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Old 12-25-2005, 09:57 PM
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Anyone know anything about king pin suspensions?

I just purchased a 1937 Pontiac Deluxe 6. I was looking at the front suspension and noticed it had original independent front suspension. I have done some research and found out its is called King Pin Type Suspension. I have a buddy with a 48 Desoto and it has similar suspension. He opted to leave his in and swapped the spindles for lowered ones. He found a kit that allowed him install a rack and pinion and modern steering box but the rest is original. I have also heard rumor that this was the IFS used by Chevy on the vettes in the 50's. My question is, is it worth it to rebuild or better to go mustang 2. What is the handling like? I have heard bad things about the knee action suspension used by Chevy in the 40's. Any insight would be appreciated

Thanks,
Rob

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Old 12-26-2005, 06:30 AM
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There's nothing inherently wrong with the pre-ball joint suspensions. (Well, all right, they don't have braking anti-dive geometry, but that's no biggie.) Since you're considering something else, you're evidently not going to restore it as a '37 Pontiac. If it's to be a street rod with a SBC, you might as well start thinking along the lines of a Camaro front clip right now. This solves the suspension problem and provides the mounts for the engine. If you do decide to keep the original spindles, your first problem will be finding the parts for a rebuild. But, since you bought a car from the thirties, you've already committed yourself to endless parts searches.

And, yes, this type of suspension was used in the '53 and '54 Corvettes. Chevrolet went to ball joints in '55. (This brings up an interesting question. Chevy built a handful of '55 Corvettes. These were interesting in that they came in colors other than white and the V8 was offered for the first time, though still only with the 2 speed Powerglide. For that very small production run, they might have opted to retain the '54 suspension. Some Corvette expert would have to answer that one.)
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Old 12-26-2005, 06:52 AM
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the main question is this: "do you like the way the desoto rides, or would you like a car that handles more modern?"

if you would like something more, i would suggest an upgrade, mustang 2, camaro, or possibly even corvette

ive seen plenty of 80's / 90's corvette front suspensions sell on ebay for 500-800 dollars, at one point i was about to pick up a late 90's system for 700

fitting a rack/ pinion out of a different car might be tricky, as the tierod length has to be correct to avoid bumpsteer problems. the tie rod must also be at the proper angle for the same reason.
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Old 12-26-2005, 08:23 AM
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Mr Shope touched on one of the major issues on these older cars and that is parts availability..That is the one major reason to make changes to the chassis in order to use modern parts..Of course in making the change a fellow gets the benefit of better handling and braking..

Do some checking around and you will find that there are a number of alternatives for improvement..

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Old 01-03-2006, 06:38 AM
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A friend has a 39 Pontiac with a king pin ifs. we rebuilt the front end in 79 with a custom (local spring works) 28mm sway bar. I set it up at 0 camber, 3deg pos castor and 1/8 toe. With a 7/8 rear bar, 225/60 -15 wide whites instead of 670 - 16s it handled about as well as 78 Holden (better than a 78 Nova).I saw him last year at a nostalgia drag meet in his 65 GTO. He said the 39 had done over 90000 miles and the front end was still tight. He greases it every 3000 miles but it is still a good front end.
If you wanna go late do it, but some old stuff is good and parts are still available - even here!
Knee action Chevs were mid thirties junk. Full size Chevs went ball joint in 55 but Vettes were k/p till 62. Hell M/Benz had king pins in 71 (w108/109) I sure got sick of expandable reamers in the late 70's.
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Old 03-15-2006, 01:39 AM
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kingpin

Your front suspension is fine for 1937, I don't recommend it for high speed. Ream out the axle , make a new pin. end or repair. Are your tires wearing. Is the steering woobling or bumpy feeling. If not grease it and don't drive to fast.
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Old 03-21-2006, 05:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillyShope
There's nothing inherently wrong with the pre-ball joint suspensions. (Well, all right, they don't have braking anti-dive geometry, but that's no biggie.) Since you're considering something else, you're evidently not going to restore it as a '37 Pontiac. If it's to be a street rod with a SBC, you might as well start thinking along the lines of a Camaro front clip right now. This solves the suspension problem and provides the mounts for the engine. If you do decide to keep the original spindles, your first problem will be finding the parts for a rebuild. But, since you bought a car from the thirties, you've already committed yourself to endless parts searches.

And, yes, this type of suspension was used in the '53 and '54 Corvettes. Chevrolet went to ball joints in '55. (This brings up an interesting question. Chevy built a handful of '55 Corvettes. These were interesting in that they came in colors other than white and the V8 was offered for the first time, though still only with the 2 speed Powerglide. For that very small production run, they might have opted to retain the '54 suspension. Some Corvette expert would have to answer that one.)
King pin set-up was used on Corvettes through 1962. 1963 was first to go to ball joints
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Old 03-21-2006, 05:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillyShope
There's nothing inherently wrong with the pre-ball joint suspensions. (Well, all right, they don't have braking anti-dive geometry, but that's no biggie.) Since you're considering something else, you're evidently not going to restore it as a '37 Pontiac. If it's to be a street rod with a SBC, you might as well start thinking along the lines of a Camaro front clip right now. This solves the suspension problem and provides the mounts for the engine. If you do decide to keep the original spindles, your first problem will be finding the parts for a rebuild. But, since you bought a car from the thirties, you've already committed yourself to endless parts searches.

And, yes, this type of suspension was used in the '53 and '54 Corvettes. Chevrolet went to ball joints in '55. (This brings up an interesting question. Chevy built a handful of '55 Corvettes. These were interesting in that they came in colors other than white and the V8 was offered for the first time, though still only with the 2 speed Powerglide. For that very small production run, they might have opted to retain the '54 suspension. Some Corvette expert would have to answer that one.)
I'd imagine the '55 6cyl's had the '53-'54 Suspension, they were also 6 volt still, the V8 cars had 12v. '55 was the first and last time a 6 and an 8 cyl were offered togther.
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Old 03-21-2006, 06:31 PM
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37 pontiac

I have my ex-wife's 36 and 37 pontiac in my shop, In lieu of alimony i maintain her hobby cars. the 37 pontiac frame is formed out for the spring pockets . putting in a Mustang II is easier if you use a fat man front frame clip and go to the heavier after market stuff with bigger brakes. one guy i new had the camero clip and he didn't like it said it didn't handle very well. he changed to the Must II and loved it
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Old 03-22-2006, 01:27 AM
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37 Ifs

Folks I hate to admit it ,but I am out of this round. We used to make farm wagons out of car axles. So I have seen a lot of them I will have to go look some of this up. Don't forget the Akerman principle. I have a friend with a early Mustang, He keeps tearing up the front suspension. He replaces it with the heavier Ford Twin I beam from pick up's. I am not supprised at the big M always needing work. I will have go study a little. But my point was/is is a mustang2 heavy enough for that car? mark
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