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Technical TECH MONTH: Stepping lower A arms(king pin style)

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by droplord49, Dec 16, 2008.

  1. droplord49
    Joined: Jan 12, 2004
    Posts: 1,679

    droplord49
    Member
    from Bryan, Tx

    Well I know this has been covered before, but not in a while so I thought I would take pics while I did mine. These are the lower A arms on my 51 Chevy. First, I wire wheeled the ends of the arms clean. I measured and marked out where I was going to cut them. In my case I wanted to cut them as far out as I could, so that they would clear with out any frame trimming.
     

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    Last edited: Dec 16, 2008
  2. droplord49
    Joined: Jan 12, 2004
    Posts: 1,679

    droplord49
    Member
    from Bryan, Tx

    Next, I tacked some peices a scrap to the ends of the arm to keep everything square when I cut the end off.
     

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  3. droplord49
    Joined: Jan 12, 2004
    Posts: 1,679

    droplord49
    Member
    from Bryan, Tx

    Next, I lined the end back up(triple checked it was straight and square), tacked it back on and made templates for the gussets.
     

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  4. droplord49
    Joined: Jan 12, 2004
    Posts: 1,679

    droplord49
    Member
    from Bryan, Tx

    Then I transferred the template to some 2 x 3/16 flate strap for the gussets.
     

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  5. droplord49
    Joined: Jan 12, 2004
    Posts: 1,679

    droplord49
    Member
    from Bryan, Tx

    Next made the lower gussets, tacked everything together and test fit it back on the car to make sure everything was correct.
     

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  6. droplord49
    Joined: Jan 12, 2004
    Posts: 1,679

    droplord49
    Member
    from Bryan, Tx

    Once I was sure everything was straight, I pulled them back off and welded them up(NOTE DO NOT ATTEMPT TO WELD A ARMS UNLESS YOU ARE VERY CONFIDENT WITH YOUR WELDING ABILITY). Also here is a comparison of the stock arm to the stepped arm. It gives you 2 1/2 inches of drop without having to buy dropped up rights.
     

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    Last edited: Dec 16, 2008
  7. lowburban
    Joined: Jan 9, 2003
    Posts: 446

    lowburban
    Member

    You musta had an cool older brother that shared the dark arts with you! haha. Nice job.
     
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  8. droplord49
    Joined: Jan 12, 2004
    Posts: 1,679

    droplord49
    Member
    from Bryan, Tx

    And last but not least, I trimmed 1 1/2 coils off of the stock length coils and reinstalled. I will be running a taller tire(6.70x15) then the rollers that are on it now, so I will end up with about five inches of ground clearance in the front. It basically sits the same as it would if you completely took the springs out and let the stock A arms bottom out on the frame, but now it has plenty of travel without any bottoming out.

    And just a note: it only cost me one 4 1/2 cut off wheel, a little welding wire and gas, about $5.00 worth of flat strap from The Home Depot, and about 6 hours of my day.
     

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    Last edited: Dec 16, 2008
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  9. T McG
    Joined: Feb 12, 2005
    Posts: 1,255

    T McG
    Member
    from Phoenix

    Great idea, but you have now added more angle to the upper arms, which could bind against the upright in it's upward motion. You should consider spacing the upper shock the same amount. Moving the upper pivot up basically moves the outer pivot point in which may not allow enough alignment adjustment, and considering the limited movement of these things anyway, could be a problem.
     
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  10. droplord49
    Joined: Jan 12, 2004
    Posts: 1,679

    droplord49
    Member
    from Bryan, Tx

    I considered that. So before I put the springs back in, I jacked the assembly up and down though its full range of motion and eveything moves freely. Even with the lower arm bottomed completely out against the frame, there is very little camber movement. Will align just fine just as it is.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2008
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  11. LowA100
    Joined: May 19, 2006
    Posts: 104

    LowA100
    Member

    Done this a million times ! Works great. Upper a-arm increased angle acttually HELPS the handling of the car believe it or not. The shock still has all of the stock travel (ecept for the cut coil distance) and bolts up very cleanly. This is a great way to get low and ride well.
     
  12. T McG
    Joined: Feb 12, 2005
    Posts: 1,255

    T McG
    Member
    from Phoenix

    As ancient as these front ends are, they actually work really well. I still have the original in my 39 Chevy that I have converted to disc brakes and power steering. I have almost 100,000 miles on it and it still works just fine.
     
  13. is it required to cut the coils when doing this? or is it just for more drop? also, i've been told you can cut out and lower the spring pocket to get a good drop as well.....but i dunno.

    i wanna lower the front of my 53 stude and have been looking for ideas....
     
  14. Crease
    Joined: May 7, 2002
    Posts: 2,879

    Crease
    Member

    Nicely done, thanks for posting!
     
  15. droplord49
    Joined: Jan 12, 2004
    Posts: 1,679

    droplord49
    Member
    from Bryan, Tx

    You don't have to cut the coils, with stock coils it would give you 2 1/2 inches of drop. I was shooting for about 4 inches, so I took a little out of the spring as well. Also, you shouldn't have any issues with bump steer, since the tie rod end is still the same distance from the lower pivot point of the upright. Unlike dropped uprights that move the steering arm up away from its original position, hence the need for dropped steering arms to lower them back down.



     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2008
  16. cool! thanks for the info! might tear into the stude this weekend!
     
  17. mikes51
    Joined: Oct 4, 2001
    Posts: 2,195

    mikes51
    Member

    Cutting the spring or lowering the spring pocket with spacers are the same in the end. The problem with that approach is the A-arm sits closer to the frame and will bottom out easily on the snubber. If the snubber is cut down, often the a arm will bottom out on the frame, metal to metal.

    The stepped a arm keeps the original space between the a-arm and the frame. Thus the same travel as original, no bottoming out.
     
  18. Ice man
    Joined: Mar 12, 2008
    Posts: 968

    Ice man
    Member

    Great idea, its stuff like this that make this site what is is, GGgreeeattt. Iceman
     
  19. We need more tech like this, it would probably work on just about any IFS setup.
     
  20. 39cent
    Joined: Apr 4, 2006
    Posts: 1,569

    39cent
    Member
    from socal

    just what I was looking for, been toying with this idee for awhile, nice to see it done here thanx.
     
  21. He did. And I'm always glad to pass my knowledge on to the younger ones :D

     
  22. lowburban
    Joined: Jan 9, 2003
    Posts: 446

    lowburban
    Member

    From the lips of a man with arms that Rocky built. Damn I did go there.LOL
     
  23. slick39
    Joined: Jan 20, 2008
    Posts: 695

    slick39
    Member
    from dallas ,ga

    thanks for the info
     
  24. 60 GASSER
    Joined: Sep 26, 2007
    Posts: 530

    60 GASSER
    Member

    Great idea the caster wont change much . I have bags on my 52 with buffalo uprights it works great
     
  25. pecker head
    Joined: Nov 8, 2006
    Posts: 3,636

    pecker head
    Member

    I will be doing this to 51 Fleetline in the near future ! Thanks great ideal !
     
  26. Quick question. Is there any reason you could not use the steped A-arms AND dropped uprights for even more drop? I currently have Buffalo dropped uprights and cut 1 coil. Wouldn't mind going a little lower.
    Thanks, Todd
     
  27. droplord49
    Joined: Jan 12, 2004
    Posts: 1,679

    droplord49
    Member
    from Bryan, Tx

    I don't see why you couldn't, as long as it didn't end up being too much drop.
     
  28. Thanks. I don't think another 2 or 2-1/2 will be to much. Todd
     
  29. bct
    Joined: Apr 4, 2005
    Posts: 3,080

    bct
    Member

    nice thread ....never seen it done before....thanks for opening a new door
     

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