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Questions: '55-'59 Chevy pickup front axle flip

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Just Jones, Mar 26, 2011.

  1. Just Jones
    Joined: Jan 11, 2005
    Posts: 928

    Just Jones
    Member

    Front axle flip

    I've worked the search button until it has a hole in it on this one, but didn't find the answer for this one. As I know more than a few of you have done this with '55-'59 Chevy pickups, I would imagine the answer is out there-somewhere . . .

    Question:
    - When flipping a stock '55-'59 Chevy pickup axle to the top of the leaf pack, does it create problems with anything hanging down below the scrub line? I know it does with 55-59 Ford F100s, and I don't intend to sacrifice safety for looking cool.

    I know all about Camaro clips, Mustang II, etc. - not traditional for this truck in my book.

    Also, I know I could put in a dropped axle, but I am trying to go the D.I.Y way first and save some cash! Thanks in advance - Jones
     

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  2. ADReese
    Joined: Aug 28, 2009
    Posts: 119

    ADReese
    Member
    from spokane

    On my '55 first series I decided to pony up and have Sid drop my stock axle. Best decision I have made on that truck. All you have to do is flip the tie rods and drag link. Looks stock to a casual oberserver, but sits 4" lower. Scrub line is right on the border though.

    Flipping the axle puts the beam right next to the fram and takes away almost all spring travel. That doesn't sound like much fun.
     
  3. Just Jones
    Joined: Jan 11, 2005
    Posts: 928

    Just Jones
    Member

    Do you happen to have any pictures of your truck that you could post? Did you also lower the back? - thanks, Jones
     
  4. Dave K
    Joined: Jan 31, 2006
    Posts: 344

    Dave K
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  5. Just Jones
    Joined: Jan 11, 2005
    Posts: 928

    Just Jones
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    Actually, I had read that thread but thanks all the same for taking the time to post the link.

    You're truck looks great in your avatar, how do you like how it rides? - Jones
     
  6. Dave K
    Joined: Jan 31, 2006
    Posts: 344

    Dave K
    Member

    The ride was great just like stock till I put it the mono leaves in front to bring the front down the extra 3". Now the axle hits the frame on medium+ bumps and is kind of stiff up front. When I have time I will C notch the frame for the front axle and possibly de-arch some stock springs to get them to the same or a little lower ride height. In the rear the axle is flipped with 3 springs taken out of the leaf pack. Going to add 1/2" blocks to the rear to bring it down a hair.

    Here is a picture of how it sits. I wish I had a better one
     

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  7. Just Jones
    Joined: Jan 11, 2005
    Posts: 928

    Just Jones
    Member

    That is a great looking truck, Dave! Thanks big time for the info - Jones
     
  8. Just Jones
    Joined: Jan 11, 2005
    Posts: 928

    Just Jones
    Member

    . . . think I found my answers:

    Axle flip - definitely below the scrubline

    Drop axle - depends on drop, but very close to scrubline or below scrubline

    Camaro clip - center crossmember sometimes too low, scrapes when suspension compresses while driving.

    Personally, I was hoping for more of a "silver bullet" option. Back the drawing board.
     
  9. yule16met
    Joined: Dec 30, 2007
    Posts: 623

    yule16met
    Member

    It also depends on your rear end, if you have the rear way up the front bumper sits lower than anything
     
  10. Did you expearance any axle wrap when getting on the brakes real hard? Meaning when you finally come to a stop after braking hard and let the brake pedal go does the front axle spring back?
     
  11. de-arch the springs. You can do it with 2 pieces of 3"x1/4 angle iron set abiut 3" apart and a 4 pound hammer. Or move the axle to the top of the springs like you intended and add some arch to the springs to compensate same setup as de-arching but you go in the opposite direction.
     
  12. Dave K
    Joined: Jan 31, 2006
    Posts: 344

    Dave K
    Member

    No it seems really solid. Keep in mind I have a 4" drop axle and not a flipped axle that would make axle wrap more of a problem.
     
  13. Dave K
    Joined: Jan 31, 2006
    Posts: 344

    Dave K
    Member

    If you do a Camaro clip and do not cut the coils I don't think you will be to low or have problem with scrapping when driving. When you clip it the stock cross member gets cut out the the Camaro cross member is tucked up much higher
     
  14. terd ferguson
    Joined: Jun 13, 2008
    Posts: 3,646

    terd ferguson
    Member

    My buddy has a flipped front axle and there doesn't seem to be any issues with scrub line.

    I can check in person and snap photos tomorrow night if you like.
     
  15. Just Jones
    Joined: Jan 11, 2005
    Posts: 928

    Just Jones
    Member

    Update:

    Ended up going the Camaro clip route. To make it even more interesting, I managed to find a '67-'69 Camaro clip with disc brakes and rear steer power steering.

    The really cool thing about this clip is that with the rear-steer setup, the steering box is much closer to the original position as a '58 Apache, and less crowding up front by the radiator/core support. So, that much easier (I hope).

    Haven't begun the actual install yet, however I'll post some pictures when the work begins...hopefully soon. In the meantime, here is the patient:
     

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  16. Just Jones
    Joined: Jan 11, 2005
    Posts: 928

    Just Jones
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    Hey, that would be really cool if you would do that. Thanks big time, Terd.
     
  17. terd ferguson
    Joined: Jun 13, 2008
    Posts: 3,646

    terd ferguson
    Member

    My buddy and fellow club member didn't show to shop night last night. So I couldn't look again in person. But here's what I remember. The frame is notched in the front. There is a steering stabilizer to help with bump steer (he says he has none). There is a full leaf pack up front. It is lower than stock and could be lower still with leaves removed.

    I'll get an update soon.
     
  18. TheTrailerGuy
    Joined: Jun 18, 2011
    Posts: 392

    TheTrailerGuy
    Member

    leveling with the back half of the spring? sorry... just reading along and i like to learn, so i thought i'd ask for clarification.

    Thanks
     
  19. Just Jones
    Joined: Jan 11, 2005
    Posts: 928

    Just Jones
    Member

    What he is referring to is the geometry of the front steering, which gets messed up when you mount the axle on top of the spring pack, instead of under as with stock.

    The remedy is to raise the steering box up, so that the angle of the drag link is again level with - or in a level plane with - the back of the rear spring. He means like if you were going to draw a line from the drag link to the back of the spring, it would be level. Make sense?
     

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