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Tips on lowering 49-54 Chevy

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by C-10 CST, Aug 17, 2013.

  1. C-10 CST
    Joined: Jul 4, 2011
    Posts: 268

    C-10 CST
    Member
    from Indy

    OK, I know this has been covered before but I thought I would give you my personal experience to help someone else save some time. After reading many posts on this site I went ahead and installed some lowering blocks to the rear, simple and cheap, the rear was done. The front is a little more complicated. I cut 1 & 1/2 coils from the front coil springs and installed new shorter shocks. The stance was great but the ride was terrible. After 700 miles of slam banging I couldn't take it any more.

    Here is what I did today and it is sooooo much better. First buy a set of Moog 8542 coils. I got them off of eBay for $52.00 with free shipping from Jegs. Next buy a set of Monroe 555001 shocks. Nobody here in Indianapolis had them in stock so you will probably need to order them. I got them from Oreilys auto parts for $40.00 for the pair. The original cut coils and and the slam banging destroyed the original bump stops so I would advise installing new ones while you're at it. $32.00 with shipping from National Chevy Association took care of that. Now cut the new coils by 1/2 coil, that should take about 1 & 1/8 inch off the height of the coils. This not only lowers the car by about 2.5 inches and brings the coils up close to the spring rate of the original coils.

    I'm not going to get into how to install the coils. Get a shop manual or pull the one off the web for free. The job is pretty straight forward but any time you pull apart a 60 some year old front end it is a pretty greasy job but it can be done on jack stands with basic hand tools.
    Have fun and enjoy the way your car looks and rides.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2013
  2. 32 bowtie
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 298

    32 bowtie
    Member

    How about some pics?


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  3. C-10 CST
    Joined: Jul 4, 2011
    Posts: 268

    C-10 CST
    Member
    from Indy

    I'll post some pictures before and after tomorrow.
     
  4. dt50chev
    Joined: Mar 15, 2005
    Posts: 596

    dt50chev
    Member

    .

    Before tomorrow and after tomorrow?


    .
     
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  5. 'Mo
    Joined: Sep 26, 2007
    Posts: 7,435

    'Mo
    Member

    Thanks for the tip. The parts numbers really help.
    How are the new Monroe shocks better than the shorter shocks you were already using?
     
  6. barett
    Joined: Jul 1, 2012
    Posts: 462

    barett
    Member
    from Taylor TX

    Hey thanks for the tip, as of right now I'm tail dragging all over town wondering what exactly I want to do about the front end? This advice sounds like a plan. I put a 3" block in rear, what is common?


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  7. C-10 CST
    Joined: Jul 4, 2011
    Posts: 268

    C-10 CST
    Member
    from Indy

    Sorry for the confusion. The Monroe 555001 are the new shorter shocks. Whether you cut the original coils or use the cut Moog 8542's you will need a shorter shock than the originals. If you don't the shocks will become your bump stop and probably eventually break the bottom shock mount out.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2013
  8. C-10 CST
    Joined: Jul 4, 2011
    Posts: 268

    C-10 CST
    Member
    from Indy

    Three inch blocks are about as big as you can go without a c notch in the rear. And especially if you are still running the original torque tube rear end. You don't want all your differential fluid running forward out of the pumpkin to the U-joint
     
  9. C-10 CST
    Joined: Jul 4, 2011
    Posts: 268

    C-10 CST
    Member
    from Indy

    Here are a few pictures of before and after I lowered the Fleetline.
    DSCN2148.JPG

    DSCN2599.JPG
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2013
  10. motoandy
    Joined: Sep 19, 2007
    Posts: 3,289

    motoandy
    Member
    from MB, SC

    Very nice. Current l y I am just running lowering blocks in the rear. I like the stance. You made some nice changes.
     
  11. 32 bowtie
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 298

    32 bowtie
    Member

    Thanks for the pics, I recently acquired a 54 and I'm trying to get a good look without crazy cash for air ride and notched frames.


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  12. NashRodMan
    Joined: Jul 8, 2004
    Posts: 1,601

    NashRodMan
    Member

    C-10,

    Nice car. Where did you get the caps in the second picture?
    Paul
     
  13. Gregg Pellicer
    Joined: Aug 20, 2004
    Posts: 1,346

    Gregg Pellicer
    Member

    Look's really nice. What size block's did you use in rear?
     
  14. C-10 CST
    Joined: Jul 4, 2011
    Posts: 268

    C-10 CST
    Member
    from Indy

    Last edited: Aug 18, 2013
  15. C-10 CST
    Joined: Jul 4, 2011
    Posts: 268

    C-10 CST
    Member
    from Indy

    I used 2 inch blocks in the back. I always have a lot of "junk in the trunk" (tools, small floor jack, spare tire, small set of jack stands, a gallon of coolant, couple quarts of oil & a cooler) that brings the back down a little more. I believe in being self reliant out on the road.
     
  16. NashRodMan
    Joined: Jul 8, 2004
    Posts: 1,601

    NashRodMan
    Member

  17. ALMAdeVENTA
    Joined: Sep 2, 2008
    Posts: 12

    ALMAdeVENTA
    Member

    Thanks for the info. Gonna do this to my 49'

    Sent from my HTC6535LVW using H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  18. Would you happen to still have the piece that you cut off your new springs. If so please upload a pic so I can get an idea on how much you cut.
    I'm getting ready to try this and don't wanna mess up.
     

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