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Old 01-11-2011, 11:06 PM
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53 chevy truck suspension

hey guys I just recently purchased a 53 chevy 1/2 ton pickup. What I am trying to figure out is if the stock front axle will hold up to the weight and power of a small block? Im planning on building the truck for cruising and not for racing. I have thought about swapping in an IFS kit for it, but there is just something about a straight axle. Thanks for any help.
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Old 01-11-2011, 11:20 PM
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WELCOME to Hotrodders.com

A stock axle will most definitely support a V8 engine. You can use 53/54 Chevrolet passenger car hubs and brake drums on the 1/2 ton axle to get the common 5 on 4.75 standard Chevrolet car wheel pattern.

Most rodders move the engine over a little to help clear the stock steering box. They also use a 67/69 Camaro or 68/72 Nova rear end.

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Old 01-11-2011, 11:40 PM
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Thanks for the reply the hubs thing is a new one for me. I have built several types of vehicles in the past, but this one is my first classic truck. I am very excited to build this one. it been a long time since I have been excited to actually build a vehicle.
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Old 01-11-2011, 11:44 PM
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steering box

We did one about 50 years ago. we used an angle iron mounting plate welded to the frame to move the steering gear over. but that limits tire size for sharp turns.
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Old 01-11-2011, 11:53 PM
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That might be a problem. I am wanting to run 15 inch old school steel wheels with the baby moons. Im wanting to go with an old school street rod look with a few modern upgrades for safety, like the brakes.
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Old 01-12-2011, 10:48 AM
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those straight axles are bullet proof, you could mount 2 bbc on that axle
many yrs ago a friend and i installed a sbc offset in his 53 that worked fine.
i recently read an article in a truck mag where they offset the steering box.
i did not like how they had to heat and bend the steering arm to make up for the offset
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Old 01-12-2011, 11:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 53beast
I am wanting to run 15 inch old school steel wheels with the baby moons. Im wanting to go with an old school street rod look with a few modern upgrades for safety, like the brakes.
Actually, the brakes on those trucks are pretty decent ... as is ... from the factory. I like to upgrade to a dual master cylinder ...

I built one ( a 48 ) for a friend years ago. I used a crossmember type of engine mount to offset the engine.



I installed a 69 Camaro rear end ... in fact I used the engine, transmission and rear end from a wrecked 69 Camaro. After converting the front brakes over to the 5 lug pattern, I used a set of 15 inch Chevy Rally rims front and rear ( off the SAME 69 Camaro ).

This truck is very similar to the 48 I did for my friend.



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Old 01-12-2011, 11:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ogre
beast
those straight axles are bullet proof, you could mount 2 bbc on that axle
You could probably put FOUR BBC in that truck on that axle.

Funny thing about the question is the stock six, cast iron bell housing and cast iron transmission weighs WAY more than a SBC and the aluminum trans that you will probably use!

Brian
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Old 01-12-2011, 01:14 PM
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Thanks for the feed back guys. im glad to hear that the axle is strong enough. I never even thought about the stock motor and tranny being cast iron. I have built several 4x4 and a couple of street racers, and Im curently working on an 89 short wide chevy, I guess it just slippen my mind about the weight of the old motors and trannys. since most of the stuff I have worked with in the past is mostly aluminum. lol out of all the builds that i have done this is the first one that Im actually excited about doing. I have alway dreamed about building a classic truck and i finally ran across a good body with a good price to it. lol By the way Duece where did you find the crossmember that you mentioned above?
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Old 01-12-2011, 03:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 53beast
By the way Duece where did you find the crossmember that you mentioned above?
It is DEUCE thank you

I got the I used at a swap meet ( $20.00 but still new ) but Speedway in Lincoln Neb. sells them for 50 dollars. Go here

http://www.speedwaymotors.com/S-B-B-...ount,3273.html
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Old 01-12-2011, 03:36 PM
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sweet thanks, oh and sorry about the miss spell.
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Old 01-12-2011, 05:49 PM
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If I use the tube crossmember and keep the stock steering will block hugger headers be able to fit with enough clearance? I have been told that it is a tight fit.
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Old 01-12-2011, 06:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 53beast
If I use the tube crossmember and keep the stock steering will block hugger headers be able to fit with enough clearance? I have been told that it is a tight fit.


I do not know. I used Chevy exhaust manifolds on the one I built. The steering box was close ... BUT with the engine moved over about a inch or MAYBE a inch and a half ... I had no problems. The Camaro had a set of regular full length headers and they would NOT work.

My friend sold the truck to another guy and he said he used a set of headers off a 64 NOVA V8.
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Old 01-12-2011, 07:33 PM
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ill keep that in mind, Thanks for the reply.
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