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straight axle w/frt. steer box???

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by dualquadpete, Sep 12, 2010.

  1. dualquadpete
    Joined: Jul 9, 2010
    Posts: 29


    Hey folks, I'm thinking of doing a straight axle in my 52 Canadian Pontiac[same as chevy] Torpedo back coupe. I've got it sitting on a shortened 84 Cutlass [Monty Carlo] chassis, with all the steering from chassis, can I use the stock Olds Pwr. steering box out "front" of the straight axle?? All the ones I see at shows are running rear steer Std. steering. Some say I should just go with the stock suspension & get a good ride, but I think it would be cool to have the "GASSER" look on a street driven car. I do put alot of summer miles on, this yr. I'll hit 7000 in the 64 Catalina, Thanks Pete

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    Joined: Nov 10, 2005
    Posts: 846

    from Holly

    If you use front steer on straight axle. The solid spring mount must be to the front and the shackle on the rear.
  3. barry wny
    Joined: Dec 31, 2009
    Posts: 451

    barry wny

    I think that's why the early dodge van axle I have has the goofy curved arm on the spindle, you sat on the front wheel and the steer box was in front of the axle, and 3 of the spark plugs probably Econoline pickup too. Rode in one once winter NY, it was not cool
  4. 29nash
    Joined: Nov 6, 2008
    Posts: 4,544

    from colorado

    I don't know why not.
    Addressing the configuration, even fabricating another steering arm seems to me to be as good a solution as moving the box to meet cookie cutter requirements. Like barry wny says; the configuration of the arm might need a goofy curve in it.:D

  5. Martys 55
    Joined: Mar 12, 2007
    Posts: 47

    Martys 55

    heres a pic of mine not the best pic it is front cross steer its on a 55 chevy

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  6. Hackerbilt
    Joined: Aug 13, 2001
    Posts: 6,248


    Either way will work, IF you are cross steering the axle.

    Any leaf sprung Jeep CJ or YJ had front mounted cross steer and the shackles on front as well. they even used a version of the same GM steering box!
    If you think about it...even the later coil spring Jeeps use a front mounted box and have the solid connections of the control arms at the rear of the axle assembly. The geometry at work with the leaf or the control arm is basicly the same.

    Now if you were using a DRAG LINK to the spindle on the same side as the box, you really should have the spring attached beside the box and the shackle on the opposite end of the spring so that spring movement doesn't go against draglink movement and cause bump steer.

    Springs mounted solid to the front DO tend to ride a bit better though. they allow the axle to move over the bumps just a little easier...

    All that said, I'd rather use the IFS in that style car.
    But, it isn't have fun doing your own thing!!! :D
  7. Blacksmith54
    Joined: Aug 27, 2006
    Posts: 84

    from Phoenix AZ

    the biggest problem of using front steer is getting the Ackerman angle correct as it is nearly almost out to the tire and it limits the size of the front tires as to how wide they can be. to find the angle draw a box around the rear tires find the center of the boxes and then the center between them then draw a line straight down from the bottom of the spindle put a chaulk line on the two marks about a foot or so out front now use that angle to adjust your spindle arms to. (assuming straight and correct toe in) after that a steering box and have fun (IMO I would look at the Suzki Samuri steering box):cool:
  8. Hackerbilt
    Joined: Aug 13, 2001
    Posts: 6,248


    Front steer doesn't automaticly mean he has to put the axle in backwards. He can fabricate a right side steering arm to have the link out front to the box, while the tierod between the spindles remains at the rear.

    It IS a VERY good point you make though!

    I wouldn't want to have a large car mounted high on a straight axle AND have to deal with Ackerman issues as well!
    Major suspension changes like this mean careful consideration of all potential issues!
  9. thegrobe
    Joined: May 20, 2010
    Posts: 14


    as long as the tie rod is behind the axle, ackerman shouldn't be an issue if the steering arms used originally had a rear tie rod. Ackerman problems are introduced when steering arms meant for a rear tie rod are flipped and the tie rod is run out front. Then you are doing something stupid.

    The drag link can be run front or rear cross steer, doesn't matter.
  10. Candy-Man
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 1,713


    There are more gasssers at the nostalgic drags all the time with the box mounted in front of the axle... Set-up is the key before you complete all your finish welding... Remember Ackerman and Caster !
  11. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 6,665

    from Oregon

    I plan on going front steer on my Austin gasser project. If I went rear the steering column would just end up being way too steep an angle, so I'll run the box and tie rod in front.
  12. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,906

    need louvers ?

    Candy man hit the nail on the head! Ackerman and caster, important, important!
  13. gasserrod
    Joined: Feb 20, 2007
    Posts: 42

    from maryland

    Here is my 50 pontiac with a complete 55 f 100 suspension and steering

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