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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 57 is almost ready to drive, but when I stand in front of the car and look at the axle, it looks like the pass side tire is leaning in at the top a tad. I don't think this is fixable without removing the axle and getting it checked, but I just wanted to see if anyone has any ideas about this.
Everything in the front is new, most of it from Speedway. To my knowledge there isn't a way to correct this lean without axle straightening…..or is there?
There was no weight on the axle when I welded the perches and shock mounts to it, so I don't think I warped it, but there's always that chance I guess.
Can negative camber be altered on a straight axle?

Mickey
 

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Are your front wheel beings set correctly...too loose you will get wheel lean....king pins fit correctly....not to loose...and some times if toe is not set close enough it will give the appearance that the wheel is leaning...toed out...as far as the axle being bent take a straight edge and place it under where you welded the perches on and see if its straight....if it is then more than likely it may be a defective built axle...but since there done in a jig its a rare thing to happen...it may be possible that the slugged spindle mount was welded leaning back from center compared to the other side...giving the appearance of a bent axle
 

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My Speedway axle had about 1.5-2 degrees of negative camber built into it (both sides). No idea why. I'll look for pics later. I had Jim "Tinny" Tinsmith build me an axle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Bearings are ok, already checked that. The kingpins went together just like instructions said. Now, the toe-in might be a candidate since I haven't done anything to it yet. I'll have to try the straight edge trick under the axle. That could tell me a lot. I don't have a lot of confidence in Speedway stuff lately. Headers were scratched, steering box (525) leaks just sitting there, they sent me metric header bolts, just little things like that. So it wouldn't surprise me if the axle came to me bent.
So Lon, what did it cost to have an axle built? I don't like this axle anyway, it's too narrow for a 57 and it's the longest they offered. Where is 'Tinney' located?
Thanks for your replies…
Mickey
 

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One thing that can affect camber is how far in from the kingpin your springs are mounted. The farther in the springs are the more flex the axle can have outboard of the springs. If the axle is simply bent, a truck shop that aligns solid truck axles will have a axle bending press to do it on the car. Had it done to my '55 Chevy tube axle many years ago.
 

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Mickey, Jim is a central PA guy. I'll try to find his contact info. He races the AA/G '33 Willys PU called The Mild Bunch. I think I paid $325, but I honestly don't remember. It is also Moly and much stronger than the Speedway. X2 on Speedway quality. I re-engineered or repaired half of what I bought.

Pic attached of the Speedway axle. The angle of the pic exacerbates it a bit. But it was bad. Jim said the kingpin bosses were welded on at the wrong angle. Like they were for Chevy spindles or something to that effect.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well that's exactly the way mine looks Lon. I'll have to do some more checking on it, but this doesn't sound too good right now. If you think about it, I'd like to call Jim, if you can find the number. Thanks for all the advise ( yourself and Val).
 

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i realize its a year after the last post, but...
welding almost ALWAYS causes some sort of
warping. when we welded the ladder brackets
to my brothers 67 camaro 12 bolt, it 'pulled' the
axle tubes forward enough to see with the naked eye.

this was despite jumping around with the welding...

so....we went opposite of where we welded ( basically
the other side of the tube) and started laying beads.
we welded the same amount as we did in the front of
the axle tubes, example- 3 one inch welds both in and out
on a pair of brackets = 12 welds 1 inch long....

wouldnt you know it, the axle pulled back where it was
supposed to be. and all we did was grind off the welding marks
and repaint with rattle can afterwards.

*maybe* when you welded the perches on the top of the tube
it 'pulled' as it cooled down and basically bowed the ends up.
maybe try welding same amount underneath the tube directly
below where you welded the perches on? (weight off tires of course)
hey, you never know-- it worked for us...

i would do the straightedge test as mentioned above first though.
this worries me, as we just ordered the 50" speedway axle kit.
maybe i should split a bigger pipe lengthwise and "sleeve" the
axle if its that wimpy....yikes !
 

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i would do the straightedge test as mentioned above first though.
this worries me, as we just ordered the 50" speedway axle kit.
maybe i should split a bigger pipe lengthwise and "sleeve" the
axle if its that wimpy....yikes !

The Speedway axle is not wimpy! My Austin uses a Speedway axle and I had to narrow it about 6" to fit under the car. I read crap on the internet about thin tubing on Speedway axles, but when I cut mine the tube was 7/16" thick, which is thicker than any other tube axle I've heard of.
The issue with a tube bending is the way people locate their springs, and how much axle hangs outside of the springs. I see gassers with bent axle tubes, and in every case they've got 10"-12" of axle hanging outside the springs! Add another 8" of spindle to that measurement, and it's easy to see why they're bent! Guys install the springs where it's convenient and line up under the frame rails, with no concern about how much axle hangs out. It looks great with springs under the frame rails, but might be too much axle hanging out.
I'd limit the amount of axle tube hanging out past the springs to 8", measured from the edge of the spring to center of the kingpin. My Austin has 7" and no issues at all. If it takes making boxed spring mounts on the side of the frame to get to that point, then that's what I'd do.
Factory I beam axles are all in the 8"-10" measurement, and they are much more ridged than any tube axle. My Falcon's Econoline axle is 8" and the chrome '38 Chevy axle is 10". So I'd not go over the 8" measurement for a solid mounting point on a tube axle.
 

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true--but at a certain point the tire runs into the leafspring when turning.
i guess as you said, look to the 'factory' spacing on a beam type and it
should be less than that on a tube axle.

im thinking i may build a "picture frame" out of 2x2 box and weld that up
underneath the stock rails, and attach the leafs to the 'picture frame/subframe'
as far out as possible. it will probably drive better too, having the springs
outboard as far as possible....

and if it sits 4ft up in the air, oh well--it IS a gasser, hello!

thanks for the insightfull thoughts.
 

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The new axles seem way stronger than the originals. I had one for my '55 that was from their first run (when they only had one width) and I just got one for my Chevy II. The one for the deuce weighs MUCH more than the original axle. Not sure when they changed but I do recall a lot of people not liking how easy it was to bend the Speedway axles if you happened to catch air. I believe that they fixed the problem by increasing the thickness of the axles.

That may be an explanation. I didn't have problems with warpage on either axle.
 

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Since my Austin is 7" and the Falcon is 8", you'd have to move a lot closer to hit a spring! Consider the old cars and trucks had 15" and 16" wheel/tire combos and they never hit a tire on a spring! I doubt our skinny 15" front tires would hit even if the spring was 5" from the kingpin center!

Mine is the old Speedway also Mike, when they only offered one width. That's why I had to cut mine down in the Austin to narrow it to fit. So if the new ones are heavier, they must be thicker than the 7/16" wall that mine is!!
 

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Starting with a new Speedway axle has certain benefits! It allows you to set them up exactly as you like before doing any final welding, so you can install the tires/wheels, and mock it up under your car to check stance, clearances, etc. before doing much tack welding or permanent welding.
I'm sure you'll be fine, and also enjoy setting up the axle for the look you want.
 

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yep, im thinking springs on top axle for max height,
and push the front wheels forward in the well at
least a few inches so it looks 'altered wheelbase'
as well....
 

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Depending on stance and height, you'll need an inch or two just to look like a stock wheelbase! When I started mock up on my Falcon, I measured from rear axle center to front axle center and then mocked up the front mounts. I had the fenders off, so couldn't tell where things sat. I hung one fender and stood back to look at it and was shocked how the tires appeared to be moved back at that height!! I began to move things forward and then stand back to check it. Took about 1.5" forward before the tires looked to be centered in the wheelwells!
Just be sure you check clearances to the front of the fenders, and also to your headers with the engine mocked up! I had mine all set to look great, and then set the engine in place with headers mounted, and found the headers touched the tires with the wheels straight forward! Had to chop my firewall out and begin moving the engine location back until the fenderwell headers sat where I wanted them. Took about 5" back to clear the tires in a turn.
 

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i just had the craziest idea....what if you took any common
4wd straight front axle--anything, an old chevy truck, an older toyota
or whatever-- and chopped the last 8-10 inches off the ends, discarding
the center section, inner axle shafts, etc but keep everything from kingpin/
balljoints out as is with hubs, bearings, brakes, etc.

then just 'sleeve' the middle with a matching size (slip fit) piece of heavy
wall pipe, ring weld as well as a bunch of plug welds on the remaining axle ends
inside the new tube, just making it as wide as you need it to be, and weld-er-up.
of course youde need to make triple sure the caster was right as well as even
both sides, but why wouldnt this work?

shoot, if i had thought of this before ordering the speedway kit i might have
tried it, theres an old CJ front axle on craiglist hawaii right now for $100....

plus just think of the interesting stories you could make up about why
you have locking hubs !

( one of my favorite 'i cant believe he said that with a straight face' stories
was my brothers first 67 camaro years and years ago. had a 428 pontiac swap
and 3" long rear axle studs on the 12 bolt. a guy at the service station asked
what the protruding wheel studs were for and jared said--with a straight face--
"its so when we tow the boat we can put dually tires on the car"..... i just about
had a heart attack i was laughing so hard.)
:D
 

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I doubt it would be very strong, and tough to get a solid close fit between the axle and the tubing used to get good strength. It's much easier and stronger to simply Z cut the axle and weld it back together. The Z cut will give the maximum strength, and end up with an axle that's as strong as it was before cutting, and is cheap and easy to do. Wish I'd gone that route on my Austin as I love I beam axle looks!
 

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I doubt it would be very strong, and tough to get a solid close fit between the axle and the tubing used to get good strength. It's much easier and stronger to simply Z cut the axle and weld it back together.

i meant a "normal" 4wd front axle, with 3" od round tubes,such as a dana 44
or similar-- not a beam 2wd axle...

and actually a sleeve makes a physical barrier rather than just trusting welds.
(in carpentry its called 'scabbing' ) and finding the right sleeve shouldnt be
that bad, most axles are 3" od tubes so either a 2.5" id with 1/8 wall to go
inside or a 3" id and slightly turn the original tube to fit inside. that will
also help align things--although again, the caster would need to be triple checked
AND you gotta make sure its even on both L & R sides...

ill try to put up a rudimentary drawing shortly to show what i mean, ive done
several trailer axles this way and you not only need to break the weld,
you have to physically bend the sleeve and the original stuff to have a problem.

i cant believe i didnt think of it before spending the $1K on the speedway setup.
aaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh !!!
 
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