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Old 11-02-2003, 01:28 PM
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Home-made truck arm suspension

I'm planning on assembling my own truckarm suspension for my 62 nova, and was curious if anyone else has done this. I know some older chevy trucks used this type of suspension. I planned on either using arms from one of these trucks or making my own. Just curious if anyone else has done this, or has any knowledge on the subject.

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Old 11-03-2003, 04:21 AM
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Here's a link to something I did to my S-10 Pickup.

http://projects10.freeservers.com/coiloverrear.html
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Old 11-03-2003, 01:35 PM
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Thanks for the link. How did the suspension turn out? I see you just used trailing arms parallel to the frame, I planned on copying the setup used in the older chevy trucks and in hot rods to hell's kit (exactly the same), putting the forward mounts much closer together than the rear mounts.
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Old 11-03-2003, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by S10Fan
Here's a link to something I did to my S-10 Pickup.

http://projects10.freeservers.com/coiloverrear.html
Great job S10. Long live do-it-ourselves!!
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Old 11-03-2003, 02:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by BenH
Thanks for the link. How did the suspension turn out? I see you just used trailing arms parallel to the frame, I planned on copying the setup used in the older chevy trucks and in hot rods to hell's kit (exactly the same), putting the forward mounts much closer together than the rear mounts.
The truck rides and handles pretty well. It feels a heck of a lot better than the leaf springs and lowering blocks did. I want to play around with the springs and shocks to dial it in a little better.

The setup you are planning is a good one. Hey, it works every Saturday night and Sunday afternoon at a race track somewhere. The stock truck style arms seem like they may be a little long for the Nova?
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Old 11-03-2003, 08:31 PM
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From what I hear they are like 6" longer than the Hot Rods to Hell arms. What would make the arms too long? Is there a limit to length? I've been looking for technical info on this type of suspension with no luck, so I'm not sure what would be a good length for what characteristics of a car. Any thoughts? I was actually thinking more about making my own arms right now from some 2x2 square tube or something, and possibly making them straight, or if need be (for what reason I'm not sure), cut and weld the right angle into them. Any thoughts?
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Old 11-05-2003, 09:47 PM
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Can anyone point me in the direction of some technical reading on this subject?
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Old 11-06-2003, 07:31 AM
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I have never read these but there might be something on this subject.

Classic Motor Books, 1-800-826-6600 has several books on chassis theory.

#119517A Chassis Engineering $16.95

#125115AP Race Car Chassis Design and Construction $19.95

#11920AP Circle Track Suspension $19.95

#125370B Paved Track Stock Car Technology $21.95
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Old 11-06-2003, 01:22 PM
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Thanks Willys, I'll make a trip to the bookstore and see if I can find anything. I'm suprised I haven't heard from anybody with personal experience with this kind of suspension. In the short amount of time I've been researching hot rod stuff, I've noticed that a lot of people seem to prefer buying bolt-in parts or pre-made aftermarket parts designed to be easy bolt-ins. Where is the creativity? Why does it seem that nobody makes anything from scratch or from junkyard parts anymore? I've been into 4-wheeling for a few years, and that is all about building stuff - no bolt-in parts. I pieced together all my leaf springs on my truck from junkyard springs, made all the hangers myself, made my own bumpers, stuff like that. Where is that in the hot-rod world?
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Old 11-06-2003, 01:26 PM
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How is the twisting handled?

By twisting I mean when one side of the axle is high and the other side is low.

Do the bushings handle it?

The truck magazines have suppliers that sell kits for s-10's that utilize pivot points at both ends. This requires them to use a three bar set up with a pan-hard bar.
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Old 11-06-2003, 01:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by BenH
In the short amount of time I've been researching hot rod stuff, I've noticed that a lot of people seem to prefer buying bolt-in parts or pre-made aftermarket parts designed to be easy bolt-ins. Where is the creativity? Why does it seem that nobody makes anything from scratch or from junkyard parts anymore? I've been into 4-wheeling for a few years, and that is all about building stuff - no bolt-in parts. I pieced together all my leaf springs on my truck from junkyard springs, made all the hangers myself, made my own bumpers, stuff like that. Where is that in the hot-rod world?
Bingo! WOW! Ditto! Wahoo!!! Boy , are you preaching to the quire on that one. That is my main gripe abut the whole 'hot-rodding' scene nowadays. People seem averse to going to the junk yard, getting an old piece of iron and making a new hot part out of it. In fact, if you do that, you are looked down on as a lesser being. The politically correct car today is a kit car that costs 6-figures and has zero chrome or cast iron showing.


Real hot rodding has always been on the fringe of society and it continues to be there, even in the street rod society. Your observation is 100% correct but don't' feel bad - true hot rodders appreciate one when they see it - don't be ashamed to be one of us.
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Old 11-06-2003, 03:25 PM
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BenH, You have discovered the truth in Hot Rodding. Every thing must be acceptable and easy. I sure admire your attitude!!! Anyway the first suspension that I modified was under my Nova 327, 4-sp. I used an old Olds rear bar but your 2 in tube is fine. I ran about a 36 in bar farward from the right side of the housing and it ended up under the rear right pass foot well. I used a flat piece of plate all over the bottom to absorb the loads. I used another Nova shackle and some pipe to make a skackle joint on the end of the bar. The bar was about 12 in from center line of car. Worked great. Super traction. Lifted the car on accel. Please try it. It is easier than the truck idea and has more room for exhaust. Good luck P.S. I've used this on every car I've built since!!!
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Old 11-07-2003, 12:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by evltwin
How is the twisting handled?

By twisting I mean when one side of the axle is high and the other side is low.

Do the bushings handle it?

The truck magazines have suppliers that sell kits for s-10's that utilize pivot points at both ends. This requires them to use a three bar set up with a pan-hard bar.
Yeah I think with the truckarms the bushings handle the twist. Some have a "uni-ball" bearing type deal I think instead of the bushings. This seems similar to "Johnny joints" which I've seen in the 4x4 industry, not sure if anyone would have heard of them around here. They're a rebuildable big spherical bearing joint used in 4x4 suspension link setups. I thought about using these as my pivot points on the truck arms, or maybe my own from leaf spring bushings or something similar. Also about the twisting, I think there is considerably less twisting with the long arms due to the longer radius arch a long arm makes (that sounds redundant).

Quote:
Originally posted by willys36@aol.com
Bingo! WOW! Ditto! Wahoo!!! Boy , are you preaching to the quire on that one. That is my main gripe abut the whole 'hot-rodding' scene nowadays. People seem averse to going to the junk yard, getting an old piece of iron and making a new hot part out of it. In fact, if you do that, you are looked down on as a lesser being. The politically correct car today is a kit car that costs 6-figures and has zero chrome or cast iron showing.


Real hot rodding has always been on the fringe of society and it continues to be there, even in the street rod society. Your observation is 100% correct but don't' feel bad - true hot rodders appreciate one when they see it - don't be ashamed to be one of us.
So where can I encounter these true hot rodders and enjoy some truly hand crafted and creative rides?

Quote:
Originally posted by dingus
BenH, You have discovered the truth in Hot Rodding. Every thing must be acceptable and easy. I sure admire your attitude!!! Anyway the first suspension that I modified was under my Nova 327, 4-sp. I used an old Olds rear bar but your 2 in tube is fine. I ran about a 36 in bar farward from the right side of the housing and it ended up under the rear right pass foot well. I used a flat piece of plate all over the bottom to absorb the loads. I used another Nova shackle and some pipe to make a skackle joint on the end of the bar. The bar was about 12 in from center line of car. Worked great. Super traction. Lifted the car on accel. Please try it. It is easier than the truck idea and has more room for exhaust. Good luck P.S. I've used this on every car I've built since!!!
Is what you're talking about a traction bar used in conjunction with leaf springs? Sounds similar to what I was working on for my truck - two bushed or rod ended link points one over the other on the axle end, and a shackle pivot with a heim joint on a crossmember.

Last edited by BenH; 11-07-2003 at 12:30 AM.
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Old 11-07-2003, 09:46 AM
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Right!! It is a single traction bar mounted solid to the rear end on the pass side and extending forward and ending with a shackle to accommodate the difference in arc lengths between the front half of the springs and the bar. The springs, shocks,etc all remain stock. This design was first used on Jaguar D Type race cars in the 50's before they went to the irs. Chevy also used a variation of it for the 59-64 cars. I have used it under the Nova, 65Mustang, 55 chevy,and three 32 Fords. Two friends also have it under their 32 Fords. I would make a couple of dog bone plates out of 3/8. Weld one to the bar and one under the housing. Make a shackle for the bar end and a plate and you are set.
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Old 11-07-2003, 11:14 AM
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Actually, my original plans for the suspension involved exactly that. I was going to inboard the rear springs and make a traction bar with a shackle like that, but then I stumbled across this truck-arm idea and that looks like a pretty sweet setup, and should give a lot better ride/handling/cornering. I was going to keep it simple, but I have to tear this whole thing apart and pretty much build a whole frame anyway, so I may as well upgrade the handling and ride in the process.
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