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Technical The Ala Kart Suspension: What was George thinking?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by MrPhat40, Feb 3, 2019.

  1. MrPhat40
    Joined: Apr 30, 2007
    Posts: 91

    MrPhat40
    Member

    Hey H.A.M.B.er's,
    A friend of mine is starting a new build: Show Rod 34 Ford pick up. He is planning lots of goodies: chop, section, molded fenders and the like. One of the ideas he has is to mimic the "ala Kart" suspension, both front and rear.
    Problem is we can not seem to find any decent detail shots of the front and rear suspension, much less a description of what old George and Sam came up with. It appears Barris used coil springs which looked to be bagged (?) with a straight axle in the front and the Ford banjo rear end.
    I am coming to the well once again for some incite and direction.
    Looking forward the knowledge and "barbs" so often found here.
    As a parting piece of info, this guy drives everything he builds so maybe we can spike the : "oh brother just what the world needs another trailer show queen" sighs.
    MrPhat40
     
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  2. It was a show car so suspension design would have been way down the list of priorities


    Sent from my iPad using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  3. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 22,022

    Deuces
    Member
    from Michigan

    Yep! Nothin' but show street rod... Why I bought the model of it, I don't know why.... :confused:
     
    VANDENPLAS and warhorseracing like this.
  4. It was intended to show case many new ideas and start new trends

    Sent from my moto g(6) play using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
    gimpyshotrods likes this.

  5. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 23,292

    Moriarity
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    I don't what about coil springs would make it un drivable? Lots of cars were built that way in the '60's and 70's. the bags are nothing more than the overload helper bags that firestone used to sell back in the day. I think the front has 4 bars but I am unsure. I did find this pic of the rear in about 1 minute of searching google. I say if your buddy wants coil springs, go for it!!!
    ALA KART FRAME 005.jpg
     
    Stogy, dana barlow, GuyW and 18 others like this.
  6. MrPhat40
    Joined: Apr 30, 2007
    Posts: 91

    MrPhat40
    Member

    Thank you so much.
    I guess your computer skills are much better than mine as well as my buddy.
    Hope the build comes out better!
    MrPhat40
     
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  7. gnichols
    Joined: Mar 6, 2008
    Posts: 11,125

    gnichols
    Member
    from Tampa, FL

    A model car kit would be a good thing to have. I believe there are lots of photos on the web of the original and the clone to help you out. Sorry I don't have any to share. Gary
     
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  8. Coil springs front and rear and some of the most beautiful scallops ever created.:) f0d2fcb7a5dd11931fd8839c5127c481.jpg 3352161573_0bcddfcf9b.jpg
     
  9. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 20,199

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Everyone knows that air suspension did not exist until the mini-truck era.
     
    Spooky, Thor1, Wraith and 7 others like this.
  10. Tim
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 13,680

    Tim
    Member
    from KCMO

    It was at the gnrs do a quick search for those photo threads and I’m sure you’ll see some of this truck, and or be able to figure out who has it now and ask for more photos.

    Either way like Mark said lots of cars ran those coils in front and back - with it with out the overload bags- and drove just as well as anything would over a straight axle I say go for it if that’s the vibe he’s shooting for.
     
    Moriarity likes this.
  11. Tim
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 13,680

    Tim
    Member
    from KCMO

    Super fast search and it looks like maybe John Mumford owns it and Galphen <- May have spelt that wrong- ford would be who I’d ask for more info as there’s a good chance they’ve had something to do with it in the recent years.
     
    Deuces likes this.
  12. Fortunateson
    Joined: Apr 30, 2012
    Posts: 4,585

    Fortunateson
    Member

    Joke, correct?
     
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  13. Tim
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 13,680

    Tim
    Member
    from KCMO

  14. The 39 guy
    Joined: Nov 5, 2010
    Posts: 3,264

    The 39 guy
    Member

    Al Kart Issue RJ 40.JPG
    If you can get your hands on issue #40 of the Rodders Journal I would guess
    you could get some good ideas from reading that issue.
     
  15. krylon32
    Joined: Jan 29, 2006
    Posts: 7,993

    krylon32
    Alliance Vendor
    from Nebraska

    Try contacting Dave at Roy Brizio's. He's their parts manager and is normally super helpful and might be able to shine some light on the bags your looking for. I believe Brizio's restored the Ala Kart?
     
  16. I just googled Ala Kart Restoration and at least 10 pages of hits come up nd you can also look at images. Something helpful should jump out at you in all of that. It doesn't take a lot of skill to use your search engine no matter what one is in your computer.
     
    Tim likes this.
  17. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 20,199

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    No. Air ride has not existed since the turn of the previous century, double-convoluted bags were not invented and patented in the 1930's, they were never used in cars, custom, or otherwise, and laying frame and/or rockers is from the last ten-fifteen years, or so.
     
    Thor1, GuyW, Ned Ludd and 2 others like this.
  18. saltracer219
    Joined: Sep 23, 2006
    Posts: 890

    saltracer219
    Member

    Air Lift Company has been in business since 1949, those are the air bags that were used on the Ala Kart.
     
  19. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 11,227

    jimmy six
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Neil Thompson always ran Air Lift's on his Bonneville cars. I still use them on my pickups for towing and stableization. They are a very good product. Today they can in a spring or by themselves.
     
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  20. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 6,240

    stanlow69
    Member

    Motor Trend April of 53 Scan0852.jpg
     
  21. gnichols
    Joined: Mar 6, 2008
    Posts: 11,125

    gnichols
    Member
    from Tampa, FL

    Yep. And used in all sorts of racing - most visibly perhaps in early NASCAR - and heavy trucks and trailers, railroad cars, and campers, and cars towing trailers, etc.. Everywhere you've ever seen "air cushion ride" was talking bags. Even so, they were used more like helper springs and to "smooth out" the ride when inflated to the appropriate pressure, or to temporarily increase the spring rate of a heavily laden pickup or passenger car.

    Did Mr. Barris ever explain why he used them and what the effects were? Benefits? Gary
     
  22. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 20,199

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I have been told that that is revisionist history.
     
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  23. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 23,292

    Moriarity
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    Yup. The bags were just helpers, maybe they used too much lead. Who knows but you don’t need to use them in your new build if you don’t want or need to. I guessed earlier that it had 4 bars up front. I got out my model kit and it looks like split wishbones up front


    [​IMG]


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
  24. pitman
    Joined: May 14, 2006
    Posts: 5,151

    pitman

    Front Corvair coils I had used out back, they were ~ the correct spring rate, for an A coupe. Might work for your PU.
     
    Tim likes this.
  25. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 20,199

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    It has been my understanding that the coils were selected for diameter and height, but not specifically rate, and that ended up not being right for the application, hence the helper bags.
     
  26. enjenjo
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 2,567

    enjenjo
    Member
    from swanton oh

    Cadillac, Buick, and Packard all had air suspension in the mid 50s.
     
    LAROKE and VANDENPLAS like this.
  27. If you decide that you want to build the AMT Ala Kart kit there are 2 versions, one, the original came out in 1962ish and has been reissued a few times, currently as the Mod Rod, tho' doesn't have the AK decals.........then there was a completely new tool released in around 2000, with the most accurate chassis & suspension, however there is a continuing argument regarding the size of the engine(some think its too small), the shape or curvature of the cowl/hood and the kit decals are a slightly incorrect shade......Hot wheels has also done it in a couple of diecasts as well.............the Ala Kart is truly a work of art.......not many hot rods of any persuasion have been modelled in scale let alone cloned in 1:1 scale......andyd
     
  28. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 20,199

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Not just today, but in 1936, too.

    I am making this all up (according to some on this site):

    Patent number: 2133279
    Filing date: Jan 3, 1936
    Issue date: Oct 18, 1938
    [​IMG]
    It's a mirage: https://patents.google.com/patent/US2133279?oq=2133279

    Move along. Nothing to see here....
     

    Attached Files:

    redo32, Rich S., Ned Ludd and 3 others like this.
  29. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 20,199

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    *I know, I am allowing others to make a point that I have been eviscerated for making before.

    To some, if something was not present on half of the cars in magazines, or they did not see it everywhere they went, it did not exist (even if you show them examples).
     
    mountainman2, Thor1, Ned Ludd and 4 others like this.
  30. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 6,240

    stanlow69
    Member

    Chevy, Pontiac and Olds too. At least in 58 or 59.
     

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