.
    [​IMG]
     
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  9. low50s
    Joined: Feb 2, 2009
    Posts: 129

    low50s
    Member

    Wow that picture is SICK I love the way it looks, I am going to have to go with one of these drop axles. are the droped steering parts an extra part that you have to buy?
     
  10. Drop axle is the way to go, however I did build some brackets some years back and flipped an axle to the top, but it was as you say a REALLY low budget ride. It was a little work, but I saw it still driving a couple of weeks ago, and the guy that bought it put a really nice paint job on it, and thinks it drives really nice. It can be done, and still turn out decent if done with good craftsmanship.
     
  11. jcmarz
    Joined: Jan 10, 2010
    Posts: 4,633

    jcmarz
    Member
    from Chino, Ca

    you don't "flip the axle" on AD trucks because the axle sits atop of the leaf so lowering blocks will do the trick. I have new 3" drop multileafs with 2 leafs removed out front and 5" drop multileafs with a old set of 1.5" cast iron lowering blocks out back.
     
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  12. Antny
    Joined: Aug 19, 2009
    Posts: 1,071

    Antny
    BANNED
    from Noo Yawk

    Gotcha, thanks.
     
  13. TMoney
    Joined: Dec 27, 2006
    Posts: 804

    TMoney
    Member

    You just need to make a new tie rod. It's easy enough.
     
  14. The drop axle from SIDS is really the way to go! Visit the link posted earlier and it gives ya all the info ya need, get your order in early though as he has a waiting list. Here is a pic of my 51 with the 4" drop axle and a couple leaves taken out of the front, a 3" block drop in the rear, will take out a couple leaves in the rear soon......

    <embed type="application/x-shockwave-flash" src="http://static.pbsrc.com/flash/input.swf" style="" id="IMGTag-code" bgcolor="transparent" quality="high" name="IMGTag-code" wmode="transparent" allowfullscreen="true" swliveconnect="true" allowscriptaccess="always" flashvars="ipt=%5BIMG%5Dhttp%3A%2F%2Fi276.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fkk39%2Frobmac2%2FDSCN0801.jpg%5B%2FIMG%5D&trk=image_code_click_FULLVIEW_IMG&width=175&height=21&color=#000000&border=#BDBDBD&cont=IMGTagContainer" height="21" width="175">
    [​IMG]
     
  15. melsfine39
    Joined: Apr 24, 2009
    Posts: 235

    melsfine39
    Member

    OK! Here's what I did and the cost breakdown.
    3" dropped axle from www.droppedaxles.com cost $350.00 4" cost the same.
    (a $50.00 core refund if you send a old axle back) $-50.00
    New king pins from CPP $40.00
    Disc brake kit from Speedway $250.00 (bearings,brackets,pads,and calipers)
    Braid stainless brake hoses from Speedway$50.00
    New tierod and ends from CPP $80.00
    _______
    Total $720.00+ some shipping cost
    Not bad considering a Mustang II is about $1400 and a Nova or Camaro clip is less but a lot more cutting and welding and fittng sheet metal hassles. This bolts in and shocks have stock travel. Use mono springs or remove a couple of leaves(every other one) and it will sit even lower. Mel:D
     

    Attached Files:

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  16. the-rodster
    Joined: Jul 2, 2003
    Posts: 6,878

    the-rodster
    Member

    Wow, that thing sits nice.

    I've never seen a solid axle AD truck that low.

    Rich
     
  17. TMoney
    Joined: Dec 27, 2006
    Posts: 804

    TMoney
    Member

    WOW!!! I may need to think about taking a leaf or two out of mine.
     
  18. low50s
    Joined: Feb 2, 2009
    Posts: 129

    low50s
    Member

    Sorry to be a pain in the ass but do you have any of the part numbers laying around? so I can start picking up some of the parts, SIDS is about 8-10 weeks out, so I want to get the truck driving then put my order in, so i can enjoy the truck this summer. I know Speedway, but what is CPP?
     
  19. OldSub
    Joined: Aug 27, 2003
    Posts: 1,064

    OldSub
    Member Emeritus

  20. TMoney
    Joined: Dec 27, 2006
    Posts: 804

    TMoney
    Member

    I would always say go with someone here on the HAMB but you can get all this stuff through Speedway too. Similar prices and all in one place. Plus, they will have it all in stock. Something to think about.

    http://speedwaymotors.com

    910-4754 - 3" dropped axle - $400
    910-32130 - new kingpins - $40
    910-31916 - deluxe front disc kit - $250 (didn't know if you were gonna put discs on)

    Can't find any of the right tie rod ends but you can get those anywhere. They also have Posie's 3" dropped leaf springs that bolt right in but they're spendy.

    Food for thought.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2010
  21. low50s
    Joined: Feb 2, 2009
    Posts: 129

    low50s
    Member

    I went to speedway, I have bought from them before super fast shipping could be because im fairly close. they dont have the dropped axles in stock but they do have 3" drop springs in the front, and its less than a axle. I may think about going that route

    http://www.speedwaymotors.com/1947-59-Chevy-GMC-Pickup-Drop-Front-Springs,21674.html

    What is everyones thoughts about brakes, is it worth the disk setup? I know disks are better than the drums but i can rebuild my drum brakes for about 15 per side compared to the disks
     
  22. TMoney
    Joined: Dec 27, 2006
    Posts: 804

    TMoney
    Member

    Run the drums. I assume since you're lowering it cheap it's gonna be a cruiser and not a built up hot rod? If so, drums will be fine. There's nothing wrong with the stock brakes as long as you're not going fast and needing to stop fast. I put the disc conversion on mine but I got it brand new for free from a buddy.

    A guy on Ebay has the Speedway style dropped axles too and gets them to you fast.
     
  23. low50s
    Joined: Feb 2, 2009
    Posts: 129

    low50s
    Member

    yep there will be nothing fast and speedy about this project, its just a cruser, daily driver to and from work, just wanted to have a little style in doing it
     
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  24. TMoney
    Joined: Dec 27, 2006
    Posts: 804

    TMoney
    Member

    Nothing wrong with that. I would definitely run the drums then.
     
  25. willymakeit
    Joined: Apr 13, 2009
    Posts: 1,326

    willymakeit
    Member

    Would put a dual mastercylinder on though. Someone makes a adapter to add on at stock location.
     
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  26. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 31,009

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Run the drums and then if you decide later you need more stopping power you can swap to disk when you get another jar of spare change stashed away.

    That red truck of Hotrod1970's has one of the nicest stances I have seen on these trucks in a long time. I'm not sure if my truck was any lower when I had the Camaro Stub under it.
    One more thing I see on that truck that so many guys get wrong is that the bed is on a perfect plane with the running boards. Too many of these trucks look droopy butted with the bed at the wrong angle.
     
  27. 100% Matt
    Joined: Aug 7, 2006
    Posts: 2,706

    100% Matt
    Member

    I wouldn't but an after market drop axle. I've heard plenty of stories of excessive bump steer and poor geometry. Having your stock axle dropped is the way to go. I just had Sid drop my F-100 axle 2.5" You cant go wrong with him
     
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  28. TMoney
    Joined: Dec 27, 2006
    Posts: 804

    TMoney
    Member

    Mine works great!!!
     
  29. Colombo
    Joined: Feb 21, 2006
    Posts: 170

    Colombo
    Member

    I have a 4 inch drop on my truck and unable to figure out how to get rid of the bump steer. seems that every time i hit a little hole it starts to shimmy, but only on the drivers side. I was told it's because of the drop axel and then it could be the tires.
     
  30. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 18,250

    49ratfink
    Member
    from California

    you need to bend the steering arm to match the axle.
     

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