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What would you recommend

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by JaceEdward, Jun 7, 2011.

  1. JaceEdward
    Joined: Apr 6, 2011
    Posts: 26


    Hey I'm a 16 year old kid. I was wondering would you recommend me putting a straight axle or I- beam axle under my 55 Chevy, or is that to dangerous for someone who has never driven one before. Thanks.
  2. Ghost28
    Joined: Nov 23, 2008
    Posts: 3,188


    If I owned that car a tube axle would already be under it. At 16 years old and you are asking the right questions I think you could handle it. There are a lot of build threads on just what you are asking about. Check them out and do it right and you're safety will follow.
  3. JaceEdward
    Joined: Apr 6, 2011
    Posts: 26


  4. fab32
    Joined: May 14, 2002
    Posts: 13,985

    Member Emeritus

    With your inexperience I think seeking out an older rodder with some fabrication time under his belt would be a wise move. All the better if you could get one that has taken on this exact modification from start to finish with a successful conclusion.

  5. atomickustom
    Joined: Aug 30, 2005
    Posts: 3,378


    Keep in mind, it will never handle as well (safely) with a straight axle. Is this going to be your primary transportation? If so, you might consider saving the straight axle for the next time around. Otherwise, you'll spend all your time driving a car that requires you to be extra careful 100% of the time.
  6. Keep the stock suspension, get it running and have fun. I was building a Henry J when I was your age, lots of obstacles for a young guy. Build a nice simple cruiser and have fun instead of a car that never gets done.
  7. Luther Grimace
    Joined: Jul 6, 2011
    Posts: 28

    Luther Grimace

  8. smarg
    Joined: Nov 18, 2008
    Posts: 1,069


    I'm gonna agree with Tman here.

    Get it low and just drive the wheels off it.
  9. I will buy that it will handle differently than a stock 55 , but you need to explain this "it will never handle as well (safely ) BS.

    Is every solid axle vehicle lacking in the " safely " department? Or unsuitable for daily transportation?
    That puts lots of things as well as hot rods into that category .
    Like school busses, semi tractors, solid axle 4x4 trucks, its a technology that seems to work very well for extreme abuse and been around as long as automobiles have been around and continued to this day.
  10. Depends on your own personal gumption . Being 16 you need to asses your attention span. Find s mentor to help guide your work and go for it. For me @ 16 already completed my first ground up rebuild with my dads guidance ( he got dirty 4 times helping me on that one ) .

    If you take on too much for you it will be a flower pot.

    There's some geometry issues to work out but it will drive just fine and if the work is done correctly it will be just as safe as any other car on the road. Have fun good luck and stay logged in for the hamb help.
  11. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 28,508


    Unless you have another vehicle as a daily driver I'm one who would advise against it.
    A straight axle 55 Chevy tudor would most likely handle a bit worse than and extremely lifted Toyota 4x4 pickup. If you can deal with a vehicle that doesn't corner well and is akward to drive in some situations you will probably be ok but you have to remember that you are emulating a vehicle that originally was only built to go in straight lines a quarter mile at a time with little or no regard to being able to handle a corner at speed or having any sort of decent ride.

    If that car were mine I'd do just like a lot of my buddies did with similar cars in the 60's and early 70's and put some taller front springs on it and re-arch the rear springs to give it a bit of a lift and get the look that 90% of the hot 55 Chevys had at that time. Then if you get tired of it after a while you can swap the front springs back and change the rears around and start life with a different look while a straight axle conversion is forever or until the car is totaled because you lost control on a curve somewhere when you were going a bit too fast for the suspension.
  12. Harms Way
    Joined: Nov 27, 2005
    Posts: 6,869

    Harms Way

    I agree with Tman 100%

    If you just HAVE to do it,.. and you can't get it out of your mind,..
    I agree with Frank 100% as well.
  13. 61 chevy
    Joined: Apr 11, 2007
    Posts: 891

    61 chevy

    at 16 you got time for that later, spend that money on a nice paint job and get to know the car
  14. I agree with Tman,HRP
  15. Shit, 55 Chevy's handle like crap compared to a modern car anyway. Done right and without a Street Freak mile high stance, it will be no different than the Millions of Jeeps and other 4X4's that are sold with straight front axles everyday.
    Do your research, find someone to help and guide you and go for it. Just make sure you understand ahead of time the amount of work and costs involved and don't jump in until you can afford both. Be honest with yourself as to whether you have the ambition, funds, and attention span, along with adequate help to see it through. If not, don't so it - if so, Go for it!
  16. 53sled
    Joined: Jul 5, 2005
    Posts: 5,818

    from KCMO

    K.I.S.S. at 16, they are more fun to drive than when they just cost money and won't go. That's why I always had two.
  17. VonWegener
    Joined: Nov 19, 2009
    Posts: 786


    HotRodDon is right! Go for it Kid. All that caution safety nanny crap is for the birds.
  18. I agree hotroddon
    the Safety nanny crap needs addressed not ignored as mentioned by another poster. Only when you ignore safety issues or attempt to defy the laws of physics will you automatically jump into a pile of hot horse shit.

    I don't know this young man, he could ruin a 55 or become a great fabricator/car builder. At least he started here and knows where to go if he gets stuck.
  19. carcrazyjohn
    Joined: Apr 16, 2008
    Posts: 4,844

    from trevose pa

    I also agree with tman .Enjoy the car awhile make changes later or start another one ,If its not your daily driver go for it and reseach on how here .Id have someone weld it for you ,Especially suspension parts.....Keep in mind caster and camber at 7 degrees at kingpin always...................And also keep in mind Building cars takes time,Im three years into my avatar and Im ready to tear it apart for paint,Quality takes time.....And lots of thinking and research....................
  20. JaceEdward
    Joined: Apr 6, 2011
    Posts: 26


    Alright Guys you've been a great help. I think Ill wait for now, and tear into it later.
    Thanks for the advise.

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