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Raising front suspension on '49 3100

Posted By: Joe S.

Raising front suspension on '49 3100 - Wed Aug 21 2019 01:52 PM

Dear friends,

I would like to raise the front suspension a couple of inches o my '49 3100 half ton. To me it would look better. Is it simply a matter of getting a couple of steel slabs, drilling them out for the U bolts and pins and inserting them between the front axle and springs?

Will it affect the handling or steering geometry?

Best regards

Joe

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Posted By: Joe H

Re: Raising front suspension on '49 3100 - Wed Aug 21 2019 02:19 PM

Thats one way, or look at the shackles, you maybe able to install longer ones from the rear. My '37 sat low in front, rear shackles were longer and fit right in, raised the front where I wanted without any steering issues.
Posted By: Joe S.

Re: Raising front suspension on '49 3100 - Wed Aug 21 2019 03:35 PM

Thank you Joe H!
Posted By: 52Carl

Re: Raising front suspension on '49 3100 - Wed Aug 21 2019 05:50 PM

I wouldn't do it. There is too much geometry built into the straight axle such as castor, and camber, which will likely be altered by lifting it a "couple of inches". It will also throw your drag link out of wack.
Get yourself a set of LT215/85R16 tires. They will give you a noticeable lift. They measure 30 1/2" tall, compared to the 28" stock tires.
Posted By: Gord&Fran

Re: Raising front suspension on '49 3100 - Wed Aug 21 2019 06:50 PM

I find our old truck feels like it's going to go over when taking a corner that seems like nothing in our Acura. Raising the center of gravity a couple of inches sure won't help! I'm with Carl on this one.
Posted By: Joe S.

Re: Raising front suspension on '49 3100 - Thu Aug 22 2019 01:41 AM

Thank you Gord&Fran and 52Carl.
Posted By: Hotrod Lincoln

Re: Raising front suspension on '49 3100 - Thu Aug 22 2019 12:32 PM

It looks like those springs have sagged a little from old age and negotiating too many bumps. Look at the distance between the frame and the rubber bump stops. It's going to bottom out on the stops anytime a serious bounce happens. I'd suggest getting the springs re-arched, adding a leaf, or finding some less-tired springs. Chances are the drag link is already out of level due to spring sag, so a lift MIGHT bring it back closer to right. I'd prefer to restore the suspension to its original condition rather than apply a Band-Aid fix.
Jerry
Posted By: Joe S.

Re: Raising front suspension on '49 3100 - Sat Aug 24 2019 05:12 PM

To Jerry aka Hotrod Lincoln,

There is a spring shop 15 minutes away. I have been passing by them for decades and always taken note. Would they be able to look up the specifications for the spring to re-arch them?

Joe
Posted By: Hotrod Lincoln

Re: Raising front suspension on '49 3100 - Sat Aug 24 2019 05:23 PM

If they've been around awhile they've probably got a gray-headed old geezer who can educate you on spring re-arching. It's a pretty complicated process, and doing it right involves annealing, re-shaping, and re-tempering the spring leaves. I've seen some attempts made at re-arching springs done with a hydraulic press and/or anvils and sledge hammers, with less than ideal results. It's possible that the shop might be able to rebuild your springs with parts they've had on hand for decades, assuming that they have been around for that long. "Talk's cheap"- - - - -drop in and get acquainted!
Jerry
Posted By: WE b OLD

Re: Raising front suspension on '49 3100 - Sat Aug 24 2019 05:51 PM

My truck's rear springs were modified during the rebuild in a way that I did not authorize, so they have very little cushioning when going over a bump or hitting a pothole. So when I get back from KC I plan on taking it to a spring shop about 50 miles away to have it fixed, I would like to have the rear end raised 1 inch in the process. The springs are not original because the rear end is out of a 79 Chevy Nova and was custom made for it.
Posted By: Whitedog

Re: Raising front suspension on '49 3100 - Sun Aug 25 2019 10:42 PM

My vote is for just new springs. After 70 years of use they are bound to be fatigued. Trying to re-arch those old springs more than likely will create more issues than it’s worth. I have yet to see a set on an AD truck that weren’t rusted behind the bump stop.

If she is still wobbly after new springs, maybe a sway bar. If you don’t like height, add a couple of leaves.
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