Gasser HotRod Forums banner
1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
117 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I hope this is the correct place. Im gonna have alot of questions, I understand from what Ive read that back in the day these were just sorta put in and there really was no science typically used by the DIY guy.

Id like to do a better job than that, Im pretty anal and have the tools i believe to do a decent job, any suggestions or answers to my questions would be appreciated but Id rather someone said nothin than sayin something thats just gonna make things get messed up.

I need to understand how to measure axle width needed, Ive read that I can get the axle cut any length either from Speedway or others but havent confirmed that yet?

At this point Im runnin old Cragers I had powdercoated with 275/60/15 on the front, I dont like the skinny look, these tires were prob. gonna rub anyway so getting an axle a little wider isnt gonna hurt my feelings, question though is how that is gonna affect tracking? Front to rear.

Im guessing this is a whole nother subject Ill need to learn and will do so to the best of my ability.

Couple of questions above and if anyone can add answers that would be great

EDIT: I did a quick measurement of width as the car sits now and the rear is approx 57 and the front is approx 53 so evidently the wheel track questions isnt gonna be an issue and Im thinking ordering a slightly wider axle isnt gonna be a big issue

https://www.google.com/search?q=fro...droid-samsung&sourceid=chrome-mobile&ie=UTF-8
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
117 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I called the local spring shop and inquired about having springs made,they said if they had to start from scratch they could easily run 300 plus. I dont know if this seems reasonable. My guess is yes its reasonable but of course Im gonna look for a better price.

Pictures might be too dark to see, I have a good phone but it dosent take distant pictures too great.

Anyway hopefully you can see my plan and that is to take advantage of the straight shot I see from the front torque box area to the front end of the rail. That distance is just short of 4 feet.

Seems various opinions on not making the springs not quite parallel but instead sloping them a bit. I dont know what to make of that. Ive got an original 29 Dodge in my garage and the springs appear straight and parallel, Im gonna measure that too be sure though tonight, I also have a mid eighties ramcharger parkek outside..........which I just measured and 35.5 at the rear shackle and 34 at the front solid mount, measured just now my 77 Dodge powerwagon and 34.5 at the front fixed location and 36 at the shackle, measured my 86 4WD and the same as the 77 so I guess its safe to assume that making the springs slightly inclined is a good thing and from what Ive read that is too help with bodyroll?
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
117 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Im gonna stay clear of the Speedway springs, I think I can do better and if I put some effort into this than I think I can have a much improved ride over the mail order make it work crap.

Id like to hear answer to the questions I posted above and further suggestions, thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
117 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I ended up buying the whole kit from Speedway cause they only discount 100 dollars if no springs and Im sure I can use the entire spring pack minus the attaching spring which I can have made to what length I decide.

Im not good at drawin but I think you get my point.


Ive done alot of heavy collision work, if I didnt have a measuring system ( IE computerized or benchtop set-up ) and I had frame mash, sway or sag than I would use my tape measure.

Start with W-base side to side compare.

Next I might go under the car, pick a reference point on both sides that appears the same and measure from that point to lower ball joint or whatever, X it out, whatever the case. Then Id get the vehicle sitting where i felt it was level either in the clamps or otherwise and Id tape the thing off the floor to establish any sag.

Im gonna be removing the stock 67 Ford coil spring suspension and replacing it with a straight axle and leaf springs.

I need to figure out E = side to side, need the springs and the axle to be square with the rear end.

Measuring WB may be a no brainer but keeping in mind that WB I believe is gonna change with wheel deflection in a leaf spring set-up that I dont think will happen with the coils so not sure how to interpret that.

Dont know how to get E right or for that matter not so certain on getting = height but Im pretty sure that will be obvious once I start the install.

Any help with this would be appreciated. Thanks
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
117 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Maybe it would be wise to do some measuring before disassembling, I did order a custom length axle though, a bit wider than whats in there now so not sure if pre-measuring whats in there is gonna make a difference?
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
13,524 Posts
I'm a bit overwhelmed by your post, and maybe too late if you already ordered an axle? The 53" front width will be way too narrow for a straight axle setup. And widening it a little doesn't tell me much as far as how much wider you plan to go? As the front end goes up, a narrow stance looks even narrower, and begins to have a "tractor" sort of appearance with the narrow stance.
As for the 275/60/15 tires on it now; are you planning to run those on a straight axle? If so, you'll probably find some real handling issues on highways or roads with ruts, as they'll chase every imperfection in the surface, even with a well set up straight axle. I'd go with a narrower tire and wheel for the front to give it better handling geometry.
To determine axle width you need to measure outside the body and find overall body width. Then subtract a couple inches from that to get the width of the track. Axles generally are measured kingpin to kingpin, and add another 8" to the kingpin measurement will give you the centerline of the track. Then figure tire width and wheel offset to get the final width and figure the kingpin to kingpin measurement for an axle to order.
Springs can vary, but if ordering a Speedway kit I'd certainly consider ordering it with springs. You wont find springs for the $100 deduct, and the Speedway spring length is a great length for almost any application. You may find you need to remove leafs to get the ride quality you want, or change stance a little, but still best to buy them.
Measuring to points back on the Unibody will be a very good idea, before disassembly. There are braces, holes, etc. that can make great reference points and valuable as you move forward. But you'll need to likely add length to the wheelbase for the new axle, as keeping stock length will crowd the tires back in the wheelwells as the front comes up higher. I usually go at least 1" forward, and sometimes it takes a bit more to center the wheel in the wheelwell. Tacking or clamping during mockup so you can stand back and look are important. Don't want to wled it all in solid, and then roll it outside and see it's all wrong looking.
Unibody frames can be tricky to add mounting points as the frames are much thinner than mounts used for the new axle. I added a lot of bracing and extra rectangle tube to my '63 Falcon to allow for mounting the axle, but also to handle the 464c.i. BBC engine I put in mine. I know others who used SBF or Chevy engines and didn't add all the extra metal I used.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
117 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm a bit overwhelmed by your post, and maybe too late if you already ordered an axle? The 53" front width will be way too narrow for a straight axle setup. And widening it a little doesn't tell me much as far as how much wider you plan to go? As the front end goes up, a narrow stance looks even narrower, and begins to have a "tractor" sort of appearance with the narrow stance.
As for the 275/60/15 tires on it now; are you planning to run those on a straight axle? If so, you'll probably find some real handling issues on highways or roads with ruts, as they'll chase every imperfection in the surface, even with a well set up straight axle. I'd go with a narrower tire and wheel for the front to give it better handling geometry.
To determine axle width you need to measure outside the body and find overall body width. Then subtract a couple inches from that to get the width of the track. Axles generally are measured kingpin to kingpin, and add another 8" to the kingpin measurement will give you the centerline of the track. Then figure tire width and wheel offset to get the final width and figure the kingpin to kingpin measurement for an axle to order.
Springs can vary, but if ordering a Speedway kit I'd certainly consider ordering it with springs. You wont find springs for the $100 deduct, and the Speedway spring length is a great length for almost any application. You may find you need to remove leafs to get the ride quality you want, or change stance a little, but still best to buy them.
Measuring to points back on the Unibody will be a very good idea, before disassembly. There are braces, holes, etc. that can make great reference points and valuable as you move forward. But you'll need to likely add length to the wheelbase for the new axle, as keeping stock length will crowd the tires back in the wheelwells as the front comes up higher. I usually go at least 1" forward, and sometimes it takes a bit more to center the wheel in the wheelwell. Tacking or clamping during mockup so you can stand back and look are important. Don't want to wled it all in solid, and then roll it outside and see it's all wrong looking.
Unibody frames can be tricky to add mounting points as the frames are much thinner than mounts used for the new axle. I added a lot of bracing and extra rectangle tube to my '63 Falcon to allow for mounting the axle, but also to handle the 464c.i. BBC engine I put in mine. I know others who used SBF or Chevy engines and didn't add all the extra metal I used.
Thanks, you misunderstood, I have the correct width axle coming, thats no problem. Setting it up square is what Id like to hear some feedback on as in post # 4
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
922 Posts
To get wheelbase the same side to side, take measurements from the front leaf spring mount of the rear springs to the fixed mount of the front springs, whether it's front or rear shackles. When you have the front fixed mount tacked in place, drop a plumb bob from all 4 fixed mounting points and mark the floor. Measure across corners of the marks and if it's reasonably close you should good. Keep in mind that cars from the 60's probably weren't very square to begin with, and they did just fine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
117 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Link just takes me to sign in, and I'm not a member there.
Really? I do not understand that, anyone can view garage journal and the posts there, Im gonna fix that somehow, Ill make a post there asking how to get get you a working link

I made my post and Ill hopefully get that fixed, its prob. something I did wrong, Im not too computer savvy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
117 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
To get wheelbase the same side to side, take measurements from the front leaf spring mount of the rear springs to the fixed mount of the front springs, whether it's front or rear shackles. When you have the front fixed mount tacked in place, drop a plumb bob from all 4 fixed mounting points and mark the floor. Measure across corners of the marks and if it's reasonably close you should good. Keep in mind that cars from the 60's probably weren't very square to begin with, and they did just fine.
This is good advice and would work exactly as suggested if I had a front spring but I have coils with control arms. Im sure there is a way to modify this idea to put too some use for what Im trying to do. Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
117 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Link just takes me to sign in, and I'm not a member there.
I dont know why any forum does this, whats so top secret about posts discussing nose hair but anyway this particular section of this site is closed to members only, its free to sign up, takes literally seconds and I am sure you would enjoy alot of the posts on this site if your into vintage tools, cars or things we do in our garages.

Sorry, nothing more I can do.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
13,524 Posts
I think you misread ol blue's post. What he is saying is to measure from the front mount of the rear springs to the mount for the front springs you're going to install. This will locate the new mount perfectly from the old rear spring mount.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
117 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I think you misread ol blue's post. What he is saying is to measure from the front mount of the rear springs to the mount for the front springs you're going to install. This will locate the new mount perfectly from the old rear spring mount.
I read that 4 times and I just read it again and I dont know why I am not seeing it like you but OK ..........To get wheelbase the same side to side, take measurements from the front leaf spring mount of the rear springs to the fixed mount of the front springs, whether it's front or rear shackles.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
13,524 Posts
Yes, find a point at the rear (like the rear leaf spring mount) that is mirrored on both sides of the car. Use that pint to take measurements off of for anything you do up front. So that point at the rear can be the bolt for the leaf spring, or edge of the mount, etc. Just be sure to record where you measure from, and continue to use the same point.
I usually measure to the front centerline of the wheels from a fixed point, prior to disassembly. That will give you a base point for what the old wheelbase was. Doesn't mean you'll keep that exact wheelbase length, as you may stretch it an inch or two. But it's good to know where you start at.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
117 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Yes, find a point at the rear (like the rear leaf spring mount) that is mirrored on both sides of the car. Use that pint to take measurements off of for anything you do up front. So that point at the rear can be the bolt for the leaf spring, or edge of the mount, etc. Just be sure to record where you measure from, and continue to use the same point.
I usually measure to the front centerline of the wheels from a fixed point, prior to disassembly. That will give you a base point for what the old wheelbase was. Doesn't mean you'll keep that exact wheelbase length, as you may stretch it an inch or two. But it's good to know where you start at.
Ok if thats what was being said I get it now and I planned to do that.

Let me ask you, if I were to draw a line vertically thru the upper and lower ball joints of my car as it sits now, ( nothing has been disassembled ) would that be the same location my kingpins would need to go......Im considering making a quickie jig that hangs off my outer apron with a pointer that gonna be moveable ( cause the axle Im getting is gonna be a little bit wider )

I know just how much wider my new axle is gonna be, I can make that pointer slide just that amount, Im wondering if I made up this jig as everything sits now, sat my pointer on top of the upper ball joint.......removed my front suspension.........got my new axle up in place.......would I be able to rely on just putting that pointer once again on top of the king pin now and rest assured that now OK I was at least back where I used to be as far as having the same WB and having a front end that was back square in the vehicle?


I know that I may not want the new axle exactly where the old parts were cause of spring movement ect but Im just asking if this would give me a good basic stating point and a good place to make the final adjustments.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
117 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Just tossing out an idea, Im not sayin your idea above or anyone else ideas wouldnt work just as well.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
13,524 Posts
Most guys start as ol blue mentioned and lay out marks on the floor they're working off. The center of the ball joints may be a good reference, but it depends on whether there's any offset to the spindle casting. If you use a plumb bob to find axle center both front and rear, and then mark that on the floor right beside each tire you can have a perfect reference for the build. From there after you'll have wheelbase exactly, and even if you move the car you still have that center to center measurement written down and can simply plumb down the rear center again, and just measure forward to make a new mark. Saves a lot of headaches later.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
117 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Good point, thanks. Im wondering if Im gonna have to move my lower crossmember that my engine bolts too. All the suspension is bolted too it, Im planning to make all of that as pretty as i can after removing, Id rather not move the crossmember and Im gonna guess since the axle sits so much further down I shouldnt have any clearance issues?

Ive got zero intention of ever putting the suspension back into it.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top