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Straight axle front end HELP????

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 64 Thunderbolt, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. 117harv
    Joined: Nov 12, 2009
    Posts: 6,594

    117harv
    Member

    It seems that most gassers ran parallel springs rather than one transverse, why. I see alot of vintage altered pics with transverse spring and hairpins and even split bones, was it just a personal preferance?
     
  2. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 8,999

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    No they work better. Henry Ford knew this, or was told by his engineers, but was too stubborn and too cheap to change. He loved the idea of making 1 spring do the work of 2 even though it didn't work as well.

    Finally after he died (1947) they changed the Ford, Lincoln and Mercury to IFS ( 1949). The last major manufacturer to adopt IFS, 15 years after Chrysler and GM.
     
  3. Old Racer 35
    Joined: Dec 8, 2010
    Posts: 41

    Old Racer 35
    Member
    from virginia

    what are you going to use for front brakes on this axle ,where in the world did you ever find model a springs
     
  4. Model A springs are easy to find, I can probably lay my hands on a dozen or so here locally with a phone call or two.

    117Harv,
    An altered is an entirely different creature than a Gas Class car. With an altered you want to get your axle as far forward as possible with as little chassis as possible. With a gas class car the wheels want to be in the fender well. In part it is a matter of making the envelop fit the class.

    Most of what you see built as a "gasser" are a later style build. The parallel leaf had become popular for reasons stated by Rusty. A cross leaf gasser would have been an early low buck build. A fella who wanted to go straight axle and had either in his possession or had access to a Ford Axle and cross leaf. or in the case of a gas class early Ford already had a cross leaf setup.

    Actually aside from street beasts the straight Axle Chevys and Henry Js all lifted and purdy fell into a very small window of time, between '65 or 6 and the later '60s. By '67 for instance fellas like the Malco Brosters [spelling on the name could be wrong] were starting to build their gassers low and slipery. trap speeds and tire tech were fast doing away with the lifted stance.

    This is not an afront to the lifted straight axle crowd just a bit of education for 117 Harv and anyone else that is interested.
     
  5. Old Racer 35
    Joined: Dec 8, 2010
    Posts: 41

    Old Racer 35
    Member
    from virginia

    i owned a 67 cougar with a straight axle it ran in ultra stock in the 60 s ,the original axle was econoline but had been changed to a dropped tube by the time i owned it. sat about level didnt have nose up in the air lot nicer drive at a 130 mph in the traps!
     
  6. 64 Thunderbolt
    Joined: Feb 8, 2011
    Posts: 277

    64 Thunderbolt
    Member


    Old Racer 35, Thanks for this! Now let me ask this, is this measured from center of one tire to center of the other?

    I went through a friends salvage yard yesterday & found some 39-41 Ford front axles.
    How would this work?
    I would make it a 2 spring setup.
     
  7. Old Racer 35
    Joined: Dec 8, 2010
    Posts: 41

    Old Racer 35
    Member
    from virginia

    center of tire also at hub i need to find your salavge yard really would like to find some drum brakes for early ford spindles !is rocky mount off 81 ?might be worth a trip to that salvage yard
     
  8. 64 Thunderbolt
    Joined: Feb 8, 2011
    Posts: 277

    64 Thunderbolt
    Member

    It's off 220. Take 81 to Roanoke which is exit 143 which is 581 south. Take 581 south which then drops into 220.
     
  9. Gasr57
    Joined: Sep 3, 2007
    Posts: 236

    Gasr57
    Member
    from Ohio

    Another good choice would be a '37-'38 chevy coupe or sedan axle. They have parallel springs and are pretty narrow. A friend has one in a '64 falcon and it fits perfect. You can get part s for these and they make disc brake kits for them also. I have a '67 Chevy van axle in my '57 Chevy 150 sedan. The chevy van axles are narrower than the Econoline axles. As far as looks go the Willys axle is a dead sexy piece especially when they are drilled and chromed. When your choosing your springs if you use the longest springs you can fit it will greatly inprove the ride quality. Also make sure you set your caster at a minimum of -6 degrees and use a steering damper. A vega steering box would be a good choice and easy to get parts to connect everything together. I would also recommend using a cross steer set up and put your shackles on the front of the springs to help give the car good driving qualities. Good Luck keep us posted and show us some pics. Gotta love a Henry J Gasser.
     
  10. 64 Thunderbolt
    Joined: Feb 8, 2011
    Posts: 277

    64 Thunderbolt
    Member

    Gasr57, Thanks for the great advice!
     
  11. 117harv
    Joined: Nov 12, 2009
    Posts: 6,594

    117harv
    Member

    Here is the sexy chromed Willys axle in its factory home and a fed:)
     

    Attached Files:

  12. dblgun
    Joined: Oct 24, 2009
    Posts: 348

    dblgun
    Member

    If you want a beam axle obviously you will have to find something in the ball park of the length you want. One advantage to the Econoline axles is they have king pin bearings while the Dodge and Chevy's had shim/bushing stacks. If you wanted a tube axle you can make it any width you would like. I use the cut down doner beam axle for a jig for my tube axle but there are many different ways to do it.
     
  13. Gasr57
    Joined: Sep 3, 2007
    Posts: 236

    Gasr57
    Member
    from Ohio

    The Chevy van axle DOES have bearings. Between the spindle and the axle on the lower side where it carries the load from the weight of the car. The shims and king pin bushings are available for the chevy axles and very easy to change. No special tools and they don't need reamed. This set up is VERY easy to service and holds up well I have alot of miles on mine with no problems.
     
  14. Gasr57
    Joined: Sep 3, 2007
    Posts: 236

    Gasr57
    Member
    from Ohio

    Also the Chevy van axle is the same as the mid to late 50's Chevy 1/2 ton truck axles they are even stamped with the same part numbers.
     
  15. dblgun
    Joined: Oct 24, 2009
    Posts: 348

    dblgun
    Member

    Oh that's cool I've not seen a Chevy with that setup. What did they do to set the pre-load on that lower bearing? I have used 6 lug spindles from a mid 60's 1/2 ton but they had shims and thrust washers between the spindle and axle.
     
  16. Gasr57
    Joined: Sep 3, 2007
    Posts: 236

    Gasr57
    Member
    from Ohio

    The bearing is a ball type bearing. The only preload is from the shims and weight of the car resting on them.
     

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