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  #241 (permalink)  
Old 01-10-2007, 09:16 AM
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Great read here. I have a 55 second series and have an interest in the power disc brake conversion, power steering and a dropped front axel. Always nice if you can find someone who did it to see how some of the available kits worked out. Anyone do the power disc conversion? Power rack and pinion conversion for straight axels? Mono front springs to lower the ride?

I've read most of this thread..hope I'm not asking something that was already answered.

Thanks,

Keith Lebo

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  #242 (permalink)  
Old 01-10-2007, 10:08 AM
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1955 2nd series Chevy Pick Up
 

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Hey Mursue, if you could post a pic of the cab dolly that would be great to help me fab one up...thanks
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  #243 (permalink)  
Old 01-10-2007, 02:45 PM
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Hey guys...have to post a pic of the 2 ton hoist I picked up for $120 from craigslist. It is like brand new. This should help me get my cab off this weekend.
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  #244 (permalink)  
Old 01-10-2007, 09:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slickriffs
Great read here. I have a 55 second series and have an interest in the power disc brake conversion, power steering and a dropped front axel. Always nice if you can find someone who did it to see how some of the available kits worked out. Anyone do the power disc conversion? Power rack and pinion conversion for straight axels? Mono front springs to lower the ride?

I've read most of this thread..hope I'm not asking something that was already answered.

Thanks,

Keith Lebo
Keith,
I'm doing a power disc brake conversion right now. I have the MC and booster mounted along with my pedal put back together. It was a kit from CPP. There are some holes to drill but as long as you have some good bits that shouldn't be a problem. The adjustment arm coming from the booster didn't allow me any adjustment. I had to turn it all the way in just to get the brake arm 1/4 inch from the firewall. You can cut the turnbuckle off about 1/2 an inch and fix that. The other thing was the turn buckle isn't really a turn buckle. It has right hand threads on both ends so you have to disconnect it from your pedal assembly to adjust. Kind of a wasted effort if you ask me. I was also told that the dropped straight axle will give you a better lowering job than the lowering springs. I'm having a set of springs made to drop an extra inch along with the 3 inch drop axle. I actually like the straight axle in this truck, but if you are going to change springs, axle, spindles and putting on power steering, I'd really consider the IFS front end. It won't cost much more to buy than all the components to rebuild the straight axle front end. Especially when you change out shackle bushings, heavy duty tie rod and ends etc.

DD, I figured there was an easy way to figure the travel but it never occured to me to measure the difference in the shock. Right now I'm fighting with a really tough Spring bolt. The one that goes through the front shackle and through the frame. Looks like I'll be buying a torch. Gonna have to get some heat on it. One side came apart easily and the other is like it's welded in place. Tried everything but the heat. Have some penetrating oil on it right now and I'll give it another shot tomorrow. Those bushings in the frame are going to be a devil to get out. Got any secrets on making it any easier? O well, it's nice to get Christmas out of the way and back to the truck. How is your wife doing?
See ya,
Dave
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  #245 (permalink)  
Old 01-11-2007, 01:07 AM
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Yes Dave it is nice to have Christmas out of the way.My wife has to have more surgery on Friday to have a leak in the bladder fixed we leave for Vegas tomorrow.On the up side there is no cancer in any of the biopsy's.On another note I had no problems with the power brake assembly I got from brothers trucks.It just bolted right in were the old set up came out.The disk conversion was no problem either.As far as the shackles go you need to buy the torch.Heat is the only answer on allot of the problems you will encounter.
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  #246 (permalink)  
Old 01-11-2007, 10:09 AM
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I have a few pics in my journal of the PS and PB install it is on page one. I did encounter one small problem with the power steering install, but it was minor.

DD...glad to hear the results of the biopsy.
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  #247 (permalink)  
Old 01-11-2007, 10:37 AM
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DD..... man that's great news. Good for her.

Gator,
I've enjoyed your journal. I noticed that you put in new shackle pins on the front. Did you have any problems removing the old pins of bushings from the frame? Mine are froze solid. Got a torch ordered.
Dave
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  #248 (permalink)  
Old 01-11-2007, 10:58 AM
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Heat! and on it! It was hard to get out but I just used my little propane torch to heat it up and pound it out. If you look in my journal and see where I did the shackles you will see that there is no paint on the leaf spring.......I knew I would need heat so I didn't paint in that area. I have a real torch now to use but the propane one worked fine! I still have three more sets to do.
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  #249 (permalink)  
Old 01-11-2007, 11:07 AM
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I tried the propane and penetrating oil last night and they didn't budge. The pin is actually stuck in one. Did you have any problem putting the new bushing back in the frame?
Dave
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  #250 (permalink)  
Old 01-11-2007, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmaggard
I tried the propane and penetrating oil last night and they didn't budge. The pin is actually stuck in one. Did you have any problem putting the new bushing back in the frame?
Dave
It was tough but I was able to get them in. I made a tool with a piece of all thread that I double nutted one end put the rod thru the the perch, placed the bushing at the opening with the all thread running thru it. Put two washers on the end large enough to cover the end of the bushing then a nut. I tightened up the nut and it pressed the bushing in place. I did use this set up to press one of the old ones out, but with a socket that was the same diameter as the bushing. I did also use an air chisel on one to help it out.

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  #251 (permalink)  
Old 01-11-2007, 02:17 PM
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Great idea. I used the same type of tool to pull out the fork bearings on my Harley and then to press them back in. I'm replacing the leafs so I don't have to worry right now with the bushings in the old leaf springs, the ones in the frame on the front are the problem. Thanks for the idea. I'll let you know how many fingers I have left after this stage of the project.
Dave


Update.... Sweet smell of victory.... and still have all my fingers. Haven't put them back in yet but nothing a little penetrating oil, heat, overnight wait, and a big hammer can't take care of.
Dave

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  #252 (permalink)  
Old 01-11-2007, 09:32 PM
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Cool Dave! Glad to hear you got them out.
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  #253 (permalink)  
Old 01-13-2007, 02:30 PM
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Dave glad you got that pin out.I get to do the same thing to mine soon.I have one pin showing signs of wear.
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  #254 (permalink)  
Old 01-13-2007, 03:37 PM
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I got the firewall and inner fender wells ready to weld up holes. I have to run some wire in the garage for my welder. Needed an opinion here. My emergency brake has been completely disconnected except for the handle under the steering wheel. I don't know how the original cable was routed and thinking I might be better off rigging up some other kind of emergency brake. Any thoughts on this?
Thanks,
Dave
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  #255 (permalink)  
Old 01-13-2007, 08:37 PM
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Well, Gents, I'm finally getting back to this.

First, Dick, how is your Wife getting on? Having to go back in is a b*&^$; here's good thoughts for a complete and comfy recovery.

I notice that there has been a good amount of discussion regarding dropped axles, lowered springs, and such, recently; here are a few thoughts and findings I have made over the last few years, regarding this. The dropped axle from CPP has been a good thing; three inches drop, so they say. In the larger scheme of things, that isn't a lot, noticeable, but not much; so we say, how about using a set of lowered springs with it? I bounced that question off of guys at CPP, and Posie's, who offer a nice set of two leaf springs that they claim are safer and better riding than mono-leafs; they both told me that the combo of the axle and springs, while giving a good drop, would cause alignment problems - specifically, with caster. I have thought about this a lot, and I think that the caster problem could be corrected with the right shim packs; I might be all wet, but, I am tempted to give it a try, especially since I am going to lower the rear, as well. Doing it that way would allow doing it a piece at a time, rather than the whole shot in the wallet at one time that an IFS would give me - and, no welding, or at least, not nearly as much; only the over-spring rear conversion.

Regarding the springs, Posie's offers springs in their "Super Slide" line; the fronts are said to give 2-1/2 to 3 inches, the rears, 3 to 4. They are "reduced" spring packs, having fewer leaves, and are said to give a better ride quality, and are purported to be much safer than mono-leaf springs, because of the multiple leaves. I don't know; seems to me that if you broke a main leaf or an eye, it wouldn't make any difference whether it was multi or mono, you would still have a real problem; now, if you broke a secondary leaf, it wouldn't "cripple" you, so that is something to keep in the pot of things to think about. CPP's mono leaf springs are advertised to give from 2 to 4 inches of drop, front or rear, depending on which style of eye you use - normal, or reversed. I have seen a couple of trucks with mono leafs on them, and they are down there; I don't know just what else they might have done to them to get them dow there, though.

Total cost of all of this is sort of a toss-up, between a IFS setup, a "clip", or the lowered axle/leaf spring setup, along with a disc brake conversion, power brakes and steering conversion. As I said, earlier, one "big chunk, all at once", or smaller bites over a longer time; I am torn between the alternatives. I understand the benefits of modern independent suspension, but I do not think that the "old freight wagon" suspension is all that bad, especially if it is done "right" - look at Double Dick's truck, as well as many others; they work really well. The nice thing about keeping the original suspension design is that you can keep a lot of the other "ancillary" stuff in more-or-less the same way it was designed originally - like engine mounts if you don't want to change them, radiator and body mounts, etceterrrra.

A couple of things for you guys who are just starting, or haven't done any work on one of these trucks before:

Pulling the engine from a stocker - easiest to drop out the tranny from underneath, then yank the engine; even easier, if you pull the front sheet metal off, first. I got to where I could change out the engine in mine in about three hours, and be running again; it's really easy, if you get the drill down pat, but getting the tranny out of the way is key - if you pull it with the tranny in place, you have to drag it over that crossmember, and it is even worse going back in. Taking a three or four speed out under the truck isn't that hard; I have a Muncie "rock crusher" iron case, and I could do it without a jack - arr-arrrr-arrr , but a jack makes it a cake walk.

I don't think any of the current power brake conversions will work with a stock clutch setup; most of them are designed around an engine swap with an automatic tranny. An alternative, to allow one to keep their clutch and brake pedals where they are, is to use a remote operated power booster and m/c, where the original is used to operate a slave operated power setup. There are a couple of outfits that have the plans for this, and it works quite well, because the booster and double circuit master cylinder can be mounted wherever there is space, and bracketing is fairly easy, because you don't have to account for the mechanics of the pedal linkage.

Well, enough "sage advice" for now; supper's ready - pot roast, taters, and juice (gravy); yum.
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