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Old 07-19-2012, 05:15 PM
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1957 Chevy truck must II IFS ride height question

Hello hotrodders,

I have a question that in hoping can be explained to me so I understand it a little better.

I just received the tci mustang II IFS in the mail for my 1957 Chevy stepside. Right now it is stripped down to the frame with the tci drop rear leaf spring suspension with camaro rear end. The front is bare with just the original crossmember in place. I was reading and trying to do as much research as I can before I jump right into the front mII install but I'm stumped at the initial step to setting the truck frame up at ride height. I know I want a small rake in the truck ultimately but right now I don't know what size wheels and tires I want to use. Is there a general way I can figure out where i could set the frame up before installing the crossmember where I won't run into problems later on when I get the wheels and tires, or do I need to nail down the rear wheel and tire size before installing the front?

Thanks a lot!

David

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Old 07-19-2012, 11:31 PM
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I just got done doing this and you WILL need to get the right wheels and tires on the truck first. I just did it on my 59 so weve got the same setup. on that truck with a 2" drop from heidts your going to rub with anything 255 or over. my 245s just BARELY clear, I had 255s on it and they rubbed the fenders like crazy. Get any wheels with up to 245 as the first number in the tires (if you want to avoid rubbing) and use that to determine your height.
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Old 07-19-2012, 11:34 PM
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Originally Posted by chevyrestore View Post
I just got done doing this and you WILL need to get the right wheels and tires on the truck first. I just did it on my 59 so weve got the same setup. on that truck with a 2" drop from heidts your going to rub with anything 255 or over. my 245s just BARELY clear, I had 255s on it and they rubbed the fenders like crazy. Get any wheels with up to 245 as the first number in the tires (if you want to avoid rubbing) and use that to determine your height.
Thanks for the response, that's good to know, what setup do you have in the rear and what size wheel/tire combo....?

I'm thinking I'm going to get the wheels and tires first then install the front suspension. What width did you end up going? Any backspacing?
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Old 07-19-2012, 11:55 PM
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No backspacing, I am running 245/55/20 if I remember right and theyre rubbing, waiting until theyre worn to go one size smaller. The rear end is a 90s camaro with a flip kit to drop it down.

I would strongly recommend you get the actual wheels you want and tires not just a random mockup because the wheels you end up running might be an inch or 2 wider than your mock-up set.

Ill let you know up front the control arm bushings they sent out when I put mine in were junk and went out about a year after, if they are the poly-urethane bushings I would trash what you have and buy those. Same goes with the rack and pinion mounting bushings. The standard rubber ones (if thats what they gave you) will give you nothing but headaches and eventually lead you to the polys anyway.

When you put it all in dont worry but your truck will sit a little high in the front for the first hundred miles or so until the springs set it. Mine dropped about 1/2" after driving for a month.

If you want to run 20s id recommend 245/35/20.
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Old 07-20-2012, 08:10 AM
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No backspacing, I am running 245/55/20 if I remember right and theyre rubbing, waiting until theyre worn to go one size smaller. The rear end is a 90s camaro with a flip kit to drop it down.

I would strongly recommend you get the actual wheels you want and tires not just a random mockup because the wheels you end up running might be an inch or 2 wider than your mock-up set.

Ill let you know up front the control arm bushings they sent out when I put mine in were junk and went out about a year after, if they are the poly-urethane bushings I would trash what you have and buy those. Same goes with the rack and pinion mounting bushings. The standard rubber ones (if thats what they gave you) will give you nothing but headaches and eventually lead you to the polys anyway.

When you put it all in dont worry but your truck will sit a little high in the front for the first hundred miles or so until the springs set it. Mine dropped about 1/2" after driving for a month.

If you want to run 20s id recommend 245/35/20.
Thanks for the good info regarding the bushings, I'll see what they gave me, I don't want anything bigger than 18's so the 245 would be the max tire height and would just clear the fenders....

I have a 78 camaro 8.5 rear end and I believe it's a little wider and may require backspacing but i haven't looked into it yet. Thanks again for your help!
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Old 07-20-2012, 08:52 AM
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Just to make life easier you might want to have the rear end shortened (not super super pricey) or find a set of wheels with the correct offset to prevent rubbing or needing to modify the bed to fit.
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Old 07-20-2012, 10:18 AM
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Just to make life easier you might want to have the rear end shortened (not super super pricey) or find a set of wheels with the correct offset to prevent rubbing or needing to modify the bed to fit.
The rear end width now is just under 62 inches which is close to stock so I believe what I have seen in the past is the max is a 8 inch wheel with 4-4 1/2 inch backspacing which are pretty common I've noticed. I could always do a little mini tub when the time comes if things fitting with the bed on. I'll do some more research as well.

At least I can box the frame for now until I get the wheels and tires I wish to run
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Old 07-21-2012, 12:43 AM
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also those kits are designed some for the OEM straight 6 motor, some for small blocks, and I put a big block in so they sent me stiffer springs, make sure you get the correct springs for your motor and make sure you grease the crap out of the front wheel bearing, they need a TON of grease or they go out quick since all the parts are new and dry, they also dont make the stainless steel brake lines hold down very well, however you run them make sure they dont get pinched in the coil springs
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Old 07-23-2012, 06:31 PM
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also those kits are designed some for the OEM straight 6 motor, some for small blocks, and I put a big block in so they sent me stiffer springs, make sure you get the correct springs for your motor and make sure you grease the crap out of the front wheel bearing, they need a TON of grease or they go out quick since all the parts are new and dry, they also dont make the stainless steel brake lines hold down very well, however you run them make sure they dont get pinched in the coil springs
Thanks for the advice.

you guys are awesome!!
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Old 07-23-2012, 11:05 PM
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I see youre in the bay area, not to far from me in Orange County, if you need any parts let me know, ive got the truck and car shop about 2 blocks from me and a garage full of stuff thatll fit your truck

also, if your doing power brakes with it at this time also make sure you put the pushrod in between the master cylinder and booster...I forgot and spend 3 day bleeding and couldnt figure out why it wouldnt work until I found the pushrod still in the bag
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Old 07-24-2012, 12:43 AM
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I see youre in the bay area, not to far from me in Orange County, if you need any parts let me know, ive got the truck and car shop about 2 blocks from me and a garage full of stuff thatll fit your truck

also, if your doing power brakes with it at this time also make sure you put the pushrod in between the master cylinder and booster...I forgot and spend 3 day bleeding and couldnt figure out why it wouldnt work until I found the pushrod still in the bag
Haha that's funny!! Ill try and remember....

I'm located in Brentwood, not the southern California Brentwood either lol

I may have to take a road trip just to see what you got going on down there. I have to take a break from spending money on the truck right now so it's back to the free stuff, sanding and wrenching!
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Old 07-30-2012, 09:29 PM
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im doing a power steering conversion on my 59 right now, Ill probably have an almost new rack and pinion (manual steering) for sale if you need one
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Old 07-30-2012, 09:42 PM
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im doing a power steering conversion on my 59 right now, Ill probably have an almost new rack and pinion (manual steering) for sale if you need one
That's for the offer, I have the power rack included in my kit. Just waitin for the dough to get my wheels and tires then the front end will be welded in.. Thanks again for the help! For now!!
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Old 09-08-2012, 10:50 PM
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Hey I just finished my power steering conversion and ran into a few problems your going to run into, figured id let you know so it doesnt happen to you. Your going to need to get a pressure valve shim kit from danchuk or borgeson steering. Its basically a pack of shims you put behind the pressure valve on the power steering pump since the GM pump has WAY more pressure than the ford style rack and pinion...

I used 4 shims and that worked best for me. Kit is about 18 bux and no matter what your going to need it. Dont run the motor without putting the shims on first, I did and the pressure blew the seal on the rack and pinion and I had to fork out more money for another rack. That and the lines leak like crazy at the rack so make sure to put teflon tape on the threads on the adapters for the rack.

Also, when welding up the steering shaft, make sure the shaft isint too far into the joint or it will bind on you and make sure to "time" the joints by welding them in the correct position (directions show how)


hows your IFS going so far?
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Old 09-11-2012, 03:18 AM
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Hey man Saw you were messing with the suspension in ur truck an figured you might be interested in this thread...

Make it handle - The 1947 - Present Chevrolet & GMC Truck Message Board Network

Its full of killer info about suspension set ups and alot of the info is from a guy with a bad AutoX 1956 F100
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