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Old 02-12-2004, 10:09 AM
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Lowering my 53 chevy truck

I have a 1953 chevrolet 3100. I am doing a frame off restoration. This is my first large project like this and to be honest I am a little overwhelmed. I want to put a 383 with a turbo 350 automatic in there. I know the most popular thing to do is to put an IFS kit in place of the stock suspension, but I dont have the cash for one, or the expereince to install it. My question is, does anyone know if I can rebuild AND lower the stock suspension, and still have adequate support and control over the truck with the increased horsepower and torque. ANY feedback concerning resto-mods on these trucks (especially suspension advice) would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Josh

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Old 02-20-2004, 07:23 PM
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I don't think theres anything wrong with using the old stuff, as long as you have new tie rods and bushings.
I don't know how to lower it though.


Shane.
77 Chevy truck.
85 Honda Prelude.
37 Willys sedan.
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Old 02-20-2004, 10:21 PM
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Bulldog622-
Hey, well it sounds like you got a neat little project going. The idea of a restomod is to take the old body and refresh it with some of the more modern stuff we have today to make it faster safer and sooo much cooler.

here is an idea similar to what my uncle is doing. He obtained a 76 GMC (chevy would work too) that already had a 350 on it and a three speed. On this other truck by removing a couple body mount bolts and the entire body will come off, and you can retrofit the 53 cab and bed to fit by building new mounts and making possible ajustments to your firewall though you shouldnt have to.

So you could find a similar configured truck of newer age that still shared the same charateristics (SHort box regular cab) because you want the donor vehicle to have a similar wheelbase, and you should check befor you buy but many of those years should work.

A newer body may have disc brakes IFS instead of strait axel and a much stronger frame. And while no body is mounted to the frame you could do all the work to the frame and running gear then mount the body finish the body work and so on.

And if you save your wiring harness you can transfer much over to the new body.

Ok i know i just put down a lot of info it was fast for me and i probably left a lot out but i will answer any further questions?
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Old 02-21-2004, 06:31 PM
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You really have several options. The simplest is just to remove a couple leafs in the front springs. Or you could take them down to your local spring shop and have them de-arched. Either one will lower the front end at least two to three inches.

Check out the Hotrodders Knowledge Base to find dozens of articles on these old trucks. I'm sure it will help.

One other comment. It really doesn't take a lot of expertise to install an IFS on one of these trucks. It's really pretty simple and you actually have several choices.

Good luck

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Old 02-21-2004, 06:48 PM
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A very good friend of mine lowered his 50 chevy with a re-arched front spring and reversed spring eyes, then removed a couple of the minor leafs. This thing looked better but was still not low enuff for most people (including him) and it bottomed out the spring travel way too much, still handled and steered like a fifties truck. After cussin' the thing for one season we changed it to a Must ll and the difference was so great that his wife took the truck as her own! Shop around and get a kit, or a crossmember and a wrecked Must ll or Pinto.
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Old 02-21-2004, 07:39 PM
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stock suspension is okay and can be lowered but i would go with a cross member from a good rod shop about 350.00 and use all the control arms, coils rack and pinion from a pinto they can be found cheap and they bolt right onto the cross member.You then buy a conversion bracket from a rod shop that allows you to use GM rotors and calipers from a donor vehicle.As far as installing the cross member it is very simple and if you can weld you can do it yourself in about 5 hrs.I just did a 54 and everything worked perfect Good luck
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Old 02-22-2004, 07:29 PM
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Speedway has a nice kit of totally reconditioned and new parts for a MII and includes 11"discs and GM calipers and everything to mount them even the pads, check it out. and you could find your Xmember somewhere else.
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