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Old 06-17-2008, 02:04 PM
F&J F&J is offline
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32 Ford rear axle setback; wrong info?

I found the info on Wescotts PDF for the rear axle centerline, but it seems wrong. They give measurements from the body hole in front of the axle, plus the hole behind the axle. I know I'm overtired but it seems off by 1" if you add those together and then measure a 32 frame. Anyways, if I change the one measurment that I think is 1" wrong, then the original axle centerline does not line up exactly "in the center" the stock axle bumpers; it lines up about at the front 1/3rd of the bumper???

I am trying to do the "3/4" to 1" setback that Deuce explains in Centerlines Build Thread. I need to get this correct and I don't have any stock body sills or firewall feet to align the body yet. All I have is 2 stock rear fenders that would/should line up with the holes on the sides of the framerails.....but I don't even dare trust doing it that way.

This is a stock orig frame with stock holes, stock rear X. and stock K member. Can anyone give me a proper way to find the exact old centerline, so I can do the set-back?

I'll try to get some pics of how I am preloading the 40 front spring to ride height, so that I can get the correct "spread" on the 35/36 bones to weld brackets on the Olds rear. I also realized I could try to match my axle height by looking at other highboys, and I noticed that the straight line on the bottom edge of the framerail in the middle of the car, should line right up with the centerline of the rear wheel. I think I am planning well, but time will tell.

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Old 06-17-2008, 05:53 PM
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I have NEVER tried to set wheelbase ... in the way you are trying. I always just go back from the centerline of the front axle. I understand, hard to do with the body on the frame



I would be GLAD to get the measurement from either the 5W, the Roadster or the 3W ... ( the measurement from the fender mounting holes to the axle housing ) ... if you think that might help



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Old 06-17-2008, 07:06 PM
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The body is on the old chassis. There are no sills, so it is somewhat pointless to set & block the body on this chassis, to "hope" it is in the correct place "if" I only have the few bolts that locate the rear fenders to the frame sides. If the fender was tweaked a little, I could end up with the differential in the wrong spot as I finally build the sills.

What I have done:
-I used 35/36 bones attached to stock shackles (45*) and are hooked to a 40 front spring (deleafed for now). I made a temporary jig to pull up on the leaf ends, to simulate where I think the fully loaded car & spring will "ride"...with the shackles at 45*. I was forced to do that because I was told to get my rear shackles at the same width as the perches on the 40 front axle that my spring came from. Well that 40 axle measures 42" where the shackles fit, but with the spring mounted in the rear, I found that 46" is where the bone perches need to be. I sure hope I am not doing something way wrong

-I have the Olds rear hanging by 2 hoists at what I think is the "traditional" stance.

-the last thing to do is make & weld, two 3/8" plates onto the Olds tubes, and those plates would be bolted to the bones before welding to the tubes.

So, that's where I am stuck. I want to center the wheels like you always do. I just measured the Wescott specs again, and they are off by 1" exactly. Their measurement from the body hole in front of the rear, puts the centerline at the back of the snubber. Their measuement from the body hole in back of the axle, puts the centerline at the front of the snubber.

So any measurement from your framerails would be great because we all can see that your centerline is perfect. My frame still has stock holes for the front bolts of the rear fenders, and I'd guess that would be the best bet. thanks.

I'll try to add a pic asap.

BTW, my front axle is in, using the stock 32 x-member, but the stock 32/34 front spring has one eye that is bent back just a tick. So I don't dare pull a W/Base measurement off that axle.."yet".
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Old 06-17-2008, 07:11 PM
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I am away on " Holiday " and not close to the 32's ... until Thursday.
Measure as soon as I get close to them.

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Old 06-17-2008, 07:40 PM
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Here is my setup. Looking for input or critique on the way I am doing this swap.


The 2x4 & threaded rods are pulling up on the spring to simulate a "compressed spring". The shackles are c-clamped at 45*. The front tips of the bones are bolted together and centered in the chassis. The Olds rear is hanging at what I think is the best stance, compared to other 32 highboys. So now I need to make two 3/8" thick plates to weld to the Olds tubes, to have something to bolt the bones onto.



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Old 06-18-2008, 11:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deuce
I am away on " Holiday " and not close to the 32's ... until Thursday.
Measure as soon as I get close to them.

Should be home tomorrow ...
Enjoying Charleston SC ...
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Old 06-19-2008, 08:11 AM
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I need a vacation from my build


I'm getting cold feet on the exact width to spread the bones on the rear axle. I guess I need to go with common sense and hope I am right, as soon as I get the setback info from your car.

I am widening a 39 Studebaker 16" wheel today. It looks very similar to the 40 Ford fronts I am using, but has the Olds 5x5" pattern. This wheel will be widened 2" on the backside to accept a large 16" tire but still look like a stock wheel from the face. It will also bring the tire closer to the wheelwell, and should "look" like your cars, as far as how far the tire is from the bead of the fenders My friend with the 34 could not find anyone to redrill his rear axle pattern...even though he is a lifelong Pratt/Whitney machinist. All the shops are tooled up for aircraft subcontracting and won't do one-off jobs. So, I am using 5x5" wheels instead.

Of course, I only found ONE stude wheel so far

The wheel is half done. I had to quit at 9pm....old age is gaining on me
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Old 06-19-2008, 03:02 PM
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There are three holes in the frame where the rear fender bolts to the frame. Two of those are used to bolt the fender. If you draw a center imaginary line thru those ... as a reference mark ... my rear end housing is 16 inches back. The 9 inch rear end housing diameter measures 3 inches so you have to add another inch and a half to get the axle centerline of 17.5 inches

I have built a few sets of wheels for my projects and I like using a wheel shell. Speedway in Lincoln Neb. sells them. So does most circle track supply places.



I just install my center. If I cannot buy a new shell the width I want ... I then remove the center from a existing rim and discard that center.

Put a axle between centers on a lathe and after you set your desired back space ... indicate the rim in and slowly weld it up. Go slowly and then go from side to side to minimize warping.

____________________________________________-

Sometimes a vacation from your projects or your everyday routine is GOOD. The wife likes the coast ... and I actually got to go look at some JUNK ... while she was shopping. I love Charleston and used to live there.
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Old 06-19-2008, 05:47 PM
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Great! I am going to measure it right now.

I assume the line between those 2 holes allows a true horizontal measurement from the tube to some point along that line? I am pretty sure that must be why you want that line.

The 34 coupe showed up today with huge new rear tires on mega backspaced wheels on the 57 chev rear. He's got the tires tucked in the fenders real good but needed to get 1/2" spacers to fine tune it. BUT, his rear is WAY far forward. It's an old drag car and who knows why it's like that. Looks way worse that your "before" pics of a 32 fit. I also measured the spread of his rear perches and they are 46", just like mine are roughed in to. I think I am going to weld things up soon.

The wheels: I really need the old style outer rim detail to match the 40 fronts. The modern rims have the depression around the rim that acts like a bead lock system. I am a nut on "visual" details I did finish that one wheel today and I did skip weld and took my time. It looks real good. The car will be so light in the rear, that I don't have any great concern about safety of the widening. (famous last words )
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Old 06-19-2008, 07:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F&J
................. I also measured the spread of his rear perches and they are 46", just like mine are roughed in to. I think I am going to weld things up soon....................
Just for grins.... mine are exactly 46". Posies recommends 46" and that just worked better for me than the 46 1/2" Pete & Jakes recommends.

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Old 06-19-2008, 09:03 PM
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Quote:
Just for grins.... mine are exactly 46". Posies recommends 46"
Now that is bizarre. I never read up on the measurement, but did ask about my 40 front spring setup 'elsewhere". I ended up with 46" only by chance; I just preloaded the spring and then took the measurement.

I did center the Olds rear tonight with the specs from Deuce. It really does not "look" like much of a "setback" if I go by the 2 original 32 snubbers on the frame. But I am going with it for sure. I need it up on all fours to set the Olds motor & trans in soon. I put the radiator & shell on, just for something to look at

I also blasted/painted the widened wheel and mounted a big 16" radial.............I don't know if I can deal with that look. I know all about bias drawbacks because I grew up with them....but like I said, I am a nutcase on visuals.
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Old 06-19-2008, 09:57 PM
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Just got my 15" x 5 1/2" front and 16" x 8" rear Genie wheels along with the trim rings and hubcaps from Wheel Vintiques today. So.... I'm a happy camper at the moment. Going junk yard diving tomorrow for a few pieces of drum brake hardware that I can't find at the local auto parts store. All part of my conversion to GM 12"x2" brakes using the stock early Ford front backing plates. Will be posting something on that in a week or so.
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Old 06-20-2008, 06:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F&J
I need a vacation from my build
The wheel is half done. I had to quit at 9pm....old age is gaining on me
You are younger than I am ... but I do understand the slowing down thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by F&J

I did center the Olds rear tonight with the specs from Deuce. It really does not "look" like much of a "setback" if I go by the 2 original 32 snubbers on the frame.
I do HOPE that everything works out for you. Like said elsewhere ... I have never been involved in setting a rear end doing it this way. I do strongly suggest you " C " the frame.



The rear axle housing will bump the frame ... on a half way low 32 if you do not.
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Old 06-20-2008, 07:12 AM
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Quote:
I do HOPE that everything works out for you. Like said elsewhere ... I have never been involved in setting a rear end doing it this way.

Sorry for a long post, but I need to get this correct


I can't think of any other way to locate it. If I had a borrowed 32 body with genuine sills & body bolt holes, then I would set it on with my rear fenders. If your measurement is correct, why won't the wheel be centered in the fender? I have no idea if I will run those full rear fenders or not. I plan on restoring them & fitting them, just in case the car gets ticketed and I am forced to go through the dreaded inspection at the main DMV. I just want it correct IF I run the fenders.

I'm could fix my front spring problem and then do a wheelbase check. I really need to get this rear axle problem handled soon. Seems like there are a few variables on front ends, that could throw off the W/B?? My front split bones are not connected at the frame yet, but they are braced to line up with the old split-bones brackets that were there. By lining them up to that height, the caster is right on, and there is no front spring bind in that position....I did not have to force the bones up-or-down to get them to line up with those old brackets.

As far as wheelbase; it seemed more important to just be concerned about how the tire looks in the full rear fender?? ...especially on a car that will never have front fenders? Is that a bad way to think at this point?


And yes, I hear you on the c-notching




EDIT: More thinking ... How about this plan? My radiator & shell are in the right spot because it still has an unaltered front crossmember. Let's say I were to find a way to support my body tub at the correct height on this chassis, and then use the "32 inch" measurement from the top of the radiator shell, to the top of the cowl where the hood top fits? Would that get the body pretty close so I could then bolt on my rear fenders (to verify the wheel centering)??? Grabbing at straws here.

Last edited by F&J; 06-20-2008 at 07:29 AM.
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Old 06-20-2008, 09:37 AM
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You will be OK ...

I measured very carefully and it should work that way. I just have never seen it done that way. Many rods were built years ago with the bodies on and the wheelbase was not even considered.

Quit worrying and enjoy your project
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