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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. Bert
    Joined: Feb 22, 2005
    Posts: 404

    Bert
    Member

    Hmmmm, good trick, I suppose with carefull bracing and good engineering practices, you could redo a ball jointed bottom wishbone too..........I like, probably not legal where I am though but anyway food for though:)...Bert
     
    48olds likes this.
  2. turdmagnet
    Joined: May 19, 2008
    Posts: 368

    turdmagnet
    Member

    I was looking at another thread the other day (sorry can't remember its title) but on one of the photos, the author had just welded another set of bushings on top of the originals and left the original in place. I like this idea because I could make up a jig to ensure the bushings are perfectly aligned with the orginals prior and during welding, but is the any issues with the added bulk of having the lower one still there ???

    Any comments ???
    Thanks
     
  3. mikes51
    Joined: Oct 4, 2001
    Posts: 2,195

    mikes51
    Member

    The only thing I can think of that might be a problem is tie rod clearance. You might have to bend your steering arms even lower.

    Next time you have the springs out, push your lower a arm all the way up until it stops on something (snubber or frame), then make sure in this position your tie rods (links from your steering arms near the backing plate) do not hit the frame.
     
  4. 51ChevPU
    Joined: Jan 27, 2006
    Posts: 1,076

    51ChevPU
    Member
    from Arizona

    Droplord.....

    Could we see how the whole car looks with the dropped lower arm done?

    Have you driven it yet with this set-up?
     
  5. droplord49
    Joined: Jan 12, 2004
    Posts: 1,679

    droplord49
    Member
    from Bryan, Tx

    I haven't gotten it out of the garage yet but here are the only shots I have of the whole car. It's lower then it will be right now, cause the rollers I have on it are 14's and the tires were half way flat in the pic. When I get the stock wheels back on it, with some 6.70x15 WWW's it will have about 5 1/2 inches of clearance in the front and about 4 inches in the back.
     

    Attached Files:

  6. johnnyjalopy
    Joined: Dec 22, 2008
    Posts: 476

    johnnyjalopy
    Member

    man thanks i have a 51 chevy and wanted to lower it bad. this is great information thanks for the share. do you have any before and after pics?
     
  7. 51ChevPU
    Joined: Jan 27, 2006
    Posts: 1,076

    51ChevPU
    Member
    from Arizona

    Droplord

    Thanks for the pictures of your car. You've done a great job and have me seriously thinking about doing my 51 with your ideas. I'm curious what you did to get the rear end down. If you're as frugal as I think you are, I bet you came up with a great cost saving way of doing it. Would you mind sharing it with the rest of us.....Thanks.
     
  8. droplord49
    Joined: Jan 12, 2004
    Posts: 1,679

    droplord49
    Member
    from Bryan, Tx

    In the rear I just pulled out three of the seven leafs and added three inch blocks. Then I had to notch the frame and raise the drive shaft tunnel to clear it all.
     
  9. DRUGASM
    Joined: Dec 16, 2008
    Posts: 2,648

    DRUGASM
    Member

    solid weekend project....was that 6 hrs for both or 6 hrs for one side? i have a feeling i might be trying this set up in the future.
     
  10. 39cent
    Joined: Apr 4, 2006
    Posts: 1,569

    39cent
    Member
    from socal

    Its oldtime lowering that was featured in a 'custom n' rods' rag bakinthday. I been saying all along that them old independant suspensions were'nt too bad, and I don't see why everybody thinks they havto change em, just work with them.
     
  11. droplord49
    Joined: Jan 12, 2004
    Posts: 1,679

    droplord49
    Member
    from Bryan, Tx

    DRUGASM... it took about 6 hours to do both of them.

    Here are some better pics of the car so you can see the stance. It's currently got 14'' wheels on it with 26.5 tall tires.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. DRUGASM
    Joined: Dec 16, 2008
    Posts: 2,648

    DRUGASM
    Member

    thanks. do you have any issues with the tires hittin the fenders at full lock?
     
  13. flatoz
    Joined: May 11, 2003
    Posts: 3,116

    flatoz
    Member

    Never seen this done before, but as Bert says, don't think the officals would like it this side of the pond. Did you sell your '55 Olds? Got to ask, unless my counting is out, looks like you took 2 coils out? Just as a heads up to those wanting to get the same ride height.

    I do like the idea of cutting out the kingpin upright area and welding in a new ball joint area, get the best of both worlds!
     
  14. 51ChevPU
    Joined: Jan 27, 2006
    Posts: 1,076

    51ChevPU
    Member
    from Arizona

    I was wondering about adding a 53-54 upright to the lowering process. Its my understanding that a 53-54 upright is 7/8 inch lower than the 49-52. If I did this, would the steering arm have to be lowered as well to compensate for the 7/8 difference from the stock upright.
     
  15. leaded
    Joined: Nov 17, 2005
    Posts: 327

    leaded
    Member
    from Norway

    Yup! 53-54 is "lower", and your arms needs relocations/lowering too!:cool:

    But, seems like th biggest consideration is about SCRUBLINE! perhaps straight angle on the photo will show otherwise, BUT, be carefully not let anything go under your rims, when a flat, your car gonna be a skider¬īsliding without control.........
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2009
  16. RDR
    Joined: May 30, 2009
    Posts: 1,353

    RDR
    Member

    Droplord49; this was exactly what Watsons Grapevine had done to it in '56 to get it to be one of the lowest chevys in Bellflower and still have any suspension left..He said before he stepped the a arms a chevy came into the Clock Drive IN that was lower than his and what the guy had done was take the coils out and run on the rubber bumpers; well not to be outdone by a lower car, the next day grapevine got reworked a -arms....just passin' along some nostalgia.....
     
  17. DECKARD sr.
    Joined: Mar 4, 2008
    Posts: 172

    DECKARD sr.
    Member

    thanks for the tech advice man, you just saved me a lot of guess work. im gonna hack into mine first chance i get.
     
  18. Slag Kustom
    Joined: May 10, 2004
    Posts: 4,312

    Slag Kustom
    Member



    bum steer can be a problem because the steering arm is now 2 1/2 inches higher then it was stock. you should still be using the dropped steering arms to put the factory geometry back.
     
  19. 39cent
    Joined: Apr 4, 2006
    Posts: 1,569

    39cent
    Member
    from socal

    yes always check the angle of the steering rod from the steering arm when lowering, as it needs to be in the same position relative to the axle as it was before, has bump steer relationship. [usually tye rod ends are bent down] The factory angles from the steering arm are usually set as the best angle to minimize 'bump steer' ]-)(----'
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2009
  20. triton6972
    Joined: Apr 3, 2006
    Posts: 173

    triton6972
    Member

    Nice work Dustin. Think we need to do the same to Mikes car. If he ever starts working on it again :D
     
  21. jonzcustomshop
    Joined: Jun 25, 2007
    Posts: 1,927

    jonzcustomshop
    Member

    001.jpg 002.jpg 003.jpg 004.jpg 005.jpg 009.jpg well, this thread was a huge help, just got done with the arms on my '50, no motor, so it sits 7.5 off the ground right now. but still looks 100% better than it did!

    would love to see some pics of your rear setup, I am doing that next.

    -the first 2 pics are of the 60's lowering kit this had on it:D- check out the hole it ground in the A arm!
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2015
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  22. waynus
    Joined: Aug 9, 2009
    Posts: 73

    waynus
    Member

    Just completed stepping my lower A arms, did it a little different than was shown. The result was easier fabrication and fewer welds. Will post some pictures in the next few days. This tech tip saved me alot of money and will put the car where I want it for about a $10 cost. I love this group.
     
  23. waynus
    Joined: Aug 9, 2009
    Posts: 73

    waynus
    Member

    Attached are photos of the method i used for notching the lower control arms. Results are fewer welds and the vertical plate boxes the end of the control arm for some added strength. the gussets were part of the vertical plate and bent in a press to match the angle of the control arm. The only added step is when cuting the end off of the control arm is that you have to make another cut on the control arm to remove the thickness of the vertical plate. The results are like the post, but requires less fab


    49 chevy control arm notch1.jpg

    49 chevy control arm notch2.jpg

    49 chevy control arm notch3.jpg

    49 chevy control arm notch4.jpg
     
  24. jonzcustomshop
    Joined: Jun 25, 2007
    Posts: 1,927

    jonzcustomshop
    Member

    well.. dropped a 394 olds in the car, must be ALOT heavier than a chevy 6...it sits about 2 inches off the ground, and if I jump on the frame rails a few times I can get it to bottom out.
    I cut 2 coils out like the OP did, there is a chance that my coils had been wasted with the 60's style clamps they originally used for lowering, luckily I have a few more sets of 49-54 coils to play with, I don't like the idea of taking the suspension apart 3-4 times, but first I will try a stock set with this olds motor in place, and then I am thinking of trying a 1/2 a coil at a time until it sits just right... also on the look out for a 53-54 setup, since the uprights are lower than a 40-50, and the brakes are better/cheaper to get parts for...
    I'll keep you posted..
     
  25. jonzcustomshop
    Joined: Jun 25, 2007
    Posts: 1,927

    jonzcustomshop
    Member

    uprights%20010.jpg uprights%20014.jpg 007.jpg 003.jpg 005.jpg 001.jpg 002.jpg well here is the new look-
    53-54 uprights (first 2 photos courtesy NONAME pic#1 is a 49, pic#2 is a 54)
    53-54 stock front springs.
    stepped lower a arms
    big heavy olds 394 v8
    this setup gets me 6.5 inches of ground clearance at the center of the cross member, and about 4 at the a arms
    I would always like lower, but this setup is probably good for my town-our roads are pretty rough and rutted in places..

    I had cut my 1950 springs 2 coils,- way to weak and low
    the 54 springs I got were about 2 inches taller than the un cut 1950 springs..
    anyone have an idea why the 54's were taller?
    my only thought is that it was to compensate for the upright being lower in 53-54?
    the 54 was also a powerglide car, so maybe that played into it?
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2015
  26. jonzcustomshop
    Joined: Jun 25, 2007
    Posts: 1,927

    jonzcustomshop
    Member

    ^ anyone have an info /opinions on those front coils?
     
  27. droplord49
    Joined: Jan 12, 2004
    Posts: 1,679

    droplord49
    Member
    from Bryan, Tx

    I'm glad this has helped alot of you guys out. I know most of us are building our rides on a tight budget, so every money saving tip sure helps.
     
  28. twenty gallons
    Joined: Jun 7, 2010
    Posts: 444

    twenty gallons
    Member

    in response to Bert. using this method on a ball joint front end....Yes, it works, been doing it for last 15 years. first set was on a 65 chevy half ton, just remember what was already mentioned above. you MUST be a GOOD welder, and take your time, (tape measures try their best to lie to you)
    this is one of the most critical parts of the suspension, if it breaks??????????
     
  29. Rosenbergpena
    Joined: May 5, 2010
    Posts: 2

    Rosenbergpena
    Member

    This is great!!! Thanks for the post but will it work on my 1950 chevy deluxe that is already bagged? Please say yes!!!
     
  30. Gizzy
    Joined: Jan 20, 2008
    Posts: 656

    Gizzy
    Member
    from N.W,Ohio

    I did this to my 64',works great.
     

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