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Old 01-15-2006, 03:35 PM
32 Ford Model B
 

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Suspension Travel for my I-beam 32

We're working on a 32 Ford Truck with a 4" drop axle, transverse spring, split wishbones and Saginaw cross-steering. I'm trying to set the engine as low as possible without danger of the harmonic balancer impacting the tierod.

Picture of front end

What limits the suspension compression on these? I put some clamps from under the i-beam to the top side of the frame and cranked pretty hard, but I'm worried that I'm not really at the limit.

I took some measurements today of the clearance from top of tierod to bottom of framerail . This is with a Ford smallblock and C6 installed, no radiator, no body.

static load = 2.5"
suspension unloaded = 4.75"
springs compressed with C-clamps = 1.25"

Based on these numbers, the total travel is 3.50" with most of that in the upward direction.

Should I install rubber bumper stops between the framerails and the spring to ensure I don't get into the tierod on a hard hit?

Is there a better way to fully compress the suspension?

Looking for advise and experience.

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Old 01-16-2006, 01:25 AM
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The suspension can't move too much more after the spring hits the frame. Measure from the spring to the bottom of the frame rail. You should have at least that much room between the tie rod and anything above it if you don't want it to hit. A good way to get the spring to compress easily is to remove all but the main leaf, then it compresses with clamps or just people standing on the frame horns. Hope this helps, mikey
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Old 01-16-2006, 07:03 AM
32 Ford Model B
 

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Mike,

Thanks for the reply. Currently the tierod is higher than the spring mount, so it would hit the frame before the spring. I can't lower the tierod any, because it is positioned just above the wishbone radius rod. I think I either have to limit the suspension travel or relocate the tierod to below the wishbone.

Here's a picture of the right side for reference.

Thoughts?
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Old 01-16-2006, 08:56 AM
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Did you ever ID those spindles? It looks like a later pickup to me. It is hard to tell from your picture, but it looks like going below the radius rod with the tie rod will put it in the "scrub zone", meaning the tie rod will drag on the ground if you lose a tire. I don't know if that will pass inspection at your dmv but it is a safety issue nonetheless. If you can go below the radius rod with the tie rod you will have to do it with another steering arm because I don't think that after you bend the ones you have down further than what they are, you will have any arm left for steering. Not knowing what those spindles are, I'm not sure that you will find any dropped steering arms that will fit the spindle. You could make some or modify a set of deep drop steering arms. Chassis engineering has some that look easy to modify the mount hole spacing on. If you can't get anywhere with any of that, your only option may be to limit suspension travel with a bumper between the spring and frame. Do not use the shock to limit travel. It will bust the mount in a heartbeat. Hot Rods are fun, huh? Hope this helps, mikey
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Old 01-16-2006, 09:18 AM
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32 steering

i have a simler lay out on my 32 2dr with sb ford and split wishbone. ihad to notch the right wish bone about 1/4 in so the tie rod just clears, cant see much on your pictures, could send you aphoto of mine if you send your email. i made a spring stop that bolts to the u bolts in the center. works fine . the bigest problem i had was withe the pitman arm asit must be paralel with tie rod. i have no bump steer and car handels well. cliff ct1940@telus.net.
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Old 01-16-2006, 09:52 AM
32 Ford Model B
 

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Super information guys. I really appreciate the input.

Mike,

I believe the spindles are from a Model A that originally used ball/sockets instead of tierod ends. My father-in-law cut the balls off and welded tierod holes on. I'm not so sure about welding forged steel like that, but he was a professional welder, so they're probably okay. I do have another set of spindles that resemble 42-48 spindles but the bolt pattern is rectangular, not square. After looking on ebay, they may be 35-36 spindles. Here is a picture of the extra spindles. The i-beam boss spacing is the same as the ones on the truck, so it appears I would just have to bend the steering arms to use them. This truck will be a driver, and I definitely don't want to get below the scrub line. Thanks for that tip.

Cliff,

I would love to see upclose pics of your suspension. My tierods currently clear the radius rod by 1/2", but the end clamps would hit if positioned with the bolt/nut down. I wonder if a lower profile clamp exists that would always clear. Is it possible for you to take some static measurements of your front suspension so I can determine whether my spring is setting at a normal height? Click here for my email.

Again, thanks a bunch. Having other's input helps immensely.
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