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using lowering blocks with torque tubes

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 54pathfinder, Jun 3, 2012.

  1. 54pathfinder
    Joined: May 13, 2012
    Posts: 139

    54pathfinder
    Member
    from canada

    id like to lower my 54 pontiac in the back and front. its a torque tube and i get the feeling from reading around that it could be a can of worms

    also torching the front springs seems unsafe versus cutting them. is it possible to use just blocks and cut springs to static lower a torque tube drive line without issues? thanks.
     
  2. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,911

    need louvers ?
    Member

    Why would you even consider "torching" coil springs? That's just dumb! Take them out, cut a loop and put them back in until you've reached ride height. Actually just a little less, 'cause stuff is going to settle. As far as torque tubes and lowering blocks, I can't imagine a problem. As long as you have leaf springs in the rear, of course.
     
  3. 54pathfinder
    Joined: May 13, 2012
    Posts: 139

    54pathfinder
    Member
    from canada

    id consider it because i know nothing about it. but i ask first because i know enough to ask!
     
  4. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,911

    need louvers ?
    Member

    Good plan! It's important to do the spring cutting thing in stages and not just say to heck with it and cut off too much. Try a coil at a time, drive it a bit, and if it isn't low enough repeat.
    Torching springs removes the temper from the spring, and it'll progressively get lower as the heated section squishes further and further down.
     
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  5. I never knew that pontiacs used a torque tube drive...I thought that buicks were the onle holdouts back then....I had a 51 pontiac with an open driveshaft many years ago.
     
  6. 54pathfinder
    Joined: May 13, 2012
    Posts: 139

    54pathfinder
    Member
    from canada

    yeah i see people warning about a leak problem if the tube is held up at the end because the oil will run down the tube forwards? this is a canadian cheiftain so its made up of all old chevy parts including a flat head
     
  7. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,911

    need louvers ?
    Member

    if you were to drop it to a compltely silly extreme you MAY have have a problem with that, but I have run 2 and 3" blocks in Chevy torque tubes before without incedent many times. A flat six would have been Pontiac alone though, Chevy always had over heads.
     
  8. Lots of cars running around lowered and still use the torque tube. My Chevy has blocks out back and cut coils up front and I put thousands of miles on it with no problems. Blocks are cheap and coils are too, I'd say give it a shot and if you have problems you can always go back to stock, but Im sure you'll be just fine with a 3 -4 inch drop.
     
  9. 65PANELRAT
    Joined: Jul 27, 2007
    Posts: 834

    65PANELRAT
    Member

    Here's a pic of my 54 Chevy Truck with a torque tube drive shaft, and 2" lowering blocks. No problems here.
     

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  10. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,235

    belair
    Member

    I don't think there is oil in the torque tube.
     
  11. 54pathfinder
    Joined: May 13, 2012
    Posts: 139

    54pathfinder
    Member
    from canada

    can you fabricate blocks that are just flat and have no taper? or do the blocks need an angle to compensate for dropping the rear? also when the front springs are cut do you have to sand the end down at an angle so it sits flat or does the cut spring just lay flat at the bottom because of the pressure? the oil thing is supposedly because there is no pinion seal and only gravity keeps the oil in the rear end. i read that on a chevy forum. thanks for the help guys
     
  12. Ole don
    Joined: Dec 16, 2005
    Posts: 2,915

    Ole don
    Member

    If the lowering is too radical, the front of the torque tube will be lower than the pumpkin and the oil can run out through the front pinion bearing into the torque tube. If a big puddle happens, you went to far.
     
  13. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,911

    need louvers ?
    Member

    Been awhile since I worked on a G.M. from that era, but you'll find most front springs have a flat end for the top, and a straight cut end for the bottom. You cut from the straight cut end.
     
  14. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,235

    belair
    Member

    As Johnny Carson used to say, "I did not know that." Thanks Don.
     
  15. jcmarz
    Joined: Jan 10, 2010
    Posts: 4,636

    jcmarz
    Member
    from Chino, Ca

    As long as you don't use like 5 inch blocks. 2 inch at the most and if you want to go lower, get lowered leaf springs. Also, today's blocks are not correct for your car. The correct ones should be cast iron and about 1 3/4 wide.
     
  16. If its built with Chevy parts you can buy blocks specifically made for those narrow rear springs for around 60$. Chevy's of the 40's should have them. 3" blocks in the back and trim your bump stop in half add some new airshocks. Up front remove 1 to 1 1/2 coils with a cutoff wheel and replace your worn out shocks and you'll be cruisin in style. While your under the car inspect the front suspension for wear and rebuild if necessary. Lowering on an old clapped out suspension will prove for a shitty ride! No need to overthink it, its all simple stuff. If you keep it level or lower in the rear you will avoid the torque tube leaks your worried about. Good luck and show us some pics!
     
  17. 54pathfinder
    Joined: May 13, 2012
    Posts: 139

    54pathfinder
    Member
    from canada

    cool guys, i think i know what to do.
     
  18. Hellfish
    Joined: Jun 19, 2002
    Posts: 6,412

    Hellfish
    Member

    My wife cut 1 (or 1.5) coils out of the front springs in her '51 Chevy. She then used 2 or 3" lowering block in the rear (stock torque tube). No problems. It makes for a stiffer ride for sure, but she didn't have any problems with driveability, leaks, etc. If you go more than 3" blocks, then you might have problems with pinion, leaking, rear hitting the frame, etc.
     
  19. RayMiller
    Joined: Aug 9, 2005
    Posts: 491

    RayMiller
    Member

    Before I bagged my 52 I had 3 coils out of the front and 5 and a half inch blocks in the rear and no issues, and bagged all the way around now still no issues. Go for it! And post some pics!
     

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  20. 54pathfinder
    Joined: May 13, 2012
    Posts: 139

    54pathfinder
    Member
    from canada

    i went for it! four hours to cut the coils and reinstall. i took exatcly one loop off. i like the way the nose sits and i feel good about doing it right. the springs were creaky and noisy at first but i doused it with wd40 and it all went quiet i guess they will nestle in after a few miles. next is to buy the three inch kit from chevs of the 40's and slam the rear. thanks again and i will post some pics when its done. now for some ibuprofen...
     
  21. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 9,867

    Atwater Mike
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Done that more than a few times...friends had 'those cars'...(LOL) No harm intended.
    One pal had a '52 Pontiac Star Chief; I helped him bolt an Olds rocket with hydra-matic in on one Saturday, Pontiac & Olds shared a 'corporate frame' for a few years, bolt holes were already there. A literal bolt-in!
    Almost made me a 'Pontiac Man'.

    But for the coils: I cut 2 coils out of Bob's springs, with a hack saw! (and about 8 fine toothed blades!) It was 1955, and we didn't have a die grinder or cutoff wheels yet...
    But were careful not to torch cut them, as some friends that did complained about 'settling', I pulled coils out of a number of GM (and shoebox Fords!) and found the #1 loop flattened, right against the #2 loop. (like they'd been heated: actually, they had...for about 3/4"...it evidently travelled...)
    WE lived and learned.

    Last thing: It was smart to go 1 coil at a time...(I was going to suggest 1-1/2.)
    But if you are happy, leave it there...and get it aligned!
     
  22. bonez
    Joined: Jul 16, 2007
    Posts: 3,493

    bonez
    Member
    from Slow lane

    You rule. that is what i call LOW. i bet you dragged every speed bump home for the time you rolled it that way.
     
  23. 54pathfinder
    Joined: May 13, 2012
    Posts: 139

    54pathfinder
    Member
    from canada

    i'll wait until i get the back set down until i cut more coil spring. its surprising how much difference on coil will make. also i dont want to make it into cop bait because those guys all come up here to retire and theres too many of 'em. strangely though they never bugged me in my last ride which was a flat black '62 econoline with a flame job. until they came to my house in two suburbans one night because someone complained i was shooting a gun at them. it was just a back fire.
     
  24. 63401nailhead
    Joined: Apr 4, 2008
    Posts: 87

    63401nailhead
    Member
    from DE

    I had like 4" blocks in the rear of my 52 Chevy with torque tube. No problems at all. Also, I cut I think like a coil and a half out of the front, but yeah, start with 1 coil or a half a coil. A little goes a long way.

    Never had any issue, although I did hae to cut down the bumpstops in the rear, and if I had back seat passengers which was almost never, it would bottom out.
     
  25. RayMiller
    Joined: Aug 9, 2005
    Posts: 491

    RayMiller
    Member

    Every speed bumb and road marker lol
     
  26. 54pathfinder
    Joined: May 13, 2012
    Posts: 139

    54pathfinder
    Member
    from canada

    i got back to it and went a half coil more. whole process only took two hours. no rusted in bolts! now its mega raked, gotta save up for the rear end kit. it sure handles better! they had that thing set up for rock crawling.
     
  27. Canadian Pontiacs of the 50s used a torque tube, American models did not.
     
  28. fitzee
    Joined: Feb 26, 2003
    Posts: 2,863

    fitzee
    Member

    come on!!! want to see pictures..lol
     
  29. 54pathfinder
    Joined: May 13, 2012
    Posts: 139

    54pathfinder
    Member
    from canada

    waiting for the blocks in the snail mail. gonna be a couple weeks yet.
     
  30. GREASER815
    Joined: Dec 2, 2008
    Posts: 973

    GREASER815
    Member

    I ran one last year, never had any problems. Just buy the stuff and do it right unless you know how to fab. I'm sure everyone back in the old days didn't rip out the torque tubes and put open drivelines in their cars. They threw some blocks in and cruised.
     

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