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Old 10-29-2013, 03:41 PM
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1960 Chevy Truck Rear Street/Strip Suspension

So I've got my 60 Chevy torn down and ready to start my frame work before sending to powder coat. The truck is mostly going to be a cruiser, but every now in then I'm sure I'll take it to test 'n tune nights and call on it to put the power down. I'll be trying to get about 400 hp to play nicely with the asphalt in a pickup truck.

Besides the obvious (rubber), does anyone that's familiar with these trucks have any ideas or proven methods get these trucks to hook up? I want to keep it relatively stock (read: not build a completely custom frame and suspension), and I realize there are natural limitations to this setup. Just looking for ideas on what other people have tried, whether it failed or succeeded.

For those unfamiliar, a '60 Chevy 1/2 ton has a coil spring rear with trailing arms (actually seems like a pretty decent start, as far as traction is concerned, for a truck this old).

I already plan on replacing the coils, shocks, all associated bushings, etc. The obvious basic things when doing a restoration. Mainly looking for some known weaknesses of the suspension that can be reinforced, added to, completely replaced, modified, etc.

Some things I'm considering are moving the engine/transmission back as far as I can in the engine bay (possibly even modifying the firewall for a couple more inches), and putting the fuel cell as far back under the bed as possible to get more weight out back.

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Old 10-29-2013, 04:27 PM
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Them truck's had a pretty good set up like it was.. Not sure what can be done without going to a four link or four bar set up..
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Old 10-29-2013, 08:00 PM
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The truck arms should work well. Maybe add an air bag in the right rear spring to help the truck leave straight. I used an air shock (it was free) mounted in tandem with the regular right rear shock. I took out the schrader valve when not at the track and the air shock was just along for the ride. Here's a pic of what I did.
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Old 10-30-2013, 02:38 PM
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like new interiors said, it's actually a decent stock setup
those trailing arms are made of 2 sheet metal stampings, welded together
known to rust and separate in the middle, usually at the most inopportune time.
i'd replace them, there are a couple of vendors that sell replacements.
you can also insert an air bag in the spring.
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Old 10-30-2013, 06:11 PM
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Cool. After staring at it a while I kinda reached the same conclusion that I couldn't think of anything to do this side of a completely custom chassis. I'll inspect my trailing arms closely and decide if I should replace.
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Old 11-04-2013, 01:02 AM
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You can improve on the trailing arms by stitch welding steel plate the entire length ( top and bottom ) this strengthens considerly, and run softer springs in the rear...!
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Old 11-04-2013, 02:28 AM
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Here`s a rear tank install that would work better than a fuel cell..
`64 c-10 - C10Trucks.com
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Old 11-04-2013, 07:23 PM
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I agree that you have a good set up to start with. In addition to the things mentioned above (strengthening trailing arms) I would replace the stock panhard rod with the longest one you can fit under it. Several vendors sell them or you could fab your own. I'd go with a single adjustable at a minimum and a double adjustable would be better.

If you don't already have a sway bar definitely get one for the rear (both front and rear would be preferable). Those can be obtained from various vendors or you can do as I did and do the famous salvage yard walk with a tape measure.

Making as much HP as you mentioned I'd also box the frame. Not completely but in intervals. The frame has to have some give and be able to twist. If not it's going to snap. Also don't use square or rectangle plates. Have them taper in some at the top as triangles are stronger than squares.

Now if you want to go father than that I'd suggest replacing the Trailing Arm crossmember. I fabbed up mine and where the trailing arms attach to it I have 3 mounting points. This will allow you to adjust and tweak the anti-squat.

Good luck with your build and let us know what you do.
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Old 11-04-2013, 07:30 PM
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truck arm suspension

late 40's and early 50's olds used the same design.
We ran all olds drive train in a 36 chevy coupe and a 31 chrysler roadster. On the olds rubber mounted arms we used a cheater bar to over torque the bolts and compress the rubber, and they both hooked up .
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Old 11-04-2013, 08:00 PM
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Saw this photo and just had to post it here....

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Old 11-05-2013, 02:22 PM
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ouch, looks like something broke, maybe his trailing arm
can see the pic, only the thumbnail
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Old 11-05-2013, 05:28 PM
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An air bag in the right rear would help that.
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Old 11-06-2013, 04:25 PM
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You have a good suspension... it is what NASCAR currently uses, and they do all right with it , so there is plenty of parts support.

There is even a company making kits to put these suspensions in any car, company is Hot Rods To Hell.

Good streetable suspension that can work well for street/strip use with just ggod springs, shocks, bushings and an air bag to control body roll.
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Old 11-07-2013, 10:16 AM
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Over the years there have been a lot of Chevy truck trailing arms used on hotrod builds. It's a very good setup, and not a lot that needs changed to improve it. I would replace the rubber bushings with poly to keep things more solid. Softer springs help ride, but they usually squat too much during hard acceleration. I keep stock springs on mine, but I have air shocks with individual feed lines so I can preload my suspension. I run the right rear about 15-20 lbs. more air if I plan to go racing.
I think your stock trailing arms will work well, even with a lot more power than you're putting into yours.
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