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Old 02-09-2010, 06:21 AM
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split front axel

I have a 1955 chevy half ton axel that I want to cut in half and attach pivots on the non spindle end - extend out 7 inches on each side - has anyone ever done this with sucess??

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Old 02-09-2010, 06:34 AM
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This creates absolutely terrible front end geometry, as the front tire moves up and down in it's travel it causes big changes to the camber and toe in/out(bumpsteer). Think of how a VW Beetle rear suspension swing arm makes the wheel tip in and out when the suspension is cycled and think about trying to steer with those tires tipping in and out over bump.

Only way to do this is like Ford did on the later trucks and Rangers - use a twin I-beam so you can stagger the mounting pionts acrossed to the other frame rail, make the beams longer than a mid pivot would allow and minimize the short pivot effect at the tire.
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Old 02-09-2010, 07:19 AM
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Ericnova is correct that geometry is not going to be your friend here. Adding seven inches to the axle length will help a bit but my guess is you will still have excessive camber wear and potential problems with steering.

Heidts and Flaming River have both tried to market a center pivot split front axle but with little success. Even the much longer arm Ford twin I-beams are noted for some premature tire wear...after decades of work by Ford engineers.

In my mind there would also be questions involved with adding length to your existing axles, primarily to insure the integrity of the welds joining the original axle material to the material for the extensions. I don't know what you have in mind there so at this point is is just a query.
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Old 02-10-2010, 10:17 AM
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split front axel

Thank you for your honest opinion - I had thought of this possibility - what I was intending is fabricating a cross member - cutting axel in half - welding 2" 250 wall tubing - with a bronze bushing in the center - with a 1" bolt serving as a pivot - drill a hole for a grease fitting - to accomplsh extending it out 7 " I was not intending to lengthen the axel itself but rather where the pivot point is located - axel is 54" king pin to king pin so half of that is 27" each half - would that be too short - also - comment from cboys - I saw your post where you used a split axel on one of your rods - and it looked like it was extended out to a large degree - failing my design idea - I would like to try what you did - any thoughts

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Old 02-10-2010, 10:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garbely1
...comment from cboys - I saw your post where you used a split axel on one of your rods - and it looked like it was extended out to a large degree - failing my design idea - I would like to try what you did - any thoughts
What I use is a stock Ford F-100 or F-150 twin I beam mounted to a hand fabricated chassis in approximately the same position it was in on the donor. I don't extend the beams...they are stock length.

I have never tried it, but I believe the mounting points for the axles CAN be moved inward or outward an inch or two to gain/reduce the overall track width and to better fit some car designs. But at this point that is just conjecture based on my experience (I own three rods with this type of front suspension).

I don't see any reason (other than normal fabrication challenges) that the twin I-beam type suspension can't be fitted to many other frame designs. In my opinion, however, the split I-beam is a totally different animal than the twin I beam.

In case you have not seen it, you can go to my journal starting here and see how the twin I-beam is put together and get much more detail on the design and geometry involved. Below is just one pic taken during fabrication.


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Old 02-10-2010, 10:53 AM
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split front axel

What I propose is to mount each half of the axel - adjacent to one another rather than one in front of the other - I assume you have some sort of radius rod to support front to back movement - my guess is that your axels are appx 38" long each - mine would be 27" long - in your opinion - will I experience negative effects from my approach or would you suggest going to the twin i beam as you have done - and have you had any negative tire wear from your set up -
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Old 02-10-2010, 12:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garbely1
- my guess is that your axels are appx 38" long each - mine would be 27" long -
Depends a bit on where you measure, but the beams on my sedan/delivery are 43 1/2" from the center of the pivot hole to the center of the kingpin.

And below is shot of my 4-link system. I use this setup over a common radius rod because it allows me to adjust the caster after the car is on the road. That is very difficult to do with the stock F-150 radius rods.

Since I have never fabricated axles like the ones you are proposing I hesitate to draw any major conclusions about the tire wear and/or handling problems you might encounter. But if you think about it, Ford engineers spent thousands of man-hours designing their front suspensions and I think their conclusion speaks for itself. The longer the axle, the fewer the problems you will encounter. An axle split right in the center would certainly have been a much easier system to work with from an engineering standpoint. But I think Ford's people quickly discovered that the associated camber problems were just to monumental. They simply had to overlap the the two axles to get enough length so that the camper problems would be reduced to a tolerable level.

And as I mentioned in a post above, others have tried the split front axle with centered pivots and have not had great luck with it. But then hot rodding is all about going out on a limb and doing things a little different. So in the end it is your decision. In the meantime, google the daylights out of this question and read everything you can get your hands on regarding what others have done...and why.



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