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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am going to start working on the transformation of my 1950 3100 build. I am going to do the rear axle flip this weekend. I am hoping to order a front axle next week, but have a few questions. The front axle on this truck is 50 1/2" king to king. I am going to run skinnies on the front, should I purchase an axle that is a little wider or go with the stock length? I will appoligise now because I am sure I will have a ton of questions throughout this build. Any input would be great.
 

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If it still has the stock truck axle I would think it would be my choice to keep it. Many of the gassers built on Tri 5 Chevys are using that same axle in their builds, and it should work great. Looks like it's already converted to 5 lug, so all you need to do is get a pair of springs rearc'd or new springs that will lift the front to the height you want. Then redo your steering arm, or bracket to get the arm parallel to the axle again.
If you want to slightly move the axle forward you can also have the center pin on the springs located an inch forward when the springs are built.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I am so happy I found this site, I never would have thought about reusing the original axle. I will get the back done over the weekend and see how much lift I will need to do the front, Thanks 1946Austin
 

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50 I'm building my '63 Catalina with a '57 Chevy truck axle. It is almost exaclty the same as yours except the '55 to '59 axles were a little wider. You can see it here.



When building a nose high Gasser many people prefer to move the front axle about 1 to 2 inches forward from the stock location. It's a visual thing with the front so high. With the front higher it makes the stock location of the tire look like it's to far rearward. Moving thecaxle forward fixes that. The stock width axle will be fine, again depending on how high you raise the front end. If you are intending to run a real narrow front tire and rim then, as you go higher on the front end, it makes the same width look narrower. If you need it wider, one trick for you would be to find a '55 to '57 chevy pickup truck axle and swap it in for yours. There are several differences so you would still be required to make some changes, but once in and you raise the front of that truck, the extra width would be perfect for your truck and skinny fronts. Mark L
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well last night I mocked up the rear of the truck doing an axle flip. It turned out way to high 36" from the ground to the wheel well. Today I am going to put the spring back under the axle and see what I will need to do from there
 

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Well last night I mocked up the rear of the truck doing an axle flip. It turned out way to high 36" from the ground to the wheel well. Today I am going to put the spring back under the axle and see what I will need to do from there
I went through the same thing with my Austin. Too high under the springs, and too low below. I ended up going ladder bars and coil overs, but only because my rear springs were too narrow and wimpy to replace with new ones in the same mounts.
Figure out how much higher you want the rear and have a pair of springs built, or your springs redone to give more lift. That will probably be the cheapest, and easiest method.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The spings on the truck are 1 3/4" wide are they considered wimpy? I was planning on dropping the front springs off to the spring shop sometime this week so I can have a set made with a larger arhch for the front.
 

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1.75" springs are great, and probably the most common width made. My Austin had 1.25" wide, and very thin leafs. Would have been tough for me to get new springs made in that narrow width. You'll have no trouble with 1.75".
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I wanted to get my front springs re-arched and called them today. They are telling me they cannot get my spring arched enough and they are not engineers to build new springs to the height I am wanting. Can someone please let me know what info I should feed the spring shop?
 

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That's pretty common with spring shops to not want to engineer the springs to your truck. Problem is if they say they will make up a certain spring set to give you "X" ride height, and it isn't what they said, then you will want them to do it again for free.
We have two spring shops here that make springs, and one is more helpful than the other, but neither will totally engineer things. I had to take a wild guess on my Austin, and got lucky. The first shop wouldn't help at all, and when I gave them an eye to eye length they just said, "We don't measure them that way."
After I asked how they measured them they still wouldn't help with the arc, and I just guessed at what might work for my new main leaf and got it right. I figure if I can guess at it, and get it, then they should be able to do the same easier with their "25 yrs. of experience".
You need to figure out how much higher you want it to go, then figure what your measurements are from end to end, and also from center pin to each end in case the pin isn't centered. Then you can make a educated guess at how much more arc you need, and they can decide if that's possible to do with your springs, or if they'll need to build a whole new set to make it.
If you remove a spring stack and run a line or straight edge across the eyes you can measure down to the spring to see what you have for lift now. Then measure along the main leaf from each eye to the center pin. I'd also measure from eye to eye with the weight on the car, so you know how much it settles. After that you can add the arc you want. I'd also take the stock spring with me to the spring shop so they know what they're working with.
 

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The alternative is to break out the welder and fab stuff. You can use stock springs by building up the mounting points with boxed material and then set the brackets on that to accept the original springs.
 

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Vall , again great advise ! ! Not so far off subject, I had a set re-arched years ago, and I was stunned how simple or how simple this young lad made it look.
I took a set of new springs threw them in the back of my truck and headed to a place called Chip Lions spring shop in Bloomsburg Pa. Which was about 18 miles from my shop. I've delt with these folks for years for u-bolts , front and rear springs and hardware.
So I walk in to drop the set off and the fellow behind the counter says ya want to wait a few , go back with Rob and he will take care of you. ? ? ? Ok ! ! So this Rob comes out and he's all of 20 years old if that and says come with me sir. SIR ? Ok so he's polite :D that dont make him a spring archer expert guy. :D :D so we get to the back of the shop and he says how much arch ? I said well I need three inches more height. He looked and said no problem. He has this pneumatic press mounted on the beam of a wall. He takes the spring apart, spreads it out on the bench. He flips the main spring upside down and measured the height and went to work on the press. He steps on the treadle and the press starts to bend the main spring. The first spring comes of the press and upside down on the bench and he measures it ....... THREE inches spot on ! ! OK do that twice :) :) well he did it every time and matched the arch of each spring but only one had a second trip to the press.
Blown away I said how long have you been doing this ? He says well for a few months now :eek: :eek: didn't take me long to whip out a twenty and give him a very humble smile and off to the front counter, were I ask for my bill and Chip said NAh tip the kid ! ! :D :D
When the place closed three years ago I tried to buy the press but Springs and thing in Danville already got it. :( Thanks for letting me share that story. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Tonight I am going to swap the rear springs back under the axle. After that I am going to unbolt the front springs from the axle, set the axle with the wheels on back to the ground and jack the truck up to where I think it should be. With the front springs still bolted to the frame I am going to measure from the axle to the spring (I am thinking that this measurement will be about 8" + since the stock axle is dropped about 6") I know some guys are using this type axle on other rides, How much was the spring being rearched to get the lift you were looking for? I am thinking 8 + inches is a lot but with the axle being dropped so much it will have to be atleast that.
 

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How much they re-arc their springs depends on what it goes under. On all the '55-'57 Chevys I used a truck axle/springs in I didn't even need to change the arc. On an old '52 Chevy I did with a 371 Olds I had extra weight, and had 3" more arc put in, and an extra leaf added.
It's really never the same, unless the car is the same.
 

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My Henry J has 2 original leaves and a stack of added leaves on the rear. The arc of the 2 sets of leaves didn't match and it sat so high that the shackles angled to the front. I made this simple bottle jack press to de-arch and match arcs of the springs. The hard part is getting the springs to match side to side.

Blue
 

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