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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. Band saw works well, otherwise im sure a cut off wheel and a grinder would work fine.

    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
     
  2. lowroder
    Joined: May 17, 2011
    Posts: 91

    lowroder
    Member

    like this thread.. wish there was more measurements posted.. like where the are was cut back to from the bolt hole section.
     
  3. niceguyede
    Joined: Jan 19, 2009
    Posts: 633

    niceguyede
    Member
    from dallas

    I'm doing a set now, but I have a better way. I'll post it up when I'm done.

    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
     
    daddio211, Merge and lowroder like this.
  4. Kool it would be Kool if you can keep me posted. Thanks
     
  5. droplord49
    Joined: Jan 12, 2004
    Posts: 1,679

    droplord49
    Member
    from Bryan, Tx

    Awesome to see my six year old thread still popping up and helping folks! As shown and mentioned by several guys, it's a method that's been around since these cars were new and there are countless ways of doing it. I just used what I had laying around in the garage at the time and wanted to show that you can do it with the most basic tools(all I used was a cutoff wheel on a grinder and my welder). @lowroder, if I remember correctly, I usually cut them 2'' back from the ends. That way it's far enough out to clear the bump stops(this mod is pointless if you cut them too far back and the end that you step up still makes contact with the bump stops), but gives plenty of clearance for the upright as the suspension cycles from lock to lock.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2015
    daddio211 and lowroder like this.
  6. Got rid of my wagon couple weeks ago. Wana build my 47 fleetmaster. Saw your post and it proved helpful.
     
  7. droplord49
    Joined: Jan 12, 2004
    Posts: 1,679

    droplord49
    Member
    from Bryan, Tx

    Here is a pic of my 53 Belair I did the lower arms on a few months ago. This is stepped arms with 1 1/2 coils cut in the front and 3'' blocks in the rear(and saggy old springs all around). new front resize.jpg
     
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  8. lowroder
    Joined: May 17, 2011
    Posts: 91

    lowroder
    Member

    looks great droploard49
     
  9. Looking good. Love the stance.
     
  10. von Dyck
    Joined: Apr 12, 2007
    Posts: 678

    von Dyck
    Member

    To check for bump steer, measure toe-in (wheels straight ahead, level ground, vehicle driving weight). Should read 1/16" to 1/8". Place jack under front crossmember and raise up until front tires are off the floor. Measure the toe-in with car in this position. Should read close to the same as normal ride height toe-in. If not the same (or close) you will have bump steer.
     
  11. Devin
    Joined: Dec 28, 2004
    Posts: 2,352

    Devin
    Member
    from Napa, CA

    How's the handling? Bump steer etc?
     
  12. droplord49
    Joined: Jan 12, 2004
    Posts: 1,679

    droplord49
    Member
    from Bryan, Tx

    All the Chevys I've done this to, drive great. Haven't had one yet with any adverse affects(bump steer, etc).
     
    Baldies likes this.
  13. lowroder
    Joined: May 17, 2011
    Posts: 91

    lowroder
    Member

    Can you use 3'' Drop Springs Without Any Other Suspension Changes Like Uprights, Steering Arms? Or Stepped Arms? Just To Lower 3"
     
  14. No bumpsteer, handles great for thousands of miles now. Yes you can use just 3" drop springs but you lose that in suspension travel.
     
  15. Devin
    Joined: Dec 28, 2004
    Posts: 2,352

    Devin
    Member
    from Napa, CA

    That's awesome. Seems like a no brainer $600 for dropped uprights vs. a couple hours of your time. I have a long time before I need to start thinking about this but I'm pretty sure this will be the way to go. Thanks for the write up.
     
  16. lowroder
    Joined: May 17, 2011
    Posts: 91

    lowroder
    Member

    I might just use 3'' drop coils
     
  17. King Karl
    Joined: Sep 27, 2007
    Posts: 383

    King Karl
    Member
    from N.C.

    There are issues that come along with lowering these cars with springs only.
    Camber adjustments, bump steer, etc...
    If you can't do this mod yourself I would suggest having someone here step them for you. That's just my opinion but I believe that you will be much happier.

    Good luck either way..

    KK
     
  18. daddio211
    Joined: Aug 26, 2008
    Posts: 5,994

    daddio211
    Member

    If you're lowering a shoebox with 3" coils be sure to get the adjustable camber plates from shoebox-central.com. That's your only chance to correct the alignment. The kit is like $45 and @shoeboxdoc is a great guy!

    This thread brings back a lot of memories droplord. This post motivated my dad and I to get working on his shoebox again, and this is how he was going to lower it. We found out he had cancer in 2012 and six months later he was gone. I kept his shoebox though. Thanks for the memories. :)
     
  19. Tim Payne
    Joined: Aug 5, 2015
    Posts: 23

    Tim Payne

    Thanks to this thread I'm about to step the lower A arms on my currently stock 53 210. I wanted to get opinions before ordering my other components. I would like to end up with a very low look, with a slight front rake. Initial plan is to step the lowers, order Jamco 2" coils and shocks for the front and 3" blocks for the rear. Thoughts?
     
  20. 31aBoy
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 640

    31aBoy
    Member

    I stepped mine and cut 1/2 a coil. 3 inch blocks in the rear. It sits level.

    Maybe using your original coil springs and cutting a coil will get you sitting right!
     
  21. Tim Payne
    Joined: Aug 5, 2015
    Posts: 23

    Tim Payne

    Thanks 3lsBoy..how was your ride after stepping and cutting?
     
  22. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 9,855

    Atwater Mike
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Bob Heinrichs was doing this at his San Jose shop "Heinrichs Automotive" in 1955.
    The operation was called, "A-Framed". His method was to leave the lower threaded eyes intact, and to lap weld a pair of 'shackles' on, then bore and tap the ends.
    Your method is worlds better, I had him do my black '56 Cad Coupe De Ville in '60, with cut coils and alignment total was $46.00!
    After picking it up, I was cruising by Spivey's drive in, sittin' low, playin' the role...and drove right into an open manhole! (a 'gasser pilot' had absconded with the cover, to get down into 'C Gas'...)
    Tow truck, back to Heinrich's...
    Repair torn out frame bolts, replace left lower 'A Frame', and re-tab it, straighten and align: $110.00!
    Unexpected tab for 'lookin' cooool'...:cool:
     
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  23. 31aBoy
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 640

    31aBoy
    Member

    It's a 52 btw. It rides great actually. The worst thing you can say is if you get a couple.people in the back it bottoms out on the drive shaft tunnel. Maybe some different shocks would help.
     
  24. cosmic12
    Joined: Oct 16, 2011
    Posts: 422

    cosmic12
    Member

    finish paint 034.jpg I finally have mine done enough to drive a bit and so far it is great! 2" A-arm drop w/ 2" drop spindles stock front springs, stock steering arms w/ power rack up front. 4" blocks in rear with reverse eye springs and stock shocks rear.
     

    Attached Files:

  25. 31aBoy
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 640

    31aBoy
    Member

    Cosmic. You got the stock floor pan? If yes, are you bottoming out?
     
  26. cosmic12
    Joined: Oct 16, 2011
    Posts: 422

    cosmic12
    Member

    I haven't bottomed out yet but haven't had anyone in the back seat either.. and yes stock perfect pan and I am sure I will have to cut it but really don't want to because it is so perfect. I hate thinking about it.
    As of now my biggest problem is making tight turns, the fronts really rub the fender edge bad. Not real sure what I am going to do about that yet.
     
  27. Is the front end on 47 chevy Fleetline the same? I would like to do this.
     
  28. Baldies
    Joined: Nov 16, 2015
    Posts: 133

    Baldies

    Great thread you started, droplord. It seems to have a life of it's own.:)
    BTW, real nice welding.
     
  29. Chado
    Joined: Jun 10, 2015
    Posts: 6

    Chado

    Anyone run airbags with stepped arms?
     
  30. daddio211
    Joined: Aug 26, 2008
    Posts: 5,994

    daddio211
    Member

    I don't know, but a highly skilled guy could sure correct some camber issues by shortening them the right amount!
     

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