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Technical V8 60 tube axle split wishbones?

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by John walton, Jan 5, 2015.

  1. John walton
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 10

    John walton

    Would it be ok to run a v8 60 tube axle with split wishbones? Has anyone ran this set up ? Is it safe?
     
  2. 117harv
    Joined: Nov 12, 2009
    Posts: 6,590

    117harv
    Member

  3. scrap metal 48
    Joined: Sep 6, 2009
    Posts: 6,075

    scrap metal 48
    Member

    A lot of people will tell you no but if you search you will also fine people that do.. You'll have to decide.. I personally think it's OK...
     
    volvobrynk likes this.
  4. ^^You talking 4 bar setup? works very different to split bones. I now some on here that run split bones on a tube that have had no issues, I think a lot depends on how heavy the car is and how ridged the chassis is, also how are you setting up the rear axle? JW
     

  5. 29 Speedster
    Joined: Aug 2, 2011
    Posts: 157

    29 Speedster
    Member
    from Colorado

    image.jpg Our Flat Tail Race Car (and others like her) has a Tube Axle with Split Wishones. Seventy Years and counting.
     
    volvobrynk likes this.
  6. I ran one on my '32 pickup with no issues. Can't imagine why there would be any. BTW..happy birthday! Tim 100_0289.JPG
     
  7. Lots of 'em got run that way. I like them better with hairpins but lots of 'em got run that way.
     
  8. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 5,458

    tubman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Beaner,

    In the "T" tub I'm building out of parts I had on hand, I have an old aftermarket dropped tube axle (I think it's an "M.A.S.") with wishbones. I bought the adjustable spring perches from Speedway to put it all together. The housings the shackle bushings go into have a stud that goes through the top of the perch assembly, giving some flexability. I also have a pretty flexible rear suspension. I have been worrying about the whole front set up. Are you telling me it's OK? Hope so; this is a low buck build where the rule is : "Don't buy anything you already have".

    Tubman
     
  9. Andy
    Joined: Nov 17, 2002
    Posts: 4,679

    Andy
    Member

    A friend had a tube axle and split bones on his 32. He sheared the bottom of the perch pin off regularly. He carried a spare on trips.
    I have looked at some old race cars. They did not have front brakes and some the left side had a locater bar that was jointed on both ends.
    It may be fine if you have a very flexible frame to take the twist. If your frame is stiff, you will probably have trouble.
     
    alchemy likes this.
  10. Tubman
    This is the same thing that I have heard about them running bones. I have run them on bones and have known others doing the same without problems. But I have heard this about shearing the pins from people who I know of with a good reputation. So I know that they are not just saying something that they read on the net.

    I am using a new old axle (37 style) that my dad made in the early '60s on my A bone and am going to make a set of hairpins. I can make two sets as easy as one if you like. I may be tight on materials but we can discuss that. when the time comes. Let me know what makes you comfortable. ;)
     
  11. Lots of miles on mine, V8/60 with split bones IMG_1993 (2).jpg 1307sr-01+dave-grays-1932-ford-coupe+driver-side-front-view.jpg IMG_20130929_143702.jpg ...
     
  12. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 5,458

    tubman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Beaner,

    Sorry, I was thinking 'bones and typed "wishbones". I really have a set of hairpins. My goof-up. Thanks for the offer; I'll keep your generous nature in mind.

    Tubman
     
  13. Gary Addcox
    Joined: Aug 28, 2009
    Posts: 2,416

    Gary Addcox
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Where will you drive your car ? A racetrack has no railroad tracks to cross, maybe at an angle, and no potholes or other irregularities in the pavement to maneuver around. I had a '37 Ford sedan with a Super Bell tube and '37-'40 wishbone-splitting kit, and it rode very rigid. The axle, which doesn't twist, became a torsion bar with the split 'bones acting as the first and third points of connection. Racecars with similar setups NEVER operated on the streets with all their hiccups that one discovers when cruising. We changed the '37, and it rides much, much better, and SAFE, IMHO.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2016
  14. Red Weaver
    Joined: Sep 10, 2012
    Posts: 47

    Red Weaver
    Member

    I've run them on this car since 1966, 3/4 " solid rod and no problems, but 7/8 material would probably be better. Stock would be fine, just not good looking. Tube axle and tuning forks.
     
  15. Gary Addcox
    Joined: Aug 28, 2009
    Posts: 2,416

    Gary Addcox
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I agree with you totally, Andy. Personally, I have not witnessed failures from a tube/split wishbone setup, but I have also talked to people of substance who have had problems, and I believe them. It is a matter of safety to me, or at least my definition of safety. I love that Chemical City coupe, but I wouldn't ride in it at highway speed with its current setup. "Sorry, Daddy O, I guess I am just a pussy".
     
  16. Gary Addcox
    Joined: Aug 28, 2009
    Posts: 2,416

    Gary Addcox
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Just looking at hairpins compared to split 'bones, it appears the hairpins would have a bit of flex when under strain while the 'bones would tend to be rigid. One old school tale has it that I-beam axles had the webs drilled, not to save weight, but to allow the beam to flex just a bit, thereby getting rid of rigidity and smoothing out the ride. I'm no metallurgist, but I can imagine a bit of flex in the axle, plus a bit of flex in hairpins, coming together to offer "the look" along with "the ride". For street-driven rods, tube axles and 4-bars really work great and offer a smooth, safe ride. Just an opinion.
     
  17. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 5,458

    tubman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    So, I take it tube axles and hairpins are OK?
     
  18. Gary Addcox
    Joined: Aug 28, 2009
    Posts: 2,416

    Gary Addcox
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Well, people have run that setup and claim no troubles, but tube axles are rigid while I-beams have the slightest flex to them. So, I opined that tubes and 'bones were unsafe; tubes and hairpins should be safer by design, my thought. Remember, the Super Bell axle came out just before Pete and Jake brought out the 4-bar. They work in perfect harmony, but they are not considered traditional by the purists. The answer to your question as I see it is not really. I just feel that safety is the first order of business when setting up a frontend. If you intend to drive your ride anywhere you would drive your daily, I would highly recommend an I-beam (drilled) with your hairpins or 'bones. P.S. My Deuce roadster has been to the West coast twice, will go many more times at highway speeds, and is driven just like my dailies. My setup is a drilled forged C E axle and Pete & Jake's hairpins with a Posies superslide spring. The bolts that hold everybody together are checked occasionally, and so far nothing has worked loose. And, some of those roads in Cal and Arizona are as shitty as many streets in San Antonio. Good luck with whatever you decide on
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2016
    Andy likes this.
  19. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 5,458

    tubman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Gary,

    Seeing that you are responding knowledgeably to this thread, what is your opinion on the "adjustable" spring perches I mentioned earlier?
    perches.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2016
  20. Gary Addcox
    Joined: Aug 28, 2009
    Posts: 2,416

    Gary Addcox
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I don't think anyone is questioning a tube-4 bar combo. It's when you combine a totally rigid axle, the tube, with pieces that flex very little or not at all. Rodders have used split 'bones with Henry's axles forever, but all those axles except the '32 HEAVY are fairly lightweight and will flex if put in a bind. They also return to their original shape. With all the hotrods running split 'bones or hairpins, it is hard to disclaim these setups. I have a case of "safety on the brain", stemming from working on the railroad for 40 years. There you are either safe or cut-in-two, or squashed to death, no questions asked. So, I get somewhat overboard with my building.
     
  21. Gary Addcox
    Joined: Aug 28, 2009
    Posts: 2,416

    Gary Addcox
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I think they are excellent. You don't necessarily have to angle the front 'member in order to get that degree you want for your axle. They also eliminate bind between the perch and spring. Some say they look "weird", but they do work, so I couldn't care less what some might say. Everyone has an opinion, and like assholes, some stink.
     
  22. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 5,458

    tubman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Do they make the tube axle/wishbone thing less problematic?
     
  23. thirtytwo
    Joined: Dec 19, 2003
    Posts: 2,640

    thirtytwo
    Member

    No , the problem with a split bone lies in the axle itself , with the two ends fixed in the frame , when only one wheel goes up the axle wants to do a torsional twist, that's why people are commenting on perches being sheared

    My guess is the guys claiming the bones and tube axle that have worked for years are experiencing : perches moving in the axle, or chassis is twisting enough to compensate ,or they carry the opposite wheel when one goes up, or a combination of all 3 together

    Basically those perches you have pictured make up a differance , say you have a crossmember with a 4* angle and you want to set your axle at 10* , it allows a certain amount of adjustability , they may twist a little under suspension movement , but I doubt much ..if any
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2016
  24. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 5,458

    tubman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Remember, I'm talking hairpins not wishbones. I posted incorrectly at first, but corrected it later.
     
  25. Realist
    Joined: May 3, 2009
    Posts: 17

    Realist
    Member

    Let me explain the potential problems with a tube axle with either split wish bones, or hairpins:

    If you have an original I-beam with the split wish bones laying on the floor, you can get someone to stand on one of the bones, then lift the other one. You can see that, with just a little effort, the I-beam will twist. I've done this and I could lift one wishbone at least 4", easily. The alloy in the original beam will allow it to do that, then return to it's original shape. This twisting will happen when you drive over a bump in the road, or pull off the street and up a driveway. No problem.

    However, if you have a tube axle laying out on the floor and try to do the same thing, the tube axle will NOT flex. When you pick up on the end of the Wishbone/hairpin, you will lift the axle, too. Therefore, if you have that type of set-up on your street rod, there will be a tremendous stress at the connections for the wishbones, or hair pins-to axle!

    At the street rod nationals in Louisville, back in the '90s, I was looking at the suspension of a beautiful chopped/fenderless '33 coupe and noticed a crack developing where the hair pin flanges were welded to the tube axle. The owner had no idea, that only about a 1/2 inch of metal was still securing the flanges! His trip back to northern Ohio surely would have been a disaster!

    I've heard of two other tube axle cars that either developed cracks, or had catastrophic failures...both involving split wish bones/hairpins. There was an article on this very subject, in Rod 'n Custom, or Street Rodder. 4-links, in my view, would be the most practical and safe for tube axles..

    I think Gary's reasoning and recommendations are based on proven facts. I know there are vehicles with tube axles and split wish bones/hairpins, that have been driven many miles, but why take a chance, when there are safer ways?
     
  26. Yes you are. hey you opened that door. LOL:D

    The deal is you got to do what makes you feel good. Safe is a relative term in life; the wife works in an office built in an old granite mine, they say that it is a safe environment. This morning a portion of the roof fell down in the roadway to her office. But it is safe as 100+ year old granite mines go I suppose.

    That may be an old tail told somewhere. I have never heard it but I have only been around cars and bikes for 60 years give or take and haven't been around every old timer that ever lived.

    We often talk about the flex of a beam compared to a tube but flex wise we are only really taking a few thousandths of an inch and we may even be talking about a comparison to a modern tube axle as opposed to what was built 60+ or so years ago. These days to get an axle DOT approved and because of liability in a litigation driven world things have a tendency to be way over engineered to what we were driving or riding on 60 years ago. Perhaps it is because we now live in a Ralf Nader world. Consider this, "My ignition switch let my engine shut off and I wrecked my car. Now I want millions of dollars." The world I come from the answer to that is, "well life's rough all over"

    Now take this train of thought in a different direction, if in fact a beam axle actually was flexing enough to make a difference then work hardening would be a problem wouldn't it? Even forged steel (which many modern beam axles are not) will work harden.

    OK that is just food for thought it may not be a legitimate argument at all. ;)
     
  27. seb fontana
    Joined: Sep 1, 2005
    Posts: 6,823

    seb fontana
    Member
    from ct

    Beam axles flex camber wise too, jack one up by a jack under each perch bolt and the camber will change..Going down the road it does this depending on the un-eveness of the road, cornering, ect..Key is I beam and Ford never worried about twisting cause of single wishbone mount..With split bones or hair pins as was said the twisting is not much and the first bit is real tolerable so its almost a non-issue..Its the stupid shit, high speed, curb jumping that over taxes things..
     
  28. Hackerbilt
    Joined: Aug 13, 2001
    Posts: 6,247

    Hackerbilt
    Member

    I think this can go back and forth forever.
    I also think its reasonable to say that of all the combinations of front axle/locating members you can come up with...tube axle used with split wishbones is the one most likely to fail first.
    Hairpins seem to flex and deform a bit to allow the axle to have just a little bit more articulation, but I still think there is a lot of stress being introduced into the suspension, inc the hairpins themselves.

    My opinion...lighter the car, longer things will last.
    A tube axle on a 48 sedan with hairpins will have a limited life...same setup on a T roadster will likely last forever.
    You pays your money and you takes your chances...but it certainly doesn't hurt to consider all options before deciding! ;)
     
  29. scrap metal 48
    Joined: Sep 6, 2009
    Posts: 6,075

    scrap metal 48
    Member

    You think a tube and wishbones are unsafe?? I bet half of all the hot rods out there have a lot more unsafe features than that.. Hell, I know mine does...
     
    onekoolkat1950 likes this.
  30. 27troadster
    Joined: Mar 14, 2013
    Posts: 105

    27troadster
    Member

    Don't do it.... but don't take my word for it, draw a side view of the axle and split wishbone/radius rod, then trace out the arc the axle will move, what you'll find is that with either a split wishbone or radius rods, the perch bolt will rotate with respect to the chassis as the axle moves up and down. If the other wheel does not move up and down, then the axle must twist, or the other wheel must move up and down even though its not hitting any bumps -> either way it makes for a very stiff ride. Now do the same thing for parallel bars and you'll find a different outcome.

    Parallel bars were introduced because you can’t use wishbones split to the rails with tubular front axels because the split wishbone/radius rod suspension will cause the caster on one wheel to be different than the caster on the other wheel when only one wheel hits a bump or whenever the axle is not parallel with the frame, viewed from the front. We can get away with this on an I-beam axle because the axle will twist, however, a tubular axle will not twist and you end up with welds that snap as you’re driving down the highway…bad day, so they came up with parallel bars. This is why parallel bars became popular about the same time that aftermarket tubular axles came on the market.

    Now with Henry's wishbone arrangement, the axle and wishbone form a triangle, when a wheel hits a bump, one point of the triangle moves up/down and the whole assemble will pivot about an imaginary line that runs from the opposite wheel to the wishbone pivot under the transmission. Thus no bending, binding, or anything else. So if you want to run that axle there are only a few options to prevent binding:
    1) use a stock wishbone and fabricate a mount for the wishbone pivot point to bolt to under the trans.
    2) split the bones, but do not move them out to the rails, keep the split ends as close to one another as possible, I'd say no more than 8", and the only reason I'd do this over option #1, is if option #1 won't work due to not enough clearance between the trans and the ground.
    3) run parallel bars

    Another thought: you have a very cool and rare axle - why do something that will put stress on a rare and old part? Shelve the radius rods for another project (one with and I-beam axle)

    But like I said, don't take anyone's word for it, sketch it on a piece of paper and prove it to yourself first.

    Adjustable perches - why? they will look dumb on a rare OEM tube axle. (brand new tube axle sure, Henry axle - no) if you need to adjust the angle of the perches, heat the Henry Ford ones and rotate the perch with a long bar until it is parallel with the eye in the spring. Adjustment done.

    Hope that helps...
    Kipp
     

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