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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After doing alot of research on gasser projects i noticed that most people seem to cut the frame and put in a new straight frame. Is it possible to put springs and a axle under my 55 Fairlane without cutting the frame?
 

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Yes, it's not only possible, it's done quite often. Just need to get an axle that will go under it with the leat amount of fuss. I've installed straight axles in half a dozen cars and never done the frame stub thing myself. I always reused the stock frames.
Here's a picture of Jeff's 1956 Chevy gasser with an axle installed in the stock frame and spring pockets, etc. all intact. Often you can even reuse the shock towers to locate the new shock setup with a little imagination.
 

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Yesterday I got the rack & pinion suspension loose on the Opel.... place a piece of 2x4 in between the rack & frame..... "look Ma' NO straight axle".

Best part is none of the car's geometry has changed.

All I have to do is extend the 2x3 sub frame and use "a little imagination" to reuse the stock shock towers.

BEFORE:


AFTER:

Also have the passenger's side fender cut loose & inner fenderwell removed on the way to doing a "one piece tilt front end".
 

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It's funny how you can plan and visualize about a stance or a car form (spoiler, scoop etc) but once you actually mock it up so you can stand back and take it all in it really gets your blood pumping or really lets you know if it is wrong for the build. Usually, if you've really thought it through, the mock up will be right on and it gets you anxious to make it permanent. Mark L
 

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It boils down to skill level and ingenuity.
Heres my 55 Chev...
Looks like you got BOTH going on pretty good.

I am pretty good with ideas and do spent quite a bit of time researching projects. Learned a LONG time ago(the hard way) not to just "jump" into things.

As I have mentioned before I do come up short on the skill level.... but I have another strong point I have developed over the years..... knowing when to ask for help & NOT settling for 1/2 A**ing anything. Even if it means having to wait.

This is going to be especially true with the Opel. I am going to end up doing much MORE with it than I have had to do in the past with other cars. Plus unless I hit the lottery the Opel is probably going to be a "keeper". Notice I said "probably". ALL of us have been there before!!!!

Because the Opel potentially is a great "canvas" to work on I will be able to do a lot of things I could not have done with other cars over the years. Also like so many others, with $$$ being so tight right now I will be taking more time to do things on my own whereas I the past I would have "bought" instead of "made" ..... used "new" instead of "old" ..... and I will definitely NOT be "throwing more $$$$$" at it to get it done quickly!

:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Got lucky and picked up a F1 axle today with the disc brake conversion already on it. the only thing wrong was it was missing the springs. Shortly after getting home I called a buddy of mine has two newer jeep springs with a 3" lift, I will have to drill new holes in the perch to get them to fit, but with a little luck I might have a complete ford axle.
 

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Great news!!!! Good feeling not only "getting" what is needed but "the thrill of victory" by figuring it all out!!!!

Especially when it turns out better than originally planned like you finding an axle with a disc conversion on it already.

I know when the previous owner mentioned how the rack & pinion could be easily dropped & the front of the Opel lifted by adding a spacer between the frame & the rack I quickly dismissed the idea. Ever since I built my 1st model car (the Stone - Woods & Cook Willys I have always wanted a gasser with a straight front axle.

When the engine blew in the Opel a few weeks ago I had to start making changes to the "plans".

At that time I "revisited" the "spacer idea" ... did some measuring & found out than instead of just adding a spacer block I could extend the sub frame to the front of the car providing a much better alternative to using a spacer which once done the sub frame will be "mated" to the original front part of the stock frame and then "boxed" together making it not only stronger but also better looking.... giving the appearance of being one piece. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Same issue with the Fairlane. The previuos owner dropped the front with 3" lowering coils, which in turn left a gap which he filled in with shims. No matter, it's all coming off this weekend in preps for the straight axle. The new axle i picked up yesterday has recently been rebuilt, but the guy thinks he may have put the king pins in wrong, the spindles are locked into postion and will not move left to right. I have new king pins, so will take it apart and see what the issue is.
Opel looks good John, sorry to hear about the engine!
 

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Like the "avatar" you posted!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Thanks, thats what it looked like when i got it,now all the chrome is off and it is sitting on blocks.
played around with that spindle, it's locked up good. He said the only thing he can think of is that he did not hone out the holes prior to putting in the king pins. Does anyone know if that will make a diffrence?
 

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Thanks, thats what it looked like when i got it,now all the chrome is off and it is sitting on blocks.
played around with that spindle, it's locked up good. He said the only thing he can think of is that he did not hone out the holes prior to putting in the king pins. Does anyone know if that will make a diffrence?
I have never fooled around with front suspensions with king pins.

Way back when I took an axle to a NAPA & let there machine shop get them out. The older I got I started to do more & more things as my "skills" developed. But never with kingpins. I was told they can be a real "pain in the a** " to get out sometimes.

Hopefully you'll be able to work it out. Sounds like it could be a "PIN in the a** " ..... (pun intended..... ha!!!!)
 

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I've never had problems doing kingpins, and I can't imagine getting the kinpins stuck if they went in. I guess if you pressed or beat them in they could stick, but they should go in with little more than a push by hand. I'd look for the keeper that is either a crosspin near the middle of the spindle pivot, or a setscrew at the same point. Remove it, then see if the spindles move. If they still don't, then you'll need to get it stripped to the bare axle and spindles, then take it to someone who can press the kingpins out.
Once out, new bushings can be presed in, and then you can install the kingpins again. If they wont drop in, then they can be honed or reamed to accept the pins.
 

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........ The new axle i picked up yesterday has recently been rebuilt, but the guy thinks he may have put the king pins in wrong, the spindles are locked into postion and will not move left to right. I have new king pins, so will take it apart and see what the issue is ....
I cannot imagine the kingpins being in there so tight that they prevent any side to side turning of the steering. Like I said I have left king pin work to the pros or friends of mine used to changing them.

What I DO KNOW that getting the old ones out is usually the problem if any. Then after a clean up the new king pin is pressed in...... job done!!!!

Something is wrong somehow!!!!
 

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The ends of the kingpin pivots on the spindle bushings, and that's usually not where they stick. The bushings wear much faster than the pins, so they get sloppy and being bronze they wont stick to the steel pin. The centers are where they really get stuck because that area is secured in the axle and never moves. The steel pin to cast or forged axle can get rusted good, and really frozen. Usually some heat and penetrating spray after it's warmed will draw the penetrant in, and then a good sharp rap with a driver and hammer will get them moving. If it wont, then it requires a press to push them out, and even heat/penetrant to assist sometimes. I've never had to press them on any I replaced.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I started pulling the axle apart and I think I found part if not all of the problem, the tops of the king pins look like they were hammered in, and the bottom bushing is sticking out about a 1/2". It's starting to look like they didnt go in easially. Im going to order a new king pin set for it and just replace it all. I have a buddy who works in a machine shop who can clean out the holes for me. Thanks for the good info and help fella's.
John how's the Opel Coming along?
 

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I started pulling the axle apart and I think I found part if not all of the problem, the tops of the king pins look like they were hammered in, and the bottom bushing is sticking out about a 1/2". It's starting to look like they didnt go in easially. Im going to order a new king pin set for it and just replace it all. I have a buddy who works in a machine shop who can clean out the holes for me. Thanks for the good info and help fella's.
John how's the Opel Coming along?
Glad to hear you found the problem. will be a good thing to have everything cleaned out. Sounds like the previous owner must have hammered them in without much concern other than getting them in..... no matter what. :(

The Opel, at least for right now is taking a back seat to some yard work and waiting for some extra cash to fit the engine with goodies. I DO NOT want to just use anything on it which means $$$$ - Need a complete MSD - 2" pulley belt/sprocket system - deep sump oil pan possibly a larger carb - etc

Good thing I have lots of work that costs NOTHING or NEXT to NOTHING to do that will keep me busy for a long time..... pictures to follow as they happen.

Example of how it is going..... Wife's SUV needs tires..... getting them put on today..... so there goes another $1000+ ...... OUCH !!!!

Good thing it'll be ready to travel to Thompson, Ohio for the "Gasser Reunion" this Saturday. It a great "old school drag strip" and a great event as well. More about that later!!!!!
 
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