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If you are building longer u brackets 3/16 is good enough... a lot of guys use 1/4" because its easier to find....and no question that it is more than strong enough...its over kill city on this board
 

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yup it will be fine for that just remember that a boxed one will be much more solid than a slab sided one...also it is only as strong as what it is attached too...if you are not raising it a lot you can also shim the axle or have the springs re-arched or use a thicker(more leafs) spring pack with a lighter spring rate
 

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Be sure to raise front and rear mounting points, or you'll change kingpin angles and the result will be steering nightmares! You can use spring wedges to adjust the angle, but it wouldn't work as well as raising front/rear mounts.
You could also raise the axle itself with blocks if it's under the springs. If it's above the springs that's not an option. Since yours is under, you can build spacer blocks and have longer U bolts made to raise it. But I wouldn't go over 3" with this route. A lot of old gasser builders used this method to bring the nose up.

 

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man, that brings back memories. i had the same 53 R-100
and did a 500 cad motor with a 298/.631/110 cam. it was
INSANE, drove like the wheels were in gravel even on blacktop
despite the 29x15.50 mickey-t's...

sold it for the wifes engagement ring many moons ago.
yes i regret it...sorta.

53R100-01.jpg

53R100-02.jpg
 
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