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Tech: Gasser straight axle Puddin style

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by ShakeyPuddin55, Nov 27, 2007.

  1. ShakeyPuddin55
    Joined: Dec 22, 2004
    Posts: 1,902

    ShakeyPuddin55
    Member

    I've been meaning to post this for a while but I'm lazy.

    The pictures aren't the best but you'll get the idea.

    I talked to several people, read some magazines and searched the internet before deciding on how to do the axle on Shakey Puddin. I copied a lot of ideas, and let my buddy who did the welding make a lot of choices as well. I spec'd and bought all the parts from all over. Nothing from the Speedway catalog here.

    The new front end came out of necessity since the car hit the wall and did a lot of damage to the front suspension.

    I wish I would have done the axle when I first bought the car. I would have saved a lot of time and money. I was never happy with the stance of the car with A arms.

    Here is the car race ready with the factory A arms:

    [​IMG]
     
  2. ShakeyPuddin55
    Joined: Dec 22, 2004
    Posts: 1,902

    ShakeyPuddin55
    Member

    The first pass ever with this car was a 9.84 @ 134MPH.

    I made about 5 passes at Speedworld and the car was squirly for about the first 300 ft.

    I knew it had a bump steer problem, and here was the result of that one night at Firebird raceway: :(

     
  3. ShakeyPuddin55
    Joined: Dec 22, 2004
    Posts: 1,902

    ShakeyPuddin55
    Member

    When the front wheels hit the ground the housing on the rack broke due to the wheels toe'ing out hard. This shows where the housing cracked at the U bolt mounting point. I was unable to keep it off the wall.

    [​IMG]

    Here is a shot of the crunched up A arm:

    [​IMG]
     
  4. nexxussian
    Joined: Mar 14, 2007
    Posts: 3,240

    nexxussian
    Member


  5. ShakeyPuddin55
    Joined: Dec 22, 2004
    Posts: 1,902

    ShakeyPuddin55
    Member

    Back at my buddy's shop after the wreck:

    [​IMG]

    Out with the motor:

    [​IMG]
     
  6. ShakeyPuddin55
    Joined: Dec 22, 2004
    Posts: 1,902

    ShakeyPuddin55
    Member

    We weren't scared..... time to start cutting:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    What a hunk of shit!!

    [​IMG]
     
  7. ShakeyPuddin55
    Joined: Dec 22, 2004
    Posts: 1,902

    ShakeyPuddin55
    Member

    Dont try this at home!!!!

    I wanted the springs out since they were worth a few bucks.

    My crazy friend cutting the A arms with a torch and letting the springs fly!!

    [​IMG]
     
  8. ShakeyPuddin55
    Joined: Dec 22, 2004
    Posts: 1,902

    ShakeyPuddin55
    Member

    After looking at tons of pictures, this is where we decided to cut. No regrets.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Great stuff so far-I think I might have pulled the springs before it was cut off the car though!
     
  10. ShakeyPuddin55
    Joined: Dec 22, 2004
    Posts: 1,902

    ShakeyPuddin55
    Member

    As you all know, a common question here on the HAMB is what axle to use for a gasser. The Speedway and MAS axles seem to be popular.

    Most of the serious racers I talked to advised against a mild steel axle on a heavy tri 5 Chevy. Especially one that may wheel stand. I've heard many say that they can and do BEND.

    An east coast gasser racer gave me the number for Jim Tinsmith (Tinny) from PA. After a few conversations with Tinny, I was sold on his Chromoly axle. Jim is a long time racer and fabricator. He said they come 53" king pin to king pin. 2" O.D, quarter wall, and zero drop. After seeing the Speedway axles and how narrow they were, I'm glad I bought the axle from Jim.

    Here it is with Chassis Engineering spindles and Wilwood brakes:

    [​IMG]

    I have another buddy who got me a wholesale price from Wilwood so I stepped up and got the drilled rotors and polished calipers. They fit the early Ford spindles.

    They spindles are forged pieces from Chassis Engineering. I wanted the strongest stuff possible since I knew my car would be driven hard.
     
  11. nexxussian
    Joined: Mar 14, 2007
    Posts: 3,240

    nexxussian
    Member

  12. Dirty2
    Joined: Jun 13, 2004
    Posts: 8,903

    Dirty2
    Member

    Nothing better than a tri 5 with an axle !!!
     
  13. ShakeyPuddin55
    Joined: Dec 22, 2004
    Posts: 1,902

    ShakeyPuddin55
    Member

    Starting to mock up with the rectangular tube frame rails:

    [​IMG]

    Tacked in:

    [​IMG]

    A very nice touch by my buddy, pinching the frame in:

    [​IMG]
     
  14. ShakeyPuddin55
    Joined: Dec 22, 2004
    Posts: 1,902

    ShakeyPuddin55
    Member

    [​IMG]

    For the leaf springs, I went down to Valley Spring in Phoenix and told them what I wanted. They do a lot of 4x4 stuff, so I dont think they knew what I was building but I knew I could add leafs or re-arch if needed. Turns out, we got it right the first time. I also bought the U bolts from them. The springs are 30" eye to eye.
     
  15. ShakeyPuddin55
    Joined: Dec 22, 2004
    Posts: 1,902

    ShakeyPuddin55
    Member

    Here, we bolted up a fender to see where I wanted the axle. Factory wheel base for a 55 Chevy is 115".

    I wanted plenty of clearance for the big tube fenderwell headers, and I also like the look of the front end stretched out a bit. It screams race car. I wasn't worried about the altered wheel base issue. Those days are over. I'm not racing by any rules.... I'm just having fun. What we ended up with was almost 118" for the wheel base.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  16. ShakeyPuddin55
    Joined: Dec 22, 2004
    Posts: 1,902

    ShakeyPuddin55
    Member

    Another decision was whether I wanted the shackles in the front or rear.

    I dont remember all the details, but we decided to put the shackles in the rear. One of the benefits was the car would be lower that way. The whole time, I was worried the car would be too high in the front. I wasn't building a street freak, this car was running over 130MPH in the quarter.

    Here is what my friend came up with since the frame rails are much wider than the springs:

    [​IMG]
     
  17. ShakeyPuddin55
    Joined: Dec 22, 2004
    Posts: 1,902

    ShakeyPuddin55
    Member

    More handy work by Mike. He bull nosed the frame rail ends.

    The front crossmember is a piece of chromoly nicely tig welded. The front spring mounts were also hand made:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  18. ShakeyPuddin55
    Joined: Dec 22, 2004
    Posts: 1,902

    ShakeyPuddin55
    Member

    The motor going back in. We wanted all the weight on the suspension before any final welding:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  19. nexxussian
    Joined: Mar 14, 2007
    Posts: 3,240

    nexxussian
    Member

    Nice bead in the bullnose.

    Could you post how your friend did that, please.
     
  20. ShakeyPuddin55
    Joined: Dec 22, 2004
    Posts: 1,902

    ShakeyPuddin55
    Member

    Making mounts for the motor plate. My car has a motor plate and a mid plate:

    [​IMG]

    Adding some of those cool holes:

    [​IMG]
     
  21. ShakeyPuddin55
    Joined: Dec 22, 2004
    Posts: 1,902

    ShakeyPuddin55
    Member

    NOTE: The hardware in the following photos is only for mock up!!

    Everything was later upgraded to the correct size with grade 8 and stainless.

    The steering arms are also forged and were purchased from Chassis Engineering. I really liked the bolt through design. Here is a trick I stole from somebody. To keep the drag link angle at a minimum, we bought an extra steering arm, inverted it and mounted it to the top of the passenger side spindle:

    [​IMG]

    The tie rod and drag link are home made using chromoly, threaded inserts and moly rod ends.

    My friend uses this stuff on dune buggys which take a lot of abuse.

    Here is the steering all mocked up using a Vega cross steer box. I'm not worried about using the small Vega box since my car is pretty much only driven straight :D :

    [​IMG]

    We heated and bent the pitman arm to obtain the correct geometry. We got very lucky here with the oil pan and leaf spring clearance:

    [​IMG]
     
  22. ShakeyPuddin55
    Joined: Dec 22, 2004
    Posts: 1,902

    ShakeyPuddin55
    Member

    To minimize bump steer we wanted the drag link parallel to the ground and parallel front to back with the axle. It turned out nice:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

     
  23. bcarlson
    Joined: Jul 21, 2005
    Posts: 935

    bcarlson
    Member

    Great post!

    Ben
     
  24. ShakeyPuddin55
    Joined: Dec 22, 2004
    Posts: 1,902

    ShakeyPuddin55
    Member

    gotta run.... more to follow.
     
  25. publicenemy1925
    Joined: Feb 4, 2007
    Posts: 3,187

    publicenemy1925
    Member
    from OKC, OK

    Now that is how you start Tech Week!
     
  26. malkintent
    Joined: Sep 3, 2007
    Posts: 442

    malkintent
    Member

  27. Littleman
    Joined: Aug 25, 2004
    Posts: 2,619

    Littleman
    Alliance Member
    from OHIO, USA

    Reading this post makes me want to straight axle my 49 Divco Milk Truck.....Shame on you!!!.......Nice job w/ description and good pics..Littleman
     
    justadream likes this.
  28. ShakeyPuddin55
    Joined: Dec 22, 2004
    Posts: 1,902

    ShakeyPuddin55
    Member

    Thanks guys.

    For added strength we added down bars that tie the front of the frame to the cage inside the car:

    [​IMG]
     
  29. ShakeyPuddin55
    Joined: Dec 22, 2004
    Posts: 1,902

    ShakeyPuddin55
    Member

    For the shocks, I found a pair of Bilsteins that were a 90-10 and the proper length. I found them at a roundy round car place. I also liked the natural finish.

    We added shock mounts in the down bar and on the axle:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    If I remember correctly, we had already set the caster at this point and tacked the spring perches onto the axle.
     

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