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Old 01-11-2009, 06:25 PM
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Front Crossmember Angle

I am about to start building my entire chassis for my 31 studebaker project. I am in the process of designing the frame, and currently have a critical question regarding the front crossmember.

The crossmember is an air ride traditional air crossmember. It has two "leafs" which ride on airbags underneath the crossmember on top of a standard drop I-beam.

Is the front crossmember supposed to be level, or should it be at a certain angle backwards? In doing so, this would make the front I-beam also at the backward angle.

If so, should the front frame section be at the same angle, so the crossmember is flush with the frame?

Thanks!

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Old 01-11-2009, 07:28 PM
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Post some pics of your set up and it will be easier to get a proper answer.
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Old 01-11-2009, 10:00 PM
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Not to sure what your talking about,But you need the king pins at about 3* to 7* degree's.If I'm following you right.Picture's of the front end would help us to help you.
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Old 01-12-2009, 07:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NEW INTERIORS
Not to sure what your talking about,But you need the king pins at about 3* to 7* degree's.If I'm following you right.Picture's of the front end would help us to help you.
Correct. You also need to take into consideration the "rake" of the vehicle when calculating that 3-7 degrees.

This picture shows how the rake of the vehicle can throw off your king pin angle. If you don't take that angle into consideration your king pin angle will be much less than what you think it is. The blue line represents level and the red line the "rake" of the vehicle. You need to add the 3-7 degrees to the red line to get the correct king pin angle.

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Old 01-12-2009, 04:29 PM
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The car will have 0 degree rake, the frame is horizontal with the ground. Therefore, should my crossmember (and therefore axle, king pin, and front frame section) be 3-7 degrees angled backwards? Check out these pics and also the .pdf I attached. The pdf shows two scenarios, 1-the crossmember welded into the horizontal frame, and 2-the crossmember welded into an equally angled frame.

Please advise me if I am way off on my knowledge here. If I am correct, should I choose an angle of 5 degrees and allow the front four bar for adjustment? If so, this will adjust the axle only, and I would think it would bind the stationary crossmember??
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Old 01-12-2009, 05:12 PM
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Centerline is right,I usually set mine at 7* and with a little rake it may end up a 3* degree's.They say 3 to 7 so I put it at max just in case of some rake.And most of the time it will end up about 3 degree's.As far as the crossmember I don't see where it would be enough to worry about,Because the little bit the axle goes up and down,It doesn't change enough.Because of the long radius rods.If they would be short,It would change a lot more.So I would say that the crossmember can be Level.Maybe some other will speak up about this,And maybe can explain why it should be angled too.But I really don't think it will make much difference.

If you angle the crossmember,The only thing it may changes is where the radiator will bolt,If it bolts to the crossmember.But I don't think it will be enough to make it a problem. Deuce and Centerline may know a little more about this,They are a little more into the 30-32 model car's then me.

Last edited by NEW INTERIORS; 01-12-2009 at 05:20 PM.
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Old 01-12-2009, 10:06 PM
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I have to ask, are you using a four link setup or hairpins? There will be some adjustment there. If you are then I would think that if you set the crossmember at 3 degrees an additional 4 degrees adjustment with the four link or hairpins would not cause the suspension to bind and you would be fine.

That is an interesting setup.
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Old 01-12-2009, 10:48 PM
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I can see in the photo that the front end is supplied with adjustable spring perches. With that being the case, you can install the crossmember level with the frame rail and still be able to dial in as much caster as you need. 3-4 degrees positive to start with and then go from there after test driving. I don't see a panhard rod, is there one with the kit? If not I would add one.

Andy
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Old 01-13-2009, 09:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aosborn
I can see in the photo that the front end is supplied with adjustable spring perches...............
Just curious... I didn't see any adjustable spring perches in those photos. Looks to me like the springs are bolted to the axle in the center and ride on standard perches which aren't adjustable. Am I seeing wrong or did I just miss something?
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Old 01-13-2009, 09:45 AM
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the adjustment is here. You can set the angle off the one bolt on each side,Plus on the bars. Not sure if you under stand me,But the spring can be level,And the axle can be set to 7 degree's.You have the right kind of spring perch to do that. When I set up my 25 ford,I put the spring level,Then put the king pins at 7 degree's,It rode great.
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Old 01-13-2009, 03:29 PM
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Guess I didn't look close enough. Its there for sure.
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Old 01-13-2009, 06:02 PM
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Yes, they are adjustable spring perches. The leafs do not bolt to the frame in the middle, but to the crossmember. Here is a better picture of the set up. Airbags go between the leafs and the crossmember, and are hidden when parked.

So the consensus is weld the crossmember level, adjustable spring perches and the 4-link up front will do the caster?

Lastly, I do not have the panhard yet, but I will be purchasing it in the near future.
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Old 01-13-2009, 07:20 PM
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This is definitely the first one I see like this,But I think you will be OK,Do a little more home work on this set up.Maybe someone may see something that I'm not catching.
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Old 01-13-2009, 08:01 PM
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Looks great. You can put cross member level as was said ,It will work fine.
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Old 01-13-2009, 09:33 PM
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Yep. Definitely an interesting setup. Should work well and with the adjustable hangers placing the crossmember level will work just fine.
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