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1916 - 1936

1928 Chevrolet AB Canopy Express

Discussing issues specific to the pre-1937 trucks.

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#129324 Sat Nov 24 2001 04:55 PM
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 198
well I gotta tell ya gearhead I think MartinSR's comments make a lot more sense. I was convinced to do a TCI crossmember before, and this post has reaffirmed that, and given me some better explanations as to why.

May the force be with you - SoloWookie
#129325 Sat Nov 24 2001 05:40 PM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 381
Shop Shark
Find some six-lug rotors that will fit one of these high-dollar units without special drilling, and I might just do it too. Absolutely will not take Dodge Dart wheels, hubs, and lug nuts! grin

#129326 Sun Nov 25 2001 04:05 AM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 45
What?? Martinsr and I were discussing the merits of using a rack on a straight axle which moves up and down and therefore would require the slip joint. It had nothing to do with a mustang II installation.

#129327 Sun Nov 25 2001 04:42 AM
Joined: Jan 1970
Posts: 375
Shop Shark
I would wonder how the rack would be securely fastened to the solid axle. I would be a little gun-shy about welding some sort of an ear or clip on an axle to mount the rack to. Aren't axles heat treated?

Drilling holes in the axle might also be a no-no. I would think a hole would be a good place for a crack to start.

Trying to visualize this set-up in my head, I seems to me that you would have to have a solid bearing and u-joint at the base of the steering column, a shaft with splines, and a u-joint on the rack. The shaft would run right through the area occupied by the exhaust system on a 6 or V8.

I would be interested in seeing a setup like this, if for nothing else to see how they fabricated everything. If a spring or shock broke, what would keep the slip joint together so you could steer the vehicle?

Remember 9-11-01--God Bless the USA
JUSTICE, not REVENGE, will prevail

1951 Chevy 1/2-ton Pickup truck
#129328 Sun Nov 25 2001 05:51 AM
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 198
right... what about that didn't I get??? a matter of weighing my options. I thought the rest was well expressed and explained (better then I had seen elsewhere), and I think you give a a good option of what not to do. (I think the posts about the axle pretty much explained that didn't they? maybe I didn't explain myself well enough?)

being I want power steering I'll be going with the TCI system for sure. just like I stated before I think MartinSR's posts make more sense, and I more contrete in my decision to go with the TCI setup.

May the force be with you - SoloWookie
#129329 Sun Nov 25 2001 08:46 AM
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 21
Straight axle truck are, I think one of the most fun vehicals to drive since they handle,...they just don't some times, so you think quickly when you're driving too fast and have a few corners to take. If I were keeping my current truck, I'd keep the frontend stock forever. I like that kinda ride, you can't always drive like you would with a camaro and 'stang, but I tried and the truck only jumped off the ground a few times. It was scary but that was the best part. Manual steering is good as long as the truck is moving. Power is just better in tight spaces. I know the 'stang stuff isn't really stang, but I'd just still prefer using GM or "Brand" components. TCI, Fatman, Heidts, certain combos they all have. For steering, I'm just gonna get a box out of a 70 chevy truck, to put into my next truck, considering it doesn't have power. But that's only if I decide to get power.

Real men drive straight axle, manual steering trucks, like back in the good ol'days. And big rigs too grin


If you're clean, then you're not a 'Man' If your truck is clean, then your truck is a 'Queen'.

50 3/4T Chevy until it is traded or sold
48-55 1/2T Chevy parts until they're all gone
#129330 Sun Nov 25 2001 06:30 PM
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 198
Nate... keep in mind my 2 vehicles are K5's! grin I know all about the straight axle, and I agree to a point..

Also, don't forget I was raised on a ranch, and that means I've had plenty of experience in driving vehicles without powersteering!

I may not have done a rodstoration before, but believe me I know the implications of a straight axle, and not powersteering, probably as well as anybody.

May the force be with you - SoloWookie
#129331 Sun Nov 25 2001 06:32 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 804
Shop Shark
Hey guys I didn't mean for this to get so heated. There is plenty of room for different opinions. I enjoy seeing good old home built rods probably more than any of you. I am sickened at the sight of thousands of belly button, billit covered, small block Chevy powered, fiberglass bodied, "rods", at the large rod runs. To see a really homebuilt UNIQUE car is a treat.

My only point is that with the "kit revolution" of the seventies, I feel there is no reason to do hacked, dangerous things while building your truck/car. The "kit revolution" started with the "Pete & Jake" four bar front end for early Fords, an education of the street rodder was born. They even had a few pages of steering and suspension theory in their catalog! This "Pete & Jake" "steering and suspension 101" class was then reproduced in every street rod magazine and is still popping up today. There are many opinions, on how to do these things, there are many "rules" that are NEVER to be broken. When I hear of guys breaking these rules it just fires me up! :mad:

Gearhead, I don't know your abilities, that is VERY true, I never questioned them. It sounds like you agree with me that those chowderheads with the slip joints in their truck are wrong. The argument we have is that whether "a proper" slip joint could be used. I say a big NO! You may know that you would have to build a suspension limiter to limit the travel. This way when the suspension was "hanging" down at the bottom of travel the dang slip joint wouldn't come apart. MOST guys who would use this hair ball setup have a tunnel vision and all they see is a way for the steering shaft to clear the headers they bought at the last swap meet. They don't see the BIG PICTURE. You could build some cool heim end, stainless steel cable, "rope" setup like we did on a derby car when we were 10 years old. But no matter what high tech aircraft pully arrangement you used, it would still be WRONG.

With the "kit revolution" there is no reason to be a hack. Years ago it was common to install a dropped axle (and who knows how well this was done eek ) and then finding that the tierod hit the springs. So, you got out your torch and heated up the steering arms and bent them down. I have personally seen two of these break, one was a Friends '48 Ferd Coupe. It then went into a guard rail and was seriously damaged. The other was on my brothers '39 Ferd Coupe, it thank God broke in the shop driveway. He was driving in after a quick 30 mile trip on freeway to get some parts!! Because of the "kit revolution" this has now became a rare occurance. You just buy the componants you need and bolt it together. Sure, we can't all afford them, but we sure find a way to afford that blower setup or 50 disc CD changer!

There was a guy with a '48 Chevy Sedan Delivery who lived behind me. He did a Camaor clip, the wrong way. It was such a mess, the car was sent to the wreckers when he moved. That was a darn shame, but with the mess he made on the top chop and hacking the frame all up, that is where it belonged.
Funny thing was, he had a polished, blown motor in the garage for the car!!

When I said "no one makes it" I wasn't refering to the after market (though that is a very good point, they don't make it either) I was refering to Ferd, Doodge, GM and the like. That sort of goofball thing has NEVER been done because it is wrong. There are other ways to do it. I personally have been "into" Buick nailhead motors all my life and most of the cars I have been associated with have these motors. The starter is on the left side, try getting steering gear past that! It can be done, and it HAS TO be done, so you do it. The Buick roadster pictured here has a tube axle with parallel springs just like an AD (ok it's not an I beam) and we put a Vega box in it. The steering shaft is snaked past the left mounted Buick starter. It is totally safe and will last forever.

Racecarl, mounting the rack to the axle isn't the BIG issue. You can weld to the axle and drill the axle (if there is an example of overbuilt MONSTER durablility, it's the I beam axle!) It used to be very common to "drill" the axle. This started on the race tracks and like all things migrated to the street. You would drill twenty or so 1" holes across the axle. It looked COOL, but not so safe for the street. I have never seen one break though. The real problem comes to the routing of the steering shaft. If the shaft were to go straight back off the rack ending at the length of the rear half of the spring, it could work. You see the shaft would have to follow the same ark as the axle. That leaf spring is sort of like a radious rod holding the axle. So if you were to mount the steering shaft horizontally with the spring so the pivot of the shaft (universal joint) and the spring (eye bolt) were matched, they would both follow the same "curve" and there would be no binding. Of course this wouldn't work on my brothers Buick (it's ALL Buick including the body by the way) because the spring shackles are at the rear. The distance between the axle and the steering column changes as the axle raises and lowers, so you would need that slip joint again! So with it a cross link Vega box was used.

Anyway, lets all just keep the gloves on! smile


[ 11-25-2001: Message edited by: MARTINSR ]

1948 Chevy Pickup
Chopped and sectioned
owned since 1974 when I was 15.
#129332 Sun Nov 25 2001 11:09 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 804
Shop Shark
I was thinking about what I posted on mounting a R&P to the I beam axle as I was out today. I remembered a very important point that blew my idea, AND the slip joint....spring wrap!

The axle "rolls" on braking, just like the rear axle on acceleration (it rolls at braking too). The braking action along with the friction of the tire on the road creates torque that overcomes the springs by twisting them. The more drop the axle has, the more leverage to do this. The stock AD axle has a lot of drop, that is why you get this spring wrap if you remove leaves to lower the truck. As you stop you can feel it in the steering wheel, it wants to turn out of your hands (with the stock box/pitman arm arrangement). When the axle rolls, there would be serious binding with both ideas. If you were to put a universal joint at both ends of the shaft as I desribed it would work. Or you could help eliminate the roll with a locator bar or two, but that is going through a bunch of work to do something stupid anyway.

[ 11-25-2001: Message edited by: MARTINSR ]

1948 Chevy Pickup
Chopped and sectioned
owned since 1974 when I was 15.
#129333 Mon Nov 26 2001 02:16 AM
MARTINSR good points, can't say I have ever seen a rack on a I-beam axle, but for the amount of movement in all the various directions required, it would be impossible to design a robust steering shaft that did not impart some change in the direction of the wheels when the axle moved through normal travel.

Something that the camaro clip has going for it that no one seems to give it credit for is that the steering geometry is DONE FOR YOU by GM, when you put your own kit on the front, it is completely up to the installer to get both wheels in the right spot, upper and lower A-frame mount locations side to side, front to back. I am smart enough to realize that I am not as smart as the chassis and suspension engineers who designed this stuff in the first place . . . actually, I might be smarter, I just don't want to take the time or make the investment to learn everything they already know grin , if you are going to do a kit your measurement tasks and alignment skill requirements go way up. Me . . . I am sticking with a beam . . . simple and rugged. smile

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