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Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board > Tech Help> Suspension - Brakes - Steering> More Gasser stuff (Kinda long)
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Topic Review (Newest First)
10-29-2002 11:39 AM
tm454 Gotta love that bench racing!!
10-18-2002 10:20 PM
46_stvblt Murf: Just as Willys36 said, don't go to parallel leaf springs, I did that on a 40 Willys A/Gas car in the late 60's , Had the springs rearched to raise the front, looked wild. First rundown the strip, fine until I crossed the line and shut her down.. Left turn Clyde... Scared the livin ******* out of me. Changed it to Coil over shocks on a tube axel and radius arms. Made sure the up and down movement in the drag link was at a minimum and things improved greatly... Later on I built a vega B/Gas car and put a rack and pinion on a tube Axel...A little tricky on the set up but the car handled like a dream....Glenn K
10-18-2002 04:29 PM
roys63 Murff you need to check out a front tube axle used on the 2 wheel drive Jeep Cherokees, late 80s-90s.This may save you a lot of work, these are a bit beefy,I am sure a few calls to some junk yards you can find one to measure.Or check out your local Jeep Dealer. This project looks like it will be very Cool
10-18-2002 12:47 PM Anyone who builds chassis using chrome moly can whip out a great axle for you. They aren't brain surgery and a tube axle is every bit as strong as an I-beam axle. Plus, a race car is usually pretty light weight to start with.

Speaking of filming your work, if you get a chance watch Ed Roth's video of him building the L A Zoom show car in his 1-car garage. Never touches a tape measure, is tripping over junk all over the floor, mixes bondo and fiberglass resin in a dixie cup with his bare hands. Basically endorses how I have worked all my life!
10-18-2002 09:36 AM
Murff Well, I guess I was showing my ignorance & confusion. My head is spinnin', trying to get a handle on all of this. Actually, a cross style spring would be a heck of a lot easier to fit, lots less bracketry to fabricate. I guess my concern tho' has been that the tube axles I've seen available, with cross springs, all claim to be for "light weight" cars like buckets & roadsters.
As to a custom made tube axle, my nephew & I have been talking about doing just that. He works in a local welding shop and the owner used to be a pretty good chassis designer, himself. I've been bouncing some of my design ideas off of him as I go. Looks like we'll have to run with this one & see where it goes.
Y'know, it's a shame that there isn't more documentation (at least on the web) on how these cars were set up back then. I've been looking for good illustrations of front suspensions. I'm kind of visual in my thought process. If I can see clearly how someone else did it I can then think through how to make something similar work for me.
I've seen a few posts on this board about doing cars in this style, & someone's predicting that this style of car will be making a comeback at the track. I'm a bit of a computer nerd (have my whole house networked, including my detached shop)and have a web cam hooked up to my shop computer.
I'm "filming" all of my processes as I go. Maybe I should make a little documentary available when I'm done. Maybe make it easier for the next guy. Just a thought.
Anyway, thanks for the response & I welcome any other views or advice on this.
10-18-2002 05:52 AM With the parameters you set down - no modern stuff, gasser style, etc., and that you have a blank cnvas to work with. I don't understand the parallel leaf spring/torsion bar setup you mentioned. Seems it is an 'either/or' rather than an 'and' for those two systems.

Is the frame in good shape?

I have some ideas of the direction I would go. First, you can get a custom tube axle made to the right width, drop, king pin bosses, etc., so that is no problem. I would have a custom tube axle with a Ford type cross spring and 4-bar links rather than parallel leaf springs. First it will save a pound or two. More importantly, it will eliminate bump steer that is unavoidable with parallel springs. Chuck Finders was a famous gasser chassis builder in the '60s and he went to this setup from stock parallel springs on Willys cars. Look at pictures of his Altizer, Finders, Kibler Traveler '33 Willys A/GS car for a great example of it. With it you can use parallel or cross steering and have a very stable, no bump steer system.
10-17-2002 10:27 PM
More Gasser stuff (Kinda long)

Well, I've just finished perusing all the posts in this section, all 21 pages. Pretty impressive. I found a few clues to my project here, & hopefully, y'all will come up with some more.
After many years of running factory muscle cars on the street, mt wife & I have decided it's time to go racing.
We're starting out with just barely a cut above a bare Garage floor & building a Gasser style ET Bracket car. This will be a Pro-Bracket, footbrake, no transbrake or electronics (delay, stutter, etc.) We're anticipating 11 second runs, maybe high 10's. At this time we have no interest or desire to build it to run in the 9's at all.
What we have is a 1939 Studebaker 5 window Champion Coupe. Body, frame, & a 1953 Washington state title. No moving parts at all, unless you count the glove box door. No axles, springs, etc. However, the pieces I do have are pretty solid.
I've been poring over the web for the past month trying to dig up as much info on front suspensions for this car as possible. Nothing. (Umm, let me point out here that I'm kinda cheap. Doesn't make sense for me to pay $20.00 for a factory manual for this car for 1 - 2 bits of info, then never look at it again).
So. We need to determine what type of front axle & springs to put under this car. Again, it will be Gasser style so NO Mustang stuff, rack & pinion or IFS at all.
The only info I've been able to come up with (from a questionable, pudgy, source) is that the front end is a 57.5" track. (rough) Measuring inside the fenders front & rear validates this. I have determined that with a narrowed rear end, tubs & offsets on the rear wheels that I have enough room to fatten this up to about 64", in the rear end, outside sidewall to outside sidewall.
I have also determined that I can match this at the front end using an axle that is 46" center to center at the kingpin bosses, mid 60's Econoline spindles & offsets on the front wheel.
My concerns are that all the I-Beam axles and tube axles I find are either too wide or utilize a single front spring across the axle. We would like to use parallel leafs, probably with torsion bars. My thinking is that this would be a bit more solid set up. The car may very well pull the front wheels up a bit on launch. It should have enough power for a gentle landing, but...
So. Who's got some thoughts on this? Phat? I've read a lot of your replies on front ends. Have you set something like this up before?
Oh, I've been to all the Gasser sites on the web, read everything I could get my eyes on, downloaded pictures of cars built 30 years ago & 2 years ago & enhanced them as best I can (thanks Photoshop). I've also been to the web sites of Alstons, Comp Engineering, Chassis Engineering, TCI, Posies, & many, many more sites. Also, Art Morrison's shop is just a few miles up the road so I've been in there a few times, too. This project is being well researched, at the least.
If you care, I'm also doing all major modifications to the frame & body on the computer before I cut any steel, thanks to the magic of AutCad.
Rest of the car details are fluffed up 455" Olds, TH350, 9" Ford, 4.56 gears, 30" tall tire in rear (12" width), 27" tire up front (6" width), 12 point cage.
Phew. I'm exhausted. That was a lot of typing.

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