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Customs Wheel placement with torque tube: '48 Fleetline

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by BarryA, Oct 20, 2014.

  1. BarryA
    Joined: Apr 22, 2007
    Posts: 643

    BarryA
    Member

    I don't think there is a simple solution for this, but I'll ask anyway:
    The rear wheels on my '48 Fleetline sit too far forward in the wheel opening. It was like that when I bought it, but now having lowered it a little (2.5" blocks in back, 3/4" spacers under the spring cups in front) it is a lot more obvious.
    So it's either lengthen the driveshaft and torque tube, or re-profile the wheel opening (neither of which I am really keen on!) unless I am missing some other fix?
     

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  2. Hot Rod Cowboy
    Joined: Jan 2, 2010
    Posts: 231

    Hot Rod Cowboy
    Member
    from Dallas, TX

    I think most guys end up ditching the 216 for a 235 and convert it to an open driveline. They then use leaf springs that center the axle and get the correct driveshaft made.

    I know that's probably not what you wanted to hear. Sorry. I like your car. I've got a '47 Aerosedan waiting for a 235 myself.
     
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  3. BarryA
    Joined: Apr 22, 2007
    Posts: 643

    BarryA
    Member

    Thanks HRC - that's about what I was thinking. I seem to have an oil-pressure issue on the 216 so unless that is going to be an easy fix I'm guessing that's where I'll end up....

    I would still like to know if others are like this, or something weird was done when the PO had the restoration work done
     
  4. jcmarz
    Joined: Jan 10, 2010
    Posts: 4,633

    jcmarz
    Member
    from Chino, Ca

    get a set of fender skirts
     
    Hot Rod Cowboy likes this.

  5. First I would inspect to see if the lowering blocks are installed properly, with spring pins in their correct location.
    I do not know FOR CERTAIN if torque tubes were made in different lengths. I do BELIEVE they were manufactured, with different lengths, depending on the various vehicle years and specific applications.
    Has the engine been moved forward, changed, modified in any manner?
    Is the tranny the correct tranny (length) for your 1948 car?
    If the 216 is located in its proper location, that tells you the culprit is in the rear end/torque tube.
    It is conceivable that a COMPLETE later model torque tube rear end assembly OR pumpkin assembly, with attached torque tube, has been substituted for the correct stock rear end components.
    If it were mine, I would be finding another KNOWN STOCK '48 Fleetline and measure the torque tube length, then compare that length to what is in yours.
    TRYING to lengthen the torque tube and driveshaft is not the answer, nor is modifying the wheel openings. Instead, fix the problem.
    The answer is to determine what a previous owner did to booger up the driveline.
    If the engine is correctly placed, and the correct 1948 tranny is attached, then the problem is in the rear end ..... or the lowering block installation.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2014
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  6. Leaf springs will not center the axle in the wheel opening.
    The spring perch on the replacement "open rear end" will need to be redrilled to accept the leaf spring perch pin, thereby moving the rear end assembly rearward, in order to center the wheel.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2014
  7. morac41
    Joined: Jul 23, 2011
    Posts: 530

    morac41
    Member

    Hi .. I'm with bob1951chevy X 2
     
  8. Hot Rod Cowboy
    Joined: Jan 2, 2010
    Posts: 231

    Hot Rod Cowboy
    Member
    from Dallas, TX


    I'm by no means an expert, and I do agree that an offset spring perch hole would be one way to fix it. Albeit, probably easier and cheaper too.

    That said, couldn't he also get some springs made up where the pin itself is offset in the leaves in order to center the axle? I know this is pretty common on 53-56 f100 front leaf springs and I'm pretty sure I've seen replacement springs made this way for 40s Chevy rears too. Obviously, the spring perches would still need the correct side to side placement. Perhaps I'm crazy and way off base with this though. It wouldn't be the first time!

    Two ways of accomplishing the same result. The real question is why wasn't the axle centered from the factory on these cars?
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2014
  9. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 12,231

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    Two comments........the wheel placement in relation to the wheel opening is the way all these Chevys are. It's the GM equivalent of the '53/'56 Ford truck front wheel opening misalignment.

    .......comments on the location of the stock spring center bolt are correct, they are about an 1 1/2" forward of the stock axle centerline.....PLUS....add about an inch to center the wheel in the opening. However, I believe replacement spring kits, like Chassis Engineering for instance, have the spring center bolt relocated from the stock position to correct for that, at least the 1 1/2" offset. Not sure if they are moved far enough to also deal with the wheel/fender opening, but that can easily be dealt with if need be. edit: this assumes changing to open drive, not original TT.

    Ray
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2014
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  10. choptop40
    Joined: Dec 23, 2009
    Posts: 4,085

    choptop40
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

  11. skirts would be easiest fix
     
    belair likes this.
  12. Fender skirts hide all the "rear --wheel - not -centered -in -the- guard" symptoms on these Chevys.
     
  13. HRC,
    I apologize if my comments were not clear, would not be the first time. Guess that's why I don't write instruction manuals.:(
    You were speaking of ditching the present driveline. My comments about redrilling the rear end perches were for an OPEN DRIVELINE modification.
    It was not my intention to suggest that redrilling the present, stock rear end, was the fix.
    I have NOT seen the rear end in the '48's off center, as in the posters pic. If this "off center" is a characteristic of the '48 Chevy, I have not seen it. But, it could be, I guess.
    If you read my comments to the poster, it is my thought that something has been changed, modified or replaced that does not jive with the 1948 Chevy. Maybe a problem with the lowering blocks installation.
    To put band aids on the problem, such as changing the length of the torque tube or re-doing the wheel opening is not the answer.
    Getting to the root of the SNAFU is the right way to go.
     
  14. Hot Rod Cowboy
    Joined: Jan 2, 2010
    Posts: 231

    Hot Rod Cowboy
    Member
    from Dallas, TX

    I know that my '47 Fleetline is off center of the wheel well opening too and it is 100% bone stock original. It is my understanding that they were all that way from the factory. As the OP stated, the offset get much more noticeable when you lower the car. You also rarely see a fleetline without skirts, which helps hide it.
     
  15. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,802

    belair
    Member

    I think that if you want to keep the torque tube set up, you will have to lengthen the TT and the driveshaft that is inside it, in order to move the rear end back. Or move the engine, trans, and all shift linkage back. If you are into stupid solutions for simple problems. I went with a 250, th 350, and a 57 Chevy rear end, i.e. An open drive shaft. Lowering blocks with the appropriate locating hole put the rear end where I wanted it, then I had a driveshaft made. Or I could have put skirts on it. Or follow up on Hnstray's advice.
     
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  16. The folks over at VCCA (Vintage Chevrolet Club of America) have suggested looking at the GM Heritage site. Look at exterior dimensions.
    Link is https://www.gmheritagecenter.com/do...information-kits/Chevrolet/1948-Chevrolet.pdf
    The wheelbase on the '48 is 116".
    With the front wheels in an absolute straight ahead position, remove the hub caps, measure from center of front spindle to the center of the rear axle. If 116", you are OK, but it still looks odd.
    Are the tires the correct size for the vehicle .... or larger?
    If undersized, the gap in the wheel opening will look larger.
    P.S. Your car is good looking.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2014
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  17. You may be correct on the "off center being that way", looks odd. I just have given some ideas to the gent to verify what he has or does not have.
     
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  18. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,726

    Atwater Mike
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Every one of those durned ol' Chevys I've ever worked on shared that 'syndrome'.
    (It appears they were designed that way to increase traction, as in 'altered wheelbase'!)
    I used to ridicule the poor Chevys to their owners, whilst carefully attempting to conceal the fact my F100 came from the factory with the same ailment...albeit on the front!
    Wonder why the Chevs were set up that way...we know why the F100s were. (turn radius afterthought)
     
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  19. BarryA
    Joined: Apr 22, 2007
    Posts: 643

    BarryA
    Member

    Thanks for all the feedback guys! I will go ahead and confirm the 116" wheelbase measurement.
    The skirt idea was about the best 'bandaid' I could come up with as a quick fix too - I doubt I will find anything here, but should be able to make a set fairly easily.
    The oil pressure issue remains a concern for me, though a couple of guys have said that is how they are. If it is an issue I will be looking to do an engine swap, open driveline, and obviously will then be able to correct the whhel placement.
    Thanks for the compliments on the car too - it isn't perfect (more of a 20-footer) with a number of issues in the fairly new paint (blistering, pinholes, sanding scratches etc) which point to poor prep and a rushed job. I'm hoping to keep it in good shape for as long as I can (though I do expect it will deteriorate fairly quickly). With my track record, starting to address the paint would likely end up in a two-year rebuild with roof chop etc. Right now I just want to keep driving it!
     
  20. image.jpg image.jpg
    Here's a before and after shot- you can see that the rears are never in the right spot. If your oil pressure (hot) is less than 10lbs\Sq." , thats about right for a stovebolt. 15lbs- cold down to around 5 lbs on a real hot day.
    There have been a few right hand drive South African Chevs and Dodges making their way over here recently (Australia). Real easy to register as well, because of the right hand drive. Good score and good luck!!
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Oct 22, 2014
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  21. Hot Rod Cowboy
    Joined: Jan 2, 2010
    Posts: 231

    Hot Rod Cowboy
    Member
    from Dallas, TX

    I know you are not in the US, but just FYI; Repro skirts complete with the fleetline stainless for these cars are readily available from places like Big Jim's. Making a set yourself is way cooler though, and more traditional!

    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1413987079.538794.jpg
     
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  22. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,802

    belair
    Member

    Great pics, 36roadster. BarryA-my 216 burned a rod, which is fairly common for those engines. As you probably know, only the mains are pressurized, the rods are dippers/splash lubed. While those cars will go 80 MPH, they won't do it long or often. 60 MPH or less is best for them, unless they are properly rebuilt. Mine had 75K miles when it had the big cast-iron convulsion. The faster you go, the shorter their life. Looks like you have a really nice car.
     
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  23. Barry, My area of "more knowledge" is in the 49 to 54 era of Chevy.
    Being a past member of VCCA, I contacted them. Their replies indicate that the "forward of center line" is the way it is, on the 1948.
    I have attached their comments.
    http://vcca.org/forum/ubbthreads.ph...gonew/1/Rear_whel_not_centered_in_whee#UNREAD
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2014
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  24. BarryA
    Joined: Apr 22, 2007
    Posts: 643

    BarryA
    Member

    Thanks guys - 36roadster I do like that car! I'm missing some trim and the stone guards on mine - I'd better get searching! (A buddy of mine in Victoria may be responsible for some of those SA cars you're seeing ;-) )

    The wheelbase checks out, along with all the feedback - thanks for the VCCA thread BobG!
    Although it looks odd I'll live with it for as long as the 216 holds up.
    On that - I'm only seeing about 3-4 pounds on the (cheap aftermarket) gauge. I was seeing more when I bought it, but after dropping the (very sludgy) oil and replacing with 10W40 - lightest non synthetic I can find here, it does read lower...
    I seem to have a little piston slap too! And a fair bit of clutch shudder - I'm told that is a trademark too. Doesn't make sense to spend much on it, I'd rather put the cash towards a swap.
     
  25. Barry, certainly I learned new information today, from posts here, and from those '46-47-48 guys on the VCCA site.
    Still, I have to admit the "forward of center" appearance catches my eye.
     
  26. 55Brodie
    Joined: Dec 15, 2008
    Posts: 746

    55Brodie
    Member

    The 47 second series to the 54 pick-ups suffered from the same fender/wheel centering issue. Converting to open drive as in the 55 first series is the only cure.
     

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